Want to Recover Increased Costs Caused by an Epidemic? Look at Your Contract!

Contractors in the COVID-19 era may be tempted to think that the Government will compensate them for increased costs caused by virus-induced shutdowns, quarantines, and the like. And this line of thought has some inherent appeal. After all, the virus was entirely unforeseen by both parties when the contract was inked. So shouldn’t the customer–the party wanting the good or service–bear the risk of these extraordinary events?

Continue reading

Federal Circuit Blesses Disparate Evaluation Standard Used by COFC in Bid Protests

In any legal action, it’s critical to understand the standard that the tribunal applies to a claim. Until now, the Federal Circuit–an intermediate federal appeals court immediately below the U.S. Supreme Court–had not articulated the standard for disparate evaluation claims in bid protests. Though not groundbreaking, a recent case provides clarity for attorneys and litigants alike.

Continue reading

Preparing for the Worst

The hot topic of late—for good reason—is the coronavirus (or COVID-19), and its incredible impact on people and the world’s economy. It’s inescapable, and turning on the evening news can be downright scary.

We’re all concerned with how to protect our loved ones from the impact of this outbreak. But for business owners—particularly small business owners—those concerns are compounded by the fear of potential economic hardships that are almost certain to come.

In this post, we’ll discuss suggestions as to how a federal government contractor might prepare for disruptions caused by the coronavirus (or other calamities).

Continue reading

Prime Contractor Can Sponsor Subcontractor’s Claim to Government

Let’s say you’re a subcontractor to a prime contractor, which holds a construction contract with the Government. And you run into problems which need to be solved by submitting a claim to the contracting officer. But, as the subcontractor, you don’t have a contractual relationship (privity of contract, in legal speak) with the Government. Can you still submit the claim?

Continue reading

Federal Circuit Interprets the FAR’s Trade Agreement Act Clause

It’s relatively rare for the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (an intermediate federal appeals court immediately below the Supreme Court) to weigh in on the Trade Agreements Act, as it applies to federal government contracts. So, when we saw the Federal Circuit’s recent decision on the issue, we had just one thought: this has to make the blog. So, here it is.

Continue reading

COFC: IndyCar Racing Team Out of Luck, No Implied Contract with the National Guard

It’s never a good idea to perform work without a written contract authorizing the work; handshake agreements between the Government and contractors aren’t reliable. This is particularly true when a dispute arises and the contractor wants compensation. Without a contract, the firm might be out of luck.

Continue reading

Federal Government Contractors Can Use Electronic Signatures for Claim Certifications, ASBCA Says

Despite technological advance, some (perhaps even you) still cling to the notion that a signature, written by a human hand, is the only official kind. In other words, if a person doesn’t personally affix her “John Hancock” in cursive script or some other creative form, then the document really isn’t signed. If this thought sounds familiar, I’m here to liberate you. You are no longer bound like a medieval prisoner to your tube filled with ink. You can use an electronic signature in your contract work with the U.S. Government, including certifications connected to claims submitted under the Contract Disputes Act.

Continue reading