Defense Department Provides COVID-19 Guidance

Last week, we wrote about OMB’s guidance to contracting officers in dealing with the extraordinary challenges caused by COVID-19. Among other things, OMB instructed agencies to be flexible in providing extensions on performance deadline and encouraged open communication with industry partners on the response to COVID-19.

Now, the Department of Defense—the federal government’s largest purchasing unit—has issued its own guidance to constituent agencies.

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

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

Contractor Did Not Release Claims for Flood-Caused Delay

I never give much thought to what I’ll do if the unexpected happens. I assume most people don’t. They expect things to go according to plan. As Meridian Engineering Company found out at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims recently, sorting it out when things don’t go to plan can be a long and arduous process.

Continue reading

Preparing for Contract Performance . . . and Guarding Against Problems

Congratulations! After a hard bidding process, your company has earned an award. But though this award process might’ve been long and tough, potential issues are still ahead.

In our practice, we often hear stories of soured relationships with the government during contract performance. Adverse performance issues can come at a hefty cost—in terms of money, time, and reputation.

Here are some suggestions to help guard against performance disputes with the government.

Continue reading

Realities of Cost Recovery in the Wake of the Federal Shutdown

Shuttering of the government (or parts of the government) following appropriations lapses has become an increasingly common phenomenon in recent years. Funding lapses interrupt the usual predictability of government operations, which is often to the detriment of both agencies and federal contractors that are left in proverbial limbo with stop work orders.

Unfortunately, unlike many other topics, the FAR does not substantively address procedures for contractors during or following a government shutdown. As such, recovering expenses incurred as a consequence of government shutdowns can be challenging.

Here are some pointers.

Continue reading

I Fought the Law, and the Law Won? Standing Issues Prevent Claim of Agency’s Rulebreaking

As we discussed in July 2017, Timberline Helicopters, Inc. has been involved in ongoing litigation regarding the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management’s (a.k.a. “BLM”) procurement of helicopter flight services to aid in fire-fighting and fire-suppression missions, services essential now more than ever.

Most recently, in Timberline Helicopters, Inc. v. United States, No. 18-1474C (Fed. Cl. Nov. 14, 2018), the Court of Federal Claims held that Timberline no longer had standing to bring its claims.

Continue reading