The Government Contracts Group is getting excited to kick off the 2016 OOPS Seminar, titled, “Government Contractors Under the Magnifying Glass.” This year’s event will be held on May 25-26 at the Washington, D.C. Renaissance Hotel. For those on the west coast, we will also have a special one-day session in Los Angeles at the Marina del Rey Marriott on May 18.
Today we check in with partner Amy Laderberg O’Sullivan to hear more about what’s in store for this year.
GC Legal Forum: Amy, tell us more about OOPS and how it got started?
Amy: OOPS has been a longstanding event within Crowell & Moring’s Government Contracts Group, and it has a really impressive history – this is the 32nd year. It began as an idea of hosting a seminar for clients just around the time that the “war on fraud” was beginning to take off. The thought was to show clients our capabilities and give them the practical advice to deal with this new and changing environment, and to make sure they knew all of the recent developments. One of our founding partners, Took Crowell, came up with the OOPS name as a bit of tongue in cheek humor: an ounce of prevention, with the real focus on fraud, would provide the informational perspective and help clients avoid running into problems.
GC Legal Forum: What have been some big changes in the government contracts space since last year’s OOPS?
Amy: We try to be forward-looking as much as possible for OOPS, so that our clients can get a sense for what’s in store ahead, instead of looking back. But what we’re focusing on this year is an overall theme of government contractors being under intense scrutiny. When you look at the panels we’ll be hosting, there’s a common thread: the government’s increasing development of and demand for more and more data and recordkeeping. The government has an almost insatiable desire for more information, which may increase transparency, but the back-end of reporting is burdensome for contractors and has cybersecurity implications as well. There have been a lot of new regulatory requirements for reporting, particularly in the electronic space, which we’ll be talking about this year.
GC Legal Forum: What are some highlights in store for this year’s event?
Amy: While we’ll have some similar panels as previous years, such as False Claims Act, bid protests, and cost and accounting, the focus will be on new developments. One of our first panels is about several new executive orders on the labor and employment side that bring new compliance obligations and reporting requirements. This is a real crossover of government contracts and labor law, and we’ll have a few of our labor & employment attorneys on hand to discuss the implications. And, of course, cybersecurity is a very hot topic. We will have a panel covering a range of topics from reporting requirements to the Internet of Things. We’re also turning to the fact that companies want practical advice: How do I deal with this situation? How do I prepare for this particular outcome? How do I avoid having to pursue bid protest litigation?
We are strategic advisors as well as litigators, so while recent cases may be used as examples, the big focus will really be on strategy.
Check back in the coming days for more updates as we count down to the events on May 18 (L.A.) and May 25th (in DC)! You can also check for updates on Twitter using the hashtag #cm2016oops, and at crowell.com/OOPS.