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Alexandra Barbee-Garrett is an associate in Crowell & Moring’s Washington, D.C. office, where she practices in the Government Contracts Group.

Alex represents government contractors in both litigation and counseling matters. Her practice includes bid protests before the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Alex’s practice also focuses on federal regulatory compliance, mandatory disclosures to the government, contract disputes under the Contract Disputes Act (CDA), prime-sub disputes, and False Claims Act and internal investigations.

Prior to joining Crowell & Moring, Alex was a law clerk to Judge Richard A. Hertling of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and a government contracts associate at another large law firm. Alex graduated honors from The George Washington University Law School, where she was an articles editor of The Public Contract Law Journal. Alex won the 2015 Government Contracts Moot Court Competition and served as chair for the 2016 competition. Prior to law school, Alex worked as a health care legislative assistant for Rep. Rick Larsen (WA) in the U.S. House of Representatives. She received her B.A. in international studies and anthropology from the University of Washington.

On May 3, 2024, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) regarding the prohibition on semiconductors produced by certain Chinese manufacturers, enacted in Section 5949(a)(1) of the James M. Inhofe National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023 (Section 5949) expanding on the prohibition on covered telecommunications equipment and services produced by Huawei, ZTE, and others from Section 889 of the FY 2019 NDAA (Section 889).    Continue Reading “(Don’t) Let the Chips Fall Where They May”:  FAR Council Previews Proposed Rule Implementing the Covered Semiconductor Prohibition  

On April 22, 2024, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a Final Rule significantly revising the Uniform Guidance for grants, cooperative agreements, and other federal financial assistance.  The Final Rule (titled “OMB Guidance for Federal Financial Assistance”), and OMB’s accompanying memorandum to agencies and reference guide, state that the revisions aim to streamline and clarify the grant rules and improve management, transparency, and oversight of federal financial assistance.  Agencies must implement the Final Rule by October 1, 2024; however, agencies may apply it to federal awards as early as June 21, 2024.Continue Reading OMB Final Rule Rewrites the Uniform Guidance for Grants, Cooperative Agreements, and Other Federal Financial Assistance

On April 1, 2024, the Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) issued a final rule updating the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to add Part 40 on information security and supply chain security. This first action did not implement any new requirements; however, separate rulemakings will follow to relocate existing information security and supply chain security policies and procedures to the new Part 40. Additionally, new related regulations will be housed in Part 40. These actions suggest that the flow of information security and supply chain regulations is likely to continue unabated for at least the next few years.Continue Reading New FAR Part 40 to Address Supply Chain and Information Security Requirements

Following a January 29, 2024 White House announcement and Fact Sheet, on January 30, 2024, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Proposed Rule) on salary-history bans and pay transparency for applicants and employees of federal contractors and subcontractors. On the same day, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued some FAQs on the compensation history issue. These actions by the federal government to ban prior salary information and require compensation information in job postings echo the efforts of multiple states and municipal governments that have enacted similar salary history bans and/or compensation disclosure requirements:Continue Reading Show Me the Money: Contractors and Subcontractors May Soon Be Subject to Pay Transparency Requirements, Which May Also Trigger New Bid Protest Issues

On January 31, 2024, the Department of Defense (DoD) updated the 1260H List of entities identified as “Chinese military companies” operating in the United States, as it is required to do at least annually by Section 1260H of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021.  Section 1260H defines a “Chinese military company” as an entity that is:Continue Reading DoD is Making its List, and Checking it Twice: DoD Updates 1260H Chinese Military Companies List

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024, signed into law on December 22, 2023, makes numerous changes to acquisition policy. Crowell & Moring’s Government Contracts Group discusses the most consequential changes for government contractors here. These include changes that impose a new conflict of interest regime for government contractors with a connection to China, impose new restrictions and requirements, require government reporting to Congress on acquisition authorities and programs, and alter other processes and procedures to which government contractors are subject. The FY 2024 NDAA also includes the Federal Data Center Enhancement Act, the American Security Drone Act, and the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2024.Continue Reading The FY 2024 National Defense Authorization Act: Key Provisions Government Contractors Should Know

On October 5, 2023, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council published an interim rule to prohibit, in the performance of a government contract, the delivery or use of “covered articles” (which includes certain information technology and telecommunications equipment, hardware, systems, devices, software, and services) subject to a Federal Acquisition Supply Chain Security Act (FASCSA) exclusion or removal order.  The interim rule also imposes obligations for a related “reasonable inquiry” at the time of proposal submission and quarterly monitoring during contract performance.  These changes implement the FASCSA of 2018 (P.L. 115-390).  While the Federal Acquisition Security Council (FASC) and the order-issuing agencies (Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Defense (DoD), and the Office of the Director for National Intelligence (ODNI)) have not yet issued any such FASCSA orders, those orders will be identified in the System for Award Management (SAM) or – in some cases – identified in and specific to the contract and any resulting subcontracts.Continue Reading Coming December 4: Do You Know Where Your Supply Chain Risks Are? FAR Council Issues Interim Rule Requiring Contractor Diligence for FASC Exclusion and Removal Orders

I. Introduction

A U.S. federal government shutdown creates a number of direct and indirect consequences that impact U.S. companies, individuals and virtually every aspect of the U.S. economy.  Although the federal government has experienced previous lapses in funding that have led to shutdowns of all or part of the federal government, the current funding impasse and impending shutdown raise a number of unique and unprecedented questions for government workers, government contractors and businesses, and the public at large.

A U.S. federal government shutdown can have serious consequences because of the size of federal spending and its impact on the U.S. economy.  The U.S. government spent $6.27 trillion dollars in fiscal year 2022 which amounted to approximately 25% of total gross domestic product. The federal government funds over 2,200 federal assistance programs for the public.  There are over 2.2 million federal employees who will be directly impacted in some way by a federal government shutdown with the majority facing a furlough of an undetermined length.  There are over 11 million U.S. federal government contracts signed every year and they may be impacted by a shutdown. Finally, the federal government spends approximately $1.2 trillion dollars every year, or about 19% of all federal spending, on programs that fund or are related to the states.

The purpose of this Client Alert is to explain the consequences of a government shutdown in general, why this one may be different, and to also offer insights to the regulated industries, government contractors and others on what to expect this time around.  Our team is ready and available to help advise companies through this shutdown process.Continue Reading A Brief Primer on the Impact of a Federal Government Shutdown

Congress has not passed crucial funding bills for the start of the fiscal year 2024.  If Congress does not act by September 30, the government may be forced to shut down for lack of funding.  While Congress may yet act, agencies across the government are preparing for a shutdown, and contractors should do so as well. 

The issues that contractors would face under a government shutdown may vary with the circumstances of individual contracts, but there are a number of common considerations.  Continue Reading Common Questions—and Answers—About A Potential Government Shutdown

On August 23, 2023, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released its final rule and notification of final guidance addressing implementation of the Build America, Buy America Act (BABA) provisions enacted with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which requires the use of domestic iron, steel, manufactured products, and construction materials in infrastructure projects supported with federal financial assistance.  The final rule goes into effect October 23, 2023, and applies to federal awards for infrastructure projects awarded after November 15, 2021.  We previously reported on OMB’s February 9, 2023 proposed guidance here.Continue Reading BABA Black Sheep, Have You Final Rules? OMB Issues Final Implementation Guidance on Build America, Buy America Requirements for Federally Funded Infrastructure Projects