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Issac D. Schabes is an associate in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, where he is a member of the Government Contracts Group.

Prior to joining the firm, Issac clerked for the Honorable Matthew H. Solomson on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the Honorable Robert N. McDonald on the Maryland Court of Appeals. Issac received his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, where he graduated Order of the Coif and served as an executive editor for the Maryland Law Review. He received numerous awards, including the Judge Simon E. Sobeloff Prize for Excellence in Constitutional Law. During law school, Issac was a member of a low-income taxpayer clinic team that successfully appealed an IRS assessment resulting in a substantial tax liability reduction, and also interned for the Honorable Beryl A. Howell, Chief Judge, on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and the Honorable Marvin J. Garbis on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

During the month of April, the Biden administration has continued to leverage federal procurement in pursuit of ambitious environmental sustainability policy goals.  The most recent round of new regulations and initiatives finds the administration seeking to strengthen purchasing mandates of sustainable goods and services, as well as laying the groundwork for significant restrictions on the federal procurement of products containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Continue Reading Sustainable Procurement Update: Spring 2024

A wave of recent changes in federal and state law pertaining to PFAS chemicals is likely to present both immediate and long-term challenges to the government contracting community. At the federal level, contractors that import products, parts, packaging, equipment or other articles with components that contain PFAS must confront new and extensive regulatory reporting requirements relating to such imports going back to 2011, and they must do so by May 2025. At the state level, a growing list of states are enacting total bans on the sale and distribution of such products and components. On top of this flurry of environmental regulatory activity, the Biden Administration continues to direct federal agencies to develop procurement strategies that prioritize the purchase of PFAS-free articles as part the Administration’s broader effort to leverage the federal procurement function in pursuit of climate and sustainability policy objectives.Continue Reading New Federal and State PFAS Requirements Pose Unique Challenges to the Government Contracting Community

“Now or later?”  As individuals, we are constantly asked to prioritize our time, identifying the tasks that need to be done NOW versus those that can be put off until later.  In the bid protest context, the question arises as well when agencies seek to “fill in the gaps” in the administrative record with additional detail, a practice GAO has permitted so long as those details are consistent with the contemporaneous record.  But, as highlighted by two recent GAO sustain decisions, when agencies attempt to perform new analyses “later” in response to a protest, those efforts are often unsuccessful. Continue Reading “Better Late Than Never?” Not Really. Two Recent GAO Sustains Highlight the Importance of Contemporaneous Documentation

Offerors understand that missing a submission deadline can sink even the best proposal because “late is late.”  But what happens when an offeror timely emails its proposal only to have an agency server reject it without any notification to the offeror?  GAO’s recent decision in Guidehouse, Inc., B-422115.2, Jan. 19, 2024, says that the proposal is still late and emphasizes the potentially draconian impact of the “late is late” rule.Continue Reading The Agency’s Email Server Ate My Proposal! – GAO Rejects Challenge to “Late is Late” Rule

Front of mind for many federal contractors is the proposed FAR rule that would make federal contract awards contingent upon meeting mandatory greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions requirements. But a provision in the recently enacted National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 scales back the reach of that potential rule on Department of Defense (DoD) contracts.Continue Reading FY 2024 NDAA Pumps the Brakes on Mandatory GHG Emissions Disclosure Requirements for DoD Contracts

In its first published bid protest sustain decision of the new year, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) highlights agencies’ obligation to adequately document a substantive analysis of proposals against the solicitation requirements, even in FAR Part 16.5 procurements.  In SierTeK-Peerless JV LLC, B-422085, B-422085.2, Jan. 2, 2024, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) conducted a task order competition for property management support services among OASIS 8(a) pool 1 contract holders.  The solicitation required TSA to assess the size and scope of offerors’ prior experience as compared to the solicited task order requirements.  SierTeK-Peerless, the unsuccessful offeror, challenged TSA’s award to Strativia, arguing in a supplemental protest that the agency’s evaluation of the awardee’s prior experience was flawed because TSA failed to reasonably assess the similarity of Strativia’s prior experience. Continue Reading GAO’s First Sustain of 2024 Emphasizes the Need for Documented Analysis of Offerors’ Proposals Against Solicitation Requirements

Subject to limited exceptions, GAO’s bid protest jurisdiction over Department of Defense (DoD) awards of task orders under multiple-award contracts is limited to those “valued in excess” of $25 million.  While that seems straightforward enough, GAO’s recent decision in ELS, Inc., B 421989, B 421989.2, Dec. 21, 2023, highlights the complexities that can arise in calculating a task order’s value.Continue Reading When Determining Task Order Value for GAO Protest Jurisdiction, Look to What the Task Order Says, Not What the Agency May Do 

On September 6, 2023, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Class Deviation removing the FAR 52.204-7 requirement that a contractor maintain its System for Award Management (SAM) registration for the entire time from proposal submission until contract award, without any lapse.  As background, FAR 52.204-7 has since 2018 provided that “[a]n Offeror is required

In a polarized political environment, one area of bipartisan agreement in recent years has been renewed interest in leveraging government purchasing power to promote the domestic manufacturing base by expanding and strengthening federal “Buy America” requirements.  For direct federal procurements subject to the Buy American Act (BAA), this has resulted in revised rules increasing the amount of U.S. content required to qualify a product as domestic, as well as heightened scrutiny of when waivers may be issued exempting a procurement in whole or in part from those requirements (covered here and here).    Continue Reading Float Like a Butterfly (Valve), Sting Like a B(AA Requirement): GAO Issues Rare Decision Sustaining Challenge to Agency’s Application of the Buy American Act