Photo of J. Chris Haile

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), passed by Congress today, offers relief specifically targeted to federal contractors whose employees (1) cannot perform work on a “site that has been approved by the Federal Government ” during the COVID-19 public health emergency due to facility closures or other restrictions and (2) cannot

On March 23, 2020, the President signed an “Executive Order on Preventing Hoarding of Health and Medical Resources to Respond to the Spread of COVID-19” delegating additional authorities under the Defense Production Act of 1950 (“DPA”), which builds on Executive Order (EO) No. 13909, issued March 18, 2020, which we discussed here.

On March 18, 2020, President Trump significantly expanded the authority delegated to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) in his “Executive Order on Prioritizing and Allocating Health and Medical Resources to Respond to the Spread of Covid-19.” The Order is based on a finding that, “to ensure that our healthcare system

In Tolliver Group, Inc v. U.S. (Jan. 22, 2020), the Court of Federal Claims granted summary judgment in favor of a contractor who sought reimbursement of legal fees incurred in successfully defending against a False Claims Act (FCA) suit filed by a relator. The qui tam action arose from a defect in the original contract—the

On Monday, August 13, 2018, President Trump signed into law the H.R. 5515, the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY 2019 NDAA), the earliest an NDAA has been signed in over a decade.  The FY 2019 NDAA includes several provisions relevant to contractors, including replacing the definition of “commercial item” with “commercial product” and “commercial services,” discouraging the use of lowest price technically acceptable contracting, and a clause designed to accelerate payments to small businesses.
Continue Reading

On March 1, the President announced his intention to impose tariffs of 25% on all imported steel and 10% on all imported aluminum. A more formal announcement of the tariffs is expected in the coming week and, while many might have been surprised by the timing of the President’s initial statement, it came after a 10-month process of investigation by the U.S. Department of Commerce, culminating with its January 2018 recommendation for tariffs or quotas to protect U.S. producers. The Commerce Department reports are available here and here.

When finalized, these tariffs could have significant impacts on contractors across a range of industries, increasing costs of performance and restricting available supply. Domestic prices are expected to rise, and foreign suppliers may turn their focus to other markets. Supply disruptions are possible, particularly in the short term. To protect themselves, federal contractors who manufacture or use products with steel or aluminum should examine existing contracts, re-evaluate bids being developed, and consider revisions to standard contract terms.


Continue Reading

This week’s episode covers commercial items and the 809 report, and is hosted by Peter Eyre, Chris Haile, and Elizabeth Buehler. Crowell & Moring’s “Fastest 5 Minutes” is a biweekly podcast that provides a brief summary of significant government contracts legal and regulatory developments that no government contracts lawyer or executive should be without.

Listen

Many companies who work with government agencies are concerned this week as several news outlets have run stories about contract and grant “freezes” at the Environmental Protection Agency and potentially at other agencies.  The new administration has provided few details about the freezes, their objectives, the programs affected, or whether there are more to come.  But, in the case of the EPA, it appears to be a temporary agency-wide suspension of new contract and grant awards.  It remains uncertain whether (or how many) other agencies may follow suit.  While broad-brush freezes might not last long, now is a good time to consider your business and how you can manage through freezes and disruptions of various types that might impact contractors.

Even in the absence of details, there are common-sense steps that potentially affected contractors and awardees can consider to prepare for any freezes, and to protect themselves should a freeze impact their business.  We highlight some of the important steps below, and many will be familiar to contractors impacted by Sequester-era budgets.


Continue Reading

At 1 p.m. (Eastern) on Wednesday, May 16, 2012, Crowell & Moring government contracts attorneys Chris Haile and Brian Tully McLaughlin will be conducting a webinar entitled “Government Contract Changes:  How They Impact Your Bottom Line” on behalf of L2 Federal Resources.  During this 90-minute webinar, Chris and Tully will address common types of