On Wednesday, September 9th at 12 PM Eastern, join our government contracts attorneys for a webinar entitled: “Mitigating Trade Agreements Act Risks for GSA Schedule Holders.” During this 60-minute webinar, we will provide an overview of the GSA Schedule contract requirements related to the Trade Agreements Act (“TAA”), review recent enforcement actions by the government

On Wednesday, July 23rd from 11:30 am -1:30 pm, Cathy Kunz will join Rubino & Company to discuss critical issues in cost law. As contractors face more scrutiny and review of their cost and accounting practices, we will address recent cost-related court decisions and legal changes including the new caps on executive compensation, application of

On March 13, 2014, the Department of Defense issued a memorandum titled “Class Deviation – Determination of Fair and Reasonable Prices When Using Federal Supply Schedule Contracts.”  This memorandum directs DoD contracting officers to make their own determination of fair and reasonable pricing when using Federal Supply Schedules (also known as GSA or VA Schedule contracts), rather than rely on the fair and reasonable price determination made by GSA when GSA awards Schedule contracts.    Specifically, the memorandum establishes a class deviation to FAR 8.404(d) that will be applicable to DoD entities buying off Schedule contracts.  This deviation provides that “GSA has determined the prices of supplies and fixed-price services, and rates for services offered at hourly rates, to be fair and reasonable for the purpose of establishing the schedule contract.”  But then it states:
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On April 2nd, Cathy Kunz joins Paul Calabrese of Rubino & Company for an important roundtable for government contractors. During this ½ day presentation sponsored by Bank of America and Merrill Lynch, participants will get both the legal and accounting perspective. From the legal side, Cathy will review recent cost-related court decisions and legal changes,

Just last week, the Department of Justice announced another large False Claims Act settlement with a GSA Schedule contractor – for $60.9 million. A review of the underlying qui tam complaint, filed by a former vice president of the contractor, reveals multiple alleged failures by Tremco Inc. and RPM International to comply with the basic – yet often very challenging – requirements of the contract: disclosure of commercial pricing and compliance with the Price Reduction Clause. Among a number of allegations, the complaint alleges that the roofing supplies and services contractor failed to disclose to GSA that it offered better pricing to its commercial customers than identified on its published price list. As a result, the complaint states that the government was disadvantaged by negotiating higher pricing than it would have, had it known about the contractor’s actual commercial pricing practices. The complaint also alleges that, during the course of performing the GSA Schedule contract, the contractor failed to provide price reductions to government customers when it provided discounted pricing to its commercial customers.
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On June 26, 2013, the government published an interim rule that implements Section 803 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 by extending the application of the executive compensation benchmark from senior executives to all contractor employees working on Department of Defense, NASA, and Coast Guard contracts. The interim rule is effective as of its issuance date (June 26, 2013).

The executive compensation benchmark was established in 1998 by the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (“OFPP”) Act and is intended to reflect “the median amount of the compensation provided for all senior executives of all benchmark corporations for the most recent year for which data is available.” The Administrator, Office of Federal Procurement Policy, determines the executive compensation benchmark amount, which is published on the Office of Management and Budget website. The benchmark amount does not limit the amount of compensation that an executive may receive, but caps the amount that will be allowable under the FAR compensation cost principle (48 C.F.R. § 31.205-6(p)). The current benchmark amount is $763,029.
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On February 21, 2013, the Office of Personnel Management ("OPM") issued a notice in the Federal Register of its intent to adopt the policies and procedures set forth in the Federal Acquisition Regulation ("FAR") at Subpart 9.4 concerning debarment, suspension, and ineligibility of government contractors. Because OPM’s procurement rules are not contained in the Code of Federal Regulations, OPM proposes a new internal policy, to be titled "Contracting Policy 9.4: OPM Suspension and Debarment Program."  OPM states that it has long-maintained procedures consistent with FAR Subpart 9.4, but it is adopting this proposed policy to make clear that FAR Subpart 9.4 applies to its contracting decisions. 

Consistent with FAR Subpart 9.4, the proposed policy will provide as follows: 

  • OPM will not solicit offers from, award contracts to, or consent to subcontracts with contractors who are listed on the Excluded Parties List Systems on the System for Award Management ("SAM/EPLS"), except as otherwise provided for in FAR Subpart 9.4. 
  • If OPM debars, proposed for debarment, or suspends a contractor, OPM will list that contractor in the SAM/EPLS.  Such action will have government-wide reciprocity.
  • OPM may continue an existing contract with a contractor despite the fact that the contractor has subsequently been debarred, proposed for debarment, or suspended if it is determined in the best interest of the Government to do so.

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The start of a new year is a perfect opportunity for government contractors to refocus and rejuvenate their compliance efforts. Regardless of whether a company is contractually required to have a compliance program, contractors should take time to determine the contractual obligations and risks they face now and in the year ahead. Is your company

At 1:00 p.m. (Eastern) on October 18, 2012, Crowell & Moring attorneys Cathy Kunz, Richard Arnholt and Tiffany Wynn will conduct  a webinar on behalf of L2 Federal Resources entitled “Business Ethics  in Government Contracting: Legal Requirements & Best Practices for Compliance.” This 90-minute webinar will provide an overview of the requirements in FAR 52.203-13

GSA has now topped the $128 million settlement it reached in 2009 with NetApp – then the largest settlement reached in an FCA action against a GSA Schedule contractor – by settling with Oracle Corporation and Oracle America Inc. this past week in the amount of $199.5 million plus interest. The settlement resolves an FCA