Government Contracts Legal Forum

Jason M. Crawford

Jason M. Crawford

Jason M. Crawford is an associate in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, where he practices in the Government Contracts, Litigation, and Privacy & Cybersecurity groups. His practice spans a range of industries, including health care, transportation, and education. He represents domestic and multinational companies in counseling and complex litigation. Jason first joined Crowell & Moring in 2012 and returned in 2014 after completing a one-year clerkship for the Honorable Thomas C. Wheeler, U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

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It’s the Cover-Up That Gets You

Posted in False Claims, Legal Developments
On May 16, 2017, the Fourth Circuit issued a decision in United States ex rel. Omar Badr v. Triple Canopy, holding that the Government had properly alleged an implied certification claim under the standard articulated by the Supreme Court in Universal Health Servs. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, 136 S. Ct. 1989 (2016).  In… Continue Reading

Whistle(blowing) While You Work: GAO Recommends Improvements to Whistleblower Protections Pilot Program

Posted in False Claims
On March 2, 2017, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report highlighting necessary improvements to effectively implement the Whistleblower Protections Pilot Program (WPPP).  The WPPP, introduced in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, and made permanent by Congress in December 2016, expanded whistleblower rights against reprisal for employees of contractors,… Continue Reading

Valentine’s Day Disappointment for FCA Practitioners Hoping for a Ruling on Stat Sampling

Posted in False Claims
On February 14, the Fourth Circuit issued an opinion in United States ex rel. Michaels v. Agape Senior Cmty. Inc. addressing only the first of the two issues that the district court had certified for interlocutory appeal: (1) whether the Department of Justice (DOJ) possesses an unreviewable veto authority over proposed settlements and (2) whether… Continue Reading

The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight: Post-Escobar Application of the Materiality Standard in the Fourth Circuit

Posted in False Claims
On January 26, 2017, the Fourth Circuit heard oral argument in United States ex rel. Omar Badr v. Triple Canopy, one of four False Claims Act decisions that the Supreme Court vacated and remanded for further consideration in light of the Court’s June 2016 holding regarding the implied certification theory in Universal Health Servs. v.… Continue Reading

Final FAR Rule on Internal Confidentiality Agreements: Considerations for Contractors Before Employees Sign on the Dotted Line

Posted in Legal Developments
On January 13, 2017, the FAR Council released a final rule (available here) that: (1) prohibits agencies from contracting with entities that require employees/subs to sign internal confidentiality agreements or statements that restrict the lawful reporting of waste, fraud, or abuse; and (2) requires bidders on federal contracts to certify that they do not utilize… Continue Reading

Should Loose Lips Sink Qui Tam Suits? Supreme Court to Decide Whether FCA Seal Violations Should Result in Dismissal

Posted in False Claims
On November 1, 2016, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in State Farm and Casualty Co. v. United States ex rel. Rigsby on the question of what standard should govern the decision whether to dismiss a relator’s claim for violation of the False Claims Act’s (“FCA”) seal requirement, which mandates that any FCA action brought by… Continue Reading

Hold That Thought: OFPP Memo Stops FPSW Implementation

Posted in Labor & Employment
After a U.S. district court issued a preliminary injunction enjoining implementation of the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” final rule (discussed here), OFPP issued a Memorandum for Chief Acquisition Officers on October 25 instructing federal agencies to refrain from implementing the enjoined portions of the final rule, and to “immediately” amend any solicitations containing such… Continue Reading

Stop the Press: District Court Enjoins Implementation of “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces”

Posted in Labor & Employment
On October 24, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction, enjoining the Government from implementing the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” final rule (with a small carve out for the “paycheck transparency” requirements). Specifically, the Court enjoined the Government from (i) implementing any portion of the FAR Rule… Continue Reading

C&M Publishes Article in BNA Federal Contracts Report on Whether the Exclusion Archives on SAM.gov Violate Contractors’ Liberty Interests

Posted in Suspension & Debarment
The suspension and debarment regulations at Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 9.4 are focused on the present responsibility of a contractor.  Yet, the records of past, inactive exclusions are available for public view in perpetuity on the System for Award Management website (SAM.gov).   In a recent article (linked here) published in BNA’s Federal Contracts Report,… Continue Reading

New Requirements under Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Become Effective October 25. Is Your Company Prepared?

Posted in Labor & Employment
Starting on October 25, many new solicitations will contain the new clauses required under the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Final Rule.  These new clauses will impose significant new compliance and reporting obligations on federal contractors (and eventually on subcontractors). In a “feature comment” published in the Government Contractor, C&M attorneys provide an overview of… Continue Reading

Primer on the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Final Rule and Department of Labor Guidance

Posted in Labor & Employment
Many federal government contractors and subcontractors have expressed valid concerns about the new “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” final rule (and accompanying Department of Labor guidance), which among other things will require companies bidding on covered contracts and subcontracts to disclose “administrative merits determinations,” “arbitral award or decisions,” and “civil judgments” rendered against the company… Continue Reading

Join Crowell & Moring for our Webinar on the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Final Rule and Guidance on Wednesday, September 7th

Posted in Webinar
On Wednesday, September 7th, 2016 at 12 PM Eastern, join us for a webinar titled “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Final Rule and Guidance: What You Need to Know. During this 90-minute webinar, a team of Crowell & Moring government contracts and labor & employment attorneys will discuss how contractors bidding on contracts covered by… Continue Reading

Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Final Rule and Guidance Released

Posted in Labor & Employment
On August 25, 2016, the Obama Administration published the long-awaited Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) final rule and Department of Labor (DOL) final guidance implementing the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” executive order (“Executive Order”) (available here and here). The underlying executive order has been amended (available here) with purportedly technical corrections to conform the final… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Recognizes Implied Certification Theory of FCA Liability

Posted in False Claims
In a decision that will impact Government contractors, health care providers and all institutions that accept federal dollars, the U.S. Supreme Court this past week offered a qualified affirmation of the validity of the implied certification theory of False Claims Act liability. In Universal Health Servs. v. U.S. ex rel. Escobar, the Court unanimously held… Continue Reading

FCA Back Before the Supreme Court for Third Consecutive Term

Posted in False Claims, Legal Developments
For the third consecutive term, the Supreme Court will hear a case involving the False Claims Act (FCA).  On May 31, the Court granted review in State Farm Fire and Cas. Co. v. U.S. ex rel. Rigsby to address the applicable standard for dismissal in FCA cases when whistleblowers (referred to as relators under the… Continue Reading

Administration Walks Back “Economic Significance” Designation of New Rules

Posted in Labor & Employment, Legal Developments
In the latest twist to the Administration’s roll-out of the new “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” rules, OIRA now identifies the rules as Economically Significant (a change from several days ago, discussed here), which means that the administration will have to provide a more detailed assessment of the likely benefits and costs of the regulatory… Continue Reading

Tainted Love—Plaintiffs’ Increasing Reliance On The “Tainted Claim” Theory Of Damages

Posted in Legal Developments
In February, the Sixth Circuit in U.S. ex rel. Wall v. Circle C Construction rejected the government’s FCA damages theory that it is entitled to three times the amount of the total contract value, regardless of any value received, because the claim for payment was “tainted” by the underlying legal violation.  In a “Feature Comment”… Continue Reading

OOPS Preview: Executive Actions: How Do Contractors Deal with Labor-Related Burdens?

Posted in Events, Labor & Employment
With national elections just around the corner, the steady drumbeat of new labor-related requirements has not waned.  Indeed, four national trade associations wrote to the White House in August requesting “that no further presidential directives primarily focused on government contractors be issued for the foreseeable future.”  The letter cited the 16 contractor-focused regulations issued by… Continue Reading

Wait, What? Administration Now Designates “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” as Not Economically Significant

Posted in Labor & Employment, Legal Developments
In a sign that the Obama Administration may be preparing to rush the publication of the FAR Council’s final rules implementing the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” executive order in order to avoid timing problems associated with the Congressional Review Act, the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (responsible for reviewing the rules… Continue Reading

“Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Rules Head to White House for Final Review

Posted in Ethics & Compliance, Labor & Employment
On May 4, 2016, the FAR Council’s draft final rules and the Department of Labor’s draft final guidance implementing the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Executive Order arrived at the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for review, setting in motion the final steps prior to the issuance of burdensome new compliance… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Considers the Scope of the Implied Certification Theory of Liability

Posted in Legal Developments
On April 19, 2016, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in U.S. v. Universal Health Servs., Inc., which concerns (1) whether the implied certification theory of legal falsity under the FCA is ever viable; and (2) if it is, whether a contractor’s reimbursement claim can be legally false under that theory if the contractor fails… Continue Reading

New FAR Requirement Forces Contractors to Examine Confidentiality Agreements

Posted in Ethics & Compliance
On March 22, the comment period is set to close on a new rule proposed by the FAR Council titled, “Federal Acquisition Regulation: Contractor Employee Internal Confidentiality Agreements.” This rule will prohibit federal dollars from going to companies that require employees or subcontractors to sign restrictive confidentiality agreements that could limit the ability of employees… Continue Reading