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Crowell & Moring is pleased to offer a no-cost review of common compliance issues that can drive down sales price or increase borrowing costs for emerging government contractors, as well as prevent purchasers from receiving full value for their investments.  Government contractors face a long road to sale, fundraising, and post-acquisition integration – these processes can be derailed easily by compliance missteps, recordkeeping problems, or a multitude of other issues that may not be top-of-mind for sellers and even some purchasers.  Once diligence begins, addressing these issues becomes significantly more expensive and problematic.

At Crowell & Moring, we believe in long-term strategic partnerships with our clients and stand ready to proactively assist with an analysis of potential compliance issues very early in the sale/fundraising process to avoid diligence or post-acquisition surprises.  With knowledge across the whole range of government contract issues, we are well suited to evaluate a company’s government business  and identify non-obvious (but very real) areas of risk.


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On February 8, 2017, the Department of Justice Fraud Section posted a new guidance document on its website entitled, “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs”  (“Compliance Guidance”).  This Compliance Guidance, comprised of a number of topics and questions, comes a little over a year after the Fraud Section hired Hui Chen as its resident compliance expert.  Tapping into her experience as both a prosecutor and a compliance professional at several large multinational companies, Ms. Chen has commented that an effective compliance program requires a whole-company commitment, and has emphasized the importance of leadership and key stakeholders in the compliance process.[1]  Her vision is evident in the Fraud Section’s recently released Compliance Guidance, which provides some insights into the mindset of prosecutors tasked with corporate investigations.[2]   The Compliance Guidance itself references two of the ten “Filip Factors,”[3] an enumerated set of factors used by prosecutors in making charging decisions related to corporate entities.  Although the Compliance Guidance cautions that the Fraud Section does not use a “rigid formula” to assess a company’s compliance program, the guidance provides a detailed list of compliance-focused sample topics and questions that the Fraud Section believes are relevant to its analysis.

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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

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There are always clues.

After-action reviews nearly always identify signals that a crisis was about to begin. Small hints, tips, strange comments, or different attitudes from a customer. Something will be there. But these clues can be difficult to spot in the moment by busy in-house counsel or senior executives on the front lines of the business.

While skilled lawyers and professionals are available to support companies in full-blown crises, these teams with their cross-cutting skills are often engaged too late to shape the narrative before an all-consuming defense effort begins.

So the question becomes, how do government contractors get out in front of emerging issues, manage their risk, and mitigate as much of an impending crisis as possible? One possible answer is that systematic risk assessments and response protocols need to evolve to consider the emerging risk of parallel enforcement proceedings—to include suspension and debarment from further government contracting work—as well as the changing dynamics involved in settling a matter with the Department of Justice without a fulsome disclosure of misconduct by individuals.


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Will it be more of the same for government contractors in 2016? Can contractors expect increased oversight, intense competition, new regulations, and consolidation? On Thursday, January 14, Crowell & Moring will be hosting a webinar to discuss the likely trends in the coming year. Topics to be covered include: cost, commercial items, update on Executive

On November 27, 2015, the Office of Government Ethics (“OGE”) issued a proposed rule that would revise the portions of the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Executive Branch Employees that govern the solicitation and acceptance of gifts from outside sources (“Standards”). See 5 CFR § 2635. Although it is a proposed rule (with the comment period closing on January 26, 2016), the OGE has identified several areas in which the new language is meant to “clarify” the existing rules and “incorporate past interpretive guidance.”

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In response to several requests from industry to extend the a 60-day comment period for the proposed rulemaking (NPRM) and guidance implementing the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order,” the FAR Council and the DoL have extended the comment period to August 11, 2015 (from the current date of July 27, 2015). As discussed

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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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