Legal Updates

Civil Penalties for False Claim Act Violations Set to Significantly Increase in August

By: Christine V. Williams on 05/10/2016

On May 2, 2016, an interim final rule was published regarding False Claim Act (FCA) civil penalties. A brief recount of this adjustment is necessary to get the scope of how large the adjustment is pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 3729 (nearly doubles). There is also another adjustment contemplated by formula beginning in January of 2017. Briefly summarized below are the increases in the FCA penalties and...

The False Claims Act and Implied Liability is Heard in Front of the US Supreme Court

By: Christine V. Williams on 05/06/2016

There is currently a circuit split on implied certification for False Claim Act (“FCA”) cases. That is, some federal circuits hold that a contractor impliedly certifies its data without having an explicit certification or affirmative representation of truth. This type of circuit split makes a Supreme Court decision ripe to reconcile the circuits or rule which circuit’s holding is correct....

The Army Tries to Move Away From the Use it or Lose it Budget Model

By: Christine V. Williams on 05/06/2016

On April 15, 2016, the Army sent out a new directive, which is attached. The directive gives guidance to move away from the “use it or lose it” funding for programs, which often result in the end of the Government’s fiscal year spending uptick. That is, the Army is trying to implement a new policy that if funds are not used for a program, that the program does not automatically suffer a...

Amicus Brief Filed in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Rothe v. Department of Defense and the Small Business Administration

By: Christine V. Williams on 04/28/2016

Christine V. Williams filed an Amicus brief on behalf of the amici, which include: Native American Contractors Association, Alaska Federation of Natives, Alaska Native Village Corporation Association, National Congress of American Indians, Sovereign Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, Sovereign Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association, ANCSA Regional Association, The National...

GAO Report: Initial Analysis for Informational Purposes

By: Christine V. Williams on 03/22/2016

Update on GAO Report Issued Today Today, the GAO issued a report specifically dealing with firms owned by Alaska Native Corporations that participate in the 8(a) Program. The main thrust of the report is additional compliance and oversight. It contains a lot of information and 6 recommendations. The SBA took issue with the recommendations and I have summarized both the recommendations and the...

Amendments to the FAR on Tracking Corporate Performance, Representations, and Certifications

By: Christine V. Williams on 03/15/2016

Recently, the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) was amended to better track corporate performance of affiliated companies. In short, this is rule is likely designed to combat entities that had issues performing federal contracts and reformed or reconstituted themselves or affiliated companies to avoid the consequences of those issues. This is going to primarily effect FAR Part 9 and 52 by...

Women Owned Small Business Regulations Update

By: Christine V. Williams on 03/04/2016

Women Owned Small Business Contracting Program with the designated NAICS Codes thatqualify for WOSBs were announced in the federal register today. Effective today. A link is established for reference. In order to carry out the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program (WOSB Program), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was required by section 825 of the National Defense...

National 8(a) and GAO Small Business Set Aside Provision

By: Christine V. Williams on 02/08/2016

This update is a brief synopsis of a case that held, if there is not a certain FAR provision addressing subcontracting limitations in a set aside contract for small business, there is not a mandatory duty to comply with the subcontracting limitations. GAO Decision NCS/EML JV, LLC B-412277.3 (January 2014) This was a protest on a routine Low Price Technically Acceptable contract with a twist....

SBA Increases its Size Standards

By: Christine V. Williams on 01/26/2016

On January 25, 2016, the SBA increased its size standards. It did so in both revenue and employee based size standards. Below is the summary from the Federal Register as well as a few links. Revenue This rule finalizes, without change, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA or Agency) June 12, 2014 interim final rule that adjusted monetary small business size standards (i.e.,...

The White House Announces a New Agency for Background Checks

By: Christine V. Williams on 01/25/2016

On Friday, the White House announced, after a 90 day suitability study, that background checks and security clearances for federal employees and federal contractors will be handled by a newly created agency. The new National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB) was formed with new security measures to protect the sensitive information submitted (think: response to big OPM hack in which data...