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Don’t pay your subcontractor on time, go to jail.

In the US, there are risks and penalties from not paying your subcontractor – although going to jail usually is not one of them.  Not so for contractors working overseas.  In the Appeal of Muhtesem Co, a contractor that built a school in Iraq brought a damages claim against the US Government allegedly attributable to […]

Truth or Consequences

The proposed debarment of the San Antonio branch of Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. (“BAH San Antonio”) and four employees, has received much attention in news reports.   The Air Force released the Memorandum in Support of the Proposed Debarment that details the alleged improper conduct. According to that Memo, BAH San Antonio hired a former government […]

Thirsty? Call Your Labor Union

You’re at work, and you need a drink of water.  You have several choices.  You can walk down the hall to the drinking fountain.  You can take out that bottle of water you brought from home.  Or, if you are a Navy employee in Newport, Rhode Island, you can file a grievance with the labor […]

Regulations we can do without

Late last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture tried to implement a new regulation using an expedited procedure for “non-controversial actions” for which the agency “expects no adverse comments.” (76 Fed. Reg. 74,755 (Dec. 1, 2011)). Under the new rule, USDA contracts would be required to include a clause stating: In accepting this contract award, […]

SBA-Approved Mentor-Protégé Arrangements–Good for Large and Small Businesses

The Small Business Administration (“SBA”) exists to help little businesses prosper and, hopefully, become big businesses. To do that, SBA offers incentives to small businesses. One benefit for small businesses is the chance to compete only against other small businesses for certain “set-aside” contracts. And SBA must always be on the look-out to make sure […]

Competition is Good–except when private contractors want to compete against the Government.

In 2007, Congress passed a law to suspend Department of Defense A-76 competitions, and in 2008, that proscription was extended across the federal government.  Those actions came on the heels of a series of articles in the Washington Post in February 2007 about the conditions at the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center.  Public debate led to […]

If you sign up to work in a war zone, you check certain rights on your way in.

Defense contractors are heavily involved in today’s conflicts overseas.  And, like our military members, these contractors often come into harm’s way.  Contract employees die in war zones.  Contractors are at risk for liability.  Recently the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals addressed these issues in Fisher v. Halliburton. See Fisher v. Halliburton et al., Nos. 10-20202, c/w […]

For small businesses, there can be too much of a good thing.

If you are a small business, the federal government wants to help you.  You may qualify for preferences in competitions for government contracts and financial assistance from the Small Business Administration.  But first, you have to meet the size standards for your industry.  Some standards set a maximum number of employees; others set a maximum […]