Heather Finstuen

Heather Finstuen

Heather Finstuen represents and counsels government contractors in connection with internal investigations, national security law, mandatory disclosures, federal inquiries and investigations, and compliance policies and procedures. Ms. Finstuen’s experience includes conducting internal fraud and ethics investigations in various industries (defense, manufacturing, software, banking and finance, healthcare, food) into a range of issues including labor charging, cyber security, billing and claims, sourcing requirements, manufacturing and quality control processes, accounting, compensation structures, and mortgage foreclosure practices. In the national security area, Ms. Finstuen frequently advises companies and individuals on national security regulations relating to security clearances, safeguarding classified information, and the determination and mitigation of foreign ownership, control, or influence (FOCI) by the Defense Security Service (DSS) of the Department of Defense. She has represented companies in connection with investigations and consent orders of the Department of Justice, the Department of Defense, the Federal Reserve Board, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ms. Finstuen also has represented Fortune 500 companies in complex commercial litigation in federal and state courts.

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Senate Armed Services Committee Proposes Expansive but Unclear Software Review Provisions

As the Senate approaches the end of its debate on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, provisions of the bill regarding access to and review of information technology code deserve close attention.  These sections, if enacted, would significantly impact Department of Defense contractors and also would affect matters associated with investments subject … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Confirms that Award Term Extension Constitutes New Contract for Purposes of Bid Protest Jurisdiction

On July 12, 2016, in Coast Professional, Inc. et. al v. United States, No. 2015-5077 (Fed. Cir. July 12, 2016), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned a Court of Federal Claims (“CoFC”) decision, finding that the CoFC erred in ruling that it did not have bid protest jurisdiction over the award … Continue Reading

Federal Felony Convictions and Delinquent Taxes Must be Reported Under New FAR Rule

Three major agencies—the Department of Defense (“DoD”), NASA, and the General Services Administration (“GSA”)—have published an interim rule that will require contractors to report federal felony convictions and delinquent taxes when responding to solicitations.  The rule implements requirements imposed by the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015, Pub. L. 113-235 (the “CFCAA”) and … Continue Reading

In Long-Running CAS Case, the Court of Federal Claims Rejects a Government Attempt to Get Another Bite at the Apple

The Court of Federal Claims recently issued an opinion in the long running litigation between Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation (“Sikorsky”) and the United States regarding Sikorsky’s cost accounting practices. In this new decision, the court rejected a government attempt to pursue a new legal theory to challenge Sikorsky’s compliance with the Cost Accounting Standard (“CAS”), which … Continue Reading

Proposed Rule Would Extend OSC Whistleblower Protections to Government Contractors

On January 22, 2015, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (“OSC”) published a proposed rule that, if adopted, would extend its existing whistleblower regulations beyond government employees to include certain employees of federal contractors, subcontractors, and grantees. This proposed rule change is designed to provide a parallel mechanism for reporting types of government wrongdoing covered … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Requires Actual Knowledge of Fraudulent Claim to Satisfy FCA’s “Direct” Knowledge Requirement

The Third Circuit recently ruled that a qui tam relator must have “direct knowledge” of the fraud or false statements at issue in order to satisfy the False Claims Act’s (“FCA”) “original source” jurisdictional requirement.  A relator fails to satisfy the direct knowledge requirement where his or her allegations are mere inferences based on the … Continue Reading

Eighth Circuit Adopts Flexible Pleading Standard for FCA Whistleblowers

The Eighth Circuit recently joined the ranks of four other federal circuits allowing whistleblowers to plead False Claims Act (FCA) violations without identifying specific examples of false claims submitted for reimbursement.  In so doing, the Eighth Circuit concluded that the heightened federal pleading standards required for fraud claims are satisfied where a whistleblower can provide … Continue Reading
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