The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) recently announced a $5.2 million settlement with Numet Machining Techniques, LLC and affiliated entities (collectively, “Numet”) concerning alleged misrepresentations of size and ownership in connection with pursuing U.S. Government contracts. The Numet settlement is an important reminder to the contractor community that representations and certifications—particularly those concerning small business status—should be made with due caution and that the discovery of incorrect representations during M&A due diligence can be a significant finding. In this post, we explore the recent Numet settlement, examine the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) size and affiliation rules, and offer guidance to companies assessing the significance of incorrect representations.
Paul Rowley is an associate in the firm's Washington, DC office. As a member of the Government Contracts Practice Group, Paul advises clients on a broad range of matters, including mergers and acquisitions involving government contractors, regulatory requirements regarding small business, intellectual property, and non-traditional contracting issues, government investigations, bid protests, and other litigation matters. In addition, he counsels clients on risk mitigation strategies, including the process of obtaining SAFETY Act protection.
Paul works with a wide range of clients, including:
- Traditional defense contractors;
- Small businesses with limited government contracting experience; and
- Private equity firms operating in the government contracting industry.
Paul also maintains an active pro bono practice, focusing on estate planning for low-income residents of Washington, DC.
In response to industry-wide questions about price adjustments for economic inflation, the Department of Defense (DoD) has released guidance about when and how contracting officers may provide financial relief to contractors working on fixed-price contracts. The guidance generally discourages contracting officers from granting adjustments under the Changes clause due solely to inflation. But it does not completely close the door to adjustments, and it offers modest options for fixed-price contracts that contain an economic price adjustment clause. Moreover, DoD encourages contracting officers to consider inserting economic price adjustment clauses in new solicitations.
This blog post summarizes DoD’s guidance, explains the mechanics of economic price adjustment clauses, and offers views about evaluating other grounds for relief.…
On December 2, 2021, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) announced the creation of a new Contractor Portal. Starting next year, federal prime contractors and subcontractors will be required to register on the portal and submit a formal certification, on an annual basis, as to whether they have developed and maintained an Affirmative Action Program (“AAP”) in accordance with OFCCP requirements. If selected by OFCCP for a compliance review, contractors will use the same portal to upload their AAPs in addition to any other requested information. The Contractor Portal is expected to open for registrations on February 1, 2022, with the certification features available March 31, 2022. By June 30, 2022, all existing contractors and subcontractors must certify compliance with the AAP requirements.
Continue Reading OFCCP’s New Contractor Portal: What Contractors Need to Know
The employee non-competition agreement landscape continues to evolve rapidly, with several states enacting new limits on the use of non-competition agreements between employers and employees. Once a valuable tool for employers to protect their businesses from unfair competition, loss of customers, or misuse of company confidential information, many states have increasingly limited the enforceability of such agreements.
The federal government is now weighing in on the appropriate use of non-competition agreements between employers and employees. President Biden’s July 9, 2021 Executive Order asks the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) to limit such agreements—signaling a potential expansion of federal regulation of agreements between employers and workers. And a pending Senate bill would ban most non-competition agreements. Given these developments, government contractors and other employers should assess whether their use of these agreements with employees is consistent with recent state developments and aligned with the broader trend toward limiting the enforceability of these agreements.…