Scott A. Freling

Scott A. Freling

Scott Freling represents civilian and defense contractors, at all stages of the procurement process, in their dealings with federal, state, and local government customers and with other contractors. He has a broad-based government contracts practice, which includes compliance counseling, internal investigations, strategic procurement advice, claims and other disputes, teaming and subcontracting, and mergers and acquisitions. He represents clients in federal and state court litigation and administrative proceedings, including bid protests before the Government Accountability Office and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. He also represents clients in obtaining and maintaining SAFETY Act liability protection for anti-terrorism technologies. Mr. Freling’s experience covers a wide variety of industries, including defense and aerospace, information technology and software, government services, life sciences, renewable energy, and private equity investment in government contractors.

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SAFETY First: Using the SAFETY Act to Bolster Cybersecurity

We have already seen tremendous fallout from recent cyber attacks on Target, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Sony Pictures, and J.P. Morgan.  Now imagine that, instead of an email server or a database of information, a hacker gained access to the controls of a nuclear reactor or a hospital.  The potential consequences are devastating: … Continue Reading

DoD Moves Forward with Stricter Sourcing Requirements for PV Devices

Earlier this week, the Department of Defense (“DoD”) issued a proposed rule to revise (and make stricter) the unique sourcing requirements applicable to certain photovoltaic devices that are used in the performance of DoD contracts.  Specifically, unless an exception under the Trade Agreements Act applies or a contractor secures a waiver based on public interest … Continue Reading

Renewed Pressure to Definitize Letter Contracts

Earlier this week, the GAO issued a report to members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees regarding the Air Force’s compliance with definitization and reporting requirements associated with the use of undefinitized contract actions (“UCAs”).  UCAs, which commonly take the form of letter contracts, allow contractors to begin performance and seek payment before all … Continue Reading

Lost in Transmission: Email Failure Results in Untimely Size Protest

The Small Business Administration’s (“SBA”) Office of Hearings and Appeals (“OHA”) recently issued a decision exemplifying the well-known reality that protest deadlines are short and unforgiving. In Size Appeal of Supplies Now, Inc., SBA No. SIZ-5655 (Apr. 30, 2015), OHA denied, as untimely, an appeal of an SBA Area Office decision. The appellant, Supplies Now, … Continue Reading

Federal Agencies Join Forces to Procure Solar Electricity

Earlier this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), U.S. Forest Service, Department of Energy, and General Services Administration (“GSA”) released a final solicitation for the Federal Aggregated Solar Procurement Project (“FASPP”).  Through the FASPP, these agencies seek to acquire cost-effective solar electricity at nine federal sites located throughout northern California and northern Nevada.  The … Continue Reading

Another Attempt at Defense Procurement Reform Begins

Mac Thornberry is taking a sledgehammer to the Pentagon’s $600 hammer. That particular bogeyman of wasteful defense spending never actually existed, but many real (and larger) inefficiencies continue to plague the defense procurement process.  Last month, the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee released draft legislation designed to make fundamental reforms to the government’s … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Invokes Blue & Gold to Affirm Dismissal of Two Protests

Earlier this month, in Bannum, Inc. v. United States, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the Court of Federal Claims’ dismissal of two separate bid protests filed by Bannum Inc, challenging the Bureau of Prisons’ award of contracts for the operation of residential “reentry centers” in Mississippi and South Carolina.  … Continue Reading

Another Proposal from GSA: a Class Deviation for Commercial Agreements

March has been a busy month for the GSA in its efforts to implement what it has touted as a “new vision for Federal purchasing.” On March 5, 2014, GSA announced a proposed rule to reform pricing practices and contractor reporting requirements under multiple award schedule contracts. In its latest move, on March 20, 2015, … Continue Reading

GAO: Don’t Just Drop Your Proposed Costs, Explain Them.

The Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) recently published its decision in a two protester challenge to cost realism adjustments made by the Navy during its evaluation of final proposal revisions (“FPRs”) for a base operations and administrative support services contract. In that decision, the GAO affirmed the Navy’s decision to adjust upward the proposed costs in … Continue Reading

SBA Issues New Rule On Small Business Status Advisory Opinions

On February 11, 2015, the U.S. Small Business Administration issued its final rule implementing statutory revisions that encourage use of small business status advisory opinions from Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) or Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs).  Specifically, the new rule implements provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 that establish limitations of … Continue Reading

GAO Reaffirms Protest Jurisdiction Over “Mixed Transaction” Leases, But Questions Remain

This week, the General Accountability Office (“GAO”) published a decision reaffirming its jurisdiction over protests of “mixed transaction” leases.  Generally, GAO’s protest jurisdiction is limited to the procurement of goods and services, which does not include leases of federally-owned property.  However, in certain circumstances, a transaction involving a lease includes a procurement of goods and … Continue Reading

DOL Implements New Rule: Government Contractors and Subcontractors Prohibited from Discriminating Against LGBT Workers.

Today, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) published a new final rule “prohibiting discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity in the federal contracting workforce.”  This rule implements Executive Order 13672, signed by President Obama on July 21, and marks the first federal action ensuring LGBT workplace equality that implicates the private sector. … Continue Reading

First Circuit Finds Pharma Relators’ Suit Ten Years Too Late Under First-to-File Rule

This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit declined to revive a False Claims Act qui tam suit against Baxter Healthcare Corporation, agreeing with the district court that the relators were not the “first to file.” The case is United States ex rel. Ven-A-Care of the Florida Keys, Inc. v. Baxter Healthcare … Continue Reading

COFC: Not Everything Is “In Connection With A Procurement”

The Court of Federal Claims recently considered the extent to which its Tucker Act bid protest jurisdiction extends to Government “make-or-buy” decisions.  In VFA, Inc. v. United States, No. 14-173 (Fed. Cl. Oct. 21, 2014), VFA protested a Department of Defense (“DOD”) announcement that it would “standardize” the various facility-assessment software tools used by its … Continue Reading

Alleging Agency Bias: Bid Protest Considerations and Open Questions

When a bid protester decides to accuse an agency of bias, there usually are two separate, potentially cross-cutting concerns: (1) how the allegation might impact customer relations; and (2) whether the allegation will have traction at the GAO or the Court of Federal Claims (the “Court”).  A recent opinion by the Court offers some perspective on the … Continue Reading

Construction Company on a Federally Assisted Project Pays Nearly $2 Million After Labor Department Investigation

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that it has recovered $1,914,681.50 in back wages and fringe benefits allegedly owed to 147 workers of a Nevada-based company that provided construction services as a subcontractor at the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, a federally supported solar power development located near Tonopah, Nevada.  The DOL investigation … Continue Reading

DLA Energy Issues Solicitation for New, Large-Scale Renewable Energy Generation Project

On October 17, 2014, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Energy issued a solicitation for proposals to construct and operate a large-scale renewable energy project at Fort Hood in Texas, the U.S. military’s largest active duty armored post.  The Fort Hood project is part of the efforts of the Army Office of Energy Initiatives (OEI), which … Continue Reading

Recent Decision Reiterates the Limits on Terminations for Convenience

New government contractors are often surprised to learn that a standard clause in federal contracting gives the government the right to terminate contracts for convenience.  In day-to-day discussions, it is not uncommon for government contractors to think of termination for convenience as equivalent to termination without cause, as opposed to “for cause” termination for default.  … Continue Reading

SBA Increases Size Standards for Manufacturing and Various Other Industries

On September 10, 2014, the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) issued two proposed rules to increase employee-based size standards for manufacturing and various other industries in connection with the agency’s ongoing review of existing size standards.  The SBA has the discretion to establish size standards as a threshold under which firms are eligible to participate … Continue Reading

Inside the Proposed DFARS Business Systems Rule

On July 15, 2014, the U.S. Department of Defense (“DOD”) issued a proposed rule that imposes new requirements for third-party audits of three contractor business systems, as well as a requirement for contractors to self-report deficiencies uncovered in these audits or in internal reviews of these business systems. The three business systems at issue are … Continue Reading
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