Archives: Construction Contracting

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Construction Contractors: The Government Contractor Defense is Alive and Well in the Fifth Circuit

Construction contractors take note: the government contractor defense is alive and well in the Fifth Circuit. In Sewell v. Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, the Fifth Circuit recently confirmed that construction companies can successfully assert the government contractor defense in response to tort lawsuits that arise from their performance of federal public works … Continue Reading

DHS Elaborates on its Anticipated Request for Border-Wall “Prototypes”

Last week, we reported that the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had published a presolicitation notice announcing its intent to issue a solicitation “for the design and build of several prototype wall structures in the vicinity of the United States border with Mexico.”  On Friday, March 3, CBP amended that notice “to … Continue Reading

DHS Announces Intent to Award Contracts for Border-Wall “Prototypes” by Mid-April

On Friday, February 24, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection published a presolicitation notice announcing its intent to issue a solicitation “for the design and build of several prototype wall structures in the vicinity of the United States border with Mexico.”  At least on the government procurement front, this notice marks … Continue Reading

A self-effectuating deemed release of claims? Say it ain’t so.

A few weeks ago, we provided a few tips for negotiating and assessing a release contained in a contract modification, and discussed why the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA) found that a global release contained in one of many contract modification was ambiguous. Now, we consider a different scenario: what happens when a final … Continue Reading

Contractor’s Timely Notice to the CO of an ‘Intent to Appeal’ is Good Enough for the ASBCA

A recent decision from the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) serves as an important reminder that a contractor’s timely notification to the contracting officer (CO) of its intent to appeal a CO’s final decision will satisfy the Board’s 90-day deadline for filing appeals under the Contract Disputes Act (CDA). Although the facts of … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Declines to Extend Davis-Bacon Act

Some Washingtonians stroll through CityCenterDC on shopping sprees at “upscale retail stores such as Hermès, Boss, and Louis Vuitton,” or meet for lunch at “high-end restaurants such as DBGB and Centrolina.”  Covington lawyers watch these scenes from our offices in the northwest corner of CityCenterDC, where we recently analyzed the D.C. Circuit’s opinion holding that … Continue Reading

District Court Invalidates Important FHWA Exemptions to the “Buy America” Requirement

On December 22, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia invalidated a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) memorandum setting out the Agency’s position on the “Buy America” waiver for steel manufactured products.  The decision creates uncertainty as to the proper administration of Buy America requirements, and will likely reduce demand for steel and … Continue Reading

“We Mean It, Maaannnn”—New Proposed Regulation Seeks to Encourage Higher-Quality Proposals by Boosting Enforcement of Five-Bidder Limit in Two-Phase Procurements for High-Value Construction Contracts

On October 8, 2015, the U.S. Department of Defense (“DoD”), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (“NASA”), and the U.S. General Services Administration (“GSA”) jointly proposed a change to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (“FAR”) that would make it more difficult for agencies to bypass the existing five-bidder limitation in two-phase procurements for design-build projects worth more … Continue Reading

CBCA Takes Pragmatic View When Finding Jurisdiction Over A Sponsored-Subcontractor CDA Appeal

In Cooley Constructors, Inc. v. GSA, CBCA No. 3905 (June 8, 2005), the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA) found that the substance of an appeal – not the form – is the prevailing consideration when analyzing whether the CBCA has jurisdiction to hear a sponsored-subcontractor appeal under the Contract Disputes Act (CDA). Consistent with … Continue Reading

The D.C. Circuit’s Message to Injured Government Contractor Employees: ‘There’s an Exclusive Remedy For That’

Last week, in an important decision for contingency contractors supporting U.S. stability operations overseas, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit) reaffirmed that the Defense Base Act (DBA) prescribes the exclusive remedies available to employees of government contractors who are injured while working abroad. In doing so, the D.C. … Continue Reading

COFC: In “Quirky CDA Realm,” Contractor Need Not Submit Its Own Claim Before Appealing Adverse Contracting Officer Decision

Judge Mary Ellen Coster Williams of the Court of Federal Claims recently clarified the procedural requirements of the Contract Disputes Act (“CDA”) that a contractor must meet before appealing an adverse Contracting Officer decision.  In Total Engineering, Inc. v. United States, No. 13-881C (Fed. Cl. Jan. 26, 2015), the Army Corps of Engineers terminated Total’s … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Upholds Employment Regulations

Over the past year, we have been tracking the uptick in executive and regulatory actions affecting the labor and employment practices of government contractors.  Last Friday, the D.C. Circuit upheld one of those regulations.  The decision concludes the first skirmish in what promises to be a lengthy and high-stakes legal battle involving industry, Congress, and … 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
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