CICA

As a result of novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and COVID-19, federal and state governments have a sudden and unanticipated need for more goods and services.  Some of those goods and services are highly specialized and specific to Coronavirus and COVID-19.  But governments also have an increased and urgent need to buy otherwise-routine goods and services that have become newly critical in the wake of COVID-19.

All of this means that there are and will be procurements where speed is the priority, and where there is no time for the normal pace and cadence of the procurement process and contract formation.  It also means that resources necessarily will get taken away from routine procurement tasks and reallocated to urgent matters.

Here are a few things to watch for:Continue Reading The Likely Effects of COVID-19 on Contract Awards and Contract Formation

Among the many subjects to receive President-elect Trump’s attention in advance of his swearing in on January 20 are venerable defense contractors and their performance of major systems contracts.  The Boeing Company (Boeing) and Lockheed Martin (Lockheed) have both felt the “heat of the tweet” – Boeing for the projected cost of the next generation of presidential aircraft and Lockheed for its F35 Joint Strike Fighter.  The pointed attention has led some to question the authority of a president to alter existing contractual relations or to impact the award of future contracts.  Can a president require contractors to lower prices on existing contracts or direct that future awards not be made to companies that fail to adopt practices the president favors, e.g., retaining jobs in the United States?  A president always has the bully pulpit to pressure high-profile government contractors to “voluntarily” take actions to their detriment and in favor of the government, but what legal tools or contractual remedies are available if a president forces a particular outcome?
Continue Reading Contracting by Tweet: What Impact Can the New Administration Have on Existing Contracts and Future Awards?

In a decision earlier this month, the Court of Federal Claims (“COFC”) found that an agency’s continued evaluation of bids during the pendency of a stay under the Competition in Contracting Act (“CICA”) neither violates CICA nor constitutes “a de facto override” of the stay.  The case is Caddell Construction Co. v. United States, Nos. 15-135 C, 15-136 C (Fed. Cl. Apr. 14, 2015).

The plaintiff, Caddell Construction Co., LLC (“Caddell”), had filed a pair of pre-award bid protests in the U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”), challenging a State Department procurement to construct embassy facilities in Mozambique.  Caddell then filed separate actions at the COFC, claiming that the State Department violated CICA and carried out “an unlawful override” by “fail[ing] to stay the contracting process” while Caddell’s GAO protests were pending.  The State Department acknowledged that it indeed had been evaluating bids during the pendency of Caddell’s protest, but disagreed that doing so either violated CICA or functioned as an override of the stay.Continue Reading Agency’s Continued Evaluation of Bids Does Not Violate CICA Stay

Contractors supplying commercial products and services to the U.S. Government under the Federal Supply Schedule (“FSS”) or General Services Administration (“GSA”) Schedules program may be required to comply with non-commercial requirements. Until recently, it was thought that rules in Part 12 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (“FAR”) applicable to commercial item purchases—rules that restricted agencies