Blank Rome’s government contracts group represents individuals, private businesses, and public agencies and helps them comply with the hundreds of unique government contract and procurement laws and regulations. Our clients include government contractors, state and municipal governments, mass transit agencies, and others, including recipients of federal and state grants and loans under a variety of programs throughout the United States and the world. We have particular experience representing clients in industries such as information technology, homeland security, healthcare, maritime, construction, education, and Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs).
We serve clients at all stages of the government procurement process: from helping companies locate business opportunities, to assisting them in preparing proposals and negotiating contracts, and, if need be, representing them in resolving disputes.
Blank Rome's government contracts practitioners have extensive experience in bid protests before the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Court of Federal Claims. In addition to representing disappointed bidders who allege violations of the procurement regulations in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), the firm also represents parties who wish to intervene in protests to protect contract awards that are subject to a protest. Our attorneys have extensive experience successfully representing protestors in a variety of pre-award and post-award bid protests, as well as size protests with the SBA, agency level protests, and protests to state governments and agencies or other federal agencies not governed by the FAR.
Throughout the life of a government contract, disputes can arise on a variety of issues including: contractor and subcontractor claims, defective pricing, cost disallowances, default terminations and terminations for convenience, time extensions, constructive changes, suspension of work, differing site conditions, acceleration, excusable delay, contract interference, government-caused delay, and defective data packages and specifications. Blank Rome's attorneys negotiate and resolve contractual disputes both informally and through structured Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedures. When these methods fail, Blank Rome's attorneys also have extensive experience litigating disputes before the Armed Services and Civilian Boards of Contract Appeals, the Court of Federal Claims, the United States District Courts, and the Federal Circuit. Our litigation approach is tailored based upon client needs and direction to help achieve effective resolution of contractual disputes in the most economical fashion.
Whether acquiring another concern or being acquired, Government Contractors face unique issues and risks that require knowledgeable attorneys in the applicable statutory and regulatory requirements and restrictions. Blank Rome's Government Contract attorneys have extensive experience counseling clients on all phases of Government Contractor acquisitions, with a specific focus on due diligence issues exclusive to business doing business with the United States and foreign governments. In appropriate cases, we represent clients before the Committee on Foreign the United States (CFIUS) and the FOCI Branch of the Defense Security Investment in Service.
In the current political environment, it is critical that all Government Contractors handling classified information review ensure their policies, training and compliance with all defense-security obligations imposed by the Defense Security Service (DSS) and the National Industrial Security Operating Manual (NISPOM) with respect to facility and personnel clearances. Blank Rome’s Government Contract attorneys can assist your organization in auditing current policies and procedures related to the handling and storing of classified data, identify open security loopholes and areas of risk exposure, recommend improvements, and conduct enhanced training of employees.
Procurements by the United States Government often contain preferences for “domestic” products, including those imposed by the Buy American Act, the Free Trade Agreements and the Trade Agreements Act. These regulatory requirements enforce a wide range of definitions of what constitutes a domestic product for qualification purposes. Compliance with the applicable requirements of each procurement is vital to ensure your business submits a responsive and technically acceptable bid or proposal, and avoid the significant liability that can result for failure to comply. Blank Rome’s Government Contract attorneys can assist your business with analyzing the applicable
Government Contractors must contend with several unique employment law issues. For example, on certain contracts, special wage and hour rules apply under the Service Contract Act or the Davis Bacon Act. Additionally, government contractors are often subject to compliance with Federal anti-discrimination statutes regardless of their size, and must comply with affirmative action provisions in federal contracts. This firm counsels clients in all aspects of compliance with these unique issues, and we monitor developments at the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs in order to help clients stay abreast of the latest developments in these areas.
Government contractors are subject to a wide range of ethics rules that cover topics as diverse as anti-lobbying and gift giving, to the hiring of former government officials and conflicts of interest. The firm’s attorneys specialize in advising clients on the avoidance of ethics issues through the development of internal policies, controls and compliance mechanisms, and by assisting with the development and conduct of training to address specific issues as necessary. Additionally, when problems arise, the firm’s attorneys are experienced in successfully resolving issues by serving as a liaison with the government to develop mitigation plans and strategies, and to aid clients in implementing corrective action.
Contingency contracting encompasses all contracting performed in a contingency environment, including military operations, stability operations, natural disasters, humanitarian, and other calamitous events. In these situations, the government is often given flexibility to deviate from the usual rules governing competition and administration of contracts. Blank Rome’s attorneys have experience advising clients holding contingency contracts. We advise clients on the applicable contract and competition rules depending on the particular contingency, and we assist clients in complying with any special requirements that arise in contingency situations.
Doing business in foreign countries can bring great benefits, but also presents great risks to those not prepared to navigate the complex regulatory regimes in place to related to the export of goods, services, and technology. Blank Rome’s Government Contract attorneys are well-versed in dealing with all regulatory offices involved with export controls, including the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, the Bureau of Industry and Security, and the Office of Foreign Assets Control. With the ongoing Export Control Reform initiatives of the Obama Administration, keeping apprised of the latest regulatory changes and guidance, and conforming your businesses’ compliance policies and procedures are up-to-date, is more necessary than ever to avoid potential pitfalls and liabilities. Our services include working with clients to draft compliance policies and procedures, conduct export compliance training and internal compliance audits, obtain commodity jurisdiction determinations, product classifications, export licenses, and, if necessary, file voluntary disclosures of export violations.
Litigation related to the False Claims Act and procurement fraud is on the rise. There is an increasing legislative focus on strengthening the False Claims Act, and with bringing more conduct within the scope of the Act in order to help the Federal Government prosecute conduct that it deems undesirable. Blank Rome’s attorneys focus on helping clients to avoid False Claims Act problems through the implementation of proper compliance and business ethics policies, and through targeted audits to identify, eliminate and mitigate problems through disclosures under the Mandatory Disclosure Rule. When government contractors find themselves in trouble, Blank Rome’s attorneys also have experience representing companies in False Claims Act and procurement fraud litigation.
Blank Rome s attorneys counsel grant applicants on federal grant applications and compliance. The firm assists in the preparation of grant applications, presentations, and in overall regulatory compliance. The firm provides training and policies and procures on grant administrations, and also defends grant audits and Inspector General investigations.
In today’s global economy, companies must know how to evaluate risks and navigate the opportunities that arise while forging business alliances throughout the world. Blank Rome attorneys have counseled many companies—U.S. and European, their foreign affiliates, and individuals—on the scope, meaning, and application of the FCPA, UK Bribery Act, and other related laws. The concerns that surround conducting business internationally are heightened given the presence of corruption in many markets outside Europe and the United States, the enhanced resources that are in place to govern the global marketplace, and the increased oversight and regulations that have been put in place by the U.S. Government, the international communities, and some other countries. Blank Rome’s attorneys regularly advise Government Contractors about compliance with the FCPA.
Blank Rome’s attorneys represent clients facing claims asserted by the government in audits or litigation. These types of claims can include disputes concerning cost accounting standards and allowable costs, back charges or liquidated damages for delay, and compliance with applicable wage and hour laws. Blank Rome’s attorneys help contractors to resolve these types of disputes with the government through informal methods, or through litigation as necessary. Additionally, the firm’s attorneys represent clients in resisting termination for default, or in settling claims stemming from a termination for convenience though a termination settlement agreement.
Throughout the life of a government contract, disputes can arise on a variety of issues including: contractor and subcontractor claims, defective pricing, cost disallowances, default terminations and terminations for convenience, time extensions, constructive changes, suspension of work, differing site conditions, acceleration, excusable delay, contract interference, government-caused delay, and defective data packages and specifications. Blank Rome’s attorneys negotiate and resolve contractual disputes both informally and through structured Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedures. When these methods fail, Blank Rome’s attorneys also have extensive experience litigating disputes before the Armed Services and Civilian Boards of Contract Appeals, the Court of Federal Claims, the United States District Courts, and the Federal Circuit. Our litigation approach is tailored based upon client needs and direction to help achieve effective resolution of contractual disputes in the most economical fashion.
The firm represents service and equipment providers in the health care industry. We provide advice on contract acquisition strategies, heath care service contracts, information technology contracting, diagnostic imaging and many related areas.
The firm advises contractors on all aspects of Schedule contracting. We counsel on initial decisions to participate in Schedule acquisitions, establishing administrative infrastructure and legal issues raised by proposal terms and conditions. We support all aspects of compliance including issues under Most Favored Customer and Price Reductions Clause, the Trade Agreements Act, Small Business Subcontracting, Labor Standards, Non-Manufacturer Rule issues and others. The firm counsels on schedule audit defenses and mandatory disclosure issues arising out of non-compliances.
The firm counsels large and small businesses in the areas of teaming, joint venture structuring, compliance with the Limitations on Subcontracting Clauses, Mentor-Protégé arrangements and compliance with Small Business Act Regulations. The firm prosecutes size protests and appeals before the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals bid protests before GAO involving size related issues. The firm counsels on compliance with the SBA Section 8(a) regulatory program, the SBA Community Development Corporation 8(a) program, and small business subcontracting plan compliance. The firm represents a number of Alaskan Native Corporations operating under the special SBA regulations dedicated to Alaskan Native owned firms.
State and local government procurements present a vast and complex array of constantly evolving government regulatory requirements. Underlying these regulations are the common goals of providing taxpayers with the best-value and preserving public integrity in the procurement process. Blank Rome’s Government Contract attorneys are experienced in analyzing the unique features of procurements codes in state and local jurisdictions throughout the country, and can provide your business with the expert advice required to ensure compliance, reduce liability, and resolve disputes.