On October 3, 2022, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a request for information (RFI) from the public seeking input on ways the DOE can leverage its authority under the Defense Production Act (DPA) to stimulate domestic manufacturing of clean energy technologies.

Continue Reading DOE Considers Using the Defense Production Act to Increase Output and Deployment of Clean Energy Technologies

The Department of Energy through the Office of Science has announced that beginning in FY 2023, all DOE funding solicitations, including the Office of Science Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) and DOE National Lab Announcements, will require applicants to submit as an appendix to proposal narratives, a “Promoting Inclusive and Equitable Research (PIER) Plan.” The purpose of the PIER Plan is to “describe the activities and strategies applicants will incorporate to promote diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in their research projects.” According to the Office of Science’s announcement, the Office of Science will evaluate PIER Plans as “part of the merit review process,” and they “will be used to inform funding decisions.” Applications without PIER Plans will be considered “incomplete” and “will not be evaluated.”

Continue Reading DOE Office of Science Adds Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Requirement to Solicitation Process

The decision of the Court of Federal Claims in Marine Industrial Construction LLC v. United States, 158 Fed. Cl. 158 (2022), includes detailed analysis of several legal issues familiar to contractors facing challenging subsurface conditions on a federal construction contract. Continue Reading The Difference between Differing Site Conditions and Superior Knowledge

In a speech given at NYU on September 15, 2022, DOJ Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco reviewed new and enhanced DOJ policies regarding criminal enforcement related to corporate entities. Monaco’s comments appear to signal that DOJ will be taking a significantly more aggressive posture in corporate investigations. We summarize briefly the new policy priorities below and also provide suggestions on how to contractors might manage risk and compliance issues accordingly. Continue Reading DOJ’s New Policies Encourage Voluntary Self-Disclosure, Compensation Tied to Compliance

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly known as PFAS, are long-lasting chemicals that are quickly gaining notoriety for both their persistence in the environment and their ubiquity in water, air, and soil. Developed in the 1950s, PFAS are used in a wide range of products including firefighting foam, stain-resistant and water-repellant fabrics, nonstick cookware and many others. Concerns over PFAS contamination are mounting and the associated caselaw is growing. Federal contractors could be impacted by PFAS in two primary ways: first, contractors may face PFAS-related litigation resulting from the manufacture and distribution of affected products and second, contractors may have to adjust specifications to comply with the government’s shift away from products containing PFAS. Continue Reading PFAS and Federal Contracting: What Contractors Should Know and Why

Key Point

  • Federal contractors and subcontractors who filed Type 2 EEO-1 Reports for the years 2016-2020 are advised that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) intends to release the data from such filed EEO-1 Reports unless they file written objections asserting Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) objections by no later than September 19, 2022.

Continue Reading OFCCP Intends to Release Contractor Provided 2016-2020 EEO-1 Data Unless Contractors File FOIA Objections to Protect Confidential Information

As we wrote back in November 2021, the Biden Administration issued Executive Order 14055 reinstating most of the concepts from the Obama Administration era nondisplacement Executive Order 13495. Two months after Biden’s imposed deadline of May 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor finally published proposed regulations on July 15, 2022.

Generally speaking, EO 14055 and the proposed Nondisplacement regulations require successor contractors to make offers of employment to all predecessor contractor Service Contract Act covered employees who worked on the predecessor contract. Predecessor contractors are required to prepare and submit a list of their Service Contract Act covered employees to the contracting officer at least 30 days prior to contract termination. The contracting officer then provides a copy of that list to the successor contractor who then is required to make bona fide job offers to the predecessor’s service employees who worked on the prior contract. The rollout of these new regulations is of the utmost importance to any federal contractor or subcontractor with employees subject to the Service Contract Act. Continue Reading Nondisplacement of Qualified Workers Under Service Contracts – Proposed Regulations Issued

Unlike private parties in a contract, the government has several unique rights that allows it to avoid its contractual obligations in certain circumstances. We have written about the government’s right to terminate contracts for convenience. But the government may also avoid contract liability by invoking the sovereign act doctrine as a defense. This defense is available where government’s obstruction to the contract is considered a public and general act as a sovereign.

Continue Reading ASBCA Finds COVID Mitigation is a Sovereign Act

Contractors and contracting officers are often asked to make tough decisions about issues that arise in the course of a complex government contract. Decisions that change the scope of work, the schedule, or the cost of the work must be documented so that the work can proceed. In a perfect world, the parties would execute a bilateral contract modification that addresses and resolves any potential future disputes.

Continue Reading How a reservation of rights can affect the outcome of a dispute on a government contract

Although the United States military’s role in Afghanistan effectively ended in August 2021, the Government’s fraud watchdog for operations in Afghanistan, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Recovery (“SIGAR”), continues to have an active supervisory and oversight role. Continue Reading Recent SIGAR Reports Highlight Ongoing Oversight Role