Photo of Leah Kaiser

As an Environmental attorney with an M.S. in Environment, Ecology, and Energy, Leah is among those monitoring and researching legislation, counseling on compliance and negotiating remedies on issues including: Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Mine Safety and Health Act, Toxic Substance Control Act, and more. Leah also guides clients on renewable energy issues including matters involving the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and state utility commissions.

The Court of Federal Claims (CoFC) recently held that an offeror was not obligated to inform the agency of staffing changes, affecting its key personnel, that occurred following its proposal submission. This new CoFC decision conflicts with longstanding GAO precedent.

Key personnel are often a significant part of proposals and can greatly increase or diminish

In June 2007, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that a party who fails to object to patent errors in a solicitation before the conclusion of the bidding process waives those objections. Blue & Gold Fleet, L.P. v. United States, 492 F.3d 1308 (Fed. Cir. 2007).  Commonly, referred to as Blue & Gold, this decision warned contractors that challenges to the terms of a solicitation must be brought early or risk being lost forever. Blue & Gold was further solidified in 2015 in Bannum. Bannum held that “mere notice of dissatisfaction or objection is insufficient to preserve [a] defective-solicitation challenge.” Bannum, Inc. v. United States, 779 F.3d 1376 (Fed. Cir. 2015). In Bannum the protester’s failure to formally protest the solicitation resulted in a waiver of those challenges. Id. The court indicated that a formal challenge would have likely preserved the protester’s post-award challenges, Id., but this was not solidified until now.

Continue Reading Escaping Blue & Gold: Court holds filing a pre-award agency-level protest preserved protester’s arguments

The increased concern about ransomware incidents from both quantitative and severity standpoints, spurred the White House to urge corporate business leaders to improve their defenses and resilience posture against ransomware attacks. In a June 2, 2021 open letter to Corporate Executives and Business Leaders (the Letter), Anne Neuberger, the White House Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emergency Technology, appealed for business leaders to act following on the heels of the President’s directives to federal agencies and contractors.

Continue Reading The Private Sector Should Heed White House Warning on Cyber Resilience Because Compliance is Coming

President Biden’s newly released Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity represents a comprehensive approach to tackling cybersecurity threats in the U.S. and will likely result in new FAR and DFARS contract requirements. It represents the next step towards the inclusion of mandatory breach notifications in government contracts following widespread speculation that breach notification requirements were on the horizon.

Continue Reading Mandatory Breach Notification Requirements for Government Contractors are Almost Here

The Biden Administration has committed to making cybersecurity a top priority and is now turning its focus towards energy infrastructure, which is widely recognized as vulnerable to cyberattack due to grid control systems. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has launched a 100-day initiative to “advance technologies and systems that will provide cyber visibility, detection, and response capabilities for industrial control systems of electric utilities.”

Continue Reading Cybersecurity Focus Shifts to Energy Infrastructure

The Biden Administration is imminently expected to release an executive order that will require government contractors to notify the government in the event of a cybersecurity breach. Despite the relatively steady rise in cyberattacks and breaches over the years, and the enactment of consumer data breach disclosure laws in all 50 states, there is currently no standardized reporting requirement for government contractors. However, the Biden administration has promised executive action on the issue, largely in response to a cyberattack by a suspected nation-state against multiple software companies, including the SolarWinds software company.

Continue Reading Mandatory Breach Notification Requirements Are Coming for Government Contractors