Federal News Radio: Contracting Myth No. 5: My prime contractor will tell me what clauses should be in my subcontract

Federal News Radio is republishing our Ten Myths of Government Contracting series, accompanied by an interview with the author, Tim Sullivan, Partner, Thompson Coburn, LLP. Below is the audio from the interview on Myth No: 5, “My prime contractor will tell me what clauses should be in my subcontract.” If you’d like to listen directly on the Federal News Radio website, visit here.

Federal News Radio: Myth No. 4: It’s better to be a subcontractor because primes are too exposed

Federal News Radio is republishing our Ten Myths of Government Contracting series, accompanied by an interview with the author, Tim Sullivan, Partner, Thompson Coburn, LLP. Below is the audio from the interview on Myth No. 4, “It’s better to be a subcontractor because primes are too exposed” If you’d like to listen directly on the Federal News Radio website, visit here.

Federal News Radio: Government Contracting Myth No. 3: The Contracting Officer Really Isn’t Our Customer

Federal News Radio is republishing our Ten Myths of Government Contracting series, accompanied by an interview with the author, Tim Sullivan, Partner, Thompson Coburn, LLP. Below is the audio from the interview on Myth No. 3, “The Contracting Officer Really Isn’t Our Customer.” If you’d like to listen directly on the Federal News Radio website, visit here.

Federal News Radio: Government Contracting Myth No. 2: We Should Always Protest

Federal News Radio is republishing our Ten Myths of Government Contracting series, accompanied by an interview with the author, Tim Sullivan, Partner, Thompson Coburn, LLP. Below is the audio from the interview on Myth No. 2, “We Should Always Protest”.     If you’d like to listen directly on the Federal News Radio website, visit here.

Federal News Radio: Ten Myths of Government Contracting: Myth No. 1

Federal News Radio is republishing our Ten Myths of Government Contracting series, accompanied by an interview with the author, Tim Sullivan, Partner, Thompson Coburn, LLP. Below is the audio from the interview on Myth No. 1, “We Should Never Protest”. If you’d like to listen directly on the Federal News Radio website, visit here.

Myth No. 3: The Contracting Officer Really Isn’t Our Customer; the Program People Are.

*This post is the third in the ten part series, “Ten Myths of Government Contracting” and will be released weekly. Each week will introduce  a new myth and run for ten weeks.  One of the most significant differences between commercial contracting and Government contracting is the presence and importance of a person called the “Contracting Officer.”  There is really no commercial equivalent of the C.O., and it is critical that a Government contractor understand the role that the C.O. plays.  In a nutshell, nothing happens in Government contracting unless the C.O. says it does. Imagine if every single Government employee, from the president down to a buck private, had the unlimited ability to commit the Government contractually.  That’s ridiculous, of course.  If that were the … Continue reading

Ten Myths of Government Contracting: Myth No. 1: We Should Never Protest

*This post is the first in the ten part series, “Ten Myths of Government Contracting” and will be released weekly. Each week will introduce  a new myth and run for ten weeks.    Myth No. 1:  We should never protest.   Bid protests are an intimidating aspect of Government contracting, not only because they usually mean hiring a lawyer, but also because most people don’t even like the thought of suing their customer.  Protests certainly are not part of the commercial business sector, but they are a daily occurrence in Government contracting, and anyone jumping into this business needs to understand how protests work and the role they play. Most protests relating to a U.S. Government procurement may be filed in three separate places—with the … Continue reading

An In-Depth Look at Why Federal Circuit’s Metcalf Constr. Decision is a Win for Contractors

Last month we profiled the Federal Circuit’s Metcalf Constr. decision about the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing.  This month Beth Ferrell, Jason Workmaster, Luke Meier and I published an in-depth article (i) analyzing the recent evolution of this implied duty and (ii) discussing the standard a contractor now must demonstrate to prove the Government’s breach of the duty.  Importantly, the Metalf Constr. decision solidifies the “reasonableness” standard for proving breach, and clarifies that the much tougher “specific targeting” standard (announced in the Federal Circuit’s 2010 Precision Pine decision) only will be used in limited circumstances.  Although some questions remain about the application of the “specific targeting” standard,Metcalf Constr. clearly is a win for contractors. By Justin M. Ganderson with McKenna Long & Alderidge  

CAS 410 – Allocation of Business Unit General and Administrative (G&A) Expenses to Final Cost Objectives (Part 1 of 3)

*This is Part 1 of a 3-part blog.  Each part addresses the fundamental requirements and techniques for application related to the standard, and provides specific examples. This Part 1 addresses the overall purpose of the standard, as well as the requirements/techniques related to the G&A expense pool. Part 2 will address the requirements/techniques for application related to the G&A allocation base. Part 3 will address special allocations of G&A expenses. Background:  To provide criteria for the allocation of business unit general and administrative (G&A) expenses to business unit final cost objectives.  The standard also provides criteria for allocating home office expenses received by the business unit segment to business unit final cost objectives (CAS 410-20). What it covers: The allocation of business unit G&A costs … Continue reading

The Government’s Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing

The long-standing principle that the federal government had the same implied duty of good faith and fair dealing as any commercial buyer was put in jeopardy by a 2010 decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Precision Pine & Timber, Inc. v. U.S., 596 F.3d 817 (Fed. Cir. 2010). There a panel of the court adopted a narrow rule seemingly limiting application of the principle to situations where a government action was “specifically targeted” at the contractor or had the effect of taking away one of the benefits that had been promised to the contractor. Although the decision concerned a timber sales contract not a procurement contract, when I wrote it up in the May 2010 Nash & Cibinic Report (24 … Continue reading