Category Archives: Regulatory Updates

DOJ Announces Formal Guidance in Justice Manual for Considering Disclosure and Cooperation by Contractors on False Claims Act Matters

On May 7, 2019, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced new guidelines for awarding credit to contractors or individuals who voluntarily disclose False Claims Act (FCA)−related misconduct, actively cooperate with the DOJ on FCA investigations, or take effective remedial measures to mitigate or rectify FCA-related misconduct. The release represents the first formally published guidance from the DOJ on the guidelines it will consider in awarding cooperation credit. Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt stated, “False Claims Act defendants may merit a more favorable resolution by providing meaningful assistance to the Department of Justice – from voluntary disclosure, which is the most valuable form of cooperation, to various other efforts, including the sharing of information gleaned from an internal investigation and taking remedial steps through new or improved compliance programs.”[1]

Though the guidelines do not explicitly discuss or categorize the credit afforded to cooperating contractors, they represent the first memorialized guidelines and steps contractors can take to potentially lessen penalties and damages in an FCA actions. The guidelines are located in the Justice Manual, Section 4-4.112.

The guidelines state, “Entities or individuals that make proactive, timely, and voluntary self-disclosure to the Department about misconduct will receive credit during resolution of a FCA case.” Other examples of cooperation with government investigations include identifying individuals responsible for the misconduct, disclosing relevant facts relevant to the government’s investigation, and preserving and collecting pertinent documents and other evidence related to the alleged misconduct.

For remedial measures taken by the contractor or individual, the government will consider “a thorough analysis of the cause of the underlying conduct,” whether a contractor implemented or improved an effective compliance program, and whether appropriate disciplinary actions were taken against those responsible for the misconduct, among other steps.

Impact on Contractors and Individuals

These guidelines provide greater clarity and specifics on the types of conduct the DOJ values related to FCA actions and describe, more explicitly than any prior guidance, the credit the DOJ is prepared to grant. Though the DOJ will retain discretion when awarding credit to contractors and individuals, these new guidelines offer a roadmap for contractors looking to reduce penalties and damages in FCA actions.

[1] DOJ, Department of Justice Issues Guidance on False Claims Act Matters and Updates Justice Manual (May 7, 2019), available at:

Civilian Board of Contract Appeals’ 2018 Annual Report – A Review and Quantitative Snapshot

The US Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA)[1] released its FY 2018 Annual Report in December 2018.[2] Significant developments in FY 2018 included the institution of new board procedural rules, the transition to all-electronic files from a combination of electronic filings and paper file-based systems, and the addition of Disaster Disputes stemming from damages caused by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Gustav.

From a case-load perspective, the number of cases filed at the CBCA ticked up to 409 in FY 2018 from 385 in FY 2017. The number of CBCA cases appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit also increased 69 percent in 2018 to twenty-seven from sixteen in 2017. Continue reading Civilian Board of Contract Appeals’ 2018 Annual Report – A Review and Quantitative Snapshot

GSA Announces Transformation of Multiple Awards Schedules

The US General Services Administration (GSA) announced on November 27, 2018, that it is consolidating the twenty-four separate Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) into one single schedule for products and services. As a way to modernize federal acquisition, the GSA stated that consolidating into a single schedule will make it easier and more efficient to do business with federal, state, and local governments. Continue reading GSA Announces Transformation of Multiple Awards Schedules

DHS OIG Highlights: DHS Needs to Strengthen Its Suspension and Debarment Program

The January 25 report from the US Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General contains four recommendations aimed to improve oversight and accountability for the Suspension and Debarment Program.  Continue reading DHS OIG Highlights: DHS Needs to Strengthen Its Suspension and Debarment Program

Congress Approves NDIA 2018

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 bill authorizes appropriations and sets forth policies for Department of Defense (DOD) programs and activities, including military personnel strengths. It does not provide budget authority, which is provided in subsequent appropriations legislation. Continue reading Congress Approves NDIA 2018

Recent CRA Resolution of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Regulation

March 7—Last night, the Senate passed a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution disapproving of the August 25, 2016, final “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Federal Acquisition Regulation, often referred to as the “blacklisting” regulation. Continue reading Recent CRA Resolution of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Regulation

GSA Releases Final Rule on Transactional Data Reporting

The U.S. General Services Administration has released its final rule on transactional data reporting. The final rule requires that GSA Federal Supply Schedules (FSS) contractor holders, Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWAC) holders, and Governmentwide indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract holders submit eleven transactional data points to GSA on a monthly basis. The rule does not apply to VA FSS contracts. Continue reading GSA Releases Final Rule on Transactional Data Reporting