Aerospace & Defense

  • December 19, 2014

    DOD's Radar And Rocket Buys May Overlap, GAO Says

    The U.S. Government Accountability Office in a report Friday recommended increased oversight of the U.S. Department of Defense's acquisition of ground radars, and cooperation between the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy to reduce overlap in their guided rocket investments.

  • December 19, 2014

    Obama Signs $585B Defense Spending Bill

    President Barack Obama on Friday signed a $585 billion defense spending bill that also opens up federal land to oil and gas exploration and maintains a ban on moving terrorism suspects from the Guantanamo Bay detention center to the U.S.

  • December 19, 2014

    1st Circ. Colorfully Affirms Military Supply Row Verdict

    The First Circuit ruled in a published opinion that a jury was right to issue a take-nothing verdict in a suit by military tactical product supplier Ira Green Inc. alleging tortious interference and defamation by its rival Military Sales & Service Co.

  • December 19, 2014

    Raytheon Wins $2.4B Qatar Patriot Missile Contract

    Raytheon Co. has been awarded a nearly $2.4 billion contract to supply the state of Qatar with Patriot missile fire units and related spare parts, the Pentagon announced Friday.

  • December 19, 2014

    Obama Says He Won't Sanction Russia Under New Law

    President Barack Obama on Thursday signed a new law that allows the U.S. to provide weapons and drones to Ukraine and opens the door to further sanctions in the Russian defense, banking and energy sectors in connection with the ongoing conflict in the region — an option he said he didn’t plan to use.

  • December 19, 2014

    Sen. Rockefeller Proposes Drone Privacy Bill

    Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, D-W.Va., outgoing chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, proposed a bill on Friday that would impose privacy regulations on commercial drone operators, calling for additional safeguards to protect individuals' personal information.

  • December 19, 2014

    Navy Splits $194M Medical Services Contract Among 6 Firms

    The U.S. Navy has tasked six veteran-owned businesses with providing ancillary technical services to military treatment facilities across the Northeastern United States, in a 30-month contract worth $194 million.

  • December 19, 2014

    FAA Urged To Allow Commercial Use of 'Micro' Drones

    A fund established to finance commercial drone development efforts has petitioned the Federal Aviation Administration, asking it to put a rule in place allowing for limited commercial use of “ultra-small” drones, it announced Friday.

  • December 19, 2014

    High Court Pressed To Send Asbestos Suit To Fed. Court

    A shipyards products manufacturer is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a Fourth Circuit decision keeping an asbestos suit in state court, arguing that the company has been improperly denied its right to a federal forum to pursue its government contractor defense.

  • December 19, 2014

    New EU Challenge To Boeing Subsidies Takes Flight At WTO

    The European Union's prolonged battle with the U.S. over the legality of civil aircraft subsidies took another turn Friday as Brussels lodged a fresh World Trade Organization case targeting $8.7 billion in tax breaks granted to Boeing Co. for the production of its 777X commercial jetliner.

  • December 19, 2014

    GAO Sustains CGI Protest Of Navy Systems Contract Awards

    The U.S. Government Accountability Office has sustained CGI Federal Inc.’s protest of the Department of the Navy awarding five contracts for network systems on Navy ships, finding that the agency should have adjusted its price evaluation scheme, according to a decision released on Thursday.

  • December 18, 2014

    Judge Snubs KBR's 'Old Args' On Privilege In Kickbacks Row

    A D.C. federal judge on Wednesday rejected Kellogg Brown & Root Services Inc.’s "old arguments" that attorney-client privilege protected its business-conduct documents from being compelled by a whistleblower alleging kickback activity in Iraq, but limited the whistleblower’s access to witness statements from KBR’s internal monitoring.

  • December 18, 2014

    Military Solvent Contractor Can't Kick Whistleblower Suit

    An Alabama federal judge on Wednesday refused to toss a False Claims Act suit against Safety-Kleen Systems Inc. alleging the company grossly overbilled for cleaning solvents used by a military depot, saying a whistleblower had submitted strong enough evidence to allow the case to advance.

  • December 18, 2014

    Background Checker Breach Risks 50,000 Fed Workers' Info

    The private information of nearly 50,000 government employees may have been compromised during a network security breach at federal background check company KeyPoint Government Solutions, the second such breach this year, officials said Thursday.

  • December 18, 2014

    Raytheon Snags $344M Air Force Command System Contract

    The U.S. Department of Defense on Wednesday awarded Raytheon Co. a $344 million sole-source acquisition contract to provide logistics support for the Air Force’s operational command and control switching system, including de-installing and re-installing systems on up to 200 platforms around the world by 2020.

  • December 18, 2014

    DOJ Says KBR Bid For $12.5M In Attys' Fees Comes Too Late

    Defense contractor Kellogg Brown & Root Services Inc. cannot collect $12.5 million in attorneys' fees incurred defending a dispute over the company's use of private security contractors in Iraq because the claims are time-barred, the U.S. Department of Justice told a Delaware federal judge on Wednesday.

  • December 18, 2014

    SpaceX Wins $87M To Launch Planet Project Into Space

    NASA announced this week that Space Exploration Technologies Corp. was selected as the main contractor for the $87 million award to launch a mission set to uncover Earth-like planets in nearby solar systems. 

  • December 17, 2014

    NASA Dropping Ball On Blanket Purchase Awards, OIG Says

    NASA is failing to maximize competition in its award of over $100 million a year in blanket purchase agreements, according to an inspector general's report Tuesday that recommended NASA remind officials to request vendor discounts more frequently and conduct annual reviews.

  • December 17, 2014

    VA Misled Congress On Patient-Wait Review, Watchdog Says

    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs made misleading or incorrect statements to Congress earlier this year about long-delayed requests by its patients for health care consultations, according to a watchdog report issued Monday.

  • December 17, 2014

    Senate Confirms Pentagon Officials, Counterterror Chief

    The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed new senior logistics and strategy officials for the Pentagon, alongside a new counterterrorism chief for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Expert Analysis

  • Contracting With Inverted Corporations: The Latest Rules

    Jennifer Plitsch

    The recent flurry of inversion-related actions from a variety of government authorities, including two new rulemaking actions from the Federal Acquisition Regulation Council, have resulted in regulatory thicket of restrictions and obligations that has the potential to ensnare even sophisticated contractors, say Jennifer Plitsch and Mike Wagner of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • OFAC Compliance: 5 Challenges You May Face In 2015

    Sven Stumbauer

    Criminal penalties for willful violations of Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctions can include fines of up to $20 million and imprisonment of up to 30 years. Worse yet, a single transaction can produce multiple violations. Given those risks, many boards and senior executives have moved OFAC compliance to the top of their agendas, says Sven Stumbauer of AlixPartners LLP.

  • Congress Surprisingly Passes Several Cybersecurity Bills

    Paul M. Tiao

    With many observers expecting little legislative activity on cybersecurity before the end of the year, that Congress has passed and sent major cybersecurity legislation to the White House for the first time in 12 years may signal Congress’ intent to address systems protection issues more thoroughly in the next two years, say Paul Tiao and Eric Hutchins of Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • Changes In Defense Industry Are Increasing FCPA Risks

    Howard Weissman

    The explosion of international business efforts in new and unfamiliar areas with new and unfamiliar people has greatly increased the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance risk for companies in the aerospace and defense industry at a time of budget austerity because of the declining U.S. defense budget, says Howard Weissman, of counsel with Baker & McKenzie LLP and former associate general counsel at Lockheed Martin Corp.

  • What Happens When Legal Aid Cuts Stimulate Pro Bono?

    Kevin J. Curnin

    The bad news coming out of the European Pro Bono Summit in November was the rising toll of heavy cuts to public legal aid in England. From this crossroad, there is a lot to be learned about the relationship between public and private assistance, the direction of legal help for the poor in the EU, and whether the American legal aid/pro bono experience offers a road map for what’s next in Europe, says Kevin Curnin of the Association ... (continued)

  • 2014 Cases That May Change Suspension, Debarment Practice

    David Robbins

    Although rising numbers of suspensions and debarments and ongoing litigation concerning the ability to suspend corporate affiliates received attention in 2014, the most interesting and perhaps lasting developments affecting suspension and debarment practice arose in two bid protest decisions, say David Robbins and Laura Baker of Shulman Rogers Gandal Pordy & Ecker PA.

  • Russia Sanctions Bill Will Likely Become Law

    Harry Clark

    While the president’s public remarks indicate his reluctance to take unilateral sanctions action relating to Russia, there is a good chance that he will sign the Ukraine Freedom Support Act into law, given broad bipartisan support of the legislation in both houses of Congress, say attorneys with Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

  • Expect More Of The Same DCAA Problems In 2015

    Dave Nadler

    Although the Defense Contract Audit Agency's fiscal year 2014 metrics will not be reported until early next year, there is every indication that this year the agency faces the same chronic issues that plagued it in 2013 and prior years, say Dave Nadler and David Yang of Dickstein Shapiro LLP.

  • Top International Trade Compliance Lessons From 2014

    Brett Johnson

    In 2014, there has been an influx of increased trade regulations and enforcement cases, such as the new Russia export restrictions, the fifth largest Foreign Corrupt Practices Act settlement since the law’s creation, and congressional debates over increasing Iranian sanctions, say Brett Johnson and Sarah Delaney of Snell & Wilmer.

  • Insights On DOD’s Final Counterfeit Parts Rule

    Vincent J. Napoleon

    While the U.S. Department of Defense's final rule on counterfeit electronic parts is generally viewed by thought leaders as a step in the right direction to eliminate the incidents of counterfeit electronic parts in the supply chain, there are concerns that it is not entirely comprehensive and absolute in eliminating the infiltration of counterfeit parts into the DOD supply chain, say Vincent J. Napoleon and Diana Vilmenay of Nixon Peabody LLP.