Government Contracts

  • July 29, 2016

    GAO Wants More VA Transparency On Medical Facility Leases

    Although the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs cited the flexibility to move as justification in all its 51 proposals for medical facility leases, the VA needs to be more transparent about how it has benefited from this flexibility, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

  • July 29, 2016

    Honeywell Will Face Feds' Amended Body Armor FCA Suit

    A D.C. federal court on Friday allowed the federal government to file an amended complaint in an 8-year-old False Claims Act suit against Honeywell International Inc. over allegedly defective body armor, asserting that letting the U.S. add a data manipulation allegation will not cause unfair delays to Honeywell's case.

  • July 29, 2016

    Afghan Reconstruction Watchdog Finds $9M In Suspect Costs

    The watchdog overseeing U.S. expenditures in Afghanistan identified over $9 million in questionable contract and program costs, according to a new quarterly report to Congress that cited poor internal controls, noncompliance and other issues as hindering reconstruction of the war-torn country.

  • July 29, 2016

    Public-Private Projects Cleared For Takeoff At Airports

    High-profile airport terminal redevelopments in New York, California and Colorado show that using public-private partnerships to finance such upgrades is increasingly popular, and experts anticipate seeing more P3 projects at air travel hubs. Here are a few of the projects to keep your eye on.

  • July 29, 2016

    Sprint Critiques FCC Lifeline Tweaks

    Sprint Corp. and a state consumer utility group both weighed in Friday on the FCC’s proposed reforms to the Lifeline low-income phone and broadband subsidy program, frequently staking out opposing positions on the agency’s tweaks.

  • July 29, 2016

    Wanted: New Contractor To Run Illinois' Troubled Lottery

    Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner on Thursday announced a second attempt to privatize the state lottery, a troubled agency with a history of poor returns on investments.

  • July 28, 2016

    Ex-Louis Berger Execs Hit With FCA Suit Over Billing Fraud

    The former CEO and chief financial officer of Louis Berger Group Inc. were hit with a False Claims Act suit in Maryland federal court Thursday, following earlier criminal convictions of the pair, alleging they conspired to overbill the federal government on Afghanistan and Iraq reconstruction contracts.

  • July 28, 2016

    Contractor On $42M Pa. Bridge Project Faces Fraud Charges

    The owner of a Pennsylvania painting company that has been cited multiple times for workplace safety violations has been indicted on embezzlement, fraud and water pollution charges stemming from a $42 million bridge rehabilitation project, the U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday.

  • July 28, 2016

    Mass. Agency To Blame For Dredging Woes, Suit Says

    Two marine construction companies slapped a quasi-government agency in Massachusetts with a $23 million breach of contract suit in state court, saying the agency drastically understated the scope of a dredging project to make way for an offshore wind power project.

  • July 28, 2016

    SC Hospital Pays $17M In FCA, Stark Law Deal

    A South Carolina hospital will pay $17 million to resolve a whistleblower suit alleging Stark Law and False Claims Act violations in connection with employment agreements and physician practice acquisitions, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday.

  • July 28, 2016

    New Defense Innovation Unit’s Future At Risk

    The U.S. Department of Defense has made meaningful efforts to address the concerns raised by the commercial technology industry amid a tech outreach effort, but factors such as internal resistance at the Pentagon make the viability of a related experimental innovation unit uncertain, experts said.

  • July 28, 2016

    DOJ Watchdog Warns 'Sanctuary Cities' Risk Fed. Funding

    The inspector general for the U.S. Department of Justice released the results of an investigation Thursday that found several so-called “sanctuary cities” could be putting millions of dollars of federal funding on the line by refusing to comply with request for cooperation from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. 

  • July 28, 2016

    Medical Device Co. To Pay $11.5M Over Alleged Kickbacks

    Atrium Medical Corp. has agreed to pay $11.5 million to settle False Claims Act allegations in Texas federal court that it paid physicians kickbacks in exchange for promoting unapproved uses of medical stents, the whistleblower in the case announced on Thursday.

  • July 28, 2016

    TaylorHittner, Focused On Public Policy, Launches In Texas

    Prominent Houston attorneys Andy Taylor and George Hittner have teamed up and announced Thursday the launching of TaylorHittner, a new Texas-based law firm that will focus on cases that involve the intersection of business, public policy and the law.

  • July 28, 2016

    Afghan Army Deal Flubs May Cost $1.3B, Watchdog Warns

    A government watchdog strongly criticized the Pentagon on Thursday for lax management of a vehicle maintenance contract for the Afghan National Army, saying problems with contract planning and contractor performance could ultimately cost more than $1.25 billion in unnecessary spending.

  • July 28, 2016

    DOD May 'Blow Up' Cyber Buying Process, Official Says

    The U.S. Department of Defense's chief information officer said the government could soon "blow up" the way it buys and certifies new cybersecurity technologies, arguing Thursday that the government needs new, more flexible ways to get the latest technology.

  • July 27, 2016

    OIG Says Trillions In Changes To Army Accounts Unsupported

    The government agency that provides finance and accounting services to the U.S. Department of Defense has failed to support trillions of dollars in adjustments to financial transactions made to Army general fund data, according to an Office of Inspector General report released Tuesday.

  • July 27, 2016

    Wells Fargo Withholding 'Crucial Evidence,' FCA Relators Say

    A pair of whistleblowers requested sanctions against Wells Fargo in Georgia federal court Tuesday amid a bitter discovery process, accusing the bank of concealing “crucial evidence” proving their False Claims Act allegations that the bank added illegal fees to government-backed mortgages.

  • July 27, 2016

    5th Circ. Urged To Raise BP Atlantis FCA Suit

    BP PLC cheated the government by flouting engineering certification procedures for its Atlantis offshore oil and gas platform, whistleblowers contended Monday, pushing the Fifth Circuit to revive a False Claims Act suit against the petroleum giant and replace a "hostile" federal judge.

  • July 27, 2016

    CenturyLink Says FCC’s Inmate Call Cap Change Not Enough

    CenturyLink has told the Federal Communications Commission that its plan to vote in August on raising caps it set last year on inmate calling rates would still set them too low given the true cost of providing the services.

Expert Analysis

  • Prevent Litigation From Becoming A Threat To Data Security

    Dante Stella

    Recent headline-grabbing data security incidents have shed light both on direct and collateral impacts to companies and their employees. Attorneys should take steps to ensure that their role in the conduct of litigation does not in itself lead to similarly damaging disclosures of sensitive information, say Dante Stella and Sherrie Farrell of Dykema Gossett PLLC.

  • OPINION: Our Juries Are Being Circumvented

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    The Freddie Gray case and the U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell demonstrate how the government replaces juries, eliminating an important community decision maker and a check on governmental power, says Professor Suja Thomas of the University of Illinois College of Law.

  • Weighing The Pros And Cons Of GSA Transactional Data Rule

    Jonathan S. Aronie

    The U.S. General Services Administration’s new transactional data reporting rule reflects a trade. In exchange for your willingness to accept the increased burden of tracking and reporting detailed transaction-level federal sales data, the GSA will eliminate two much-maligned provisions from your contract. So what’s not to like? Well, quite a bit, says Jonathan Aronie of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.

  • Legal Aid, Meet Legal Tech

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    Because there will never be enough free lawyers to satisfy demand from low-income Americans, we need to leverage technology to allow the legal expertise of one lawyer to reach hundreds or thousands of clients at once, say Jonathan Petts and Rohan Pavuluri, co-founders of startup nonprofit Upsolve.

  • Testing The UBE: Portable But Inaccurate Bar Exam Scores

    Suzanne Darrow-Kleinhaus

    While there is not much that is new about the uniform bar exam’s components, what is new is that where you take the bar exam may make the difference between passing and failing. Half of the score depends on the strength of the applicant pool in the jurisdiction where the candidate wrote the exam, which may lead to “UBE shopping,” says Suzanne Darrow-Kleinhaus, director of bar programs at Touro Law Center.

  • Testing The UBE: Missouri Benefits From Uniform Bar Exam

    Jim Nowogrocki

    We in Missouri do not take lightly to new trends or frothy ideas. Yet, the uniform bar exam has allowed us to meet the challenges of an increasingly mobile legal profession and the changing needs of clients, and to ensure that a newly admitted attorney has the knowledge, character and fitness to practice in the Show-Me State, says Jim Nowogrocki, president of the Board of Law Examiners in Missouri — the first state to adopt the UBE.

  • Gov't Contractor Sick Leave Rule Likely Excludes Banks

    Kenneth A. Rosenberg

    Banks and financial institutions have wondered for months whether they would be subject to a recent executive order requiring certain federal contractors to provide employees with paid sick leave. However, careful review of a U.S. Department of Labor notice shows it is highly unlikely the industry will be subject to this burdensome new requirement, say attorneys at Fox Rothschild LLP.

  • EEOC Won't Budge On EEO-1 Pay Data Collection

    Michael S. Burkhardt

    Although revisions to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's EEO-1 reporting proposal may alleviate some of the burden placed on employers, the core earnings and hours worked data that the commission proposes to collect remains largely unchanged, say attorneys at Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • Aveta And The Use Of Confidential Info In FCA Cases

    James M. Koukios

    A recent case in the District of Puerto Rico — U.S. v. Aveta — highlights several issues surrounding the use of privileged and confidential information by both plaintiffs and the government in False Claims Act suits. Much to the dismay of contractors like Aveta, the government and relators may be able to utilize confidential or privileged information in the course of investigating and prosecuting false claims, say James Koukios and... (continued)

  • Materiality Matters: The First Post-Escobar Decisions

    John Ruskusky

    As recent opinions in the Eastern District of Washington and the Northern District of Alabama show, the U.S. Supreme Court's Escobar decision yields fertile ground for defenses based on the materiality requirement of the False Claims Act, including at the pleading stage, say John Ruskusky and Emily Harlan of Nixon Peabody LLP.