The partial government shutdown is now the longest running shutdown in history and there is no clear end in sight.  Some 800,000 federal employees have been affected by the shutdown.  They have either been furloughed, or even if they are working, they are going without pay.  However, although affected federal employees will get back pay after the shutdown ends, the current political landscape surrounding recovery for potentially affected federal contractors and their employees is less clear.  Thus, while the shutdown’s effects have introduced significant uncertainty, the aftermath of the shutdown poses an equal degree of uncertainty.

Further to our post about the best practices for contractors to weather the shutdown, contractors should also evaluate their options and strategies for seeking recovery of their costs due to the shutdown.  Although the current political landscape has not provided any full guarantees to affected federal contractors, most government contracts have clauses from the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) that may provide a basis for recovery.  The primary clauses that may aid a contractor in such endeavors include: FAR 52.242-14 (suspension of work), FAR 52.242-15 (stop work order), FAR 52.242-17 (government delay of work), and FAR 52.243 (changes).  A common requirement with all of these clauses, however, is that they impose a quick turnaround on the contractor to notify and assert any rights to the government, with some clauses providing as little as 30 days from the end of the work stoppage period to take action. Continue Reading Federal Contractors May Have a Bumpier Road to Recovery After the Shutdown

As yet another government shutdown looms on the horizon, contractors must again prepare for the ramifications of a shutdown.  At present, the President does not look likely to sign a budget bill unless Congress includes significant appropriations for a border wall which also does not appear likely.  If no compromise is reached, parts of the government could begin to shut down as early as next week (December 21).  While industry has no control over Washington politics, the effects will still be felt nationwide and will probably impact your business as a federal contractor.  While not an exhaustive list, a government shutdown can halt your incremental funding stream, delay other payments, preclude you from executing new contracts or modifying existing ones, impose logistical challenges such as closed government facilities or furloughed government employees who are your counterparts on a program, increase your costs (both direct and indirect), and delay or defer the exercise of contract options.  So, what can you do to weather the storm?  Here are some suggestions for mitigating your risks during a potential shutdown. Continue Reading Five Tips for Surviving Another Potential Government Shutdown

To help you navigate the rough seas of doing business with the federal government in the Trump administration, Washington PTACPacific Northwest Defense CoalitionAGC of Washington, and the Government Contracts team at Oles Morrison have assembled a group of nationally recognized government contracts professionals for a seminar covering topics relevant to government contractors across all industries.

Session topics include:

  • Federal Design-Build Challenges | Doug Oles, Partner, Oles Morrison Rinker & Baker LLP   |   With a long history in design-bid-build construction, federal agencies have struggled with the design-build project delivery system. This session will highlight some of these key challenges, and how contractors can avoid falling victim.
  • DCAA Audit & Investigation Essentials | David Yang, Partner, Oles Morrison Rinker & Baker LLP; Tony Worick, Manager, PricewaterhouseCoopers  |  The session will cover the types of audits and investigations conducted by the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), what you should expect during them, best practices for maximizing your position while minimizing risk, and a look at the key DCAA trends from FY2018 as well as what we can expect from DCAA in FY2019.
  • Are You Sure That Your Small Business Size Certification Is Accurate? | Dominique Casimir, Partner, Arnold & Porter; Adam Lasky, Partner, Oles Morrison Rinker & Baker LLP     SBA’s complex size and affiliation rules lead many federal contractors to inaccurately certify that they are small, which can lead to FCA liability and debarment. This session will provide a guide to SBA’s Affiliation Rules, plus best practices for managing the accuracy of your size certifications and mitigating/correcting inaccurate certifications.
  • Panel: Roadblocks to Commercial Items Contracting | Howard Roth, Of Counsel, Oles Morrison Rinker & Baker LLP; Laurie Davis, Sr. Contract Specialist; Shaun Kennedy, Senior Attorney, Ball Corporation   |   This session provides private and government sector perspectives on recent changes in commercial item contracting and provides practical tips for making commercial item determinations (i.e., price reasonableness, commerciality, of-a-type, etc.).  The panel will also address to what extent the Federal Circuit’s recent decision in Palantir will affect commercial item purchasing. 
  • Lunch Speaker: Understanding Your Obligations and Potential Compliance Gaps Regarding Bribery, Gratuities, Kickbacks and Other Government Contract Ethics | Paul Bowen, Partner, K&L Gates LLP   |   Conducting business with the government requires strict compliance with all ethical business practices. This includes avoiding, detecting, and, in some cases, reporting bribery, illegal gratuities, and kickbacks. This session will help you understand the key ethical obligations in government and recognizing compliance gaps in your ethics program.
  • Labor Compliance Pitfalls: Obama-Era Challenges and Regulations Remain | Eric Crusius, Partner, Holland & Knight LLP   |   This session will cover how to spot and comply with various government contracts-specific labor requirements, including the Service Contract Act, Davis-Bacon Act, and Fair Labor Standards Act, plus new regulatory requirements such as mandatory sick leave and minimum wage. In addition, Eric will discuss the Top 10 labor compliance pitfalls in government contracting.
  • Navigating Tariffs, Shutdowns and Other Sovereign Acts | James Nagle, Of Counsel, Oles Morrison Rinker & Baker LLP   |   Acts by the government in its sovereign (public, as opposed to contracting) capacity, such as tariffs, government shutdowns, or new EPA or OSHA rules, can throw a monkey wrench into a contractor’s planned costs and schedule. Learn how to anticipate, plan for and react to such acts, which is indispensable to a contract’s and contractor’s success.
  • Keynote:  Hot Topics in Procurement Reform | Prof. Steven Schooner, Nash & Cibinic Professor of Government Procurement Law and Co-Director of the Government Procurement Law Program, The George Washington University Law School    |   Our distinguished keynote speaker will discuss and provide commentary on the hottest topics in federal procurement reform, including the proposed Section 809 Panel reforms, which could change the face of government procurement.

Two Ways to Attend:

  • In-person, AGC of Washington (Second-floor Conference Room, 1200 Westlake Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109).  Parking will be validated.
  • Live Webinar


  • October 25, 2018
  • 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. PST (Breakfast and Lunch included)
  • Networking Reception: 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Click HERE for the program flyer and complete schedule.

Click HERE to Register.

Questions? Contact Tiffany Scroggs at 360.464.6041 or via email at

Oles Morrison attorney, Jim Nagle, has been tapped to give the keynote presentation at the Alliance Northwest 2018 Conference on March 15.  Jim’s keynote, “Contracting in the age of Trump,” will cover President Trump’s impact on the regulatory process, the Buy American act, the role of contractors in fulfilling the work of the executive branch, and how budgetary priorities sets an array of challenges and opportunities for everyone involved in the contracting process. Any new administration, especially one of a different political party than its predecessor, involves different priorities and often total reversals from the previous president’s. The Trump administration is no exception but its impact on procurement both what is being purchased and the process is monumental.

The Alliance NW Conference is the premier government contracting event in the northwest, bringing together prime contractors, government agencies and small businesses for a full day of relationship building and educational opportunities.

A nationally recognized attorney and thought leader in government contract law, Jim Nagle is sought after for his valuable counsel as consultant, expert witness or arbitrator/mediator by the government and its federal contractors. He has unrivaled experience working on supply, services, international, major systems and construction contracts. Throughout his distinguished career, Jim has represented owners, contractors, subcontractors, sureties, architects, engineers and all parties in the contracting process. Prior to joining the firm, he served as chief of the Logistics and Contract Law Branch of the Department of the Army staff and as a trial team chief in the Army’s Contract Appeals Division.

Jim is committed to sharing his extensive knowledge of government contract law to advance the next generation of attorneys. He is the author of seven books on federal contracting and more than 100 articles that have appeared in publications such as Public Contract Law Journal, Military Law Review, National Contract Management Association (NCMA) Journal, and Contract Management. Jim is a coveted lecturer on federal government contracts and construction law. He regularly teaches a course on Government Contract Law for Educational Services Institute on behalf of George Washington University and has taught Government Contracts for the University of Washington and Seattle University.

Should a contractor find itself appealing a contracting officer’s denial of a claim to the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) or the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA), they will likely engage in some sort of document discovery. In a world with seemingly limitless and inexpensive data storage, cell phone cameras, drone video, and ceaseless emails, even a small dispute can involve vast quantities of data subject to discovery. Combine this with the Board rules that instruct the parties to engage in “voluntary discovery procedures” (ASBCA, CBCA discovery rules) it is vitally important that a contractor and its attorney have an accurate understanding of how relevant data is stored. That understanding can help a contractor minimize litigation costs and facilitate resolution of the claim.

Often the government will insist that discovery be exchanged as processed documents that can be loaded into a document database for easy searching. This format is usually also helpful for the contractor and its counsel as it will allow for easy searching through both your and the government’s documents –this is how you’ll find that smoking gun. Since specialized software and databases are required for processing and hosting data, extra costs are usually incurred. As you can imagine, the more data that goes into the database, the more costs are incurred.

There are many options to minimize the volume of data to be exchanged or the cost of doing so, but this can only be accomplished with a full understanding of the universe of relevant information. Practically, this means that at the outset of the appeal, someone familiar with the dispute along with someone from IT and/or the contractor’s document management team should spend time with counsel to develop a “map” of the relevant data.

With a full understanding of their client’s data, the contractor’s attorney can work with the government to develop a discovery plan that facilitates the exchange of information at a cost proportionate to the needs of the case. For instance, the contractor can start by producing just the “low hanging fruit,” only exchanging the costly data sets if further information is necessary.  Or the contractor can produce the voluminous data sets in their unprocessed or “native” format. Most contractors would likely agree that the sooner the government has a better understanding of their claim and appeal, the sooner the dispute can be resolved. With preparation and communication, this exchange can be done efficiently and affordably.

For an in-depth guide on developing a “data map,” see EDRM’s Identification Guide.

Image Courtesy of Flickr (licensed) by jannekestaaks 

Teaming JV Jun2017Join Howard Roth June 1st for “Teaming & Joint Venturing for Government Contracting Success” sponsored by Washington PTAC and Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce.  This seminar will be held at the Tri-Cities Business & Visitor Center Bechtel Board Room 7130 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick WA 99338 from 10am to 12pm.  For more information and to register, go to



HWR Headshot Outside Color 030314_SquareOn Wednesday, November 16, Howard Roth will present an interactive workshop at the Tri-Cities Regional Chamber of Commerce that will provide essential information small businesses need to know to protect their business.  Learn about recent updates including the SBA’s new Mentor/Protégé Program, Affiliation rules and Teaming/Joint Venturing. 

To register for this workshop, please visit Washington PTAC.

James F. NagleJames F. Nagle will give a special presentation at The Seminar Group’s upcoming 23rd Annual Washington Construction Law conference on September 15 at the Hilton Seattle. In Jim’s federal construction law presentation, he will provide an update on the False Claims Act, new programs  from the Small Business Administration and other new developments affecting construction law. Guests of Jim are eligible for a $100 discount with the promo code “FAC100.” Continue Reading Join James Nagle at the 23rd Annual Washington Construction Law Conference on September 15th

ncma-header-logoOn September 15, join Adam Lasky, partner in Oles Morrison’s Government Contracts Practice Group, along with Laurie Davis, senior contracting officer of Naval Sea Systems Command, as they discuss lessons learned from bid protests concerning cost or price realism analysis. In this webinar, Adam and Laurie will show procurement officers and contractors how they can avoid these same pitfalls and will focus on the following topics: Continue Reading Adam Lasky to present “Avoiding Cost and Price Analysis Pitfalls in Source Selection” in NCMA Webinar

DARPA’s “artist concept” for a flying aircraft carrier (DARPA image)

Could a new generation of aircraft carriers change how future conflicts are fought from the sky? The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) aims to find out. This month, DARPA, the agency charged with developing new military technologies for the Department of Defense, issued a Request for Information (RFI) for “Distributed Airborne Capabilities,” or in other words “Ideas for Transforming Planes into Aircraft Carriers in the Sky.” According to DARPA, flying aircraft carriers would expand the range of drones thereby allowing the military to conduct more unmanned air operations and reducing the number of missions where pilots are put at risk.

A look back at history shows that this is not the first time the U.S. military has experimented with the idea of flying aircraft carriers.

Continue Reading Department of Defense Solicits Ideas for Flying Aircraft Carriers