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Cameron Hamrick focuses on government contract matters, litigation and civil fraud investigations. He counsels on a wide variety of contract matters, including procurement integrity and conflict of interest issues, drafting and negotiating contracts and subcontracts, cost accounting, defective pricing, protection of proprietary data, terminations for convenience and default, preparation of claims, and suspension and debarment. He has litigated complex contract cases before the federal district courts, the US Court of Federal Claims, federal agency boards of contract appeals and other forums, as well as bid protests before the GAO and the US Court of Federal Claims. He has substantial experience providing government contracts compliance advice and training to companies and their employees. He has lectured on government contracts, environmental remediation and construction topics. Cameron joined Mayer Brown in 2001 after practicing with another major Washington, DC, law firm.

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In a January 4, 2017 Memorandum, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (“Under Secretary”), discussed implementation of a problematic DFARS rule issued on November 4, 2016, requiring “major contractors” to engage in a “technical interchange” with a DoD employee before IR&D costs are generated as a prerequisite for the allowability of such costs (“IR&D Rule”). The Memorandum effectively recognizes that issues with the IR&D Rule are more significant than DoD previously acknowledged. However, although the Memorandum addresses certain issues arising out of the IR&D Rule, it remains to be seen whether contractors will encounter different types of problems as the Rule is implemented.

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On August 25, 2016, DoD, GSA, and NASA issued a final rule amending the FAR to implement President Obama’s Executive Order on “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” (“E.O.”) The Department of Labor (“DOL”) also issued final guidance to assist in the implementation of the E.O. The new FAR rule follows a proposed FAR rule that generated substantial comments. The final rule and guidance represent significant new obligations and risks for contractors and subcontractors, who should start preparing now to address them. This post focuses on the final FAR rule because it imposes specific requirements on contractors and subcontractors. Notably, this post provides only a high-level summary because the new rule, related commentary published in the Federal Register, and DOL’s guidance are lengthy and sometimes complex documents. Mayer Brown also published a Legal Update that discusses these developments in greater detail.
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The Federal Circuit recently affirmed the ASBCA’s grant of summary judgment to the Government based on the Government’s affirmative defense that the court described both as a defense of fraud and a defense of prior material breach. In a case called Laguna Constr. Co. v. Carter, the court initially determined that the ASBCA had jurisdiction over the Government’s affirmative defense. It then affirmed the ASBCA’s grant of summary judgment to the Government because the contractor committed the first material breach. Along the way, the court rejected several arguments advanced by the contractor.
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On June 21, 2016, DoD published a notice in the Federal Register indicating that an advisory committee is seeking information to facilitate its review of 10 U.S.C. §§ 2320 and 2321 regarding rights in technical data and the validation of proprietary data restrictions. This is an excellent opportunity for contractors, Government contracts counsel, and others to provide input into rules that play an important role in DoD procurements involving rights in technical data. The notice requires submission of written comments in the very near future—on or before July 21, 2016. The Panel must submit its final report and recommendations to the Secretary of Defense no later than September 30, 2016.
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The Federal Circuit recently clarified when a CDA claim for payment of money accrues for purposes of determining whether the CDA’s 6-year statute of limitations has run. In Kellogg Brown & Root Servs., Inc. v. Murphy, KBR filed the claim with the Army on May 2, 2012 for work done by its subcontractor in Iraq; thus, the critical date of accrual for limitations purposes was May 2, 2006. The ASBCA dismissed the claim, holding that the claim had accrued prior to May 2, 2006 and, thus, the limitations period had run prior to the filing of the claim. The Federal Circuit reversed and remanded for determination of the merits of the claim.
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The Second Circuit recently added to case law addressing the issue of whether a relator’s release of False Claims Act (FCA) claims prior to the relator’s qui tam action is enforceable. United States ex rel. Ladas v. Exelis, Inc. The circuit reversed the district court’s holding that the release was enforceable, disagreeing with the court’s conclusion that the Government had sufficient knowledge of the allegations of fraud prior to the release. The circuit, however, affirmed the Court’s dismissal of the amended complaint because the plaintiff did not plead fraud with sufficient particularity, and the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying leave to amend.
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DoD IR&D ANPRIn the February 8, 2016 Federal Register, DoD published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“ANPR”) indicating that DoD is considering a proposed approach requiring offerors to describe in detail the nature and value of prospective independent research & development (“IR&D”) projects on which the offeror would rely to perform the resultant contract; DoD would then evaluate proposals in a manner that would take into account that reliance by adjusting the total evaluated price to the Government, for evaluation purposes, to include the value of related future IR&D projects. DoD held a public meeting on March 3, 2016 to discuss the ANPR, and several attendees raised numerous issues and concerns with the ANPR. Comments on the ANPR are due April 8, 2016. This article summarizes some of the more important issues and concerns expressed.

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The civil False Claims Act’s (FCA) public disclosure bar prohibits FCA suits based on allegations that have been disclosed publicly through certain enumerated sources, unless the relator meets the FCA’s definition of “original source.” Congress amended the bar in 2010, including replacing the phrase “no court shall have jurisdiction” with the phrase “[t]he court shall dismiss.”

Two recent Circuit Court decisions, issued within days of each other, have focused and elaborated on the public disclosure bar.
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Green conservation. Gas pump nozzle and leaf

The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), in conjunction with the US Navy, has issued a solicitation for bulk fuels for DLA Energy’s customers located in the Inland/East/Gulf Coast regions of the United States. The Inland/East/Gulf Coast is the single largest bulk fuels acquisition program, and it is valued in excess of $3.5 billion.


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