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Late last week, the D.C. Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal on summary judgment of a relator’s FCA claims in U.S. ex rel. Folliard v. Government Acquisitions, Inc. & Govplace. Although the court provided an extensive discussion of several evidentiary rulings that led to the dismissal of much of the case, its ruling with respect to the Trade Agreements Act (TAA) certifications received from suppliers is significant to contractors. The court held that, in providing country of origin information to the Government under the TAA, the contractor reasonably based its representations on certifications it received from a supplier. Accordingly, the district court had properly granted summary judgment with respect to an FCA claim based on purportedly defective certifications. To the extent a Government contractor is reselling products in reliance on a supplier’s TAA certification—and there is a reasonable basis to accept the certification—the Govplace decision should prove helpful to contractors.
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