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FCW : March 15, 2016
The Supreme Court has two federal contracting cases on its docket, and the death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia could slow movement on those cases or lock in lower court decisions if the justices’ votes are tied. With a Republican-held Senate promising to block Presi- dent Barack Obama’s nomi- nee to replace Scalia, it’s unclear when the court will next be operating with a full complement of justices. A short-handed court could still hear arguments and issue decisions, but in the event of a 4-4 tie, federal cases revert to their most recent circuit court ruling. The two contracting cases in question deal with nuanc- es of arcane federal procure- ment rules and procedures but could have big implica- tions for contractors, said Alan Chvot- kin, vice president and counsel at the Professional Services Council. Universal Health Services v. U.S. concerns False Claims Act issues, he said. One key question is whether an invoice submitted under a contract Contracting cases could be held up by Supreme Court uncertainty of overseas diplomatic posts had deficient IT contingency plans, the State Department IG found 69% Trending implies certification under govern- ment rules, regulations or contract provisions, or whether that certifica- tion must be expressly stated as a con- dition of payment. The issue of “implied certification is important because it bears on every government contract,” Chvotkin told FCW. “You’re implying by signing a task order against a contract that you’re in compliance” with all the rules, said Larry Allen, president of Allen Federal Business Partners. “This is a big deal. Rarely do you see contracting cases make it to the Supreme Court.” The court was accepting amicus brief filings from interested parties through Feb. 25, but no dates for hear- ing arguments or issuing an opinion had been set. The other case before the court is Kingdomware Technologies Inc. v. U.S. In that case, a veteran- owned small business is disputing the way the Department of Veterans Affairs is interpreting the Veterans Benefits, Health Care and Information Technology Act of 2006. Some of its sponsors in Congress say the act was designed to limit the VA’s discretion in awarding contracts. A federal appeals court ruled that the VA was justified in using the preference for veteran- owned businesses only as necessary to meet its larger set-aside goals and not in every instance. Arguments in that case were scheduled for Feb. 22. — Mark Rockwell FCW CALENDAR Cloud FedRAMP’s Ashley Mahan, NASA’s Roopangi Kadakia, NIST’s Michaela Iorga and SEC’s Michael Fairless will discuss the strategies for moving agencies to the cloud. Washington, D.C . fcw.com/cloud2016 Acquisition ACT-IAC’s Acquisition Excellence conference will offer a full day of sessions on category management, industry/government collaboration and more. DOD’s Claire Grady will give the keynote address. Washington, D.C . is.gd/FCW_AE2016 3/30 3/22 FCW will honor this year’s Federal 100 award recipients and announce the government and industry Eagle winners at the 27th annual awards gala. Washington, D.C . fcw.com/fed100 4/7 March 15, 2016 FCW.COM 3 Two key federal contracting lawsuits are on the long list of issues that could be complicated by the death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. APIMAGES 031516fcw_003-010.indd 3 2/24/16 9:50 AM
March 30, 2016