The federal government can provide a large and lucrative line of business, but not without significant risk. Alex Major and Franklin Turner of McCarter & English caution companies regarding the growing trend toward contract-related claims, how False Claims Acts penalties are affecting suits and why preparing for a bid protest needs to begin at the inception of the bid itself. Their remarks are edited for length and style.
MCC: What are the key issues likely to confront your clients during the coming year?
Turner: First, I think increasing numbers of acquisitions will find themselves in the crosshairs of the bid protest process. This is largely the byproduct of two factors – the decrease in government spending on contracts, which naturally causes more contractors to file protests in order to maximize their opportunity to receive whatever revenue they can from an ever-shrinking pool of government money, and the increasing complexity of procurements, which makes it harder for the government to prepare solicitations and to evaluate contractors in strict accordance with the regulations.