Governmental entities at the federal, state, and local level are some of the country’s largest consumers of goods and services provided by private companies and individuals. The U.S. Government itself is the largest consumer of goods and services in the entire world. However, other governmental entities including state and local governments, school districts, and law enforcement agencies, also purchase goods and services from private contractors. The contracts for these good and services are subject to tightly regulated procurement and contracting procedures governed by a complex set of statutes and regulations.
Even though basic principles of contract law apply in a government contracting situation, government contracts also raise issues regarding procedures not found in general private contracts. For instance, government contracts are heavily regulated in order to provide transparency and accountability for the contract award and performance. Bid documents for government contracts such as bid invitations and/or requests for proposals, as well as the contract documents themselves, are prepared by expertly dedicated teams of government employees against a backdrop of judicial decisions that provide the context within which the contract will be interpreted. Oftentimes, the specifications of a given government contract are designed to advance policy objectives not directly related to the actual subject matter of the contract, which may impose significant restrictions or other responsibilities on the party contracting with the government. Finally, if a company or individual contracting with the government fails to comply with statutory and other regulatory procedures governing the bidding process, then they may be disqualified from participating in the contract selection process altogether.
Because government contracts present different and vastly more complex issues than general private contract, government contracting attorneys must be able to assist individual and corporate clients to comply with the numerous laws, rules, regulations, and procedures related to the bidding process, protests of contract awards, negotiating the final terms of a given government contract, and resolving any disputes that may arise over the performance due under the contract or the compensation owing for services rendered. While general experience with government contracting is useful, it is essential that a government contracting attorney have specific experience with the particular governmental entity involved in the bidding and award process, including knowledge of bidding and contracting policies and procedures specific to that agency.
As it relates to state and local government and municipality contracts, government contracting attorneys need to be experienced in the applicable laws and procedures regarding a particular state, local, or other governmental entity’s contract bidding and award process. At the federal level, a government contracting attorney will need to be knowledgeable about the particular laws and agency regulations involved, such as the Armed Services Procurement Act of 1947 which governs acquisition by the U.S. Defense Department of all property, construction and services.
Christensen & Jensen’s contracting attorneys have represented the United States government across the entire government contracting spectrum, including planning, award, administration, and termination of contract, intellectual property, fiscal law, and conflicts of interest. Attorney Phillip E. Lowry has served as an installation primary advisor on ethics and procurement fraud matters and public/private partnering initiatives. Phil has handled a number of government contracting issues and disputes like successfully supporting a multimillion dollar settlement for device munitions, serving as primary advisor to a $500 million acquisition of war military equipment, successfully advising the government on numerous multiple IDIQ contract exceeding $100 million each, brokering a partnering agreement between a major defense contractor and its subcontractors, and providing guidance on ethical compliance to the highest level Air Force officers and official at the Headquarters of the Air Force and The Pentagon.
Government contracting services provided by Christensen & Jensen include: