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Look at Iraq, look at Katrina, and you have to wonder whether Uncle Sam is a responsible contractor. Plus: business competitors may start bringing suit under the False Claims Act, contractor employees face death in Iraq without full military protection, and more…
Who’s Not Responsible Now? Over the past two decades, government contracting has changed dramatically. Despite the numerous benefits that have flowed from these changes, Government Accountability Office studies, press reports, board and court decisions, and contractor anecdotes raise questions about whether or not the government has always lived up to the high standard of responsibility to which it holds its contracting partners. by Anthony H. AnikeeffWe’re All in This Together With the wider use of service contracts, more questions are being raised about the potential conflicts presented by private workers working side by side with federal employees. Of particular concern are contracts for services that affect the acquisition process. by Marcia G. MadsenA Schedule Full of Legal Risks Numerous recent multimillion-dollar settlements underscore the legal threats facing companies that sell commercial goods and services to the federal government. Not only can the government bring suit, but even competitors are now alleging procurement fraud based on violations of contracting requirements unique to the government. Fortunately, companies have ways to mitigate these risks. by Michael F. Mason and Michael D. McGillRiding Into the Valley of Death Government contractors supporting U.S. forces in Iraq are facing a high risk of deadly attacks. Yet new Department of Defense rules mean less military protection for them. The rules leave contractors exposed to risks not just from insurgents but also from legal liability for efforts to defend themselves. by James J. McCullough and Courtney J. EdmondsLearning the Lessons of War Federal procurement lawyers also become professionally connected to recent national security issues when counseling clients. In this article, we give our perspective on lessons learned by the government contracting community from the past five years of fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. by L. James D’Agostino and David Hickey

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