Subject to Inquiry

Subject to Inquiry


Government Investigations and White Collar Litigation Group

Abram J. Pafford

Photo of Abram J. Pafford Abe is an experienced litigator who represents government contractors across the full spectrum of government contract matters, including litigation, appeals, administrative proceedings and investigations. As a member of the firm’s nationally recognized Government Investigations and White Collar department, Abe prosecutes claims arising under the Contract Disputes Act, defends against False Claims Act lawsuits initiated by the Department of Justice, and represents protestors and intervenors in pre-award and post-award bid protests before the United States Court of Federal Claims and the GAO.

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“There are Cops on the Beat”: DOJ’s Procurement Collusion Strike Force Leader Emphasizes Criminal Antitrust as Top Enforcement Priority

On September 14, 2023, Daniel W. Glad — Director of the Procurement Collusion Strike Force (“Strike Force”) for the Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) Antitrust Division — gave remarks as the keynote speaker for the Virginia Bar Association’s Annual White-Collar Fall Forum, emphasizing a renewed commitment to pursuing criminal investigations in the federal procurement arena.  DOJ… Continue Reading

SBA Issues Interim Guidance After Ultima Decision Finds 8(a) Program Violates Equal Protection

Government Contracts
Influenced by the U.S. Supreme Court’s SFFA college affirmative action decision, on July 19, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee enjoined the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) from determining federal contractor eligibility for its 8(a) Business Development program according to a “rebuttable presumption” that individuals of certain racial groups are socially… Continue Reading

DHS Issues Final Rule Regulating Federal Contractors’ Handling of Controlled Unclassified Information

Fraud, Deception and False Claims
On June 21, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a long-anticipated cybersecurity final rule that revises an existing clause and adds two new clauses to the Homeland Security Acquisition Regulation related to contractors’ handling of controlled unclassified information. Read on for highlights from this rule, which goes into effect July 21 and is likely… Continue Reading

DOJ and Aerojet Settle for $9 Million in Qui Tam Cybersecurity False Claims Act Case

Fraud, Deception and False Claims, Government Contracts
On July 8, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a $9 million settlement with federal government contractor Aerojet Rocketdyne, Inc. for alleged violations of the False Claims Act in a case pending in the Eastern District of California. The settlement results from alleged false statements by Aerojet related to compliance with Department of Defense… Continue Reading

Biden Administration Amends “Buy American” Rules to Increase Domestic Content Requirements

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends
On March 7, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council promulgated a final rule aimed at increasing federal government preferences for goods and construction materials that are domestically manufactured and increasing the required domestic content threshold for purchases governed by the Buy American Act. Read on for highlights from the rule and next steps for government contractors… Continue Reading

CMMC 2.0: Department of Defense Revamps Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Program

Government Contracts
On November 4, 2021, the Department of Defense (DoD) announced significant changes to the strategic direction of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program.  Specifically, DoD stated that the goal of these changes is to simplify the CMMC standard and prioritize the protection of certain types of controlled defense information.  After a nine-month internal review by the… Continue Reading

Department of Justice Announces Increased FCA Enforcement Through New Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Fraud, Deception and False Claims
On October 6, 2021, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a new Civil Fraud Cyber Initiative to “combine the department’s expertise in civil fraud enforcement, government procurement and cybersecurity to combat new and emerging cyber threats to the security of sensitive information and critical systems.”… Continue Reading

President Biden Announces Findings of Critical Supply Chain Assessment

Government Contracts
On June 8, the White House released the findings of a 100-day assessment of critical supply chains, identifying actions needed to bolster domestic manufacturing of critical goods, reduce dependence on foreign nations for supply chain needs, create jobs and address unfair trade practices. For highlights of the report detailing structural weaknesses in supply chains for… Continue Reading

Biden Administration Orders Improvements to Cybersecurity and Federal Networks Amid Cyberattacks

Government Contracts
On May 12, President Biden signed an executive order mandating that the federal government significantly improve cybersecurity within its networks and modernize federal cyber defenses. This move follows a series of cyberattacks on private companies and federal government networks over the past year, including a recent incident that resulted in gasoline shortages along the U.S.… Continue Reading

Biden Administration Orders $15 Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors

Government Contracts
On April 27, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order (EO) requiring federal contractors performing service, construction or concession contracts to pay a $15 minimum wage to those employees who are working on such contracts. As noted in the White House Fact Sheet, this EO will build on Executive Order 13658 (signed in February 2014), under which the government… Continue Reading

Biden Administration Orders Comprehensive Review of U.S. Supply Chain

Government Contracts
On Feb. 24, 2021, President Joe Biden signed an executive order (EO) triggering a comprehensive review of U.S. supply chains, ordering agencies to identify ways to secure the American economy against shortages of critical and essential goods. As noted by the White House, this EO requires federal agencies to conduct a two-phase review of U.S. supply chains. First,… Continue Reading

Ask Those Questions: Federal Circuit Highlights Required Step for GAO Protesters Seeking Relaxed Automatic Stay Deadline in DOD Procurements

Government Contracts
Disappointed government contractors and their legal counsel weigh the benefits of filing bid protests at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) versus the Court of Federal Claims (COFC). One of the key benefits to filing a protest with the GAO is that, under the Competition in Contracting Act (CICA) automatic stay provision, a GAO protester who… Continue Reading

The DFARS Rule on Covered Telecommunications Equipment or Services Is Final

Compliance, Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Government Contracts
The Department of Defense (DoD) issued a final rule on Covered Telecommunications Equipment or Services that implements Section 1656 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (Pub. L. 115-91). To read more of our analysis, please click here.… Continue Reading

Biden Administration to Strengthen “Buy American” Rules

Government Contracts
On Jan. 25, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden signed an executive order aimed at strengthening “Buy American” rules to increase the federal government’s procurement of American-made goods. According to the White House, this order makes several significant changes to the implementation of the laws requiring federal government agencies to procure materials and products domestically. Click here to continue… Continue Reading

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