GovCon Examiner Live Presents “Government Contracting Fundamentals” Series

November 11, 2020

Obermayer is excited to introduce its new  “GovCon Examiner Live” webinar series, your resource for the fundamentals in government contracting and small business procurement. Over the course of 12 months, our experienced government contracting attorneys Maria Panichelli and Michael Richard will bring their popular GovCon Examiner blog to life with legal updates and practical tips for your business.

The series will include the following 12 sessions, please register for each panel that you are interested in attending.


Congratulations you got the contract award but – oh no! – you just got work that a disgruntled competitor has protested! What can you do?!?

In today’s competitive federal contracting environment, protests are a frequent feature of many procurements. This webinar will focus on how to respond if a contract award that you received is protested. Experienced government contracting attorneys Maria Panichelli and Michael Richard will provide an overview of bid protests, including timelines, and common protest grounds. They will then explain the procedural process for intervention, including how to coordinate with agency counsel, and modulate your efforts and legal costs accordingly. Finally, the webinar will cover common arguments and strategies you can employ to make sure you keep the contract awards you deserve.

You can’t go far in government contracting today without hearing about Teaming and Joint Venturing, or the SBA’s Mentor Protégé programs. Whether you are a large business looking to leverage a small business partner’s eligibility, or a small business looking to supplement your own performance capabilities and competitive edge, these strategies can greatly increase your access to contracts, and give your revenue a boost. While many contractors have heard of these strategies, not all fully understand the related eligibility requirements, or how to draft enforceable, compliant teaming or JV agreements. This is dangerous because, when done incorrectly, teaming and joint venturing can have serious consequences.

During this webinar, experienced government contracting attorneys Maria Panichelli and Michael Richard explain how contractors can use teaming, joint venturing and the mentor protégé program to their advantage. Attendees will learn proper procedures for entering into an enforceable teaming agreement and the essential clauses to include in these types of agreements, as well as common pitfalls to avoid. Attendees also will learn how to form eligible small business JVs, and how to navigate the SBA mentor-protégé programs. The practical implications of negotiating terms of a teaming or JV agreement from both the prime and subcontractor perspectives will be discussed.

Federal contracting can be complicated.  Federal subcontracting can sometimes be even more so, from both a prime contractor’s and a subcontractor’s point of view.   A successful subcontracting relationship on a federal project requires the parties to consider not only their own interests, but also the interests of the government.  This legal balancing act requires attention to detail, strategic problem solving, and an informed understanding of the bigger picture and all of its moving pieces. In this webinar, experienced government contracting attorneys Maria Panichelli and Michael Richard will explain how to successfully navigate the subcontracting process as a prime, and as a sub.

This webinar will cover essential issues that prime contractors and subcontractors must keep in mind when negotiating and drafting subcontracts for use on federal projects.  The hosts will walk you through FAR flow-down clauses and other critical provisions, and explain how to think about disputes and payment clauses.  Pass through claims and claims between prime and subcontractors will also be discussed.  Primes will learn how to structure an agreement to avoid a two-front battle between the owner and subcontractors.  Subs will learn how to avoid getting lost among confusing and conflicting contract clauses, or get stuck without remedy for damages incurred. 

As many contractors know, past performance is a critical part of getting new contract opportunities. Not surprisingly, contractors put a lot of emphasis on the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS), and the CPARS ratings they get in connection with contracts they performed. However, many contractors do not know how to challenge a negative CPARS that was unjustified, inaccurate, or punitive. The goal of this webinar is to fill that knowledge gap, and educate contractors on how to handle CPARS-related challenges. After providing a brief primer on CPARS, and how the CPARS system functions, we will explain, in detail, the various rights and remedies contractors have for challenging a negative review. Attendees will learn how to make comments in the CPARS system, what should happen as a result, and how a contractor can challenge CPARS at a higher level, using CDA claims. The presentation will also discuss what relief can be sought when a contractor receives an unjustified negative CPARS. The second piece of this webinar will address contractor claims based on good faith and fair dealing, both in the context of challenging an improper CPARS evaluation and in other contexts.

In certain circumstances, federal government contracts can be terminated by the government. They key, if your contact is terminated, is to understand what type of termination has occurred, what the consequences are, as what rights you have to challenge the termination, or seek compensation.

Terminations can be for convenience (“T for C”) or for default (“T for D”). A T for C does not imply that there was any fault on the part of the contractor, but a T for D means the government believes that the contractor failed to perform by the provisions of the contract. This distinction has other important implications as well. If terminated for convenience, a contractor is entitled to payment for the work done, and for any preparations made for the terminated portion of the contract. In contrast, if defaulted, it is possible that a contractor will owe the government money in connection with reprocurement. Getting terminated for default can also negatively impact a contractor’s ability to get future contracts. This webinar will cover the ins and outs of terminations. Learn all about T for Ds, how to challenge them, how to convert them to T for Cs, and how to deal with reprocurement claims. We will also discuss T for Cs, the response process and seeking compensation.

Very few federal contracts are completed without some sort of delay occurring, but who is liable for the resulting costs? Before you can determine liability for project delays, you have to understand the framework that federal courts use to analyze delays on government contracts. In this webinar experienced government contracts attorneys Maria Panichelli and Michael Richard will explain how to distinguish delays and suspensions from disruption. We will also explain the different types of delay: compensable, excusable and concurrent delays. We will walk you through the process and explain how to establish government liability for delays. We will also cover the common pitfalls contractors run into in pursuing a delay claim, including the effect of releases and waivers in contract modifications and pacing issues. Finally, we will discuss the various types of damages that may be recoverable as a result of government caused suspensions and delays, including general conditions and unabsorbed home office overhead.

Differing site conditions can be a confusing issue for contractors to deal with.  Can you recognize a differing site condition and identify what type of differing site condition something is?  Are you able to distinguish between a “change” and a different site condition?  What about notice – do you know how to protect your claim rights and get paid for the costs incurred with dealing with a differing site conditions?  In this webinar, Obermayer’s experienced government contracts attorneys will discuss the function and purpose of the differing site condition clause.

If you do business with the federal government, the Changes clause just may be the most important clause in your contract. From variations in quantities, to design revisions, to delays, to defective specifications, to breaches of warranty, many if not most of the issues that arise during the performance of a government contract are within the scope of the Changes clause.  In this webinar, Obermayer’s government contracts attorneys will discuss the multitude of circumstances that implicate the FAR’s Changes clause.

As any federal government contractor will tell you, federal government contract disputes are unique.  Unlike other types of contract disputes where you can simply initiate an action in court, claims or disputes arising out of federal government contracts must be dealt with using specific procedures involving administrative review and special courts.  In this webinar, Obermayer’s government contracts attorneys will walk you through the often-misunderstood process used to litigate government contract claims against the federal government.

Competition for federal government contracts today is fierce.  As a result, bid protests are a common feature of many procurements.  Understanding the processes and procedures that govern bid protests can mean the difference between getting a contract, or losing out to a competitor.  In this webinar, Obermayer’s experienced government contracting attorneys will walk attendees through the basics of both asserting, and defending, bid protests.

For many government contractors, their primary goals is to maximize award opportunities.  In today’s environment, where an increasing number of contracts are set-aside for small businesses, that means understanding how to leverage small business eligibility to maximize contract opportunities.  But how can a contractor tell what programs it may be eligible for and – more importantly – what common pitfalls could be putting its eligibility in danger?  In this webinar, Obermayer’s experienced government contracting attorneys will answer those very questions.

The Federal Acquisition Regulation – also known as the FAR – is the seminal body of regulations that governs all federal government contracting. This webcast will cover the basic function and structure of the FAR.   After a quick summary on the history of the FAR, we will move on to the organization and structure of the FAR, with a special focus on the regulations governing the submission and evaluation of proposals.

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