Bradley attorney Aron Beezley was quoted in Law360 on the top government contracts cases of 2020.
In a September ruling, the GAO found that a NASA contracting employee's personal relationship with employees of a contractor and subcontractor had created the appearance of a conflict of interest, which was enough to sink a $651.6 million deal to provide operational services at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
Personal relationships between contractors and agency staff are not uncommon, especially in big federal contracting hubs such as northern Virginia, close to Washington, D.C., said Beezley. "It's not a coincidence that the underlying facts of this case arose and happened in Huntsville, Alabama, because there's so much government contract activity in Huntsville, and issues like this are just much more likely to arise," he said.
In a separate case, a D.C. federal judge ruled in October that Dell's sales of computer systems to the government that contained an alleged cybersecurity vulnerability weren't material to payment. Some believe that such claims related to cybersecurity could be a significant new front for FCA, given the increased emphasis federal agencies have put on cybersecurity in recent years.
"I think we'll get more cases that arise out of the intersection of cybersecurity and the False Claims Act, so definitely something to keep an eye on," Beezley said.
The full article, "Top 5 Gov't Contracts Cases of 2020:Year in Review," appeared in Law360 on December 18, 2020.