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Steve brings considerable government experience to the firm’s clients, having served as an associate counsel for litigation and senior trial attorney in the Department of the Navy’s Office of General Counsel. As a result of his work with the Navy, Steve helps clients strategize the best approaches for negotiation and litigation involving complex federal contracts. He also advises companies and individuals facing government investigations under the False Claims Act.

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The Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals’ (ASBCA) recent decision in Odyssey International, Inc. provides contractors with yet another cautionary tale when executing modifications with the government: make sure you fully understand the consequences of what you are gaining (and possibly losing).

In Odyssey, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the government) contracted for the construction of a building at an Army depot in Pennsylvania. A micropile system, which involves drilling small-diameter holes into bedrock and inserting grout into any voids before inserting a metal pole and casing, was to be used in the building’s foundation. Although potential offerors were to assume the need for 60 micropiles, the solicitation also noted that the contractor bore responsibility for the micropile foundation system’s design. After a series of discussions on the topic, the government informed Odyssey to submit its micropile design independent of the bidding criteria. As a result, Odyssey’s design, which the government approved, proposed using 80 micropiles instead of 60.
Continue Reading Bilateral Modifications: Read, Re-Read, and Read Again Before You Sign