Timothy Sullivan

Timothy Sullivan

Thompson Coburn LLP

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Sixth Commandment of Government Contracting: Thou shalt avoid political intervention

In the Third Commandment, “Thou Shalt Start as Low as Possible,” I discussed the challenges associated with seeking political intervention to solve a Government contracting problem. This topic deserves treatment on its own...more

9/23/2014 - Federal Contractors Political Affiliation

Fifth Commandment of Government Contractors: Thou shalt document thy actions

When Congress was contemplating the passage of the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 (FASA), and its companion statute, the Federal Acquisition Reform Act of 1995 (FARA), many pundits predicted that their enactment...more

9/11/2014 - Best Management Practices Federal Acquisition Regulations Federal Contractors

Fourth Commandment of Government Contractors: Thou shalt stay informed

Henry Ford once said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether he’s twenty or eighty.” Those words, spoken in the early 20th century, ring true today, and they certainly apply to people involved in Government contracting,...more

9/3/2014 - Federal Contractors Subcontractors

Third Commandment of Government Contractors: Thou shalt start as low as possible

If all we knew about Washington was based on the dramas we watch on television or the stories reported in the media, it would be easy to conclude that everything that gets accomplished is based on who people know. Make no...more

8/22/2014 - Compliance Contractors Federal Contractors

Second Commandment of Government Contractors: Thou shalt study thy adversary

The movie “Patton” contains many memorable scenes, but one that will always stay etched in my memory is where the great German field marshal Erwin Rommel, the Desert Fox, begins his retreat after being beaten by Patton at El...more

8/20/2014 - Contract Negotiations Contractors Federal Contractors Negotiations Subcontractors

First Commandment of Government Contractors: Thou shalt do thy homework

Because of the complexity of the Government’s procurements, the dollar amounts involved, and the chaos that unfortunately governs a contractor’s life, smart executives develop habits and rules by which they survive. One of...more

8/18/2014 - Due Diligence Federal Contractors

Myth No. 10: Solicitations are mostly boilerplate and we don’t have to read them closely

Webster’s Dictionary defines “boilerplate” as “the detailed standard wording of a contract.” In the world of Government contracting, “boilerplate” usually refers to those standard provisions that are plucked from the Federal...more

6/24/2014 - Boilerplate Language FAR Federal Contractors Solicitation Provisions

Myth No. 8: We can treat government customers the same as commercial ones

Over the last 20 years or so, the Government contracts sector has seen countless new entrants. Many of these newcomers are experienced commercial-sector concerns that have decided to give the Government a try. Others are just...more

6/9/2014 - Contractors Federal Contractors Government Entities Government Officials Subcontractors

Myth No. 7: Our business information is safe with the government

There are a myriad of ways that doing business with the Federal Government differs from the commercial sector, and protection of a company’s sensitive business information is one of them. The most important thing for you to...more

5/28/2014 - Data Breach Data Protection FOIA Request For Information

Myth No. 6: We don’t have to market to federal agencies like we do in the commercial sector

In the online world we live in, someone might believe that the only thing necessary to chase Government business is to log on to FedBizOpps. That would be a mistake. Indeed, many a veteran will tell you that by the time an...more

5/22/2014 - Federal Contractors

Ten Myths of Government Contracting: Myth No. 5: My prime contractor will tell me what clauses should be in our subcontract

I have lost count of the number of times I have heard this one. Anyone who believes it is true needs some immediate counseling, because this is a recipe for disaster. Let’s start by stating the obvious: a prime contractor has...more

5/15/2014 - Construction Disputes Contract Disputes Contractors Federal Contractors Subcontractors

Ten myths of government contracting: Myth No. 4 - Subcontractors aren’t as exposed as primes

How many times have you heard this? My response is always the same: Have you actually read any of your subcontracts? I already know the answer to that question, of course, because no one who has read a properly drafted...more

5/12/2014 - Choice-of-Law Contractors Federal Contractors Privity of Contract Subcontractors

Ten myths of government contracting: Myth No. 3: The contracting officer isn’t really our customer

One of the most significant differences between commercial contracting and Government contracting is the presence and importance of a person called the “Contracting Officer.” There is really no commercial equivalent of the...more

5/7/2014 - Administrative Procedure Act Commercial Contracts Federal Contractors GAO Government Officials

Ten myths of government contracting: Myth No. 2 - We should always protest

The decision to file a protest highlights one of the unique features of contracting with the U.S. Government, involving as it does a long list of questions that must be addressed and the pressure of having to decide whether...more

4/24/2014 - Contractors Federal Contractors

Ten myths of government contracting: Myth No. 1 - We should never protest

Bid protests are an intimidating aspect of Government contracting, not only because they usually mean hiring a lawyer, but also because most people don’t even like the thought of suing their customer. Protests certainly are...more

4/15/2014 - Bid Protests Boeing Competition Federal Contractors Federal Procurement Systems GAO

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