Has the stimulus bill got you stimulated? Watch out, a government suitor can sometimes turn on you.
With over $350 billion available in stimulus funds for sectors including energy, infrastructure, construction, healthcare, education, public safety, and government services industries, a lot of companies are eager to get in the game, but unfamiliar with the rules.
More pillowtalk, after the jump.
Drew Harker, a partner from Arnold & Porter’s DC office, says companies that haven’t done business with the government should not be deterred, but need to understand what they will have to comply with. Simply put: Government contracts can involve a lot more paperwork, costs controls, auditing, and litigation risk than commercial contracts.
“A lot of companies have gotten in a lot of trouble because they haven’t followed the four corners of a government contract,” Harker said. “They will come back and audit you, and sometimes say you overcharged, and sometimes say you defrauded the government.”
“We’ll spend a lot of time talking about where the land mines are,” Harker said.
In San Francisco, Harker will be joined by Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Calif., a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Trenton Norris, managing partner of the firm’s office here.
In Santa Monica, the guest speaker will be Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
A panel will discuss the strings that come with government contracts as well as the increased auditing expected from California on any federal stimulus money it channels to contractors.
Government auditors have clamped down after emergency spending measures that followed the 9-11 attacks, Katrina and Iraq.
“A lot of times, the government was in a hurry to spend the money, and the contractors were in a hurry too, and they didn’t necessarily pay attention to the contractual requirements,” Harker said.
— Amanda Royal
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