Employee Secrecy Pacts Don't End Whistleblower Threat
August 15, 2014 — Law360
Washington, D.C.-based Government Contracts Group co-chair, Angela B. Styles, shares with Law360 her thoughts on False Claims Act allegation cases. Styles believes that simply getting a defensible confidentiality agreement or litigation waiver in place isn't always enough for companies looking to protect themselves. "It's not the agreement that's critical, it's the employee's understanding of what's confidential and proprietary," Styles said.
5 Tips For Internal False Claims Act Investigations
August 13, 2014 — Law360
Angela B. Styles, co-chair of Crowell & Moring's Government Contracts Group, shares her insights on False Claims Act investigation cases and provides helpful tips for outside counsel and internal employees. Styles warns that outside attorneys, like herself, often have to overcome poor first impressions with the internal employees they’re interviewing. She noted that it's crucial to quickly develop a rapport and deliver an "Upjohn warning," reminding them that they represent only the corporation and not the individual, in a way that is both gentle and clear, allowing the interview to proceed smoothly.
Female Powerbrokers Q&A: Crowell's Angela Styles
January 27, 2014 — Government Contracts Law360
Angela Styles, co-chair of Crowell & Moring's Government Contracts Group, tells Law360 about her experience as a successful woman in what many consider to be "an old boys' network," and answers other questions in the publication's "Female Powerbrokers Q&A" series. Included in her advice to aspiring female lawyers, "The women lawyers that are most successful in law firms and companies are those that truly enjoy the work. The reality is that success takes an extraordinary commitment to clients and the practice of law in terms of both hours and sheer personal dedication."
Shutdown Could Slow Bid Protest Decisions
October 2, 2013 — Federal Computer Week
Washington, D.C.-based Government Contracts Group co-chair, Angela B. Styles, shares her insight on the issues bid protesters could expect due to the government shutdown. According to Styles, "…The timing of the shutdown and the traditional end-of-fiscal year spike in contract awards could produce a backlog of protests and subsequent delays at GAO and potentially other agencies when the government opens up and work starts flowing again."
Law Firms Fear Business Will Slow Because of U.S. Gov't Shutdown
October 2, 2013 — Reuters News
Angela B. Styles, Washington, D.C.-based Government Contracts Group co-chair, speaks to Reuters about how the government shutdown will impact law firms that handle government contracting work. She says, "We're not going to be receiving subpoenas over the next couple weeks, and there aren't going to be Inspector General investigations."
Contractors Brace For Shutdown's Delays And Costs
October 1, 2013 — Government Contracts Law360
Co-Chair of Crowell & Moring's Government Contracts Group, Angela Styles, tells Law360 how contractors are going to be impacted by a government shutdown. She says, "at locations where contractors and federal employees work side by side, contractors might also be asked to perform significant additional work to cover for furloughed and absent government employees." Styles continues, "Federal furloughs will affect contractors in other important ways. A contractor who has been suspended or debarred, for example, may be unable to work with government officials to get off the blacklist, and companies pursuing bid protests will be unable to resolve their disputes quickly."
Contractor Suspensions Inconsistent, House Panel Hears
June 13, 2013 — Law360
Angela Styles, Washington, D.C.-based partner and chair of Crowell & Moring's Government Contracts Group who is also a former head of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, testified at the House Oversight Committee hearing on the topic, "Protecting Taxpayer Dollars: Is the Government Using Suspension and Debarment Effectively?" In the course of her informative testimony, Styles stated, "I have great confidence in the abilities, objectivity and fairness of [suspension and debarment officers] working in these three agencies. I am less confident, however, that the agencies new to suspension and debarment can ensure fairness and consistency without some modifications to the current system."
Big Firms Win Billions of Dollars in Contracts Aimed at Small Companies
November 19, 2012 — The Washington Post
Angela Styles, Washington, D.C.-based partner and chair of the firm's Government Contracts Practice, discusses how some government contracts may have been misdirected because of possible lack of enforcement by the Small Business Administration.
Post-Election Period Holds Little Relief For Contractors
October 24, 2012 — Law360
Angela Styles, Washington, D.C.-based partner and chair of Crowell & Moring's Government Contracts Group, comments on changes contractors can expect after the presidential election, no matter who is elected into office.
Suspension and Debarments Rise Amid Pressure from Congress
June 14, 2012 — Federal News Radio
Washington, D.C.-based chair of Crowell & Moring's Government Contracts Group, Angela B. Styles, speaks to Federal News Radio about federal agencies' increased use of suspension and debarment processes to eliminate irresponsible contractors.
According to Styles, "We've had a very significant increase in the number of companies and individuals we've been representing in suspension and debarment matters. We used to have three or four in a year. We probably have 10 or 15 a year now." Styles points out that pressure from Congress to increase the use of suspension and debarment is a factor and notes, "Suspension and debarment officials really do consider now that they have much greater breadth."
Contractors Overload Agencies By Reporting Smallest Frauds
April 20, 2012 — Government Contracts Law360
Washington, D.C.-based chair of Crowell & Moring's Government Contracts Group, Angela B. Styles, speaks to Government Contracts Law360 about government contractors' caution in disclosing overpayments or potential fraud, as mandated by a 2008 rule.
According to Styles, "Contractors assumed when the rule came out that the government was going to overreact to disclosures, and generally it has not. As a general proposition, the disclosures have been handled very appropriately by the government."
Contractors Oppose Defense Bill's No-Bid Research Provision
April 13, 2012 — Government Contracts Law360
Washington, D.C.-based chair of Crowell & Moring's Government Contracts Group, Angela B. Styles, speaks to Government Contracts Law360 about a contractor group that urged lawmakers to reject a legislative proposal that would grant the U.S. Department of Defense the ability to award no-bid, multiyear contracts to federally funded research and development centers, saying the DOD request would unnecessarily limit competition.
According to the article, Styles said that because of those long-term agreements, government agencies already have incentive to turn to their Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) partners rather than seeking competition from other contractors. She noted, "They already are anti-competitive, so for them to have a different set of rules is bizarre."
DCAA Needs More Staff, Powers To Do Its Job
March 28, 2012 — Government Contracts Law360
Washington, D.C.-based chair of Crowell & Moring’s Government Contracts Group, Angela B. Styles, speaks to Government Contracts Law360 about the need to give the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) more resources to strengthen auditing of contractors.
According to Styles, "The agency already has subpoena authority over contractor records related to audits, and was shot down in court after an auditor sought to expand that authority to include income tax records and financial statements. The agency also already has its own general counsel, and separating it from the Pentagon is unnecessary." She also added that, "They're trying to make DCAA into something it was never intended to be," Styles said. "I'm not sure why you'd want it to be independent of the DOD."
Crowell & Moring Featured in Law360's Largest Government Contracts Practice List
February 10, 2012 — Government Contracts Law360
The firm's Government Contracts Group, and chair Angela B. Styles, are featured in a Government Contracts Law360 article discussing the country's top Government Contracting firms. According to the article, "the practice group's size gives the firm considerable 'bench strength,' allowing Crowell & Moring the freedom to devote more government contract experts than most firms can muster, if the situation requires."
According to Styles, "A lot of time, there are cases that we need to bring a significant number of people to. If it's a bet-the-company protest, we're going to put 10 people on it. We have the bench strength to really cover everything."
Appropriations Act Will Shake Up Contractor Suspensions
February 3, 2012 — Government Contracts Law360
Washington, D.C.-based chair of Crowell & Moring's Government Contracts Group, Angela B. Styles, speaks to Government Contracts Law360 about the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012. The Act will exclude companies from government contracts by preventing agencies from contracting with companies convicted of a crime unless they first formally consider using suspension or debarment tools.
According to Styles, "The statute applies to 'corporations,' not 'contractors,' opening up ambiguities about how it should be applied if a contractor's affiliated companies are the ones that are convicted." She also added that "the appropriations language for most of the affected agencies — but not the DOD — also triggers the ban if an 'officer or agent' of a corporation is convicted or owes taxes, adding another layer of ambiguity, as the executive branch works out how to define 'agent' in this context."
Government Contracts Group of the Year: Crowell
January 25, 2012 — Government Contracts Law360
Government Contracts Group attorneys, including Washington, D.C.-based chair Angela B. Styles, and partners Daniel R. Forman and Amy Laderberg O'Sullivan, speak to Law360 about the Group's numerous victories in 2011, as well as the very important, yet confidential, work the firm does for its clients behind the scenes.
According to Styles, "Fifty percent of what we do is work where there's never going to be a public decision or anything that enters the public record. There's a lot of work that we do for companies, in terms of suspension and debarment, that never hits the newspapers."
Regarding the strength of the Group, Forman notes, "We truly have experts in every substantive government contracts area, and I don't think any other
practice in the country can genuinely say that."
Contractor Accountability: Attorneys Predict More Risk, Less Reward For Government Contractors in 2012
January 20, 2012 — BNA's Federal Contracts Report
Washington, D.C.-based Government Contract Group attorneys are quoted in BNA’s Federal Contracts Report’s coverage of a recent webinar conducted by the group titled, “What Will the New Year Bring for Government Contractors.”
According to senior counsel W. Stanfield (Stan) Johnson, “The procurement climate in 2012 will be marked by less business as program cuts and terminations grow. The contracts you get will be riskier. Firm-fixed price contracts will increase, while cost reimbursement contracts will decline.”
Additional Crowell & Moring attorneys cited in the article included Government Contracts Group chair Angela B. Styles, partners J. Chris Haile and J. Catherine Kunz, and counsel Robert J. Wagman.
Government Contractors Should Prepare For More Terminations, Attorney Tells BNA
September 9, 2011 — BNA Federal Contracts Report
Washington, D.C.-based chair of Crowell & Moring’s Government Contracts Group Angela B. Styles is highlighted in a BNA Federal Contracts Report feature Q&A on the uptick in contract awards and protests between now and the end of FY 2011. In the Q&A, Styles discussed her predictions that contract terminations will become more common in the coming era of supercommittees and sequestration, and her thoughts on how to best prepare.
According to Styles, “Terminations will have to rise. If you're talking about $100 billion in cuts next year at DOD, you have to terminate contracts and programs. There's no other way to find the money… We're trying to make sure they [clients] know how the process will work. There were few who knew much about sequestration when it happened before. We're trying to make sure we can inform them about what's going on so they know how to handle terminations—how the process works and how they can recover money the government still owes them.”
U.S. Cuts About 100 Million Checks Per Month
July 29, 2011 — Reuters
Chair of Crowell & Moring’s Government Contracts Group, Angela B. Styles, is featured for her thoughts on government contractors facing a possible interruption in payment if the debt ceiling is not increased.
According to Styles, "When you sign up for a government contract, you have a duty to perform. And that's without regard to if the government is paying you."
FAPIIS Rules Open New Front In Procurement Battles
May 18, 2011 — Government Contracts Law360
Government Contracts Group chair Angela B. Styles talks with Government Contracts Law360 about the new public federal database on government contractors, Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS), and what it means for contractors seeking government work. FAPIIS, which became public April 15, provides government contracting officers a single-source database for assessing contractors' level of integrity, past performance and responsibility. Many believe the database is a new potential battleground for procurement competition.
According to Styles, "In addition to a greater potential for bid protests, omissions in the self-reported data could expose a company to fraud suits under the False Claims Act, because new contracts will require certification that the company is in compliance with the FAPIIS reporting requirements."
Government Contracts Group of the Year: Crowell
January 31, 2011 — Government Contracts Law 360
Government Contracts Law360 has named Crowell & Moring LLP as having one of their 2010 government contracts "Groups of the Year." Angela B. Styles, chair of the firm's Government Contracts Group, along with partners' Thomas P. Humphrey, and Daniel R. Forman are featured in the article, which looks at the group's 2010 case portolio and notable accomplishments.
Government Contracts Special Report: Contracting Experts Critique Obama's Transparency Push
March 30, 2009 — Washington Business Journal
Crowell & Moring LLP Government Contracts Group partner Angela B. Styles is featured for offering tips to prospective contractors while she prepares her clients for the Obama Administration’s government contracting reform. Tips include: 1.) Identify and assess how and where contracts are being executed; 2.) Prepare for audits and questions about contract costs and price points; 3.) Establish or revisit compliance programs; 4.) Understand what your business provides to the government and how government handles that business; 5.) Decide whether the expected risk of increased scrutiny is worth contracting with the government; and 6.) Prove your worth by communicating what makes your business a good government contractor.
Obama Orders Overhaul of 'Broken' US Contracting
March 5, 2009 — Associated Press, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Legal Times, BNA's Daily Report for Executives, BNA's Federal Contracts Report, Federal Computer Week, GovernmentExecutive.com, and Federal News Radio 1500/820 AM.
Crowell & Moring LLP Government Contracts Group partner Angela B. Styles is featured in the Associated Press for her comments on President Obama's March 4, 2009 memo on reforming government contracting. Styles, and other members of the firm's Government Contracts Group, was also quoted on this matter in the following publications: Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Legal Times, BNA's Daily Report for Executives, BNA's Federal Contracts Report, Federal Computer Week GovernmentExecutive.com, and Federal News Radio 1500/820 AM.
Can't Lose For Winning; Government Contract Lawyers Will be Busy Under the Obama Administration
January 1, 2009 — American Lawyer
Crowell & Moring Government Contracts Group partner Angela B. Styles is featured for her comments on federal contracting reform under the Obama administration.
Moves to Include Business Ethics Mandates in FAR Causing Consternation for Contractors
December 11, 2007 — BNA’s Federal Contracts Report
Crowell & Moring Government Contracts Group senior counsel Richard J. Bednar and partner Angela B. Styles are featured for their comments made during the firm’s Government Contracts Group webinar presented on November 29, 2007 titled, “Contractor Compliance Programs: What's DOJ Got To Do With It .” The BNA Federal Contracts Report article discussed the Federal Acquisition Regulation Council’s final rule mandating contractor compliance programs for contractors and subcontractors performing covered contracts. This final rule comes on the heels of a request by the Department of Justice to the FAR Council to impose several additional requirements on federal contractors, including a mandatory obligation to disclose criminal conduct to the government and to "fully cooperate" with government auditors and investigators.