As Budgets Tighten, Contract Attorneys Expect Uptick in Bid Protests

April 3, 2013

Two weeks after sequestration began, contract lawyer Bill Spriggs got a call from a vendor client upset that a federal contracting official had just ordered it to cut its price by 10 percent for “sequestration-related cuts” without a change in service levels.

Spriggs declined to name the contractor or agency, but said the dispute involved a non-defense civilian agency and a commercial item contract where changes can’t occur unless by mutual agreement.

“It’s the first time I’ve seen something like that,” said Spriggs, who runs the Spriggs Law Group in Virginia.

While lawyers sort out the dispute, the larger question is whether the incident was just an anomaly or perhaps an early sign that the sequester will bring about more contract disputes and bid protests.

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