Practice Areas

Industry Experience

Mr. Bouquet’s work in the field of government contracts has involved many types of products and services in a wide range of industries.

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Reflections on Government Contracts

Vol. XII, No. 1

Spring 2020

The Defense Production Act is a Powerful Weapon in the War Against COVID-19

President Trump has referred to America’s fight against COVID-19 as a “medical war” and has mobilized the vast resources of the nation to wage this war. One of the more powerful weapons in his arsenal is the Defense Production Act of 1950 (the “DPA”), which authorizes an “array” of actions to mobilize the domestic industrial base for national defense. The DPA defines “national defense” broadly to include “activities and measures designed or undertaken to prepare for or minimize the effects of a hazard upon the civilian population [and] to deal with the immediate emergency conditions which would be created by the hazard.” Therefore, its authorities are available for use against COVID-19. To date, the President has issued three Executive Orders and three memoranda directing the exercise of DPA authorities in the war against COVID-19. This article provides an overview of these actions.

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How to Fight Unfair Treatment by Contracting Officers

The Federal Acquisition Regulation requires federal Contracting Officers (“COs”) to “ensure that contractors receive impartial, fair and equitable treatment.” This requirement is fundamental to our procurement system. COs have vast powers to make determinations and findings that can adversely affect the finances of contractors. When COs treat contractors unfairly, the private sector tends to lose faith in the government as a customer. As a result, excellent companies will stop offering needed products and services to the government or will include in the price of their government contracts appropriate contingencies to account for the risks and costs of such inequities. In either case, the taxpayers lose. In my twenty-five years of practicing government contracts law, I have encountered some COs who, with the support of agency lawyers, will take the time to focus on disputed issues and partner with my clients to develop a fair solution that is in the long-term best interests of the taxpayers and the contractor. However, in too many cases, I have seen COs who do not take this approach. Fortunately, there are a number of ways contractors can fight and even prevent unfair treatment by COs

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Biography

Chris Bouquet is an experienced businessman and government contracts lawyer. After college, he spent 11 years as a businessman, first serving as Assistant to the President of a company in Salem, Virginia and later as a Project Manager and Director of Government Operations for a government contractor in McLean, Virginia. While serving as a government contractor, he attended night school and received MBA and JD degrees. After law school, he served for nearly 14 years as a government contracts lawyer in McKenna Long & Aldridge's (MLA’s) Washington, DC office and as a pro bono lawyer for the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. In 2008, he opened his own law practice in Alexandria, Virginia, so that he could be closer to home, church and community and offer existing and new clients more cost effective access to his expertise. Throughout Mr. Bouquet’s career, he has been devoted to understanding his clients’ needs and providing leadership to develop and implement effective strategies to meet these needs.

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