September 02, 2016

Rebecca Pearson quoted in Law360 on impact of government shutdown on federal contractors

2 min

Venable partner Rebecca Pearson was quoted in a September 2, 2016 Law360 article on the impact of a government shutdown on federal contractors. While Congress has until the end of the month to pass legislation keeping the government funded, their process of passing continuing resolution in month-long increments has driven up costs, slowed efforts to reduce bureaucracy, and discouraged businesses from contracting with the government.

Pearson called the use of continuing resolutions "profoundly disruptive" to agencies and contractors. "It should be viewed as a negative. There’s this perception that a continuing resolution is no big deal, but it is terribly disruptive. It is so inefficient, it makes no sense," she said. "I think if there was a way to really get the public to understand how costly it is, they would be more up in arms about how stupid the whole thing is." She added that those involved in the process know it is not ideal. "I would not, if I were anybody, push it to the brink [of a shutdown]."

During periods where continuing are needed, Pearson said agencies turn to temporary, uncompetitive "bridge" contracts for billions of dollars in work. Meanwhile, agencies cannot start new bidding opportunities, businesses and subcontractors are left waiting, and smaller contractors can lose their sole customer.