Boston Business Law: Government Contracts Require Legal Review

A $2.5 million contract has been awarded to a research and development firm by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in an effort to enhance detection and prevention of Medicaid Fraud throughout the state. signacontract.jpg

The company, Dynamics Research Corporation, is one of thousands that can count themselves among the businesses that thrive by selling their services to the government.

Our Boston business attorneys know these contracts can make or break a small business, so it’s critical to have your attorney review the details of your contract before you sign it.

Having the government as a client can be a huge plus. For one, you know you’ll likely be paid in full and on time. It can mean steady work and income – which is gold in this current economic climate.

However, the government also is entitled to a fair, competitive price as a matter of law and wields enormous power and influence. A Massachusetts business law firm can often help you avoid pitfalls you may not even have considered.

Just landing a government contract is not as simple as it would be with a private client. You must go through the bidding process, in which the government is supposed to award the contract to the company who bids the lowest or is seen as the most competent.

The bidding process is supposed to be fair and transparent. However, that doesn’t always happen. When bids are unfairly awarded to another company over yours, you have the option of making a bid protest. The laws regarding this process are complex, which is why you’ll need an attorney to help ensure your rights are portected.

And even if you are awarded the bid, there are still some things to consider. First, as a contractor with the government, you need to understand that the details of that contract – including how much you are paid, and for what work – are most likely going to be considered public record and fair game to the public, should they choose to review it.

Next, understand that the government is going to have the home-court advantage with the contract. That’s because whatever service or goods your selling in their jurisdiction are going to be governed not only by federal and state laws, but also by local regulations, over which the local authorities have power. Know, too, that your contract will be or has already been thoroughly vetted by the city or county’s attorney. You deserve to have someone with the same legal knowledge scrutinizing that contract with you and your company’s interests in mind.

Even if you’ve worked with government agencies before, you may not have worked with this particular branch of government, or the rules may have changed since the last time you had a contract with them. Either way, it’s wise to have your attorney review all documents before you sign on the dotted line.

In the case of the DRC contract, the agency has been tapped to develop a model that will reveal improper Medicaid payments. It will also integrate current claims processing with newer technologies, so as to streamline the process. It’s an extensive project that’s going to require a great deal of time and energy from the contractor.

Regardless of the size of your company or contract, having an attorney to walk you through the process is essential.

The Brown Law Firm, LLC, has offices in Belmont and Boston. For a free and confidential consultation, call 617-489-0817 or contact us through this website.

Additional Resources:
DRC Awarded $2.5 Million Contract to Assist the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Detect and Prevent Medicaid Fraud, Press Release

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Boston Pizza Chain Under Fire, July 6, 2012, Boston Business Attorney Blog

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Boston Bar Assosiation