719.8 Does the provision of protected documents from the contractor to the Department constitute a waiver of privilege§ 719.8 Does the provision of protected documents from the contractor to the Department constitute a waiver of privilege?
Contractors are required to provide detailed information about third-party claims and litigation to the Department. The Department and its contractors typically share common legal and strategic interests relating to pending or threatened litigation. The common interest between the parties is primarily rooted in the fact that the Department reimburses contractors for allowable costs incurred when litigation is threatened or initiated against contractors. However, other sources of the common interest between the Department and its contractors may include, but are not limited to, an interest in completion of the agency's important mission work and an interest in safe and efficient operation of the Department's facilities. To the extent documents associated with compliance with this part (e.g., Staffing and Resource Plans, invoices, engagement letters, settlement authority requests, and draft pleadings) are protected from disclosure to third parties because the items constitute attorney work product and/or involve attorney client communications, the contractor's provision of these items to the Department does not constitute a waiver of privilege. As long as the Department and the contractor share a common interest in the outcome of legal matters, this mutual legal interest permits the parties to share privileged material without waiving any applicable privilege.