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Title 10 Part 719 → Subpart F

Title 10 → Chapter III → Part 719 → Subpart F

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 10 Part 719 → Subpart F

e-CFR data is current as of December 3, 2019

Title 10Chapter IIIPart 719 → Subpart F


Title 10: Energy
PART 719—CONTRACTOR LEGAL MANAGEMENT REQUIREMENTS


§719.50   What authority does Department Counsel have?

(a) Department Counsel will receive written delegated authority from the contracting officer to serve as the contracting officer's representative for legal matters.

(b) Actions by Department Counsel may not exceed the responsibilities and limitations as delegated by the contracting officer. Delegated contracting officer representative authority shall not be construed to include the authority to execute or modify the contract or resolve any contract dispute arising under the contract. Additional discussion of the authority and limitation of contracting officers can be found at 48 CFR 1.602-1, and contracting officer's representatives at 48 CFR (DEAR) 942.270-1. The clause, Technical Direction, 48 CFR (DEAR) 952.242-70, also discusses the responsibilities and authority of a contracting officer's representative.

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§719.51   What information must be forwarded to the General Counsel's Office concerning contractor submissions to Department Counsel under this part?

Department Counsel must submit through the General Counsel reporting system, the reviewed costs and status updates for all matters involving retained counsel, including but not limited to contractor litigation. The reports are to be received by the 15th day of the month following the end of each quarter of the fiscal year.

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§719.52   What types of field actions must be coordinated with the General Counsel?

(a) Requests from contractors for exceptions or deviations from this part must be submitted to the contracting officer and Department Counsel, and approved by the General Counsel or his/her delegee.

(b) Requests from contractors for approval to initiate or defend litigation, or to appeal from adverse decisions, where legal issues of first impression, sensitive issues, issues of national significance to the Department or of broad applicability to the Government that might adversely impact its operations are involved must be coordinated by Department Counsel with the General Counsel or his/her delegee.

(c) Department Counsel must inform the General Counsel of any Significant Matter, as defined in this part, and must coordinate any action involving a Significant Matter with the General Counsel, or his/her delegee, as directed by the General Counsel or his/her delegee.

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Appendix A to Part 719—Guidance for Legal Resource Management

Management and Administration of Outside Legal Services

1.0   Alternative Dispute Resolution

2.0   Cost Allowability Issues

2.1   Underlying Cause for Incurrence of Costs

Attachment—Contractor Litigation and Legal Costs, Model Bill Format

Management and Administration of Outside Legal Services

This guidance is intended to assist contractors, contracting officers and retained legal counsel in managing the costs of outside legal services.

1.0   Alternative Dispute Resolution

Contractors are expected to evaluate all matters for appropriate alternative dispute resolution (ADR) at various stages of an issue in dispute, e.g., before a case is filed, during pre-discovery, after initial discovery and during pretrial. This evaluation should be done in coordination with the Department's ADR liaison if one has been established or appointed or Department Counsel if an ADR liaison has not been appointed. Contractors, contractor counsel, and Department Counsel are also encouraged to consult with the Department's Director of the Office of Conflict Prevention and Resolution. The Department anticipates that mediation will be the principal and most common method of alternative dispute resolution. Agreement to arbitrate should generally be consistent with the Administrative Dispute Resolution Act (incorporated in part at 5 U.S.C. 571, et seq.) and Department guidance issued under that Act. When a decision to arbitrate is made, a statement fixing the maximum award amount should be agreed to in advance by the participants.

2.0   Cost Allowability Issues

A determination of cost reasonableness depends on a variety of considerations and circumstances. 48 CFR 31.201-3 establishes that no presumption of reasonableness is attached to the incurrence of costs by a contractor.

2.1   Underlying Cause for Incurrence of Costs

While 10 CFR part 719 provides procedures associated with incurring and monitoring legal costs, the evaluation of the reason for the incurrence of the legal costs, e.g., liability, fault or avoidability, is a separate issue. The reason for the contractor incurring costs may affect the allowability of the contractor's legal costs. In some cases, the final determination of allowability of legal costs cannot be made until a matter is fully resolved. In certain circumstances, contract and cost principle language may permit conditional reimbursement of costs pending the outcome of the legal matter. Whether the Department makes conditional reimbursements or withholds any payment pending the outcome, legal costs ultimately reimbursed by the Department must comply with the applicable cost principles, the terms of the contract, and part 719.

Attachment—Contractor Litigation and Legal Costs, Model Bill Format

1. Model Bill Format

I—For Fees

Date of serviceDescription of serviceName or initials of attorneyApproved rateTime chargedAmount (rate × time)
(See Note 1 to this table).

II—For Disbursements

DateDescription of
disbursement
Amount
(See Note 1 to this table).

Note 1—Description of Service: All fees must be itemized and described in sufficient detail and specificity to reflect the purpose and nature of the work performed (e.g., subject matter researched or discussed; names of participants of calls/meetings; type of documents reviewed).

Note 2—Description of Disbursement: Description should be in sufficient detail to determine that the disbursement expense was in accordance with all applicable Department policies on reimbursement of contractor legal costs and the terms of engagement between the contractor and the retained legal counsel. The date the expense was incurred or disbursed should be listed rather than the date the expense was processed. The following should be itemized: copy charge (i.e., number of pages times the price per page); fax charges (date, phone number and actual amount); overnight delivery (date and amount); electronic research (date and amount); extraordinary postage (e.g., bulk or certified mail); court reporters; expert witness fees; filing fees; outside copying or binding charges; temporary help (assuming prior approval).

Note 3—Receipts: Receipts for all expenses equal to or above $75 must be attached.

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