Attorneys: Expect stringent oversight to fight fraud amid federal stimulus | Contractors should prepare for changed construction sites, operations | Calif. appeals court: Little Miller Act trumps surety law, pay-when-paid provision
May 6, 2020
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Leading News
Oversight of the federal government stimulus during the coronavirus pandemic will be "vigorous" to keep false claims and other fraud in check, two attorneys write. Companies should carefully document for audit purposes how they have used any relief funds, and they need to stay focused on their compliance policies, the attorneys write.
Full Story: JD Supra/Jackson Walker (4/30) 
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Contractors should prepare for changed construction sites, operations
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
The coronavirus pandemic is changing construction by highlighting the need for clean work sites where technology is increasingly used to ensure proper distancing between employees, according to experts. The pandemic is also likely to increase projects' duration and heighten demand for health care, distribution and warehouse facilities, experts say.
Full Story: Construction Dive (4/30) 
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A California appeals court recently held that industry standard pay-when-paid clauses run afoul of state law because they can impair subcontractors' bond claim rights by indefinitely delaying their ability to recover payment. This important decision likely will be used in future cases to challenge other standard contract terms, two attorneys write.
Full Story: Smith Currie (4/30) 
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Benefits of an In-House Surety Claims Team
The best surety claims teams often combine expertise, efficiency, and clear communication, plus seamless integration with other business teams. The benefits of in-house surety claims teams are magnified during times like these, highlighting how crucial it is to partner with a well-rounded surety that can help navigate complex situations and work to help find the best possible solutions. Learn More Here
Industry News
Businesses applying for loans through the Paycheck Protection Program must ensure they qualify for the program and that their applications are accurate. Even minor technical errors could be construed as fraud and lead to an enforcement action years down the road, attorneys write.
Full Story: JD Supra/Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough (4/28) 
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Risk & Compliance
The Small Business Administration has clarified eligibility requirements for the Paycheck Protection Program, with the main one being that a business must provide a good-faith certification that it needs the loan and cannot tap into other sources of liquidity. The SBA also has established a safe harbor provision holding businesses harmless for certification-related mistakes if they pay back the full amount of their loans by May 14.
Full Story: JD Supra/Littler Mendelson (5/4),  BNN Bloomberg (Canada) (5/5) 
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Association News
NASBP Blog: Register for "Bonding with Bandwidth," the May 20 Virtual Event for NASBP Members, Affiliates, and Associates
Clear your calendar for the May 20 NASBP Virtual Event: Bonding with Bandwidth! This complimentary event for NASBP Members, Affiliates, and Associates will be a unique experience for the membership from 1 to 4 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, May 20. Join us to learn information specific to the surety industry during two panel discussions, one on the industry's efforts to obtain electronic bonding acceptance and the second on False Claims Act liability implications for surety professionals. In addition, the new NASBP Board of Directors for 2020-2021 will be announced and awards will be presented to recognize NASBP colleagues' contributions to the industry. The event will include remarks from outgoing NASBP President John Bustard and from the incoming 2020-2021 NASBP president. Register now to join us on May 20.
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New episode of NASBP podcast "Let's Get Surety" dives into PPP and False Claims Act Risk
New episode of NASBP podcast "Let's Get Surety" dives into PPP and False Claims Act Risk
Robbins (NASBP)
The NASBP podcast "Let's Get Surety: Let Me Hear Your Bonding Talk" is back with a new episode! In episode nine, "Stimulus Law Paycheck Protection Program and False Claims Act Risk," host Kat Shamapande and co-host Mark McCallum talk with guest David Robbins with Crowell & Moring. They discuss the COVID-19 stimulus law Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the False Claims Act risk, with Robbins sharing insight regarding the safe harbor time frame ending May 7 (extended to May 14 after this podcast was recorded), what to expect from impending audits and enforcement, and lessons learned from past disasters and from the first round of PPP fund disbursements. Consider also listening to the NASBP Virtual Seminar where Robbins provides a deeper dive into this important and timely topic, "False Claims Act and Enforcement Risks of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)." Access this and other "Let's Get Surety" episodes from any of these systems: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or SuretyLearn. Be guaranteed to succeed!
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May 12 NASBP Virtual Seminar: Planning Now to Prove Your COVID-19 Damages and Delays Later
May 12 NASBP Virtual Seminar: Planning Now to Prove Your COVID-19 Damages and Delays Later
Zisa, left, and Lange (NASBP)
Join us for this NASBP Virtual Seminar at 2 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, May 12: "Planning Now to Prove Your COVID-19 Damages and Delays Later." Presenters Mike Zisa and Lori Ann Lange, attorneys at Peckar & Abramson, will discuss force majeure and other contractual rights contractors can use to protect themselves from the impacts of COVID-19 as well as the steps that impacted contractors should take now to support claims for additional time and compensation arising from COVID-19. Register for this stand-alone NASBP Virtual Seminar or register for the NASBP 2020 Virtual Seminar Annual Subscription, the entire set of NASBP Virtual Seminars for 2020, and save! This NASBP Virtual Seminar is sponsored by Old Republic Surety. Register.
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Trends & Technology
The coronavirus pandemic is posing a test for construction project insurance coverages as well as the benchmarks that ratings agencies use for projects that are public-private partnerships. The pandemic also might become a test of how future contracts should be structured, experts say.
Full Story: JD Supra/Nossaman (4/28) 
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Opinion Poll
Is False Claims Act enforcement likely to increase because of the CARES Act?
Yes, significantly
Yes, moderately
Not sure
Are your construction contractor clients aware of the proper compliance steps to take when seeking federal stimulus funds?
VoteYes, most are
VoteYes, some are
VoteNo, most aren't
VoteNot sure
Leave every place you go, everything you touch, a little better for your having been there.
Julie Andrews,
actress, singer, writer
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Founded in 1942, NASBP is the association of and resource for surety bond producers and allied professionals. NASBP producers specialize in providing surety bonds for construction contracts and other purposes to companies and individuals needing the assurance offered by surety bonds.

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