United States v. CMS Contract Management Services
On April 20, 2015, Bancroft succeeded in defeating the Solicitor General’s petition for certiorari in United States v. CMS Contract Management Services, No. 14-781. This case involved the correct classification under the Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act, 31 U.S.C. 6301, et seq., of approximately $210 million in contracts through which the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development outsources certain administrative tasks associated with its project-based housing assistance contracts. After a competitive procurement process led HUD to award those contracts to a smaller number of more efficient public housing agencies, the incumbent state housing finance agencies who lost their contracts vociferously complained. HUD responded by reclassifying the contracts as “cooperative agreements” rather than procurement contracts, and then dispensing with the competitive processes that the Grant Act requires for procurement contracts. After the Federal Circuit rejected HUD’s efforts and concluded that the contracts are procurement contracts that must be awarded competitively, HUD filed a petition for certiorari, and the respondents hired Bancroft to defend their victory before the Supreme Court. Bancroft succeeded, persuading the Court to take the rare step of denying a petition filed by the Solicitor General. Paul D. Clement and Erin E. Murphy prepared the brief in opposition.