NASBP-logoStay up to date on all things surety-related with the NASBP SmartBrief, news targeted for surety professionals. Click here to read the complete July SmartBrief presented by NASBP. Here are some of the top news headlines:

Court’s Decision could multiply fines for misbehaving contractors

Contractors accused of misleading the government under the False Claims Act could face penalties of $5,000 to $11,000 on each invoice they submitted during the course of the contract, a federal court has ruled. The penalties would be assessed even if the invoices were accurate or if the government sustained no damages as a result of the fraud, according to the decision. The result for contractors who settle or are convicted on false-claims accusations could be millions of dollars in fines, experts say. The Supreme Court will consider whether to take up the issue.

Read more in The Washington Post.

City Official Regrets Not Requiring a Performance Bond

Springfield, Mass., plans to file a breach-of-contract lawsuit against a contractor who wasn’t required to obtain a performance bond before beginning a downtown-redevelopment project. The city sold the former school department’s headquarters to the developer for $1 in 2011 with the expectation that it would be converted to market-rate apartments in 18 months. “Shame on us for not asking for the performance bond,” said a City Council member who had suggested the requirement as part of the deal.

Read more in The Republican (Springfield, MA).

S. Fla. embraces opportunities through regulations supporting P3s

Florida, Miami-Dade County and Miami have taken action to enable the use of public-private partnerships to procure projects, such as the PortMiami Tunnel. Miami’s P3 ordinance includes “unsolicited proposal” provisions that could spur the development of private-sector innovations and technology, and enable the private sector to share growth opportunities with the government, Rena Kelley and Albert Dotson Jr. write.

Read more in The National Law Review.

Road Construction in South Dakota Hinges on Restoration of Trust Fund

South Dakota’s economy could suffer if the Senate fails to approve a bill that provides a short-term fix for the Highway Trust Fund, state officials say. The House has passed an interim measure restoring funding for new roads and highways. “Congressional Republicans need to end the games they are playing with the [trust fund] and let the rubber hit the road today for the sake of our economy, transportation safety, and international competitiveness,” said Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D.

Read more in the Argus Leader.

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