Summer 2024 - MGT 5231 – Government Contract Law (CRN  61541 )


 Professors’ Names

James N. Altiere, III


Professors’ Phones


Professor's         emails



Course Description



MGT 5231 Government Contract Law (3 credits).  Focuses on the method rather than the material. Uses the case method of study and basic source material to cover all facets of procurement law.  Emphasizes legal methods, logic, and the developmental concepts of procurement law. 



Textbook (Required)

Government Contract Law in the Twenty-First Century, Charles Tiefer and William A. Shook, Carolina Academic Press, 2012, (ISBN:  978-1-59460-804-9). The Virtual bookstore is located at There is also a 2017 Supplement, however, I do not use the 2017 Supplement.  Please order your book as soon as possible. The case briefs and readings are subject to change.



Course Objectives



1. Discuss the basic concepts of government procurement law;

2.  Compare and contrast Government Contract Law from Common Law and the Uniform Commercial Code;

3. Describe the framework in which contracts are negotiated, executed, implement and monitored; and

4. Explain the consequences of failing to comply with the statutes and regulations.



Course Grade Scale






Your grade in this course will be based on your demonstrated competence on case briefs discussions, exams, and the Ethics Paper. While the final examination will be comprehensive a majority of its content will be based on the material covered after the midterm term.  The final examination will not be a proctored exam.  The proportional contribution of each will be:



Percentage of Grade

Case Briefs


Discussion Questions


Midterm Exam


Final Examination



The grading scale for this class is 90-100 A, 80-89 B, 70-79 C, 60-69 D and below 60 is an F. 



Note: Late assignments may receive a reduced score as a result of the late submission.  The later the submission the more points that are subject to deduction.  If an assignment has not been submitted within 2 weeks of the due date a score of zero may be assigned.  If there is a problem with submitting an assignment, please contact me as soon as the issue arises.


While this is a distance learning class and there is no scheduled class it is expected that the students will turn in assignments on time.  In addition, since other students are required to respond to your initial discussion question posting, it is expected that you will make your initial posting earlier in the week and not wait until Sunday night to make an initial posting.  If this becomes a problem, steps will be taken to correct it.






Special Instructions


Discussion Questions – Each week I will post discussion questions in the Discussion Forums section of CANVAS for you to submit your comments.  For the discussion question, I expect each student to give me their unique answer to the question presented.  Each student should attempt to provide an answer that is different from those submitted by other students.  Please limit your comments to one issue per question and do not “shotgun” (give every possible answer that might be applicable) the answer.  Students should also comment on the submissions of other students. 


Case Briefs – You have been assigned a case or two to brief each week.  When preparing your brief, in separate paragraphs, provide a brief summary of the facts, the issue being decided, the applicable rule (law, statute, or regulation being applied), a description of the application of the rule and finally the conclusion of the case.  For FIT records retention purposes the preferred method for submitting case briefs is through CANVAS.  Alternatively, they may be submitted by email to Discussion question responses and case briefs are to be submitted by 11:59 pm Sunday of the week assigned.



Zoom Meetings




There is a voluntary Zoom meeting tentatively scheduled for 8:00 pm EDT, Tuesday, May 14th.  The purpose of the call is to go over briefing cases. 

A second Zoom voluntary call is tentatively scheduled for 8:00 pm EDT, Wednesday, May 22th.  If you are not able to attend the calls you can call view them under the Panopto Recording tab at your convenience








Readings and Assignments















Week 1

May 13




Chapter 1 – Government Contracting Doctrines


Brief – Donald C. Winter, Secretary of the Navy v. Cath-dr/Balti Joint Venture page 31. 


Introduction to case briefing


I plan on holding a voluntary Zoom call on Tuesday, May 14th, at 8:00 pm, EDT to discuss how to brief a case.  Please note the time is subject to change depending on where students are located as the time may be too early for students living on the west coast. If you are not able to attend the chat session, you can review the transcript at a later date.

If possible, please have read Mil-Spec Contractors, Inc. v. United States, on pages 21 to 25 of the textbook.  Also review the material on the class site for additional information regarding briefing a case.  I would also encourage you to try briefing Mil-Spec prior to the chat session.  I will not be collecting it but it will let you know where you are headed in the right direction and where you may need to ask questions during the chat session.  

If you have any questions after reading the material on the website and attending the chat session, please email or call me.

Finally, if you haven’t already done so please prepare a short introductory description of yourself for the class and post it to the discussion area.


Week 2

May 20

Chapter 2 – Sealed Bids and Competitive Proposals

Chapter 3 – Commercial, IDIQ, and MAS Contracting


Read Chapters 2 and 3


Reply to the discussion question(s) for the week.


Brief – W & D Ship Deck Works, Inc. v. United States.  p. 89

Brief – Decision Matter of:  DynCorp International LLC p. 148


On May 22th there is a tentative voluntary Zoom call to follow-up on briefing and discuss the class in general chat at 8:00 pm EDT


Week 3

May 27

Chapter 4 – Contract Types, Costs and Budgets

Chapter 5 – Contract Administration


Read Chapter 4 and 5


Reply to the discussion question(s) for the week.


Brief – United States v. Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company p. 191.


Brief - United States v. Spearin p. 225.


Week 4

June 3

Chapter 6 – Changes and Delays and Chapter 7 – Intellectual Property


Read Chapters 6 and 7


Reply to the discussion question(s) for the week.


Brief – General Builders Supply Co., Inc. v. United States  p. 273

          Data Enterprises v. General Services Administration p. 315

Week 5

June 10


Chapter 8 – Small Business and Contractors

Chapter 9 – Health Care


Read Chapters 8 and 9


Reply to the discussion question(s) for the week.


Brief – W. G. Yates & Sons Construction v Caldera p. 334

Brief - Donna E. Shalala  Secretary of Health and Human Services v. Guernsey Memorial Hospital p. 393

 Week 6

June 17


Midterm – The midterm is not a proctored exam and must be returned by 11:59 pm EDT June 23th.


Chapter 11 – International Procurement and Afghanistan and Iraq Wars

(Section A only, pages 461 to 471.  Not included on Midterm, may be included on


Week 7

June 24


Chapter 10 – Construction; and

Chapter 12 – Government and the Contractor Labor Force


Read Chapters 10 and 12


Reply to the discussion question(s) for the week.


Brief – National American Insurance Co. v. United States p. 435

Brief – Janik Paving & Construction, Inc. v. William E. Brock, III, as Secretary of the United States Department of Labor p. 503.

Week 8

July 1

Chapter 13 – Termination for Convenience; and

Chapter 14 – Termination for Default


Read Chapters 13 and 14


Reply to the discussion question(s) for the week.


Brief – Darwin Construction Co., Inc. v. United States  p. 582

Week 9

July 8

Chapter 15 – Bid Protest and Chapter 16 – Disputes and Other Remedies

Read Chapters 15 and 16


There is no discussion question this week.


Brief – United States v. Fred L. Hatfield, Sr., d/b/a/ HVAC Construction Co., Inc. p 644

Week 10

July 15














Chapter 17 – False Claims and Defective Pricing

Chapter 19 – Government Breach and Takings


Read Chapters 17 and 19


There is no discussion question this week.


Brief – Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. v. United States ex rel. Stevens  p. 669  The Issue in this case is not the False Claims Act but the procedural matter that addresses a technical matter that an individual like Steven's needs to meet in order to bring suit. 


Brief – Mobile Oil Exploration & Southeast, Inc. v. United States p. 740

Week 11

July 22



Chapter 18 – Ethics


Final Comprehensive Exam – The Final Exam is not a proctored exam.  It is required to be returned by 5:00 EDT PM, on Friday, July 26th.



General Information

Last updated: October 29, 2020

Recording Disclosure:



Portions of this course will be recorded and available to course participants. Students are subject to having their images and voices recorded during certain

activities for the purpose of self-evaluation, peer-evaluation, presentations, assessments, and/or discussions. Course participants should have no expectation of privacy regarding their participation in classroom presentations, discussions, or peer activities.


Academic Honesty Definitions & Procedures


Is located in the student handbook at


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Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs and activities.  Florida Institute of Technology policy also prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.

Florida Tech faculty are committed to helping create a safe learning environment for all students that is free from all forms of discrimination and sexual harassment, including sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.  If you, or someone you know, have experienced or is experiencing any of these behaviors, know that help and support are available.

Florida Tech strongly encourages all members of the community to take action, seek support, and report any incident of sexual harassment or gender discrimination to Fanak Baarmand, Title IX Coordinator at 321-674-8885 or

Please note that as your professor, I am required to report any incidents to the Title IX Coordinator.  If you wish to speak to an employee who does not have this reporting responsibility, please contact the Student Counseling Center at 321-674-8050.



We are all bound by confidentiality in this class. Possibly, students may want to discuss their company and its policies and procedures as applied to the class material. Perhaps the student will want to provide a paper on a company confidential project. In order to assure that we can have a free and open discussion, it is expected that each student will respect the confidentiality of any materials that classmates are willing to share.

Incomplete Grade Information


An I is given for incomplete work that has occurred because of circumstances beyond the student's control. It indicates that the work of the student in the course is qualitatively satisfactory and that there is reasonable expectancy that completion of the remaining work would result in a passing grade. The instructor will furnish the head of the department with a statement of the work to be completed. The student must complete the work at the earliest possible time, but prior to the end of the sixth week of the following semester unless an earlier deadline is established at the time the I is recorded and the student is notified of this fact. A waiver of the six-week limitation requires special written permission of the cognizant dean. The I will automatically become an F at the beginning of the seventh week unless an approved waiver has been filed with the Office of the Registrar.

Withdrawal Policy


The deadline to drop a course with a grade of W is at the end of the tenth week of classes. Please consult the academic calendar for the exact date for your course. Refer to the university's Web site for the complete Drop/Withdrawal Policy.

Academic Accommodations


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Email: Website:


Technical Support


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Internet access: Students must have their own Internet Service Provider, which is not supplied by an employer either in the private or public sector, in order to take a Distance Learning course. Exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis by the instructor prior to the beginning of the semester. You must have full, unrestricted access to the Internet and email. (Note: Businesses and government agencies often use firewalls to limit network access for their employees. This limited access often causes problems for students, which is why having your own service provider is required.)

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