Jacobs Project Management Co v. United States Department of the Interior, No. 22-1147 (3d Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
In 2014, National Park Service (NPS) entered a contract with Perini to perform work on Ellis Island and hired Jacobs to provide contract management services on that contract. Jacobs assigned Weber to the project. Weber observed what he believed to be discrepancies between Perini’s work and its billing practices and disclosed those discrepancies to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), which concluded that there was no misconduct. In 2015, the NPS informed Jacobs that it would not extend its contract, purportedly because there was not enough work. Weber told OIG that he believed NPS’s decision was due to his reports and that he feared Jacobs would not retain him. Jacobs ultimately discharged Weber, who filed an OIG complaint in December 2015. In April 2016, Weber agreed to, an extension of OIG’s 180-day statutory deadline to complete its investigation. In February 2017, beyond the 360-day extended deadline, OIG completed and transmitted its report, with redacted copies to Weber and Jacobs. More than three years later, Jacobs asserted that it had never received the report.
Jacobs subsequently declined to respond, asserting that the report was issued after the statutory deadline, 41 U.S.C. 4712, and that OIG lacked jurisdiction. The final determination and order were issued in December 2021, well beyond the 30-day deadline, and concluded that Jacobs had engaged in a prohibited reprisal against Weber. The Third Circuit denied an appeal, holding that the deadlines are not jurisdictional.