Secretary of Defense v. Raytheon Co., No. 21-2304 (Fed. Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
Raytheon has cost-reimbursement government contracts. Raytheon’s Government Relations Department engaged in information gathering, internal discussions on lobbying strategies, attending meals with contractors and Congresspeople or staff, meeting with internal Raytheon customers, attending political fundraisers, administering Raytheon’s Political Action Committee, interfacing with the legislative branch, responding to requests from Congressional staffers, and similar activities. Raytheon instructed employees to record all compensated time spent on lobbying activities. Accounting personnel withdrew costs associated with that time from Raytheon’s incurred-cost submissions. Raytheon’s employees considered time worked outside of regular hours part of their regular work duties, yet Raytheon’s policy instructed them not to report “[t]ime spent on lobby activity after the scheduled working day.” Raytheon’s Corporate Development Department worked with Raytheon’s business units, including internal investment, research and development, intellectual property licensing, partnerships, or acquisitions. Corporate Development had rules establishing when employees begin recording their time on acquisitions and divestitures.
In 2007-2008, Raytheon charged the government for roughly half of the salary costs of its Government Relations and Corporate Development Departments. The Defense Contract Audit Agency audited both departments, determined that Raytheon’s incurred-cost submissions for those departments included unallowable costs, and demanded reimbursement and penalties. The Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals ruled in favor of Raytheon. The Federal Circuit reversed. The Board erred in interpreting Raytheon’s corporate practices and policies, which are inconsistent with the Federal Acquisition Regulation and led Raytheon to charge the government for unallowable costs.