Spriggs Consulting Services

Optimizing Your Government Contract Business

William J. Spriggs, Principal



What law applies? The federal common law of contracts or state law? The UCC? What terms and conditions are mandatory flow down clauses? The need for specially written changes, termination for convenience, termination for default and disputes clauses. What are pass through agreements? How should they be written? What is sponsorship by the prime contractor? How to negotiate sponsorship. How to change the wording of mandatory flow down clauses. How to improve bargaining position with the prime contractor. How to avoid a government audit. How to properly administer a subcontract to make a profit.

Administration of Commercial Contracts

Getting familiar with FAR Part 12. What are the differences between the provisions of Part 12 and other government contract regulations? The commercial contract clauses. Is the Termination for Convenience clause fair? There is no changes clause. What does it mean to have no changes clause? How the constructive change doctrine developed and how it does not apply in commercial contracts. What happened to requests for equitable adjustment? Just what law does apply? Must the contractor continue to perform when the government changes the contract unilaterally? How to properly administer a commercial contract to make a profit.

The Interrelationship of the Changes, Termination for Default and Termination for Convenience Clauses

An in depth analysis of the changes clause, the default clause and the termination for convenience clause. How they interrelate and interact. The importance of the changes clause in default cases. Every compensable change is an excusable cause of failure to perform. How to respond to a cure notice or show cause notice. How to put together a termination for convenience settlement proposal. A primer on the FAR Part 31 cost principles. How the changes clause is used in terminations for convenience. How to covert a default to a termination for convenience through the changes clause.

Government Contract Audits

A look inside the DCAA and its game plan. Under what circumstances can the contractor expect an audit. How it will be conducted. What the contractor should provide the auditor. An in depth look at the DCAA Contract Audit Manual. What else auditors may be looking for. How to get a copy of the audit report. How to respond to the audit report. Preparing contractor personnel for the audit. Auditor accommodations. The rule against retroactive cost disallowances and how to use it. Preventing audits. How to negotiate with DCAA auditors. How to properly administer contracts to avoid audits.

Cost Accounting and Cost Principles

How to properly set up a government contract cost accounting system. How to track direct charges and to set up overhead pools. An in depth analysis of the FAR Part 31 cost principles. Cost reasonableness. A thorough analysis of cost allocability. What does benefit to the government really mean? Is speculative or potential benefit enough? How do the rules of allowability interrelate? A hard look at the specific rules on indirect costs, compensation for personal services, cost of money, entertainment costs, professional and consultant service costs, travel costs and other specific costs. The cost of good contract administration.

Source Selection and Best Value

The incredible importance of evaluation factors. How evaluation factors should be written and how to complain when they are not written correctly. Just who really makes the source selection decision? How do you find out? How technical and cost or price tradeoffs are supposed to be made. What are discussions? What is equal treatment of offerors. Cost or pricing data requirements. How much profit can the contractor make? Can the contractor really get a debriefing. What questions to ask at a debriefing. When should the contractor protest? How to protest. How to avoid protests. How to defend protests by others.

Dispute Avoidance and Resolution

The adversarial nature of government contracting. The importance of communication with the contracting officer. The judicial role of the contracting officer. What skills must the contract administrator have to avoid disputes? How knowledge of FAR and case precedents help the contract administrator. The lost art of letter writing. Keeping a daily diary. Donít write your Congressperson. How does the disputes process work? What alternative should you choose? The fine art of negotiation versus litigation, arbitration and mediation. How to avoid government claims. What to do with the contractorís claims.

The Art of Negotiation

The really incredible importance of credibility. Choose the strategy carefully and make the goal realistic. Just what tactics work and which ones donít. The fourteen steps to a successfully negotiated request for equitable adjustment. Training the eye to see the signals for success. How to develop empathy for and understanding of the other side. The importance of intelligence. Body language. How to dress for the occasion. Timing is everything. Just when and how to take notes. Courtesy and civility. The devil is in the details. Perseverance and patience carry the day. Memorializing the agreement.

The Basics of Federal Contracting and Subcontracting

An overview of the enormous body of statutes, regulations, executive orders, case precedents and internal government memoranda relating to acquisition. A review from the working level of whatís important to know and whatís not. The lore may be more important than the law. A critical but simple analysis of the basic precepts of federal acquisition. Where the action really is in all the regulations. A thorough review of changes, terminations, source selection, cost principles, improper business practices and socioeconomic programs. The basic still set for a contract administrator. How good contract administration produces profits.

Requests for Equitable Adjustment (and breach of contract claims)

This is a workshop consisting of three parts: 1) a demonstration of how to put together an equitable adjustment request from identification to research to how to write it up; 2) a review of actual REAís successfully presented and negotiated; and 3) a breakout session for teams to take actual factual case histories and prepare detailed outlines of a request for equitable adjustment. The practical changes investigation guide. Special tips on how to provoke a positive response and how to negotiate a settlement without litigation. When to convert the REA to a claim and how to do it. Donít forget the cost principles. Recovering the cost of preparing the REA.

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