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Next GBG Educational Opportunity: November 12, 2009

Website of the Month

Government Vendor Directory: www.government-vendor.us/directory
Did you ever want to look up other government vendors, especially in your area? This website allows you to look up vendors by state or category. The website may look like a Yellow Book gone amuck, but it’s a great way to look up prime or subcontractors that could help your business.

Did you know?
Not only is October a time for most of us to change our clocks back one hour, but it is a good time to review your Central Contractors Registration (CCR) to make sure it is accurate and up to date. A study found that when a company reviewed its registration, more than 60% had inaccurate information in the CCR system—not a good idea when your payments and bids rely these details. As you change your clocks and smoke detector batteries, also remember to review your annual vendor registration—before you find out the hard way. www.ccr.gov

Government Contractors Guide to Managing Federal Government Payments and Collections
Presenter: Bill Blumberg, Principal, Federal Contract Solutions

Be sure to catch this GBG-sponsored teleconference presented by Bill Blumberg, who many may remember from his days at DFAS-Headquarters. While there, he was an active speaker for GBG and aided in the writing and understanding of the FAR.

Date: Thursday, November 12, 2009
Time: 3:00 – 4:00pm EST
Cost: $39.95 for GBG members;
$49.95 for non-GBG members
*per phone line

Bill’s first book, Government Contractors Guide to Managing Federal Government Payments and Collections provides extensive coverage of federal government payment and collections from both the government and vendor side. This how-to guide provides a comprehensive understanding of the federal government system and will be an invaluable tool for any receivables office.

Bill will be answering questions sent by GBG newsletter readers. This is your last chance to submit your questions. Please email questions to debc@nacm.org by Friday, November 6. You will be notified if your question is chosen to be part of the teleconference discussion.

To register for the Government Contractors Guide to Managing Federal Government Payments & Collections teleconference, click here.

But My Contract Is In Writing?!

When working with government contacts, not only is it important to get everything in writing, but also make sure you and the contracting officer know and discuss all issues verbally. And because there are numerous government personnel you may interact with during the contract process, make sure that anyone who makes changes to the contract has the authority to do so, that the changes are written in the contract and that you are notified verbally. In recent cases where the vendor’s original contract showed a contract change by the government but the person who made the change was not authorized, the contract was voided. Changes that are not a part of the proposal or the original contract but were suggested by an unauthorized government official can also make a contract invalid—and it is the right of a contracting officer to deny this contract. The vendor must then request ratification, which may take months before being approved and before payment is made, even if supplies and/or services were already delivered.

Don’t Blame the Carrier for a Late Bid

Even if your bid is one day late, it is generally rejected, even if it is the lowest bid. According to Federal Acquisition Regulation Section 14.304(b)(1), a bid must be in the proper place at the proper time for it to be considered. Even if "Carrier X" delivered your bid to the mailroom on the deadline date, it must be given to the appropriate personnel. The only time that a vendor can submit, and win, a protest for a late bid is if the vendor can prove that the bid arrived prior to the deadline, to the correct address, and that government mishandling of the bid was the reason for the tardiness.

Protests can be won. In one such case, the contracting officer was the official designated in bid documents as the recipient of mailed bids. At the time of delivery, the contracting officer was not present at his desk or in his office and did not return to his office prior to bid opening to determine whether any last-minute bids had been received. The bid opening official had checked the mailroom and the mail clerk’s desk prior to bid opening, but had also failed to check the contracting officer’s desk. This failure by the officials to check the desk of the official designated for receipt of bids constituted mishandling. (Carroll Gene Brewer, B-285484, August 22, 2000.)

 

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