Legal Tips and Resources
You just won your first Federal Government contract. What now? You know what you need to do as a businessperson, but what about all the regulatory requirements under the Federal Acquisition Regulation? Do you have the time, energy, and resources to manage it and stay in compliance? An attorney experienced in government contracts is prepared to assist you early on and to spot issues that may be lurking on the horizon.
First unlike any other contract, Government contracts are a little different. The Government may unilaterally change its scope of work, terminate your contract for convenience, and inspect and test your goods and services, among others.
Second, read the entire contract very carefully. The Government contract will make a lot of references to the Federal Acquisition Regulation, which are not spelled out in the contract.
The Government may change the scope of work so long it is within the general scope of the contract. If the Contracting Officer contacts you about changing the scope of work, make sure it is still within the general scope of the contract. Also your profit margin may change so you may be entitled to an equitable adjustment in price (EPA) and delivery schedule.
The Government has an obligation to make timely payments to you for the goods or services delivered. Under the Prompt Payment Act, the Government has to pay late interest if it misses timely payments of over 30 days or more. If the Government continues to delay payments, you may have to file a claim with the Contracting Officer. An attorney can assist you in filing claims with the Contracting Officer, and if you receive no response, appeals with the Armed Forces Board for Contract Appeals.
The Government does not have to accept defective goods that fail its testing or inspection. Failure to deliver proper goods may result in contract termination for convenience or default. A government contract lawyer Virginia offers can assist you in ensuring the Government conducts proper inspections and testing. Also, if you receive notice of the upcoming contract termination, your attorney will investigate the facts to provide a comprehensive legal advice regarding your options.
The FAR places many other requirements as well, including Service Contract Act, and Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act, among others.
This information is not legal advice. It is intended for general public only. If you have specific legal questions, contract an attorney.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at The Federal Practice Group for their insight into government contracts.