Category Archives: Mail Bag

MAIL BAG: CONTRACTORS MUST READ MODS TO ENSURE THAT THERE ARE NO COMPLIANCE SURPRISES

Student reader F. Liebowitz of E. Dickinson College writes, “My company’s GSA contract was recently modified to add new products, yet the document we received back from GSA said that our Basis of Award customer was “all customers”, not what we’d originally negotiated.  GSA knows what our Basis of Award is, right?  Should I got back and fix the mod.?”  Absolutely, F.  You must move immediately to clarify in writing to your CO that your Basis of Award is not “all customers” and cite what the original contract term is.  CO’s inadvertently change contract terms all the time in modifications, whether through inattention to detail, “modification by copier”, or some other error.  It cannot be said strongly enough:  Failure to change this key term back to the original, requires substantially greater compliance from your company and exposes it to substantial risk without a prompt, written, correction.  This is just one example of why it is a best practice to have two sets of eyes review all contracts and mods.  Contractors should not assume that a modification will leave all other terms in place.  Read the mod.  Read the contract.  Make sure that you are 100% sure of your company’s compliance responsibilities.  Otherwise, you could end up with an explosion – with or without a kiln.

MAIL BAG: CAN A PRIME BUY FROM MY SCHEDULE CONTRACT?

Alert reader Richard Feder of Fort Lee, New Jersey writes:  “We sometimes work with a large systems integrator that insists they can buy from our GSA Schedule contract if they send us a letter on their letterhead authorizing it.  Is this accurate?”  Well, Mr. Feder, your systems integrator partner is half right.  Federal prime contractors can buy from you if they have a letter on government letterhead that authorizes them to buy from your Schedule as part of their Read more

MAIL BAG: WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU DON’T SEE EYE TO EYE WITH A PROSPECT?

Part-time reader G. Watanabe writes, “I recently called on a new federal prospect, let’s call her Marlene, whose mission is a good match for my solutions.  Unfortunately, Marlene had recently had a bad accident with weights and couldn’t wait for the meeting to end.  What do I do next?”  It’s a big federal market, G., and maybe you and Marlene weren’t meant to be.  Different personalities and people with different ideas of what their mission is are facts of federal business life.  Don’t take it personally.  If you just plain cannot get along with someone, or Read more