As I was writing my introduction, I realized that one word stood out to me – “joke” – and then it hit me! How does government contracting get simplified into a single thread like a blog? How do I fill enough space with enough of the “good stuff” to keep people coming back to read what I have to say? Let’s take a little bit of a tongue in cheek look at government contracting – and of course insert some real life examples, emerging issues, and probably some facts and figures that will help any government contractor with managing and maintaining government contract compliance.
Government contracting and compliance is not as hard as it is made out to be. The main problem is that we live in an “instant gratification” society and we want everything now. My years of government contracting experience have led me to one simple unifying idea that can solve all government contracting and compliance problems. You would think that once I have come to such a solution I would want to build it, market it, sell it, and retire young. Well, I would love to do that, but that wouldn’t keep you coming back to this blog to read what I have to say, right? Suffice it to say, for now, that I will at least keep you informed on the changing issues and give you a simplified perspective to your contracting and compliance needs.
I leave you with a brief thought: How many companies do you know that take an approach to government contracting regulation that is similar to Adam Smith’s “laissez faire” theory? I know I have seen too many companies push compliance off until the teeth of the government monster dig in.
General Example 1: Government Contractor performs on a contract well and is found to have a non-compliant labor system. They kept timesheets and even a handy spreadsheet that was updated whenever someone had time, but there was no way to know who had charged to the project directly because no one was adequately trained and the system couldn’t capture rates and hours together at cost. The next thing you know, Government Contractor’s accounting system is deemed inadequate and no more awards are given until the problem is corrected and verified by the auditing agency.
General Example 2: A proposal that spans 3 volumes, multiple pages, and too many hours to count is missing a signature page. The contracting officer puts together a single page of notes and realizes that a required disclosure is not signed off appropriately. You lose – go home – try again later when this period of performance is over… in 3 – 5 years.
This kind of makes the whole idea of government contract compliance seem a little more important, doesn’t it?