Who Knew the FAA Was So Savvy?

If you were on a flight as the furloughs hit a couple weeks ago at FAA, I am sorry for your delay. Looking back at the situation now though, who would have thought how effective a PR campaign this was going to be?!

We’re sorry for the delay in today’s flight, but we are unable to gain clearance for takeoff. The pilot is walking back across the tarmac right now and has radioed back there is a sign on the air traffic control tower that says “Out To Lunch.”

GroundedAirplaneTell people all about what is going on and give them plenty of ammunition to go after lawmakers about the problems caused by this furlough – this was the basic approach taken by the airline industry and FAA to curb furloughs – and it worked.  Congrats FAA, you managed to get ahead of the tide on this one. Can we start to leave our shoes on now?

I digress. Next up, how about the FCC? I could see this one being very effective very quickly. Let’s just give everyone at the FCC the day off for a week and make sure that radio stations EVERYWHERE know about it. We’ll call it the “All Hell Breaks Loose” campaign as DJs everywhere flock to the radio to say the “things you can’t say on radio.”  I bet the FCC then dodges their furlough for the remainder of the year, too.

Where this doesn’t seem to be the case is at a “big-time” government contractor. I know there are contract issues to consider for non-performance and potential subsequent T4D issues, but some contractor is doing something that just can’t be lived without. Perhaps a big government contractor (perhaps one that provides IT service or communications connections) should think about doing something similar just to show the impact.

For better or worse, We do rely on the government for a lot of goods and services (not to mention overall safety and security).  It also doesn’t hurt our economy that they are the largest buyer of goods and services anywhere.  Being in the DC area, I see a lot more than I probably would elsewhere in the country, but I only know of about a dozen folks that have been directly impacted in some way. I have read elsewhere that furloughs aren’t really effecting the efficacy of the government agencies having to use them, but this is just the beginning – in my opinion – of the trend.

For your information about T4D from the newly released 4th Edition of The Government Contracts Reference Book


Official: The exercise of the government’s right to completely or partially terminate a contract because of the contractor’s actual or anticipated failure to perform its contractual obligations. Source: FAR 2.101. This type of termination is also called a “default termination.” This right is included in almost all government contracts by the inclusion of the standard default clauses in FAR 52.249-8 through -10. See FAR 49.504 for guidance on the use of these clauses. Procedures for administering default terminations are set forth in FAR Subparts 49.1 and 49.4. Under fixed-price supply and service contracts, the government has the right, subject to the CURE NOTICE requirements for certain situations, to terminate the contract if the contractor fails to: (1) deliver the supplies or perform the services within the time specified; (2) perform any other provisions of the contract; or (3) make sufficient progress, if that failure endangers performance of the contract. FAR 49.402-1. The contractor is liable to the government for any excess costs incurred in acquiring supplies or services similar to those terminated for default and for any other damages, whether or not repurchase is effected. (See EXCESS COSTS OF REPROCUREMENT). See FAR 49.402-2, FAR 49.402-6, FAR 49.402-7. If the contractor can establish, or it is otherwise determined, that the contractor was not in default or that the failure to perform is excusable, the default clauses provide that a termination for default will be considered to have been a TERMINATION FOR CONVENIENCE, and the rights and obligations of the parties will be governed accordingly. FAR 49.401.

About Marty Herbert

With 13 years of government contract administration, analysis, finance, and audit experience, I have established a firm baseline in ethics and a specialization in government contracts that has prepared me to become a subject matter expert in my field. I am currently working on enhancing government contracts management and compliance through workflow tools and product offerings - attempting to make the process proactive as opposed to reactive.
This entry was posted in General and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.