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ohnoudidnt14

Gov Change of CO and ACO

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I am a contractor working on a FFP electrical construction project for the Navy in SE Georgia. The contracting office is planning to change the CO and ACO. I know this is fully within their right, but the CO and ACO they are planning are individuals that I have worked with before. They are abusive, don’t act in good-faith, and would basically be considered “high maintenance”. Do I, as the contractor, have any right to object to the change? Had these individuals been identified in these roles from the beginning, my price may have been different or I may not have bid the project in the first place.

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How do you want to object? Do you want to write a document to be reviewed by some admiral somewhere so that he or she can make a decision, or would you rather talk to the admiral on the golf course?

If you have a relationship with the chief of the contracting office, you might schedule a visit and a private talk.

However, as far as I know, a contractor has no right to stop the Government's assignment of a successor contracting officer on a contract. After the change occurs, you might pay more attention to the particulars of your contract, dotting the i's and crossing the t's, so to speak. And you might keep better records of discussions and phone calls. If the contracting officer's actions or decisions (or lack of actions or decisions) have an impact on your ability carry out your contract, you will have to make your claim within the terms of your contract. For example, since your contract is FFP construction, you should read para. (B) of the contract clause at FAR 52.242-14, Suspension of Work -- but if you read para. ( b ), giving you a right to an equitable adjustment for a contracting officer failure to act within a reasonable time, you also need to read para. ( c ) imposing a duty on you to make you claim sooner rather than later. If you wave the ( b ) flag to assert a claim, the contracting officer might waive the ( c ) flag to deny the claim.

Maybe they're being assigned because someone decided you need their special attention? :-)

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Guest Vern Edwards

Do I, as the contractor, have any right to object to the change? Had these individuals been identified in these roles from the beginning, my price may have been different or I may not have bid the project in the first place.

Yes, you have a right to object. What you don't have a right to is relief.

You described the prospective Government representatives as "abusive" and said that they don't act in good faith. Can you substantiate those accusations to the satisfaction of senior government officials? You can't just say it. You have to prove it. Can you meet what are likely to be the Government's standards of proof?

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Thanks. To Ji - I don't believe your last sentence is the case. From their perspective, the change makes sense based on geography.

To Vern, I have plenty of examples that might be a good basis for my "private talk" with the chief of the contracting office as Ji suggested, but not likely anything that would meet the government's standard of proof. I just know now that what small profit margin I had is going to be eaten up satisfying unnecessary administrative requests.

Frustrating, but all part of the game of life.

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A point of clarification. The Suspension of Work clause at 52.242-14 does NOT provide for an " equitable adjustment" (which would include profit) due to government delays. It provides for a price adjustment for increased costs due to such delays. The Defaults Clause at 52.249-10 would provide the entitlement to additional time due acts of the Government that delay completion, to the extent that the Contractor is not at fault or that another clause would provide a time extension.

I have had more than one proposer tell me that they would significantly drop their price if we would assign another Resident Engineer or ACO to a project. I passed this on to those offices' Division Chiefs and to the KO's. I fully understood why they were complaining in each circumstance. It might help if you can speak to someone at a higher level in the chain of command, if for no other reason than to put the superiors on notice to observe the conduct of the individuals or to allow them to 'counsel' the individuals. Of course , that could backfire on an already active contract. It wasn't possible in my cases to re-assign the persons. However, the superiors did pay closer attention to their performance.

If your Navy contract provides for Partnering, I would suggest that you make an attempt to use that forum to try to work WITH the newly assigned persons. Partnering can be very effective in sharing concerns and expectations and in developing ways to elevate issues before they get to the impassible stage.

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