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darrenks

Not sure what to do in this situation

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I am a federal contractor and am principal small business.    I have been contracting with the US Government since 2009.  A few issues have arisen and frankly  are beyond my knowledge how to address.  Non-personal commercial contract.

·         US Army Reserve Command, grounds maintenance at a Missouri facility. Award was made March  2016 for the base year and four option years.  The base and option year one were exercised.  Option two, three and four were not exercised.  The facility underwent a major physical change during the non-performance period (December through March) of option year one with fencing added and topography changed for the site, (parking lot added-different equipment would have been needed to maintain the new areas due to slope and grade). I emailed the KO that changes had been made to the facility and advised a modification would have to be made on three separate occasions during the mowing season.  I gave the contracting officer a price for the changes to the facility but the KO refused to negotiate an equitable change to the contract.  I was told by a third party that the COR, who evidentially wields a lot of authority, told the contracting officer to cancel the contract.  I have yet to be given notice that the contract was cancelled for convenience or any other reason.  I only know the option was not extended as I bid the contract through FedBid.  Fedbid shows the option was not extended.  In this instance, the COR  determined I needed to do a lot of extra work which was not part of the original contract.  I refused without an equitable price adjustment and the contract was cancelled.  The three option years remaining totaled  $40,768.65.

What are my options here? The contracting officers are aware of all of these issues.  I even made an IG complaint which was passed along to a line level supervisor to handle.

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16 minutes ago, darrenks said:

I have yet to be given notice that the contract was cancelled for convenience or any other reason.  I only know the option was not extended as I bid the contract through FedBid.  Fedbid shows the option was not extended.  In this instance, the COR  determined I needed to do a lot of extra work which was not part of the original contract.  I refused without an equitable price adjustment and the contract was cancelled. 

You're not even wrong. 

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darrenks, not exercising an option is not the same as canceling or terminating a contract.  A contractor has no right to have an option exercised and the government is under no obligation to exercise an option.  Whether you have a potential claim for any extra costs incurred as a result of the change to the facility, it would be extremely difficult for anyone here to say because we do not know the terms of the contract or the specific facts.

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Guest Vern Edwards

Have you read the contract? Does it say that the KO is so obligated?

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5 hours ago, darrenks said:

What are my options here?

As noted read the contract.  Consider as well getting appropriate counsel.  

Others have addressed the exercise of the options for years 2, 3, and 4.   With regard to the issues during performance of option year 1 and the changed physical conditions an alternative to discuss with counsel is a possible claim under the disputes clause (usually FAR Clause 52.233-1) since the KO has not responded to your requests for equitable adjustment.

  

 

 

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18 hours ago, darrenks said:

Are KO obligated to tell contractors formally if the contract is cancelled, terminated or not excercised? 

As Vern asked, is there something in the contract that requires such a notice?  However, you should be aware that cancellation, termination and not exercising an option are not the same thing.  In your case you are complaining about non-exercise of an option.  For an option to be exercised in accordance with the FAR, the contractor needs to receive timely notice that the option has been exercised.  In the absence of such notice, there has not been an exercise of an option.  The government has no obligation under the FAR to inform a contractor that an option will not be exercised.

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Ancillary question: If darrenks' company is no longer performing the grounds maintenance, then who is? And how did the KO award the contract to the successor contractor (if any)?

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At an Army post where I was once, the guys from the stockade would do this.  They had a softball team know as the Grasscutters.

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Guest Vern Edwards

At Fort Bragg and Fort Sill, lawn mowing used to be a company detail, like washing dishes, pots, and pans.

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Right. And competitions pursuant to OMB A-76 are still prohibited, do I have that right?

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2 hours ago, Vern Edwards said:

At Fort Bragg and Fort Sill, lawn mowing used to be a company detail, like washing dishes, pots, and pans.

I remember mowing the lawn at the squadron when I was young contract specialist in the Air Force.  It only lasted a year or so before it started getting contracted out base-wide in the mid 90's.  Not long thereafter there were CORs running around the base with rulers measuring blades of grass.

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Guest Vern Edwards

I presume that military self-sufficiency ended as part of the transition to an all-volunteer military. Many people don't know today that at one time almost all work on a military installation was done by military personnel. Now it's contracted out. I actually got shot at once while on KP in the Dominican Republic when we invaded in 1965. Took cover behind a big water trailer. Ah, the good old days. 

I wonder what it cost the taxpayers to get rid of the draft. And now you read of politicians saying we need national service of some kind. Probably watching over kids in a playground or pulling weeds. Where's the old spirit of adventure?

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Interesting comparison but there is a bigger comparison beyond the military.  Work on many Government installations was then is now done by government personnel ("force account") but a large majority is now contracted out.  

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