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3 hours ago, jjgott said:

Contractor states that all effort was made to retrieve the equipment but was unsuccessful and states that under FAR 52.245-1 (h)(1), that they are not responsible for reimbursing the gov’t for lost equipment.

Did they report the matter to law enforcement?

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15 hours ago, joel hoffman said:

Vern, once, American Airlines crushed my govt Dell Laptop in the cargo elevator door at the gate. A replacement was $4200.

@Don Mansfield$4,200 for a Dell laptop. A Dell?!

Heck, man, I can buy a top-of-the-line, fully-loaded, 16" MacBook Pro for almost $2,000 less than that! I'd have enough left to buy an Apple watch! One of the good ones!

A strongly-worded letter demanding compensation in a sum certain RIGHT BLEEPING NOW addressed to someone high up in the company should do the trick. That, plus a CPARS threat. And by the way, I'd tell them I was going to notify the FBI, the OSI, the CID, and the NCI. THE 82ND AIRBORNE! THE 75TH RANGERS! THE GREEN BERETS! THE SEALS! DELTA FORCE! The heck with the local fuzz.

What I wouldn't do is ask for the company's property management policies and procedures. I don't want to be insulting, but that just sounds dumb.

You know, our government is just plain incompetent. It's become a threat to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness! When I think of all the stuff we need—fire-fighters and equipment in my part of the USA—the idea of paying taxes for somebody to read a company's property management policies and procedures because they lost one of our laptops makes me want to...

Well, I better not say.

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6 hours ago, Vern Edwards said:

@Don Mansfield$4,200 for a Dell laptop. A Dell?!

Heck, man, I can buy a top-of-the-line, fully-loaded, 16" MacBook Pro for almost $2,000 less than that! I'd have enough left to buy an Apple watch! One of the good ones!

A strongly-worded letter demanding compensation in a sum certain RIGHT BLEEPING NOW addressed to someone high up in the company should do the trick. That, plus a CPARS threat. And by the way, I'd tell them I was going to notify the FBI, the OSI, the CID, and the NCI. THE 82ND AIRBORNE! THE 75TH RANGERS. THE GREEN BERETS! THE SEALS! DELTA FORCE! The heck with the local fuzz.

What I wouldn't do is ask for the company's property management policies and procedures. I don't want to be insulting, but that just sounds dumb.

You know, our government is just plain incompetent. It's become a threat to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness! When I think of all the stuff we need—fire-fighters and equipment in my part of the USA—the idea of paying taxes for somebody to read a company's property management policies and procedures because they lost one of our laptops makes me want to...

Well, I better not say.

I don’t disagree.

To me it’s pretty simple. There is a big difference between theft of property by unknown persons and your contractor 1) knowingly issuing government owned property to an employee, 2) knowing exactly where that property is and who has it, and 3) not pursuing action to get it back.

It’s not “lost”. It’s not “stolen by unknown persons”. Contractor and you know where it is and who has it.  Tell Contractor to take action to get it back.

If the holder refuses to give it back, it likely amounts to felony theft of federal government property. State law differentiates felony theft from misdemeanor theft based on the value of the property stolen. The current threshold varies from $500 to $2,500, depending on the state. The ex employee will then be aware that it is in unlawful possession of federal government property and that somebody is going to call the cops if they won’t hand it over.

Contractor can’t avoid accountability for not reasonably maintaining control of property that it has signed for- especially when it knows who it provided the property to and who has it. 

Quit micro researching the contract and use common sense. The law provides  the means to retrieve stolen property.

I wasn’t kidding about the effectiveness of a government employee visiting an employer and bringing along the county sheriff or their deputy.

Scared the hell out of the employer who paid his employees all owed back wages. Of course that was 40 years ago in a small, backwoods town in Alabama. The govt employee was an ex-WWII combat marine, who didn’t care about or know about all the red tape involved in Miller Act enforcement.

He had no faith in the court system. His only two teenage sons were killed by a repeat offender drunk driver, who got off with a few months in jail and a fine. He told me about the Saturday“office visit” after the fact. 

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10 minutes ago, C Culham said:

Red face test...go get the lap top...bust em!

Amen! 

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13 hours ago, Don Mansfield said:

Did they report the matter to law enforcement?

Not yet.  To be honest it was kind of insulting that they basically said "Eh too bad, the FAR says we're not liable for lost property."  

 

I agree with you all that this property is not lost if the Contractor knows exactly where it is and has means of recovery.  Thanks for all the replies!

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1 hour ago, jjgott said:

Not yet.  To be honest it was kind of insulting that they basically said "Eh too bad, the FAR says we're not liable for lost property."  

 

I agree with you all that this property is not lost if the Contractor knows exactly where it is and has means of recovery.  Thanks for all the replies!

If they want to play that game, then tell them you consider the failure to notify law enforcement a lack of good faith. See FAR 52.245-1(h)(1)(ii).

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Echoing what others have said ...

Back in the day, a large trash bin went missing from a military base. You know, the big kind that the trucks pick up and empty? Anyway, it was government property in the possession of a contractor. Properly marked as such.

The missing bin was quickly located on the other side of the fenceline, in a farmer's field. Filled with [I don't recall, if I ever knew. Let's say "hay".]

Our property manager reported it to the base security office as theft of government property. The farmer received a visit from a couple of uniformed security folks.

The bin was back on the right side of the fence, emptied and washed clean, within 24 hours.

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Great story, H! A stern visit from law enforcement often will “inspire” a satisfactory resolution.

A neighbor boy and I once decided to play “post office” with his rural neighbor’s mailbox being the post office and…the mail inside was conveniently the mail. Of course, we had to examine the contents then put it back in the envelopes. I think we were just old enough to read.

Next thing we knew, our small town’s Chief of Police pulled up and put us in his police car and took us up the driveway to the elderly Perrys’ old, giant three story farmhouse. Then he walked us up the big porch steps to the front door. Mr and Mrs Perry opened the door and we were marched in to their huge parlor to sit on the sofa before the three of them.

Needless to say they were t satisfied with our “innocent” story and we got the full lecture - I especially remember Chief Benson telling us that mail tampering was a Federal Offense. We were sure that we were going to be sent to prison or the dreaded State Reform School 25 miles away.

When they were satisfied with our reaction and contrite apologies, they forgave us and the Chief escorted us out and down the steps to his cop car. He asked if we had learned a lesson - of course we had! Then he let us go.

The neighbor boy lived in the house down from the Perry’s and I walked through their woods and a block home. Chief Benson, of course contacted our parents so we couldn’t hide our guilt and shame. I learned a Life long lesson that evening…

I couldn’t understand why my elderly Aunt told my wife many years later that I was “a little stinker”, growing up. 🤠

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That is but one reason why, I become “flustrated” when government employees try to dig through the contract or the FAR to seek a contractual solution, where common sense, informal solutions are available. I hope it is clear to both contractor and government that, if they know who has some government property, they take necessary action to get it back. The contractor can’t hide behind the gobblygook language in the property clause, if it should and does know where the property is.

And the clause must be read as a whole. The contractor must have an accountable property management system and take reasonable actions to retrieve personal property when it knows where it is.

Literally reading the clause to excuse your own accountability for loss by theft when you know who took it and/or where to find it and you make little or no effort to retrieve it makes no sense.  And such is inconsistent with the property management system requirements. In fact, it isn’t “lost” or “stolen” by unknown person or persons. 

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