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Medium 9781567264425

CHAPTER 3 Unique Aspects of Government Contracts

O'Connor, Terrence M. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Many of the rules that apply to contracts in general—contracts that businesspeople make all the time—apply to government contracts. But carrying out a government contract can be very different from carrying out the typical commercial contract. This chapter explores several of the unique aspects of administering government contracts.

With the government, a deal is a deal as described in the contract—

1.  Unless the government intentionally and unilaterally changes it using the “Changes” clause

2.  Unless the government inadvertently changes it through a constructive change

3.  Although the deadlines in the contract are not really deadlines, just suggestions

4.  Although clauses left out are in there anyway

5.  Although the government can end the deal prematurely without paying breach of contract damages.

The Changes clause in government contracts is unique. In the business world, a deal is a deal. If you want to change the deal, you can—but only if the other party agrees. In government contracting, however, a deal is a deal unless it is changed by the government using the Changes clause, with or without the contractor’s consent.

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Medium 9781605092683

An Insight with Impact

Blanchard, Ken Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

As the new week began, Debbie had a fresh take on the world. She even brought some flowers into the office and put them by the front desk where everyone could enjoy them. She had a new-hire interview scheduled for Tuesday. This time she asked Human Resources to give her two meetings with the candidate and to schedule ninety minutes for each session—not her usual thirty minutes. Following Jeff’s lead, Debbie prepared a short list of references for the candidate. She knew that some of the people might not give her an entirely positive reference, but she wanted to be up-front and honest.

On Tuesday Debbie met with the candidate, a woman a few years older than herself. At the end of their meeting Debbie said, “Thank you for your time today. If you’re still interested in the job, I want you to come back for another meeting. I know this is a major decision for both of us, so next time, I want you to interview me. Ask anything you like. Also, I’ve prepared a short list of personal and professional references for you. You may call them if you like, but you are under no obligation. I have to be honest with you, though. Some of these people may not have the most glowing things to say about my past leadership. But I am committed to becoming a great leader, and I see it as a journey. This team is going to do amazing things, and you may be one of the people to help us.”

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Medium 9781609942885

17. No Man Is an Island

Jennings, Ken Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The next morning, Alex hobbled into the kitchen. Rachel and his mom were huddled around the kitchen bar with the TV news on quietly. Alex had a flashback to the morning of his accident, which seemed like ages ago.

Good morning to my two favorite girls, he said.

Rachel looked up. Oh, Dad, I have an idea for us.

Alex smiled. What is it?

I was riding home on the bus yesterday, talking with one of my friends. I told her how much we enjoyed cooking together and how we wanted to do even more. Well, shes the one who had the idea. She and her dad are involved right here in Pittsburgh in the Urban Kitchen Project. It sounds perfect for us.

Alex poured his tea and sat down next to Rachel and his mother. What is it?

The Urban Kitchen Project is about good, healthy food and cooking. Its right up our alley, Rachel said, smiling. It started with a community farm in a city neighborhood. The original idea was to help lower-income families get access to healthy foods. Did you know our city neighborhoods are a food desert? That means grocery stores are not in the neighborhoods—just fast food. But then my friends dad and some others noticed that even though these families could now get healthy food, they werent really using it. Like us, Dad, they needed to learn how to cook with good fresh food.

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Medium 9781567264012

CHAPTER 11: Establishing Proposal Evaluation Subfactors

Solloway, Charles D. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

FAR Part 15 requires that proposals be evaluated solely on the basis of the evaluation factors and significant subfactors that have been tailored for the specific acquisition and identified in the solicitation. It neither defines subfactors nor requires their use.

Government acquisition personnel normally use subfactors when they want to break out an evaluation factor into separate components to help offerors to better understand the factor, to make sure that important components of the evaluation factor are addressed in proposal preparation and proposal evaluation, and/or to establish the relative importance of the various components of the evaluation factor.

As an example, we can break out some of the components of the Management Plan factor mentioned in Chapter 9 into four subfactors. In an abbreviated fashion, such a breakdown might look something like this:

Management Plan

• Earned value management

• Key personnel

• Employee compensation plan

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Medium 9781576754054

Goodbye, Command and Control

Wheatley, Margaret J. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Old ways die hard. Amid all the evidence that our world is radically changing, we retreat to what has worked in the past. These days, leaders respond to increasing uncertainty by defaulting to command and control. Power has been taken back to the top of most major corporations, governments, and organizations, and workers have been consigned to routine, exhausting work.

The dominance of command and control is having devastating impacts. There has been a dramatic increase in worker disengagement, no one is succeeding at solving problems, and leaders are being scapegoated and fired.

Most people associate command and control leadership with the military. Years ago, I worked for the U.S. Army chief of staff, General Gordon Sullivan. I, like most people, thought I’d see command-and-control leadership there. The great irony is that the military learned long ago that, if you want to win, you have to engage the intelligence of everyone involved in the battle. I’ve heard many military commanders state that “if you have to order a soldier to do something, then you’ve failed as a leader.” The army had a visual reminder of the failure of command and control when, years ago, they developed the new tanks and armored vehicles that could travel at speeds of fifty miles an hour. During the first Gulf War, there were several instances when troops took off on their own and sped across the desert at this unparalleled speed. However, according to army doctrine, tanks and armored vehicles always had to be accompanied by a third vehicle that is literally called Command and Control. This vehicle could only travel at twenty miles an hour. (They corrected this problem.)

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