Procurement counselors from across the United States, Guam and Puerto Rico gathered on Sunday (Mar. 15, 2015) to receive advice from The Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech on how to advise their clients on relationship-building techniques within the government contracting arena.
The workshop kicked-off a five-day event hosted by the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC) as a part of the Association’s spring membership and training conference being held in Denver, CO. Over 375 counselors, speakers and exhibitors are in attendance at the event.
Central to the theme of the workshop is the fact that successful execution of a government contract involves much more than delivering products or services. “As we designed the workshop,” explained Chuck Schadl, Georgia Tech’s group manager for government contracting services, “we strived to assemble as many resources as possible so that participants could learn about the many ways contractors must navigate the contract administration process.”
The Academy provided insights to the gathering into the contracting process from contract kick-off to close-out. Instructor Kevin Grimes pointed out that the old expression “be careful what you wish for” aptly describes a business that has just won a government contract. He pointed out that unless a business is prepared to both protect its interests as well as exploit its role as an incumbent contractor, it risks its chances to successfully complete the contract and gain an advantage in winning follow-on work.
Topics covered included:
- Preparation for and participation in post-award orientation conferences.
- The role of Contracting Officer Representatives in contractor surveillance.
- The Government’s rights for inspection and redress of any performance issues.
- The significance of warranties in supply and service contracts.
- The authority of the government’s Contracting Officer Representative, the Contracting Officer Technical Representative, and the Quality Assurance Evaluator.
- Contractor performance evaluation factors, including cost control, timeliness, quality, business relations, management of key personnel, customer satisfaction, and compliance.
- The implications of performance-based acquisition.
- The significance of a performance work statement.
- Remedies under a contract, cure notices, show cause, terminations, liquidated damages.
- Unauthorized commitments and ratifications.
- Contract completion, acceptance, invoices and payment.
- Use of past performance information.
Each workshop attendee received a 122-page manual to assist them in counseling businesses as a part of their daily work. Each of the attendees work for a nationwide network of procurement technical assistance centers (PTACs) whose mission is to assist local businesses identify, compete for, and win government contracts.