How Contracts Get Messed Up – 1

October 2006

The prison project experienced a peculiar and amusing twist this week:

You’ll need to know that we manage this contract on behalf of the US Army. In other words, the Army instigated the project, approved the designs, supervises our management, and owns the project when it’s complete. The Army is the customer.

The contractor recently bought one kilometer of chain link fence fabric, needed to build the final piece of the project in order to finish by tomorrow, the legal contract completion date.

Two days ago, the Army commandeered the fence fabric, guaranteeing that the contractor will not complete the Army’s contract on time.

The Army stole the Army’s fence fabric!

I’m betting that the Army colonels who frequently harass me for project status updates are not the same Army colonels who stole the fence fabric. And I’m betting that the colonels who stole (ok, ok – commandeered) the fence fabric didn’t give a heads up to the colonels who are responsible for tracking the status of this project …

So I anticipate an avalanche of emails and phone calls from the Army tomorrow, screaming to know why the Army’s prison contract hasn’t been completed on time.

This could be fun! I’ve never had a bombproof excuse for a late completion, but I’m guessing this one will work. I’m guessing it will be very effective in redirecting those colonels pretty quickly, leaving me free to concentrate on some projects with real problems …

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