How Contracts Get Messed Up – 2

I’d love to be more specific in describing the perpetual and colossal clusterfuck that this project was, but I’d hate to end up either in court or in front of a Congressional hearing … the project details will have to be left to the reader’s imagination. Since it’s only meant to exemplify another way that war zone contracts get messed up, the whole sorry history of the project might be superfluous to the goal in any case …

For months we push, pull, cajole and threaten a contractor to improve the quality of work his men are doing on a project. The quality is, in every way, abysmal.

A colonel visits the site today with nothing but a lowly sergeant-major as chaperone. He takes a look at a section of the project that isn’t of acceptable quality, as we’ve repeatedly pointed out to the contractor.

“This is good enough,” the colonel says.

“What did you say?” The contractor cries, whipping his head around to look at the officer. His face goes red with excitement. “Did you say This is good enough?” Now he’s nearly hopping up and down with glee. “Can I take your picture here?”

He holds himself still long enough to snap a clear photograph of the colonel next to that section of the project.

The sergeant-major, standing fifteen feet away and behind the colonel, buries his face in his hands. “Oh god,” he moans quietly. “Seren and the boss are gonna go ballistic …”

(He called that one right.)

A government contracting officer must be careful not to make any statements that contradict or amend in any way the written contract. If a statement is made to the contractor by a representative of the government who is, or is perceived to be, a contracting representative for the government, that statement has the authority to legally alter the contract. 

Cheers, sir.

Feel free to crawl back in your hole. (And stay there.)

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