To federal construction contractors, the true legwork may seem to begin only after the government has accepted a proposal and performance has begun. However, a recent Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) decision reinforces that federal construction contractors’ work often should begin long before contract award.
In Zafer Construction Company, ASBCA No. 56769 (2017), the ASBCA rejected a construction contractor’s allegations of unilateral mistake, unconscionability, and differing site conditions (among other claims for additional costs). The problem? The contractor did not attend a government scheduled site visit, conduct an independent site visit, review technical drawings, submit any inquiries during the proposal stage, or otherwise take reasonable steps necessary to better ascertain the nature of the work prior to submitting a multimillion dollar proposal on a complex project.
By way of background, the contract in Zafer involved the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ procurement of renovation work at the Afghanistan National Military Hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan. In 2004, the buildings at this site had fallen into varying states of disrepair. In preparation for issuing the solicitation, the government employed an assessment team (called the Baker team) to survey the site, assess the condition of the buildings and infrastructure, and prepare a report for the government’s use in budgeting and defining the scope of work.
Keep reading this article at: http://smallgovcon.com/claims-and-appeals/contractors-lackadaisical-proposal-preparation-sinks-its-claim-for-costs/