Government Connections - Fall 2012 - (Page 19)

SUPPLIER STRATEGY Government Contract Liabilities By Ted Miller, CHSE, CHSP, CGTP, CGMP SEVERAL SUPPLIERS ASKED me to give some guidance how they can achieve some protection from cancellations of government contracts and what recourse they can pursue. From my experience, there are three basic situations you will encounter and each depends on the ethics of the individual who is handling the contracting process. The first contract method most of us see is the letter of intent issued by a government agency for specific services and facilities required for a conference. One of the challenges with these letters is that they are not very specific and leave out very critical information. They generally resemble what is referred to as a verbal contract in the way they are presented. One thing many people do not understand is that a letter of intent is a contract and is subject to the rules of contract law which includes enforcement of cancellation fees. Just because the letter does not specify specific remedies for cancellation it does not mean they do not exist. It simply means that a remedy for a cancellation, was not pre-negotiated; everyone understands the government is not exempt from performance on a contract. The second type of contract we see is the standard form 1449 which is also a purchase order. In this format, the contract is very specific in the items that are being purchased and the total value of the contract. This contract, while specific on items being purchased does not specify how services are to be performed or evaluated. The best way to enhance the value of this method of contracting is to have a hotel contract incorporated into the final documents so the specifics of conference or event are clearly stated. This includes cut-off dates for reservations, specific meeting space being reserved, and other items such as concessions or other valueadd items clearly specified. The final method that we see is the use of a hotel contract with the normal terms that are industry specific to us. These are signed by a contracting officer and may also include an additional signature from a contract specialist who handled the solicitation and evaluation of the offer from the hotel. When a cancellation occurs, it often is a matter of the ethics and integrity of the contract signer as to how damages will be paid if a contract is cancelled. As a hotelier, I suggest you ask the contracting officer specifically what you must present to show the damages that you have incurred and when and how they will settle the claim. Once you have done this through conversation and both parties are in full agreement, I strongly suggest you back this up with an email documenting your agreement so that there is no misunderstanding. If you encounter a cancellation or drastic reduction in a conference, I suggest you consult with the national sales director who handles that account or market segment. That person should know the best remedy for your situation and be able to guide you for help from your senior staff if that is required. 19

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Government Connections - Fall 2012

President’s Letter
Editor’s Letter
Going Places
Dieting on a Per Diem
Plan Green
Education Edge
Demonstrate the Value of Your Meeting
Good to Know
Supplier Strategy
That’s Technology
Conference Connection
Freeze of Per Diem Rates is not a Hotel Freeze out for Government Business
Membership News
Travel Tips & Trends
Continuing Education Now Includes New ADA Rules
SGMP Nation
Advertisers’ Index
The Meeting Minute

Government Connections - Fall 2012