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Sexism in the WBE / DBE Certification Process (Part 1)

The regrettable presumption that someone’s daughter, or wife, doesn’t have what it takes to operate a construction company, was started not by misogynistic certification officers, it started with a few contractors’ deceptive practices. Here the cliche is true—a few bad apples—men who wanted more contracts and convinced close female family members to pose as owners

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Subcontractor’s Claims on Federal Contracts

Direct subcontractor claims are not authorized by the Contract Disputes Act (CDA) because there is no “privity” of contract between the government and the subcontractor. Specifically, there is no direct relationship between the parties. [See United States v. Johnson Controls Inc., 713F.2d 1541 (Fed. Cir. 1983).]  A subcontractor can make a claim against the government

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Protect Subcontractors from Bad Project Owners with these Words

It can’t be done, they say. You’re a subcontractor on a project with an owner that has screwed up everything from day one, and you want to sue the owner directly for damages because of project mismanagement so bad it should be criminal, but it can’t be done, they tell you. Filing a mechanic’s lien

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Basics of Terminations for Convenience

The government has the contractual right to terminate a contract, in whole or in part, either for default or for convenience if the contracting officer (CO) determines that a termination of an existing contractual arrangement is in the best interest of the government. In return for this right to terminate a contract for convenience, the

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This is Why Your Union Audit Feels Like a Body Cavity Search

The audit notice always comes without warning or reason. You haven’t had any problems with the workers. They’ve (almost) always been great. No one has filed a grievance. The union men and women like working for you and you appreciate their skill. It’s not about them. Still, all of your wages, prevailing and otherwise have

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A Lifeline for Contractors Abused by NY Government

It’s getting near the end of the project from Hell. “This government contract is going to be my last,” you tell yourself. Just about everything went wrong, the Government engineers and contracting officers were unresponsive, rarely available, and when they did communicate with you, they were totally unreasonable, real jerks. Then to make matters worse,

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Magic Words to Stop the Worst DBE and MWBE Abuse (Part 2)

In our last article we identified the issue—a terrible problem plaguing DBE and MWBE subcontractors—wasting their time, draining their resources and crushing their expectations. We heard from a lot of you in response and appreciate your feedback and encouragement in addressing this problem that no one in the industry seems to want to talk about.

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The Worst Abuse of MWBEs and DBEs (and it’s legal!)—Part 1

It happens all the time. The prime contractor of your dreams asks you, yes, you, your small subcontracting company, to give them a proposal, which they will then include as part of their bid for a major public works contract. So, excitedly, you spend hour upon hour, as a team of one (maybe two), pouring

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Let’s Bravely Face What Really Scares Contractors

The night is long for contractors who can’t sleep. Project problems and money worries are the monsters under their bed. But their biggest fear, the thing that keeps them up most, is not what they know—it’s what they don’t know. It’s the unknowns—risks and liabilities they don’t see coming until it’s too late—like a car

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Stop Lawsuits Against Contractors and Cut Losses in Two Easy Steps (Step One)

Our contractor is excited. A big time government authority awarded her a multi-million dollar contract. But all she can think about is the money she will make—the economics—cutting costs, maximizing profit, efficiency, speed, quality and safety. She knows that something could go wrong that will derail performance and eat her profits. She knows that bad

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