The Federal Acquisition Regulations afford relief from a prime contractor’s bid mistake only when the mistake is obvious or results from a purely mathematical error. In a recent case for the firm, our client’s mistake did not fit into either category. Instead, our prime-contractor client had a rogue estimator who severely underestimated the job, setting up our client to lose $1 million on a $4 million contract. A day before the pre-construction conference and notice to proceed, we advised our client—which has an excellent reputation with the user agency—to inform the contracting officer of its serious bid mistake and ask for a “no cost” termination for convenience. The next day, our client did just that, and the contracting officer issued a “no cost” termination for convenience, saving our client from a tremendous loss. The moral: maintain good relations with contracting officers, act quickly to remedy mistakes, and candidly address those mistakes.
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