According to the federal acquisition framework, the role of the COR is clearly delineated and include to ensure that the agency program as well as the agency program managers needs are met in terms of costs of contracting, the quality of the required products and the timeliness of the delivery. The COR is also supposed to ensure that the contractors in questions are competent enough to discharge their contractual duties. Finally, the contractors must conduct their business with integrity, openness and fairness. However, based on the scenario, the contractor has failed in all the key mandates. For example, late and incomplete management reports, erroneous, delayed billings, and lack of liaison between the program manager and the COR. Secondly, (Trevor, Potoski, & . Van Slyke, 2013). the ethical requirements for any federal contract include contract contents, information exchange timing between the client and the contactor as well as contract offer and acceptance. Therefore, in any case the contractual content or information exchange is flawed the COR must stand firm and promote professionalism.
What potential issues does Easy Corp face if the invoice turns out not to be okay?
Willful misrepresentation of Easy Corp’s size, status, performances in connection with the contract can lead to any of the following actions:
Suspension and or debarment
Easy Corp risks deregistration upon exposure by the COR, and other contracting parties. The COR has a duty to combat fraud and protect the integrity of government contracting. Misrepresentation, false claims, price fixing, and or bid rigging are forms of frauds that must be combated (Lecy & Van Slyke, 2012).
De-licensing /license revocation
Therefore, Easy Corp does not only risk deregistration. Severe criminal penalties for willfully misrepresenting Easy Corp’s status, window dressing Easy Corp’s records in order influence the actions of the client and the COR is wrong (Malatesta, 2014).
Severe penalties including fines will are also possible consequences. The fines will be estimated according to the False Claims Act (Trevor, Potoski, & Van Slyke, 2013)
What issues confront the employee?
First, the employees are confronted with willful violation of law as their misrepresentation potentially derails or corrupts the normal procurement process. The falsified information presented could be binding to the contracting parties but since the information is falsified, their role in the falsification or documents and failure to whistle blow amount to fraud through misrepresentations (Murray, 2014).
The employees are faced with professional ethics issues. Professional and contracting ethics requires the employees to presented valid information. Their inability to provide accurate and complete records potentially contributed to misrepresentation. By delaying the billing information and presenting erroneous billings, the employees actively participated in accessorizing crime.
How would you recommend these issues be addressed?
The highlighted issues can only be solved formally where all the parties to the contract are available in person to enable compete view of all the material information is before decision is reached. The parties to the contract should be made aware if all the discrepancies in the nature if the business in order to come to an amicable solution (Trevor, Potoski, & . Van Slyke, 2013).
In a negotiation situation, it is important for the parties involved to come to an understanding, or make necessary arrangement and compromise to agree to contract or rescind the contract
What do you recommend the contracting officer discuss at the next program review meeting with the Easy Corp chief executive officer (CEO) and program manager?
The contracting officer needs to provide adequate proof of Easy Corp’s misrepresentation in the documents. For example, Trevor, Potoski, &. Van Slyke, (2013), report that the contracting officer should provide the client with adequate information and or proof of Easy Corp’s incomplete management reports. If the client agrees to contract, they shall assume the risk as they had already been informed of the caveat.
Secondly, the COR must serve the client with adequate proof of Easy Corp’s erroneous billing reports to help the client re-evaluate their position on Easy Corp’s valuation. Finally, the contracting officer should assess Easy Corp’s past performances, and establish to the program manager and the CEO all the requirement for the programs including the preparation of statement of work (SOW). The COR should recommend and participate in the contractor selection processing, or contractor acquisition process (Brown, Potoski & Van Slyke, 2007). On the other hand, Van Slyke, (2004), argues that the COR can request the client to allow Easy Corp to put their papers in order, and provide adequate proof of their company’s performances. This means allowing more time for further review and evaluation of Easy Corp. its staff, and the operations before making decision.
Finally, the contracting officers should be advised to keep close contact with the program managers to find out and provide any material fact that is considered pertinent to the contract planning, information and termination.
The COR should discuss with the contracting officer, and the program managers about the contract details, and conditions for the contract. The technical details must be monitored and evaluated by the COR before the client is allowed to sign the contractual documents. In the event of misrepresentation of false claim, the contracting officer representative must act as a whistle blower to protect the client. Liaison between the COR, the client and the contractor must be improved to help eliminate doubt by addressing any misrepresentation which would affect the outcome of the contractual commitment. Unless these issues are addressed, termination for cause is considered appropriate to protect the ethics and integrity of the KO’s office.
It is the responsibility of the COR to ensure that the client gets a competent contractor. Therefore, in the light of the above findings, the COR should advice the client to rescind the contractor’s offer because Easy Corp does not meet the basic standards of conduct, ethical guidelines as well as the integrity requirements of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). Without which, the COR shall have failed in his COR duty according to the established FAR requirements. Failure to warn the client will be considered as conflict of interest in the contract.
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Murray, J. (2014). Complex Contracting , Trevor L. Brown, Matthew Potoski & David M. Van Slyke. Local Government Studies, 1-2. doi:10.1080/03003930.2014.923170
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