Doing business with the U.S. Postal Service has always been different from contracting with other federal agencies and commercial entities. As a starting point, the Postal Service is exempt from most federal procurement laws and regulations. such as the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and the Competition in Contracting Act (CICA). The Postal Service has its own special purchasing policies called the Supplying Principles and Practices. On top of these differences, the Postal Service is on the brink of insolvency. To help contractors understand and succeed within this special environment, our firm is presenting a full-day seminar on October 21, 2011 in Chicago on "What Every Postal Service Contractor Should Know." Read on for more details.
Declining mail volumes, multi-billion deficits, and restrictive statutory requirements have led the Postal Service to the brink of insolvency. Since procurement spending is one of the few areas where the agency has a free-hand, contractors have faced aggressive cost-cutting initiatives by the Postal Service. For contractors, simply holding on to their bargained-for contractual benefits is now a major accomplishment. We examine the strategies the Postal Service has employed to reduce its procurement spending and how contractors can best deal with them.
In this climate, proper contract administration takes on even greater importance. When changes occur, or contractors are required to perform under changed conditions, performance costs can escalate enormously. Conversely, budget problems have caused the Postal Service to make reductions under existing contracts and seek contract price reductions in return. But cuts in contract requirements do not necessarily translate into proportional cuts in contract costs, so you need to know how to protect your bottom line. In each case, you must promptly identify and respond to these changes, and not take actions that can defeat your right to be compensated fairly. You also need to know your rights if the Postal Service terminates your contract for convenience. This seminar will show you how to identify these contract changes and how best to respond to them.
Claim avoidance is always a desirable goal, and we show you tried-and-true methods to achieve it. Sometimes, however, claims for additional compensation are unavoidable. Taking the wrong steps initially can defeat your right to be compensated for a change or result in damaging admissions. We show you how to preserve your right to be compensated for changes and how to resolve claims successfully. By the same token, the Postal Service has become more aggressive in asserting its own claims against contractors. In these instances, the Postal Service often withholds contract payments that are otherwise due contractors before these claims have been adjudicated. In addition, the USPS Office of Inspector General has stepped up its fraud investigations unit and contractors can expect more inquiries along these lines. This seminar will show you how to respond to these situations.