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Taking Care of Business
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Old May 29th, 2008, 04:55 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Glenn Chan View Post
As I understand it, some municipalities have defaulted on their debts. Now that's a different level of government (and I also am not American), but I believe it has happened in the past that some government entities default on their obligations (e.g. Orange County).

I wouldn't know if there is any risk with the government entity that you're dealing with... but it might pay off to do your research and to see if the level of risk is acceptable for you (e.g. maybe other risks like theft overshadow any default risk).
Yeah, that's what happened in California. The state basically declared bankruptcy and started over (to put things in a nutshell). I'm not really so much worried about that as I am about fronting money AND the possibility of the project getting the plug pulled on it midway through.
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Old May 30th, 2008, 12:39 PM   #17
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not quite

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Okay, thanks. I'm assuming by "approved contract" you mean that they have signed MY contract?
I worked in state government for a while...... what this means is a signed work order from the department heads / managers that officially give the go ahead, state what funds are available & dedicated, the funding time frame, project dates, etc etc. Don't forget that if money isn't spent at the end of a fiscal year, it sometimes is yanked back into the general budget, which means a project that gets delayed is a project that might not get paid.

Your signed contract is all nice and good, but if it was signed by someone that did not have the rights or proper permission to do so, it could be worth only the paper it is printed on.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 02:19 AM   #18
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So how do I figure out how high up the chain I need to go for this approval?
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 01:34 PM   #19
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Depends

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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
So how do I figure out how high up the chain I need to go for this approval?
This depends on the department, and the levels of oversight. Some times you may be able to get a copy of the "work order" which may or may not exist depending on the budget for the project. Work orders come in all sizes; "install new plumbing for lawn sprinkler system" for $1000 to "buy, install, and maintain and new AC unit" for $80K. Some projects are chopped up into lots of smaller pieces and have individual work orders for each part (sometimes to get around work order monetary limits).

I would highly highly suggest that if working on a contract for the government to just hire a lawyer that has experience with government contracts and get him to give you a canned "government contract" and then build that cost into the contract. the lawyering part shouldn't run over $300-500. Then you have the lawyer approved contract part. Yes it is a huge outlay before the contract is approved. I don't know of any way around that.

Hope that helps
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 02:33 PM   #20
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Well, unfortunately I've already submitted my bid, so I can't adjust for lawyer costs at this point. Sounds like it's pretty vague as far as making sure the project is greenlit and has the funds set aside. Oh well. I still haven't been given a definitive "no" on the 50% up front, so I guess I'll just cross my fingers at this point.

Thanks for the referral. I hope she calls soon because my plate is pretty full and getting more full by the day.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 10:19 PM   #21
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Travis, my day job is that of a State Procurement Officer -- I spend thousands and thousands on outside vendors every day. We'd never pay anyone anything up front as a deposit. Even if we wanted to, state procurement law prohibits such a thing (at least in my state). I can only pay for satisfactory services rendered -- meaning done and finished. They're not being a hard ass, they are probably just following the letter of the law.

As for your getting paid, when I issue a letter of authorization to a vendor, those funds are put aside and locked for future payment of that bill. Those monies can't be touched until I go in and de-comit the funds. Procurement law here also requires that I pay that invoice within 30 days of receiving it. Again, that's in my state. Good luck.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 11:19 PM   #22
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Brian, thanks for the info. Sounds like I should be charging a bit more to cover the hassle for not getting an up front deposit.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 12:59 PM   #23
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Wow, so this whole thing turned out to be a pointless adventure. It turns out that the state has a 2-year contract with a local video company and HAS TO use them for this project. So I basically just invested a bunch of hours into a project I never had a chance of getting. My contact with the state just found out about the contract as well. Really crappy situation but it solves my dilema with getting 50% up front, lol.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 03:01 PM   #24
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Well, probably not completely pointless. A lot of us learned a few things from the posts on this subject. I am sure it will come up on dvinfo again.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 03:05 PM   #25
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Well, probably not completely pointless. A lot of us learned a few things from the posts on this subject. I am sure it will come up on dvinfo again.
No, I know. I guess I was just expressing my frustration that I put a lot of hours into getting this project and it turns out there was no way I could have gotten it in the first place. That was the "pointless" part. d;-)
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Old June 11th, 2008, 03:20 PM   #26
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But you now know that the competition has a 2 year contract that might just eventually run out <wink>, leaving an opportunity! That's IF you want to go after it and it's worth the hassle...
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Old June 11th, 2008, 03:25 PM   #27
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But you now know that the competition has a 2 year contract that might just eventually run out <wink>, leaving an opportunity! That's IF you want to go after it and it's worth the hassle...
Totally agree. I'm actually having my contact find out how one goes about bidding for this contract to see if I want to go for it or not.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 08:41 PM   #28
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Wow, so this whole thing turned out to be a pointless adventure. It turns out that the state has a 2-year contract with a local video company and HAS TO use them for this project. So I basically just invested a bunch of hours into a project I never had a chance of getting. My contact with the state just found out about the contract as well. Really crappy situation but it solves my dilema with getting 50% up front, lol.
Right Hand.... meet Left Hand.

Yeah. Working in and with the government is kind of like that.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 08:42 PM   #29
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I definitely wasn't shocked at this, but I sure was frustrated that I wasted my time. Oh well, on to bigger and better things ... d;-)
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