Afterthoughts: Flowdown Clauses

What are the three most significant errors contractors make when dealing with flowdown clauses? 1) I think the first error is just having a blanket provision in the front;  a blanket clause that says wherever you see the term “Government” insert “prime contractor” and wherever you see the term “contractor” insert “subcontractor”  because a number of the clauses just don’t work well that way. 2) Incorrect drafting or not complete enough drafting of a disputes provision that gives both parties the opportunity to resolve disputes in a reasonably efficient way.   This entails drafting  two provisions.  One provision for when a subcontractor claims that the government has caused it to incur additional expenses and will need  the prime to sponsor the claim.  The other provision is for … Continue reading

A Brief Note on the Pay-If-Paid Clause: An Occasional Thorn to US Government Construction Subcontractors

Subcontractors bidding US government construction projects often find themselves subject to both mandatory and non-mandatory FAR clauses and provisions flowed-down from the prime contractor’s RFP, as well as the prime’s particular special terms and conditions – and conflicts often exist between the two.  Contract payment is one area where discrepancies abound between the FAR clauses and the prime’s own subcontract terms and conditions.  It cannot be stressed enough that, prior to bidding work, subcontractors must be able to recognize and understand the various payment provisions contained in subcontract RFPs.  Quite simply, for subcontractors, it’s all about the money and how fast they get it. Thus, the type of payment provision is extremely important to subcontractors.  To be sure, a subcontract RFP for a government construction … Continue reading