Knowing who has the cards and playing the contracting game the way the government wants it played can more than offset the government’s inherent power.
You can offset the government’s edge by:
- Understanding that they are under a spotlight by the public, the press, and even the Congress who gave them all the power. They do not like using their power publicly.
- Yet if you make the waves on paper they will slap you down in a number of ways, i.e., putting an informal line thru your name, denying a protest, taking you to court, etc.
- If you embarrass them by cheating they will put you in jail
- Understanding that intense scrutiny causes buyers to be exceptionally risk averse. Heads do roll when contracts mess up publicly. (e.g., Obamacare web site)
Insiders (companies with contracts):
- Play by the rules and help buyers justify contract awards and performance ratings on paper.
- Stay out of trouble by performing at a B level or better.
It’s a paper game with the paper showing that (1) awards were made in the best interest of the taxpayer and (2) contract performance was adequate. (What the paper says may not reflect reality.)
Don’t cross them by protesting or making waves.
They want you to play the game by their rules and if you don’t watch out.
In short, by playing their game and being a stellar business partner, i.e., these people know what I need and help me in any way they can.
Unfortunately, you can’t learn to play the game without a contract.