« Contracting Data Online | Main | AFGE Prez Live Online at Noon Today »

Jan 31, 2005


Susan Hughes

I am the owner of a small woman-owned business that has had competitively won contracts terminated or canceled four times and the work given via this miscoding fraud to large business. In one instance, I had a commercial-item contract that I won in full and open competition partially terminated for convenience and the work subsequently given to a large business. As a result of this partial termination for convenience, I have been in litigation with the government for going-on five years. The government has pursued me viciously.

In a September 2004 decision bereft of logic, Judge Coldren of the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals ruled that the government had the right to partially terminate one of our commercial items after acceptance. This decision is akin to stating that the government has the right to purchase a light bulb, accept it, let it burn for three months, and then call the vendor and demand part of the purchase price back. When the vendor refuses to refund a portion of the purchase price, the government then has the right to issue an assessment for part of the purchase price. In my case, that assessment was approximately $20,000.

I launched an investigation via the office of Senator John Warner into the subsequent award of the work to a large business. This investigation resulted in a letter from the Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General, stating that the NAICS code for the work we had won had been altered in order to "improperly facilitate" contract award on a sole-source basis to an otherwise noneligible firm. As a result of this letter, nothing has happened to the perpetrator. I am still operating the contract on less than half the revenues I bid, and I have been subjected to insidious retaliation.

Susan E. Hughes
Individual Development Associates, Inc.
Dumfries, Virginia
[email protected]

The comments to this entry are closed.