Discussion Question

Excusable Delays

From the first e-Activity, identify the remedies of excusable delay. Analyze which remedies are appropriate and effective and which

remedies are not. Justify your analysis. Then, select an ineffective remedy and make a recommendation to mitigate the associated issue

(s).

e-Activity

Review the article, “Government schemes cost more than promised,” located at http://www.cato.org/pubs/tbb/tbb-0309-17.pdf (attached).

Consider the article’s treatment of the four transportation construction projects listed in the table below, and be prepared to

discuss.
Estimated Cost and Date of Estimate Original Latest or Actual
Boston “Big Dig” $2.6b (1985) $14.6b (2002)
Denver International Airport $1.7b (1989) $4.8b (1995)
Seattle light rail system $1.7b (1996) $2.6b (2000)
Kennedy Center parking lot $28m (1998) $88m (2003)

Review FAR Part 52 – Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses and Subpart 52.242-14 –Suspension of Work, available at

http://www.acquisition.gov/far/index.html (see below). Be prepared to discuss.52.242-14 Suspension of Work.

As prescribed in 42.1305(a), insert the following clause in solicitations and contracts when a fixed-price construction or

architect-engineer contract is contemplated:

Suspension of Work (Apr 1984)

(a) The Contracting Officer may order the Contractor, in writing, to suspend, delay, or interrupt all or any part of the work of

this contract for the period of time that the Contracting Officer determines appropriate for the convenience of the Government.

(b) If the performance of all or any part of the work is, for an unreasonable period of time, suspended, delayed, or interrupted

(1) by an act of the Contracting Officer in the administration of this contract, or (2) by the Contracting Officer’s failure to act

within the time specified in this contract (or within a reasonable time if not specified), an adjustment shall be made for any increase

in the cost of performance of this contract (excluding profit) necessarily caused by the unreasonable suspension, delay, or

interruption, and the contract modified in writing accordingly. However, no adjustment shall be made under this clause for any

suspension, delay, or interruption to the extent that performance would have been so suspended, delayed, or interrupted by any other

cause, including the fault or negligence of the Contractor, or for which an equitable adjustment is provided for or excluded under any

other term or condition of this contract.

(c) A claim under this clause shall not be allowed—

(1) For any costs incurred more than 20 days before the Contractor shall have notified the Contracting Officer in writing of the

act or failure to act involved (but this requirement shall not apply as to a claim resulting from a suspension order); and

(2) Unless the claim, in an amount stated, is asserted in writing as soon as practicable after the termination of the suspension,

delay, or interruption, but not later than the date of final payment under the contract.

Review the GAO report titled, “Coast Guard: Action Needed As Approved Deepwater Program Remains Unachievable,” GAO-11-743, July 28,

2011, located at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11743.pdf (attached). Be prepared to discuss the likely causes of cost overruns and

delays.

From the first e-Activity, give your opinion as to whether any of the four transportation construction projects in the table would

be able to legitimately rely on “excusable delay.” Explain the key reason why reliance on excusable delay in these cases would or

should be considered legitimate.
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