Government Contracts Partner Bob Tompkins spoke with the Federal News Network to provide guidance to contractors as they deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Mr. Tompkins highlighted that vendors should read their contracts and subcontracts closely to see what clauses around telework or protections against a determination of default by the agency if they can’t meet the contract’s terms and conditions. He made note that there are “excusable delays” to help vendors deal with any threats or real actions taken by agencies to end a contract.
“The first thing you want to do is look at the clauses in your contract that would provide for an excusable delay claim. There is a list of examples, including epidemics and quarantine situations. These are expressly recognized excusable events and partly bolstered now here by the CDC declaring the coronavirus is a pandemic,” Mr. Tompkins said. “It’s not enough to say ‘it’s an epidemic and I couldn’t get my work done.’ You have to show certain things, a causal link between the “act of God” event and the delay or what is impeding your work. You have to demonstrate the excusable delay was caused by the epidemic or quarantine restrictions.”
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