Maria Panichelli conducted her seminar, “Wage Rates, Contract Change and How to Avoid Conflict: A Seminar on Federal Construction Contracting,” hosted by the Government Agency Coordination Office (GACO), PTAC of California University of Pennsylvania and the Government Contracting Assistance Center, PTAC of Slippery Rock University.
Contract changes are a fundamental part of federal construction contracting. They are, unfortunately, also the largest source of conflict and dispute between the government and construction contractors. This seminar covered simple rules to use to avoid disruptions to a project and increase the likelihood of prompt payment. Maria discussed how to determine if a government request constitutes a “change” to the contract and the types of changes that are most likely to cause conflicts. The presentation will include specific examples of a variety of different types of changes, particularly in the construction context. The program also covered the way that a lack of communication and misconceptions about the authority of government personnel can cause conflicts, featuring specific examples of mistakes on both sides of the contract. Special attention was given to communication, professionalism, and the proper role of performance reviews in the negotiation process.