Leg 505 discussion questions week 1 to 11
LEG 505 Week 1 Discussion 1: Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)
From the e-Activity, explain how each of the following legislative enactments is a foundation for government contract law and the federal acquisition process. Then discuss how knowledge of one of the Acts can help a manager make better decisions.
Armed Services Procurement Act of 1947 (ASPA), codified at 10 U.S.C. §§ 2301-2314
Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (FPASA), codified in U.S.C. §§ 251-260
Competition in Contracting Act (CICA), codified in 41 U.S.C. 253
Discuss the key factors in each Act that demonstrates that the Acts are foundational components of government contract law and the federal acquisition process. Provide an example or scenario of each to support your response.
LEG 505 Week 1 Discussion 2: The Role of the Contracting Officer
Take a position as to whether or not the role of a contracting officer, with the federal government, can be compared to a principal-agent relationship. Support your position.
Argue whether or not a government contracting officer should be held to the standards articulated by the Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002 (Pub.L. 107-204, 116 Stat. 745, enacted July 30, 2002). Support your position. As a manager, determine the best way to communicate the SOX Act adherence to a government contractor you would work with.
LEG 505 Week 2 Discussion 1: Eliminating Wasteful Spending
From the e-Activity, assess the importance of each of the following factors in the effort to minimize wasteful spending in government contracting. Then select one and determine what managerial and / or organizational factor(s) would impede successful adoption of the change in operation and how you would mitigate it.
Policies and processes
From Part 1 of this discussion, select which of these factors is the most important, and which is the least important. Provide a rationale for your selection. Compare and contrast the two factors you selected with regard to the effort to minimize wasteful spending in government contracting.
LEG 505 Week 2 Discussion 2: The Discretionary Function
Explain the discretionary function of a contracting officer and justify the associated immunity. Take a position on whether this concept should still be valued given the current government spending that has occurred in recent years. Support your position.
Analyze how government spending practices directly or indirectly affect the concept of discretionary function. Support your analysis.
LEG 505 Week 3 Discussion 1: Electronic Commerce
As electronic commerce has grown, the inevitable fallout from failed transactions and business relationships has resulted in a developing body of case law. Assess the practicality of using electronic commerce by federal agencies. Then identify a barrier that exists at within federal agencies that is not presented in free enterprise and discuss how this difference affects management. Support your answer.
Speculate on whether the government should be wary in relying on electronic commerce. Explain why or why not. Then present an argument that address how the concerns of e-commerce are paired against those of a corporation.
LEG 505 Week 3 Discussion 2: Whistleblower Protections
From the e-Activity, analyze the degree and form of protection a “whistleblower” can expect to receive after disclosing information to a member of Congress or an authorized official of an agency. Note: This refers to a situation where a substantial violation of law relating to contracts (including competition for negotiation of a contract) is suspected. Consider yourself to be the whistleblower and explain the factors you would weigh in your decision to take action.
Take a position on whether the concerns about whistleblower protections is a factor that inhibits one’s decision to come forward about a substantial violation of law relating to contracts (including competition for negotiation of a contract). Suggest at least one alternative that could alleviate such concerns.
LEG 505 Week 4 Discussion 1: Competitive Bidding and Long-Term Cost Savings
From the e-Activity, take a position on whether competitive bidding provides long-term cost savings when Medicare patients are being limited to the use of the lowest bidders for durable medical equipment. Support your position.
Elaborate on whether or not competitive bidding will remain a viable alternative when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is fully implemented in 2014. Support your position. Discuss defining factors regarding the competitive bidding process and its survival or failure in the healthcare arena if Universal Health Care is implemented in 2014.
LEG 505 Week 4 Discussion 2: The Two-Step Process for Contract Interpretation
Analyze the benefit and the effectiveness of the two-step process for contract interpretation. Provide an example to support your analysis. Then, recommend another step to the process and discuss how this additional process improves the interpretation process.
Analyze how the two-step process for contract interpretation enhances the government contracting process. Provide an example to support your analysis. Then, recommend another step to the process and discuss how this additional process improves the government contracting process.
LEG 505 Week 5 Discussion 1: Outsourcing and In-House Operations
Discuss what you would consider to be an inherently governmental function in the context of government contracting. Explain why there would be a preference as to outsourcing and in-house operations in the areas of materials acquisition planning, resource allocation planning, and materials flow control.
Outsourcing and in-house operations are interactive elements of materials acquisition planning, resource allocation planning, and materials flow control. Argue whether or not inherently government functions should be outsourced. Support your argument with example(s). Then, offer an alternative based on your position.
LEG 505 Week 5 Discussion 2: Market Research
Take a position on whether a government agency should be allowed extensive leeway in determining the methodology used to develop a market research plan in the acquisition and distribution of supplies and services. Provide a specific example of government spending that would support your position.
Analyze the importance and explain the value of a market research plan in the acquisition and distribution of supplies and services. Support your position with examples. Explain which aspect of the market research plan is likely to be the most valuable for those seeking to acquire a company.
LEG 505 Week 6 Discussion 1: Cost-Reimbursement Contracts
Under FAR Subpart 16.3, Cost Reimbursement Contracts are defined as a type of contract that permits payment of allowable incurred costs, to the extent prescribed in the contract. From the e-Activity, defend or refute the reasonableness in the use of this type of contract by government agencies. Based on your position, recommend a revision that would make use of the contract more reasonable.
Take a position on whether cost reimbursement contracts are necessary in government contracting to the extent they provide a means not available in other contract forms. Discuss under what circumstances you would consider the use of cost reimbursement contracts. Include an example to support your position.
LEG 505 Week 6 Discussion 2: Letter Contracts
Give your opinion on whether or not letter contracts should be considered valid in government contracting. Support your position.
Assess what types of contracts are acceptable in government contracting. Compare and contrast the various types and provide three examples that demonstrate their necessity and use.
LEG 505 Week 7 Discussion 1: Price Analysis versus Cost Analysis
Compare and contrast price analysis versus cost analysis, explain how they differ, and describe when it is appropriate to use price analysis versus cost analysis. Select one of the two methods and determine under what condition(s) it would not be appropriate for use. If you believe that the methods apply to any circumstance, justify your response.
Explain the importance of these two types of analysis in the context of government contracts. Provide an example of how each is clearly used.
LEG 505 Week 7 Discussion 2: Award Fee Contracts
From the e-Activity, discuss whether or not the agencies mentioned took any actions that reflected the suggestions provided by the Office of Management and Budget. If you think actions were taken, state what actions were taken and explain why those actions were taken. If you think no actions were taken, analyze why no action was taken and whether action should have been taken under the circumstances. Justify your response.
Discuss whether contractors provide better work with an award fee. Include in your discussion on whether or not they are incentivized by the better profit potential of an award-fee contract. Support your position with an example.
LEG 505 Week 8 Discussion 1: 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).
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.
LEG 505 Week 8 Discussion 2: Deepwater Program
From the second and third e-Activities, analyze whether the Coast Guard’s management and execution of the program was a cause or a symptom of the cost overruns and resulting delays of the Deepwater program. Support your position.
Identify and discuss the key factors that contributed to the cost overruns in the situation in Part 1 of this discussion. Suggest the strategies you would employ to avoid such cost overruns. Support your suggestion.
LEG 505 Week 9 Discussion 1: Contract Modifications
Give your opinion as to whether the procedures in government contracting provide a foolproof method of ensuring that all parties receive adequate notice of changes to a contract. Explain whether the contract modification methods available are effective in providing notice to all parties of a contract change.
Suggest alternative procedures that would be necessary and effective in providing notice of a contract change to all parties. Provide a rationale to support your suggestion.
LEG 505 Week 9 Discussion 2: Bilateral versus Unilateral Changes
Imagine you are administering a construction contract. The contracting officer informs you that there is a conflict over the interpretation of one of the architectural drawings / elements as displayed in the contract drawings. The contracting officer relates that no further work can be performed on the contract until the dispute is resolved. As the contract administrator, determine which modification type (bilateral or unilateral) should be used to suspend work until the dispute is resolved and explain why.
Compare and contrast bilateral modification and unilateral modification. Provide an example or scenario of each that clearly demonstrates how each modification type is used.
LEG 505 Week 10 Discussion 1: Protests, Disputes, and Appeals
From the first e-Activity, outline the requirements for the Court of Federal Claims to hear a complaint. Analyze why each element of the requirements is an independently critical component of a successful claim.
Evaluate the requirements for the Court of Federal Claims to hear a complaint and give your opinion on which requirements are justified, which are not, and which additional requirements would be advisable. Explain what, in your opinion, makes these requirements justifiable or not justifiable.
LEG 505 Week 10 Discussion 2: Contract Termination Liability Risk
From the second e-Activity, evaluate the recommendations the GAO makes to reinforce consistency in contract termination practices in terms of the recommendations’ effectiveness. Determine which recommendations will work best if properly implemented. Support your response.
Propose at least one alternative recommendation to reinforce consistency in contract termination practices. Provide a rationale for your recommendation.
LEG 505 Week 11 Discussion 1: Looking Back
Considering everything you have learned in this course, discuss the single most surprising or interesting lesson learned. Explain what made it so.
Summarize everything you have learned in this course in 140 characters or less (something you could post on Twitter).
LEG 505 Week 11 Discussion 2: Looking Ahead
Identify the most important lesson learned and discuss how you will apply that lesson to your current (or future) legal career. Provide specific examples to support your response.
Reflect on what you have learned in this class and discuss how someone not involved in contract law could leverage the lessons learned in this class. Provide specific examples to support your response.