LEG 505

Discussion 1

“Excusable Delays” Please respond to the following:

  • 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.
  • 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.

e-Activity

  • Review the article, “Government schemes cost more than promised,” located at http://www.cato.org/pubs/tbb/tbb-0309-17.pdf. 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. Be prepared to discuss.
  • 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. Be prepared to discuss the likely causes of cost overruns and delays.


Discussion 2

“Deepwater Program” Please respond to the following:

  • 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.

Discussion 3

“Contract Modifications” Please respond to the following:

  • 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.


Discussion 4

“Bilateral versus Unilateral Changes” Please respond to the following:

  • 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.

BUS 505

Discussion 1

“Writing the Winning Proposal” Please respond to the following:

  • Drawing upon your experience writing papers for this class, discuss three additional tips for writing the first draft of a proposal. Provide specific examples to support your response.
  • Evaluate all the elements of writing the proposal outlined in Chapter 12 of the textbook and determine the three most critical elements that are more important than all the others. Explain your rationale.

Discussion 2

“Proposal Reviews” Please respond to the following:

  • Evaluate the list of common cost proposal mistakes based on the recommendations in Chapter 15 of the textbook. Select three from the list, and determine the most likely cause of each. Then, recommend a strategy that either the federal government or offerer could take to avoid the mistake in the future.
  • Determine which proposal review would be the most effective in gaining a competitive advantage based on the reviews in Chapter 15 and explain why. Create a new review that’s not part of the review process listed in Chapter 15 and describe how the review adds value to the process.

ECO 550 Discussion 1

Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard

  • Many police officer positions require the applicant to have a college degree even though the tasks of a police officer rarely call upon college course material. Why don’t police departments increase their applicant pool by dropping this requirement?
  • Each year, public schools are rewarded with bigger budgets for achieving a rating of “excellent” or “recommended”and are punished for rating “needs improvement”. These ratings are based on meeting thresholds on a broad set of measures such as attendance rates, graduation rates, standardized test scores, SAT scores, and so on. Discuss the incentives for school principals (who are the agents, in this case) under this scheme and how you might improve them.

Discussion 2

Working in the Firm’s Best Interest

Each year, public schools are rewarded with bigger budgets for achieving a rating of “excellent” or “recommended”and are punished for rating “needs improvement”. These ratings are based on meeting thresholds on a broad set of measures such as attendance rates, graduation rates, standardized test scores, SAT scores, and so on. Discuss the incentives for school principals (who are the agents, in this case) under this scheme and how you might improve them.

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