Part I: Major Differences Between Commercial and Government Practices

Doing business in the private sector is in some ways similar to doing business with the Department of the Treasury, but government contracting also has some unique aspects that you should be aware of

  • The Department of the Treasury conducts its business through authorized agents called Contracting Officers. Only Contracting Officers with valid warrants may sign contracts and enter into binding agreements with your company.
  • Unlike your commercial customers, the Department of the Treasury, under certain conditions, has the unilateral right to revise its contracts. While you are entitled to equitable adjustments in price and/or delivery time resulting from such revisions, you are committed to fulfill the contract as changed.
  • The Department of the Treasury is given extensive audit and work surveillance rights under its contracts. You are obligated to maintain and retain certain contract records and to submit them for audit on demand. Should such audits reveal a failure to conform to contract requirements, you may be subject to penalties or price adjustments.
  • The Department of the Treasury uses its procurement program to attain numerous national, social, and economic goals. If you participate in a Department of the Treasury contract, you may have to cooperate and comply with various programs to assist with achieving those goals.
  • Certain types of contracts limit the amount of profit you can earn and the amounts and types of costs you may recover.
  • The Department of the Treasury has an absolute right to terminate all or any part of your contract at any time either for convenience of the government (with appropriate compensation to you) or for default if your performance is unsatisfactory.