Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Boxing Rules vs. Government Contracting Rules

Last night I watched the Floyd Mayweather vs. Victor Ortiz fight. My father and his friends watched it Saturday night but I went out on the town so he recorded the PPV fight for me. Great fight! I had to shake my head and laugh. You either love Floyd or not. He's definitely a character.

In case you don't know, Mayweather knocked out Ortiz when Ortiz had his gloves down and was, apparently, looking at the referee. But the rule in boxing is "Always protect yourself", so officially Mayweather was in the right for taking advantage of Ortiz' confusion.

So that got me thinking about doing business with the government. (I was NOT thinking about the government while watching the fight. This was immediately after.) The government is very rules driven. If you submit a bid but don't follow the instructions exactly to the letter, your bid can (and, more often than not, will) be rejected. If you don't follow the rules explicitly when you submit your invoice for payment, even if it means you must reference CFR Part XX, your invoice will be rejected. Then you often can't re-submit until the next specified submission date (i.e, the 30th day of each month).

If you are a government contractor who incurs substantial costs before submission of an invoice, who normally then has to wait 30 days to receive payment, and you mess up... Too bad! You should have followed the instructions to the letter! By not doing so, you didn't protect yourself so if you get knocked down for another 30-60 days while you await payment, that's your fault!

I'm not weighing in for or against. I just think what happened in this fight is a great analogy! And you?

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