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  Frequently, this disadvantage becomes even more obvious and problematic when the small to medium sized construction contractor begins to experience problems as a result of defective specifications, differing site conditions, constructive changes made by the Government, or the multitude of similar situations that can quickly turn what was intended to be, and should have been, a successful and profitable project into a less than successful and profitable project or even a literal nightmare. Furthermore, when disputes develop it becomes obvious that many such small to medium sized construction firms either do not understand that they can employ the services of an attorney and eventually be reimbursed for the bulk of their incurred costs under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) if they prevail in litigation or they are unwilling or unable to temporarily finance this significant cost.

  The absence of professional assistance is evident in the quality of the request for an equitable adjustment (REA) and the almost inevitable request for a Final Decision by the Contracting Officer (CO) upon the denial of the REA upon its merits. The term “almost inevitable” is used because in far too many instances these contractors were unfairly forced into expensive and time-consuming litigation before one of the Agency Boards or U. S. Federal Court of Claims when a properly prepared REA or Request for Final Decision could have frequently resulted in a negotiated settlement. In many instances Government employees take unfair advantage of this weakness and negotiate the small to medium constructor’s price down far below the level of an equitable adjustment and far below that level which would have been recovered by a large contractor in an identical situation.

  It is a fact that the Federal Government has almost unlimited resources to enforce its endless regulations making it difficult to do business with for even the large construction firms.

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