Government Furnished Materials (GFM) consist of anything the government supplies to the printer to produce the work.  GFM may consist of manuscript copy, camera copy, film, electronic media, slides, photos, drawings, or any combination thereof.  The completeness and quality of these materials is very important in government jobs for two primary reasons:  1) GPO puts a quality level for the finished product on all of its jobs; 2) Hassling with defective materials or bad disks or poor quality photos takes a substantial amount of time, making it difficult or impossible to meet GPO’s strict shipping or delivery schedules. 

Whenever a printer receives poor quality, defective or incomplete GFM, it is his responsibility to contact the GPO contracting officer or contract administrator immediately by phone and advise him/her of the specific problems with the materials.  Contract Terms, Contract Clause 7When there is an obvious conflict created by the government (GFM or instructions not as listed in specs or print order) the printer – not the government – has the duty to "bring any discrepancies to the attention of the Contracting Officer" before proceeding.  Contract Clause 7.  

Conversations about the GFM or conflicts should be followed up by completing the Poor Quality or Defective Materials form letter and faxing it to the GPO.  The form letter covers issues relating both to the corrective measures that need to be taken and any time extensions that might be necessary to make those corrections. 

The printer should not correct the problems without authorization, confirmed by a contract mod or the Poor Quality or Defective Materials form letter.  If the contracting officer does authorize the printer to correct the problems, the printer is entitled not only to payment for any additional labor and materials, but also to a schedule extension for the amount of time it takes to perform the additional work, plus any amount of time during which the printer was waiting for an answer as to how to handle the problem.  Note that the GPO does not provide “grace days” for changes or extra work, but only provides a time extension for the days needed to complete the additional work.

If the GPO elects to have you send the materials back and then send you corrected copy, film, artwork or disks, the automatic schedule extensions apply, because the government was late furnishing usable or appropriate materials. 

Remember that incomplete materials should be treated like late materials for purposes of the automatic time extensions.

Copyright © 2000-2007 Frederic G. Antoun Jr.  All rights reserved.