Helping Guide for Government and Private Home Contractors

Updated Help for Home Construction Contractors

Local government

Why Should Local Government Rethink the ‘Fixing the Plumbing’ Principle

When it comes to “fixing the plumbing,” it means breaking the local government’s dependence on expensive or inflexible technology. It won’t join up building reusable digital services but will support digital technology for the plumbing systems to make it effortless to the users.

It is very effective since digital technology helps the user support their needs and continuously helps them improve to take any challenging tasks.

Generally, by changing the front-end systems, local councils fix their plumbing. In addition, they offer user-friendly and simple customer interfaces that encourage people to interact with online public services.

Digital plumbing systems develop their websites and mobile apps so that the user gets every possible facility in no time.

And the process of contacting a plumber through the internet is straightforward. For instance, when you reach any website, you will find different contacting systems like sending email or message or even they would provide the phone number. Thus, you can use your preferred contact system you want.

On the other hand, a few sites also ask you to fill up your information. Once you provide all the information, like your name address, it will automatically transfer to the spreadsheet. After that, the site staff member will deliver your mail to the relevant plumber you need.

However, the government should rethink the extra costs to avoid any customer bad experience. Also, they should think about “fixing the pricing” issue just to ensure the digital plumbing process is holistic. And it should integrate with the ideal legacy system of consolidation.

Digital Plumbing Transformation

If you are fully prepared for the digital plumbing transformation, make sure you use the latest technology to empower all your employees. That’s because this will improve the performance of your business, efficiency, agility, transparency, and so on. Usually, technology helps bring everyone together in a highly collaborative environment. And this will help to create a seamless plus efficient workplace.

Nevertheless, the local government organizations can manage a number of data-rich services. They plan to identify when the service needs to be digitally transformed and might feel overwhelming.

In terms of lite case management aspects, one should focus on short-term options to transform one area. It would be an attractive option, but these limitations would be more apparent when it comes to the long-term run.

Fixing the plumbing usually focuses on the solutions that are unable to grow and meet the organization’s evolving needs; this is especially for changing the regulatory landscape.

In addition, these solutions do not allow the council to react quickly, changing any rules in government policy.

Sometimes when you upgrade anything, the council may want to change out of the choice that is a painful exercise. This puts the plumbing council bearing the costs of potential costs to different technologies. But, on the other hand, it helps improve plumbing service technology more frequently.

Anyhow, these costs are due to the short-term platform approach, which is from the very beginning. But the councils can take a long-term approach to avoid these costs issues.

Additionally, when councils take a long-term approach, this helps government organizations acquire technological capabilities whenever they need to transform the front-end and back-office to identify their specific areas plus priorities for deployment.

When you are ready to enable the digital transformation, there are a few things you should ask yourself.

– Are you ready to be constrained by legacy systems?

– Is your investment enough for the innovation?

– What could be the actual cost of running the business effectively?

– What would be a strategy for you to connect the business process?

– What is your strategy to connect your modern open system?

– Can you vendor effectively dictate your digital strategy?

– How much could your leveraging cost?

Take a deep look at those questions and find out the answers. Then, if you get positive answers, make your plumbing system a digital process.

Bottom Line

At first, digital transformation could be a complex process for you. But when you focus on the front-end system, this will be easier for you. You should think about the long-term instead of focusing on a short-term fix.

 

Research on different types of strategies and embrace the short-term, medium, and long-term strategic goals. Then, when you will go with the flow of your plumbing service, your local government will address the challenges.

 

Plumbing Contractors

Plumbers Vs. Plumbing Contractors Vs. Specialty Plumbers – Are They the Same

As a homeowner, you may think the terms plumbers, plumbing contractors, and specialty plumbers are the same. But these three have significant distinctions when it comes to their responsibilities or skills. To help you get a clear idea, here’s a quick guide on these services.

Plumbers Vs. Plumbing Contractors Vs. Specialty Plumbers

Definition Of A Plumber

A plumber is someone who can help you install or maintain the pipes of your home or business. Generally, these pipes are needed for water, irrigation, draining, etc. And if you face any issues like frozen pipes, leaky faucets, or drain blockage and clogged toilets while using them, you will need a trained professional to repair your fixtures.

What Can A Plumber Do?

A plumber is an officially expert in many plumbing fixtures. He goes through under another plumber to learn the task effectively. Whenever you have an emergency, you usually look for a professional plumber to handle everything perfectly.

Most of the plumbers are experienced with some common tasks. For instance,

– A plumber knows how to fix faucet issues

– If your toilet is clogged

– He will clear the shower when it drains

– You can ask him for food disposals

– If there are any issues with hot water dispensers

– When your kitchen sink does not work properly

– A plumber can fix up the bathtubs issue

Types of Plumbers

Typically, plumbers come in 5 different types.

  1. Residential Plumber

A residential plumber is specialized in repairing, maintaining, and installing fixtures in residential areas or homes. Mostly, they spend time on small-scale plumbing pipe system installation, including plumbing system repairs. In addition, they work to solve issues on water systems pipes within a home.

  1. Commercial Plumber

Plumbers who are certified professionals at plumbing works and perform duties in commercial settings are known as commercial plumbers. Usually, commercial plumbers working areas are hospitals, schools, colleges, or industrial equipment. A commercial plumber is responsible for repairing, maintaining, as well as installing commercial settings.

  1. Sanitary Plumber

A professional person who is experienced in the sanitary system is known as a sanitary plumber. Most homeowners hire this type of plumber to solve sanitary plumbing issues.

  1. Service and Repair Plumber

Plumbers who are experts at both commercial and residential plumbing systems are called service and repair plumbers. They do common tasks like pipe leaks, reducing clogs, adjusting the water pressure, etc.

  1. Water supply plumber

People who are especially working with water supply settings are water supply plumbers. Typically, they can fix any kind of issue on water tanks, overhead storage tanks or pipes, bathroom tanks, as well as other water supply systems.

Definition Of A Plumbing Contractor?

A plumbing contractor is an expert at everything a plumber can do. But a plumber contractor also knows how to work on the plumbing design and construction of a new house.

What Can A Plumbing Contractor Do?

So, you are wondering what a plumbing contractor exactly does? Let’s have a quick look at the tasks.

– Helps renovate or construct the home’s disposal system

– He is an expert at installing flues, gas connections, plus water heaters. So you are looking for a water heater repair near me, it is the right choice to hire a plumber.

– A plumbing contractor helps connect the home’s water system

– You will get help to soften the home’s equipment, at the same time to install gas control valves

– They can provide help for the water leak or yard line leak, gas or slab leak

– You will need a plumbing contractor to get a consultant when you are in the planning stages of your home

– They troubleshoot the plumbing fixtures to make corrections when needed

Definition Of A Specialty Plumber?

Plumbers who are specialized in installing fire sprinkler systems are specialty plumbers. Installing fire sprinklers is a must for commercial areas rather than residential areas since it is an added safety function. When the fire sprinkler can detect any smoke, it will automatically turn on to avoid accidents.

What Can A Specialty Plumber Do?

Usually, specialty plumbers are focused on:-

– Sprinkler system to avoid any danger

– They work on home remodeling projects

– Helps in installing or repairing water pipes or lines

– Also, they are experts at gas line install

Bottom Line

Hopefully, now you have a clear concept of the difference between plumbers and plumbing contractors, and specialty plumbers. So, whenever you need the help of a plumber, you should evaluate your need and then call an expert.

Political Contributions

Despite Longstanding Ban, US Government Contractors Are Making Political Contributions , But How ?

Making political contributions is prohibited for government contractors. It is a longstanding ban that is put in place to prevent any influence-peddling plus any types of corruption in the contracting system.

But unfortunately, the C.L.C. – Campaign Legal Center filed several complaints alleging that the federal contractors violated. Moreover, they do not follow the band yet give money to the super political action committees.

The ban contribution protects against the pay-to-play system, which is a wealthy special interest. It rewards the political contributors with lucrative government contracts. It actually prevents the reality or the appearance of funded contracts for sale.

However, it is not impossible for the contractors to make any kind of illegal contributions to violate the ban; it’s a brief by the Federal Election Commission (F.E.C.) that upholds the law. On the other hand, the commission has shown willingness to enforce the ban in recent years.

Additionally, the C.L.C. has long tracked this concerning trend plus filed a successful complaint over the past few years. Besides, the complaints have penalties from the F.E.C. For example, once, the F.E.C. fined the Alpha Marine Services 17,000 USD since they contributed to the Congressional leadership Fund. Moreover, C.L.C. sent them a legal fine for contributing 100,000 USD.

Similarly, F.E.C. also fined the federal contractor Ring Power Corporation about 9,500 USD since they gave a super P.A.C. supporting Sen. Furthermore, Rick Scott after the C.L.C. also filed a complaint with that commission.

In 2016, to respond to the complaint from C.L.C., the F.E.C. fined the Suffolk Construction Company contractor about 34,000 USD. That’s because they illegally contribute 200,000 USD for the democratic super P.A.C. Priorities the U.S.A. Action. And it supports Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

However, the F.E.C. is also responsible for enforcing the laws of the U.S.A., and it should act to enforce the ban to discourage any kind of future violations.

Here are six federal contractors identified by C.L.C. who made an illegal contribution to super P.A.C.s.

  1. Kirby-Smith Machinery, Inc. (which is a renowned heavy equipment distribution company) provides 10,000 USD to Restore Oklahoma. In the 5th District congressional race, a new super P.A.C. supported Republican Stephanie Bice. Besides, they were under multiple contracts with the Department of Defense.
  2. Marathon Petroleum Company gave 500,000 USD each for the conservative super P.A.C.s Congressional Leadership Fund and Senate Leadership Fund. At the same time, they held a nearly 2 million USD contract with the help of the Department of Defense. It is insane!
  3. Excel Dryer, Inc.(it is a hand dryer producer) and they gave 10,000 USD to American Working Families. It is Democratic super P.A.C. running ads that support Rep. When the company publicly touted Rep Richard Neal in Massachusetts’ 1st District congressional race. Nevertheless, while under contract with the General Services Administration (G.S.A.), Neal supports this contribution.
  4. A nursing home company named Amedisys, Inc. (delivered a 150 million USD settlement in 2014 for Medicare fraud) gave 25,000 USD to Senate Leadership Fund under several active federal government contracts.
  5. A Detroit-based diversified energy company named DTE Energy gave 15,000 USD to American Working Families. And the contribution was under the G.S.A., Department of Justice, Department of Defense, including Department of Veterans Affairs.
  6. One New York-based office supply company named TonerQuest gave 25,000 USD to the Trump-aligned super P.A.C. American First Action, and at that time, they were under contract with the G.S.A.

However, political donations by government contractors have also been discovered. Some are from the GEO Acquisitions II, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of private prison giant GEO Group. Additionally, it has valuable contracts with U.S. Immigration plus Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.).

According to the state of issue 52 U.S.C. § 30119(a)(1), it is unlawful for any person or contractor to contribute money within the United States. Therefore, when a company or contractor gives money to any political party, candidate, or committee for any political purpose, it is totally unlawful.

Furthermore, the Supreme Court also overturned the many longstanding campaign finance restrictions. Thus, before making any contribution, one should be careful and learn things more appropriately.

Plumbing and Politics

Should You Mix Plumbing and Politics?

When it came to rules during the Wild West era, many specified “no-politics” since, like oil and water, they didn’t mix.

When it comes to plumbing and the political views of their owners, the same holds, as both the Great Pandemic Depression and the presidential election season are occurring simultaneously, entrepreneurs are tempted to use their firms as platforms to advocate their political views openly.

 

Is it a Better Choice to Mix Plumbing and Politics?

No, If you’re in the plumbing business, it’s a good idea not to combine politics with your plumbing business; otherwise, you’ll run into financial difficulties.

It would help if you avoided getting involved in local or national politics while you own a business, regardless of the topic.

Why? If you haven’t already figured it out, adopting aside a hotly debated topic is a surefire way to alienate a large portion of your potential customers.

 

Don’t Indulge in Such Activities.

The bravery to stand up for what you believe in is wonderful, but if you want to maximize your earnings, I believe you should avoid doing so.

However, we’ve seen that even the most powerful multinational corporations may be damaged when they speak out on one side of a political issue.

 

Search for a Winning Clause

With a sign outside your plumbing shop supporting one candidate, you’re bound to lose clients who don’t agree. Are you ready to risk losing even a small percentage of your consumers who are on the opposite side of the political debate?

And how would you feel if a small company you often frequent had signs supporting the politician you oppose? Is it possible for you to relocate your business? Perhaps Branson pushed company owners to choose a charitable cause to support rather than discuss party politics.

That’s a very different matter, though. For company owners, getting involved in the community and spreading the word about a subject close to their hearts is typically a good idea.

Why not ask your consumers to fund organizations that fight chronic illnesses, stop domestic violence, and improve the lives of young people in your community? Incorporate them into your marketing efforts.

Please pay it forward by making a charitable donation from your earnings. Customers and the general public show their appreciation for plumbers who promote awareness of worthy issues.

 

Reasons Not to Mix Plumbing with Politics

 

1. Customers might Leave your Plumbing Business

First and foremost, you might lose a lot of consumers if you plaster your political party’s flag all over your shop. We may use mathematical reasoning to explain this logic, using the presidential election as an example.

Presumably, Joe Biden won the Democratic nomination, and Donald Trump was elected president by Republicans, but let’s say that half of your clients are Democrats.

If you were to display campaign literature from either party in your storefront, you might expect half of your customers to be outraged and never return.

 

2. The Incomes of your Plumbing Business can be Minimize

When it comes to wealth management, a company, like a person, has three options. The book The Survival of the Richest best proved this. It’s possible to manage one’s money in three basic ways:

  • You might begin by reducing your wealth to the level of your fundamental necessities for survival.
  • Second, you have the option to live on the brink of extinction with only the bare minimum of resources.

It is now possible to maximize your money over the necessities required for existence.” The book’s results show that limiting wealth and surviving on one’s own isn’t adequate.

 

3. It could End your Plumbing Business

Entrepreneurs should avoid becoming involved in politics for the third and most important reason: their companies may go out of existence. For the most part, this is a product of the preceding two principles.

Businesses will certainly suffer financial consequences if they lose a significant number of their existing clients. They may be forced to close their doors if they suffer a significant financial loss.

 

4. Your Personal Wealth May Suffer

Because their riches might be at risk, business people should avoid getting involved in politics. Even if a business fails, the owner will still need to find a way to cover her living expenses. If she has no alternative source of income, she will likely need to find new work right away.

work on a government contract

How to Handle Government Contractor Fraud

Whistleblowers frequently win cases based on “procurement fraud,” a type of government contracting fraud.

Federal and state governments use various procurement and government contracting laws and methods to obtain products and services, from weapons systems to computer consulting to uniforms.

Individuals who sell goods and give services to the government conduct fraud across many businesses and organizational structures.

What is a Government Contractor Fraud?

When a contractor knowingly induces the government to pay money, it should not have paid for goods and services under a contract.

These services are when the contractor knows the products or services are not provided, or when the contractor lies to get the contract. It is considered government contracts fraud. It includes any dishonest scheme.

What are the Different Types of Government Fraud Cases:

In government contracting, there are several different types of fraud:

  • Supplying goods or services in violation of contract or regulatory specifications, such as when they do not comply with specified quality assurance and testing standards or have failed such procedures.
  • A breach of the “most favoured customer” or “best pricing” criteria, price reduction provisions, and the Truth in Negotiation Act involves making false assertions about costs, prices, and reductions.
  • Falsely claiming exaggerated expenses or rates for materials or services.
  • Cross-charging occurs by moving expenses from one government contract to another or misallocating costs between government and commercial contracts.
  • Preventing cyberattacks, data breaches, and other security flaws from becoming public knowledge.
  • Export control regulations include the U.S. Trade Agreements, Buy American Act, or other export control legislation.
  • Falsifying a claim of conformity with the prevailing wage laws or the Davis-Bacon Act.
  • Small companies, minorities, or women-owned businesses programs can be circumvented by falsely claiming a disadvantaged business status or utilizing fake subcontractors or other structures.
  • Bribery, manipulating the bidding process, or other illegal tactics used to get a government contract.
  • Some instances of how contractors cheat the government may be found here. A whistleblower may file a claim under the federal False Claims Act if the federal government is the contracting party. A rival can file a False Claims Act suit.

Who is a Whistleblower?

An individual or organization can become a whistleblower if they are aware of unlawful conduct perpetrated by a contractor on behalf of the government. Under the FCA or Lincoln’s Law, a whistleblower may file a suit (qui tam action) against the government.

As a result of the False Claims Act, a whistleblower known as a “relator” can sue the contractor on behalf of the government in a civil lawsuit. To protect the whistleblower’s identity, the firm under investigation has not identified them.

Whistleblowers can file civil lawsuits against corrupt contractors even if they haven’t been damaged in any manner, unlike federal civil cases in the U.S.

Whistleblowers can be anyone who has knowledge and proof that points to suspected federal contractor fraud, whether they’re from an organization, an employee, a family member, an old acquaintance, a neighbor, or anyone else.

Regardless of how large or small their company is, employees may be reluctant to speak out about their boss due to various factors. The anti-retaliation provisions of the False Claims Act were adopted by Congress to safeguard workers from being fired, demoted, or harassed because of their work in connection with the False Claims Act investigation.

When an employee is dismissed or mistreated by their company because of a whistleblower’s name being revealed, this protection permits them to get the compensation that makes them “whole” again.

What are the Compensations?

Compensations can be in various forms, such as:

  • Reinstatement along with Seniority
  • Interest
  • Payback (Double)
  • Attorney Fees and Costs
  • Special Damages

Consult an Experienced Attorney

You must report contractor fraud in government if it has been discovered. Any unlawful or unethical action by contractors or subcontractors must be held accountable. But you’ll need the support of a federal construction fraud attorney to get through this challenging circumstance.

Government Contractor

Getting Paid for your Work on a Government Contract

The payment conditions will be spelled out in the agreement between your company and the government organization.

Following receipt of a correctly rendered invoice and satisfactory delivery of goods or services, the most frequent payment terms are 20 days under the Pay on-Time or Pay Interest Policy. Depending on the terms of your contract, you may get paid in stages if the task is completed to your satisfaction.

The term “milestone payment” is used to describe this payment type. As a result of this agreement, you will be required to meet certain deadlines before you may submit an invoice for payment. The same rules apply to the payment of milestone bills.

Proper Invoice and Prompt Payment

Once the government receives an invoice, governments implemented the Prompt Payment Act to mandate payment within 30 days of receiving the invoice if a small firm completes its contract. As expected, there is a significant caveat.

Only if your invoice is declared “legitimate” under the law will the clock on this Act begin to run. Your invoice will be returned to you within seven days of the billing office receiving it if it is judged “incorrect,” with a summary of the reasons why.

Correcting the error, submitting a new application, and waiting for another 30-days will be necessary. When you submit a legitimate invoice to the government, you may expect “rapid payment” from them.

How to Make a Proper Invoice?

However, the following components are often included in an invoice that has been properly rendered:

  • Identification of the source, such as the company name
  • The supplier’s ABN
  • An indication that a document is meant to be a tax invoice, such as the inclusion of the words “tax invoice” on the document
  • The purchaser’s name or Australian Business Number (ABN) prominently displayed on the invoice for products or services costing $1k or more a unit of supply line item
  • Description of the products or services offered
  • The amount given
  • The cost per unit
  • When it comes to the amount of tax that has been added (if relevant)
  • The sum of money that is must pay
  • The terms of payment
  • The name and contact information of the individual responsible for overseeing the contract
  • The contract reference, the purchase order, the work order, or the formal order
  • Instructions on how the government can pay your company include your bank account information or a copy of your credit card billing statement.

Since much of this data is already required if you’re registered for GST, it shouldn’t be too much of an inconvenience to produce an accurately delivered invoice.

What if we Don’t Get Paid on Time?

It doesn’t matter how big or little your firm is; if you’ve fulfilled your contractual obligations and presented a timely invoice, you deserve to be paid. For contracts worth less than $1 million, your government organization must pay interest to your company if it is late with a payment.

The interest accumulated exceeds A$100, following RMG-417: Pay on-time or pay interest policy. If your firm does not present a properly rendered invoice that complies with the written contract terms, including a purchase order contract, you will not owe interest to your company.

Similarly, you will not owe interest if your organization has not supplied the items or services it has promised to do so.

Will Government Use any EFT and Credit Cards?

The phrase “electronic funds transfer” now encompasses a government-wide commercial purchasing card due to recent legislation. Government purchases can be utilized as an EFT alternative under current law.

When it comes to financing and delivery payments for goods and services, a government-wide commercial the government utilizes purchase card, like a commercial credit card. Charges on a government buy card allow a third party to instant pay the contractor, such as a banking institution.

It will not include the CC account number in the contract, identifying the third party and the purchase card to be used. The contractor receives a separate account number for the purchasing card.

What if a Dispute Occurs on my Invoice?

The government (Australian) is expected to pay the uncontested portion of an invoice within regular payment conditions.

The government agency must flag an error with your invoice as soon as possible to ensure timely payment. You may reduce the number of disagreements over invoices by:

  • For a properly rendered invoice, adhere to the terms of your contract to the letter.
  • Before sending your invoice, double-check that all of its information is accurate.
  • Make sure the contract manager for the Government organization is happy with the job you have done regularly, resolving any issues with your bills promptly.

Copyright 2022 @ellenlipton.com