Chapter 33

The Deliberate Mistake Tactic

The deliberate mistake tactic is definitely a tactic you cannot use as a government negotiator. It involves deliberate deception and is therefore considered negotiating in bad faith—and you can’t negotiate in bad faith, lie, or intentionally mislead a contractor in negotiations. It’s an unscrupulous tactic that thankfully isn’t used much by the other side either because it’s just plain unethical and sometimes even illegal. However, you may run in to someone who will try to use it, so you’d better know how to spot it and how it works.

There are two general versions of the deliberate mistake tactic: phony facts, and deliberate omissions and errors. We’ll look at both.


The most common use of the ...

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