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About this blog

This blog is managed by Bob Antonio, the Owner of Wifcon.com. It includes link to news items on contracting and the blogger's comments

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A Contracting Officer In The Midst Of A Maelstrom

In early 1977, Gordon Wade Rule (Rule) sat in a chair in a corner of a conference room at the Naval Material Command reading a document that I had prepared about his negotiations on the CGN-41, a nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser.  Days earlier, I was among a group that was briefed by a staff member of Admiral Hyman Rickover (Rickover), the Director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program.  Although, the briefing was supposed to be about the CGN-41 negotiation, we were treated to a 3-hour l

bob7947

bob7947

 

The Contract for "Pook Turtles"

No, they are not candy; no they are not turtles. However, they did have an iron shell. Pook Turtles were designed by Samuel M. Pook and were the "City Class" of armored gunboats that sailed the Mississippi and its tributaries beginning in early 1862. They were called Pook Turtles because people thought they looked like turtles. The seven ships were the USS Cairo, Carondelet, Cincinnati, Louisville, Mound City, Pittsburg, and St. Louis. The recovered remnants of the USS Cairo now rest at the N

bob7947

bob7947

 

Why GAGAS Should Make You Gag

For those of you who are not familiar with the auditing world, GAGAS is the acronym for Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards and it is written and maintained by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Compliance with GAGAS is mandatory for an auditor during the conduct of an audit and a memo noting compliance with GAGAS should be in the auditor's assignment folder for each audit. Although I was a member of the auditing community during my career with the GAO, I also viewed myse

bob7947

bob7947

 

A Visit From the FAR Council -- 2016 Update

At the end of calendar year 2014, I analyzed the number of Federal Acquisition Circulars (FACs) issued by the FAR Council, by month, from 2014 through 2000.  I had mentally noticed that the Council had a penchant for issuing FACs in December so I wanted to see if the actual numbers matched what I thought was happening.  The numbers did!  My mind was still working.  So this year, I updated my 2014 analysis. Well, in 2016 and 2015, the Council was quite merry in December.  They issued 2 FACs durin

bob7947

bob7947

 

Offerors Need To Understand The Pricing Scheme And Any Caveats

On April 26, 2007, the Army awarded an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity, fixed price, job-order contract to Lakeshore Engineering Services, Inc., for repair, maintenance, and construction services at Fort Rucker, Alabama. Lakeshore performed 79 construction delivery orders in the base year and 74 construction delivery orders in the first option year. On March 10, 2009, Lakeshore filed a claim with the contracting officer seeking $1,996,152.40 for losses it incurred while performing d

bob7947

bob7947

 

Offer and Acceptance, Contracting Authority, Etc.

In Thomas F. Neenan, as Trustee of the Thomas F. Neenan, Sr., Revocable Trust, v. U. S., No. 11-733C, August 22, 2013, you are taken through some of the basics of federal contracting. How many basic points can you identify in this 10-page opinion? I've listed those that I identified below: 1. Offer and acceptance, unconditional offer, preliminary negotiations. 2. Change in ownership, death of party, trust agreement. 3. Pattern or practice. 4. Contract specialist's authority, integral

bob7947

bob7947

 

DIVAD Versus 60 Minutes

Yesterday, Don Mansfield posted an article entitled Lying to Ourselves: Dishonesty in the Army Profession. After reading the digest of the article and bristling at some of the jargon used, I can report on what was written in simple language. It is: under some circumstances Army officers can accept a lie as truth. Why single out Army officers? I won't. The truth is that humans can accept a lie as truth. I've written about that before. The article made me remember an episode of 60 Minutes

bob7947

bob7947

 

Congress Passes Too Much Acquisition Legislation

In 1972, the Commission on Government Procurement wrote that Congress should limit its acquisition legislation to fundamental acquisition matters and let the Executive Branch implement Congress's policies through specific acquisition regulation.  If Congress had listened, it would be passing less acquisition legislation, doing a better jub of fulfilling its oversight responsibility of acquisition activities, and the FAR Councils would be performing their regulatory duty to implement Congress's a

bob7947

bob7947

 

"A Propinquent Level Of Bureaucratic Service And Consideration"

Imagine quoting on a procurement in which you submitted the lowest-priced, technically acceptable quote. Instead of winning the award, you were told that your quote was unacceptable and ineligible for award because you did not possess the requisite facility clearance prior to award. Although you submitted your facility clearance information to the contracting officer on December 6, 2012, nearly two months later on February 1, 2013, little had been done on it. You protest to the U. S. Court of

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bob7947

 

GAO's Most Prevalent Reasons for Sustaining Protests--2016 Update

The Competition in Contracting Act of 1984 requires the Government Accountability Office (GA0) to report to the U. S. Congress annually when government agencies fail to fully implement its bid protest recommendations. GAO has posted these reports on its website since fiscal year (FY) 1995. Initially, these reports provided little information but by FY 2004, GAO published its "Bid Protest Statistics" covering FY 2004 through 2001. I have added every one of these reports to the fiscal year numbers

bob7947

bob7947

 

The Congressional Budget Office Compares Apples And Oranges

The Army plans to develop and procure a new Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) that will do two things: 1) operate as a combat vehicle and 2) transport soldiers onto the battlefield. The GCV would replace the current Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) believes that implementing the GCV program would cost $29 billion–in 2013 dollars–between 2014 to 2030. The CBO did a report that compares the Army’s plan for the GCV with four other alternatives. Although none of

bob7947

bob7947

 

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Contract Analysis

One of our colleagues sent this to me and I am posting it for you. Even Bilbo Baggins has a contract attorney to watch over him. "I, the undersigned, [referred to hereinafter as Burglar,] agree to travel to the Lonely Mountain, path to be determined by Thorin Oakenshield, who has a right to alter the course of the journey at his so choosing, without prior notification and/or liability for accident or injury incurred." "The aforementioned journey and subsequent extraction from the Lonely Mo

bob7947

bob7947

 

Government Contracting Improvement Act of 2012?

At this time of year, newly introduced legislation often is introduced and then quickly enters oblivion. I checked this Senator's committee and subcommitee assignments and did not find any direct link to federal contracting. Maybe that explains it. "Sen. Toomey's bill would require the GAO to include the most common reasons bid protests are sustained. This additional information could help federal agencies identify needed improvements in the contracting process, reduce the number of protests

bob7947

bob7947

 

When The Rule Is Mandatory, It Means Mandatory!

You're travelling on your own for the government and you found a way to save money but you're subject to the Joint Travel Regulations as well as the Federal Travel Regulation. What do you do? You went ahead and saved the government money and were proud of yourself. Unfortunately, your finance office stiffed you when it came time for payment. Its time to learn about rules that are mandatory. See the case at cbca.gsa.gov. (it is only 2 pages.)

bob7947

bob7947

 

Is FAR 8.406-6 As Easy As "May" and "Shall"?

I was reading a decision of the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) about a week ago and I found the following. Why read the ASBCA decision when I could go straight to the horse's mouth! So I searched the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) web site and I found the Sharp decision--and it was recent. Here is a brief description of the issue in the Sharp case. On September 18, 2001, the General Services Administration (GSA) awarded a multiple award schedule (MAS) contr

bob7947

bob7947

 

Two Days To Remember

The government has plenty of rules involving time. In certain circumstances, an offeror has 10 days to submit a protest. On the other end of the process, contractors have so much time to submit a claim or to respond to a contracting officer's final decision. Here is one case involving time limits: On April 26, 2012, EPSI submitted a certified claim to the SBA contracting officer seeking $135,013.27 from the SBA for increases in the minimum wages during EPSI's period of performance fr

bob7947

bob7947

 

Termination For Convenienience: Not As Convenent As One Might Think

In 2010, the U.S. Central Command's Task Force for Business and Stability Operations, had a requirement for security services to facilitate investment and commerce in Iraq. This blog entry deals with the 2 competitive solicitations and contracts that led to a case before the Court of Federal Claims (COFC). Unfortunately for Tigerswan, the awardee of the 2 contracts under the solicitations, the contracts weren't rewarding--at least for the contracted items. (TigerSwan did claim damages of $

bob7947

bob7947

 

The Case Of The Reluctant Subcontractors

In the U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia, a recent opinion was issued in which 3 hospitals wanted to avoid being labled as government subcontractors to avoid the Department of Labor's rules covering subcontractors. The hospitals had contracts with UPMC Health Plan to provide medical services and supplies to individuals enrolled in its program. UPMC contracted with the U. S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to provide coverage for federal employees in the Federal Employees

bob7947

bob7947

 

Rebates And Discounts In Food Service Contracts

"The Subcommittee’s investigation of food service contracts has revealed systemic deficiencies in the transparency and oversight of contractors’ rebate and discount policies. Chairman McCaskill asked Office of Management and Budget Director Zients to review the Subcommittee’s findings and issue guidance to federal agencies to address these deficiencies. She also requested that OMB consider how the federal government can better leverage its buying power through the strategic sourcing of food serv

bob7947

bob7947

 

Contractors Up For Suspension

"A bipartisan group of senators led by U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) are expressing continued concern and frustration over the Army's use of contractors that have potential ties to terrorist groups. The senators specifically referred to a longstanding backlog of 43 referrals pending before the Army's Suspension and Debarment Official that involve individuals or companies with links to groups including the Haqqani Network and Al Qaeda as reason for concern that underscores the Army's need t

bob7947

bob7947

 

Camp Pendleton Contracting Official Arrested On Bribery Charges

"According to the complaint, filed in this matter with the United States District Court, Southern District of California, case number 13MJ1269, Cervantes is charged specifically with violating Title 18, United States Code (U.S.C.) Section 201 ( B )(2), bribery. Cervantes allegedly used his position to extort bribes from businesses seeking to do business at Camp Pendleton and allegedly referred to himself as the Godfather at Camp Pendleton; Cervantes is currently a U.S. Department of Defense empl

bob7947

bob7947

 

The Sovereign Has Not Consented To Be Sued

In Estes Express Lines, Inc. v. U. S., No. 11-597C, January 15, 2013, the Court of Federal Claims said: "For the government to be sued on a contract pursuant to the Tucker Act, there must be privity of contract between the plaintiff and the United States." "This is so because the doctrine of sovereign immunity precludes a suit against the United States without its consent and because, under the Tucker Act, the United States has 'consent[ed] to be sued only by those with whom it has privity

bob7947

bob7947

 

If You Want A Contract, Don't Have A "Seriously Delinquent Tax Debt"

H. R. 882, the Contracting and Tax Accountability Act of 2013 passed the House of Representatives on April 15, 2013. The bill would lead to a nice amount of paperwork, new criteria for determining contractor responsibility, and opportunity for debarment. A copy of the bill, as reported from committee, is here.

bob7947

bob7947

 

Design Defects & Differing Site Conditions

Searching for an item to post is time-consuming and frustrating. However, some times an item pops up from an unexpected place. In this case, it was the U. S. Civilian Board of Contract Appeals. The case is straightforward and easy to read and contains some excerpts that are noteworthy. Here is what the Board said: "Our view is in line with the contractor's. Although Drennon's technique for excavating the hillside may not have been ideal, due to the defects in the design of the project and

bob7947

bob7947

 

GSA Schedule Contractors: CTA or Prime/Subcontractor Relationship?

"Under a Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA), two or more GSA Schedule contractors work together to meet ordering activity needs. By complementing each other's capabilities, the team offers a total solution to the ordering activity's requirement, providing a "win-win" situation for all parties." But what is a Prime/Subcontractor relationship and what is the difference from a CTA? Let GSA explain. See the information at gsa.gov.

bob7947

bob7947

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