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  1. Past hour
  2. Hey Vern or any other reader, I am looking for some particular words of wisdom from Vern... it was probably a 2 pager that talked about working in the acquisition workforce. Specifically there was a part about being a professional and that a lot of people you will come into contact during your career will not be professionals. I have a few new "go-getter" employees that are struggling to adjust to some of the government slugs that work around them. I was hoping to share that document with them. I have searched and googled and can't find these words of wisdom. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
  3. Bob, As far as I've been able to determine, that's the most current and the same I was quoting from. Thank you for adding the link; as you can tell from my number of posts, I certainly haven't mastered the system. Randy
  4. Today
  5. This link takes one to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program, Policy Directive, 2/24/14. If that one has been revised, let me know.
  6. NenaLenz, please pause a moment. SBIR Policy Directive, Section 6(a)(2) states, in part, "For Phase I, a minimum of two-thirds of the research or analytical effort must be performed by the awardee. For Phase II, a minimum of one-half of the research or analytical effort must be performed by the awardee." I'm only pointing this out because you really don't say how much of the effort, if any, is being subcontracted. Here comes the kicker. SBIR Policy Directive 6(a)(4) states, "For both Phase I and Phase II, the R/R&D work must be performed in the United States (emphasis added). However, based on rare and unique circumstances, agencies may approve a particular portion of the R/R&D work to be performed or obtained in a country outside of the United States, for example, if a supply or material or other item or project requirement is not available in the United States. The funding agreement officer must approve each such specific condition in writing." As a Contracting Officer for SBIR contracts, I'd be hesitant to approve a foreign subcontractor. Additionally, you don't address any ITAR restrictions, if applicable. I would have to consider availability (using a foreign subcontractor because it's cheaper or the only available source?), percentage of the effort, etc. Keep in mind, the intent of the program is to assist U.S. small businesses. Randy Jewett
  7. bob7947

    I'm Back!!!!!!

    An upgrade was made to the server software last night by my host. It was done 98 % correctly. The internet only accepts 100 % so that is why it was offline. Still working with my host to clarify.
  8. Yesterday
  9. It would be better if you indicate what data rights clauses are proposed. And, generally speaking, the Contractor, and its subcontractors or suppliers, may only assert restrictions on the Government's rights to use, modify, reproduce, release, perform, display, or disclose technical data to be delivered under this contract by marking the deliverable data subject to applicable restrictions. The markings can be challenged by the Government.
  10. Thanks for the response. The award does include that clause, but does not elaborate. I do not read this as an outright prohibition, but rather a "do your best" provision. My client is seeking bids from several companies and hopes to use a domestic one. But if that falls through, their backup option is a foreign firm. If this is the only requirement in the contract, then I think they are okay to use the foreign firm if domestic is not available.
  11. REA'n Maker

    A $1,220 Coffee Mug

    They need a depot repair BOA for their coffee mugs. The money they waste on cups that are BER must be outrageous!
  12. Vern Edwards

    Subscription as a service

    @slthomas527 It might be appropriate to treat a subscription as a service, but you haven't read that in the FAR.
  13. This is an extract from the SBIR Policy Statement put out by the SBA. American-Made Equipment and Products. Congress intends that the awardee of a funding agreement under the SBIR Program should, when purchasing any equipment or a product with funds provided through the funding agreement, purchase only American-made equipment and products, to the extent possible, in keeping with the overall purposes of this program. Each SBIR agency must provide to each awardee a notice of this requirement. Notice the last sentence. Check your award to see what it says in this regard.
  14. This is an NIH contract generated as part of a BAA and is not an SBIR.
  15. Vern Edwards

    We Cannot Explain Our Requirements

    Keep in mind that Joel said: "If the in-house using activity doesn’t have the expertise to write the performance work statement and you think that a consultant could write a clean, coherent and pretty good PWS in a week, what are you waiting for?" Note the emphasis. I am very experienced and very good at writing SOWs, and I will say that no consultant with his or her head screwed on properly is going to agree to a performance deadline until he or she has spent some time figuring out the nature and scope of the requirement to be specified, identified the people who will have to be interviewed, and determined the client's review process. I would insist on a level of effort contract. And you would not able to buy the service from me at a "P" card price. The customer in this case is clearly in disarray, and I would not trust them to be capable or reasonable when it comes to inspecting my work product.
  16. General.Zhukov

    Subscription as a service

    I deal with the Product or Service issue often in the context of contractually supporting a large scientific library used by our agency. A library that has lots of varying contractual agreements for data, publications, research support, etc. Some are product, some are service. However, most are subscriptions with PSC Code D317. The answer depends on the specifics, of course. But generally speaking... Outside of FAR, look at commercial billing practices. Is it FFP (probably product) or usage-based, like Labor Hour (probably service)? Pay in full at time of purchase (probably product) or in arrears (probably service).
  17. Are you with a DoD component? Is the contract an SBIR contract?
  18. General.Zhukov

    We Cannot Explain Our Requirements

    Yeah, I've already pitched 'use your P-Card to hire a technical consultant from FSS 70 for a week, who is willing to agree to the OCI/Non-Disclosures/Non-competes.' But our cultural is very conservative, and that's isn't' happening. Our in-house consultants have helped though, but we don't have a deep bench for this domain.
  19. REA'n Maker

    We Cannot Explain Our Requirements

    Only time I've run into a situation like this, the agency ended up hiring a consultant to reverse-engineer the existing effort. Suffice to say, multiple bridge contracts were awarded.
  20. General.Zhukov

    We Cannot Explain Our Requirements

    I have not. In this specific case, what we do is very similar to what a lot of other people do, and we've been doing it for years, so its not starting from scratch. Hence the short times. But the point is taken. Its very difficult to write a PWS at all, and more so to write it well.
  21. General.Zhukov

    We Cannot Explain Our Requirements

    General: 1: Between 1 to 5 $MM per year. 2: September (!), but there is wiggle room there. Fun: 1: COR and, since its currently being administrated by a different Department, that other Department's minimally involved CO. 2: Its an IT system the contractor maintains and uses to do stuff for us. Its like a kitchen. Government owns all the tools, all the ingredients, and the recipes are open-source. The contractor is the chef. We can fire the chef and hire a new one, but we may not like their cooking. 3: The same dynamic duo as question 1.
  22. Good afternoon everyone, Does the government have unlimited data rights to technical data, submitted as a technical progress report, which is generated under an R&D contract? Based on my reading and understanding of FAR part 27.404-1, data first produced in the performance of a contract, which is the case for the technical progress reports, is unlimited rights data. If that is the case, could technical progress reports be disclosed outside of the government, for example to NGO's with similarly awarded contracts? My issue is that although the data is first produced in the performance of the contract the data also embody a trade secret or are commercial or financial and confidential or privileged (in the case of technical progress reports). Furthermore, FAR Part 35.001-Data, states that part 27 does not "require" the delivery of technical data. So is FAR part 27 relevant to the treatment of technical data as is generated under R&D contracts? FAR part 27.401 states the term "Data" also includes "technical data". Thanks for your assistance.
  23. Unless an agency designates different business hours, the FAR says that a government agency is deemed to close at 4:30 p.m. local time–not 5:00 p.m., as it would be easy to assume. In a recent case, the 4:30 p.m. closing time cost an unsuccessful offeror a chance at a GAO protest because the offeror’s debriefing request, sent to the agency at 4:59 p.m., was deemed untimely. The GAO’s decision in Exceptional Software Strategies, Inc., B-416232 (July 12, 2018) involved an NSA solicitation seeking to award up to six IDIQ contracts for the definition, prototyping, development, and production of visualization and presentation tools. Thirteen offerors, including Exceptional Software Strategies, Inc., submitted initial proposals. The evaluation panel determined that ESS’s proposal was unacceptable under one of the non-price factors. On Thursday, March 15, 2018, NSA informed ESS that its proposal had been excluded from the competitive range. The letter explained that ESS had been found unacceptable, and the reasons why. On Monday March 19, 2018, ESS sent NSA an email requesting a debriefing. The email was sent at 4:59 p.m. NSA gave ESS a written debriefing on April 2, 2018. The debriefing “included nearly verbatim information from the competitive range notice explaining the basis for the unacceptable rating.” Four days later, on April 6, ESS filed a GAO bid protest challenging its exclusion from the competitive range. NSA argued that the protest should be dismissed under GAO’s Bid Protest Regulations. NSA’s argument requires a little following-the-bouncing-ball among a few timeliness regulations. Here goes. For most protests, the GAO’s Regulations say that the protest must be filed within 10 days of the date the protester knew, or should have known, the basis of protest. But there is an exception extending the time frame when a debriefing “is requested, and when requested, is required.” The FAR, in turn, says that a debriefing is required when an offeror is excluded from the competitive range if the offeror submits a written debriefing request “within 3 days after receipt of the notice of exclusion from the competition.” “Days” is defined as calendar days, except that if the last day falls on a weekend or federal holiday, the time frame is extended to the next business day. Here, ESS received its written notice of exclusion on Thursday, March 15. The third day, March 18, fell on a weekend. So ESS had until Monday, March 19 to submit a written debriefing request triggering a “required” debriefing. Without a required debriefing, the ordinary 10-day protest clock applied, and ESS’s protest would have been due on March 26. ESS did submit a written request on March 19, but its request was emailed at 4:59 p.m. NSA argued that the request was late, because it was submitted after 4:30 p.m. NSA said that while it gave ESS a debriefing, it did so only as a courtesy, not because a debriefing was required. The GAO wrote that “the FAR defines ‘filed’ as the ‘complete receipt of any document by an agency before its close of business.'” The FAR further provides that “unless otherwise stated, ‘close of business is presumed to be 4:30 p.m., local time.'” Although an agency can adopt different business hours, there was no evidence that NSA had done so. Therefore, “absent any alternate official business hours for NSA in the record, we adopt the FAR’s default 4:30 p.m., local time, close of business for the agency.” GAO concluded: “ESS had to file its request for a debriefing by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, March 19. Because it did not–ESS’s request is deemed filed on the next business day–the debriefing was not a required debriefing and did not toll our Office’s timeliness rules.” The GAO dismissed ESS’s protest. The Exceptional Software Strategies case is a reminder that, unless an agency provides otherwise, its official closing time under the FAR is 4:30 p.m. local time, not 5:00 p.m. or some other, later, time. When a filing is due at a federal agency on a particular day, it’s important to be aware of the official closing time–something ESS learned the hard way. View the full article
  24. As a contractor holding a Phase II SBIR Contract from Army, can we subcontract a portion of the R&D to a foreign company to have their workers perform that work in another country? I understand the E-Verify requirements, but they don't apply to work done outside the US. I also understand the limits on the amount of work we can subcontract. But I am not seeing an actual prohibition on having a foreign subcontractor. What am I missing? The contract deliverable at issue is to do a first production run of a product that we will use for testing, evaluation and improvement. I've concluded that we can use a foreign supplier to make a first production run. The product is not a contract deliverable, but it is an element of the SOW for that deliverable. The research results are the deliverable. Thanks for any guidance or input!
  25. Jamaal Valentine

    Subscription as a service

    It is unclear to me what you are actually contracting for, but it sounds like advisory and assistance services. Nonetheless, you asked about subscriptions and may find this previous thread illuminating:
  26. Junius

    Subscription as a service

    You haven't specified what you read in the FAR before, so it's hard for me to suggest where you might locate that information. If you're talking, generally, about a description of what a service contract is, I suggest starting at the "Service contract" definition in FAR 37.101.
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