Jump to content
The Wifcon Forums and Blogs


Root Admin
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by bob7947

  1. Multiple Award Schedule

    ContractSpecialistTJohn: If you wish, you should use the messanger to provide any information to Carl. It is at the top right and is the letter icon.

    Vern: Here is a reason why appropriations laws do not appear in the United States Code (U.S.C). Below is a Question and Answer session on the House of Representatives U. S. Code site. The Question and answer are the 4th on the list. I always wondered what happened to the details of an appropriations act. So, I tried to backdoor finding the section of the U. S. C. in the following manner. I used the second Public Law on p. 6 of the GAO report to search in the Statutes At Large. (Simply because the online sources only go to the year 2011.) That Public Law is Public Law 101-509. The furniture reporting provision is section 614 and is at 104 STAT. 1474. In permanent laws, sections are shown their coding in the U. S. C. when one goes to the Statutes At Large. Section 614 doesn't. I again did another search trying to ask google where are appropriations laws in the U. S. C. After many tries today, I got lucky and found the answer. I include the following caveat. I did find parts of an appropriations law in Title 10 of the U.S.C. and I cannot explain why. That still leaves the OP in continuing resolution hell. All bureaucrats will be in it by Friday.

    Slow down Vern, FY 2018 is not done yet and H.R. 3354, the Interior and Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development, Commerce, Justice, Science, Financial Services and General Government, Homeland Security, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, State and Foreign Operations, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Legislative Branch, and Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, 2018 with Section 710 awaits a Senate vote. I don't know if any of the continuing appropriations laws specifically implement H. R. 3354. If they do, Section 710 is Public Law. It all depends on the wording of those things. The Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2017, Public Law 115-31 with Section 710 should appear somewhere in the U. S. C. since it is Public Law. Unfortunately, I don't know where it would be encoded. Maybe you could help with that. None of this back and forth between us helps the OP. He's caught in continuing resolution hell. Im going to put my response to the OP in a quote box: I think 710 is a stupid section which was probably added to annual appropriations when someone got caught redecorating decades ago. I seem to remember that someone did get caught buying shot glasses many years ago. At least that appointee didn't drink out of the bottle. Vern, you are correct. The past sections that I found in Public Laws did and current section in H. R. 3354 will require reporting of items over $5,000 to some congressional ninnies. The cost of monitoring and electronic reporting probably costs more than the stinking furniture or cost of redecorating.

    My last try on appropriations legislation. Here is the 2018 appropriations scorecard kept by congress.gov . The first line that you see is: Omnibus Appropriations. Below is the paragraph explaining what H. R. 3354 is. Here is H. R. 3354. That bill has been sleeping in the Senate since 9/27/2017 and waiting for a vote. Guess what? It never got passed because fiscal year 2017 was ending in 3 days. However, if it did, it would contain the following section about furnishings. Now go down to the next category on the Congress.gov scorecard and look at Continuing Appropriations. Start at the bottom of that box. You will see that Congress started on continuing resolutions before it could pass the Omnibus Bill in the Senate. As a continuing resolution, they continue--until next week--when the government closes down again. That is, if I read it right. I could not find Section 710 in any continuing resolution and don't know if a continuing resulotion should include it. I don't even know what to look for in that crap. Maybe we can find an approrpiations guru to explain it all. I'M DONE. Now, here is what someone--anyone--can do for me. Go back to the contracting sections that I have posted for the last 3 years of the NDAAs. That may be around 220 sections. Develop a spreadsheet that lists the date each section requires a regulation to implement it. You may have to get a little creative in doing it. Now, how many times did a failure to implement a contracting regulation conflict with a requirement of law? I'm waiting.

    Vern: I redid my post. It includes the Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2017, Public Law 115-31. Since the GAO report mentioned law back to the 1980s and I found a 2017 appropriations law with similar language, I assume Congress has pasted that section in some, if not all, appropriations laws during that period. I am not going to search for all of them because of the time involved.

    Below, in the quote box, is Section 710 from Public Law No: 115-31, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017. That is last year's appropriation law which can be searched for the word "redecorate." I didn't check but P. L. 115-31 may include HUD and be the cause of the NYT article. You can find the appropriation laws for 2018 here. Because of all the continuing resolutions, I couldn't easily reconstruct what happened for FY 2018. Someone else will have to endure that. Note: To find Section 710, do a chrome search for the word "redecorate." It will pop up. There is more than one Section 710 in that law, probably because it is consolidated. If you look at p. 6 in the footnote to this GAO report that Joel mentioned, you will find similar similar sections of appropriations bills dating back to the 1980s. That is 30 years ago. Because of that, there may be the same section added to appropriation bills since then. If anyone is interested in the article that the OP mentioned, it may be here since that is about office furniture, etc.
  7. S. 2413: Bridge Contract Transparency and Accountability Act of 2018, was introduced on February 8, 2018. This one appears to ask for a study (within 180 days of enactment), some interim guidance (within 30 days of the enactment), and then some reporting for a period of years. There are 4 sections of goodies. I believe this was initiated based on a hearing from last year. I couldn't find a press release. What do you think of this gem?
  8. Bid Protests: GAO or the Courts

    I deleted a post by mistake.
  9. In one of the recent discussions, it was proposed that the GAO's bid protest jurisdiction be removed and jurisdiction be limited to the Courts, only. Do you believe that the GAO's bid protest jurisdiction be removed from GAO? If you believe GAO's bid protest jurisdiction should by removed why? Do You believe jurisdiction to hear bid protests should be limited to the courts? If so, why?
  10. Real Contracting Pros

    If the following article is accurate . . . we may field another DIVAD soon. Deja vu.
  11. Bid Protests: GAO or the Courts

    I've been looking at the number of protests that I have posted on corrective actions when something else caught my attention. It was under remedies in GAO's protest regulations. Here is the item: You can find 31 U.S.C. 3553(c) and (d) here. GAO is notified under 31 U.S.C. 3553(d) but, according to its regulation above, walks away from administering the Stay. Over the years, I have not posted anything about the Stay in that category. Maybe GAO dismisses them outright. However, the COFC does hear complaints dealing with stays in addition to its issuing of injunctions. It is another area that may need some clearing up, if the courts are removed from the protest business. Here is the link to the Wifcon.com's protest page on 4 CFR 21.6: Withholding Award, Suspending Contract Performance, Override of Stay, Injunction. Court decisions are filed under the GAO regulation because I did not start adding court protests until after I started adding GAO decisions. As you can see, I have not added any GAO decisions on the Stay.
  12. "Legitimate Need"

    dacaan: Your said: Mathew posted "alternative sources" before I could find it. However, your last post makes me wonder . . . . Did your program office identify the suggested awarded vendors? If it did, and you are uncomfortable with the suggestions, I would check out the suggested sources. That can be done over the internet. What about the incumbent contractor and the relations with your program office? Would bias become an issue somewhere in the future? Please don't answer these questions here but think about them.
  13. Has strategic sourcing gone too far?

    I'm looking at AutoChoice. I'm assuming--since I haven't looked at the solicitation--that GSA issued an IDIQ for autos in its SINs. In this case, Fiat, Ford, and Chevy were awarded contracts for that class of vehicles. The buyer clicks the needs as options and makes its preliminary selection. If it were me, I'd pick the Chevy Sonic with the 138 HP engine because I once owned a Cruze with that engine. It's $1,000 more so I must justify it. I faced a similar decision last year. My SIN (and believe me we are talking sin) had 3 choices: Cadillac ATS-V, Alfa-Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, and the Corvette Stingray with the Z51 handling package. The Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio (I can't change my ancestry) wasn't available, the Cadillac dealer didn't have the ATS-V to drive, the Chevy dealer had the exact Corvette in the showroom and it looked like an angel sitting at the curb waiting for me to test drive it. The Alfa had 505 HP, the ATS had 464 HP, but the Corvette had only 460 HP. All were 0-60 mph in under 4 seconds so they could kill me equally. The Alfa and ATS had 4 seats but the Corvette had only 2 seats. I went with the low price vehicle--and I'm still alive.
  14. Has strategic sourcing gone too far?

    Boof: Do you have a GSA page that shows the best in class for vehicles?
  15. Paper or Digital?

    How far has the federal government's contracting process progressed into the 21st century? In 2003, when I did a brief stint with a consultant company, I reviewed digital contract files over the internet from my home. The company I was with, for the most part, was a virtual company. I never saw those I worked with and that was fine with me. I've seen much discussion on the forums about digital and paper and I want to know your work experience. There will be 3 possible answers: 1 Total digital: in this category, all documents from the Procurement Request through Contract Award are totally digital, including signatures. Review of your contract file can be done online. Your agency may use digital folders for sections of your contract file. Communication with offerors is done over the internet including digital proposals and signatures, etc. Digital proposal format may include .pdf, word, etc. but you upload them into your agency network. Proposals are evaluated over your agency network. If you conduct Oral Presentations with offerors, you do it online with video and audio. In your work life, you Do Not see paper. 2. Mixture of digital and paper: OK, you print your electronic documents and place them in a hard copy contract file. You are not completely in the digital world but you do things on your agency's network. You may use hard copies or digital copies of documents from the requesting organization. Proposals come in various formats, paper, pdf, etc. In short, you still have SOME Paper in your work life. You are in between Total Digital and Paper. 3. Paper: You still use a typewriter or you are dependent on type written documents. Everything in your work life IS Paper. If you have any questions about the categories, select the one that is closest to your contracting activity's work experience. Your display name is not made public in this vote.
  16. Bid Protests: GAO or the Courts

    When you talk about the Courts, you are talking about a junkyard of jurisdiction as the quotes I provide below show. You do not get specialization. Below is the jurisdiction provided by the U. S. Court of Federal Claims. The jurisdiction of the next court in line, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, has a broader jurisdiction. You don't get one without the other. Below is the jurisdiction for the Federal Circuit which is also referred to as the CAFC. The above jurisdictions are not going away.
  17. Bid Protests: GAO or the Courts

    Is it feasible to go line by line in FAR Part 15 and identify the original GAO decision or advice that caused it? I seem to remember that the first 6 circumstances that permit contracting without providing for full and open competition were from GAO, possibly in a comment on the bill at the request of Congress. I always thought Congress added #7, Public Interest, on its own as a safety net. There was a GAO bid protest attorney working with Congress during the writing of CICA, so some things may not have been formally done. I agree that GAO was a major factor in the rules for source selection. We can probably find their marks in Part 14 also. While I was there, GAO would have periods of time that they were very concerned about Congress thinking they were interpreting--writing--legislation. Soon after Congress provided the fair opportunity provision at FAR Part 16, I had noticed that agencies were using the wrong exception to fair opportunity when it was being used. When I brought it up to the attorney that I was working with, I was told to stay away from anything about the exceptions to fair opportunity. Since I have been adding decisions to this site, I do not remember ever posting a decision involving the use of any exception to fair opportunity. Maybe my memory has failed me but I do not remember posting any.
  18. Bid Protests: GAO or the Courts

    As an example of what can happen in the Bid Protest arena. From one of our blog entries. As One Protest Door Closes, Another One Opens
  19. Bid Protests: GAO or the Courts

    The one cited by H2H was discussed here. I remember it after breezing through the article. The first thing everyone should remember is that bid protests, that are actually recorded somewhere, are an aberration in the contract award process. According to the Rand study, protests are made on less than 1 percent of DoD procurements. Another item is that there is no infomation on agency level protests, as Rand reported. In addition, I looked at GAO's footnote to its claimed Effectiveness Rate. Here it is: It is unclear to me what Effectiveness Rate really means. Does it include an agency's voluntary corrective action that has nothing to do with GAO? Also look at the last sentence in the quoted footnote above. It appears that Effectiveness Rate may be based on dismissed, denied, and sustained protests. Maybe someone else has an idea of what it means. So, we have nothing on agency level protests and a fuzzy, at least to me, GAO Effectiveness Rate. The Courts' information is between nothing and fuzzy. Forget all that. Let's look at the timeline for deciding protests. Agency level protests are to be done in 35 days according to the Executive Order setting up the program. According to law, GAO has 100 days. The COFC, CAFC, and SCOTUS can take their good old time. The cost of filing protests is supposed to be cheap and informal at the agency level, somewhat more expensive and formal at the GAO, and whatever the protester can endure at the court level. The timelines and costs present some possibilities. If we get rid of agency level and GAO protests and keep only court protests, we may have a substantial reduction in protests because of the assumed costs and time involved in the court system. That would be because potential cost and time may outweigh the potential benefits. If we keep agency level and GAO protests and eliminate the Courts from having jurisdiction, little may change because the courts do not have the bid protest workload that GAO has now. If we eliminate the courts' jurisdiction and keep GAO and agency level protest jurisdiction but make protesters pay the full cost at GAO, we may have an overall reduction in the number of protests or simply an increase in agency level protests. Maybe my answer is: requiring protests on under $ 1 million procurements to be restricted to agency level, requiring all other protests to go to GAO with protesters picking up the full cost, and eliminating the courts' juisdiction for bid protests. I'm really not sure what to do. With nearly 5,000 registrations at the Wifcon Forum, it would be nice to hear from others, in addition to the 20 or so regulars that contribute here.
  20. Bid Protests: GAO or the Courts

    H2H: That document looks familiar. We may have discussed it here once but I cannot remember for sure. Maybe someone else will recognize it.
  21. Bid Protests: GAO or the Courts

    One of my thoughts was to restrict protests to the awarding agency for procurements below $1 million. I am skimming the Rand study now and found that they included it as an option in their report for lesser value procurements. However, there may not be enough known about the value of the agency level protest anywhere. I'll keep looking.
  22. Bid Protests: GAO or the Courts

    Are there any statistics anywhere on the amount of time it takes an agency to resolve an agency protest? I don't know if Rand looked at that.
  23. Bid Protests: GAO or the Courts

    Don: I'm going to make it a poll beginning next week. The way things are now, it could go: DoD--GAO--COFC--CAFC--SCOTUS. I assume that if CAFC sent a protest back to COFC and the protester didn't like what the COFC did, the protester could appeal it back to CAFC, but I'm not sure. I would take bid protest jurisdiction away from all Courts. Currently, according to Rand, GAO disposes of protests in an average of 41 days while COFC takes 133 days. One possibility is to limit jurisdiction of all bid protests of a certain amount of money to the agency--maybe $1 million. Anything over that would go to GAO for a final decision. The courts' jurisdiction would be eliminated and it would end with GAO. I would keep the limits imposed by Congress on GAO, keep the stay, and continue to limit GAO's decision to a recommendation to the Executive branch. GAO squeals on agencies that do not follow its recommendations to Congress. If agencies want to go before Congress to explain, that is the agency's decision. In truth, there are few GAO recommendations that are not followed. GAO has a more transparent process than any court--I found this process last night. These are some possibilities that could be discussed here before we go to a poll.
  24. FAR 46.705 Warranties

    If FAR 46.705 is mentioned, where do you put it? Theoretically, everything could be under one forum--contract award process. That's why I get the big bucks--less than $.50 (cents that is) an hour to maintain this site.
  25. Paper or Digital?

    Boof: You are close to 1 but still 2 in my mind. I would view a 1 as a network--or acess to the network--that includes contracting and programs and administrative staff. Permissions to access specific files could be granted to those who need to access them. The contracting officer, or specialist, could set timelines for users to remind them to get done. We could arrange for alarm bells to go off in the program office if they were not getting done. I like the idea of digital contract files with the solicitation number, then contract number, that include digital folders, instead of tabs, for contract file documents. Instead of lugging folders around, one could grant access to tabs or files. I'm sure that something similar is commonplace now. Many times, I had to ask the agency to order paper files for me from the records center in Suitland, Maryland. However, the trick is to get 100% digital for everyone involved in the solicitation and contract.