Jump to content
The Wifcon Forums and Blogs


Root Admin
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by bob7947

  1. What is a GACO?

    Believe it or not, there is another procurement related GACO. It's from the Corps of Engineers. Let's see if Joel is around.
  2. What is a GACO?

    After about 19 years here, I found an acronym I hadn't seen before. Any GACOs here? Anyone know a GACO? Anyone know what a GACO is?
  3. It is only available to Members who are logged in.
  4. All members should now be able to download attachments. Please try it.
  5. I will have to check the permissions I gave you.
  6. I just tried and it worked. Sometimes, you need the current version of acrobat reader to make it work. That could be it.
  7. 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 lecture on how the Navy's shipbuilders were trying to "pin the rose" on Rickover. In this case, pinning the rose had nothing to do with the shipbuilders asking the Admiral to a prom. When I began writing this blog entry, I had planned to include only the work I had done decades ago for the Chairman, House Committee on Armed Services. That work involved Rule's negotiation of Modification 31 to the contract that included the CGN-41, the eventual USS Arkansas. I wanted you to figure out if the modification that Rule signed was done in a manner that would allow it to survive a court test. It took 2 courts to decide that question so it wasn't as easy as it sounded. Unfortunately I read too much surrounding material and I realized that I was taking Rule's actions out of the context in which they happened back in the 1970s. So, I added a bit more information. You will see Rule as the contracting officer, Rickover as a program officer interfering with the contracting officer, Senator William Proxmire apparently acting for Rickover and himself, and Deputy Secretary of Defense William P. Clements, Jr. (Clements) trying to resolve the shipbuilding claims problem in any manner he could. You cannot choose sides on this one. All characters, including government agencies and shipbuilders, were trying to manipulate and influence anyone that became involved with the CGN-41. It seemed as if sides were drawn by identifying the enemy of an individual's enemy. A Brief Introduction to the Shipbuilding Claims Era In the early 1970s, cost overruns and shipbuilders' claims had become a major problem. By 1976, it had reached epidemic proportions with $1.9 billion in shipbuilder claims. The shipbuilders, the Navy, the Department of Justice, and Rickover were in a war. In the case of the CGN-41, Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company was the industry player. Clements wanted to settle the ship claims problem with the use of P. L. 85-804. A June 21, 1976, Business Week article explains his early effort. The excerpt below is a quote from the article entitled: The Shipbuilders Balk at 40 Cents on the Dollar. The article explained that Clements had planned to settle $1.9 billion of shipbuilding claims against the Navy for "between $500 million and $700 million" but that plan fell fiat with the Navy's shipbuilders. He explained that "the shipyards are giving me trouble." The article further described: After failing to reach a settlement himself, Clements called Navy management to his office for a meeting of the status of shipbuilding claims. Nothing had been accomplished by them either. He then focused on the CGN-41. The work on this ship had been stopped by Newport News because of issues it was having with the Navy. The contract was in court and work had started again under the condition that the Navy negotiated in good faith with Newport News to resolve the issues. The court's time limit for good faith negotiations was running out and something had to be done. Since the CGN-41 contract was in court, the Department of Justice was required to play a part in the review of any settlement proposed to the court. This is where our story begins. I have added the dates on which the actions occurred so that you can follow. All facts are based on documents that I had reviewed in the 1970s or documents that I recently reviewed. I needed to limit the length of this entry so I added enough information to give you a flavor of the times. Sometime in the future, I may write a larger article. Rule was appointed as a special contracting officer on the CGN-41 to resolve the issues that the Navy and the Secretary of Defense could not accomplish. Undoubtedly he knew he was heading into a mighty storm that might harm him. Contract Modification P00031 To CGN-41: Chronology of Events July 13, 1976: Clements held a meeting to discuss Navy shipbuilding claims. Among those in attendance were: Deputy Secretary of Defense (Clements) Consultant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Installations and Logistics) (ASN (I & L)) Chief of the Naval Material Command (NAVMAT) Vice-Chief of the Naval Material Command (NAVSEA) General Counsel of the Navy, and Gordon Rule, Director, Procurement Control and Clearance Division, Naval Material Command. (Rule) In regard to the Newport News claims, a member of the meeting quoted Clements as saying that he was "irrevocably committed to solving this problem; unlike Admiral Rickover." Clements then asked the Navy officials why they had not reformed the contract, indicating that if they would not, he would. He then stated that he wanted to see four changes incorporated in the CGN-41 contract: (1) a new escalation clause; (2) a new "changes" clause; (3) a new ceiling price; and (4) a new delivery date. (emphasis added) During the meeting it was agreed that Rule would become negotiator for the CGN-41. He was to report directly to the Chief, NAVMAT and the Vice Chief, NAVMAT was to meet with Clements each day at 9:15 a.m to report on the progress of the negotiation. July 14, 1976: Rule telephoned Newport News to explain that he had been assigned principal negotiator on the CGN-41 and requested a meeting. July 15, 1976: Newport News was contacted by a consultant to Clements who explained Rule's authority. Rule and Newport News held their first meeting. July 16, 1976: The Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Installations and Logistics) wrote to the Chief, NAVMAT informing him that the Chief would be responsible for the direct discussions between Rule and Newport News. Rule would be the principal negotiator and Rule would be assisted by NAVSEA and the Navy General Counsel, as required. July 16, 1976: Rule sent a memo to Clements describing his first meeting with Newport News. As a note, he mentioned that he intentionally did not contact the Navy's Supervisor of Shipbuiliding, Conversion and Repair (SUPSHIPS), Newport News. July 19, 1976: Rule sent a memo to the Deputy Commander for Contracts, NAVSEA asking for brief descriptions of what the Navy considered as key issues for negotiation and the Navy's negotiating position so he could develop his own negotiation position. July 28, 1976: The Vice Chief, NAVMAT and a consultant to Clements held discussions with Newport News. Areas discussed were: when the CGN 41 problems would be solved, ceiling price, and escalation provisions. August 10, 1976: Rule telephoned Newport News and requested a meeting in Washington on August 12,1976. August 12, 1976: During a meeting in Washington between Rule and Newport News, Newport News left a general outline for negotiations. August 12 and 13, 1976: The Vice Chief, NAVMAT asked Rule about the August 12 meeting so he could inform Clements. Rule explained that Newport News had delivered a proposal and he did not approve of it. August 17, 1976: Rule telephoned Newport News and requested a negotiating session to be held on August 20, 1976. August 19, 1976: The Deputy Chief of Naval Material (Procurement and Production) issued Rule an appointment as Contracting Officer with "unlimited authority with respect to negotiations with Newport News." August 20, 1976: Negotiations were held between Rule and Newport News. August 23, 1976: The Vice Chief, NAVMAT and Rule met with Clements to brief him on the August 20th negotiations. According to Rule, Clements' comment on the negotiations was "fine." After the meeting with Clements, Rule received a note from the Chief, NAVMAT to meet him in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Installations and Logistics). Among those attending were: Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Installations and Logistics), Chief, NAVMAT, Vice Chief, NAVMAT, Rule, Director, Procurement Control and Clearance Division, Naval Material Command, Commander, NAVSEA, Deputy Commander for Contracts, NAVSEA, At this meeting, the Chief, NAVMAT ordered Rule to describe the results of the August 20 negotiations. August 24, 1976: Rickover wrote to the Chief, NAVMAT that he had heard a rumor of a settlement on the CGN-41 between Rule and Newport News. Rickover commented point-by-point about the rumored settlement and said such a settlement "would show that the Government will not require Newport News to honor its contracts." Rickover recommended that any August 24, 1976: Senator William Proxmire wrote to the Attorney General, Department of Justice expressing concerns about Gordon Rule's views on the CGN-41 negotiations and telling the Attorney General: August 25, 1976: Newport News telephoned Clements and read a prepared press release. The consultant to Clements said he and Clements approved of the press release, an excerpt of which stated: "The parties have agreed to sign a definitive contractual document embodying the negotiated agreement for the construction of the CGN-41." Later that day, the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Installation and Logistics) telephoned Newport News, informed them that he was perturbed by the Newport News press release and stated that the Navy would issue its own press release stating that agreement had been reached in principle but that the matter was to be reviewed by higher authority. On this same date the Navy issued a press release explaining an "agreement in principle" was being drafted for review and approval. (Emphasis added) August 26, 1976: The Chief, NAVMAT sent Rickover a response to his August 24, 2016 letter stating: The Chief, NAVMAT further wrote: For reasons such as this, you must stand apart from these negotiations unless the technical areas regarding naval nuclear reactors become involved. August 27, 1976: Rickover responded to the Chief's, August 26, 1976 letter to him. In response to the wide distribution he used for his letter of August 24, 1976, Rickover explained that: He used the same distribution list for this 6-page letter as he did in his August 24, 1976 letter. August 30, 1976: Newport News met with Rule in Washington and delivered the first draft of Modification P00031. The Chief, NAVMAT sent a letter to Rule explaining that, prior to a binding agreement on the CGN-41, the elements of the agreement must be submitted to the Chief, NAVMAT for review and approval. The review was to be conducted by the Vice Chief, NAVMAT, the Deputy Chief, NAVMAT (Procurement and Production), the NAVSEA Deputy Commander for Contracts; and the General Counsel for the Navy. Mr. Rule was to provide the proposed contract modification, the business clearance justifications, and other supporting papers for review prior to signature by the contracting officer. Gordon Rule forwarded a draft memorandum to the Chief, Naval Material that summarized his negotiations with Newport News. August 31, 1976: The General Counsel of the Navy noted the Rule draft memorandum and told Rule of the General Counsel's responsibility to review the summary of negotiations. Additionally, the General Counsel requested more information to support Rules' summary. September 1, 1976: Rule sent a summary of his negotiations to the Chief, NAVMAT. September 3 1976: In response to the August 31, 1976 memo from the Navy General Counsel, Rule sent him additional information supporting his summary of negotiations. He also provided a copy of the first draft of Modification P00031. September 14, 1976: Members of Rule's and Newport News negotiating teams and DCAA auditors met in Washington to discuss provisions in the first draft of Modification P00031. DCAA was asked to review certain provisions of the proposed modification. September 16, 1976: The Attorney General, Department of Justice, responded to Senator Proxmire's August 24th letter by writing: September 20, 1976: NAVSEA's Deputy Commander for Contracts and a member of the "review team" submitted his analysis of the first draft to the Vice Chief, NAVMAT. This analysis was not made available to Rule. September 24, 1976: DCAA submitted its analysis of certain provisions of the first draft to a member of Rule's negotiating team. September 27, 1976: Newport News delivered a second draft of the modification to Rule and Rule requested DCAA to review the draft. [September 28, 1976: Clements wrote a letter to the Attorney General, Department of Justice, commenting on the August 24 letter of Senator Proxmire. In regard to Rule, he wrote: In regard to the Department of Justice's review of the CGN-41 negotiation, he said: "Let me assure you that we in DoD have no intention to by-pass or withhold from your department any information which you determine that your department needs in connection with legal proceedings under the court order." September 28, 1976: DCAA submitted its analysis of the second draft to Rule. October 4, 1976: NAVSEA submitted its estimate of the cost of the draft modification. Rule rejected the NAVSEA estimate. October 5, 1976: Rule submitted a memorandum to the Chief, NAVMAT for his approval. It included the estimated dollar impact of his negotiated settlement. For those in contracting, it would be similar to a negotiator's memorandum. The Navy General Counsel sent its analysis of the information supplied by Rule to the Attorney General. In the memorandum, Rule noted that a member of his negotiating team could not complete an analysis he requested because of interference from Rickover and his staff. However, he was able to devise a workaround to complete his cost estimate of the modification for the Chief's review and approval. October 7, 1976: Newport News carried a third draft of the proposed modification to Rule. The cover letter from Newport News attached to the modification said "I have executed the enclosed modification on behalf of the company and request you immediately return a fully executed copy." Rule took a copy of the cover letter to the Chief and Vice Chief, NAVMAT in the afternoon. He returned to his office and received a letter from the Chief, NAVMAT telling him that neither he nor his review group had a copy of the proposed modification that accurately reflected the results of Rule's efforts. Final review had not been completed and the proposed modification could not be consummated before the review was done. According to Rule, he thought about the CGN-41 negotiation effort all afternoon after he met with the Chief and Vice-Chief, NAVMAT. He explained in a deposition that he: October 8, 1976: The Vice Chief, NAVMAT called Rule into his office at 8:22 a. m. He gave Rule a letter dated October 7, 1976 that explained that he did not have authority to sign the modification. Rule explained he had signed it and the Vice Chief requested Rule to give him all signed copies. Rule refused but said he would give them to Clements. The Vice Chief then left for his 9:15 am meeting with Clements. Rule returned to his office dictated a transmittal letter imposing two conditions upon the modification and gave Newport News a copy. The Vice Chief, NAVMAT called Rule into his office and told him that the Undersecretary of the Navy would keep all executed copies of the modification but Rule told him that he already had signed it. He returned to his office, signed the transmittal sheet, and handed it to Newport News at 10 A. M. Shortly afterward at 11:50 a. m., Rule was notified that his appointment as contracting officer was rescinded. March 8, 1977: The District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled that: February 27, 1978: The United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit ruled that
  8. IDIQ Decision

    Below is proposed Section 823 from the next NDAA. It must go to conference before it is passed so this is only a possibility. This may be of interest. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- SEC. 823. LIMITATION ON UNILATERAL DEFINITIZATION. (a) Limitation.—Section 2326 of title 10, United States Code, is amended— (1) by redesignating subsections (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), and (i) as subsections (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), (i), and (j) respectively; and (2) by inserting after subsection (b) the following new subsection: “(c) Limitation On Unilateral Definitization By The Contracting Officer.—The following limitation applies to all undefinitized contractual actions with a not to exceed value of $50,000,000 or greater: “(1) If agreement is not reached on contractual terms, specifications, and price by a date certain, as required under subsection (b)(1), the contracting officer may not unilaterally definitize those terms, specifications and price over the objection of the contractor until— “(A) the head of the agency approves the definitization in writing; “(B) the contracting officer provides the written approval to the contractor; and “(C) the head of the agency notifies the congressional defense committees of the approval. “(2) The contract modification unilaterally definitizing the action shall not take effect until 60 calendar days after the congressional defense committees have been notified under subparagraph (C) of such paragraph.”. (b) Conforming Regulations.—Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall revise the Department of Defense Supplement to the Federal Acquisition Regulations to conform with the amendments made by subsection (a).
  9. IDIQ Decision

    That happens sometimes.
  10. IDIQ Decision

    here_2_help: Some theories become nightmares in implementation. jwomack: Before we start, we have to determine if September is different from any other month. One easy preliminary effort is to compare contract actions and funds obligated for all months, for all agencies, and see if September is any different from another month. If that effort shows that September is any different from the 11 other months, you're in trouble. Here are some reasons: Everyone (with newspaper knowledge only) knows that government wastes billions of dollars in September and you have to prove it or look like an ass, Your organization will want to staff your effort immmediately increasing your own project's costs, The staff you receive won't know the difference between a collie and a contract action, If you are forced into a sampling strategy, you will lose control of the design of the work to some or all extent, If you have to put boots on the ground, the boots will be in the wrong part of the world and travel money is scarce, This looming disaster will consume 1 to 2 years of your career and you will be forgotten during that time, Etc, etc, etc, and it only gets worse after 1 through 6. With that in mind, the information system you use is your only friend (of course, eventually, you will have to validate the information in that system but that is another problem). If you don't kow the difference between a collie and contract action, resign and find something else to do. If you continue, you're dead meat. OK, you know what you are doing, make that information system sing and tell you everything it has in it. If something comes up unexpectedly, you can make it explain. The more detail the system provides, the better. That information system might be manipulated to answer many of your questions, it may help limit the effort to something that is doable, such as reviewing September contract actions, contract awards, etc. only, or it may help you to kill this project if it is hopeless. Your goal is to redesign your project into something that is humanly possible. Forget any comparison of one month's actions to another. There are too many variables when you consider 1 through 7 above. If you are lucky, you may identify a handful of contracting activites that you can focus on. If you do that, you will have to explain why you did. In the end, your project will have to have integrity, be fair, and have a use. If it doesn't, fight to kill it. With the information system supporting you, you will have a fighting chance at survival. [NOTE: I added a few words to my #1 above so readers will know that I was being facetious with the "Everyone Knows."]
  11. napolik: ------------------------------- here_2_help: Contracting in this country is run by politicians and political hacks that blow a lot of hot air. Contracting folks must view themselves as if they are on a poor Caribbean island waiting for all the hot air from Washinton City to form into a hurricane. Once it does, and they are hit by the hurricane, they are left to pick up the pieces of rubble left by the hurricane and make the contracting process work. Then they wait for the next mass of Washinton City hot air to form into another huricane and watch it kick around the contracting process rubble. Of course, by now, the contracting folks on the island are spinning in the dust from successive hurricanes and they make mistakes as they try to patch the contracting process together. By now, the Washington City politicians get wind of the situation and send GAO into the rubble to report back to them. GAO, after landing on the wrong island several times, finally finds the contracting folks on their wrecked island and reports back to Congress that things are a mess. By now, GAO has told the IGs where contracting island is, and after several failed landings on the wrong island, some IGs find contracting island also. They report back to their Washington City political hacks who work with the politicians to fix the contracting mess on contracting island. As the politicians and political hacks work together, another mass of hot air begins to form around Washington City. It is only a matter of time for that hot air to form into another hurricane, which inevitably will hit the contracting rubble on contracting island again. And the process repeats.
  12. U. S. Civil War Discussion Forum

    Once again, I am requesting our members, to look at and consider registering and posting to my new site dealing with The U. S. Civil War. I continue to build it out and expect it to take years. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said: We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now. At least, we can spend some time together and learn about our country's past. Today, I posted an event that began on September 19, 1863. Imagine the horror of it. William Tecumseh Sherman explained: War is Hell. Chickamauga must have been just that. Wifcon.com took over 19 years to build, my new one is less that a year old. I expect to change the domain soon to something about its subject.
  13. I have rechristened http://lifebeginsat67.com/ as a U. S. Civil War discussion forum and I have started adding items to it. There are no age restrictions on membership. If you have an interest in this subject, please join.
  14. Herein lies the problem . . . The FAR (and its supplements) parts, sections, etc., that implement law or legal decision should be highlighted in bold and italics. In that way, one will know which text of the FAR can be eliminated without further action. It's time that each regulation should be shown its true source very clearly so that we know who to blame for the regulatory clutter.
  15. Age Groups of Wifcon Forum Members

    If you haven't added your answer to this poll. Please do. Those that have answered it seem to be nearly equally divided among the age groups I started.
  16. Age Groups of Wifcon Forum Members

    Wifcon.com seeks users of all ages and it must cater to all ages. I've placed your responses into 5 groups. Please click the age group in which you are included. The purpose of this poll is to attempt to provide you with a better Wifcon.com experience. This is an anonymous poll so your display name is not shown with your vote.
  17. In the past, GAO has imposed sanctions on a protester's representative. See GAO Sanctions, COFC, Rule 11: Signing of Pleadings, Motions, and Other Papers; Representations to Court; Sanctions. You can also look at 4 CFR 21.4: Protective Orders where GAO's Bid Protest regulations authorize sanctions against a protester's representative. Under that rule, GAO can go as far as dismissing the protest. GAO, in its Latvian Connection decision, points to PWC Logistics. In that decision, it said: GAO also points to a Supreme Court decision to support its inherent right to impose sanctions. I haven't done any research but is it fair to place a firm and its principal in protest jail for 1 year or is it an abuse of discretion on GAO's part? I think it might make an interesting paper for someone.
  18. U. S. Civil War Discussion Forum

    Those are the casualties. When they convert tables from hard-copy to digital, often the tables disappear. I am using the hard copy. On p. 108, it looks like the Union caualties in total were 13,047. That approaches 20 % of the total of Union forces--in about 2 days. Please post on the Civil War site. I will respond to you there.
  19. U. S. Civil War Discussion Forum

    Joel: If you forgot your log-in password, let me know and I can redo it for you. Just tell me what you need.
  20. U. S. Civil War Discussion Forum

    Joel: There are two separate sites. This one has nothing to do with the other one. You are already registered on both sites.
  21. U. S. Civil War Discussion Forum

    If anyone tried to register on my Civil War site and was not over the age of 55, you couldn't. I forgot that was there and eliminated it. There are no age restrictions now.
  22. U. S. Civil War Discussion Forum

    Remember Ambrose's river crossing at Fredericksburg and his slaughter of his troops trying to reach Mayre's Heights. And then, his Mud March. But he did tell Congress he wasn't the General for the job. When my dog Ambrose, named after that Union general, was alive I never mentioned Fredericksburg in his presence. If anyone tried to post something before this morning, I didn't realize I had set the topics incorrectly. I fixed that and it is possible to post.
  23. Wifcon.com: My Legacy; My Albatross

    Last month, Wifcon.com entered its 19th year.