Jump to content
The Wifcon Forums and Blogs


Root Admin
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by bob7947

  1. Vern:

    Picture a ranch and someone dressed in a clown's outfit monitoring the animal pens.  The clown is wearing a placard that says "OFPP Administrator" and walks over to a very large pen filled with nasty, old pigs.  The pigs have left a disgusting odor in the pen because they are bunched closely together and no one has cleaned the pen in decades.  The clown, newly hired, prepares to open the pen and let the pigs out.  From a distance, another person with a "Director, OMB" placard, shouts to the clown, "don't let the pigs out."  "There's more coming in."

    An 18-wheeler shows up next to a wooden runway leading to the large pen.  The driver, happy to get rid of the load, opens the door to the 18-wheeler and the new pigs, grunting and snorting, head for the overcrowded pen.  The clown shouts to the Director, OMB in the distance:  "Why did you let a new load of pigs into the disgusting, smelly, crowded pen."  The Director, OMB says:  "the new NDAA just passed and those are the new Title VIII pigs ready to join the earlier Title VIII pigs already in the pen."

    The clown looked in another direction and saw a cloud of dust rising from the feet of a group of people running in another direction.  The clown looked at the Director, OMB and shouted:  "Who are they?"  The Director shouted back:  "That's the FAR council members."  "Round them up and put them in the pen with the pigs."  "They'll know what to do."

    The Director walked over to his waiting car muttering to himself, "stupid clown, there's always a sucker to take that job."

  2. On 11/20/2022 at 11:45 AM, Vern Edwards said:

    The real question is:

    What do these box-store GWAC MATOCs do for us in light of the FAR-Part-15-type methods agencies use to conduct task order competitions under FAR 16.505(b)?

    Do they make the conduct of particular competitive task order acquisitions easier, more expeditious, and less costly?

    Do we have facts?


    I did a little calculating.  $15,505,407,941 / 1,139 = $13,613,176 obligations per task order (rounded).  I know using obligations is not correct but that is close enough.  You asked 4 questions.  My answers are 1) probably not, 2) probably not, 3) probably not, and 4) not aware of any facts other than my little calculation.

    I believe Title 10 and 41 as they relate to federal contracting should be obliterated.  

    Here is one itty-bitty part of the contracting law that I especially hate.


    SEC. 5112. CAPITAL PLANNING AND INVESTMENT CONTROL. (a) FEDERAL INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY.—The Director shall perform the responsibilities set forth in this section in fulfilling the responsibilities under section 3504(h) of title 44, United States Code.


    (e) DESIGNATION OF EXECUTIVE AGENTS FOR ACQUISITIONS.— The Director shall designate (as the Director considers appropriate) one or more heads of executive agencies as executive agent for Government-wide acquisitions of information technology.  (excerpts from PUBLIC LAW 104–106—FEB. 10, 1996)

    That authorized the Director of OMB to make mini central suppliers so they could make their own big-box acquisitions and share them with others or compete against others.  

    Here is a question:  How many federal agencies does it take to buy a laptop computer?

  3. Connected Global Solutions, LLC and American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier Group Inc. v. U. S. and HomeSafe Alliance, LLC, No. 22-292C, 22-317C, November 15, 2022.


    “Perfection is the enemy of progress,” an adage aptly describing many aspects of the government procurement process. The search for a perfect procurement, proposal, or even performance would be in vain. Arbiters are tasked with deciding whether protested procurements pass muster; accepting less violates the law and disregards notions of transparency and fairness. Requiring more is likewise infeasible; it impairs government agencies, awardees, and ultimately taxpayers. It is within these parameters that the Court decides whether the United States has acted arbitrarily, capriciously, or in violation of the law in conducting the subject procurement.


  4. Streamlining Source Selection by Improving the Quality of Evaluation Factors

    Nash & Cibinic Report, October, 1994

    A special column by Vernon J. Edwards, Consultant in Government Contracting

    Almost everyone involved with Government contracting can tell a horror story about a “best value” source selection that involved the development of a lengthy and costly proposal, about a source selection that took two years to complete, and about a protest that delayed an important project and increased its costs. Legislators, policymakers, and acquisition managers are currently looking for ways to “streamline” the source-selection process. I would suggest that the single most effective thing acquisition managers can do to streamline the best value source-selection process is to improve their choices of evaluation factors for award.  (Read special column.)

    * * * * *

    Postscript: Streamlining Source Selection by Improving the Quality of Evaluation Factors

    Nash & Cibinic Report, December, 1994

    Ralph C. Nash and John Cibinic, Professors Emeriti of Law, George Washington University

    Professors Nash and Cibinic received two comments on Vern Edwards' article.  One was from Bryan Wilkinson, Director, Compliance Guidelines, Teledyne, Inc. and the second was from Steven Kelman, Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy.  The Postscript contains the two comments and the Professors' response.  (Read Postcript)

  5. This week Vern was in looking around in his library when he found this study:


    The Quality and Professionalism of the Acquisition Workforce


    Report of the Investigations Subcommittee, 

    Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives,

    One Hundred First Congress, Second Session

    MAY 8, 1990



    The full 776 page study is available at Google Books.

    The Contents page of the study contains links that you can click for the different chapters.  Vern mentions 2 chapters from the study. 

    Chapter V:  The Contracting Workforce, contains a 12-page section devoted to the contracting officer.  He highlighted some text from the chapter about what Congress thought of contracting officers in 1990.  He explains that the study is out-of-date in some ways but it is still revealing about what Congress thought of contracting officers in those days:

    “The contracting officer is the fulcrum of the acquisition process.”


    Chapter VII, Professionalism of the Acquisition Workforce, is a 50-page discussion of the state of professionalism, education, and training, begins with a discussion of the concept of professionalism.


  6. Using AI to Reduce Performance Risk in U.S. Procurement

    GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 44, 2022

    GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No 44, 2022

    The Regulatory Review (June 29, 2022)

    Jessica Tillipman, George Washington University - Law School

    Courtesy of the Social Science Research Network

    Published with permission of the author

    Please Read:  Using AI to Reduce Performance Risk in U.S. Procurement

  7. Government Contracts Law as an Instrument of National Power: A Perspective from the Department of the Air Force

    51 Public Contract Law Journal 553 (2022)

    Daniel Schoeni

    U.S. Air Force JAG Corps

    September 28, 2022

    Courtesy of SSRN

    Please Read Government Contracts Law as an Instrument of National Power: A Perspective from the Department of the Air Force

  8. I've been interrupted by my dogs every time I sit down to write something.  

    There have been numerous individuals who have published their writings on Wifcon.com and they have all benefitted from publishing their articles here.  As I have mentioned, h-t-h's article that was publised well over a decade ago, was the most popular article in September 2022.  The articles published on Wifcon.com have staying power.  If they are good, they are read over and over again each month.  You have an international audience here.  USE IT.  It's free.



  9. On 10/28/2022 at 2:23 PM, here_2_help said:

    We're not that far apart, Vern. There is a (small) audience for in-depth discussions and analyses, sure. They want what you write but they can't afford to subscribe. (And thank you for often making your articles available to the public.) But it's hard to publish in-depth articles when NCMA's membership covers a wide spectrum of folks, from state/local government buyers to prime contract buyers to commercial buyers. For example, I was just speaking with somebody who's planning to join NCMA in a few weeks or months; she's a buyer for the local school district. She's not looking for--nor is she ready for--a deep dive into, say, FAR Subpart 15.4.


    In the normal course of Wifcon.com business, I noticed an old article published on Wifcon.com from many years ago.  I noticed it because It was the most popular article viewed on Wifcon.com in September 2022. 

    h_2_h ---- it was one of your articles.

    I will add more to this note at a later date.

  10. I found this at 1 PM on 10/8/22 and posted it on the Home Page and here.   If you want to know why, see the POGO explanation..  

    Project on Government Oversight

    Use of Chinese Material in F-35 Highlights Pentagon’s Complexity Problem.  (September 26, 2022)

    You can read about it here:  DefenseNews.



    Statement by Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment William LaPlante on F-35 Waiver
    Oct. 8, 2022 (About 1 PM Eastern)

    Attributable to Dr. William LaPlante, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment –

    Today, I signed the National Security Waiver that allows DoD to accept Lot 13 and Lot 14 F-35 aircraft containing non-compliant specialty metals in Honeywell Integrated Power Package Turbomachines. Acceptance of the aircraft is necessary for national security interests. This determination applies to a total of 126 F-35 aircraft awaiting delivery or to be delivered under the Lot 12-14 production contract. This determination applies from the date of my approval through the acceptance date of the last aircraft delivered under that contract, which is currently projected for October 31, 2023.

  11. See State of Ohio v. U. S., No. 20-288C, October 7, 2022. 


    As the Court noted at oral argument, the Corps and Ohio have an ongoing relationship, and the same problems of Contract application are likely to arise again in the future. Tr. at 33:20–34:6. Given the “vague” nature of the Contract, future conflict seems possible. See, e.g., id. at 53:16 (Government counsel describing the Contract as “vague”). As the proceeding moves into the damages phase, the Court encourages the parties to work together to establish a dispute resolution process for expenses that are challenged in the future, as well as other issues that may arise in the course of the contractual relationship. Alternatively, the parties should consider amending the Contract to clarify its terms.


  12. My dogs are sick tonight and I have been awake since 2 AM.  We've had 4 straight days of heavy rain and I've been out twice in the dark tonight with the dogs.  So, I started looking at the Eisenhower Farewell and then, of course, I thought of the A-12.  

    This is an interview from 2014 with Frank Murray of the "CIA Air Force" which included the A-12.  After researching the A-12 for about 2 years you learn a lot about it.  Murrsy has an excellent memory.  It is on YouTube and titled:  Frank Murray Oral Interview, Lockheed A-12, 4/29/14.

    Murray flew the last of the A-12s from Kadena and he landed at Area 51.  From there, at night, to keep the A-12 secret he flew the last flight to Palmdale where the CIA had the A-12s stored for about 15 years.

  13. 11 hours ago, BrettK said:

    Yes, this is my exact problem. I know the FAR has grown and not shrunk over time. I also know the electronic versions counting pages are not exactly comparable to the paper versions of yesteryear. What might be a good way to illustrate visually the increase in complexity over time? I would have thought someone would have already created a nifty infographic for this but it might me up to me to do.

    Try this.  It only goes back to 1999.  It doesn't answer your question but if you want to illustrate an increase in complexity, this might help.  On the left is the FACs since 1999.  On the right are the  FAR Cases.  Federal Acquisition Regulation Research.

  14. Quote

    On July 8, part supplier Precision Metals Corp. was granted a temporary restraining order vacating and setting aside a Defense Logistics Agency debarment and enjoining debarment while court proceedings are pending. The decision, which emphasized two procedural violations, serves as a reminder that an agency’s authority to debar contractors is not unlimited and that it must strictly adhere to the rights granted contractors before taking action.

    See Case Affirms Rights of Contractors Facing Debarment at the NDIA's Business and Technology Magazine.  Precision Metals Corp. v. U.S. Dep't of Def., 22-CV-3761(JS)(ARL) (E.D.N.Y. Jul. 22, 2022)  The case I linked is the extension of the temporary restraining order (TRO) and it is in the District Court for the Eastern District of New York.  The current TRO ends in early September.  The procedures for a debarment are at FAR 9.406-3.

  • Create New...