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  1. Not really. Though it underscores the nature of competing for these public dollars. Oftentimes, people are loose with their lips, and only part of the story gets conveyed. Bad communication leads to misunderstanding. I'm sure you will get your share of public dollars. Good luck.
  2. Excellent post by the General!! Emotional Intelligence. Communication. A highly effective cure. Happy St. Valentine's Day.
  3. Thank you so much for your reply. It gave me a shove in the right direction! ;-) EB
  4. Hello--I recently took over, in mid performance, an "Ability One" custodial and grounds services contract. Several people, including the junior contract specialist trying to manage, have given me information that does not fit right in my mind regarding employee wages and payments. Also, the past option period wage adjustments and supporting docs don't look right to me. I understand Ability One is different than the services contracts to which I'm familiar, and of my limitations in knowledge. I know that each employee in the Ability One program may not be getting the prevailing SCA wage. I also understand such interviews and the SF1445 is for construction and Davis Bacon work. I certainly will get payroll documentation for any future wage adjustment. Q: Is there something similar to these optional labor interview that I can do under this contract to fill in some blanks that I have in my mind? I really want to interview the employees and I know they would not be concerned about chatting with me. Anything prohibiting me from doing this? I will appreciate any feedback from the community to send me in the right direction.
  5. Yes--I would apply this to CR contracts (I worked mostly FFP) I realize that I need to verify that contractor did not expend their best effort (or any effort) under such. Use business sense: I am spending other peoples' money and should be prudent and act as if it's my own.
  6. Never try to get something that you aren't willing to pay for, and don't pay for something you did not receive. never waive government's rights, which I see many CO's so willing to do.
  7. Vern-- Congratulations on retirement, and for your distinguished career. You have been an excellent source for me for information on business, procurement, common sense, and much more. Wishing you Fair Winds and Following Seas, Vern!! And, what you describe as your next act is what I dream.... I'm a few years behind you. Thanks for everything, Maestro!! Elizabeth Baierl
  8. Good read. As stewards of public funds: Never pay for something you did not receive, and never accept something for which you won't pay. Regardless of contract type. Always be at peace.
  9. Regarding the ethics rules we civil servants follow, I was surprised to find out that it does not apply to the commander in chief, as this Fortune piece informs. Dismayed. http://fortune.com/2016/11/15/donald-trump-conflicts-interest-ethics/ For decades, each time a public official gets caught with 'hand in cookie jar' violation, we lowly civil servants get refresher ethics training. And I never had a problem with it. But, c'mon...............
  10. I appreciate all of your input. I'm going to get a price per acre to help me negotiate when the inevitable happens. R-EB
  11. Joel--Yes, we have over 200 sites. We intend to select a sample and visit one or two. But it will be impossible to visit each site during the solicitation phase.
  12. Here to help--yes! You understand. Government has worked hard to get these sites to a state of veg-free over the past year. However, because of the remote locations, and the fact that no one visits them but a few times per year for maintenance--it could very well be that some sites have grown back somewhat before our contract is awarded/contractor gets on site. Not all, but there is a good chance that some growth has reoccurred. Google maps is not updated weekly, so our only info comes from the contractor or that government maintenance worker on their occasional visit. I have good description of what contractor needs to do should they encounter such conditions. I just want an easier way to pay for this once we agree on the area and the need for the "surge" or supplemental service. I could not get IDIQ through because I did not have any estimated quantities and the elements needed to support IDIQ.
  13. here to help: well, you summed it up, mostly. It is (me) the contract specialist --and not the customer --who knows there will be some areas not at standard. It is the contract specialist who is trying to minimize the inevitable negotiations, changes, and modification efforts. Remember, I wanted some IDIQ in this contract, but was rejected because I did not have known/estimated/guaranteed quantities. These 200+ sites are scattered, remotely-located. It will be within the first year of contract effort that contractor will find sites not at standard. I did not want numerous negotiations and modifications WHEN this happened. I was hoping for a price (starting point) with which to compensate contractor for getting the site to standard before they commenced their routine maintenance. We do this when renting cars (unit price for fuel). I have not completely worked through this and the solicitation is going under review.
  14. There are many sites, spread throughout several states. Some have very remote access. No, only a couple of representative sites will be shown during pre proposal conference/site tour. Offerors must do their own due diligence, use google maps, and rely upon what the government says the conditions are at this time. The Government's position is that the areas are to standard and that contractor shall maintain that standard. I have been with this same government for a long time and tend to know differently: that things are NOT what the government says they are.
  15. It's my belief that once contractor gets to some areas, the grounds will NOT be vegetation-free, which is the "standard" to maintain. I can almost set my watch to the time contractor will call me with this info about some remote site and wanting a modification or some sort of payment to clean it up. The pushback is the young CO is scared---having never seen such pricing item (not a CLIN) in a contract that is to be used only for reference. Why do I need this unit price? Because the annual FFP will be given as lump sum. I don't expect to see-- nor will I require --such detailed breakdown from FFP offers for commercial services. Thank you for helping me work through this issue. EB I
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