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  1. Depending on the frequencies of task/deliver order issues, which I do not know, that one month may or may not be significant. All parent IDIQ contracts come to a foreseeable end regardless. A well-planned, new solicitation lined up ahead of time can seamlessly replace it. Plus a host of circumstances can change in five years.
  2. Had a Freudian slip reading here_2_help's sentence as "Minefields Matrix"
  3. Boof, this struck a chord (read nerve) with me: After 10 years of enhancements it can actually save a lot of time if you choose to use it correctly and smartly. Too bad at least half the staff choose to complain about it versus learn to make it work for them.

    Our contract "writing" system too is linked to finance and it has many features  - cradle to grave - we don't use for a host of reasons, primarily because few can decipher the awkward instructions. 

    Contract offices express no interest let alone having anybody with gravitas insist on using it to its full potential.  I imagine that "management" assumes it is review of the solicitations on FBO would reveal different...if they knew what they were looking at.  

    Just a handful, if that, of 1102's use some of the features and not very well and IMO it is an "in for a penny in for pound" system to get its full benefit.  In the meantime much redundant effort goes on as if a system that could cut down on it appreciably did not exist...but it does.

  4. 1. Have you ever tried personal initiative but you were shot down by "higher ups" because the FAR did not authorize something? Yes often, but primarily because they personally did not think it was the thing to do mainly because it was different from what they were familiar with. Few were that astute to the content of the FAR and whether or not the FAR authorized it was a bridge too far to even discuss with uncommon exceptions. 2. Have you ever used personal initiative and your idea was supported by "higher-ups?" Yes, often, but too frequently in office wide matter, regardless of their tacit support, they tended to put on their Teflon coat by saying “Shinaku said…” which usually blew it and they became scarce. But then again I have had many "go-ahead and do it'" on initiatives on onesey-twosey project levesl that only I was doing...that is if I felt I needed to ask in the first place. 3. In federal contracting, is it easier to be human or to be an automaton? For me, easier to be human, I get uncomfortable and self-conscious about automaton mode though it has its place and I can automaton with the best. 4. If you answer automaton to #3, is it because of GAO protests, supervisors, etc? N/A.
  5. I about went batty trying to recall the reference to C-beams
  6. So in the case of a response to an RFP that is Small Biz Set Aside and a responding Offeror was not Small that non-Small Biz Offer would be considered unacceptable versus non-responsive?
  7. "In war, as in prostitution, amateurs are often better than professionals." - Napoleon I've definitely seen that idea in action often in my acquisition travels and other vocations as well.
  8. I bring critical thought in almost every "acquisition" I am in involved with....simple to complex. I look at it at along the lines of a "better mouse trap." - What can I do that will result in better/improved x,y or z? Certainly the gravitas and extent is proportional to the circumstances. Many of my contract files have a running document with "notes to self" that are dialogues basically of what went right and what went wrong. The pledge proposition is silly to me. If Mr K presented that, and I was present....I'd try to maintain equanimity to refrain from blurting out..."And after the pledge let's get all the kids in the neighborhood and put on a play!"
  9. What do I think of Mr. K's taking the pledge? "isn't that nice...next."
  10. Speaking of “cookie-cutter” contracting and automated systems that build solicitations/contracts I’ve come to the opinion that in many cases utilizing a programed solicitation builder can actually provide a better document. I see offices who have an agency sponsored “solicitation builder” but don’t use it and instead produce wild-free-form solicitations that are just incredibly bad. And they perpetuate themselves as it compounded by the folks continually cutting and pasting from those wildly defective documents ad infinitum. Where if they had utilized the “system” it would have at least established some semblance of side-boards that they were otherwise oblivious to. My agency has an automated system but it is not even closely used to its fullest potential. Mostly due to: Very poor instructions and guides – like having to entirely furnish your house with assemble your own Ikea furniture directions and one screwdriver; No impetus by managers to motivate folks to use it let alone why nor to get the contractor of the system to provide clear guides or intelligent thought out adjustments.
  11. The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command by Andrew Gordon. After re-reading some books on the battle, most recently Castles of Steel; Britain, Germany, and the Winning of the Great War at Sea, by Robert Massie, Gordon's work goes deeply vertical into the cultural underpinnings.
  12. Moving the goal posts. I encounter this situation all too frequently where I have worked where the invoice and payment execution process is not particularly efficient: The lamentable misunderstanding between the contracting side and the financial side concerning proper execution of payments for contractors - from receiving of the invoice to payment and all that goes on in between. Often, as I have seen it, what goes on "in between" is excessively complicated and prone to delay and missteps at each node in what is referred to as a "three way match." E.g.; 14 day construction progress payment. 1. Proper and fully COR vetted invoice for the work is received at the Designated Billing Office, my desk, as specified on the SF-1442, on Jan 3rd. I approve it and highlight Jan. 3rd as the pay from date. 2. I have the "receiver" input the invoice into the bowels of the financial system with Jan. 3rd and in this case the receiver did not do that until Jan 9th but still utilized Jan. 3rd as the receipt date for the system. 3. The invoice and documentation with a very transparent Jan. 3 date is sent to the final approving office early Jan. 9th. Still time to batch and meet the target pay date of on or about Jan. 17th. I follow up on the payment by querying the arcane financial system and see the payment was made on Jan. 22 - about five days late, no interest and confirmed by the Contractor. And I also see that the financial final approver had "moved the goal post" on the pay from date from Jan. 3 to Jan. 9. Telephone calls and emails not returned by the finance. Not surprising. I take the issue up the ladder a bit. And it was revealed to me that "we use the Payment Office as the starting point for determining pay from dates." Further discussions concerning the basics of the payment clause and prompt payment act were met with a blank stare. I am used to this kind of discussion and I doubt Clarence Darrow would be cogent enough.
  13. Looking for comments on this issue that I got going. Have a fairly large & complex two phase design build construction requirement on the radar. I've done pretty thorough market research including many tailored-search iterations of the Dynamic Small Business database, FBO perusal, previous in house requirements, and a small business sources sought notice that when analyzed and considered in totality, have led me to recommend full and open competition. Just taking the number of "capable" responses received from the small biz sources sought for example, which by the way, pretty much jives with my search iteration results on the DSB database, resulted in four capable firms. Had there been at least 8 or more, I probably would have less concern for going with a set aside. Review of my findings by Small Business Specialists has them seeminglyy autmatically apply the rule of two, and hence since they see four that I deemed "capable", it's obvious to them it should be set aside. This is depsite carefull explanation of the two phased process to them where as I see it, I'd like a large enough number of offerors in the first phase in which to have a meaningfull qualifications competition for the three to five most highly qualified firms that go into the phase two.
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