Jump to content
The Wifcon Forums and Blogs


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by shinaku

  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. shinaku

    FAR/DFARS/DoD Class Deviations Provision and Clause Matrix

    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. shinaku

    Personal Initiative: Who Has Used It?

    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. shinaku

    Procurement Play Book

    I about went batty trying to recall the reference to C-beams
  6. shinaku

    Non-Responsive proposal

    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. shinaku

    Will you take a pledge?

    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. shinaku

    Will you take a pledge?

    What do I think of Mr. K's taking the pledge? "isn't that nice...next."
  10. shinaku

    Will you take a pledge?

    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. shinaku

    What are you reading?

    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. shinaku

    Agile Contracting

    I would like some of these socks with support.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. shinaku

    What are you reading?

    "Orwell: The Authorised Biography" by Michael Shelden.
  16. shinaku

    What are you reading?

    Recently finished - Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest, by Wade Davis.
  17. Rather than add to an earlier thread on this - circa April 2010 last post..... Situation. RFP for non-personal services >$150K. Total Small Biz Set-aside with 52.219-14 Limitations on Subcontracting. Offeror X, who is a Small Biz - stated in their proposal they intended to sub-contract to Company Y, a large business. No where did they break out the sub-contract to any percentage but all indications from reading the proposal is that far more than 50 percent (maybe even 90 percent) would be done by Company Y's people ---- All the experience cites Company Y, All Past Performance information were for Company Y, All Key Personnel was for Company Y, All Use of Company Y's facilities, etc etc. In fact, they state in a cover letter, "...our proposal agrees to all the terms & conditions of this solicitation..." Looking at past cases (CENTECH, Continental Staffing, Inc) and in particular with emphasis on the (52.219-14 © By submission of an offer and execution of a contract, the Offeror/Contractor agrees that in performance of the contract in the case of a contract for? (1) Services (except construction). At least 50 percent of the cost of contract performance incurred for personnel shall be expended for employees of the concern. I am wanting to make a determination that their offer is not acceptable, period, and I know there is precedence for it. The intent is to award without discussions (per the solicitation). With such overt indications in their proposal to subcontract on that scale to a Large Biz, part of me does not want to broach the subject in discussions should they need to occur for whatever reasons. But if they occurred, I would be compelled to bring that issue up. I would think different about it if it were more borderline but it is seems not. However, just to clear the air, I was thinking of approaching it as a clarification question instead, couched in a yes/no format along the lines of....."Got a clarification question for you (cite FAR background on clarification)...In your proposed use of Company Y as a subcontractor will that subcontractor be performing more than 50 percent of the contract? Now, I am wondering if that question is a true clarification as under 15.306 (a)(1). Of course, if they say "No" they won't be doing 50 percent or more and it's patently clear in their proposal that they are....I got myself in another situation.
  18. shinaku

    What are you reading?

    Post War: A History of Europe Since 1945 by Tony Judt. and recently finished. The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-1849 by Cecil Woodham-Smith.
  19. shinaku

    What are you reading?

    Two this week - just completed, a re-read of East of Chosin: Entrapment and Breakout in Korea 1950 by Roy Appleman...... dense, highly detailed recount of army's 31st RCT tragedy on the east side of the reservoir in Nov 27 - Dec. 2 1950 - the definitive work on it. And started and about finished my first Anthony Trollope novel, The Warden.
  20. On slower Friday afternoons I sometimes browse through FBO to peruse what other offices in my federal agency are doing...to compare notes so to speak and also, I will admit, for entertainment purposes. Today, I took a look at a recently posted "Recovery" Solicitation. Now, I have seen this done before and I don't agree with it but whatever.... I looked at a construction for buidling roofing solicitation done as a Commerical item, with SF-1449, the commercial terms and conditions but with the added clauses for bonding, the Davis Bacon Wages, etc. And....it said prominently "100% Set aside for Small Business" and they even had the estimated price range....between $250K and $500K. (Small Business Competitive Demo Act...did that go away???)
  21. shinaku

    Summer Reading

    Excellent comments on Matterhorn. Saw the Karl Marlantes interview on CSPAN Book TV earlier this summer and perused several reviews on line. Saving it for the autumn, and I will probably go with the audible mp3 version. The Dien Bien Phu book, that one in particular, has been on my list for ages. As an amateur-armchair military historian, I have yet to go "vertical" into the French Indo-China war. I took the plunge with the Algerian War and of course, one finds, as I did, how so little I knew or the wrong assumptions I had all these years - most highly recommend the definitive A Savage War of Peace; Algeria 1954-1962 by Alastair Horne. I have peppered that with several bios of Charles DeGaul and recently, Horne's, To Loose A Battle; France 1940. Just finished Churchill's Empire; The World That Made Him and the World He Made (just released this month) by Richard Toye. Probably about my 12th Churchill book, not including about all of what he wrote himself.
  22. Carl, as in - performing the same contract specialist/acquisition assistance work of the specific agency they would be contracted to for performing such work?
  23. shinaku

    Has Congress Sanctioned Parity?

    So, I am reading this fairly late in the evening. Then I notice the date, Jul 19, 2010 it was posted....I get a bit startled. Today is 15th and the 16th of July arrives a second after midnight.
  24. shinaku


    And sometimes the clause 52.216-19 Order Limitations is not as well "filled in" as could be...that is clearly and understandably expressing what the limits are for 1. individual orders and 2. the combination of orders over a defined period of time and/or 3. not enough forethought was put into the ramifications of the limitation amounts set - do they jive with the reality of contracted project in practice? Having recently inherited a IDIQ with a not so well crafted (a note in this FAR clause says "substantially the same") 52.216-19, some of the orders presented to me exceed the individual limit or the combination limit. As a result, I take care to point that fact out to the Contractor and formalize the acceptance of the orders in question too.