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joel hoffman

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About joel hoffman

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    Following God, Family, Sailing, Motorcycling, Hunting, Volleyball; Acquisition, Source Selections, Contract Administration, Construction, Design-Build Construction, mods, claims, TFD, TFC, project controls,

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  1. Ah, the problem from the supervisor’s and organization’s point of view is - the issues of selective choices for whom to allow to telework. I definitely agree that it won’t work to allow everyone to telework. It also depends upon the nature of the work and how much face to face interaction and collaboration are necessary.
  2. If hardwall offices are preferred for new spaces, then the demountable, full height partitions and raised floor with underfloor utilities and comm. are the way to go. apsofacto, since you are concerned about cost of relocations and reconfigurations of cubicles, then permanent, hardwall offices might not be a good solution for your organization either. Those are extremely expensive to tear out and replace or reconfigure. They aren’t adaptable like cubicles or the demountable office walls with overhead tracks on grids. With raised floor, it is relatively easy to move comm and electrical outlets, etc. Raised floor also works great with cubicles.
  3. After reading the definition of “solicitation”, I notice that the first phase of a Two phase Design-Build construction acquisition (FAR 36.3) is called a “solicitation” and requires a solicitation number. However, Phase One, technically doesn’t involve an “offer”, as defined in the definition of solicitation (“a response to a solicitation that, if accepted, would bind the offeror to perform the resultant contract”). The responses to Phase One are “Qualifications Proposals“, with no pricing. The government cannot “accept” such a proposal and bind the offeror to perform the resultant contract. If selected in phase One, a firm would be asked in Phase Two for a price and technical proposal (Offer). The design-build industry calls Phase One a “Request for Qualifications” (“RFQ”), not an RFP. The owner “shortlists” a few, most highly qualified teams for Phase 2. Only Phase 2 is an RFP, issued to the shortlisted Phase One firms. But since the government already had an “RFQ” (Request for Quotations), to avoid confusion, the government didn’t adopt that terminology for Phase One in 1997, when the Two-Phase D-B method was incorporated into the FAR. For those who insist on the sanctity of FAR Part 2 definitions throughout the FAR, this is another example of an exception and probably due to lack of coordination within various areas of the FAR. Quoting 36.303: “ 36.303 Procedures. One solicitation may be issued covering both phases, or two solicitations may be issued in sequence. Proposals will be evaluated in Phase One to determine which offerors will submit proposals for Phase Two. One contract will be awarded using competitive negotiation.” The problem here is that the same solicitation can cover both Phases. However, if you use a separate solicitation for phase 2, technically the first phase isn’t a “solicitation” by the definition of solicitation”. You aren’t soliciting an offer in phase one . It can’t be used to award a contract. It can’t bind anyone to perform anything.
  4. The Corps doesnt use solicitations for the Brooks Act selection phase of a single award A/E contract, an A/E IDIQ contract or for A/E task order competitions. Any “solicitation” would be associated with the request for a price proposal to the firm or firms selected to negotiate the single or multiple award A/E contract(s) or the firm selected to negotiate the A/E task order terms and prices. The RFP includes the detailed Statement of Work For new A-E contract competitions, the Corps uses a “synopsis”, which specifically states that it isn’t an RFP and that no solicitation will be provided. The ENG Form Checklist that you referred to is prepared after negotiations with the selected firm(s) as part of the A/E task order award documentation. EDIT: Please remember the FAR Part 2 definition of “solicitation (also taking into account the definitions of “offer” and “quotations”): Solicitation means any request to submit offers or quotations to the government. Solicitations under sealed bid procedures are called “invitations for bids”. Solicitations under negotiated procedures are called “requests for proposals”. Solicitations under simplified acquisition procedures may require submission of either a quotation or an offer“. ”Offer means a response to a solicitation that, if accepted, would bind the offeror to perform the resultant contract. Responses to invitations for bids (sealed bidding) are offers called “bids” or “sealed bids”; responses to requests for proposals (negotiation) are offers called “proposals”: however responses to requests for quotations (simplified acquisition) Are “quotations”, not offers. For unsolicited proposals, see subpart 15.6” Thus, it is only a solicitation when the Corps requests (solicits) the price proposal for the A/E task order. That may be a hold over from before updates to FAR 16.505 introduced the term “notice” and dropped the term “solicit price proposals”. I suspect that the “tail wagging the dog” DoD contracting software may require a solicitation number for all task orders but I don’t know for sure. Perhaps a DoD employee reader here can explain one way or another (thanks).
  5. The term “fair opportunity notice” or “notice” first appeared in the order placement procedures in 16.505 sometime after 2006. It is in the 2011 FAR version that I have. I didn’t have time to track down what year it was incorporated into the ordering procedures between 2006 and 2011. The term “solicitation” hasn’t ever been used in the FAR procedures for fair opportunity competitive order placement to my knowledge, other than a requirement in the 1997 FAR edition to solicit price proposals when the IDIQ contracts don’t have prices for the intended efforts. That word was removed sometime between the 1997 and 2006 versions. It appears that the FAR Council decided to adopt a name/term other than the standard “solicitation” to use with the fair opportunity order placement process sometime between 2006 and 2011. However, since “notices” is a relatively recent addition to 16.505(b), it’s no wonder that many agencies call their task order proposal request procedures “solicitations”, not “notices.” There are some references elsewhere in the FAR to solicitations for task orders but that isn’t surprising. The FAR isn’t always coordinated across the various Parts and not all task orders are issued under fair opportunity procedures.
  6. For what it’s worth, both the 2011 and current versions include requirements for orders exceeding $5 million ($5.5 million) to disclose the significant factors and sub factors, including cost or price, that the agency expects to consider when evaluating proposals, and their relative importance” . Both editions require, when using “best value basis” for award, a written statement documenting the basis for award and the relative importance of quality and price or cost factors. The 2006 edition was less specific and simply required rationale for placement and price of the order including The basis for award and the rationale for any trade-offs among cost or price and non-cost considerations in making the award decision. At any rate, as of July 2006, there was no mention of “solicitation” or “notice” or “ fair notice”. No wonder many agencies use the term “solicitation”. It’s a “Johnny come lately” term.
  7. The July 2011 FAR Edition distinguishes between orders exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold, and orders exceeding $5 million. It includes the “notice” requirement For orders exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold the contracting officer shall “[p]rovide a fair notice of the intent to make a purchase“, etc. etc. The KO must “afford all contractors responding to the notice a fair opportunity to submit an offer and have an offer fairly considered”. For orders exceeding $5 million the contracting officer must provide “a notice of the task or delivery order that includes a clear statement of the agencies requirements” etc. etc.
  8. Yes, there is no mention of the “notice” in the January 1997 version of 16.505. There is mention of the word “solicit” at (b)(3) where “The contracting officer solicits offers from two or more awardees for order placement when the price for the supplies or services is not established in the contract at the time of contract award.” The July 1, 2006 edition at (b)(3) instructs the KO to “establish prices for each order using the policies and procedures in subpart 15.4.” The word “”solicit” is gone. There is no distinction between size of the MATOC order in the July 2006 FAR, nor is the term “notice” used. So, as of July 2006, the term “solicit” was removed, but Part 15.4 processes were added Where there aren’t contract prices established. . No mention of “notice”. There is no name for the ordering process.
  9. I believe that the definition in FAR 2.101 doesn’t apply if another section defines/describes the process for seeking proposals differently. The FAR committee appears to differentiate between the solicitation for the ID/IQ CONTRACT and the fair opportunity task order process under the ID/IQ. I think that the “fair opportunity” competition requirement is fairly “recent” (within 25 years or so. time flies when you’ve been around a long time). I can remember when our agency was “spreading the wealth” for task orders for various reasons. I’m at my hunting camp. My older hard copies of FAR are at home. I’d like to check out a 1997 or, preferably old version of the ordering process. Darned hard to do on an iPhone with two bars for signal strength. “2.101 Definitions. (a) A word or a term, defined in this section, has the same meaning throughout this regulation (48 CFR chapter 1), unless— (1) The context in which the word or term is used clearly requires a different meaning; or (2) Another FAR part, subpart, or section provides a different definition for the particular part or portion of the part.“
  10. Okay, As I said you found agencies referring to it as a “solicitation”. They can call it what they want to. But the FAR ordering procedures don’t refer to it as a “solicitation”. I said it tends to confuse people- even you - as you admitted above. I’m sure that you are very experienced and well qualified. But the poorly written prescription for that clause tends to prove my point.
  11. Ibn, I agree that, if a task order is incrementally funded, then you’d include the Limitation of Funds Clause in the task order - it would be task order specific. As for agencies referring to a task order solicitation, so they can call it what they want to. But the FAR ordering procedures don’t refer to it as a “solicitation”.
  12. Ibn, This Prescription appears to refer to a clause, describing general ordering procedures that would go in the IDIQ (“task order”) Contract as well as in the solicitation for the ID/IQ (“Task Order”) contract.. The clause doesn’t contain any task order specific information or requirements. Therefore, why would it be repeated for every task order? Just reference it if necessary in the request for a task order proposal. “1316.501-2-70 Task orders. Insert clause 1352.216-74, Task Orders, or a substantially similar clause in task order solicitations and contracts, making changes, as appropriate. Contracting officers are encouraged to make appropriate modifications to the time requirements and procedures to meet the Government's needs.” “1352.216-74 Task orders. As prescribed in 48 CFR 1316.501-2-70, insert the following clause: “Task Orders (APR 2010) (a) In task order contracts, all work shall be initiated only by issuance of fully executed task orders issued by the Contracting Officer. The work to be performed under these orders must be within the scope of the contract. The Government is only liable for labor hours and costs expended under the terms and conditions of this contract to the extent that a fully executed task order has been issued and covers the required work and costs. Charges for any work not authorized shall be disallowed. “(b) For each task order under the contract, the Contracting Office shall send a request for proposal to the contractor(s). The request will contain a detailed description of the tasks to be achieved, a schedule for completion of the task order, and deliverables to be provided by the contractor. “(c) The contractor shall submit a proposal defining the technical approach to be taken to complete the task order, work schedule and proposed cost/price. “(d) After any necessary negotiations, the contractor shall submit a final proposal. “(e) Task orders will be considered fully executed upon signature of the Contracting Officer. The contractor shall begin work on the task order in accordance with the effective date of the order. “(f) The contractor shall notify the Contracting Officer of any instructions or guidance given that may impact the cost, schedule or deliverables of the task order. A formal modification to the task order must be issued by the Contracting Officer before any changes can be made. “(g) Task orders may be placed during the period of performance of the contract. Labor rates applicable to hours expended in performance of an order will be the contract rates that are in effect at the time the task order is issued. “(h) If multiple awards are made by the Government, the CO shall provide each awardee a fair opportunity to be considered for each task order over the micro-purchase threshold unless one of the exceptions at FAR 16.505(b)applies.”
  13. Cubicles are a big step above open plan and are MUCH more adaptable and less expensive than to add/delete/move hard wall offices. Even nicer, We once built a 3 Star Army HQ facility with demountable full height wall partitions for individual offices, capable of being adapted on 5 or 10 foot grids. The areas had raised floors with adaptable underfloor comm and electrical, etc. With the typical, frequent reorganizations and functional changes for DoD administrative offices, it was a great solution. Higher first cost but lowest life cycle cost. i highly recommend this approach, especially for Air Force facilities, which would usually change after contract award, during construction at least once. Delays and impact cost growth frequent and common on almost every project. Air Force plays “musical Commanders”. They come and go, with no accountability for decisions made by the previous bosses.
  14. Not sure if there is still a argument about whether the fair opportunity notice is or isn’t what is used in MATOC ordering procedures instead of a “solicitation” to request a task order proposal. Per ji and according to the above, contract holders would respond to a “notice” . There is no need to use a “solicitation” in addition to or instead of the “notice”. When introducing the term “solicitation” in task ordering procedures, we start getting into questions concerning what FAR says must be included in a ”solicitation.” I suspect that using notice, not solicitation was deliberate for reasons such as that. That is supposed to be done in the original solicitation for the Base Multiple Award IDIQ contract . Dont repeat the same provisions and clauses during the task ordering procedures. You might refer to a clause in the contract but don’t repeat inclusion of the clause. I thought ji’s explanation concerning the bankruptcy clause was pretty straightforward and clear too. “Carl, - If an IDIQ contract’s maximum amount exceeds the SAT, that contract will include the Bankruptcy clause and that clause will be applicable to all orders against that contract. - If an IDIQ contract’s maximum amount is under the SAT, the Bankruptcy clause is not prescribed. By definition, all orders will be under the SAT and an order over the SAT is impossible. In my practice, a delivery or task order over the SAT will not include the Bankruptcy clause. That clause is already in the parent contract and need not be repeated in either the fair opportunity notice or the resulting order. It is not necessary and is poor practice IMHO to repeat every clause from the parent contract in the notice and the order.” I don’t have access to my pre-FARA/FASA FAR books today . I’m curious what the ordering process said prior to the introduction of the terms “fair opportunity” and “notice” Will do some further study.
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