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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. joel hoffman


    Perhaps it is because of a general hands off approach to service contract labor by those government program officials, contracting and contract administrators. However, I wonder why the government wouldn’t know what the proper wage classification of 200 employees is on an existing contract that is being recompeted for a successor contract. FAR 22.1008 describes the process and responsibilities for obtaining the wage determination to be included in the solicitation for the successor contract. For instance, 22.1008-1 says, in part, I don’t know here if the proposer was using the labor classification provided or proposed something different. If it was different for 200 employees, shouldn’t that have tipped off the government that something was amiss with the government provided wage determination? Then, the government agreed with it. If the proposer did use the provided wage decision but was unable to rehire [EDIT:some] employees at that wage level, did DOL re-classify [EDIT: all] the employees at a higher minimum wage/fringe? Pardon me for my ignorance, but something seems to be wrong with the contract formation here. I don’t think that the conformance procedures were intended to have to be used for determining the minimum pay for the entire work force. Both the eventual contractor and the government should have known that something is wrong with the wage determination, if the proposer decided to propose a lower classification for the type of work included in the wage. determination. The government should have known what the correct classification is for 200 existing employees, if the eventual contractor confirmed it in its proposal only to find out later that that was incorrect. I don’t. Know if DOL ended up changing the classification that was in the wage decision or simply determined that the employees should have been classified at a higher level. EDIT: Lotus said in the original post: Can Lotus or someone else please help clarify what happened and why, assuming that this is a successor contract? Thanks.
  2. Remember too, that a high percentage of small businesses, in general, fail or otherwise go out of business, too. And the construction business is fairly high risk, regardless of the size of the business. Many of y contemporaries and co-workers in USACE and I often did a lot of unofficial handholding to get such small firms through performance of their contracts. Of course, that could be good or bad for them. But there was always a sense that we wanted the job to be acceptably completed. I remember providing technical assistance, even to the point of demonstrating how to perform construction surveys, leveling and installing columns and bases, electrical control systems, leveling valves, pipe laying, well pump and pressure testing, etc. they weren’t all 8(a) firms, either. Edit: I was composing this post during the time that the two most recent responses above were posted.
  3. joel hoffman


    Also, If the proposer specifically identifies a lower rate than that included in the wage decision in the solicitation, Id say that the government should evaluate it and, if necessary, confirm that DOL would accept it. The government should understand the possible effect on the contract cost or the contractors cost if DOL rejects the lower proposed classification or rate. If the contractor would be expected to bear the risk for every position, it may likely affect the risk of successful performance. I freely admit that I’m not an SCA expert and don’t know to what extent the government would have knowledge of what the current employees are/were being paid.
  4. joel hoffman


    Carl, I don’t think that your idea would be the proper way to resolve a labor rate compliance question in a competitive acquisition, unless the government amends the solicitation to offer all competitors a common opportunity. Even then, it might be difficult to compare apples to apples or to gyoranges. For a sole source contract action, it might be doable. I would prefer that the government resolve an uncertainty that arose during a competitively negotiated acquisition (or a sole source), if circumstances and time permit. There should be a common understanding of the labor classification I would think. What puzzles me here is that the issue affects all 200 positions for the service contract. I don’t understand the exact scenario presented. Did the wage decision include the $20 rate that the DOL later determined applicable ? Did the successful proposer offer the lower rate from a listed category in the wage decision? It would seem that even those employees who accepted the $16 rate would have to be paid the $20 rate after the DOL determination. Was there no classification provided for the actual jobs under the contract? Did the successful proposer (the new contractor) simply decide to propose the lower rate, based upon competitive advantage? Something doesn’t make sense here. This scenario affects all 200 employees...
  5. “If efficiency was the metric for who receives Federal contracts, there would be exactly 3 contractors receiving all Federal procurement dollars (gotta' get your 3 prices after all).” With respect to construction contracting, I respectfully disagree. Most projects couldn’t afford the three biggest large business contractors who would have the capacity to handle that much business. Same goes for the biggie A-E firms. That is based upon my experience in A-E and construction contracting and my involvement in over 90 source selections involving varied services and construction contracts. Many small and medium business A-E and construction contractors can successfully compete with the premier firms for most projects other than the most complex or huge ones. Those are not the most common projects. The small and medium sized firms are also generally a heck of a lot cheaper when pricing extra work, changes, claims, etc. An office that I supervised also negotiated all of our District’s sole source and Sole source 8(a) construction contracts. I’m not going to comment on their capabilities or the programs other than to say I won’t disagree with Vern’s recent post.
  6. joel hoffman


    Vern, I was apparently mistaken as to Carl’s scenario, of which I was responding to. I interpreted his scenario as one where the parties were negotiating the contract price, based upon using wage rates from the government provided wage decision. In lotus’s scenario, it appeared to me that the wage decision used the wrong classification for all 200 employees. If both parties were negotiating the price based upon what they thought was the correct classification, subject to DOL determination, then the price could be based upon a mutual mistake. However, it now appears to be a situation where the firm proposed a wage rate that wasn’t listed in the wage decision and initiated a conforming process, proposing an alternate wage and fringe rate for all the employees. So my assumed scenario isn’t applicable.
  7. joel hoffman


    How about documenting the basis of negotiation in the record of negotiations and in a “memorandum of agreement” (MOA) or a “memorandum of understanding” (MOU)? I’ve seen that idone and have done it, although not for the specific purpose mentioned here.
  8. joel hoffman

    Negotiation Skills and Tactics

    Oops, I didn’t mean to post here. I was reading this when a text popped up and I responded to it. 🤭 Bob, please delete this post.
  9. My point is that information lag time in the sixties has much less relevance in comparison with the capabilities of today’s information management and project management systems used in Industry and commerce. Edit: The above comment was in response to: The Wifcon Forums and Blogs Hi joel hoffman, Vern Edwards has posted a comment on a topic, Policy Memo on TINA Sweeps - Referenced Spector Memo Vern Edwards said: 29 minutes ago, joel hoffman said: Vern, I don’t see the relevance of the American Bosch Arma case from the mid- 1960’s era, keeping in mind that the circumstances occurred even before the year of the decision. The relevance is the illustration of the concept of lag time. I would have thought you could see the relevance of that illustration, but apparently not. The rest of your post is more of your personal experience stuff and irrelevant musings, which I don't find interesting or persuasive in this discussion. 34 minutes ago, joel hoffman said: The major systems contracts that I worked on not only included hundreds of millions of dollars of design and construction (FFP or cost reimbursement on different projects) but even more hundreds of millions of dollars of cost major services to test, systemiize train and operate major chemical weapons disposal plants. So, modern earned value management systems are used in design, construction, and services these days, whether or not they are required by the contract. Of what use is that kind of chatter? I have considerable personal experience with TINA, but I don't cite it to make my arguments. My personal experience has led me to feel a certain way about TINA and defective pricing, but I don't think my experience supports my argument. All you keep doing is stating the purpose of the memo and then writing something about something you worked on. Well, the purpose of the memo is clear on its face, and I don't not find that purpose, or your personal experience, to be justification for the policy. Go to this post — The Wifcon Forums and Blogs You are receiving this email because you are following the Topic 'Policy Memo on TINA Sweeps - Referenced Spector Memo'. Prefer to stop receiving these emails? Unfollow or Adjust your notification preferences. The Wifcon Forums and Blogs
  10. Vern, I don’t see the relevance of the American Bosch Arma case from the mid- 1960’s era, keeping in mind that the circumstances occurred even before the year of the decision. A valid question would be whether or not contractors can reasonably establish estimating and accounting systems that can provide data to managers and project controls personnel in real time or near real time, etc. to provide current cost or pricing data to a contractor’s negotiation team and to the government’s contract administrators. I think the memo may be aimed at forcing improved estimating and accounting systems and management practices. Many (most?) pricing actions in design and construction contracts that would involve cost or pricing data occur on larger contracts. Contractors who are qualified to win such contracts now days are likely to have internal earned value management systems for managing costs, estimating and quantity takeoff’s, production, productivity, etc. It is essential not only for cost contracts but for FFP contracts, as well. The major systems contracts that I worked on not only included hundreds of millions of dollars of design and construction (FFP or cost reimbursement on different projects) but even more hundreds of millions of dollars of cost major services to test, systemiize train and operate major chemical weapons disposal plants. So, modern earned value management systems are used in design, construction, and services these days, whether or not they are required by the contract. In order to speed up acquisition times, It may be time to force the issue.
  11. H2H, I was was wondering when you would chime in. Thanks for your viewpoint. I am somewhat familiar with one of the companies that you once worked for. 😄
  12. My belief didn’t have a damned thing to do with something I read in the article. I was looking up his exact title to refresh myself and the article simply explains where he is now and it cited his experience for others to understand that he knows the Defense Industry from his long time Industry experience I don’t know what you meant by limited experience with that person. Three years is not really “limited”. I understand your point of view.
  13. Vern, just please disregard what I said that you want me to amplify. I wasn’t addressing the heart of the matter in that comment. In my opinion, the heart of the matter is that, according to Assad, contractors should update available cost or pricing data after initial submission, if necessary, up to the time of agreement on price. That is consistent with the Instructions for Table 15-2, which are incorporated by reference in the applicable contract clause for submission of cost or pricing data. Edit: He apparently feels that, if contractors would do that, then it would avoid lengthy delays in obtaining the certicatiin after agreement.