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Everything posted by dwgerard

  1. Thanks for the spelling correction Vern, my bad for not checking on that before hitting the Add Reply button.
  2. Vern, In my case, the specifications were provided by the customer, who requested and funded a particular brand and model along with their purchase request. In my market research I found very good quality binoculars that had even better specifications for a much lower price. In this case, the customer wanted the Lamborgini when I found a BMW that actually fit the stated purpose better than the Lamborgini. What I did not factor in was the customer was competing with another office that DID buy the most expensive binoculars, and did not want to be seen with "lesser" equipment. I, acting as
  3. I have had similar problems in the past when customers requested $3,000 binoculars when I could find $700 binoculars that had exactly the same specifications. You won't find any definitions to back you up, but what I did was send a message to the customer requiring them to define exactly what specifications they required. If their specifications did not match the gold plated item, or could be satisified with the stainless steel version, I informed them of my findings and gave them a chance to either cancel the request or improve their requirement package to justify the gold plating. I never
  4. And how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? Until Congress, GAO, SBA, and all the people up in the nosebleed pay grades get their stuff together and decide among themselves what the actual rules should be, we mice will continue to debate without any hope of reaching a consensus.
  5. Vern, If we do what you say and go with the OMB guidance, and the courts find for the GAO, will we then be forced to go back and recompete all those contract actions in favor of Hubzone contractors? I fear that will be the case, which will be a huge problem for many offices. I agree it should not be Shay Assad, but he should be pushing Peter R. Orszag into the ring since he is the one represent OMB and all of us in this dispute.
  6. Napolik, Here is what the GAO said about Shay Assad's memo: The DOJ opinion notwithstanding, we continue to read the plain language of the HUBZone statute as requiring an agency to set aside an acquisition for competition restricted to qualified HUBZone small business concerns where it has a reasonable expectation that not less than two qualified HUBZone small business concerns will submit offers and that the award can be made at a fair market price. See also Mission Critical Solutions v. United States, No. 09-864C (Fed. Cl. Mar. 2, 2010), appeal docketed, No. 2010-5099 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 2, 2010
  7. And for others its not a joke as those words describe U.S. Infantry and Marines who courageously charged the German lines during WWI.
  8. In my case it was just adapt and eventually move on as the office had a number of other problems that I did not care for. Before I left I found myself buying paper so I could document contracts, RFP's, letters, etc., and then when paper was available I took an equivalent amount and replenished my personal supply which I kept locked up. I bought my own pens and markers as I prefer to work with decent tools. Most of the pens everyone picked up at the health fairs seemed to be programmed to fail in about a month, normally right when you were writing something really important. To me, being prof
  9. Nothing ever changes, my example is from 2005-2006 at a "premier installation" with a big iron guy across the parking lot telling us to follow him.
  10. Brian, Please don't take this or my earlier comment as a personal attack or anything. I realize that not all offices are the same, I was just offering what my experience has been working in system procurement offices as well as a base level contracting shop. Each level has its own problems. The systems teams had huge solicitation, proposal and contract award packages with hundreds of pages, many copies of each, and very formal evaluation teams that included contractors. The base operations team I worked on had comparatively smaller packages, but also had a very austere budget, which basic
  11. Brian, Actually, it is because the government doesn't like to make 5, 10 or more copies or prints for each proposal for the review process. Instead, the contractors are required to provide enough hard copies to distribute to the review teams and the original to be held by the KO. In one office I worked in, 1 single competion would have killed the paper budget for the office for more than a year if we had to print out all the review copies. That office had its adminstrative budget cut so much that we had to attend the base health fair for pens and require customers to bring 2 packs of paper
  12. Leo is correct in that listing the subclins outside of SPS as exhibits would not satisfy the financial teams requirements, which is why we have set up the contract that way in the first place. I agree it would be nice to set it up that way that Tap described, but the finance folks had more weight in influencing the changes in 2005 than the contracting community.
  13. In the office I am currently working in, there are two data systems and a reporting system that are used to communicate contract actions to those who need that information. First is the actual contract software, SPS in our office, second is FPDS-NG and the reporting system is a weekly email with a specific format that goes up the chain from each division within the command. None of those are particularly difficult, nor do they take an inordinate amount of time. I have found that the changes made in the DoD contracting system that the finance people required back in 2005 have made contract g
  14. This have been one of the better threads to read for somone who considers himself to still be learning this profession well after earning the Level III certification and a graduate degree. One thing that stood out in this discussion over the last several weeks on the knowledge and abilities of contracting and other acquisition personnel is that the target is moving. I have been at my current command for less than a year, but in that time the contracting process has changed several times and the Policy Division has issued new directives every week since the first of February. Legal and seni
  15. The latest technology might be expensive, but is being the best less expensive than a posture that suggests that an adversary might win in a fight? I personally think that this is politically motivated more so than simply being frugal. Having the best technology has costs in both time and money, but it is an investment in the US that we should think long and hard before we walk away from it. Being the best, having the best weapons, means that an adversary will avoid a war. He knows he will lose or at least suffer so badly that other opponents will then take advantage of his weakness. Tha
  16. Welcome 1102newbie! It has been a decade since I was in your shoes, but the things that I remember are to learn the FAR and your agency specific regulations as much as possible, learn the technical processes in your organization so you become the expert and subject matter expert, and most of all, do the right things even when people try to get you to cut corners. Learn why those right things are right, and why the other ways are wrong, and then help customers and associates understand that information. You will never know everything there is to this career field, the masters of contracting s
  17. Is there any reason you cannot get the customer to give you a list of the books they might want to order in the next year or so? Are they so unaware of their own requirements that they cannot even describe what they want? I believe that the customer should know what he or she wants, and should be able to put a list together. If that list is not exaustive, it can be updated within reason over time as new titles are selected. Once the BPA's are awarded, you can have the contractors provide updates as new titles become available, and generally manage the BPA along with the customer, modifyin
  18. Formerfed, How about a J&A that took 6 MONTHS just to route internally, then another 6 months seeking a signature in DC, and 12 months later, it is STILL not approved! The J&A took less than a day to create, and the KO signed it that same day, but once it left the contracting officers desk, it went into a bureaucracy from hades, and even though the senior executive is calling DC daily on this matter, it still is just sitting on some policy weenies desk with no hint of urgency on their part.
  19. Vern, Which is why I am putting in for the FAR Bootcamp training you conduct, so I can grow in my understanding of the FAR. It was highly recommended by a mutual friend who just started working in my office who attended the training in the past. Civ, My answer would be in the form of a question: Against who and under what conditions?" As a former law enforcement officer, I have a history of handling violence in a very quick and convincing way that might offend the gentle ears of some supervisors. Somehow I doubt that is what they are looking for.
  20. Vern, The amazing part of the story is that the program manager for that contract and the KO work in on the same floor of the same building in offices less than a 60 second walk apart. In this case, the KO quietly asked me to process the action as appropriate, and I got it done in about 2 weeks by personally walking the approval documents to each of the approving officials. It got done in time, but it would have been much better to have done it the right way. Contracts would have looked better than to have needed special treatment in the approval process, and if there was a better way to so
  21. formerfed, I have worked in offices where program offices and personnel DID work well, provided information and requirements on time and were good team members along with the contracting office, customer and other team members. Unfortunately that is not always the case, it has been pretty rare since I left my first contracting job with NAVFAC SW in San Diego. At that office, it was as good as I could image it could be. Since then, it is not unusual to have program managers work on a project for months, and then toss it over the fence and expect contracts, who has never even been told of the
  22. Or asking what part of the dictionary is preferred. My answer is the part that I used for my last procurement, and the one that I used to answer a question from the attorney reviewing my last contract action. Personally I would not ask such a silly question. I would ask a question along the lines of which customer in the interviewees experience was the best to work with and why he or she felt that way. Now, if they want to talk cars or even better, motorcycles, then we might have an interesting interview!
  23. Ya gotta love the concept of a "combat hardened fruitcake bar". In my experience, most fruitcakes were already harder than depleted uranium 120 MM rounds! Merry Christmas everyone!
  24. There are more civilian drydocks than military dry docks these days, so I don't neccessarily think that replacing non-skid would be mil-spec. That said, dry dock non-skid probably started as a mil-spec, so some organizations are still hanging on to "we have always done it that way". I agree with Joel, I would not get wrapped around the axel about non-skid, the real work is basically removing and replacing a form of paint. Would that be considered a commercial service? I tend to think so, as commercial firms have dry docks that need painting. That would apply whether your organization sees
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