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Desparado

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About Desparado

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  • Birthday 10/29/1965

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  1. Desparado

    GSA - Under SAT - LPTA

    Be careful. I ran into this years ago buying furniture. 3 equal quotes. We drew lots to determine who received the award only to find out the manufacturer wouldn't allow that distributor to sell in that area because of a territory policy on their end, so we had to cancel that order and go to the awardee that was had us in "their territory". If you are dealing with 4 GSA contractors offering the same manufacturer's product you may want to verify that they are authorized to sell in your geographical area.
  2. Desparado

    Wifcon.com: My Legacy; My Albatross

    As I said in 2016, thank you.... This site is more helpful than you can probably even imagine.
  3. For my post, I am defining a "follow on contract" to mean a contract for continued services (IT helpdesk, security guards, emergency response services... anything where continued performance will be required), which I have encountered quite frequently. I believe that, depending on the type of service provided, the requiring activity may want that overlap to allow for a smooth transition from one contractor to another. Since in many of these cases, the workers are merely "changing their shirts", this overlap is primarily for the new management team that comes in and for any turnover that results because of the contract change (for example, employee XX is offered a lower salary by the new contractor, promptly quits and then a new employee is hired). It is not uncommon in these situations for an overlap to exist. If the incumbent wins the contract, a bilateral modification normally follows (or a partial T4C to the previous contract).
  4. Desparado

    Charging with Coverage

    I will restate... Many Qs, regardless of forum, will result in several As.
  5. Desparado

    OFFICE FURNITURE BUY OVER $5000

    An obscure regulation buried in an appropriation is not something that 95% of contracting officers would be aware of.
  6. Desparado

    Charging with Coverage

    Vern - How would you characterize the difference between a Q&A and a Q&A Discussions page? Each Q, regardless of the forum, will result in several As and on many occasions those As will lead to discussions. I read many questions just to see the conversations happening and have grown in my knowledge because of that. When I go to the "unread" section, I don't even notice what forum the questions are in as it doesn't matter to me if the question was posed by a beginner, a seasoned professional, or by the true experts.... the point for me for this site is to learn (and occasionally help if I can), no matter what forum it is in. Why should someone be admonished just because they posted based on the topic and not whether or not he is a beginner? I guess I'm missing a piece to the puzzle.
  7. Desparado

    Who's responsible to request funding?

    Delayn - In my opinion, if your office believes that this is the appropriate course of action, all solicitations would need to go out with the Availability of Funds clause (52.232-18). This would put the contractors on notice that there are not funds currently committed to this acquisition.
  8. Desparado

    Part 15 evaluation section L items

    To echo what Joel stated with a different take. In many ways, this is a game, and if you want to win this game you have you play by the rules. Ok, that can be done by hiding the information someone within your proposal, but do you think that's the best way to make sure the evaluators see that you have answered their questions? Depending on page limitations, I would recommend one of the following 2 approaches (I have seen both as an 1102 and have found both to be effective). 1) Simply answer the question. In your proposal, repeat the question and then answer it. This is the easiest way to ensure the evaluators see your response. 2) Repeat the question and then state the page/paragraph number where the answer can be found. This can be a little annoying for the evaluator but they will still appreciate being able to find the answers easily. If you want to risk losing the game, just put your answers somewhere in the proposal and hope the evaluators find it. It's sad that an offeror has to resort to these techniques but as Joel stated, for many of the evaluators (if not all), this is an additional duty for them. They are not professional proposal readers. They are technical experts being tasked to read proposals and determine which is best for their requirement. You have to make it as easy as possible for them to do. Imagine someone pulling you from your job, giving you some instructions, and then asking you to perform surgery. Although an extreme example, for many on the SSEB, that is what this feels like.
  9. Have the SSEB be a dedicated team that, once offers are received, have no duties other than to evaluate the proposals. With this age of "category management", we should (especially for large programs) be able to develop technical expertise in evaluating offers. By having a dedicated team, the time it takes for the evaluation process could be reduced by months. Too often the SSEB gets together for 1 week a month, if that. Each time they get together they have to refresh what they discussed previously (wasted time) and then start the review on a single proposal. The same is true for the Contracting Officer. If they have a large, important project, allow that to be their only project. Of course this is a pipe dream in this era of reduced staffing and more additional duties assigned, but I do believe the evaluation process is the single most time-intensive part of the process... and the part that can be reduced the easiest.
  10. Desparado

    How competitive are 1102 jobs?

    If you're willing to be mobile and do a good job (or at least make people think you are), then you can move pretty quickly up the ranks. I know this person who was a GS-7 in 2003 (after 14 years as a GS-4 and GS-6 in non-contracting work) and within 11 years became a GS-15 (you have to judge whether you consider that fast or not). He wasn't in an intern program or anything. He simply applied and moved when opportunities that sounded good came up. It can be done...
  11. Both gentlemen are correct. I was with GSA for 4 years over 2 GSA Schedule contracts and I can confirm that they are right.
  12. I don't know that I would say a non-DoD agency is "less of a challenge". The challenges are just different. Organizational structure (or lack thereof), ambiguity in policy, and other things can make a non-DoD agency very challenging. I actually found working for DoD much easier because of the structure. Everything was already set in place. Granted, it stiffled innovation, but that's a whole different challenge. I recently had an employee leave my current agency because she couldn't deal with the lack of structure and went back to DoD.
  13. I have worked for the Army, the VA, GSA and the EPA and each experience was different. I do believe having experience at different agencies is career enhancing, but then I've known people who have stayed at a single agency and moved all the way up (so no help there, sorry). I am currently a GS-15 and I do believe changing agencies helped me get to this level. I started with the Army entity and primarily completed post support contracts and purchase orders. The grades there were very limited. At GSA the grades were much higher but I found the work much less rewarding and took a downgrade to leave. I've done two separate stints with the VA and found the work rewarding and depending on the office there is upward mobility available.With the EPA I found it rewarding although I have learned that being with a small civilian agency definitely comes with its own problems and many DoDers have difficulty in adjusting to a non-DoD environment (I consider the VA a DoD wannabe). Again, I apologize that this may not be helpful but I believe each individual has unique experiences and what works for one may not work so well for another. As far as additional skills goes the place I learned the most was with the Army where they had a "everyone does everything" approach so I never knew when I walked in the door whether I'd be buying a thermal imager for the fire department, a $2M construction project, training services or buying some commercial products. There were also opportunities to learn about cost contracting there. At the GSA, I learned about Schedules contracting but nothing else. It was very limiting. At the VA they put you in a silo where you only buy one type of thing. Yes, that makes you a specialist at that one thing but doesn't offer you the diversity of knowledge you need to grow in contracting. Would I recommend it? At the very least, since you are with the VA, if you are in a silo situation I would recommend that you move around between the teams to learn about the various types of contracting. I don't know that you'd need to leave the VA to grow but having perspective and experiences from different agencies can be helpful, although not absolutely necessary. So I guess... yes... I would recommend it, but know that you have as much of a chance to going to a worse situation than you do a better one.
  14. Desparado

    Section 801 of 2018 NDAA

    I apologize as I wasn't aware of that rule...
  15. Desparado

    Section 801 of 2018 NDAA

    Vern brings up an interesting point. Would FedBid or companies like them truly be considered a "marketplace"?
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