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Desparado

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Everything posted by Desparado

  1. Do you have any indication why this went on for a year and a half? Were invoices for that person's work paid throughout that time? Seems interesting that this comes up now after such a long time of that person not performing to expectation.
  2. Has anyone seen if the authority to extend this "Test Program" is included in any of the proposed appropriations? I know that a few years ago when it was allowed to expire it created quite a bit of hysteria, and it would do so again in my agency as we utilize this authority quite a bit.
  3. Desparado

    Sole Source RFP

    From all the posts, I see that "notices" must be posted, no requirement for the RFP itself. My recommendation, post the notice of contract action as required by the FAR, but not the RFP (to directly answer your question).
  4. Desparado

    NAICS code

    What I've done in practice is when a situation arises where I have placed a NAICS and size standard in a solicitation and the potential awardee does not possess that NAICS in their ORCA, I first try to see if they have any NAICS in their ORCA that has the same size standard. If so, and they are showing as Small in that NAICS, then I properly assume they will be Small in my NAICS. If they don't have a NAICS in ORCA with the same size standard, I clarify with them what their appropriate revenue/employees are so that I can verify whether or not they are small.
  5. Just curious what everyone's take is on the latest "hot thing", the Federal Strategic Support Initiatives.
  6. Desparado

    Thoughts on FSSIs

    The main selling point of the FSSIs as awarded by GSA is that they took their existing Schedule contractors, conducted a competition which resulted in a much small pool of awardees and by doing so reduced the prices.
  7. Desparado

    Government contracts "Primer."

    In DAU, that is CLC 011
  8. Desparado

    Government contracts "Primer."

    Also, for higher-level presentations, I used the training course, "Contracting For The Rest Of Us" as a guide to develop a slideshow years ago. I don't have it any longer, but that course might be a good place to get some general ideas of what can be included in a presentation.
  9. First, a slight disclaimer. When I was at GSA, I was not in the IT arena, but was in FAS, overseeing a couple of MAS Schedules. Therefore, the rules may be slightly different (although I do not believe so in this case). The contract award amount is simply an internal tracking tool. Yes, it is used for FPDS-NG reporting, but a contractor has not yet successfully performed and in fact many never do. Therefore, some contracting officers assign the lowest possible amount ($125k) for a small business award. This is based on the minimum sales criteria required to maintain an MAS contract ($25k per year for 5 years). Now, in fact that is not truly the minimum, since a contractor has 2 years to get to that first $25k amount, but GSA has long used the $125k amount as a bare minimum. For a large business, they set the minimum at $650k for subcontracting plan purposes. After that initial 5yr award period, as part of the process to exercise the 5yr option, the contract value will be re-estimated based on past sales performance. I could be wrong, but if memory serves the only place the new dollar value is reported is in FPDS-NG with the modification to exercise the option. The MOL/MOT is established at the SIN/Schedule level, and not at the individual contract level. Also, if you haven't encountered this already, you will... Government agencies often are confused by the terms, "Maximum Ordering Limitation" and "Monetary Order Thresholds". They will think that this is the maximum amount that can be ordered against the MAS contract (go figure!). This is not the case. The MOL is one of the most badly-worded acronyms in GSA. I tried to bring this issue up on several occasions but apparently the rule-making process is too extensive to change it. This term only applies to the threshold which a contractor is required to accept an order (within scope of course) and not a ceiling amount that can be placed against the contract with contractor acceptance. Hope this helps.
  10. This is dated just a bit, but I was with Army contracting up until 2007, and ASFI would feed to FBO for the solicitations. We would synopsize in FBO, but post to ASFI which would feed into FBO, so all regulatory requirements were met.
  11. Desparado

    Shrinking the FAR

    I think if the FAR was shrunk, it would only result in the various government agencies increasing the size of their supplement in order to cover what was removed.
  12. Desparado

    Relative Importance of Factors

    cs123 - I've been with a few agencies, and every one of them stress not using numerical ratings. Apparently sometime in the past there was a protest or something for an acquisition that used numerical ratings, and (as the tale goes) a CO was asked something like, "What is the difference between a 7 and an 8?" Or a 6 and an 8... And the CO could not provide a well thought-out answer, and thus push for non-numerical ratings (whether colors or words).
  13. Desparado

    Contracts vs SF182

    apsofacto - I've seen this done at a couple of agencies now. The general thought is that they can make an 1102 to do 1105 work but they can make an 1105 do 1102 work. The management's reasoning is that by making them all 1102s they can have greater flexibility to get the work accomplished. Not saying I agree with that theory, but that is the theory that both of these agencies have cited.
  14. Is it normal for agencies to permit non-warranted people to make awards above the micro-purchase threshold (with the exception of designated ordering officers who place orders off of established contracts)?
  15. Contractor100 - Thank you for the link. That was new information for me. I would imagine that most government contracting officers at the ordering level are totally unaware of that site. I was over two MAS schedules and I didn't know about link! Please remember also that there is an important distinction between a BPA and an Order. If the date of the order (even if it is against an established BPA) is after the date your MAS contract was modified, the reporting rule would still apply. It is based on the date of the "order", not the BPA it was placed against. Wouldn't want you to get yourself into trouble with GSA.
  16. You've lost me a little on the following: "I see the logistical issue, although the ordering agency can see all of the GSA clauses AND the mass mods AND whether the contractor has signed up to the mass mod. And the same issue applies to a task order or an IDIQ task order issued against GSA schedules." Ordering agencies can only see what clauses are currently on a Schedule contract. They cannot see mass mods or whether a contractor has signed up to the mass mod. Further, they can only see those clauses if they go into eLibrary to look for them. There is no notification process that lets ordering agencies know whether or not a mod has been issued to an MAS contract. Also, I'm not sure what you mean when you say the same issue applies to a task order. Only the agency that places the order can see the particulars of that order. In fact, in a majority of the cases, only that specific office can see it. When I was at a GSA office, we were instructed that if an MAS contractor is not willing to sign a MASS Mod, we were to terminate their contract. This was because GSA wanted all their contracts to be as up-to-date as possible. With over 19,000 contracts, having them all in various stages of update would be a nightmare to administer.
  17. In the situation you outlined, the GSA contract was modified with the reporting requirement for "new orders". A call against a BPA is an order. If the order was received after the contract modification was signed, it is my opinion that this would be required to be reported regardless whether there is a flowdown or not. There is a logistics issue with the MAS program that has led to GSA interpreting that clauses automatically flow down. I will try to describe that issue. GSA establishes an MAS contract with the contractor. A customer agency writes a BPA against this contract. GSA has no visibility on the BPA since the agency can write it without involving GSA itself (one of GSA's selling points). Additionally, the customer agency has no visibility on any modifications to the MAS contract completed by GSA and the contractor.
  18. You gave an example of Microsoft Office. Obviously, that is not the product of a small business manufacturer. If the acquisition exceeds $25k, you will need to apply the Non-Manufacturer Rule (FAR 19.502-2 ( c )). Now if your scenario is for something other than Microsoft Office, the post by Metteec could apply.
  19. I would not use a reverse auction for this (and can an IFB be used as the method for a reverse auction?). When I see the term "invitation for bids", I think of a sealed bid with FAR Part 14, which wouldn't mesh well with a reverse auction because the general idea of a reverse auction is that your competition will see the new low bid, "sharpen their pencil", and submit a revised lower bid. IFB and Reverse Auctions seem mutually exclusive to me, but I could be missing something. As far as using an RA for this type of acquisition, I don't think you'd get much bidding on a service such as this. I could see going with an IFB, but not a reverse auction. I just don't see where the Government benefits from it. Not a fan of FedBid, but RA as a general tool has good applications. I have found it best used when buying large quantities of products, where the contractors/bidders have room to manuever within their profit margin. I just don't see that here.
  20. In your scenario, a "call" was issued in 2014. Since each "call" is an "order", and this order meets the required threshold and was placed after the clause was incorporated into the contract which the BPA was placed against, my opinion is that the report will be required.
  21. I agree Joel, but it is the environment that exists in many offices.
  22. I agree with what everyone above has said. Also, there is a fear of speaking too much of a particular requirement, whether it be before or after a solicitation was issued. The general fear is that they'll tell one contractor something and not another and create an uneven playing field. A couple of years ago the "Mythbusters" initiative was put out (by OMB I believe). Every seasoned contracting officer I spoke with did not agree with it. Most COs are so protest-adverse that all they want is arm's-length group communications and don't want to risk getting into any discussions with a contractor (especially one-on-one) about requirements. If it's not a formal industry meeting or site visit or something similar, contracting officers don't want to talk about requirements with potential offerors.
  23. I think the rules are very simple, and my experience at GSA was that was exactly the problem when I spoke with other government agencies about using the Schedules program. I believe FAR 8.4 is written with the broadness it was on purpose so that contracting officers can use their best business judgement. Unfortunately, in today's spoon-feed-me contracting environment, that is often seen as ambiguous and confusing. I have seen contracting officers put too many clauses in their solicitation (in some cases re-stating what was already in there, and in other cases conflicting with the clauses in the MAS contract). This is why GSA put in the Goldstar initiative a couple of years ago so that any customer agency contracting officer can view which clauses are in the contract. Many attorneys with agencies are so protest-adverse they require FAR Part 15 debriefings when a FAR Part 8 is all that is required. The same is true with source selection methodology and application. I believe that the Schedules program isn't perfect, but for many acquisitions it can be a useful tool in the toolbox if applied correctly.
  24. I looked through the past topics as I thought I had seen this before, but was unable to find it. For software maintenance purchased through SEWP, is the Government allowed to pay upon award for these services or do we have to wait until the service is performed. I don't know that a software company will wait a year for payment while services are being rendered. I ask because I'm in a lively discussion with a Fiscal person that states that it must be paid in arrears and cannot be paid at the time of award. If you know of a policy reference, that would be helpful.
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