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Everything posted by Desparado

  1. This was always an interesting topic of discussion when I worked at GSA. The FAR even double-talks it: 8.405-5 ( b ): Orders placed against schedule contracts may be credited toward the ordering activity’s small business goals. For purposes of reporting an order placed with a small business schedule contractor, an ordering agency may only take credit if the awardee meets a size standard that corresponds to the work performed. Ordering activities should rely on the small business representations made by schedule contractors at the contract level. So in one sentence it states that the awardee must meet a size standard that corresponds to the work performed, and in the next sentence it states that the ordering activity should rely on the representations made at the contract level. I've seen agencies cherry-pick the part they wanted to. If they wanted the representation they only observed the last sentence and if they didn't want that company they would go with the other.
  2. CSP from manufacturer

    I don't know if this is helpful or not, but this is contained in the CSP-1 document and in my opinion addresses some of your questions: ( 5 ) If you are a dealer/reseller without significant sales to the general public, you should provide manufacturers' information required by paragraphs (1) through (4) above for each item/SIN offered, if the manufacturer's sales under any resulting contract are expected to exceed $500,000. You must also obtain written authorization from the manufacturer(s) for Government access, at any time before award or before agreeing to a modification, to the manufacturer's sales records for the purpose of verifying the information submitted by the manufacturer. The information is required in order to enable the Government to make a determination that the offered price is fair and reasonable. To expedite the review and processing of offers, you should advise the manufacturer(s) of this requirement. The contracting officer may require the information be submitted on electronic media with commercially available spreadsheet(s). The information may be provided by the manufacturer directly to the Government. If the manufacturer's item(s) is being offered by multiple dealers/resellers, only one copy of the requested information should be submitted to the Government. In addition, you must submit the following information along with a listing of contact information regarding each of the manufacturers whose products and/or services are included in the offer (include the manufacturer's name, address, the manufacturer's contact point, telephone number, and FAX number) for each model offered by SIN: (a) Manufacturer's Name (B ) Manufacturer's Part Number (c ) Dealer's/Reseller's Part Number (d) Product Description (e) Manufacturer's List Price (f) Dealer's/Reseller's percentage discount from List Price or net prices Although the above states that this is required if sales are expected to exceed $500K, we require it any time the dealer/reseller has no sales for the new product line, no matter what the expected sales are. In addition to using the CSP-1 to determine fair and reasonable pricing, it is used to establish an MFC/BOA for those products until the contractor can establish their own sales, at which time it can be renegotiated. There is no requirement to sell to end users by the manufacturer. Dealers/resellers are commercial customers and therefore, they would be one of, if not the only, commercial customer categories that the manufacturer discloses on the CSP-1. GSA will compare the discounts/prices given to the dealers/resellers to the prices that the dealer/reseller is offering to the Government to ensure those prices are fair and reasonable (example (exaggerated): dealer gets 50% discount from manufacturer price, marks it up 75%, and then offers GSA a 5% discount). All proprietary documents are kept in the contract file within the eoffer/econtract system. If the manufacturer chooses, after contacting the CO regarding their concerns, may submit those documents directly to the Contracting Officer, bypassing the contractor for purposes of confidentiality.
  3. GSA Prime Rates vs. Sub Rates

    A GSA contractor can only charge as much as what is on their FSS Schedule (they can always charge less, but not more). So, if they use a sub, whether it is a Schedule sub or an open market sub, if the only contractual relationship the Government has is with the one GSA contractor, that contractor can charge as much as what is on their GSA Schedule, regardless of what the sub charges. However, you can use this information when you attempt to negotiate a discount from the Schedule rate. If it is a Contractor Teaming Arrangement (CTA), then each contractor on the team is limited by their individual FSS rates. On a side note, the GSA contractor cannot charge for services/rateslabor categories not shown on their GSA Schedule, so if they try to charge for a sub's labor and that labor category is not on the GSA contractor's Schedule, they are not supposed to be doing so. The GSA OIG finds this violation quite frequently.
  4. "Can you simply forgo the CTA and enter into a Prime/Subcontract Relationship?" You have to keep in mind that in that type of relationship, the "prime" must have all the products/services on their FSS schedule and the most that the "prime" can charge is what is listed on their FSS contract. There are no upcharges, pass-throughs, etc... For the 03FAC schedule that I used to oversee, this was a common problem ever since the GSA OIG put a stop to these type of practices. Example: The primary FSS contractor has a service at $50 per hour. The subcontractor charges $55 per hour. The most that the primary FSS contractor can charge an FSS customer agency is the $50 per hour as that is the rate as stated in their FSS contract. The auditors have caught/charged many companies for violation of this.
  5. I know of no such requirement. However, I have seen in my experience where a technical reviewer will be biased because they are familiar with a contractor (especially if they are the incumbent) and I have actually encouraged the SSA to remove someone from an SSEB for that very reason. In the future, if you decide to redact, a step I found to make that easier is to require the offerors to submit their technical proposal absent of any company-identifying information. Better for them to redact than for me to have to do it.
  6. Single-award BPA with Ordering Periods

    Deleted as Don Mansfield addressed it much better than I did, at almost the exact same time.
  7. Market Research announcements

    I know of no requirement to do so, and I never have in my career.
  8. Small Business Overseas

    JW - I believe that FAR 19.502-2(B )(1) states that for a total small business set-aside there must be the expectation that offers will be received by at least 2 responsible small business concerns (aka, the "rule of two") offering the products of different small business concerns. I know you question was "Where in Part 6...", but I think that Part 19 addresses this better. On a side note, in FAR 19.102(f)(1) it states " "Except as provided in subparagraphs (f)(4) through (f)(7) of this section, in the case of Government acquisitions set-aside for small businesses, furnishes in the performance of the contract, the product of a small business manufacturer or producer. The end product furnished must be manufactured or produced in the United States or its outlying areas. The term “nonmanufacturer” includes a concern that can, but elects not to, manufacture or produce the end product for the specific acquisition. For size determination purposes, there can be only one manufacturer of the end product being acquired. The manufacturer of the end product being acquired is the concern that, with its own forces, transforms inorganic or organic substances including raw materials and/or miscellaneous parts or components into the end product. However, see the limitations on subcontracting at 52.219-14 that apply to any small business offeror other than a nonmanufacturer for purposes of set-asides and 8(a) awards." So, based on what I can find, a set-aside must be competitive and must offer the products of US companies.
  9. Basis of Award

    Yes, but if you do, it must be a specific agency and cannot be "the federal government". Normally, the GSA CO will only allow this if a company has no commercial sales with which to base the BOA on. Of course, every CO is different and the GSAM really doesn't address it well. In the office I used to oversee, a contractor with commercial sales had to use a commercial BOA.
  10. SSEB Team Members must be from the PMO?

    I would spin that around on your PMO and have them show you where the SSEB members MUST be from the PMO office. You can show where the VAAR and FAR are silent on the issue, so I would put it to them to prove their case.
  11. Total Small Business Set-Asides

    That is an excellent question. I started an answer and then backspaced it out. I know that our office would say that it should be automatically set aside, but I don't know that the FAR references back that up, because of the ambiguitiy you point out.
  12. FAR 51 Deviation Authority

    jonmjohnson - I agree and I guess I should have been more clear. I was referring strictly to the T&M/LH portion in my post. Many agencies restrict the use of T&M/LH, even if in just certain CLINs, which is one reason why agencies do not like this approach. GSA has been struggling with "other direct costs" for years and this deviation was one attempt to mitigate this issue. Shikakenin - I agree and disagree. I agree in that a contractor cannot charge the Government a markup on the items purchased using the deviation. However, some contractors have become inventive and have proposed a labor rate to manage the handing of the supplies but not charge a markup for the actual purchase of the supplies themselves. GSA has yet to weigh in officially on this practice, but in concept I don't see anything wrong with it. The difference is that instead of charging an percentage on the price of the items, they charge a labor rate for the person managing the supplies. The same approach under a teaming arrangement, because even on a teaming arrangement, only the FSS prices can be charged for the items themselves.
  13. All Time Favorites

    Okay, someone has to bring down the intellectual average of the group, so here goes... 1. What is your all time favorite book? Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 2. What is your all time favorite song or album? Thriller 3. What is your all time favorite movie? Airplane 4. Who is your favorite poet? Dr. Suess
  14. FAR 51 Deviation Authority

    Boof. Be sure to read the situations where the deviation applies. Mr. Culham stated them very well. The biggest being number 1 on his list. It can only be on a T&M/LH basis, and not FFP. This alone has caused this deviation to be less successful than GSA had anticipated/hoped.
  15. I really wish that Vern weren't so reserved. I wish he'd be more straight-forward and let us know what he is thinking.
  16. Solicitation without funds

    Why does 52.232-18 not apply? It seems to me based on your scenario that they are soliciting without funds being available (if they're not certified as available, they aren't available, imho). Why do you feel this is allowable under an RFQ but it is unclear for an RFP? I guess I'm just not following your logic.
  17. Adding on to my previous statement, GSA recently (within the last few months) started doing more of a horizontal price analysis with its contractor pricing. It will take a LONG time to get through all the contractors (over 19,000) and their prices, but they are on a path to reduce the amount of discrepancy between the lowest and highest prices available, especially for supplies.
  18. Boof - To answer one of your questions ("So how is that fair and reasonable"), F&R doesn't necessarily mean the lowest price, and in many cases it doesn't. What GSA does is compare the prices offered on Schedule to what that contractor is getting from their most favored customer (MFC). If they get 2% better than their MFC, or in fact get no discount from their MFC, the price is still F&R because it is at a rate that is commercially acceptable, based on the fact that they are being purchased commercially. Each contractor is being looked at individually in the MFC-concept, so Contractor A may charge $100 for a table and Contractor B may charge $120 (a 20% difference in price). That doesn't mean that the $120 table is not F&R, it just means that competition needs to be done against the Schedule contract holders (IAW FAR 8.4). I guess what I'm trying to say is that there is a distinct difference between F&R and Best Price.
  19. Is the Hill AFB FAR site down?

    For me, there are 3 personal preference reasons I prefer the Hill site. 1) The Hill site has better font size (helps as I get older) 2) I prefer the FARSearch on the Hill site to that of the acquisition.gov site. 3) The Hill site is better kept up-to-date than the acquisition.gov site. For example, there were some changes made to FAR Part 8 that were effective in January of this year. These changes showed up the first week in February on the Hill site and it wasn't on the acquisition.gov site for a couple of weeks after that.
  20. I agree with the previous commenters. Perhaps one possible solution would be to set the acquisition aside for a specific socioeconomic group, thereby meeting your agency's goals and reducing the number of anticipated responses... just a thought.
  21. Payment clauses in GSA schedules

    C100 - That slideshow was dated June 2011. It was shortly after that time that GSA began to enforce the requirement as noted above. The office I was in had several issues with the policy (I imagine they still do, I have recently left GSA). Likewise, the agencies that use the Schedules programs also have issues because for services that have unforeseen ODCs this becomes a nightmare. The contractor has to get the new ODC added to their GSA contract under one of the Ancillary Supplies and Services SIN so that they can offer it to the end using agency. There are many times, that there just isn't a lot of time to get this accomplished. This has been one reason why some agencies are shying away from the Schedules program for these types of services.
  22. Don - Since GSA has multiple awards under every socioeconomic category for each of it's Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) solicitations, I do not believe that language is in any of them.
  23. Payment clauses in GSA schedules

    GSA will not let you charge for indirect costs under their contracts in the same way it is done commercially.. I used to work at a GSA MAS acquisition office and it is stressed that all costs must be listed. I used to oversee a schedule where indirect costs are a normal course of business under non-Schedule purchases, but under the MAS program, they are not permitted unless all items were specifically listed in a FFP format. GSA instituted several Special Item Numbers (SINs) that have descriptions such as "Ancillary Supplies and Services" where contractors are required to list all of these types of items in a FFP format. It drove us nuts, as it did our Contractors and in fact the agencies which we served. However, this was (and is) required by GSA's policy office and is enforced by the OIG offices when they do audits.
  24. Carl's post (#8) had the answer correctly nailed on the head in my opinion. When I worked for GSA in the Schedules program, we would consistently advise agencies that any 8(a) purchases (set-aside or sole-source) would need to be done through the SBA. However, when doing a competitive FSS procurement if they happened to award to an 8(a) concern, the agency would receive the appropriate SDB award credit.
  25. Formerfed, I have to respectfully disagree. I am currently FAC-C Level III certified so I have taken all the courses to achieve that level. Whether instructed by DAU or a contractor, I have not found any classroom training to be beneficial. I think that before we pass judgement that this "game" idea is a bad one, I would like to see it in application. I often see on here that people say that one of the best ways to learn is from experience. Perhaps if these games were done well, it can provide some basic experience-based scenarios that can be beneficial. Will it substitute for actual on-hands experience? Of course not, but perhaps it can provide some basic information to assist in the education process.I think that the young people coming into the profession today are technology-focused, and if these games can be beneficial to their learning, I say it is at least worth a try. It has to be a far better option than what is currently available. Not only are the classes being taught today (no offense to anyone on this board who is an instructor, as this is simply my opinion) rarely if ever beneficial, but today's young people as a general rule do not learn from a classroom environment. We can argue all day about whether they should be able to learn that way or not, but that is irrelevant as most simply do not. I think that training should be tailored in such a way as to be effective, and if this game idea can do that, let's give it a try. As a side note, I have heard nothing but good things about the "Bootcamp" that is advertised here on WIFCON. Perhaps an automated game could be designed to take what this company is doing and automating it? Having never taken the Bootcamp training, I do not know if that is possible, but it sounds like it could be a money-making idea. In the interest of full disclosure, I currently work for GSA, but not in a department related to this project. My previous experience is with the Army and the VA.