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Desparado

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Everything posted by Desparado

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Desparado

    Why won't COs talk to prospective suppliers?

    I agree Joel, but it is the environment that exists in many offices.
  4. Desparado

    Why won't COs talk to prospective suppliers?

    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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Desparado

    RFPs for Sole Source

    At offices I've worked at for both the VA and the Army, we used a RFP (or RFQ if simplified) for sole-source for a couple of reasons. The primary reason is that it communicated the SOW/PWS, the clauses, and all other T&Cs that would be in the resultant contract. This way everything is communicated up-front and there are no surprises when the contractor is presented with an award document to sign.
  8. It seems there is some terminology confusion. You stated, "And no, we did not mention FEE in our FFP at all". To remove the acronym, that statement would read, "And no, we did not mention FEE in our Firm-Fixed Price at all". When combined with an earlier statement in which you stated, "And no, we did not mention FEE in our FFP at all. In the BASE, The contract is a CPFF with fixed price cost elements and the Gov CS used the contracted percentages as a guide", it makes me think that you may have assigned a different meaning to FFP Are you using FFP to mean Firm-Fixed Price, or something different??
  9. I'm not saying it is right... Just saying what I have heard.
  10. Desparado

    CSP from manufacturer

    Fara - That is the way we looked at it as well. We ran into this situation mostly when resellers were wanting to add new items to their FSS contract for which they had no sales yet themselves.
  11. 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.
  12. Desparado

    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.
  13. Desparado

    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.
  14. "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.
  15. 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.
  16. Desparado

    Single-award BPA with Ordering Periods

    Deleted as Don Mansfield addressed it much better than I did, at almost the exact same time.
  17. Desparado

    Market Research announcements

    I know of no requirement to do so, and I never have in my career.
  18. Desparado

    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.
  19. Desparado

    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.
  20. Desparado

    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.
  21. Desparado

    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.
  22. Desparado

    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.
  23. Desparado

    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
  24. Desparado

    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.
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