Jump to content
The Wifcon Forums and Blogs

Desparado

Members
  • Content count

    280
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Desparado


  1. C100 - Didn't catch that these were trade-offs, but even so if the gov't has detailed requirements (aka "specs") shouldn't the approach be easier to write rather than harder?  You won't have to go into a lot of detail about the details as the gov't has already provided those (which sounds like an anti-performanced-based approach). How did the CO word the technical approach part of the RFQ?  I'm assuming they didn't just say, "Give me your approach and you only got 10 pages to do it".  I would hope they would have detailed what the approach should be addressing, and if so...  is it really unrealistic to think it could be done in 10 pages or less?

    One would hope that the CO and requiring activity have worked together to determine an appropriate number of pages necessary to convey what they are looking for in  "the approach" and reduce the fluff that isn't necessary to make an award decision.  Without knowing more about the solicitation or requirement it's hard to just say off-hand that 10 pages is insufficient. I've awarded multi-million dollar contracts/orders with 10 pages or less and also awarded contracts/orders for less than a million and had the number of pages at 50.  I don't think there's a hard and fast rule about how many pages is appropriate.  It appears that the assumption of many is that the number is just pulled out of thin air and if that is true, it's sad.

     


  2. Now I'm going to take a stab at some of the other points...

    #1: If the government is already providing "fairly elaborate specifications", why would an offeror need to include specifications in their technical approach, which is what was limited to 10 pages?

    #2:  Since the government included "fairly elaborate specifications", I would think that perhaps they do have an idea of what they want and how they want it done, within the variance as defined by the technical approach of the offerors.

    #3: Already covered

    #4: Why do you feel technical approaches are meaningless and therefore impossible to compare?  I've done many somewhat similar to this when I worked for DoD and the VA and never had any issues. As long as the TEP determines the approach is acceptable, award to the lowest price.  It sounds simple because it is.

    #5: Totally agree with you on that one!  Remove the fluff and tell us how you're going to do this task order.

    #6: I wouldn't advise that one!

    In short, if the government truly does have elaborate specs or a well-defined PWS/SOW, all we really need to know is that your company has a sound technical approach, acceptable past performance and a fair and reasonable price (awarding to the lowest).  I have instituted in my office where an LPTA is appropriate that we evaluate the lowest offer.  If it is technically acceptable, we don't evaluate anybody else (why would we?) and we make award.


  3. I'd like to address number 3 (as a former GSA person).  Just because your company has a GSA schedule does not mean it knows how to accomplish the work specifically requested by the agency releasing that particular RFQ. GSA schedules are, by design, very high-level and vague. This is because it is impossible for GSA to know the unique requirements of every agency's numerous requests.  Therefore, it is perfectly natural and recommended that an agency contracting officer require offerors to submit something that shows they can do the work as detailed in the SOW/PWS. 


  4. I'm interested in this, if for no other reason than I'm curious.  On one side I believe that the companies under this NAICS should be a law firm.  On the other side if the company provides these services via their employees, maybe it doesn't have to be a "law firm" itself.  I would contact your local SBA rep to get their read and then protest (or not) accordingly.  When you find out, please come back and let us know!  


  5. Nena - I would say based soley on the information provided here that your company would be in violation of its "good faith efforts" required by subcontracting.  Under a GSA MAS contract, large businesses are required to submit a subcontracting plan.  The fact that your company is owned by a parent that also owns your sister company is irrelevant.  Your company has the GSA MAS contract and so the responsibilities are for your company.  Therefore, GSA will see it as your company subcontracting to another large business and by doing so where is the good faith effort to utilize small businesses?   Are there no parts of the service that can be subcontracted out?  Can your sister company get a GSA MAS contract so that they can self-perform the work instead of being a sub to your company?


  6. 1 hour ago, Vern Edwards said:

    Use the official FAR site: www.acquisition.gov, or go to the fdsys.gov and look at the CFR version. In my opinion, it's not smart to include a web link to the FAR in a contract. 

    With the exceptions of 52.252-1 and -2 (and any other place that may stipulate the requirement) where it is required to include a link to where the full text can be accessed electronically... 


  7. I guess I am not a fan of "true" PBA acquisitions then.  I have no problem with letting the contractor (the ones with the most technical knowledge) determine the method for accomplishing the task during the proposal stage, but when a methodology falls into areas where the government might have concerns I am not willing to give them full lattitude to unilaterally change their methods mid-stream.  It's one thing when you're talking about how to accomplish office work or IT projects, but some areas are a bit more sensitive and once an approach is approved it should not be changed unless the new approach is also approved. My goal is to give the contractors the ability to propose their technology/approach up-front and then proceed from there.   


  8. Vern - As always, thank you for your input.  You've given me quite a bit to think about. I'm not ready to change my mind yet, but you've given me food for thought, which I always enjoy.

    Consider my chain pulled.

     

    Weno2 - My agency isn't ready for SOO.  Heck, they're barely ready for PBA as evidenced by this conversation.


  9. Vern - I do... and I appreciate the head's up.  However, playing devil's advocate...  I would argue (splitting hairs) that we are still in compliance.

    The acquisition is "structured" around the results to be performed and we do describe the work in the PWS by the required results rather than the "how".  However, I do still believe that the contractor should be held to the methodology they propose because otherwise the government is opened to a bait-and-switch tactic with methodology just like some contractors love to do with their proposed staff (which is why I never want to see resumes).

    I always respect your input and I see your point, but I respectfully disagree and still feel that I am ok with my staff coding this acquisition as performance-based because we structured the acquisition around the results and defined it as such in the PWS. There mere fact that we hold a contractor to the method they propose does not negate it from being PBA, imho.

     


  10. Napolik - Thank you very much for the GAO decision that was just released yesterday.  It was very timely and to me very applicable.  I appreciate the head's up! 

    I was surprised that the Army, which of course falls under the DFARS, used a subjective determination in their evaluation criteria but I think it is great and should be an example that just because it is LPTA doesn't mean that it has to be simply a "did they send in something" approach and can have some actual subjective evaluation associated with it.


  11. Don -  The acquisition is still structured around the results and the contractor is determining the methodology used to achieve those results.  The fact that we are holding them to what they proposed doesn't negate the project as being performance-based, imho.


  12. Don - The contractor is proposing their approach.  We are merely evaluating that it will be technically sufficient.  I see no issue with it still being performance-based simply because we want them to tell us how they are going to do it up-front.


  13. Thank you Vern.  Although some of those do not apply to the project being acquired, it definitely points me in the right direction. This really isn't about staffing so much as it is about the technical approach (the actual method they will use to accomplish the task).  I appreciate everyone's input. 

    Thank you.  


  14. Ok, this is where it gets tricky... again, I can't go into specifics but I enjoy the intellectual conversation...  What about something like:

    Offeror's technical approach will be evaluated on a Pass/Fail basis.  The technical approach will be evaluated to determine whether it is technically sufficient in that it provides an approach that will accomplish the tasks stated in the Performance Work Statement within the timeframe specified. Specifically, the following will be evaluated on a pass/fail basis:

    A) Technical approach - The approach must demonstrate a methodology that is proven successful as demonstrated in the accompanying projects (we have them submit 5 projects within the last 5 years where this approach was used successfully).

    B Timeline - The approach must demonstrate the ability to complete the project within XX days as required in the PWS. 

     

    Because really, that's all we are looking for... a proven approach that will get the job done within a specific timeframe.


  15. Thank you all for your comments.  My goal (apparently ill-fated) was to have a PWS that states clearly what the objectives of the project are and for the offerors to provide how they would achieve those objectives.  I do not want to compare one approach to another and am not willing to pay more for one approach versus another, but merely wanted the TEP to be able to evaluate whether an offeror's approach will meet those objectives on a pass/fail basis.  Regardless the approach, if it was technically acceptable, they would get a "pass" and then the award would go to the lowest priced offer that achieved a pass rating. 


  16. To answer your first question, I haven't and the reason I am asking is that Legal is throwing up a potential roadblock because she feels that in a pass/fail situation the criteria needs to be plainly stated and crystal clear.  I feel that our TEP should be given the lattitude to evaluate the offers with their knowledge and make a determination whether the proposed method is technically acceptable or not (in accordance with the performance criteria of the PWS).  Granted, vague and subjective are not the same, so do you feel it is too vague?

    She felt that it was not specified enough as to what the offeror would have to do in order to meet that bar and get a "pass".  She felt that an offeror could come back and say that, "well, I proposed to do it this way and you failed it but I believe it is sound and so I will protest", which of course any contractor can do.  She is concerned that if they did we are at risk because we didn't specify precisely enough where that pass/fail line is. 


  17. Can you use subjective criteria when conducting an Lowest Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) acquistion?  For example, could one of the evaluation criteria in Section M be:

    Offeror's technical approach will be evaluated on a Pass/Fail basis.  The technical approach will be evaluated to determine whether it is technically sufficient in that it provides an approach that will accomplish the tasks stated in the Performance Work Statement within the timeframe specified. 

    As this acquisition is in the pre-solicitation phase I cannot really give any details as to the type of work being performed but suffice it to say that I would like the TEP to be able to review the proposals and evaluate them on a pass/fail basis using this criteria.  My respected legal counsel states that this is too subjective and cannot be used for an LPTA approach.

    Thoughts? 


  18. Depending on your current family/life situation (already discussed) I would recommend staying in, getting that retirement locked in and then going into the market, whether in the private or public sector.  In the Government there has been and will continue to be a shortage of 1102s and so the opportunities will be there.  I just peeked at USAJobs and there are 156 announcements for 1102s under the categories of "Any US Citizen" and "Veterans", and that's just today.  More are added every day. There won't be a shortfall of opportunity to get into the field.

    Now, grade... that's a different subject.  You can have a great career in the government, but you won't get rich doing so (aside from wise investments of course). The grades on these annoucements ranged from GS-7 ($32k) to GS-15 ($119k) and all places in-between.  When applying through these avenues your prior military experience as a 51C will give you an advantage over most that will apply.  I recently filled a GS-12/13 vacancy with a prior military contracting experience and I'm thrilled with the production I get from that person and wouldn't hesitate to do so again. Even if you start lower you can rise quickly if you're good and if you're mobile.  I've seen people shoot up from GS-7 to GS-15 in a matter of 10 years so upward mobility shouldn't be a problem.

    All that being said, you've invested 15 years of your life with the Army.  For 5 more years you can get a lifetime worth of monthly checks and medical benefits.  I am currently civil service but I am also retired from the Army Reserves. This means I don't get military medical until I turn 60, and believe me... even though I get "GS medical benefits" I am looking forward to the day I can get the military medical!  It's cheaper (even if not close to a military facility) and more comprehensive. 

    Whatever you choose... good luck!


  19. Let me take Seeker's question and expand upon it just a bit.  What do these people "vote" on?  Aren't they supposed to come to some type of agreement and then pass on their recommendation to the SSA?  Is that what the "vote" is for?  What are they "voting" on?   Is it a case where 4 people say that Company A should be rated as Exceptional and 3 people say Above Satisfactory and majority rules?  I've been doing contracting for awhile now and I've never seen an actual vote taken.

×