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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

    Why all the "Award without discussions" talk?

    If those were the true reasons, I would agree. However in practice it has been my experience (and all other 1102s that I have spoken with) that the unsuccessful offerors use debriefings as a way to try to find a loophole so they can submit a protest (which statistics show they will more than likely lose anyway). Written debriefings is the only way to go, imho.
  2. Desparado

    Why all the "Award without discussions" talk?

    For my staff, they hope that (don't laugh) that the PWS/SOW and solicitation are written well enough that the offerors can submit proposals that will meet the government need without having to conduct discussions. Discussions take time that often the requiring activity doesn't have (poor planning upfront leads to a "must have now" scenario more times than not) so the goal is to release a solicitation that is clear enough that discussions aren't necessary. Also, the more interactions you have with offerors, the more likely you are that there will be a protest (personal opinion that I'm sure many here will not agree with). The same is true with debriefings, which is why the trend now is to do debriefings in writing and eliminate the inevitable back-and-forth where offerors conduct a fishing expedition to try to find a reason to protest. So, the theory is that if you write a clear solicitation, discussions won't be necessary and will save time upfront and reduce the probability of a protest. Remember, I did say it is a "theory".
  3. I understand the logic behind the generic "ask the CO/KO" that people often respond with and I don't fully disagree, but sadly enough many CO/KOs do not know the FAR as well as they should and contractors shouldn't have to suffer because of it. One of the things I like about WIFCON is that this gives a contractor a forum to ask knowledgeable contracting professionals (from both the public and private sectors) these types of questions so that they can either confirm what their CO/KO has told them or discover some regulatory references that contradict the CO/KO might not be aware of.
  4. Desparado

    Contract Level CO Responsibility

    Excellent question... No, more in terms of internal reviews/audits. How much could the contract level CO be held responsible for the actions of the others? Do they have any responsibility? Do they have to do any oversight as the contract level CO?
  5. Desparado

    Evaluation Bias

    Question 1: The key word here is "purposely". I believe that some are more lenient with the incumbent but not intentionally. They just know their work better as they have spent the last several (in many cases) years with them. Question 2: If the questions are intelligent questions, no problem. If the questions are antagonistic or repetitive, then that becomes annoying and one starts to question the intelligence of the company asking them. If they can't ask intelligent questions, how can we be confident they can perform the work. However, I attempt to mitigate this as I never divulge to the TEP who the companies are that are asking the questions, thereby trying to keep the playing field as level as possible.
  6. Situation: A CO at a headquarters contracting office awards multiple award IDIQ contracts for a service. There are multiple offices across the US that have contracting officers that will place task orders against these contracts. The task order level COs are fully warranted for an amount that covers the task orders they will be awarding/administering. The HQ CO has no supervisory responsibility over the task order COs whatsoever. In fact, there is no "hard line" supervisory responsibility between the HQ contracting office and the field contracting offices. Questions: What responsibility, if any, does the contract level CO (at HQ) have in oversight of the task order contracting officers and their ordering/administration of their task orders? If it is found later that the task order level COs have done things improperly (not unethical, just wrong... like not following ordering procedures, etc), what liability does the HQ CO face, if any? I have an opinion but would like to hear yours first as I don't want to bias any comments.
  7. Desparado

    Advice on Job Offer

    I agree with both of the points raised above. I worked for DoD (not in DC) for several years and the grades were MUCH lower (sometimes 2-3 grades) than what exists in civilian agencies. You will most likely find that the level of complexity and volume that you will do as a GS-12 with DoD is comparable with what a GS-13 does in the civilian agencies. At least that has been my experience. I also agree in that I wish you good luck!
  8. Desparado

    RFPs for Commercial Items

    I do not believe it would. After a career both in the military and in civil service (30 years combined... and counting), I can tell you that the ASVAB didn't do that good of a job of weeding out people undeserving of higher-level occupational series in the military and I don't think it would with civil service either. Where the military does weed out most (admittedly not all) of the people that shouldn't be in those positions is with it's full-time training program (aka.. AIT) after basic training. However, in civil service that would mean that you couldn't have your new employee work on anything until after months of training, and in today's short-staffed environment... that just doesn't work.
  9. Agreed on all points. This is why we start with the lowest priced proposal and when we get to one that is technically acceptable, we stop. No other proposals are reviewed. We determine F&R on several factors (IGE, past contracts for similar purchases, bid abstract, etc). Again, I don't think we really feel differently about the process. I just had an issue with the statement that price is the most important factor. In reality, if all proposals were technically acceptable, you'd be right.... but since they aren't, technical is the most important up to acceptability, then price. If we wish to continue the conversation, we probably should do so privately as I'm sure others are tired of seeing me say the same thing over and over again.
  10. Joel - The way I was interpreting what you were saying was basing an assumption that all proposals were technically acceptable, which obviously is not the case. I still contend that when reviewing proposals to determine the award that guess what? Technical is the most important to the point of being acceptable.... then lowest price. We may simply have to agree to disagree on this minor point.
  11. Joel - With the methodology I implemented in my office, the "If two or more technically acceptable offers from responsible offerors are found, the lowest fair and reasonably priced offer wins." does not apply since we don't look at any additional offers once one is found technically acceptable (starting with the lowest price and working our way up). There are several non-price factors, but all of them are on a pass/fail basis to determine technical acceptability. In practice, technical is the most important up to the point of acceptability, then price is the most important.
  12. I wouldn't say that price is, "probably the most important factor" since the proposals must first be technically acceptable. It's just that the government isn't willing to pay more for a higher quality or more innovative approach.
  13. Does it matter if they are comparable? As long as the lowest price is technically acceptable and they can perform at that price, what do you gain by comparing to the other offers?
  14. I guess I'm just missing the complexity of the situation. You have an IGE and a host of other offers received. The lowest-priced offer is evaluated against the pass/fail technical acceptability criteria. If it is technically acceptable, what do you really gain by reviewing the other 10 (or more in some cases) offers that come in? This office used to do a fully tech eval on all the offers and when I took over I asked what value did they gain from this process. The answer I received was, "None, but legal says we have to do it", so we developed language to support only reviewing until we have a technically acceptable offer and base the F&R determination on things like the other offers, the IGE, previous acquisitions for similar services and we cut down on our turn-around time dramatically. Now, when we received several low offers that missed minor requirements and were therefore not technically acceptable, we established a competitive range based solely on price (with the number of offers received and the pricing, the cutoff point was evident). This is when one protested and we defended and won. I think sometimes we try to over-complicate something that can be simple.
  15. No good deed goes unpunished.
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