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Desparado

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Everything posted by Desparado

  1. Your inference was correct. All factors were evaluated on a pass/fail basis for this LPTA acquisition.
  2. Desparado

    Exercising Options during shutdown

    Sadly, not correct. Our OGC and Office of Acquisition Management matter... and right now they are of the opinion that when the PoP ends, the contract is dead (their words). I was looking for some cases that I could use to point out that may not necessarily be true (unless of course, it is)
  3. Desparado

    Exercising Options during shutdown

    Don - I read those decisions I have a question that I couldn't find the answer to in any of those cases. When does a contract "expire"? Clause 52.217-9 reads: Option to Extend the Term of the Contract (Mar 2000) (a) The Government may extend the term of this contract by written notice to the Contractor within _____ [insert the period of time within which the Contracting Officer may exercise the option]; provided that the Government gives the Contractor a preliminary written notice of its intent to extend at least ___ days [60 days unless a different number of days is inserted] before the contract expires. The preliminary notice does not commit the Government to an extension. (b) If the Government exercises this option, the extended contract shall be considered to include this option clause. (c) The total duration of this contract, including the exercise of any options under this clause, shall not exceed ___________ (months)(years) (End of Clause) So when does the contract "expire" as referenced in ( a )? Is it when the contract is closed out? Is it when the period of performance ends? As this shutdown goes longer and longer and COs are not able to exercise options because the contracts are excepted, this will become more and more of an issue. Are there any cases (I couldn't find any) that would set a precedent on the legality (or lack thereof) of exercising an option after the PoP ends?
  4. Desparado

    Exercising Options during shutdown

    My agency considers the contract "dead" if an option is not exercised timely. I don't necessarily agree, but I don't have any legal decisions that I know of to cite to convince our OGC otherwise. There is going to be a lot of problems if this goes a couple of weeks longer and we have to do a bunch of bridge or sole-source contracts.
  5. 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.
  6. 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".
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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?
  10. 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.
  11. 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!
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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?
  18. 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.
  19. No good deed goes unpunished.
  20. This was in my office, so if anyone has any questions on this, please let me know and I am happy to help.
  21. Desparado

    GSA - Under SAT - LPTA

    Be careful. I ran into this years ago buying furniture. 3 equal quotes. We drew lots to determine who received the award only to find out the manufacturer wouldn't allow that distributor to sell in that area because of a territory policy on their end, so we had to cancel that order and go to the awardee that was had us in "their territory". If you are dealing with 4 GSA contractors offering the same manufacturer's product you may want to verify that they are authorized to sell in your geographical area.
  22. Desparado

    Wifcon.com: My Legacy; My Albatross

    As I said in 2016, thank you.... This site is more helpful than you can probably even imagine.
  23. For my post, I am defining a "follow on contract" to mean a contract for continued services (IT helpdesk, security guards, emergency response services... anything where continued performance will be required), which I have encountered quite frequently. I believe that, depending on the type of service provided, the requiring activity may want that overlap to allow for a smooth transition from one contractor to another. Since in many of these cases, the workers are merely "changing their shirts", this overlap is primarily for the new management team that comes in and for any turnover that results because of the contract change (for example, employee XX is offered a lower salary by the new contractor, promptly quits and then a new employee is hired). It is not uncommon in these situations for an overlap to exist. If the incumbent wins the contract, a bilateral modification normally follows (or a partial T4C to the previous contract).
  24. Desparado

    Charging with Coverage

    I will restate... Many Qs, regardless of forum, will result in several As.
  25. Desparado

    OFFICE FURNITURE BUY OVER $5000

    An obscure regulation buried in an appropriation is not something that 95% of contracting officers would be aware of.
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