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Everything posted by Desparado

  1. "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.
  2. 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.
  3. Deleted as Don Mansfield addressed it much better than I did, at almost the exact same time.
  4. I know of no requirement to do so, and I never have in my career.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. You are correct in that you do not have to establish a POM, however we are merely getting into a terminology discussion as to whether seeking additional discounts constitutes "negotiating" or not. In my opinion, if you are attempting to get a contractor to lower their pricing beyond what is originally offered, you are negotiating no matter what you call it.
  24. You can negotiate better pricing with a GSA contractor just as you would with any other contractor. In doing a FAR Part 8 acquisition, you are not tied to the restrictive definitions of "discussions" or "clarifications" as you are with Part 15, so I would recommend negotiating your heart out. I would always be mindful to be fair to all offerors/bidders and to be in accordance with your RFQ/RFP, but I see nothing that would stop you from negotiating a better price for the government. In fact, per FAR 8.405-4, if the amount is over the SAT, you're required to seek additional discounts.
  25. Extending the question just a tad... I've also always heard that the CO could be held personally financially liable if he/she signed anything improper (intentional or accidental). Is this also a myth? Or are there cases where this has been the case?
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