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Everything posted by Desparado

  1. While working for DoD, I ran across this several times while processing ratifications. Nothing ever happened to the offender and in many cases, that person was congratulated for "getting the mission accomplished". Most requiring activities have the opinion of, "Here's what I want, here's my money, make it happen". They don't care about the rules and see the FAR as a hinderance to mission accomplishment. The sad part is if they had come to us prior to breaking the rules, we could have gotten their precious mission accomplished legally.
  2. For me, it's Part 15. All of the FAR is applicable, of course, but Part 15 is the one that is utilized the most (in my humble opinion).
  3. Vern - It will be nice when a re-write comes out. Since the current version specifically states, "... listed below in descending order of priority" many people interpret that as written... Even with the recent GAO decisions, my old boss interpreted it to be "Yes, you don't HAVE to buy from a non-mandatory source", but you have to consider it before you can go open market and justify why you're not using it." so the re-write needs to be done.
  4. When I worked for the VA, they took 8.002 very seriously. I had to document in my Market Research memorandum what FSS research I did before I could purchase Open Market. It didn't have to be verbose, but it did have to detail what schedules I reviewed and then I had to make a "determination" that no FSS schedules applied before I could initiate an Open Market purchase. To directly answer your question. If your agency views 8.002 as a literal policy, you probably just need to document your market research and then drive on.
  5. Ft. Monmouth used to do some reverse auctioning, but then the Army fell in love with FedBid and I haven't heard much from Monmouth since. I wish the government had a government-owned/operated reverse auctioning site instead of using FedBid. The surcharge that FedBid charges to the Contractor (who of course passes it on to the Government) raises the costs the taxpayer pays. Now FedBid will argue that the reverse-auctioning process will save more than the surcharge charges, but my experience with reverse-auctioning does not bear that out. In fact, most times Contractors will bid only once (the same amount minus the surcharge that they would have sent in response to a normal RFQ). To be applicable for services, the services would have to be well defined with no room for negotiation. Reverse-auctioning is only good for a pseudo IFB, because it is based on price only. There used to be a long discussion thread on FedBid (where FedBid themselves participated in the discussion). I wasn't able to find it however.
  6. 1. Per 13.202(a)(2), the timeline is simply as long as it takes to make the purchase as long as the contracting officer or individual appointed considers the price to be reasonable. 2-5. The timeline for acquisition planning, market research, etc... will depend on the complexity of the purchase. It can be a few days or several months. It is often the requirement, not the threshold, that will determine the length of time for these tasks. In the Commercial realm, the FAR gives us maximum flexibility in some areas of timeline. For example, 5.203 allows the KO to "Establish a shorter period for issuance of the solicitation". There are some KOs that use this flexibility to synopsize the requirement in the morning, and release the solicitation in the afternoon. 12.205 states that "... the contracting officer may allow fewer than 30 days response time for receipt of offers for commerical items, unless the acquisition is covered by the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement or a Free Trade Agreement..." I have seen this (especially at year-end) be used as the justification to release a solicitation on September 27th with a due date of September 29th for a simple purchase of supplies. Once the bids/offers are in, the evaluation time has mitigating factors as well. Was this lowest price? LPTA? SSEB? Each of these have different time requirements. Simple low price will take as long as it takes to look at the numbers and do the responsibility checks. The SSEB process can take months. And then there are the pre-award reviews, which depending on the agency can take a few days to several weeks. I'm not trying to duck your question, but there really are several factors that play a part on the timeline. I have worked on simple commercial purchases that the entire process has taken less than a week, but I have worked on other more complex purchases that have taken over a year. Sorry I can't provide more of a definitive answer for you.
  7. JLJordan, It has been a couple of years since I worked with SPS... thanks for the update! I note that you say that you "can now choose", so does that mean it is still non-mandatory and the KO can elect whether or not to use the UCF for commerical purchases?
  8. I think we will need more details before we can properly respond... There are many variables that affect the timeline. Commercial / Non-commerical Internal Review Requirements Dollar thresholds Etc...
  9. I believe the FAR is flexible enough to allow you to either use the UCF or not. The UCF is in Part 15.204-1 of the FAR, so if you are doing a Part 12/15 acquisition I would think that you "could" certainly use the UCF. However, if you don't want to use the UCF, you can look at 12.204 which does not require anything other than the SF1449 (and for purchases not exceeding the SAT, that isn't even mandatory). I know that the DoD's "wonder" SPS program does not use the UCF on commercial purchases, and neither does the VA's eCMS program. Now, as it has been pointed out several times on various discussion boards, we should not let the tool dictate the process but since the developers of both programs did not included this in their respective systems, it also leads me to believe that it is not required to use the UCF. SPS just throws everything after the SF1449 and eCMS created their own "Sections" to put things into. Seems like there is no specific structure required.
  10. The only clause I can think of that limits you to one Contractor is the Requirements Clause (52.216-21). ( c ) Except as this contract otherwise provides, the Government shall order from the Contractor all the supplies or services specified in the Schedule that are required to be purchased by the Government activity or activities specified in the Schedule. However, even this clause has 2 "outs". The first is the statement "Except as this contractor otherwise provides", and the second is paragraph (e) (e) If the Government urgently requires delivery of any quantity of an item before the earliest date that delivery may be specified under this contract, and if the Contractor will not accept an order providing for the accelerated delivery, the Government may acquire the urgently required goods or services from another source. Is this an IDIQ or Requirements contract?
  11. This (to me) brings FAR 22.18 into question. I have heard that President Obama has delayed implementation of e-verify again, but it has been added to the FAR. If that is in effect, would that address your question?
  12. Well, AbilityOne (formally JWOD) does have special rules in FAR 8.7, especially 8.705-1 where it states that offices "shall" obtain supplies and services on the Procurement List... Any complaints against AbilityOne are supposed to be handled IAW 8.711 Are you having problems with an AbilityOne supplier/contractor?
  13. Question: Why would a CO issue two mods at the same time that conflict?
  14. I see on the WIFCON site this morning that GAO is standing firm on its original position. I guess everyone hates to admit when they've made a mistake.
  15. Have you been to the DOL Wage Determination website? http://www.wdol.gov/
  16. When I was with DoD, we had many of those situations. What we would do is issue a modification within the prescribed timeframe to exercise the option stating it was contigent upon the availability of funds, and then on October 1st issue a second modification to assign the funding. Our contract attorney said we "had" to do it this way because if we attempted to exercise an option on October 1st, we couldn't do so unilaterally because the contract expired on September 30th. To me, it seemed like alot of extra work (2 mods times the number of contracts that you have that fall into this situation), but it has become the way that we did things in that office.
  17. Pebbles, I would fall into that catagory that would not want to be an APC for anything. To me, not only could it be repetitive which would bore me, but I have seen people get pigeon-holed in GPC and never able to get a position back in "real" contracting. It's a specialty. Now if you're close to retirement, this may be the perfect job. The last APC I knew loved her job and stayed in it for the last 6 years of her worklife... then she retired happily. She would always tell me that no matter how many trainings were provided, people continued to misue the card either because they hit a "grey area" or just had to "get the job done" and deal with the reprocussions later. Not uncommon in DoD. If you are with DoD, be sure to learn/know the additional regulations that DoD and the Branch puts on their cardholders. Knowledge is key...
  18. I want to thank everyone for the discussion. Lots of good reading here. I appreciate it!
  19. Can you award a contract for a Base Item (x) and with Options to purchase other items (y and z)? For example, you wish to purchase 30 of x and to have options to purchase 15 of y and 13 of z within the next 8 months. x, y, and z are different items (but within the same industry and NAICS code). If you can do this, what FAR Options Clause would you include? The concept behind this was to purchase what you need and can pay for now, with the option to purchase the other items later without having to go out and do the competition later. Theoretically, the items have already been competed with the original solicitation and we could just exercise the options as the need and funds become available. Thoughts? Thank you, in advance.
  20. I was always under the impression that the Award Date is the date that the Contracting Officer signs the document, and the effective date is the date that the contract goes into effect. For example, you could sign an award in November for a contract that begins on January 1.
  21. Everyone - thank you for your responses. They have been helpful. Carl - the link was especially helpful.. thank you!
  22. Formerfed. I tried to find that amendment to 13 CFR but was unsuccessful. Do you have a link to it by chance? Thank you!
  23. Well, wouldn't that defeat one of the purposes of setting things aside? To help the small business grow. If this is the case, a small business could never receive an award for a contract that would put them out of the small category... Don't most small businesses wish to make more money? Just thinking out loud. I tried to do some searching through decisions, but can't find anything that references this specifically.
  24. Situation (with fictional dollar amounts) An award is to be made to a company that is currently a Small Business ($5M in gross sales) when compared to the standard ($7M in gross sales). The solicitation was released as a Small Business Set-Aside. The contract is a Requirements-type contract that, if all options are exercised, will cause the gross sales amount to be $8.5M per year (base+4). Before someone asks why it was set-aside when the annual amount will be $8.5M, the IGE was way off (big surprise) and it was thought that the amount would only be $6M. Question: When it comes time to exercise the Options, is the Contracting Officer required to annually verify that the business still qualifies as a Small Business before it can pick up an Option? Or is the verification only at time of award of the base contract? Can this contract be awarded knowing that the amount is likely to exceed the size standard? Thank you.
  25. Everywhere... sorry to sound so ambiguous, but I see the terms used interchangeably in SOWs, PWSs, RFQs, RFPs... everywhere.. Are they interchangeable? I was originally taught (probably wrongly) that a "vendor" was like the soda machine company or a hot-dog vendor, where they are allowed to sell on government land but must pay a percentage (or fixed fee) to do so... and that a "contractor" was a company that via contract provided a product, service, or construction to the Government for a price. Now as I'm getting a little older doing this stuff, I'd like to be sure of some of the terminology before I get too much farther... I looked in Part 2 of the FAR, but didn't see either defined. Then I did a FAR Search on one of the FAR websites and both terms are used frequently. Any clarification is appreciated.
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