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Everything posted by Desparado

  1. I was reading this below and a thought came to me. http://smallgovcon.com/gaobidprotests/price-reasonableness-vs-price-realism-the-gao-explains-the-difference/ I then did some cursory FAR research searching the term, "price realism" and found zero results. Plenty about "cost realism" but no mention of "price realism". Obviously it's a thing as you can see in the link as considered by GAO. I'm just curious if anyone knows where the term came up and if it is rooted in policy somewhere that I just can't find.
  2. Ashley - Like others here have said, it is extremely rare that a waiver would be granted. Many civilian agencies have different education requirements (some only require 24hrs of management/business courses through GS-12) so that may be of some help. Regarding pay, have you looked at your current pay and compared it to the GS pay scale where you live? If you are trying to come over at a lower GS level it will be much easier than if you are trying to come over as a GS-13 or something like that.
  3. In some agencies all 1102s are Contract Specialists that are warranted (aka, KOs) but a check-and-balance system exists in that their work is peer-reviewed prior to release and if the acquisition is high enough ($10M as an example) a "level above" review is required.
  4. You can set a higher standard for past performance than the simple responsibility standard. For example, for a particular acquisition, you can set that all Past Performance must be at a level higher than "Satisfactory" in order to be considered technically acceptable. The TA is whatever the government sets it to be. As long as offerors meet that standard (no matter by how much), price then becomes the only discriminating factor.
  5. I actually think the opposite. I think it is underused. There's no reason why past performance cannot be part of an LPTA competition. Part of the TA could be that the contractor must have acceptable past performance based on XX. It would be a pass/fail criteria as with the technical factors.
  6. I would think that you would have to specifically call out in the solicitation that in the case of a tie, technical superiority would reign... I would lean more to the idea of having exchanges with offerors. Odds are that they won't both lower the price to the exact same amount and at least one of them would lower it a tad, which is all that would be needed. I did have this happen to me once doing a GSA delivery order. We pulled a name out of a hat (documented, with witnesses).
  7. The GPC is primarily used for micro-purchases, although some agencies are using it as the payment method for larger purchase orders or contracts. This is an unusual method and it will be interesting to see how well it works down the road. Getting that large a sum of money to pitch something (or at least that's what it looks like) could be viewed as innovative, or wasteful... depending on the actual results
  8. I saw this article on WIFCON's front page and found it confusing. I am curious what others' thoughts are on it. Pay a company $158,000 on the day of award? For what? I thought services or supplies should only be paid when the government receives the service/supply? I must be missing something but I'm not sure what I overlooked. Thoughts? https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1779609/inaugural-air-force-pitch-day-new-contracts-new-partners/
  9. FedConnect is a service that many agencies use. It not only connects with FBO but also interacts with Prism (another COTS) and loads communications, offers and other documents submitted by offerors and contractors directly into the acquisition software. So, although separate from FBO, if you want to do business with the agencies that use it, FedConnect is required.
  10. Your inference was correct. All factors were evaluated on a pass/fail basis for this LPTA acquisition.
  11. 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)
  12. 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?
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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".
  16. 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.
  17. 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?
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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!
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
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