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Everything posted by Desparado

  1. Don - The acquisition is still structured around the results and the contractor is determining the methodology used to achieve those results. The fact that we are holding them to what they proposed doesn't negate the project as being performance-based, imho.
  2. Thanks Napolik. I will definitely read that one!
  3. Don - The contractor is proposing their approach. We are merely evaluating that it will be technically sufficient. I see no issue with it still being performance-based simply because we want them to tell us how they are going to do it up-front.
  4. Thank you Vern. Although some of those do not apply to the project being acquired, it definitely points me in the right direction. This really isn't about staffing so much as it is about the technical approach (the actual method they will use to accomplish the task). I appreciate everyone's input. Thank you.
  5. Ok, this is where it gets tricky... again, I can't go into specifics but I enjoy the intellectual conversation... What about something like: Offeror's technical approach will be evaluated on a Pass/Fail basis. The technical approach will be evaluated to determine whether it is technically sufficient in that it provides an approach that will accomplish the tasks stated in the Performance Work Statement within the timeframe specified. Specifically, the following will be evaluated on a pass/fail basis: A) Technical approach - The approach must demonstrate a methodology that is proven successful as demonstrated in the accompanying projects (we have them submit 5 projects within the last 5 years where this approach was used successfully). B Timeline - The approach must demonstrate the ability to complete the project within XX days as required in the PWS. Because really, that's all we are looking for... a proven approach that will get the job done within a specific timeframe.
  6. Thank you all for your comments. My goal (apparently ill-fated) was to have a PWS that states clearly what the objectives of the project are and for the offerors to provide how they would achieve those objectives. I do not want to compare one approach to another and am not willing to pay more for one approach versus another, but merely wanted the TEP to be able to evaluate whether an offeror's approach will meet those objectives on a pass/fail basis. Regardless the approach, if it was technically acceptable, they would get a "pass" and then the award would go to the lowest priced offer that achieved a pass rating.
  7. To answer your first question, I haven't and the reason I am asking is that Legal is throwing up a potential roadblock because she feels that in a pass/fail situation the criteria needs to be plainly stated and crystal clear. I feel that our TEP should be given the lattitude to evaluate the offers with their knowledge and make a determination whether the proposed method is technically acceptable or not (in accordance with the performance criteria of the PWS). Granted, vague and subjective are not the same, so do you feel it is too vague? She felt that it was not specified enough as to what the offeror would have to do in order to meet that bar and get a "pass". She felt that an offeror could come back and say that, "well, I proposed to do it this way and you failed it but I believe it is sound and so I will protest", which of course any contractor can do. She is concerned that if they did we are at risk because we didn't specify precisely enough where that pass/fail line is.
  8. Can you use subjective criteria when conducting an Lowest Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) acquistion? For example, could one of the evaluation criteria in Section M be: Offeror's technical approach will be evaluated on a Pass/Fail basis. The technical approach will be evaluated to determine whether it is technically sufficient in that it provides an approach that will accomplish the tasks stated in the Performance Work Statement within the timeframe specified. As this acquisition is in the pre-solicitation phase I cannot really give any details as to the type of work being performed but suffice it to say that I would like the TEP to be able to review the proposals and evaluate them on a pass/fail basis using this criteria. My respected legal counsel states that this is too subjective and cannot be used for an LPTA approach. Thoughts?
  9. Depending on your current family/life situation (already discussed) I would recommend staying in, getting that retirement locked in and then going into the market, whether in the private or public sector. In the Government there has been and will continue to be a shortage of 1102s and so the opportunities will be there. I just peeked at USAJobs and there are 156 announcements for 1102s under the categories of "Any US Citizen" and "Veterans", and that's just today. More are added every day. There won't be a shortfall of opportunity to get into the field. Now, grade... that's a different subject. You can have a great career in the government, but you won't get rich doing so (aside from wise investments of course). The grades on these annoucements ranged from GS-7 ($32k) to GS-15 ($119k) and all places in-between. When applying through these avenues your prior military experience as a 51C will give you an advantage over most that will apply. I recently filled a GS-12/13 vacancy with a prior military contracting experience and I'm thrilled with the production I get from that person and wouldn't hesitate to do so again. Even if you start lower you can rise quickly if you're good and if you're mobile. I've seen people shoot up from GS-7 to GS-15 in a matter of 10 years so upward mobility shouldn't be a problem. All that being said, you've invested 15 years of your life with the Army. For 5 more years you can get a lifetime worth of monthly checks and medical benefits. I am currently civil service but I am also retired from the Army Reserves. This means I don't get military medical until I turn 60, and believe me... even though I get "GS medical benefits" I am looking forward to the day I can get the military medical! It's cheaper (even if not close to a military facility) and more comprehensive. Whatever you choose... good luck!
  10. Let me take Seeker's question and expand upon it just a bit. What do these people "vote" on? Aren't they supposed to come to some type of agreement and then pass on their recommendation to the SSA? Is that what the "vote" is for? What are they "voting" on? Is it a case where 4 people say that Company A should be rated as Exceptional and 3 people say Above Satisfactory and majority rules? I've been doing contracting for awhile now and I've never seen an actual vote taken.
  11. It always amazes me how many times an offeror will wait until the last possible moment (in some cases, literally the last few minutes) before submitting an offer. I've had people walk in the door 3 minutes late to a bid opening and complaining because their watch had a different time than the clock in the bid opening room. Crazy...
  12. "...must purpose certain products and services from designated non-profits that employ blond and otherwise severely disabled people." I'm so glad that I am dark-haired! On another note, the JWOD/AbilityOne program helps a lot of people with disabilities and so a win for the SDVOSB can also be seen as a loss for the disabled.
  13. Were the technical requirements (and the documentation required to be submitted in order to meet them) not clearly spelled out in the solicitation? We do LPTA quite frequently and ensure that we are detailed in what we want the contractors to submit in order to demonstrate technical acceptability. If it is unclear in the solicitation phase you can ask the CO questions. Oh wait, you did that.. When you asked, was your question specific or something general like, "How do we meet technical acceptability?" If it was general then yes, you will always get the canned general response of "read the solicitation". If you can word your question to be more specific to what you are needing, you have a higher probability of getting a response that will be worthwhile.
  14. Why not just suggest to "the guy" that he send a resume to the contractor without the government getting involved with the contractor in any way. That way it there is no perceived influence by the government on the contractor. If the guy is truly good, the contractor will probably hire him.
  15. Thanks Vern. I guess it is a matter of preference. I find the search features at the FARSite much more user-friendly. It does concern me however that none of the searches (other than downloading a pdf and searching that way) yield thorough results. Again, I appreciate your time.
  16. Perhaps I'm just a negative person, but I find this program very problematic. First, the title, "All-Small" is misleading because of the fact that it will be a large business that is the "mentor" in most if not all cases. I understand why that term is used but I still contend it is misleading. My biggest issue with this however is that this will create an easy avenue for pass-throughs. A large business can become a "mentor" to a small and then do the majority of the work and just pay the "protege" a nominal fee. Personally, I am not a fan of this program as I see that this has far too much opportunity for abuse.
  17. Vern, I appreciate the efforts you took looking into this! Perhaps it is just operator headspace and timing, but I am unable to find the html search feature on acquisition.gov/far. This is why I, and probably others, were frustrated when that site was taken from us. Although this discussion is now moot since we can again access the FARSite, I want to expand my knowledge about the acquisition.gov website. Are you able to share where the html search is hidden? I guess perhaps I am spoiled because on the FARSite it is right there in large font <lol> I agree the best way to search is by pdf but that creates new issues as well. Although it is the most thorough, it has drawbacks of own such as the fact it is not as easy to cross reference something as with the FARSite. For example, if I am researching a clause on the FARSite, the prescription is right there as a link that I can click and the reference instantly appears in another window. If that has another reference I can click on that and a new window with that reference instantly appears. That may seem inconsequential, but with time being a valued commodity any keystroke saved is worthwhile. It is a shame that the html searches under both the FARSite and acquisition.gov are lacking in thoroughness. Thank you again for your time looking into this.
  18. Vern - acquisition.gov works perfectly fine if you know the area which you are looking for. A listing of the FAR is a listing of the FAR. However, if you want to do some research on a term or phrase that site and are not quite sure exactly where it may occur in the FAR or various supplements, that site lacks that capability to do searches of that nature and so the farsite is preferred. Farsite can search a term or phrase not only in the FAR, but also at the same time search various supplements. That feature alone makes it preferable for many of us who are not as well-versed as yourself.
  19. I have seen on other threads that the Air Force is blocking non-mil IP addresses from accessing the site. If that is the case, I hope it changes soon!
  20. Most GSA Contracting Officers aren't familiar with ordering procedures (sad, but true). That was one thing I found pretty amazing when I worked there. They are great at knowing their contracts, but not so much on ordering procedures for other agencies to follow, unless you are fortunate enough to get a CO that had worked for another agency before coming to GSA. There was an SAIC protest awhile back on this very topic and I will continue to search until I can find the protest number but basically it stated that the shipping was considered open market and so 8.402(f) applied in full. 8.402(f) states (emphasis added): (f) For administrative convenience, an ordering activity contracting officer may add items not on the Federal Supply Schedule (also referred to as open market items) to a Federal Supply Schedule blanket purchase agreement (BPA) or an individual task or delivery order only if-- (1) All applicable acquisition regulations pertaining to the purchase of the items not on the Federal Supply Schedule have been followed (e.g., publicizing (Part 5), competition requirements (Part 6), acquisition of commercial items (Part 12), contracting methods (Parts 13, 14, and 15), and small business programs (Part 19)); (2) The ordering activity contracting officer has determined the price for the items not on the Federal Supply Schedule is fair and reasonable; (3) The items are clearly labeled on the order as items not on the Federal Supply Schedule; and (4) All clauses applicable to items not on the Federal Supply Schedule are included in the order. Since this amount exceeds the threshold required for synopsis, it is my opinion it is required to be done.
  21. Is this a good understanding of your question?.... You have an MAS BPA that has options left but the MAS contract on which the BPA was awarded has expired. This GSA website (http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/200549) may help. Look at the answer under "Is there a time limit on the length of a BPA established under a GSA Schedule contract?" You will find the answer to include the following: " An ordering activity that establishes a BPA shall conduct an annual review to determine, among other factors, whether the Schedule contract, upon which the BPA was established, is still in effect, and whether the BPA still represents the best value." I would simply state in a brief memo to the file that a review was done prior to exercising the option and it was discovered that the GSA contract is no longer in effect and therefore the option was not exercised. This is also covered under FAR 8.405-3(e), Review of BPAs
  22. Vern's reference is a good one, so I second his suggestion to read it... Then have your budget/finance/resource people read it to make sure they don't do something with the money that they shouldn't do!
  23. As I mentioned in my previous post, there were some of these contracts in place prior to my arrival as chief of this office. I did not state whether I supported or was against this method, but I thought to pooh-pooh it out of hand was interesting. I find this thread interesting not only in the situation that the OP stated, but also in a non-sole source (aka competitive) environment for a single award IDIQ contract. I am merely trying to gather the information necessary in order to make a decision on these contracts moving forward. I agree that I have to do some in-depth analysis as to the potential savings or lack thereof. I need information, and I appreciate that your have provided a large block of it for me to consider. Our agency tends to try to avoid cost contracting at nearly all costs (pun intended), but T&M isn't any better in my opinion for the reasons cited earlier. The administrative convenience should have also included the additional work/costs to administer cost-type contracts, but again... in-depth analysis is required. I appreciate the conversation and thank you for the time you took to prepare such a detailed response.
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