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Desparado

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Everything posted by Desparado

  1. I guess I am not a fan of "true" PBA acquisitions then. I have no problem with letting the contractor (the ones with the most technical knowledge) determine the method for accomplishing the task during the proposal stage, but when a methodology falls into areas where the government might have concerns I am not willing to give them full lattitude to unilaterally change their methods mid-stream. It's one thing when you're talking about how to accomplish office work or IT projects, but some areas are a bit more sensitive and once an approach is approved it should not be changed unless the new approach is also approved. My goal is to give the contractors the ability to propose their technology/approach up-front and then proceed from there.
  2. Vern - As always, thank you for your input. You've given me quite a bit to think about. I'm not ready to change my mind yet, but you've given me food for thought, which I always enjoy. Consider my chain pulled. Weno2 - My agency isn't ready for SOO. Heck, they're barely ready for PBA as evidenced by this conversation.
  3. Vern - I do... and I appreciate the head's up. However, playing devil's advocate... I would argue (splitting hairs) that we are still in compliance. The acquisition is "structured" around the results to be performed and we do describe the work in the PWS by the required results rather than the "how". However, I do still believe that the contractor should be held to the methodology they propose because otherwise the government is opened to a bait-and-switch tactic with methodology just like some contractors love to do with their proposed staff (which is why I never want to see resumes). I always respect your input and I see your point, but I respectfully disagree and still feel that I am ok with my staff coding this acquisition as performance-based because we structured the acquisition around the results and defined it as such in the PWS. There mere fact that we hold a contractor to the method they propose does not negate it from being PBA, imho.
  4. Napolik - Thank you very much for the GAO decision that was just released yesterday. It was very timely and to me very applicable. I appreciate the head's up! I was surprised that the Army, which of course falls under the DFARS, used a subjective determination in their evaluation criteria but I think it is great and should be an example that just because it is LPTA doesn't mean that it has to be simply a "did they send in something" approach and can have some actual subjective evaluation associated with it.
  5. 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.
  6. Thanks Napolik. I will definitely read that one!
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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?
  13. 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!
  14. 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.
  15. 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...
  16. "...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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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!
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