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Everything posted by Desparado

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
  7. Since nobody else here has volunteered to be the "dummkopf", I will fill that role. When I arrived at my current agency to lead their regional contracting office, I found they used this exact approach for some of their IDIQ Task Order work. With the labor rates fully burdened and fixed, the only thing left to negotiate is the labor mix and level of effort. Please be kind if you call me any names since I volunteered to be the scapegoat of the conversation, but I did not see anything to be as horrifying as you have expressed. Why is this such a god-awful approach? Why would you want to negotiate labor rates, G&A, and profit every time you want to issue a task order? Yes, I think the main reason they did this was administrative convenience, but when you compare what costs you might save in all those negotiations and the time spent to do so, I don't know that you would realize any true savings. In fact, the opposite may be true. Okay, feel free to bash me, but please be kind in the name-calling... I can be sensitive sometimes <lol>
  8. There is one place where there is some comparison. One of the main issues being raised here is the thought that contractors cannot forward-price for 5 years on a fully loaded labor hour basis. That is exactly what they must do on GSA MAS service contracts. Yes, they can go lower, but they can not go higher than the previously negotiated rates, which are done in 5-year increments.
  9. i find all the objections to fully burdened labor rates on an IDIQ contract interesting, especially considering that is what the GSA MAS service contracts have been doing for more than a decade. Not trying to start anything... just making an observation.
  10. I would reach out the GSA contracting officer for that contractor's MAS contract. When I was at GSA we received complaints like this all the time, as well as TAA complaints. Since each CO deals with over 100 contractors, and each contractor can have thousands of items on their contract it is impossible for the GSA CO to monitor this. However, if you raise it to their attention they should be able to investigate.
  11. LM: Without the details I am just going to give you my knee jerk reaction to your initial post. I would be vary wary from a technical acceptability standpoint. If these positions are listed as "key positions" I would imagine the government's intent is that they focus on this project. That would be difficult if not impossible to do if they are already full-time on another project. Now if it were a program manager that may be a different story since they may be able to manage both projects, but you'd need to do some extensive elaboration in your proposal to convince me of that. Then, as Navy pointed out, questions could easily come up that perhaps they shouldn't be charging time to the first project if it doesn't require 100% of their attention. I think you may open yourself up to issues you don't want to deal with if you propose in this manner for the second project.
  12. Having been previously at the VA, I can tell you this is pretty standard for a commercial purchase of a supply. Sad, but true. I would have trimmed it down a bit by including 52.212-1 and 52.212-4 by reference which would have cut about 12 or so pages, but the lovely VAAR requires all the extra VAAR clauses. The contract specialist here did make a few errors but for the most part this is pretty much a standard RFQ for the VA if going name brand or equal. The VA's duplicity and idiotic extra requirements always bothered me when I was there. For example, why have VAAR 852.211-73 when you already have 52.211-6?
  13. Simple. Lazy contracting officers trying to verify if a business truly is small based on the NAICS and so if that specific NAICS is listed, it's easy to do. Some COs even make that a solicitation requirement.
  14. Wow, it seemed like I missed all the fun! I guess once a poster is banned their old posts are deleted. That's understandable but at the same time a shame. I would have liked to see their side of the story.
  15. What you are referring to is GSA's FAR 51 Deviation. You can read about it at http://www.gsa.gov/portal/mediaId/202559/fileName/MAS_DeviationOrderingGuide_121514.action You will find the following in this guide: When purchasing from a Schedule contract, purchase items at the Schedule contract price (or lower) with no fee/surcharge/markup. If items are provided by the selling contractor at lower than the contract price, the buying contractor must pass on the savings by invoicing the Federal Government accordingly. So, in short if you are purchasing off of GSA for the government, you cannot mark it up one single penny.
  16. The additional costs that I was thinking of are for all these 1102s that switch specialties. Many agencies use the silo approach to contracting. Under this scenario when someone gets a promotion or transfer and moves from products to construction, or to services, or to some other specialty they would need to get another certification. If they don't test out, that means more dollars for training. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but the extra cost is something that would need to be figured into the decision process.
  17. So if I understand the proposed solution correctly, if an 1102 were to move from an office that did installation support (like a military installation) using primarily Simplified Acquisition to an office with another agency (or perhaps the same one) and started working A/E actions, they would need to complete an additional Level II course. How would this work in smaller offices where the 1102 has to do several types of contracting? When I started out at a military installation I did Simplified Acquisition, Construction, Services and IT Acquisition all on any given day. Under this scenario would I have had to be Level II qualified in all these areas? I think having specialized certifications would create problems for the agencies and the workforce. Although the current system is far from perfect, if it is going to be changed it will need to be flexible enough to facilitate all types of offices. With all its faults (and I admit there are many), the current system does provide some basic foundational contracting principles that can expand to most (if not all) types of contracting. The costs to administer a specialized program is something else that would have to be considered. With the trend of movement of 1102s that I've seen over the last few years, people would be constantly taking training/tests for new certifications. Intriguing idea, but I don't know how it would work from a practical standpoint.
  18. I have one minor thing to point out. jlbdca stated that sales to customers outside your basis of award will not trigger a price reduction. That is not entirely true. If GSA determines that you mis-stated your BOA because you offer lower pricing to another customer or class of customers that can certainly result in issues. They can state that basically you changed your BOA and thereby kick in the PRC. I've seen it done. The GSA OIG loves this.
  19. Giving it a rating of High, Medium or Low performance risk is a form of scoring, isn't it? What is the difference between a "risk indicator" and a "score"? Either of them is used to judge the government's opinion on whether the contractor can successfully complete the task being competed. Although not perfect, PPIRS is a good, relatively standardized, resource for past performance information. Just like writing performance appraisals for employees, the value of the rating is only as good as the author, but I think it is an important tool to use. My office will use it to develop a risk level (aka "score") but we will often go a step further and contact the government POC to ask further questions if we feel the information in PPIRS isn't adequate in order to do the best evaluation possible.
  20. WIFCON is an incredibly valuable resource. I was told early in my career to check this site daily and I have since given that same recommendation to every 1102 I encounter, whether they be my employees or just fellow contracting professionals. I enjoy reading the protests (sick, I know) and I learn from them on a daily basis. The value of the discussion board is immeasurable (not that I'm looking to pay a lot for it, but I would pay some if the site had to go that way in the future). Having the input of people like yourself, Vern, Joel, H2H and many others on various contracting topics is amazing. Thank you for all that you do!
  21. illzoni - No, the "rule of two", meaning that if two or more responsible small businesses can complete the requirement then you must set it aside, does not apply to GSA MAS (aka FSS) purchases. Setting an acquisition aside is discretionary.
  22. H2H - Although I agree it's the people, not the firm, accepting/evaluating resumes always gives me pause because I have had too many occasions where the person proposed in the proposal isn't the one that shows up to do the work. I hear, "well, we were going to hire that person but he took another job" or "he's needed on another project". The ol' bait-and-switch. I'd rather supplement the resume with the offeror's proposed minimum requirements that any employee used to fill that position will possess.
  23. Okay, even if i concede that in this case the COR was wrong, that still doesn't change the basics of the ruling which is that the FAR is really just a regulation and therefore a supervisor can exert undue pressure on a CO to do something against the FAR and the CO has no recourse but to do it and then grieve. I still believe this is precedent-setting, and dangerous.
  24. So let's ramp this up a notch... under this "act now, grieve later" approach, you're fine with a supervisor directing a CO to award a contract to a friend of his, regardless of source selection? The CO should just make the award using their warrant (individually issued and responsible) and then file a grievance? I think that's just crazy. This sets a dangerous precedent and undermines the authority of the warrant, imho. Also, as noted by Jacques, the supervisor can later say he/she never gave such direction and then the CO is just out there hanging. Yes, I understand that in this case this was a COR, but the principles are still the same. The FAR is nothing more than a suggestion and really doesn't need to be followed if a supervisor tells you to do something different. Dangerous.
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