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Everything posted by Desparado

  1. Whether their protest would be timely or not is another issue. I would think that it is not timely. However, working on the assumption that it is deemed timely... To me, the most important question will be, "How was the company that didn't offer a preapproved item considered the most highly rated over two companies that did offer preapproved items?". What were the evaluation factors? Answering those questions will give you an indication as to what their chances are.
  2. Vern, as some of these "protests" are filed with GAO, there is a belief among the lawyers at my agency that 33.1 applies.
  3. I guess I'll play the role of Vern's idiot. Couldn't a size protest be considered, "a written objection by an interested party to an award or proposed award of the contract" ? Aren't they in fact protesting the award of the contract because they assert that the awardee does not meet the size criteria?
  4. Just to complete this topic, my agency had to work with the SBA, GSA (for SAM) and FPDS-NG in order to "hard code" the JV as a HUBZone company so that my agency can receive the appropriate socioeconomic credit for the award. Sad... but true.
  5. Yes, we contacted their "help" desk and they referred the issue to SAM because that is where the info originates, who refers it to SBA because only they can certify HUBZone companies, who refuses to certify the JV. It's a nice system of pass the buck.
  6. According to 13 CFR 126.616 (emphasis added) (a) HUBZone joint venture. A qualified HUBZone SBC may enter into a joint venture with another qualified HUBZone SBC for the purpose of submitting an offer for a HUBZone contract. The joint venture itself need not be certified as a qualified HUBZone SBC. The problem this creates is that if the joint venture is not certified as a HUBZone in SAM, it does not show as a HUBZone in FPDS-NG, which means that the awarding agency gets no socioeconomic HUBZone credit for the award. We are now in this situation as we did a HUBZone set-aside, received an offer from a HUBZone JV and now we have discovered if we award to that JV, we will get no HUBZone credit. We conferred with the SBA and were told they would not certify a JV because they don't have the resources to certify every HUBZone JV that is created. The "workaround" they recommended was to award to one of the two HUBZone companies that comprise the JV. That raises concerns for us as that would be a different legal entity than the one that submitted the offer and we believe the next lowest offeror would protest. Has anyone else ran into this? What did you do?
  7. Vern - I imagine there are very few people that are truly your "peers". For the rest of us, and those new to contracting, the search feature is an important part of the site.
  8. I would not overtly attempt to direct the contractor to a specific sub as I think you increase your risk of protest. Instead, I would list qualifications and proposed subcontractor qualifications as sub-elements under "Technical" and then evaluate whatever comes in. Either some companies may find a new sub that can legitimately do the work, some may have that ability in-house, or if it is truly sole source as you state all the offerors will propose the same sub.
  9. Rye - Life is too short not to be enjoyed. If this job situation has degraded down to this point, have you considered employment elsewhere? I truly don't mean to be unkind, but in fact I am being supportive. You should try to enjoy what you do, and if not, it may be time for the next chapter elsewhere.
  10. One feature about the Hill AFB site I like and I don't see here is the ability to search the FAR and my agency's supplemental at the same time. Here, it looks like you'd have to do two separate searches (unless your agency is GSA and uses the GSAM). Seems short-sited of them to incorporate a single search engine for the FAR and GSAM but if you're from another agency you have to do a separate search using the other tab. Now to be honest, I haven't spent a lot of time on the new site, but I didn't see a way to search (for example) the FAR and DFARS at the same time.
  11. Joel, Thank you for the info you provided. It helped me in my understanding. My issue with 1-A Construction is simply where the surety "declined to complete the contract". Isn't that one of the main reasons to get a performance bond? Yes, the Government injured itself by paying the contractor for work not completed, and we are pursuing that with the contractor. I did not realize that affected the situation with the surety as the work contracted for was not performed. Your explanation of the fact that typically the unused funds are used for the surety to complete the work helped me. Thanks. Still doesn't explain why in the 1-A case the surety can simply decline.
  12. To add to my confusion was the following statement (emphasis added) in "1-A CONSTRUCTION & FIRE, LLP, Appellant, v. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, Respondent": In its briefing, the Government has detailed the manner in which it attempted to have 1-A Construction's surety, Lexon Surety Group (Lexon), take over this contract following the default termination. It has also detailed how, after Lexon declined to complete the contract, it was forced to reprocure a new contractor to complete the necessary work and that the USFS incurred significant costs through substantial completion of the job on October 27, 2012 -- 365 days after 1-A Construction was supposed to have completed the contract work.
  13. Our office had a construction contractor (I'll call them "Acme") fail to perform, so we did a termination for default. They had bonds issued from a bonding company (I'll call them "Bondo"). We then attempted to get Bondo to get the work completed. Bondo started discussing with us and then when they discovered that the amount was around $800k, they simply refused to communicate further. Our agency's attorney spoke with a DOJ attorney who advised that the only costs we would be able to recover are reprocurement costs, which will probably only be a few thousand dollars. The DOJ attorney said that Bondo probably did an analysis and decided it would be cheaper for them to not perform and only pay reprocurement costs than it would be for them to complete the work. There are more details (including the Government paying Acme for work not completed), but I don't want to make this question longer than it already is. My question is this. What good is the performance bond if the surety can simply decline to perform? The Government pays for these bonds (as the contractors roll that cost into their bid) and from this experience it seems like a waste of money. I've never had a bonding company do this so this is new territory for me. Is there a step we may be missing? If not, I think I need to go into the bonding business. Seems like a very low-risk business if all they can hit me up for is reprocurement costs!
  14. I think Category Management is just the latest buzzword of the beltway. FSSI has lost its luster and now a new catch phrase has to come in. In 2-3 years, CM will be all but forgotten and a new shiny object (buzzword) will take its place. Cynical, I know, but it's what I've seen over and over.
  15. Do you have any indication why this went on for a year and a half? Were invoices for that person's work paid throughout that time? Seems interesting that this comes up now after such a long time of that person not performing to expectation.
  16. From all the posts, I see that "notices" must be posted, no requirement for the RFP itself. My recommendation, post the notice of contract action as required by the FAR, but not the RFP (to directly answer your question).
  17. What I've done in practice is when a situation arises where I have placed a NAICS and size standard in a solicitation and the potential awardee does not possess that NAICS in their ORCA, I first try to see if they have any NAICS in their ORCA that has the same size standard. If so, and they are showing as Small in that NAICS, then I properly assume they will be Small in my NAICS. If they don't have a NAICS in ORCA with the same size standard, I clarify with them what their appropriate revenue/employees are so that I can verify whether or not they are small.
  18. The main selling point of the FSSIs as awarded by GSA is that they took their existing Schedule contractors, conducted a competition which resulted in a much small pool of awardees and by doing so reduced the prices.
  19. Also, for higher-level presentations, I used the training course, "Contracting For The Rest Of Us" as a guide to develop a slideshow years ago. I don't have it any longer, but that course might be a good place to get some general ideas of what can be included in a presentation.
  20. First, a slight disclaimer. When I was at GSA, I was not in the IT arena, but was in FAS, overseeing a couple of MAS Schedules. Therefore, the rules may be slightly different (although I do not believe so in this case). The contract award amount is simply an internal tracking tool. Yes, it is used for FPDS-NG reporting, but a contractor has not yet successfully performed and in fact many never do. Therefore, some contracting officers assign the lowest possible amount ($125k) for a small business award. This is based on the minimum sales criteria required to maintain an MAS contract ($25k per year for 5 years). Now, in fact that is not truly the minimum, since a contractor has 2 years to get to that first $25k amount, but GSA has long used the $125k amount as a bare minimum. For a large business, they set the minimum at $650k for subcontracting plan purposes. After that initial 5yr award period, as part of the process to exercise the 5yr option, the contract value will be re-estimated based on past sales performance. I could be wrong, but if memory serves the only place the new dollar value is reported is in FPDS-NG with the modification to exercise the option. The MOL/MOT is established at the SIN/Schedule level, and not at the individual contract level. Also, if you haven't encountered this already, you will... Government agencies often are confused by the terms, "Maximum Ordering Limitation" and "Monetary Order Thresholds". They will think that this is the maximum amount that can be ordered against the MAS contract (go figure!). This is not the case. The MOL is one of the most badly-worded acronyms in GSA. I tried to bring this issue up on several occasions but apparently the rule-making process is too extensive to change it. This term only applies to the threshold which a contractor is required to accept an order (within scope of course) and not a ceiling amount that can be placed against the contract with contractor acceptance. Hope this helps.
  21. This is dated just a bit, but I was with Army contracting up until 2007, and ASFI would feed to FBO for the solicitations. We would synopsize in FBO, but post to ASFI which would feed into FBO, so all regulatory requirements were met.
  22. I think if the FAR was shrunk, it would only result in the various government agencies increasing the size of their supplement in order to cover what was removed.
  23. cs123 - I've been with a few agencies, and every one of them stress not using numerical ratings. Apparently sometime in the past there was a protest or something for an acquisition that used numerical ratings, and (as the tale goes) a CO was asked something like, "What is the difference between a 7 and an 8?" Or a 6 and an 8... And the CO could not provide a well thought-out answer, and thus push for non-numerical ratings (whether colors or words).
  24. apsofacto - I've seen this done at a couple of agencies now. The general thought is that they can make an 1102 to do 1105 work but they can make an 1105 do 1102 work. The management's reasoning is that by making them all 1102s they can have greater flexibility to get the work accomplished. Not saying I agree with that theory, but that is the theory that both of these agencies have cited.
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