Jump to content
The Wifcon Forums and Blogs


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Desparado

  1. Everyone that has previously posted is correct, but I can see where you might be confused. Let me attempt to simplify. Can you just buy the open market item based on the response submitted?: No. Since it is a "vehicle", I am going to make the assumption it is greater than $25k, and per 8.402(f), you would have you to meet the solicitation and publicizing requirements for an open market item above $25k. Can you just buy the one that is on Schedule and buy the other one from another offeror?: In my opinion, yes. As this is a Schedule buy, 52.212-1 was included in their original GSA solicitation and therefore is applicable to orders under it. Can you just bypass the non-conforming offer and go to the second lowest?: In my opinion, yes. You do not have to accept an offer that includes open market items. Nothing is "automatic". You have to make an assessment of the situation and the offers received, and make the best business decision for your organization.
  2. Michael11 - I agree with your post #5. I think you have it down!
  3. I would disagree. The government put in those "levels" because they felt that is the minimum required to perform the service. To get the award based on meeting those requirements and then switching to lower-qualified people would be at best unsavory, and at worse a contract breech. Even if it is not written in the task order, it is what was required in order to get the award and what should be maintained throughout performance.
  4. What is included in the RFP and resultant task order? The general purpose of an RFP is to state what the minimum qualifications throughout task order performance. The government typically isn't interested in a contractor proposing one set of employees and then switching them out for employees that don't meet the minimum qualifications (bait and switch, if you will).
  5. To answer the question, a "D&F" is not required, however a determination is required. I know it is incorrect, but for many contract specialists a "D&F" and a "Determination" are the same thing. Hopefully that thinking will change someday, but for now it's a very common misunderstanding. As C Culham noted in post #11, one of GSA's requirement is that "Prior to exercising an option, the ordering activity ensures that it is still in the government's best interest, i.e., that the option is the most advantageous method of fulfilling the government's need, price, and other factors considered". That would need to be done via a determination. Not a "D&F", but a determination.
  6. Metteec - Although I can't profess to know how GAO would think, considering that a contractor charging more than what is on their FSS contract would be a violation of that contract, I would think that GAO might sustain a protest. However, GAO rarely looks at FSS task orders unless the value exceeds $10M or there is a claim that the government did not evaluate in accordance with their solicitation. I do not agree that the fixed labor line items are an element that constitutes scope, or if so it is a very minor one. The scope of an FSS contract is fuzzy at best and the scope is really defined at the task order level. The Special Item Numbers (SINs) that GSA uses to define scope are very broad and in some cases knowing exactly what is and what is not within scope is difficult to determine. Now, if it absurd happens (like a contractor uses custodial worker labor to be a computer programmer), then that would be another story.
  7. Apsofacto, Since many government agencies require Firm-fixed pricing, what a GSA Schedule holder can do is create a FFP quote based upon their already agreed upon FFP rates. If/when the GSA OIG goes to look at the contractor's records they will require that the company breakdown the FFP pricing to ensure that the contractor didn't overcharge when putting together their FFP quote. However, there is no requirement that a government CO do the same thing when purchasing off of the Schedules. There are some that will, but it is not required.
  8. Slight correction... They can charge lower than the Schedule rates, just not higher. So technically it is not the "only" rate that can be charged.
  9. With the GSA Schedules program, the prime/sub is very different from standard contracting. In short, there technically are no "subs" in the traditional sense. The rates are already in the GSA Schedule holders contract and have been determined fair and reasonable and are the only rates that a Schedule contractor can charge. They cannot charge a different price for subs. They cannot charge an administrative fee for subcontractor oversight. Although the rates are already F&R, you will have to make a level of effort F&R determination IAW FAR 8.405-2(d). Please note that if you are with a DoD agency, the DFARS has a deviation in place regarding pricing issues. This is one of the things that is supposed to make the GSA Schedules program easier to use, although it creates headaches for the Schedule holders.
  10. DC1911... Check your resume. Does it emphasize your ability/experience in contracting? Does it show you can can make business/contracting decisions independently? Does it show you know how to research the FAR, the CFR and other contracting resources? I am trusting that since you have had several interviews that you are taking good notes afterwards to apply to future interviews. Before going to an interview, do you research the agency/office, try to learn what they do, and discuss some of that in your interview? I have sat on several interview panels and it is surprising how little research many applicants do prior to walking in the door. They expect they can just "wow" us with their smile and good intentions. Show that you WANT the job by putting in some effort before you walk in the door. I hope this helps.
  11. 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.
  12. Vern, as some of these "protests" are filed with GAO, there is a belief among the lawyers at my agency that 33.1 applies.
  13. 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?
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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?
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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!
  24. 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.
  • Create New...