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  1. Vern, Thanks for the advice..I was just googling the wrong terms. As for the FAR Bootcamp, it sounds like it would be very beneficial, if not very challenging....however unfortunately it doesn't fit into my schedule.
  2. Don, I hear you. However I'm basically being ordered to find a course. To earn more CLPs... So I think it would be best to see what was available, and from those choices make a decision on what area I want to learn more about....
  3. Hello all, Our office just got dinged because we haven't been keeping up on our training. I've spent the better portion of the afternoon looking at what I could take, however I haven't found much. I am a level 3 certified, contracting professional with an MBA...so I'm questioning what next? I did see the ad for the FAR Bootcamp,and it seems very interesting, however unfortunately it doesn't fit into my schedule (I need to go somewhere in January). Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
  4. Anyone? I'd really appreciate if someone could weigh in on this.... Given GSA's definition above, does no-charge support, (or support which is included in the product price) automatically mean that I can buy it as product?
  5. Sorry guys for the late response. I have been mulling over this issue for a while. Anywho, jtolli, based on the GSA definitions you provided above it would appear that Cisco Smartnet Maintenance would actually be a product then. What stands out for me is the "no-charge support". If the the maintenance includes no-charge support within its price, then it would be a product. However if support was provided and on a charge-per-incident, then it would be classified as a service...(possibly a Help Desk which charges for each ticket it closes out?) Based on this standard, mostly everything would be a product then, which means we can pay up front and avoid the messy "payment in arrears" situation. What does everyone think? Your opinions are appreciated!
  6. Jtolli, Thanks for the info. This helps clear it up fo the most part. However there seems to be some grey area. Is anyone out there, by chance, familiar with purchasing Cisco Smartnet Maintenance? This seems like it could fall into either category.
  7. Can somebody help me out here? I have a requirement for Software maintenance services. One is for Cisco SmartNet Mainteance, and the other is a VMWare 1 Year Support Agreement...both of these are purchases under Army CHESS.. We are deciding how to set up the invoicing. All the information we can find seems to indicate that these acquisitions are services, which according to the FAR, have to be set up to be paid in arrears (post monthly/ quarterly)... To be honest, I can't really seem to find anything solid that says otherwise. However I have a sneaking suspicion that software maintenance is routinely purhcased and paid for in advance all across the Government. On FBO, I do not see any other agencies mention post-monthly billing....In addition, the vendors themselves who routinely deal with the Government do not seem to be familiar with post-monthly billing. Most of them will charge extra to set it up that way... All of this leads me to believe that I am missing some guidance which excuses Software Maintenance Agreements from post paid invoicing. I called the Army CHESS and GSA IT Schedule 70 help desks, but they were clueless to what I was talking about...(which didn't surprise me)... I did find this link from a GSA Blogger(?)...http://justgsa.typepad.com/just_gsa/2009/03/gsa-refresh-23-rumorsoftware-maintenance-billing-defined.html However it says "according to a rumor"....but doesn't really give any clear cut instructions.. Can anyone help??? Thanks!!
  8. Hello everyone, Could anyone shed light on how to place BPA orders with the GPC? When placing BPA orders with the GPC what are the documentation requirements ? For my organization, a GPC purchase means that we just get three quotes and then the purchase is made to the lowest. There is really no documentation involved. Is there any guidance on this practice? How would this be reported to FPDS-NG? Lastly, I should mention that we are most interested in using this for orders under FSS BPA's...such as DoD ESi and Army CHESS, Any help would be appreciated. Thanks! Jim
  9. Vern, That does give me a better idea yes. I realize that we can use our own discretion to develop our internal procedures. With regards to your comments about being "permitted to have BPAs." .... well I agree!. I don't think our office fully understands how to properly use them. Here are some examples: 1. The frequency of our requirements don't justify having BPAs set up. We have about 65 BPAs in place. In the past FY, we issued only 23 calls...some BPA holders obviously didn't get any calls. To top it off, most of the calls were under the micro-purchase threshold, so it probably would have been just as easy to issue multiple purchase orders throughout the year. 2. We treat each BPA requirement like its a contract, thus we gain no benefit from using BPAs. Each requiremnent (even those under the micro-purchase threshold) is competed via an RFQ. A Source Source Selection Decision and Price Reasonableness Memorandum, is drafted up, and everything is then reviewed by another KO who wordsmiths the documents...In my mind, BPAs should be used for "simple" services and supplies..like gravel or office supplies...where the KO/Ordering Officer can issue calls immeadiately (as long as calls are evenly rotated amongst BPA holders ) , or using Fair Opportunity procedures.. 3. Our contract writing system, PD2, is not a good system for handling Call Orders for services that are more complex.. Doing a modification to a call order is cumbersome and confusing. There is no "Summary of Changes" nor any Narrative field to describe what the modification is doing. Instead you have to write it into the CLIN narratives So with that said, why are we using BPA's? Well one problem is that our parent agency shoved them down our throats a few years back. Apparently they had some initiative where they wanted to see their contracting organizations using more BPA's...so thats what we did...and as happens all too often in the government, bad ways of doing things get carried forward for many years onward.. So Vern, you are probably correct. We probably should not be permitted to use BPAs for these requirements. However since I have been tasked with developing the annual review procedures, I am hoping to use this opportunity to raise awareness of the above issues.
  10. I guess nobody out there has conducted an annual BPA review before?
  11. My organization is trying to comply with FAR 13.303-6, the requirement to annual review BPAs, however we are a little lost on how to proceed. Has anyone ever completed an annual BPA review? If so, would you be interested in providing some details on what exactly you did? Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!
  12. Thanks for the responses guys. I am actually working on a project to ge Paperless procedures implemented at my office. With regards to going paperless, I don't see much of an argument for not doing it. It saves money in supplies, files never get lost, saves on storage costs, and audits could be performed remotely thus, saving on TDY costs. Sure, there may be some accessibility/reliability issues, ie...what happens when the system is down? But to answer that you have to ask yourself, what could you accomplish by having a paper contract but no computer? I think its safe to say that most of us are dead in the water without our computers. I myself did a contingency sint in Afghanistan, and we ran our power off a diesel generator. Sometimes it went out, and there was nothing we could do, but most of the time it worked fine and we still got the job done outages or not. Also, I don't think its practical to eliminate paper completely. You should be be able to jot down notes, or print off some handouts for a conference. However for business, I think there is no good reason to not make everything paperless. . I realize its more preferable to review documents on paper rather than computer screens, however organizations could adopt a "print then destroy policy". Anyway enough of that rant. My previous organization also used PCF. Are there any systems folks out there that might know how I could get my organization access to it? Or is it something we have to procure seperately with our own funds? We are a DoD Component. Any info would appreciated.
  13. Vern, Thanks for your response. I understand why the solicitation process is streamlined. Its pretty clearly explained in 12.603. However with regards to evaluations, the way 12.602 is written, seems to suggest that you are to evaluate proposals differently that you would in 15.3. If not, then why is it called Streamlined Solictations AND Evaluations? If we still have to follow 15.3 then what is streamlined? Maybe "very informal" was a poor choice of words, but what I meant was something along the lines of this: Using the simple criteria contained in the solicitation, the technical evaluator writes a brief narrative on how the proposal meets the criteria and assigns a rating for the proposal. There is no technical evaluation plan, no source selection board etc..
  14. Could someone please help me with this scenario: We have a procurement for a commercial service that is above $150,000. We are looking at simplifying the process using FAR 12.6, however it is rather vague. For example 12.602 advocates using simple criteria to be evaluated and the that the "technical evaluation would normally include examination of such things as product literature, product samples (if requested), technical features and warranty provisions" If we went this route, could someone tell me how the technical evaluations mentioned in FAR 12.602 would be different than formal tech evals using FAR 15? To me, it sounds very informal, and the write-ups would be more simple. Is this correct? Thanks,
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