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ji20874

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About ji20874

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  1. NAICS and Scope

    I conclude that a contracting officer need not/cannot do a new NAICS code analysis for a task order because the NAICS code analysis was already done for the parent IDIQ contract, and the order opportunities must use the NAICS code(s) established in the parent contract. I do understand why you won't answer the questions I put to you.
  2. NAICS and Scope

    Vern, So, then, you would assert that a notice (or solicitation) for a fair opportunity task order must include all the FAR clauses where the prescribing language says to include the clause in all solicitations? By the way, I never said everyone else was wrong. You are wrong to so suggest. I said that I don't use the word solicitation to describe what the fair opportunity procedures calls a notice, because it makes sense not to, and that I believe the word solicitation was intentionally avoided. Given a choice between believing the word usage was intentional or unintentional, it is far easier for me to believe it was intentional. If there was no purposeful intent, then they almost certainly would have used the word solicitation. But they didn't call it a solicitation -- they called it a notice. Why do you think they did that?
  3. CPARS comments

    Michael, If you only have one data point, I agree with you. But in a source selection, past performance should be only one among some number of other factors, all of which can influence the selection decision.
  4. Well, the costs have to be reasonable in order to be allowable. In your case, does the purchasing work require the labor category qualifications (and therefore the prices) of the labor categories prescribed in the contract? If so, more power to you.
  5. here_2_help, I understand -- differing interests. The DCAA auditors want to reduce the overhead pools, and contracting officers want reasonable prices and mission-focused performance. If I was administering a T&M contract and the contractor was burning labor hours sweeping floors and so forth instead of productive work accomplishing the mission, I would want to redirect the contractor's focus. Let them sweep floors and charge those hours to someone else's contract.
  6. CPARS comments

    I'm not saying that it MUST result in an unsatisfactory rating -- but it can. Yes, the process is subjective. I'm okay with that. In the scenario you described, a contractor might receive stellar ratings for the other factors, and a non-stellar rating for cost control. That would be fair, and a future contracting officer making a source selection decision will be able to read the CO's narrative and the contractor's rebuttal. There are contractors out there who don't know what a LOC notice is or when to send one. I try to help them understand. By the way, as a contracting officer, I am VERY serious about these notices -- I make it clear to contractors at contract kick-off meetings and so forth. To me, a contractor's failure to give the notice robs me of the privilege of planning and taking action and protecting the Government and so forth -- I recall reading an excellent decision somewhere that paints this picture. At the boards of contract appeal, the notice requirement is strictly construed and enforced. A contractor's stellar technical and schedule performance does not obviate the notice requirement, and the notice requirement applies at 30 days before 85%, not at 30 days after 100%. So yes, on one of my contracts, I'll hammer a contractor that fails to provide a notice, because it is important to me. If I did it to you, you could rebut and say that it isn't a big deal. And your word would be the last word. Life goes on.
  7. Okay, if you say so. But you fail to recognize that the contractor writes its own subcontracting plan, and that all subcontracting in that plan is at the contractor's own voluntary election. Any by the way, none of the clauses you listed REQUIRE any subcontracting -- a contractor could comply with all of those clauses with zero subcontracting. I wonder -- is it your position that EVERY specific requirement of a contract may or should be direct-charged to the contract? Every requirement in every clause? I think some specific requirements are best handled as indirect expenses. For a T&M contract, I would wonder if the purchasing work done by the contractor requires the labor category qualifications of the labor categories prescribed in the contract -- if so, okay, it might make sense. But even if the contract allows for a senior engineer at an hourly rate of $150/hr, I wouldn't want the contractor to charge that labor category for sweeping the floors at night (let's assume that maintaining a tidy workplace is a specific requirement of the contract), because sweeping the floors does not require the labor category qualifications of a senior engineer. The original poster has not averred that the purchasing work requires the labor category qualifications of the labor categories prescribed in the contract -- he or she has only said that that the contractor is using those people for that work. He or she apparently wants to challenge that approach. I'm trying to be helpful to the original poster.
  8. CPARS comments

    Wrong. "A singular problem, however, could be of such serious magnitude that it alone constitutes an unsatisfactory rating." That's a direct quote from Table 42-1.
  9. CPARS comments

    Wrong. The definitions allow for a singular problem to alone result in an unsatisfactory rating. See the note for unsatisfactory in Table 42-1 in FAR Subpart 42.15. And the boards and courts are seemingly unanimous that a contractor's failure to give a notice such as we are describing is a serious failure. The citation for the notice for T&M contracts is FAR 52.212-4 Alt I para. (i)(2) for commercial and FAR 52.232-7(d) for non-commercial.
  10. NAICS and Scope

    I'll re-do my statement: The FAR never uses "solicitation" in the context of the fair opportunity process for an order under a multiple-award IDIQ contracts, so I try not to use that word in that context, either. In FAR 16.505(b)(1)(iii)(B)(1), the FAR uses "fair notice of intent to make a purchase" instead of solicitation. In (b)(1)(iv)(A), the FAR uses "notice of the task or delivery order" instead of solicitation. Indeed, the word solicitation appears nowhere in the lengthy procedures for the ordering process described in FAR 16.505(b). I believe this is intentional. What do you think? To me, it makes sense for this to be intentional. I suppose the FAR drafters knew what they were doing in this matter. If they had used the word solicitation, they would have created real problems with the rest of the FAR. For example, there are many places in the FAR where one reads that a particular clause is required "in all solicitations and contracts" or "in all solicitations and contracts exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold" and so forth. The FAR drafters did not intend for these clauses to be included in the notices under FAR 16.505(b), so they didn't describe these notices as solicitations -- instead, they called them notices. If a contracting officer does not understand this, and insists on describing these notices as solicitations, then he or she will have to comply with the FAR and insert all of those clauses where the prescribing language "in all solicitations and contracts" or "in all solicitations and contracts exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold" and so forth. With this lack of understanding, the contracting officer will try to force a NAICS code analysis into every order opportunity, even though it will produce an unintended and even absurd outcome of issuing an order with a NAICS code not provided for in the parent IDIQ contract (and which the automated system will likely not accept), in violation of both the FAR and the small business regulations at 13 CFR. Vern is correct that there is one use of the word solicitation in the context of brand-name justifications in FAR 16.505(a)(4) -- but for me, that one stray use does not overcome the complete and intentional absence of the word in 16.505(b). But if it does, then you must take it to the logical conclusion: your notice solicitation for an order opportunity must contain every clause or provision in the FAR where the prescribing language says "in all solicitations and contracts" or "in all solicitations and contracts exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold" and so forth. And if you decide to do a new NAICS code analysis for an order opportunity because FAR 19.303 says solicitation, well, I don't know how you will get FPDS-NG and your own local automated system to accept a new NAICS code for the order. For all these reasons, I support the FAR drafters in using the word notice instead of solicitation in the ordering processes described in FAR 16.505(b). Having said all that, I am aware that many others do not see this distinction (perhaps including those who later added the word solicitation in 16.505(a)(4)). Instead of the ordering process being seen as a matter of post-award contract administration (the original intention), we as a community have turned it into another convoluted and difficult pre-award process. Insisting on doing a new NAICS code analysis for an order opportunity, because we insist on imposing the word solicitation in FAR 16.505(b) where it never appears and then seeing that FAR 19.303 uses the word solicitation, is an example.
  11. CPARS comments

    Michael11, Since we're talking about the cost control factor, did the contractor give the required notice 30 days before crossing the 85% threshold? If not, that failure by itself could result in an unsatisfactory rating (for the cost control factor).
  12. Ethics and Transparency

    Best wishes wherever you go. The advice you got here is good advice.
  13. Ethics and Transparency

    I don't know any more than I can read here, so what I'm writing is supposition. Maybe the command is tired of people who want to disrupt accomplishment of the mission with an academic or pedantic focus on transparency or whatever is the buzzword of the day. Maybe they have a contract that works, and they don't want to mess up a good thing. My recommendations: learn as much as you can, and use everythIng you learn to help support the mission. You will build technical and professional credibility. Then, you will be in a position to start making any needed changes. I suppose I am like others -- I don't like it when I'm doing by something difficult but legal, and others with less skin in the game and holier-than-thou perspectives start using words like ethics to question my actions -- they're wrong, and they don't understand, and they need to learn a lot before trashing my work. Maybe this is causing the vibe at your command?
  14. Late Submission of Electronic Proposals

    I disagree.
  15. CPARS comments

    I'm satisfied that the system is reasonably fair. No system with humans will be perfect. But it is stupid to assume, in a later source selection, that a contractor with an Exceptional rating on a CPARS is automatically better than a contractor with a SATISFACTORY rating.
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