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Pennybeth

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  1. I am curious to hear reactions to the decision by the US Court of Federal Claims (No. 13-506C) in Amazon Web Services v. US and IBM, in which the court decided that the corrective action taken by the agency upon GAO recommendation was irrational because the GAO recommendation was irrational. I am particularly interested in knowing if you think there are things the agency could have done in its contract documentation, or in presenting its arguments to the GAO, to have brought the GAO to a decision in its favor under the original bid protest. Or is this a case where there is a difference of lega
  2. Hi Agency Specialist - I can only speak from my own experience, but it sounds likes we might be in the same chronological point in our careers. I would love to retire in 5 years, but will probably need to work for 8 more years (2 kids in their early 20s who are a bit adrift in the cold, hard economy out there). I worked for 20 years in the private sector and then switched to government 1102 work. I have been an 1102 for 12 years now and recently decided to switch to a lower graded position to reduce the stress in my life. I was a supervisor of GS-14 level contracting officers and am now the eq
  3. I would be interested in hearing opinions about the pros and cons of moving into an acquisition policy job instead of an operational contracting job. What do you think are the skills, experiences and inclinations that would suit someone to either a policy job or an operational contracting job? I am in the last 10 years of my career (unless I hit the lottery, in case I don't need your answers anyway), and am considering moving into a policy job which is actually at a lower grade level than my current position, but would not result in any great financial disadvantage to me. I am not interested
  4. I agree with you formerfed. I did not mean to unfairly blame the particular contracting officer in the case - I have no knowledge of any facts other than those contained in summary of the protest decision. But it struck a nerve. I sometimes think Contract Specialists/Contracting Officers check their common sense at the door when they come to work. But I freely admit that may be because they've had the common sense knocked out of them by political pressure from program offices or even (sadly) their own acquisition hierarchy. So, I guess what I want to say especially to young Contract Specia
  5. If we as contracting officers want to be treated as professionals rather than ignorant paper pushers, we should at least get the procedural steps right in an acquisition, such as publishing a timely synopsis and relying only on either 6.302-1 or 6.302-2 in issuing a sole source J&A rather than on both. There might be room to argue about whether a sole source bridge contract is truly justified under 6.302-1(ii) or is really just an instance of the failure of an agency to adequately plan, for instance. But to make mistakes like the contracting officer in this case makes the government look
  6. It can get even more interesting. My organization is not subject to FAR, but we do place orders against GSA contracts, which are subject to FAR. So, even though we as an organization are not subject to FAR, some of our contracting actions are. I would hope that looking at the RFP would help clarify the situation - shouldn't it reference FAR clauses if the procurement is subject to FAR, as well as other non-FAR clauses applicable to the entity that issued the RFP?
  7. Are you sure this was a firm fixed price level of effort contract, or was it a labor hour contract with an estimated number of hours required? If the work performed were commercial services under a labor hour contract containing clause 52.212-4 Alt I, Deviation 1 -- FEB 2007 (which is a clause included in the GSA TAPS schedule contracts), then payment would be made only for "direct labor hours performed" which would not include holidays or vacation hours.
  8. The posted stated that the "customer" who issued the BPA Call modification was The Administrative Office of the US Courts, so I could identify the actual contract being aware of this issue. There is a dispute about whether the contracting officer who issued the call attached the wage determination to the call. The current administering contracting officer received a letter from DOL requesting a copy of the applicable wage determination. Upon discovering that the contract file did not clearly indicate that the wage determination had been attached to the call, the contracting officer issued a
  9. I am afraid certain facts have been misstated or misunderstood by the original poster. The BPA referenced is a BPA against a Federal Supply Schedule Contract. The BPA and all BPA calls issued against it are subject to the clauses contained in the applicable GSA Federal Supply Schedule Contract. The GSA Federal Supply Schedule Contract contains both clause 52.222-41 and Clause 52.222-43. There was no audit indicating that the SCA did not apply. I think this is an important reminder that the "contract" include not only the provisions printed as part of the BPA or BPA call, but also the clause
  10. I most respectfully disagree with your legal analysis. An IDIQ contract with a minimum guarantee is a contract under which the parties agree that future orders may be placed at specified pricing under agreed upon terms and conditions. If an IDIQ contract includes the right of the government to unilaterally exercise options to extend the ordering period, the right to exercise those options is part of the initial contract supported by the minimum guarantee consideration. There is no need to to provide additional consideration at the time of exercise of any option to extend the ordering period
  11. I have read with interest the GAO denial on 12/14/2011 of the protest filed by HP Enterprise Services and the subsequent action by the Court of Federal Claims to essentially reverse that GAO decision (granting the plaintiff a judgment on the record and enjoining the Air Force from proceeding with the award of a TO under a GSA schedule contract). At issue was the statement by the Air Force, in response to a contractor's question, that "In order to be eligible for award the Contractor's GSA Schedule contract has to still be in an active period by the time the option to extend the term of the pro
  12. Probably more of a "quote of the day" than a "quote of the month," but the following recommendation from the GAO's February 2012 report on DOD Financial Management resonated with me: Direct the Secretary of the Air Force to improve training for DEAMS users by providing training on actual job processes in a manner that allows users to understand how the new processes support their job responsibilities and the work they are expected to perform. The quote resonates with me not because of any particular concern about Air Force training nor training specifically about DEAMS, but that so much gove
  13. Hi Govt2310. Just want to put in my two cents about your question in case it helps anyone to understand the issue. Legislation enacted by Congress is initially contained in the Statutes at Large. These are compilations of enacted statutes organized by date of enactment. Recodification is the process of taking the laws and arranging them by subject matter and incorporating them into the United States Code (U.S.C.). During recodification there can be amendments and corrections to remove ambiguities, contradictions, and other imperfections, but none of these changes are intended to make any
  14. I am now with a non-FAR activity, so I should be more careful when I respond so as not to mislead folks. Our regulations allow for a a funded "Blanket Delivery Order" to be issued against a BPA. That is what I was thinking of, but it is not really a "funded BPA" so it was misleading for me to say that. And I don't even know if FAR contemplates issuance of these type of "Blanket Delivery Orders" so I withdraw that part of my suggestion. Thanks Don!
  15. It appears that what you actually propose is to place an order against a GSA schedule contract, rather than issue a purchase order or new contract, but I'm not quite clear on that point. If what you are trying to accomplish is to get better pricing for a GSA order by grouping your annual purchases of a service, you might consider issuing a BPA against the schedule contract and either funding each individual BPA call (in which case you wouldn't end up with excess funds) or issuing a funded BPA, and then deobligating excess funding when you get to the end of the year. Reading into your question,
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