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BZMANINTEXAS

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Everything posted by BZMANINTEXAS

  1. Late to the party it seems...but general thoughts @RFS2015 - Just because the FAR doesn't state something doesn't make it "illegal or impractical" - If there is an agreement between the Prime and Gov - in this scenario, I would just ask that the Prime provide you a copy of a written statement (or email) from the Gov CO that outlines the policy. If they are unwilling to give you that, then you need to weigh the risk (as you have stated above) of training cost vs your staff. Is the training beneficial, will it increase your staff quality, efficiency, potential to raise your rates to other contractors, potentially allowing a greater return on your investment (staff) in other areas? Note: I do not believe it would be illegal for you to have your staff sign an education agreement that states if they leave or are fired (for cause) within 1-year from training that they have to reimburse the training cost. I have worked at more than one company that had education requirements that required reimbursement of education costs and some were longer than a year, it all depended on the training.
  2. Federated Funding

    Does anyone have a good definition or can briefly describe to me what it means to be in a federated funding environment? I believe this is how HHS and some other Agencies describe their environments, but I am under the assumption that it's not the normal annual appropriation. I'm really trying to find info to get a clear understanding of what that means and how it impacts their acquisition activity.
  3. Federated Funding

    yeah, thinking it may relate more to how they manage HHS and all of its sub-departments under the big umbrella. Funding for them is annual appropriations, so I think the individual (non acquisition) is misinterpreting the terminology. (imagine that)
  4. I agree as well that HUBZones are all SB's but not necessarily SDB's - - per the HUBZone Empowerment (Public Law 105-135). The HUBZone Empowerment Contracting Program, which is included in the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997, stimulates economic development and creates jobs in urban and rural communities by providing contracting preferences to small businesses that are located in HUBZones and hire employees who live in HUBZones. https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/small_business.pdf To qualify as a HUBZone, a business must meet the following criteria: It must be a small business by SBA size standards;Its principal office must be located within a HUBZone, which includes lands on federally recognized Indian reservations;It must be owned and controlled by one or more U.S. citizens. Approved ownership can also be by a Community Development Corporation or Indian tribe; andAt least 35% of its employees must reside in a HUBZone.The SBA must certify small businesses that want to claim HUBZone status. HUBZone businesses are eligible to receive sole-source or set-aside contracts, or receive a price preference up to 10% when competing for full and open competition procurements.
  5. I would be interested if anyone saw this proposed rule when posted and commented as to it potential impact on the Prime and Subcontractor reporting needs. For one I think it lacks a defined definition of "services" and when I reviewed the CMRA website it would appear that subcontractors would have to have registered within SAM in order to report, which I think brings another issue into account as many "subs" don't want to be primes and as such do not wish to be registered in various government databases. https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/06/05/2014-12810/defense-federal-acquisition-regulation-supplement-service-contract-reporting-dfars-case-2012-d051 Any thoughts on what this may do to the reporting burden of an already burdensome environment for contractors? For reference: CMRA website - https://afcmra.hqda.pentagon.mil
  6. In addition the reference to 18 U.S.C. 202 within 3.601-b " For the purpose of sections 203, 205, 207, 208, and 209 of this title the term “special Government employee” shall mean an officer or employee of the executive or legislative branch of the United States Government..." there is no reference to any state or local government
  7. Have you presented your case to the CO for consideration of raising that specific labor rate? If not, why not?
  8. 3.601 (b For purposes of this subpart, special Government employees (as defined in 18 U.S.C. 202) performing services as experts, advisors, or consultants, or as members of advisory committees, are not considered Government employees unless— (1) The contract arises directly out of the individual’s activity as a special Government employee (2) In the individual’s capacity as a special Government employee, the individual is in a position to influence the award of the contract; or (3) Another conflict of interest is determined to exist. 18 U.S.C. 202 "definition" (a) For the purpose of sections 203, 205, 207, 208, and 209 of this title the term “special Government employee” shall mean an officer or employee of the executive or legislative branch of the United States Government, of any independent agency of the United States or of the District of Columbia, who is retained, designated, appointed, or employed to perform, with or without compensation, for not to exceed one hundred and thirty days during any period of three hundred and sixty-five consecutive days, temporary duties either on a full-time or intermittent basis, a part-time United States commissioner, a part-time United States magistrate judge, or, regardless of the number of days of appointment, an independent counsel appointed under chapter 40 of title 28 and any person appointed by that independent counsel under section 594© of title 28. Notwithstanding the next preceding sentence, every person serving as a part-time local representative of a Member of Congress in the Member's home district or State shall be classified as a special Government employee. Notwithstanding section 29© and (d) 1 of the Act of August 10, 1956 (70A Stat. 632; 5 U.S.C. 30r© and (d)), a Reserve officer of the Armed Forces, or an officer of the National Guard of the United States, unless otherwise an officer or employee of the United States, shall be classified as a special Government employee while on active duty solely for training. A Reserve officer of the Armed Forces or an officer of the National Guard of the United States who is voluntarily serving a period of extended active duty in excess of one hundred and thirty days shall be classified as an officer of the United States within the meaning of section 203 and sections 205 through 209 and 218. A Reserve officer of the Armed Forces or an officer of the National Guard of the United States who is serving involuntarily shall be classified as a special Government employee. The terms “officer or employee” and “special Government employee” as used in sections 203, 205, 207 through 209, and 218, shall not include enlisted members of the Armed Forces. ( For the purposes of sections 205 and 207 of this title, the term “official responsibility” means the direct administrative or operating authority, whether intermediate or final, and either exercisable alone or with others, and either personally or through subordinates, to approve, disapprove, or otherwise direct Government action. © Except as otherwise provided in such sections, the terms “officer” and “employee” in sections 203, 205, 207 through 209, and 218 of this title shall not include the President, the Vice President, a Member of Congress, or a Federal judge. (d) The term “Member of Congress” in sections 204 and 207 means— (1) a United States Senator; and (2) a Representative in, or a Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the House of Representatives.
  9. Cost Plus Fixed Fee - Fee Pool

    Concur with Joel - - Mayo - - as to "Fee pool" - - are you sure you don't have a Cost Plus Award Fee type of contract? There is not a "fee pool" in a CPFF contract action. If the action were to be a CPFF task/delivery order under an IDIQ/Requirements scenario, the "Fixed Fee" would also depend on LOE or Term scenario of the task order as to potential reduction as well, wouldn't it.
  10. 52.216-8 Fee Withholding Question

    I ran across this old blog from Apogee Consulting - - even quotes the great "Don Acquisition" concerning Fee Withholding and related rulings by the ASBCA http://apogeeconsulting.biz/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=583:what-is-the-contract-value-of-an-idiq-type-contract&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=55
  11. Internal Contracting Curriculum

    What is your local NCMA chapter doing on a monthly basis? If they are giving training and your whole office is not going or does not belong to NCMA, then you could potentially get valuable materials from them to present.
  12. 52.216-8 Fee Withholding Question

    In the June 2011 version it states " Payment of the fixed fee shall be made as specified in the Schedule; provided that the Contracting Officer withholds a reserve not to exceed 15 percent of the total fixed fee or $100,000, whichever is less, to protect the Government’s interest." To me, it would appear to mean that the CO is obligated to withhold some type of reserve (.01 - 15% but no more than $100k) to protect the Government's interest, even if it is a fraction of a percent. If they choose to not withhold, I would assume some type of determination is in the file as to why they feel there is no risk. That said, I think it is on the CO to either reduce the Fixed-Fee invoiced and state as to why the payment has been reduced, or give direction prior to billing on the contract that "x%" of Fixed-Fee is being withheld until the final audits and the contractor can only bill for fixed fee (minus withhold) during the term.
  13. Who Would You Rather Have As A CO? Vern or Don?

    I'd take them both and let them work part time together.
  14. Per DFAR the CO may use an alternate approach in two areas 1) Nonprofit 215.404-72 Modified weighted guidelines method for nonprofit organizations other than FFRDCs. or 2) see below - - I would imagine it would be at least one level above the CO for use of non-standard approach, but I am not in the DOD world as a civilian or military CO anymore. 215.404-73 Alternate structured approaches. (a) The contracting officer may use an alternate structured approach under 215.404-4(c ). (B ) The contracting officer may design the structure of the alternate, but it shall include— (1) Consideration of the three basic components of profit--performance risk, contract type risk (including working capital), and facilities capital employed. However, the contracting officer is not required to complete Blocks 21 through 30 of the DD Form 1547. (2) Offset for facilities capital cost of money. (i) The contracting officer shall reduce the overall prenegotiation profit objective by the amount of facilities capital cost of money under Cost Accounting Standard (CAS) 414, Cost of Money as an Element of the Cost of Facilities Capital (48 CFR 9904.414). Cost of money under CAS 417, Cost of Money as an Element of the Cost of Capital Assets Under Construction (48 CFR 9904.417), should not be used to reduce the overall prenegotiation profit objective. The profit amount in the negotiation summary of the DD Form 1547 must be net of the offset. (ii) This adjustment is needed for the following reason: The values of the profit factors used in the weighted guidelines method were adjusted to recognize the shift in facilities capital cost of money from an element of profit to an element of contract cost (see FAR 31.205-10) and reductions were made directly to the profit factors for performance risk. In order to ensure that this policy is applied to all DoD contracts that allow facilities capital cost of money, similar adjustments shall be made to contracts that use alternate structured approaches.
  15. Question related to SBA small business designation and "sole proprietor" small business of "1": Not to confuse the SBA guidance with anything else, but when thinking of independent contractors vs. small business, companies that are larger than 50-employees also have to weigh in "Obamacare" into that equation, don't they? As it sits right now, any person working 30-hours or more is considered a full time employee and has to be offered benefits, therefore they couldn't be counted as an "Independent Contractor" anymore even if they were brought on to do some short term consulting or could they? I would think there are many businesses that hover around 50-people, that bring in seasonal or experts for a specific job that are normally "sole proprietors" of a small business and if they do not have any other staff, are they counted as a "full timer" against the hiring company or is there a legal way to keep them counted as a small business?
  16. I agree with both Vern and Joel as to a "non-violation" - - however from my view the "obvious" reason a contractor would not want to entertain this type of agreement is because of "profit" and what the contractor has a potential to make. If you think the market is so "stable" that your concerns can be met on all the areas "during the negotiations" in this environment, then why would you not press negotiating "fixed-price" task orders? Just wondering - - but not knowing what type of service it may not be a viable path.
  17. Wouldn't establishing a cost contract with a pre-determined fixed-fee percentage be a cost plus percentage of cost contract? or will the fee truly be fixed upon issuance of the task order no matter what final costs are at completion of LOE or Term? 16.102 Policies. (a) Contracts resulting from sealed bidding shall be firm-fixed-price contracts or fixed-price contracts with economic price adjustment. (B ) Contracts negotiated under Part 15 may be of any type or combination of types that will promote the Government’s interest, except as restricted in this part (see 10 U.S.C. 2306(a) and 41 U.S.C. 254(a)). Contract types not described in this regulation shall not be used, except as a deviation under Subpart 1.4. (c ) The cost-plus-a-percentage-of-cost system of contracting shall not be used (see 10 U.S.C. 2306(a) and 41 U.S.C. 254(B )). Prime contracts (including letter contracts) other than firm-fixed-price contracts shall, by an appropriate clause, prohibit cost-plus-a-percentage-of-cost subcontracts (see clauses prescribed in Subpart 44.2 for cost-reimbursement contracts and Subparts 16.2 and 16.4 for fixed-price contracts). (d) No contract may be awarded before the execution of any determination and findings (D&F’s) required by this part. Minimum requirements for the content of D&F’s required by this part are specified in 1.704.
  18. The Governments use of "weighted guidelines" in the standard approach is to develop a negotiating position, not set a fixed fee percentage for profit to be used throughout a contract. Fixed fee is just that, Fixed no matter what the final cost actually turns out to be (absent of any subsequent modification). The actual profit earned may be more or less than what the Governments weighted guideline negotiated percentage was based on actual cost. In addition, setting a fixed percentage fee, who is the Government to say what risks the contractor has from task order to task order? Anticipated vendors, market conditions, material costs, etc. - - there are a myriad of risks that can change after signing a contract, setting a fixed-fee percentage is even a risk. What is the purpose of such a contract? What type of service does the Government propose to do this on?
  19. Bear with me, while I round out the specific clauses and get to my point/opinion..... Since the "Pass Through" clauses are in the contract, albeit by a CO who want to apparently "exert" their right to insert a clause because the FAR says they "can" - - sure would like to see the documentation on why they feel it is that important.... Within your proposal you are required per 52.215-22 to: 1.Identify in its proposal the total cost of the work to be performed by the offeror, and the total cost of the work to be performed by each subcontractor, under the contract, task order, or delivery order. 2. Identify any subcontract more than 70 percent of the total cost of work to be performed under the contract, task order, or delivery order, to include the proposed amount of the offeror’s indirect costs and profit/fee applicable to the work to be performed by the subcontractor(s); and(ii) A description of the added value provided by the offeror as related to the work to be performed by the subcontractor(s). Additionally, If any subcontractor proposed under the contract, task order, or delivery order intends to subcontract to a lower-tier subcontractor more than 70 percent of the total cost of work to be performed under its subcontract, the offeror shall identify in its proposal the same information for the work to be performed by the lower-tier subcontractor(s). So before we get to 52.215-23, you are clearly, within your proposal explaining to them what you intend to make on your subcontractor based on the proposed cost and explicitly stating what your added value to the contract is. So the CO is clear on your intent, I feel this is very important. Now with 52.215-23, Limitations on Pass-through charges, the key words related to the above are: “Added value” means that the Contractor performs subcontract management functions that the Contracting Officer determines are a benefit to the Government (e.g., processing orders of parts or services, maintaining inventory, reducing delivery lead times, managing multiple sources for contract requirements, coordinating deliveries, performing quality assurance functions). “Excessive pass-through charge”, with respect to a Contractor or subcontractor that adds no or negligible value to a contract or subcontract, means a charge to the Government by the Contractor or subcontractor that is for indirect costs or profit/fee on work performed by a subcontractor (other than charges for the costs of managing subcontracts and any applicable indirect costs and associated profit/fee based on such costs). “No or negligible value” means the Contractor or subcontractor cannot demonstrate to the Contracting Officer that its effort added value to the contract or subcontract in accomplishing the work performed under the contract (including task or delivery orders) And it states in "General" The Government will not pay excessive pass-through charges. The Contracting Officer shall determine if excessive pass-through charges exist So to my final point.. If you clearly state within your proposal all applicable subcontract cost, especially those related to the "70%" or more items, outline your profit/OH detail, the CO MUST make a determination as to the whether or not the pass through charges exist. If they make the award of a FFP contract for services as proposed without mention of issues with your proposed subcontract cost, in my opinion they have approved and stated that "No pass through charges" exist and as such all costs are allowable. I feel this would be the same as to any FFP modification proposed, negotiated and awarded. The key is to show your "added value" and why your costs associated to the subcontracting management roles is invaluable to the cost proposed.
  20. All Time Favorites

    1. What is your all time favorite book? The Dark Tower series (Stephen King) 2. What is your all time favorite song or album? Stevie Ray Vaughn's "Star Spangled Banner" or Pick an album from Johnny Cash cause they are all great 3. What is your all time favorite movie? Deerhunter 4. Poet: Robert Frost
  21. CMBOK (NCMA's Contract Management Body of Knowledge)

    I have recently requested through my employer as well, the last version I perused while studying for the CPCM was the 3rd edition. I belive the 4th edition was just released last summer as the NCMA has changed it's testing ciriculum and started using the 4th edition this January.
  22. Employee Daily Status

    If you are the COR, what does the contract state as far as operating procedures? It it a labor hour contract?
  23. Discussion Board

    Just checked - working here too.
  24. but ... "When fewer than three quotes are received from schedule contractors that can fulfill the requirement, the contracting officer shall prepare a written determination explaining that no additional contractors capable of fulfilling the requirement could be identified despite reasonable efforts to do so. The determination must clearly explain efforts made to obtain quotes from at least three schedule contractors." Therefore, if you advertise it on the proper schedule (if one exists) and do not receive three, you need to document your rationale to move forward with an award. @EFeinburg - - FedLink is another good source if viable to the buyer
  25. Out of curiosity - - are you talking WestLaw and/or Matthew Bender (dba Lexis Nexis) - - if so you may wish to view not only the GSA Schedules, but I believe one or both have existing agreements that allow use by other Agencies.
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