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  1. I'm definitely concerned about the appearance of potential issues that arises by opening before the closing - which is why I generally say except in rare cases don't open until the closing date. And I also agree with ji20874, I wouldn't have any exchanges until after the closing.
  2. While in most cases (maybe all) I don't think it is good practice to open before closing (and as I noted it's office practice not to do so), and I agree with all the reasons Joel lists above. So I'm not saying it's something we SHOULD do, I'm just trying to determine if we MAY do it. In some cases one reason as noted above would be to get a jump start on past performance or other labor intensive evaluation process issues on urgent projects. So, I'm really looking for specific regs, laws, cases, etc., that says we can't do it, because as we know, unless prohibited in some way we can do things if they make good business sense per FAR 1.102-4(e): (e) The FAR outlines procurement policies and procedures that are used by members of the Acquisition Team. If a policy or procedure, or a particular strategy or practice, is in the best interest of the Government and is not specifically addressed in the FAR, nor prohibited by law (statute or case law), Executive order or other regulation, Government members of the Team should not assume it is prohibited. Rather, absence of direction should be interpreted as permitting the Team to innovate and use sound business judgment that is otherwise consistent with law and within the limits of their authority. Contracting officers should take the lead in encouraging business process innovations and ensuring that business decisions are sound.
  3. Maybe I'm just missing it, but I can't find in the FAR or any case law that says when a Contracting Officer can open a proposal submitted in response to an RFP. Our office practice has always been that you don't open proposals until after the closing date, but is there a specific policy/case-law that dictates that a proposal can't be opened before the closing date? Thanks for any input you can provide! Mike
  4. Thanks - our conclusion too was that we can't waive the requirement. Thanks for everyone's time in responding.
  5. I question if you can remove it - without researching further, I would say you can't, because the prescription states that clause is to be inserted when the contract is EXPECTED to exceed $150,000. See 28.102-3(a) below. The fact the bid came in under $150K doesn't change the expected cost, and since some form of payment protection is still required, how much money would be saved? It might not be worth the work to modify and negotiate the change. However, interesting the clause already addresses contracts coming in under at $150K or less. 52.228-15 However, it doesn't say what to do in such a situation - and for construction between $35K and $150K alternative payment protection is required. Did your IFB include 52.228-13 Alternative Payment Protection? If not (and I'm guessing not given your GCE) it's a very interesting issue since the above quoted part of -15 has the "unless the resulting contract price is $150K or less, but doesn't then require -13. 28.102-3 Contract clauses. (a) Insert a clause substantially the same as the clause at 52.228-15, Performance and Payment Bonds—Construction, in solicitations and contracts for construction that contain a requirement for performance and payment bonds if the resultant contract is expected to exceed $150,000.
  6. First there will have to be a huge investment in the IT budget. We still don't even have an electronic offer system in my service - to go to full AI it will take that and a LOT more. The biggest hurdle would be on best value tradeoff decisions, but there's ways (some for better, some for worse) you could automate that as well.
  7. Right, just some some form of payment protection. I was hoping to find a waiver to ANY form of payment protection for work between $35-150K.
  8. I'm looking for a way to waive the payment protection requirement required in 28.102-1(b), for work at a domestic, government-owned property. We have emergency repairs needed and don't want to delay the work waiting for a contractor to get payment protection (although I know in many cases a payment bond might take only 1-3 days to get, we want to streamline this as much as possible). Since I've posted the above, my legal counsel has said they have found no way to waive this requirement. I'm hoping someone might be able to say otherwise.
  9. Does anyone know if there is a waiver process to the payment protection requirements in 28.102-1(b) (please see below). 28.102-1(a) references a waiver option, but (b) doesn't appear to, but given the small dollar amount I find it hard to believe there isn't one. I'm still researching this and my legal office is my next stop, but was hoping someone here might have a quick answer - thanks!!! Mike 28.102-1 General. (a) 40 U.S.C. chapter 31, subchapter III, Bonds (formerly known as the Miller Act), requires performance and payment bonds for any construction contract exceeding $150,000, except that this requirement may be waived— (1) By the contracting officer for as much of the work as is to be performed in a foreign country upon finding that it is impracticable for the contractor to furnish such bond; or (2) As otherwise authorized by the Bonds statute or other law. (b)(1) Pursuant to 40 U.S.C. 3132, for construction contracts greater than $35,000, but not greater than $150,000, the contracting officer shall select two or more of the following payment protections, giving particular consideration to inclusion of an irrevocable letter of credit as one of the selected alternatives:
  10. Bob - I missed this post last year, so Happy 16th to Wifcon! Thank you VERY much for running this site - I echo what has been said above, this site is invaluable to the federal contracting community.
  11. We are having a similar discussion in my agency right now, and I find that a common point of confusion is the difference between SOLICITING without funds being currently available, and AWARDING without funds being currently available. 52.232-18 applies to contracts awarded without funds being available, not a solicitation being issued without funds being available. I'm not aware of anything that prohibits issuing a solicitation without funds being available. I know it is not preferred, but as long as you put potential offerors on notice that funds are not currently available, and the solicitation may be cancelled without an award, I don't see how that is prohibited. If someone is aware of a law, reg, or court decision that says otherwise please let me know as this is a hot topic. Thanks!
  12. More Guns, Less Crime by John Lott, Jr. (3rd Edition) An excellent statistical analysis of various gun laws, both restrictive and permissive, and their resultant impact on crime.
  13. One of the areas you should consider is "whether the change could have been anticipated by offerors." ("Administration of Government Contracts," 4th Ed, page 386.)
  14. I was at the Nash & Cibinic Report Roundtable a couple of weeks ago and one of the presenters (I believe it was Marcia Madsen, but it may have been someone else) mentioned that there was a recent surprising court decision regarding conflict of interest with a major defense contractor, and that the decision was surprising because the contractor was speaking to the Government as an industry rep, but apparently that was the only contractor the Gov did market research with and the court concluded that the contractor was prohibited from competing on the procurement they gave comments on. I may have the facts off a little on this, but does that ring a bell for anyone? If so, would you be able to provide the name of the court case? Thanks in advance! Mike
  15. Just so you know, in the opinion of many GAO is off-base on their "BPA is not a contract" when that BPA is done against a GSA Schedule. See this discussion here: http://www.wifcon.com/discussion/index.php...pic=258&hl=
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