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Everything posted by cds

  1. I haven't studied it in depth either, but one thing that did happen around that timeframe, was a change in Administration. As a result numerous labor regulations were put on hold. One that was very close to becoming a reality was for each contacting agency to have a Labor Advisor resident in the office. Someone, who would be there to promote fair labor practices, and investigate unfair practices or complaints. This position was going to serve in a similar capacity as the Small Business Specialist. The only difference is they would advocate Labor laws. Time will tell, if they ever get resurrected.
  2. Not sure exactly the day when I discovered WIFCON, but it had to be around 1998/1999 time frame. Which makes me a long time user, but sorry to say, not much of a contributor. I must say that I am a huge fan and have recommended this site to anyone that will listen, or that seems interested in expanding their government contracts knowledge. It is hard to believe that one man developed this site, and keeps it updated, singlehandedly. It is by far (no pun intended) the best "Go to" contracting information site available, anywhere. It is vastly superior to any agency site that I've seen. This site is a one stop shopping kind of place, and I for one am grateful it exists. However, I'm not going to lie, when Vern Edwards stopped participating it was a very sad day, as the WIFCON site lost the benefits of one of the best minds in the business. I am glad that a lot of his material still exists in the archives. Bob, thank-you for all you do and have done. You should be very proud!
  3. Remember this is for the VA, and they have some very firm operating instructions pertaining to SDVOSB's as handed down by the Supreme Court. I hope one of two interested SDVOSB's isn't Kingdonware.
  4. I read it, and the purpose was clear to me. It served as a warning to any contractor accepting an OTA, that many of the trip wires for liability and assignment of risk are still way more slanted in the government's favor than a standard business to business dealing under the Uniform Commercial Code.
  5. You can always ask, but you may not always receive. It's totally up to your supervisor and upper management. You will need them to support it. It's always better to bring something to the table when you have that discussion with your supervisor, and it sounds like you are prepared. Nothing wrong with letting them know you have had other offers, too. Little known fun fact, the only time to negotiate more than one step increase is when you are first hired into civil service. HR always offers whatever grade, step 1. However you are free to state that you will only accept the position at anything between the step 2, or higher all the way up to step 10 level. Unfortunately most new hires are not aware of this fact, and you only get one bite at that apple.
  6. No rules go final until the Office of Information Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) say it goes final. If a policy or new rule doesn't track with the current administration's agenda then it doesn't get published. Elections matter.
  7. This is an over simplification, but I believe one of the purposes of the OIRA review is to ensure that new policies track with current administration objectives. If they are not deemed consistent with the Administration objectives or polices they don't get published as a final rule.
  8. It is not uncommon for military bases to contract out for carnivals. They are usually written as concessionaire contracts with a split of the profits going back into Morale, Welfare, and Recreation activities.
  9. Charge companies for frivolous protests Limit a companies ability to protest to only one venue. Either GAO or COFC, but they should not be allowed to do both. If you pick the right Source Selection team members (doers) keep the team small (easy to keep track of and focused), trained them (smart better than experience) keep your factors to a couple, there isn't any reason why you can't do a source selection in well under a year, no matter how big a dollar value your action.
  10. I can tell by your posts that you will be just fine no matter what decision you make. There are no shortages of job opportunities in this career field. The biggest decision you will have to make is just picking where you want to live. You will then be able to target your job search there. This will be true now or five years from now. Good luck to you!
  11. This should come as no surprise to anyone, but there are two worlds in military contracting, the "haves" and the "have nots". I have worked in every type of contracting office imaginable. From deployed operational units to DC. Guess which one is flush? At the operation level, I have been a party to pulling staples from contract folders just to be able to reuse the folders. I too, have been buying personal office supply items for years. I've been in deployed environments, where military and government civilians had to share old beat-up Toyota Rhino's to get around, while support contractors buzzed by in plush brand new Suburban's. Having said all that, I've always managed to get what I needed and enjoyed the moral high ground conserving government funds. As for the credit card access, yes it is available, but it is tiring having to justify to several individuals, why you need a note tablet, when it is so much easier to buy it with your personal funds.
  12. This story reminds me of another blunder by an Army General, when General Shinseki ordered the black berets for the Army. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/army-demotes-its-black-berets/2011/06/15/AG9nfRWH_story.html
  13. Is the requirement really for it to work under salt water and use waterproof cartridges? You may be joking but your point is valid. The procurement process gets a bad reputation for taking too long, but if you peel back the onion a lot of times it comes down to ridiculous specifications pushing the edges of technology, perhaps the new weapon calls for it to use a smart cartridge that will go around corner's, too. So the General should look first at the requirement writers before blasting the entire procurement process. A little off topic, but my father a WWII vet, tells the story of preparing to ship out without a revolver, his squadron commander bought every one of his troops a revolver with his own money before they deployed. None of his men were going without a side arm. That 38 is still in the family today, and is pretty darn accurate. Where are those leaders today??
  14. 1. No, in my organization (Special Operations), we live in this world. Our Acquisition Executive preaches this stuff. If you are not coming up with new and innovative ways to get things to the warfighter faster, then you are not trying hard enough. We have many groups, not just one where innovation is not only welcomed but openly encouraged. 2. Yes, see above. 3. It is easier to be on automation, but in our organization, being human is encouraged. Obviously, there are numerous laws, statutes, regulations to comply with, and we do, but it doesn't change our mindset to support the warfighter. 4. We go to great lengths to do auditable, repeatable, and defendable acquisitions, and do not fear protests. I never understand why companies do protest, but that is another thread. Before you think this place is contracting nirvana, we have our failures, but not from lacking of trying.
  15. Regrettably, you are fighting a losing battle. It is an age old problem, the contractor and his employees' union representatives negotiate the CBA. The Government Agency (bill payer) is not even allowed at the table, once the CBA is negotiated, the rates get incorporated into the contract. The cognizant Government agency has to pony up the funds. End of story. BTW, it won't matter what vendor you select, the CBA will be binding on them, too. Also, makes no difference on what rates you negotiate when you award the contract, if a new CBA gets accomplished you will be modifying your contract to incorporate the new rates. Please keep us posted on the outcome.
  16. I just left the Supreme Court, fascinating to hear the Chief Justice's discuss the meaning of "shall" and questioning why agencies don't use more of the Federal Supply Schedules.
  17. I would definitely keep the SBA apprised of your actions and intentions. I have had good and bad experiences with workshops from Ability One, NIB, and NISH contractors. My only advice to you is don't rush into it, do your due diligence. Ask all your questions and make sure you are satisfied that the workshop will completely meet your needs and be able to satisfy your requirement before agreeing to have it put on the Procurement List. Visit the principles and ask the tough questions, because once your requirement gets put on the Procurement List, it is nearly impossible to remove it and go back out and compete with regular SB firms. I think this is where the Adverse Impact determination would come in. Also, recognize it may take more contract administration effort to ensure you are getting what you are paying for. However, having said that, it can be very rewarding,too as I have seen some of the most appreciative employees on NIB/NISH projects who are very happy to have the opportunity to be working and will bend over backwards to provide customer service.
  18. Yes, but if you have already meet the minimum, just don't issue them anymore orders. Once the minimum is met you aren't any legal obligation to continue to use it.
  19. All I can say is, good thing back in the day we didn't have the requirement to publish the J&A's we used to justify buying IBM typewriters vs. Olivetti typewriters. The Olivetti's were lots cheaper but all the secretaries liked the IBM better. There were many a creative (laughable)justification written to justify the expense of paying more for the IBM. Plus we all know what happened after the first Commander's secretary got an IBM approved. Next thing, every other secretary on the installation had to have an IBM, too. My only point is, this is not remotely the first poorly written J&A and certainly is not the last one that will be written. We will tire from critiquing lousy J&A's long before we see any measurable improvement in the quality of them.
  20. Canjuncharlie, "Here in Riyadh, I know what it means.." is way too philosophical for this forum. Stay safe.
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