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  1. Acknowledged, the GAO decision on Walker Development... cites their own Kingdomware decision from 2011. However, since the Supreme Court heard the case in 2016 and provided a judgment (https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/15pdf/14-916_6j37.pdf), the VA immediately changed it's internal rules significantly (effective June 16, 2016), namely establishing that VA contracting officer's in complying with 38 USC 8127 must satisfy rule of two requirements for set-asides; specifically when ordering on Schedule. However, to not take this discussion too far off topic, the principles behind what is allow
  2. Great discussion all around. The GAO decision http://www.wifcon.com/cgen/407113.pdf is a good read, which establishes some principles to follow for conducting sophisticated market research. To your question ji20874, regarding set-aside applicability, the passage of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (i.e. section 1331) makes the set-aside of task orders on Schedule permissible to those programs listed at FAR 19.000(3) https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2012-01-12/pdf/2012-455.pdf. Albeit, for the purpose of this discuss I was more concerned with the principle behind conducting market
  3. Given the requirement in accordance with FAR 19.203(d)(1) that market research be used to "determine if there are socioeconomic firms capable of satisfying the agency's requirements, in addition to meeting the "reasonable expectation that offers will be obtained from at least two responsible small business concerns" prior to making a set-aside determination; is there utility in conducting a past performance level of confidence assessment during the market research stage; to make the reasonable expectation determination, that potential bidders can satisfy agency requirements, and in so doing co
  4. So I received an advisory opinion from OGC Procurement Law Group today (OGC Ethics Group opinion pending as well). Below is a synopsis of their response to my three main questions as follows: 1. Is there precedent permitting the PM to make such a referral? Answer was No, with references to FAR 3.101-1, 5 CFR §§2635.502 and 2635.702. Essentially, by the PM making the referral it would be viewed as influencing the contractor to provide preferential treatment to the friend of the Government employee for their financial gain, and additionally, due to the PM also being a benefactor of the
  5. I appreciate all the feedback. Having come from a contracting office to now working in a program office, and seeing the various goings-on first hand, has been quite the education for me. To provide added perspective - the contract in play includes optional labor hour CLINs for a Lean Six Sigma specialist. The program manager knows a guy, recently retired from active duty, that he is wanting to refer to the incumbent for employment. Once the optional CLIN is exercised, the hope is, that the incumbent will be able to hire the specialist they received on referral. There may well be nothing inhere
  6. Given the title of this post what, if anything is wrong with this scenario? Is there precedent whereby the Government, seeking to acquire a specific skill, is permitted to headhunt a resume from someone they know and to farm it out to one of their existing incumbent contracts; intending for them to be hired and to work in support of the Governments requirement under contract? What are the specific violations that would apply? What is an appropriate alternative? Looking for GAO, court rulings, FAR, statute etc.
  7. Thanks all, FAR 9.505-2(a)(1)(ii) appears to speak directly to the subject at hand. Specifically, "the rule" prohibiting a contractor who prepares or furnishes "complete specifications" from also performing them; offers an exception whereby this rule shall not apply to- "Situations in which contractors, acting as industry representatives, help Government agencies prepare, refine, or coordinate specifications, regardless of source, provided this assistance is supervised and controlled by Government representatives."
  8. I once found a reference that cited parameters whereby contractors could be allowed to contribute to defining a Government requirement (now nowhere to be found). Does anyone know of citations dealing with this topic and the rules that apply? How would this effect the Governments ability to conduct a meaningful industry workshop, for the purpose of helping define a future requirement, and still allow participants to be able to compete afterward?
  9. Thanks for all the valuable input. The next move I intended was to ask for an updated OGC opinion on the matter. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something obvious before I went to them.
  10. My initial question was exactly that, maybe when the statute was written, personal services meant something else. I sought out in-kind statutes and compared 10 U.S.C. 1091 "Personal Services Contracts", and what I found is that this related statute was amended by P.L. 103-160 NDAA 1993 to add the term personal services. The subject statute (38 U.S.C. 513) became law in 1991, so there is certainly sometime in between the two, where the definition of personal services could have still been evolving. In an effort to find a harmonious interpretation of these two statutes I went back to FAR 37.101
  11. 38 U.S.C. 513 "Contracts and Personal Services" "The Secretary may, for purposes of all laws administered by the Department, accept uncompensated services, and enter into contracts or agreements with private or public agencies or persons (including contracts for services of translators without regard to any other law), for such necessary services (including personal services) as the Secretary may consider practicable." General Counsel has held that the plain language of the statute above did not intend to authorize issuance of a contract for any service that creates an employer-employee relati
  12. I do believe that covers it. Guess I got hung up searching for the specific term "product prequalification". Appreciate the help.
  13. Specifically, with regard to FAR 19.705-2(B )(2), when making the subject determination; "[w]hether there are likely to be product prequalification requirements" is listed as a relevant factor to be considered. The only reference to product prequalifications I've been able to find is in DFARS PGI 217.75 "Acquisition of Replenishment Parts" at subsection 1-103.25 Qualifications as follows - Any action (contractual or precontractual) that results in approval for a firm to supply items to the Government without further testing beyond quality assurance demonstrations incident to acceptance of
  14. Thanks ji20874 and Vern for the examples, I really appreciate it. To answer Joel's question, we do issue fully burdened labor rates as you have illustrated. Also, thanks to Martin for citing that FAR reference. Respectfully,
  15. I concur, I would fully intend on it being a straight forward approach. I'm not looking to recreate the wheel, just some ideas or examples of what others might have done. I've always heard $500 thrown around which seems randon at best.
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