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Everything posted by uva383

  1. IMO the real question is, if the KO found the price to be reasonable, on what grounds did the auditor make their decision and what information did the auditors have that the KOs didn’t. I read the IG report but not reading the BCM or P/NM it’s hard to really see how the price was determined reasonable other than yeah this is what we paid last time and it’s in line, a little more, or a little less now than it was then… Yes, we all know we have an issue with Professionalism in the series and the training is less that stellar and many KOs just want to satisfy the PM and the incentive for the PM is to spend the money to get it off their books, which in itself is a perverse incentive. Until the goal is to not bankrupt yourself at the end of every FY and KOs take the approach that they are spending their own money rather than meet my milestone, award the thing and get the PM off my back, whatever congress passes won’t change the outcome. I guess congress could pass a law that gives them the ability to clawback money that someone determines, within a reasonable period, they overpaid for the items. But then again, who would do business with the Govt with such a clawback in the contract and who would determine whether or not the overpayment exists? Clearly the KO or the KO’s next level thought the price was fair because often the alternative is to get nothing, and in the SS environment the KTR has you over a barrel, but that exists in any environment, until new competitors enter the market and drive prices lower.
  2. OMB published a determiantion in the Federal Register this morning, Looks like it addresses the application of the EO to commercial contracts. Section 2 of Executive Order 14042 (“Executive Order 14042” or the “order”) requires that, before Federal contractors and subcontractors must adhere to any guidance from the Task Force, the Director of OMB must approve such guidance and determine that such guidance will promote economy and efficiency in Federal contracting if adhered to by Government contractors and subcontractors. The actions directed by the order will ensure that parties who contract with the Federal Government provide COVID-19 safeguards in workplaces with individuals working on or in connection with a Federal Government contract or contract-like instrument. Contract and contract-like instrument —has the meaning set forth in the Department of Labor's proposed rule, “Increasing the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors,” 86 FR 38816, 38887 (July 22, 2021). If the Department of Labor issues a final rule relating to that proposed rule, this term shall have the meaning set forth in that final rule. That proposed rule defines a contract or contract-like instrument as an agreement between two or more parties creating obligations that are enforceable or otherwise recognizable at law. This definition includes, but is not limited to, a mutually binding legal relationship obligating one party to furnish services (including construction) and another party to pay for them. The term contract includes all contracts and any subcontracts of any tier thereunder, whether negotiated or advertised, including any procurement actions, lease agreements, cooperative agreements, provider agreements, intergovernmental service agreements, service agreements, licenses, permits, or any other type of agreement, regardless of nomenclature, type, or particular form, and whether entered into verbally or in writing. The term contract shall be interpreted broadly as to include, but not be limited to, any contract within the definition provided in the FAR at 48 CFR chapter 1 or applicable Federal statutes. This definition includes, but is not limited to, any contract that may be covered under any Federal procurement statute. Contracts may be the result of competitive bidding or awarded to a single source under applicable authority to do so. In addition to bilateral instruments, contracts include, but are not limited to, awards and notices of awards; job orders or task letters issued under basic ordering agreements; letter contracts; orders, such as purchase orders, under which the contract becomes effective by written acceptance or performance; exercised contract options; and bilateral contract modifications. The term contract includes contracts covered by the Service Contract Act, contracts covered by the Davis-Bacon Act, concessions contracts not otherwise subject to the Service Contract Act, and contracts in connection with Federal property or land and related to offering services for Federal employees, their dependents, or the general public
  3. This is a good community of practice https://www.dau.edu/cop/ot/Pages/Default.aspx
  4. When using the agile methodology, I’ve done awards using the unit of “each” where each represents a sprint. You could also use each, and have it represent a minimum viable product. I’m working on an award using mVPs as the unit.
  5. There are other mechanisms which incentivize cost control. 1. The contractor’s ability to control costs in the form of cost control in the annual CPARS assessment as well as their ability to satisfactorily complete the work; 2. If the contractor exceeds the estimated cost, the government has the right to T4C If it cannot fund the increased cost.
  6. First look at the -42 clause in the existing/previous contract (if any). If the classifications are listed and appear to be correct, you may and only need to update the rate(s) to complete the clause. If there was no previous contract or if it appears that the classifications previously used were not correct use either of the following options: Option 1- if you know what classifications the incumbent contractor is using and those appear to be correct, refer to the SCA Directory of Occupations (5th Ed.) Occupational Index. This index will show the Federal Grade Equivalents (FGE) for the various labor classifications that the contractor is using. Since the functional customer would likely use similar classes if Federal employees performed the work, you may use these FGEs along with the classification titles from the SCA Directory. OR Option 2- ask your Civilian Personnel Office Classification Section to assist you in determining the Federal classification titles and grade levels. To figure out the hourly wage rate, using the Federal grade level, look up the applicable rate on the appropriate GS (white collar) or FWS (blue collar) rate schedule, as follows (FAR 22.1016😞 WG (wage board non-supervisory)- use Wage Grade Step 2 rate; WS/WL/WD/WN (wage board supervisory)- use Wage Grade Step 3 rate; GS (‘white-collar’)- General Schedule Step1 hourly rate; NF, AS, or PS- use Non-appropriated Fund (NAF) rate (no steps). I’ve found the Air Force SCA desk guide invaluable for SCA information. Link is below. https://ww3.safaq.hq.af.mil/Portals/63/documents/AFD-080711-078 (2).doc?ver=2016-08-10-105806-530
  7. Correct, as long as they do not conflict with the parent IDIQ. Often it is necessary to add additional terms and conditions at the TO/DO level as they are specific to the work in the order where the parent IDIQ was more broad in nature to allow flexibility. if the holder(s) of the parent IDIQ believe there is a conflict in the terms between the parent and an order. It should first point it out to the PCO, then if not resolved satisfactorily to the IDIQ ombudsman. It shouldn’t need to go higher than that to get the issue resolved, but if it does then a filing a protest may be necessary.
  8. Neil, I believe that 52.216-18(b) addresses your concerns about a change in an order that conflicts with a term in the parent IDIQ. MCP, see the same paragraph of the above referenced clause. Assuming this clause is in the IDIQ, it invokes all terms and conditions (including all clauses) in the parent IDIQ in all orders placed under the contract. Therefore you need not reference the same clauses in the resulting delivery order
  9. Oh ok misread that. Sps uses word as the text formatting. I would clear all the style formatting in the document and then set it how you want. To remove styles using the “Clear Formatting” command, select the text from which you want to remove the style. Then click the “More” button in the “Styles” button group of the “Home” tab in the Ribbon. Then choose the “Clear Formatting” command from the list of menu options
  10. Set the paragraphs setting to double space. Should work to add spacing. I have that issue every time they issue an update in SPS.
  11. I work in a Navy STRL contracting office and we do this all the time. we use an informational CLIN with prices SLINs to allocate hours by funding (WC, RDT&E, O&M, OPN, SCN, etc.) and work via Technical Instructions. We use a holding SLIN to hold the unallocated LOE and costs and then decrement this SLIN as TIs and funds are provided. We’ve had multiple DASN reviews and they haven’t taken exception to this approach.
  12. So I’ve been following this thread for some time and no one seems to have raised this aspect of potential unintended consequences. According to the DPAP memo, a company which is habitually late in complying with the 5 day sweep policy is exhibiting signs of a defective estimating system and may be grounds for review. many of the top DOD contractors have approved estimating systems, and in my experience, the presence of such a system usually positively affects management ratings in competitive proposals as well as cost realism adjustments. It seems as though a large contractor is stuck between the risk of missing something in its sweep and having to defend against a defective pricing claim, or possibly the loss of confidence in its estimating system which can be a competitive advantage in a competitive award. Given that many of these same companies have products and services they sole source to various DOD agencies while competing for other lines of business, this policy appears to be quite heavy handed to me. It’s almost like DPAP is threatening give me a certificate in five days or face possible downgrade of one of your business systems and thereby potentially lose future business.
  13. I would prefer to keep all three venues, but narrow the scope of what can be protested at each venue. I would also limit the number of supplemental protests that can be filed as its been my experience that protesters often file on one issue, and then through the use of supplemental protests either continue to file additional claims, no matter how outlandish with the hopes that the agency will relent and just take corrective action rather than continue to respond to additional supplemental protests. I would propose that for matters relating to the analysis of proposals or if an Offeror disagreed with how the agency handled its proposal individually, that it should be limited to protesting only to the agency. For matters where the agency was bias between multiple Offerors, GAO should be the venue, and for matters relating the agency's interpretation of statues, the COFC.
  14. In a multiple award idiq contract, is compliance with the vets 4212 reporting requirements of FAR 52.222-38 done at the idiq level at time of award and flow down to all orders or would an offeror need to represent in each order. Also would the PCO need to verify compliance with the VETS reporting prior to awarding each order?
  15. Does your contract have a level of effort (LOE) clause? Typically CPFF term type contracts have a clause that specifies how the fixed fee is handled when the full LOE is not delivered. If you don't have an LOE clause, how was the fee to be invoiced l? Based on a flat rate per hour delivered? As a percentage of the invoice? I would suggest you contact your PCO to determine what to do if your full LOE isn't going to be delivered.
  16. Matthew, Thank you for providing that information. Vern, I have reviewed all 8 comments currently present. I completely agree with the issue that this FAR rule attempts to address, KOs are risk adverse and do not communicate with Industry in an effective manner, nor do they know the rules when engaging with Industry prior to the issuance of an RFP. That being said, I completely disagree that we need an amendment to the FAR to address this issue, as Mr. Nash and you point out, many of my fellow KOs and Contract Specialists are unaware of the guidance that has already been put out which addresses and resolves many of the things that Industry states we already should be doing. Additionally, these same folks are unaware of the guidance already contained in FAR Parts 1, 10 and 15 regarding this subject and I don't see where clarifying information needs to be provided because it doesn't solve the underlying problem. This discussion reminds me of a situation I once experienced where my CCO wanted me to have one of our attorneys present in the room when I was conducting 1v1 market research sessions with potential 8a vendors for in depth discussions regarding Capability Statements received in response to an RFI I released in FBO to ensure that the same questions were asked to each potential vendor in case an angry vendor decided to protest should they should have selected and allege favoritism. I provided copies of the OPFF Mythbusters memo, and tried to explain to my Chief that I did not need to ask the same questions, and that asking the same list of questions to each vendor was of no help, as we already did that as part of the RFI. Now the Program Office wanted to discuss specifics contained within the Capability Statements and that asking the same set of questions to each vendor may in fact lead to the very protest that the Chief was afraid of as it could result in one vendor's trade secrets being disclosed to a competitor. I do not see where the proposed amendment would address or solve the problem in this situation, which is the lack of understanding and fear surrounding market research and engaging with Industry as it seems that most KOs are so afraid of a potential protest that we do the minimum amount necessary to check a box, and move onto the next step. IMO the best solution to the problem is to state what types "exchanges of information" should not occur, or better define what the line is when these "exchanges of information" between Gov't and Industry begin to give one member of Industry a competitive advantage as this appears to be the underlying fear that keeps KOs and Specialists from engaging with Industry and its the lack of understanding when the conversation shifts from one of "market research" to where a potential vendor is now specifically guiding the development of the requirement in a manner that gives them a potential competitive advantage and when the FAR states that the information needs to be shared with all potential vendors. I do not believe that this needs to be a rule, but rather a policy memo that is published by OFPP and then passed along through by each Agency. I also believe that KOs should be reminded that the FAR specifically states at 1.102-2(c)(3) that all contractors and prospective contracts need to be treated fairly, but not equally. All too often I hear you have to treat everyone equally, to which I constantly remind folks, the FAR does not say that, it says fair, but fair is not equal.
  17. Vern, No. I tried to look in regulations.gov at any comments that have been posted but all I can see is that it looks like one comment was received and I've not been able to figure out how to view it. Admittedly it could be operator error that is preventing me from reviewing the comment. In the past the only way I've been able to figure out how to read comments associated with a rule is to wait until the final rule has been published to review any comments received.
  18. Oh boy... a rule to say it's ok to engage with industry... it's stuff like this that makes me wonder what really goes on in those sessions and who thinks we need a rule for everything or what agency said it wasn't ok to contact industry. I thought the OFPP myth buster memos settled that years ago.
  19. Don, Question as I'm using your matrix to review a solicitation one of my specialists put together and I think I may have found an error but am not 100% sure because both your matrix and the DON commercial item matrix appear to have the same issue. Your matrix states that 252.216-7006 is not authorized for Commercial Items (CI), but DFARS 216.506(a) states to use this clause in solicitations and contracts lieu of FAR 52.216-18. According to FAR 12.301(e)(1), the clauses prescribed in 16.506 (of which 52.216-18 is one) are authorized for CI ID/IQ contracts. So based on the prescription in DFARS 216.506(a) to use 252.216-7006 in lieu of 52.216-18, wouldn't 252.216-7006 be authorized for use in CIs?
  20. I have a related question to this topic. Background: Prime contract ended in June of 16. Prime contract contains Jun 2013 version of 52.216-7, allowable cost and payment. Prime submits notice to the Govt of excess current funds available for deobligation in the amount of 100k after its retainer for rate settlements. Government agrees issues bilateral modification to deobligate agreed upon excess funds a month later and obligates funds under follow-on effort. After FY, prime contacts PCO and states that they made a mistake in their excess funds calculation as they received an invoice from one of their CPFF SubKtrs for $15k for travel reimbursement that was not included in the primes original spend plan but was approved travel that occurred during the final year of the contract. Prime also states during conversation with PCO that they [the Prime] have not settled this subcontract with the SubKTR at this time. Question: Under the allowable cost and payment clause, is the government required to provide an increment of funds (either prior year (if available) or current year funds) as the $15k unexpected travel exceeds the retainer for rate adjustments, or should the Govt wait until DCAA and DCMA complete contract closeout and the contractor submits its final invoice before providing this increment in case there are other costs that are in excess of the retainer that arise during contract audit and settlement?
  21. Not sure about all the particulars of your requirement or not so I can't say for certain if the provision 52.222-46 would apply, but if it didn't, you may want to still fold some of that verbiage into a management plan evaluation to determine if the offeror's compensation program reflects a clear understanding of the requirements and then in execution hold the KTR to delivering the caliber of personnel that you're looking for.
  22. Don, under your performance format, how would you account for the different learning styles for different material. Take a class like 170 or 270, very math intensive. Would a student that chose the web based instruction for material like contract law or acquisition planning be able to switch to classroom for a math based class? Or would they be locked into web based instruction for the entire certification? Under this format how would you tie performance and successful or unsuccessful outcomes to the employee and the instructor? Would you recommend termination of an employee that cannot pass the classes? Also, given the current shortage of instruction in the classroom setting as demonstrated by reduced class offerings and long waitlists, how would your new format allow for scheduling issues or having to go outside of the DAU curriculum to obtain equivalency for some limited classes?
  23. Don, I agree that web based traing is ineffective for most modules as I have observed many of my peers just click through the screens to just get through the material or worse, just print the modules into .pdfs and do controlled searches for the answers to pass the exams at the end. I suppose my more basic question that I was trying to ask in my previous post is... Obviously something has changed from the way that most of my senior seasoned (15+ years of experience) 1102s learned contracting and my peers at the journeyman (5-15 years of experience and the entry level folks (1-5 years). The seasoned folks I talk to often talk about how training was more individualized, that it was almost agency specific and although there was DAU or the AF service level training, when you got back to your agency you got the "tribal" position on the material you just learned. They (the seasoned folks) have said that the shift really occurred in the late 90s when the 1102 workforce was drastically cut, before those cuts, how was training handled and is it possible to go back to that format? I don't think learning at the college level has changed, although I do think that we have really struggle to teach the ability to think. Would you agree that the methods of training today's workforce are different than it was 15-20 years ago, and are these methods ineffective and should we attempt to return to older formats? Or has the issue of an largely poorly trained workforce always been there and you just had more knowledgable individuals that could carry the weight and mask the issue(s)? I can only speak anecdotally on the subject of the differences because I was trained in the current DAU format but based on the way that my more seasoned mentors talk about how they were brought up, I can see a difference between then and now. I imagine that if we could get to a format where training is specialized almost from the very beginning based on types of procurements (systems, operations, services) rather than what feels like the lowest common denominator, that would help. And then maybe have the 1102 choose the format and then have to be tested and certified at different levels for the types of procurements, similar to what you were describing, that could help.
  24. Don, I like the idea of it, but how would you deal with that in today's workforce. I can only speak to my experience within DOD, but I doubt that it is different in the civilian world, given that some of my peers came from that world, I just have never worked in it so I can't speak to it directly. That being said... I find that each service, and often each MAJCOM within the service views things differently and therefore you can ask folks in each different group the same question and get different responses. A good example of this is what satisfies the requirement of the "determination" required by FAR 17.207(d). I've been at several agencies, and talked to and witnessed multiple KOs state that this determination means a D&F, as required by FAR 1.704, when pressed on the issue, as I learned early on in my career after reading one of Vern's posts on that very subject, the ultimate answer for why do you think that a formal D&F is required is... because that's how we do it here or that's what our policy office says. IMO no amount of training, or no style of training will be able to overcome the agency thats how we do it... especially if the application at the local level is incorrect because someone that goes to training and learns all these great things comes back is either discouraged because they hear "I don't care how DAU taught you... this is how we do it" or they start first at their agency, and then go to training, and can tell that there are differences in what is being taught, and get cross threaded because they cannot distinguish between these differences. I've always been curious... there seems to be quite a focus on the lack of training of today's workforce what's changed from how you learned contracting, and what would it take to go back to that model?
  25. Vern, My office uses 1101s in roles such as Cost/price, policy, COR coordination, system admins for wawf, EDA, sps, etc. and has hired a few folks that have degrees and have been involved in contracting either on the govt side or KTR but aren't currently qualified for 1102 usually because they lack the 24 business credits and are currently or quickly planning on enrolling in an institution of higher learning to become fully qualified 1102s.
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