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boricua

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Everything posted by boricua

  1. Part of the phase-in and phase-out issue is the preparation for transitioning. Following is a DRAFT list I am working on to lead an effort to make the transition period for O&M contracts less stressful in my organization. I plan to include several CORs (Facilities Management), Technical Experts (O&M), and contracting personnel. I intend the conversation to lead to a change in the paragraph in the PWS on the transition period. Suggestions for improvement are always welcomed. - Proposed Transition Mission Statement: “Protect Government property, maintain continuity of services, on-board incoming Contractor, and out process outgoing Contractor.” - Should we change anything in the way we currently conduct Post-Award conferences? - This is a labor-intensive period. Should the Government provide temporary manpower to assist the COR? (need duties and responsibilities.) - Ensure the Government has copies of the PM Guides and PM Records. - Inventory GFP at least once per POP (and maybe 90 days prior to contract end?). - COR tracks, receives, reviews, and approves deliverables. - How should we incentivize the incumbent to cooperate with the incoming Contractor? (Phase-Out CLIN performance measures.) - What should be the phase-in period CLIN performance measures? - Need to review and accept/modify the current PWS phase-in/phase-out guidance. - Emphasize the impact of the transition period to the CPARS evaluation. - Seek prior O&M Contractor employees’ input. - Invoice-Payments audit in preparation to contract closeout. - Who should lead the transition effort (COR)? - Initial Deficiency list timeline to identify and correct. Effects on invoice & payment. - Create a transition matrix with timeline and responsibilities. - Do we have an established baseline for the building metrics for energy, water use, environmental, etc.? - HSPD12 badges inventory. - Keys inventory. - Initial QA process. - Should we include a list of local or regularly used subcontractors as FYI to the incoming Contractor? - Incumbents with poor performance record have an increase poor transition risk. How to manage that risk. - Should the Government include a requirement for the contractor to propose a phase-in/phase-out plan as part of the initial proposal?
  2. FFP for 12 months

    Hello MuddyPuddles, I suggest raising the issue to the Department of Labor (DOL) since you are requesting one person. On the other hand, maybe you can revise your requirements in a way that the offeror proposes how to fulfill the requirements without the Government dictating staffing levels.
  3. Quotes vs. Proposals

    Hello MuddyPuddles, FAR 13 has many references to "quotations or offers". You can us FAR parts 14 & 15 to evaluate your offers.
  4. There are many legal ways to keep the contract in place. If set up correctly, Trump the company is separate and distinct form Trump the person. The question is how are the lawyers going to separate the man from the company?
  5. GAO: Awardee Not Required To List Specified NAICS Code In SAM

    One way these practices start is from people in key positions. For example: I've encountered several SBA Business Opportunity Specialists who ask me to change the NAICS in 8(a) sole-source solicitations because the vendor did not list the specific NAICS for the project, and other times they've asked the vendor to add the NAICS to their SAM account. The contracting officer needs to decide if fighting the system is more important than meeting the requirements deadline... Most people I know do not keep a log of things they want to change in the FAR (and the bureaucracy) and just follow along. There is no evil intent, just a combination of lack of candor, a little ignorance, and lack of willpower and energy on our day to day job to change the established system. That's where assuming a leadership role, no matter what our position within the bureaucracy is, comes into play. Assuming we cannot change something right away, we can keep a list for when we have the time and/or raise the issue to the right person; keeping the message to just one issue at a time, adding the research to support our point, and providing some suggested wording, will help that "right person" to help us make our jobs better. Thanks
  6. Hello Friends, Someone please tell me how to submit proposed changes to the FAR. I've submitted proposed changes to the agency but cannot find the POC for the FAR. By the way, the changes I want to propose now are to provide direction for the use of a Tiered Set-Aside (also known as Cascading Set-Aside). At this moment I have to spend a lot of time explaining tiers to every person who reviews or approves a document. Thanks.
  7. Thanks PolicyGuy! Prior links sent me to Defense websites, but your link led me to the Council that led me to the FAR Council Members with email addresses (https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/procurement_far_members). Now to write, edit, review, edit, review, edit, review... submit. Joel Hoffman, LOL!!! Yes, I have the PDF and the email trails to forward on a moment's notice.
  8. Contract Clause Alternates

    Hello Joel Hoffman, 52.232-16
  9. Contract Clause Alternates

    Hello Virginia-KO Usually the alternate just modifies the main one, adding or replacing a specific paragraph to suit a specific situation such as, for example, FP, vs cost; R&D vs Major Systems vs AE; foreign vs US-based, competed vs sole source; etc. I encourage you to take the time to read the actual clause/provision the matrix tells you to use to better understand its application and how it affects your contract.
  10. Should Training Classes Be Required?

    The standardized tests issue has been debated for several decades and there are good arguments both in favor and against one size fits all tests. In Federal permanent employees is too late after the person is hired into a different position to find out the person cannot pass a test because you are stuck with that employee for a long time. For example, I had a coworker who could not pay her bills, lost the security clearance, could not touch a Government computer, and for over a year all she did was shred paper while her workload was distributed among the other workers in the office. Management tried to get rid of her but could not, and a little over a year later she received a new clearance and back to business again. On the other hand, tying promotions more to performance and test results than to time in grade has possibilities. One problem with the promotion idea is that in Federal employment promotion usually means moving out to a different agency, and that takes us back to fixing the hiring system. Passing the skills/knowledge test prior to interview, asking questions that are relevant to the position you are trying to fill, evaluating the applicant under pressure to assess the applicant emotional intelligence, and doing a thorough background (references) check should increase your chances of hiring the right person for the position.
  11. Should Training Classes Be Required?

    It all starts at the hiring. Post the right requirements, ask the right interview questions, and do a thorough background check. Pre-hiring-test are not illegal; for example, the FDIC does a three-day interview process where the applicants have to do writing and editing tests, solve collaborative problems, and attend a formal dinner. P.S. I was once asked at a contracting job interview "with what comic book character do you identify the most?"; the other questions did not ask much about the actual contracting tasks either...
  12. Seeking a better price

    Hello Matthew Fleharty, Services tend to be complicated enough that negotiations are necessary. I will grant you that "Programming" might ask for something else other than IT services. Thanks for the comment.
  13. Seeking a better price

    Hello Maquoketa, You can ask, but how would you feel if your boss ask you to do your job for $5 less an hour because the Government does not have funds to cover your salary? The way to ask is through negotiations; I would ask the offerors to explain how they plan to meet your requirements; but now you are changing the acquisition method. Acquisition Method - I would not have worked a million dollar IT services project as an RFQ, I would have used a RFP (FAR Part 15). Fair & Reasonable Price Determination - You appear to have adequate competition, so the $1,050,000 price appears to be fair. Do you have a basis to think the prices are not reasonable? Is the requirement well defined? Is there some ambiguities that need to be refined? For example: Would you allow a recent graduate from tech school to work on a Lamborghini? The recent graduate will probably be the lowest quote, but you will, most likely, have to hire a Lamborghini-trained mechanic to fix what the inexperienced worker broke at a later date and at a much higher price tag. Budget - The difference between the lowest quote and your budget is large. I am assuming that you performed market research and that the IGE was done based on other than the budget you had available at the moment. Did you post a RFI asking for current industry standards and practices? Did you ask how the industry prices the services you require? Did your market research and IGE point to a $950,000 price tag? Did you invite the right vendors to offer? If the requirements are well written and well understood you will most likely have to tell your Government customer to get the funds or restate the requirements with a lower scope. Issue a Contract or Resolicit - Get the funds and issue the contract if you determine that the Government will receive what it requires at a fair an reasonable price. You will need to delay issuing the contract until you get the funds. Cancel the acquisition, redefine the requirements, and resolicit if you cannot make that determination.
  14. Hello Bob7947, The beauty of the Chrome OS is that they don't need a faster processor, they are a whole lot faster than any PC (try them and you'll see they boot in a few seconds and they don't slow down like a PC); Chromebook does not need an antivirus program; the OS is updated automatically (I had to restart the computer once); a $200 Chromebook works just as well as a $600 one; almost every commercial application is now cloud-based so you can use MS software in Chromebooks. Take the challenge! Try a Chromebook and you will thank me... http://chromebookvswindows.com/
  15. Hello Bob7947, Assuming you have time to refine the requirements before the make-believe FY closes. Why go with the Microsoft/Intel brand-name? GSA has been using Chrome and Google Docs for some time (in addition to MS) and is working much better (in my opinion) than any Windows system I've worked with before; and fits FAR Part 39 requirements. By using the Google environment, we are able to access our drives and documents from any computer or mobile device, plus is very easy to share documents and collaborate on documents. Both Microsoft and Google offer to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars reward to anyone who uncovers a major security issue.
  16. Wifcon.com: My Legacy; My Albatross

    Wifcon.com is the social media of preference for the Federal contracting world! Thank you so much for providing this venue!!!
  17. Hello AaronPied, The clause is for having cyber security in place. Networks are under constant attack from hackers, so we need to establish protocols to defend ourselves from attacks. Having a cyber security trained workforce is the main tool to do this once you have the basic network security in place. If you are in business it might be worth the investment in preventing a leak than responding to an incident. There are companies that provide the service of probing your network and then giving you a report on the weaknesses discovered and how to fix them: the major network security weakness always lies somewhere between the keyboard and the chair... If there is an incident involving Federal data, your company will be called to prove that it took the basic security measures to prevent it or there may be a liability (the higher the classification the higher those basic measures and liabilities become). Other than that, it is never a good thing when your company appears on the news as being hacked... Selling widgets carries a fairly lower risk of being hacked for information than selling personnel financial services; your company should (must) asses the risk and respond accordingly. Good luck in your business endeavors!
  18. Concurrent Solicitations for One Award

    Samples of Agency statutory authority authorizing tiered set-asides are DFARS 215.203-70 and DLAD 19.590. Little ranting: FAR Subpart 1.1 is about working together to make the system work more efficiently. During the last five years I've asked the small business specialists of several agencies if it was possible to have several set-asides in one solicitation and the answer was always no, period, end of discussion. I am now working with my agency's regulatory and small business teams to add it to our FAR supplement. Thanks to the WIFCON team, specially Vern Edwards, for bringing the concept of tiered set-asides up in the discussion!
  19. 1. An option gives the buyer the right to buy under predetermined conditions. 2. The buyer does not have the obligation to exercise the option. 3. The seller has the obligation to perform.
  20. Technical Period of Performance

    Hello jcb2k, Contracting personnel sometimes get creative in their descriptions, get a job somewhere else, and keep spreading their creativity around; this could be either good or bad, but tends to move away from standard language and may create confusion. It appears to me that the R&D situation you mention is in FAR 35.011(a) “R&D contracts shall specify the technical data to be delivered under the contract, since the data clauses required by Part 27 do not require the delivery of any such data.” My recommendation is that you contact the contracting officer and ask for written clarification on the charges you have doubt on before you incur them. You can always attempt to negotiate if there is a disagreement within the scope of the contract. Like an old CO used to say: “we are one mod away from the perfect contract…"
  21. Determine fair and reasonableness

    Hello TheContractingGuy, Do not write anything that states that $100K is a relatively low dollar amount or you'll be eaten alive... Have you asked the offeror to explain how it came up with the price? (other than certified pricing data) From what you wrote, it appears that this is a matter of solving a problem using current supplies in a different way the supplies were intended to be used. If that is the case, then the price of the individual components is part of the answer and the other part is the technical expertise that solved the problem. (Think of the classic example of the technician who fixes a machine by hitting it with a hammer and charges the customer $2K. Whe asked to explain he answers that hitting with a hammer costs $10 and knowing where to hit and how hard costs $1,990.00.) Other question to ask yourself (and your customer) is "Is the Government getting value worth at least the $100K?" and "What would the cost be of not implementing the proposed solution?" If you feel (yes, this may be a gut check) the purchase if fair and reasonable, make sure you document your market research, the matters discussed in the prior paragraphs, your determination that, based on the information you have available, you consider the price to be fair (to both the Government and Contractor) and reasonable (as you became as educated a buyer you could be). Do not buy if you still have doubts that the Government will receive a fair and reasonable deal until your questions are satisfied. Boricua
  22. We should strive to minimize the administrative costs while maintaining fairness in the process and promoting competition. Tell the offerors how they will be evaluated and evaluate exactly as you said you would. Sometimes determining price fair and reasonable becomes difficult if the apparent-winner offered price is too low, so make sure the evaluation criteria leaves no doubt that the apparent-winner undrstands the requirements. Challenge local interpretations that raise the procurement cost without a corresponding return on investment. And go read your old documents and laugh at the way you used to write your documents...
  23. Did the solicitation state that all offers were going to be evaluated? Under LPTA procedures the only value added to evaluating higher-priced proposals is the ability to make the determination of fair and reasonable price based on competition, and we only need technically acceptable proposals to accomplish that. We do not need past performance information, small business type, or offeror representations and certifications to accomplish that determination. Don - This is a leadership issue. The Army evaluates all proposals solicited under FAR Part 15, including LPTA, because some offerors complained to the Government that they spent time and effort preparing proposals and they wanted their proposals looked at. The Army has new Generals now and the workforce is asking them to change that policy.
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