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Vern Edwards

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  1. I'm getting old as well as cranky and after reading The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margaretta Magnussun, I decided to go through my files and get rid of stuff. I found some old reading that might be of interest to some of you. Once upon a time, before they gave up hope, acquisition experts used to be interested in contracting officers and their proper role in the acquisition process. When I opened one box I found the following publications. When the publication is available on line I provide a link. If I don't provide a link, try your own search. You may have better luck. Otherwise you'll have to call the publisher or another source. Please don't contact me to ask for a copy. Handbook for Entry-Level System Buyers: The Role-Relationship of the Contracting Officer and Program Manager and the System Project Office's Interfaces, by Major R. P. Foley, Air Command and Staff College, April 1985, DTIC ADA156313, available at http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a156313.pdf Government Contracts in Public Administration: The Role and Environment of the Contracting Officer, by R. J. Cooper, Public Administration Review, September/October 1980, available through JSTOR and ResearchGate. The DOD Contracting Officer: A Study of the Past; An Assessment of the Present; Recommendations for the Future, by R. J. Bednar and J. T. Jones, American Bar Association, Section of Public Contract Law, 1987. (Try contacting the ABA Public Contracts Law section. If you're in the DC area, try the GWU Law Library). Role and Mission of the Contracting Officer, Logistics Management Institute, Task 72-2, May 1974, DTIC AD780796. (Despite the DTIC number, I could not find it online.) The Contracting Officer and the System Manager: An Analysis of the Authorities and Responsibilities within the Defense Department, by Colonel R. T. Mankin, Defense Systems Management School, February 1974, DTIC AD780693. (Despite the DTIC number, I could not find it online.) The Navy Program Manager and the Contracting Officer, by LCDR F. X. Munger, Defense Systems Management School, November 1974, DTIC ADA028656. (Despite the DTIC number, I could not find it online.) Program Manager - Procuring Contracting Officer Relationship: How It Affects Program Management, Major C. G. Thompson, Defense Systems Management College, November 1973, ADTIC AD-A040515, available at http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a040515.pdf I'll probably find more such titles as I open boxes. If so, I'll post them here.
  2. Vern Edwards

    Reprocurement After T4C

    @jjj Your office is thinking about including the following provision in its RFPs: The question is---what is that supposed to accomplish? See FAR 49.402-6: The following is from a very recent GAO decision: Matter of: Aerosage, LLC, B-416200 (July 6, 2018) The COFC has said: Coastal Envtl. Grp., Inc. v. United States, 118 Fed. Cl. 1, 12–13 (2014) What would your office's draft provision accomplish? It seems to me that the draft provision is more restrictive than the current rules as interpreted by the GAO and the COFC.
  3. See The Tyranny of Metrics by Jerry Muller (Feb. 2018:
  4. Vern Edwards

    Vern's Words of Wisdom

    The Ideal Contract Specialist Entry posted by Vern Edwards · December 22, 2008 13,088 views Sometimes, when I'm teaching a class, and after I've had a couple of days with the students and know them a little, I play a game with myself: I pretend that I've been asked to assemble a small, elite contracting office to do demanding work under pressure. I then look over the students and ask myself which of them I would choose. Here, in no particular order of importance, is an incomplete list of the qualities, skills, and knowledge that my ideal contract specialist candidate would possess. Personal Qualities. It may be that people are born with these qualities to some extent, but I think that you can develop them in yourself if you work at it. An energetic and inquiring mind. I want someone who is never content to simply follow instructions, but wants to know the why of everything and won't accept "Because I said so," or "Because that's the best (usual, standard, generally accepted) way to do it." I want someone who is not content to be told, but who wants to figure things out and to understand. I want someone who would not ask me (or a co-worker) what a word means or what the rule is, but who would at least try to look it up first. Feistiness. The ideal candidate will stand up for what he or she believes, but knows the difference between standing up and arguing for the sake of arguing or out of bullheadedness. I want someone who is willing to fight, but who knows when the fight is over and will shake hands, win or lose. No grudges, please. Please don't apply if, when you lose an argument with the boss, you complain to others about how mean or unreasonable the boss is. Independence. The ideal candidate does not have to be handheld through every step in a process. I don't want someone who shows up at the boss's door every five minutes to ask what to do next. Diligence. I want a person who does what needs to be done when it needs to be done, without having to be reminded or prodded, and who persists until its done and done right. Discretion. Discretion is more than "common sense." Discretion includes tact, good judgment, caution, modesty, and self-restraint. It includes knowing when to act without instructions and when to seek instructions before acting, and knowing when to talk and about what, and when to keep quiet. Honesty. The ideal candidate knows that it's just as important to be honest with oneself as it is to be honest with others. Integrity. The ideal candidate sticks to principles, even at personal expense, but isn't a blockhead about it. I want someone who insists on doing the right thing, but not someone who dials the IG hotline when anyone disagrees with his or her notion of what the right thing is. A person with real integrity knows the difference between an objectively ironclad principle (all bribes are wrong) and a subjectively debatable principle (the proper standard for unusual and compelling urgency). Self-confidence and mental toughness. This is the sine qua non of a contract negotiator. I want someone who not only doesn't get upset when put on the spot, but who actually gets a kick out of it, someone who is not only willing to take the heat, but who even enjoys it. There's no crying in contracting. Humor. The ideal candidate laughs at herself as easily or more easily than she laughs at others. I want someone who can see the humor in a desperate situation, but not someone who makes a joke out of everything. Sly, dry wit is welcome, if used with restraint, but not ostentatiously dry wit, which is tiresome. Funny and sarcastic are not the same thing. Acquired Skills. All of the following are things that a person can learn to do. For interns, I have provided some references to books about some of the skills. The ability to reason logically. We all do that more or less naturally, but the ideal candidate is self-conscious about it and strives to be rational, to develop valid arguments, and to evaluate arguments based on logical principles. See Informal Logic: A Pragmatic Approach, 2d ed., by Douglas Walton (Cambridge, 2008) and Logic and Its Limits, 2d ed., by Patrick Shaw (Oxford University Press, 1997). The ability to read analytically. Reading, interpreting, and applying the Federal Acquisition Regulation is not as easy as most people seem to think it is, yet a contract specialist must be able to do it and do it well. The level of of FAR reading difficulty falls somewhere between a college political science textbook, which almost everyone can understand, and Hegel's The Phenomenology of Spirit, which hardly anyone can understand (no matter what they claim). My favorite difficult FAR passage: the cost principle at FAR 31.205-6, Compensation for Personal Services. If you can read that and pass a test about what it says and means, then you're good. If you can read it, pass the test, and suggest other interpretations, then you're my kind of contract specialist. The ability to write well. To test for this skill I'd give a candidate a problem in equitable price adjustment and tell him to determine the proper amount according to the facts and established case law. I'd then give the candidate one hour to type a one-page explanation of the basis for his determination. I'd evaluate the explanation for grammar and punctuation, and for the ability to write a coherent explanation of the answer given. Note: My model for good writing is George Orwell. See his essays Books v. Cigarettes (1946), The Complete Works of George Orwell, and Politics and the English Language(1946), The Complete Works of George Orwell, which are polemical, and The Moon Under Water (1946), Essays and Journalism which is a fine piece of imaginative descriptive literature. A fun piece is Some Thoughts on the Common Toad (1946), The Complete Works of George Orwell. If you can learn to write even half as clearly as Orwell you need never be unemployed. The ability is in very short supply. The ability to speak extemporaneously. A candidate must be able to stand up in front of strangers and people who are opposed to his or her point of view and speak clearly, coherently, confidently, and persuasively about something that he or she is supposed to know. The ability to listen actively. See Wikipedia. Listening actively saves a lot of time and may prevent needless disputes and litigation. The ability to negotiate. The ideal candidate can make a deal with a contractor or with other agency personnel. Anyone who has the qualities and skills listed above can learn to negotiate⎯to bargain, to haggle, to engage in a rational (or intentionally irrational) exchange of views in order to make a deal. Some people are better at it than others. There are hundreds of books about negotiating. Take your pick. They all have something useful to say. A reasonable facility with mathematics. Some contracting problems entail more than simple arithmetic. You might need simple statistics, but you probably won't need trigonometry or calculus. Wouldn't hurt, though. Library of Math The ability to design efficient and effective contracting processes. Some would say "the ability to innovate." To me, it's nothing more than the ability figure out how get things done without wasting time and resources. The ideal candidate, when confronted with a tough challenge, says: I'll figure something out. Knowledge. A candidate must possess the level of basic knowledge that is necessary to work at the pay grade that he or she wants. I don't believe in paying the salary while the person learns the basics of the job. (But time must be provided to learn the particulars.) A candidate must know the rules that govern the job that he or she has been hired to do. The rules include the FAR and other official "shall," "shall not," "may," "may not," "should," and "should not" statements. When I say "know the rules," I mean know what the rules say and what they mean, which, in some cases, requires familiarity with case law. The candidate must know other things as well, such as: How our government is organized and how it works, for example: (a) how laws are enacted and published, ( b ) how regulations and policies are promulgated and published, and ( c) how public and private controversies are settled or adjudicated. How funds are appropriated, managed, obligated, and expended. See the GAO's Principles of Federal Appropriations Law (the "Redbook"). How the industries and firms that sell what is to be bought produce, price, and distribute their products and services. How the markets in which the buying is done are structured, regulated, and behave. So much for my game. Contract specialists who possess all of those qualities, abilities, and knowledge are hard to come by. In fact, I don't always qualify. If you're a boss and you find such persons, someone will try to take them away from you, so you had better offer interesting and challenging work, interesting coworkers, clerical support, and a decent place to work. Of course, if you think that contracting is about sitting in a small cubicle, staring at a monitor, and klacking away at a keyboard, just ignore me.
  5. The government's rights in technical data are not determined on the basis of the method by which the data were transmitted.
  6. What follows is the text of a speech I gave on January 13, 2011, at the Conference for Journeymen held by the Air Force Space Command, Space and Missile Systems Center, the organization with which I started my career in 1974, when it was the Space and Missile Systems Organization (SAMSO) of the Air Force Systems Command. Several people have suggested that I publish it, so I am posting it here. Is Contracting An Intellectual Pursuit? Are Contracting Officers Intellectuals? Thank you for inviting me to speak to a distinguished audience of my peers, the journeymen of the Space and Missile Systems Center. I consider it a great honor. My topic today was inspired by a sentence in a memo written by a very senior government acquisition official. The memo encourages contracting officers to use fixed-price incentive contracts, and the sentence reads as follows: ?A 50/50 share line should represent a point where the estimate is deemed equally likely to be too low or too high.? That sentence is very bad. It is a very serious error. It stunned me to read that sentence in a memo from such a high-ranking acquisition official. We have known since Euclid in 300 B.C. that a line is not a point. The slope of a share line says nothing about probabilities, only about the agreement to distribute cost risk. The offending sentence reflects either extreme carelessness or ignorance not only of geometry, but also of fixed-price incentive contracts. It would have made sense to say that the target cost should be set at the point at which the cost estimate is deemed equally likely to be too low or too high. That would have made sense, but it would have been a very silly thing to say. And I think now that that single sentence is a symbol of much of what is wrong with acquisition management. I have entitled my talk ?Is Contracting An Intellectual Pursuit? Are Contracting Officers Intellectuals?? In retrospect, this seems pretentious, which I do not want to be in front of this audience. But I am serious about those two questions. Before I go any further, I had better say what I mean by ?intellectual.? I define an intellectual as someone who not only thinks, but who thinks about what they think about, how they think about it, and why they think what they do. For example, when thinking about the acquisition of service, an intellectual will ask questions about what he or she is thinking about⎯questions like: ?What is a service?? ?What are the differences between supplies and services?? ?How does the nature of services affect how we buy them?? Such questions are not about any particular service acquisition, but about service acquisitions generally. They stand apart from, and rise above, daily concerns. I consider those kinds of questions to be intellectual questions. I consider the asking and answering of those kinds of questions to be an intellectual pursuit. And I call people intellectuals who regularly ask themselves such questions and try to answer them. My answers to the two questions of the title of my talk are as follows: Is contracting an intellectual pursuit? It should be. Are contracting officers intellectuals? Some, yes. But all should be. I believe that as professionals, we should think about what we think, how we think about it, and why we think what we do. Let me give an example that may make clearer what I am trying to say. When I came to work here in 1974, one of the things I was taught about was incentive contracts. I was told about the various kinds of incentives⎯cost, schedule, and performance, and about the various types⎯fixed-price with firm target, fixed-price with successive targets, cost-plus-incentive-fee, and cost-plus-award-fee. And I was told that we use incentives to motivate contractors to produce better contract outcomes and that they work. I accepted what I was told. Why wouldn?t I? After all, I knew nothing, and the information was coming from senior people whom I respected. I call this kind of information ?received truth?⎯something we accept without question. But after a while, prompted by my experience that incentives make everything more complicated and difficult, I began to ask myself some questions. The most important ones were: How do we know that those things work? Why do we think they are worth the trouble? And I started to dig around in libraries, looking for answers. My research led to more questions, and in trying to answer them I found that reputable researchers at Harvard University, Rand Corporation, Logistics Management Institute, and the GAO, looking at actual contract data, could not confirm that incentives work. All they found were assertions and anecdotal reports. When they collected hard data and looked for correlations, they found none. Upon close inspection, I found that the assertions and anecdotal reports were not based on verifiable information, but on feelings, unjustified assumptions, invalid arguments, and unsupported beliefs. My thinking now is that as a contracting officer I would not use a formula type incentive unless directed to do so by higher powers, as you are being directed today. As my career progressed, I continued to think about what we thought and found that many ideas were widely accepted despite not being fully explained or demonstrated to be true. Our business is replete with received truths ⎯ about the positive effects of competition on quality and price, about the general superiority of fixed-price contracts, about the net benefits of the Truth in Negotiations Act, and about performance-based services acquisition, to name but a few. These ?truths? go largely unquestioned. What do we mean by competition? What form or forms does it take? If there is more than one form of competition, what kind do we have in weapons development? How does it work⎯cause to effect? Is our method of obtaining competition designed to produce the kinds of results that we are looking for? If competition ?works,? how do you explain the A-12, the F-22, and the Marine Corps landing craft programs, all of which ended in failure although carried out under competitively awarded contracts? If competition ?works,? why is almost everyone unhappy with the conduct of competitively awarded major system programs? Why are we continually reforming acquisition without apparent success? The latest DOD reform "initiative," and the one with which you will be occupied for the next couple of years, is but another in a very long line of such initiatives. A friend of mine recently suggested that retirement age should not be calculated in years of service, but in cycles of reform, that instead of being able to retire after 20 or 30 years, a person should be able to retire after three reform cycles. I think I?m on my fifth or sixth, I have lost count. At a conference in Washington DC in early December, I was on a panel that discussed DOD?s new reform initiative, and I expressed the view that we cannot fix the things that people don?t like about acquisition through such initiatives. I mentioned some of the past attempts, like the famous Carlucci Initiatives of the early 1980s that perhaps few of you will remember. I said that we try the same old remedies that have not worked in the past either because we are insincere about reform or because we simply have not thought things through. I think there is a little of both at work. But I believe that the main problem is that instead of asking ourselves the kinds of questions that would lead to better thinking about our problems, and, perhaps, better solutions, we act on the basis of received truths, like the one that says incentives work. We never get to the heart of any matter. Contracting is an important and a fascinating field, well worth intellectual effort. The very concept of contract is one worth study and contemplation. Most of us here can recite the elements of contract: offer, acceptance, consideration, legal purpose, and competent parties. But have we thought whether the dominant concept of contract in our acquisition world ⎯ sometimes referred to as ?sharp in by clear agreement, sharp out by clear performance? ⎯ is the only one possible and, if not the only one, whether our concept is best for the kinds of acquisitions we conduct today? Should we rethink contract and the way we form and administer contracts? Yesterday you heard about one facet of the newest reform initiative ⎯ Should Cost studies. Should Cost has been around for a very long time. It is hard to do and requires know-how, lots of people, and a lot of time. Are they worth it? Can anyone identify a major program for which a Should Cost study was done that yielded a better outcome as a result? If you think you can, ask yourself how you know that what you believe is true and how you would prove it to me. (Some of you here know what that would be like.) I am not saying that Should Cost studies do not "work"; I am just asking how we know that they do. I want evidence before investing a lot of time and effort. If the person who advocates greater use of Should Cost knows what he is talking about, why, on November 3 of last year, did he call for the development of Should Cost estimates for all ACAT II and III programs by January 1 of this year, when everyone who knows anything knew that that could not be done. Did anyone say to him before he signed that memo ⎯ ?Boss, that order will make you look silly?? I would have said it, and some of you would have said it. A man or woman whose staff is afraid to tell them that they are about to make a foolish mistake is going to be a fool in short order. One who would resent such advice is already a fool. I have read and thought and written a great deal about contracts and contracting over the course my career, and my current thinking about contracts is informed and inspired by a 1976 article that I literally stumbled upon ⎯ ?The Many Futures of Contract? by Ian R. Macneil, who died early last year. It is one of the most influential journal articles of the second half of the 20th Century and it has had a profound effect on my thinking about service contracting. I did not learn about it in any contracting class or magazine, but by rambling in law journals looking for something to help me understand the mania for performance-based contracting. I found it by thinking about services, about how we think about them, and about why we think what we think. In my career as a working 1102 and as a teacher and writer, I have had two sources of professional satisfaction. First, the work of negotiating contracts. Second, the intellectual work of thinking about ideas that are important to our field. The first source of satisfaction was the negotiating table. I loved negotiating ⎯ the excitement of the receipt of the proposal, the analysis, the thinking, the planning, bargaining to agreement, and documenting the file. I thought that each opportunity to write a price negotiation memorandum was my chance to show off. I loved the camaraderie of the negotiation team, and steak and eggs at Denny?s after a handshake. I tell you truly that I lived for it. Everything else in my work was waiting for the next negotiation, life suspended. I found the second source of satisfaction in the Aerospace Corporation Library. That source could be pursued after work and early on weekends sitting alone in a quiet corner with a book or an article, a notepad, and my thoughts: What is an evaluation factor and what characteristics do all evaluation factors have in common? How do you define and describe them? How do you use them to evaluate proposals? What is a proposal? Are they the same as offers, as FAR says, or is there more to them? What are rating and scoring, and how do you do them? Thinking led me to question, and questioning led me to challenge. Sometimes the challenges have been successful in changing minds. More often, they have not. But if more minds would think and challenge, we just might be able to be more effective in challenging received truths and solving some of the professional problems we have faced for so long. We might come up with new ideas that could make our professional lives and results better. I have been in this business nigh on 40 years. Most of my friends who started out with me have long since retired. I stay because I love it and I still have hope that we can make it better. To do that, we must read and think and learn to ask questions of our leaders. We must challenge them and point out when their ideas make no sense. Most of the time, we will not win our challenges. But, eventually, we may get policymakers from the questioning generation, who will not be offended when a journeyman says ⎯ Prove it. And maybe then we will start making real progress. Contracting is a game that, when played at its highest level, is an intellectual pursuit. Contracting officers, playing at the top of their game, are intellectuals. Thank you again for the honor of speaking to you.
  7. Vern Edwards

    A $1,220 Coffee Mug

    The Air Force Times has reported that an Air Force squadron at Travis AFB has been paying $1,220 apiece for coffee mugs and has spent $56,000 for them over the past three years. https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-air-force/2018/07/09/dont-drop-that-mug-of-joe-its-worth-its-weight-in-gold/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=EBB 7.10.18 resend&utm_term=Editorial - Early Bird Brief
  8. Vern Edwards

    Subscription as a service

    @slthomas527 It might be appropriate to treat a subscription as a service, but you haven't read that in the FAR.
  9. Vern Edwards

    We Cannot Explain Our Requirements

    Keep in mind that Joel said: "If the in-house using activity doesn’t have the expertise to write the performance work statement and you think that a consultant could write a clean, coherent and pretty good PWS in a week, what are you waiting for?" Note the emphasis. I am very experienced and very good at writing SOWs, and I will say that no consultant with his or her head screwed on properly is going to agree to a performance deadline until he or she has spent some time figuring out the nature and scope of the requirement to be specified, identified the people who will have to be interviewed, and determined the client's review process. I would insist on a level of effort contract. And you would not able to buy the service from me at a "P" card price. The customer in this case is clearly in disarray, and I would not trust them to be capable or reasonable when it comes to inspecting my work product.
  10. Vern Edwards

    We Cannot Explain Our Requirements

    Emphasis added. The words of someone who has never written a PWS.
  11. Vern Edwards

    We Cannot Explain Our Requirements

    See the definitions of acquisition and contracting in FAR 2.101. Determination of requirements is part of acquisition, but is expressly excluded from the definition of contracting. So the responsibility to define requirements rests with the "requiring activity". It is not the responsibility of the contracting officer. What do you mean by "it"? If you're asking who decides when the statement of work is good enough to be used in contracting, I would say it is the contracting officer. I'd say that if the contracting officer decides that the statement of work is not good enough to be used in contracting his or her responsibility is to reject it. I have no suggestions. I know what I would do, but you're not me, so I won't bore you with my ideas.
  12. Your posts complaining about a "poorly written contract" have been incoherent. You did not describe the contract clearly and did not respond to my request for clarification with clear answers. You don't deserve kind words. You deserved straight talk, which is what I gave you.
  13. The contract sounds like a kind of FFP-LOE. We have not been told what the requirement is, so no one can say that the contract type is inappropriate. All we have in this thread is a barely coherent newcomer to the Forum who is complaining about a government procurement decision and wants sympathy. This topic is not worth our time. If you don't like the contract, don't seek the job.
  14. @eagertoshare I am having some trouble following your last post. Let me see if I have it right: The contract is firm-fixed-price. Your complaint is that the contract says that "if full schedule is not performed" the government will reduce payment by the number of hours not worked multiplied by a specified hourly rate. Is that correct? You think the contract should allow for vacation and sick leave without deduction. Is that correct?
  15. It is not clear what that means. If the contract is T&M or L-H, the government usually pays only for the hours worked, but as Retreadfed pointed out, the hourly rate includes indirect costs that include the cost of sick leave and vacation time.
  16. Vern Edwards

    Reprocurement After T4C

    You're not being clear. Are you saying that your office want to reserve the right to accept an offer ("reach back") from one of the unsuccessful offerors up to 15 months after the first award? Are you saying that you think you already have that "flexibility"?
  17. See 52.217-7: Emphasis added. Stating a date instead of a number of days does not solve the problem of delays. Eliminating the need to do math is nothing to sneeze at. Stating a number of days can lead to disagreement about the proper counting procedure and the resultant deadline.
  18. Make a catalog of the information that you have. Remember that just because you have information does not mean that you can or must disclose it. After you know what you know, then: First, talk to your attorney advisor, because you, personally, can get into a lot of trouble for disclosing something that the law prohibits you from disclosing. Second, take a look at 18 USC 1905, Disclosure of confidential information generally: Third, check with your FOIA representative about your agency's disclosure rules. Fourth, check the Procurement Integrity rules in FAR 3.104. Finally, think twice before releasing anything that you do not know to be public information. Fairness does not require that you disclose the incumbents' business information or information about your agency's relations with them. Disclose what you know about what you will require from the new contractor. But you may not be free to disclose information you have about the incumbents' policies and operations, their relations with their employees, and how they went about doing their work. Matter of: Council for Adult & Experiential Learning, GAO B-299798.2 (Aug. 28, 2007)
  19. If I were the CO I would change the option exercise deadline from a number of months to a specific date.
  20. For the purposes of review, here are the original questions asked: Can the contract option period for Phase II be modified to change it's notice period to retroactively make it appear to not have expired? It expired almost a year ago. In the alternative, can the parties negotiate a new option and add it to the contract via a bilateral modification? Would either of these actions violate/require an exemption from CICA? In light of the fact that the period of performance has not expired, my answers are: Yes, in my opinion. You can waive the deadline or the parties can modify it by supplemental agreement even after the fact. However, you don't want to "make it appear." (That doesn't sound good.) You want to change the deadline for exercising the option. Only if the CO complies with FAR 6.302-1. Yes. See 2 above.
  21. Okay, for everybody's benefit, here is FAR 52.217-7: I don't know of any GAO case which deals with your problem, untimely exercise of an option, in terms of CICA. However, in Ceredo Mortuary Chapel, Inc. B-232373, 89-1 CPD ¶ 12, January 9, 1989, decided five years after the enactment of CICA, the GAO decided that a contractor could waive untimely notice of the government's intent to exercise an option, which is not the same as the actual exercise. Here is the pertinent text of the decision: See also Independent Metal Strap Co., Inc., B-231756, 89-2 bCPD ¶ 147, August 17, 1989. My thinking is that the GAO's reasoning---that the notice deadline protects the contractor and that the contractor thus can waive it---also applies to the deadline for exercising the option, as long as the period of performance has not expired. If I were the CO, and I was ready to exercise the option, I would not process a supplemental agreement to change the deadline. I would send you a letter or an email asking you to waive it and asking for confirmation of the waiver in writing signed by an authorized representative of your company. Upon receipt of written confirmation I would then issue a unilateral modification exercising the option. I see no CICA or other legal problem with that approach. As for changing the deadline from 24 months to 48 months, I am not sure whether the CO is ready to exercise now or if the 48th month would be at some time in the future. if the latter, I would change my procedure. I would do a supplemental agreement. However, you cannot renegotiate the terms of the option without an approved sole source justification in accordance with FAR Part 6. Renegotiation would be treated as a new procurement for which the CO must obtain full and open competition unless an exception applies. As for price redetermination, I think that contract term would still apply.
  22. Those remarks refer specifically to the "notice requirement," by which I presume the OP meant the "preliminary notice requirement" in FAR 52.217-9 or one like it. If that's not what he meant he should come back here quickly and clear things up. I also presume, since he wanted a prompt response from us, that he is monitoring this thread.
  23. @Jamaal Valentine Are you saying that the Changes clauses authorize changes other than those specified in the clauses, or are you saying that the parties to a contract can mutually agree to make changes other than those mentioned in the Changes clauses?