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Vern Edwards

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Everything posted by Vern Edwards

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. @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?
  4. 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.
  5. 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"?
  6. 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.
  7. 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)
  8. If I were the CO I would change the option exercise deadline from a number of months to a specific date.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. @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?
  13. I don't understand "I don't necessarily believe the parties are limited to those types of changes."
  14. That's an incomplete paraphrase of the terms of the Changes clause, FAR 52.243-1, et al. What the clause says is: The list of things the CO may change by written order does not include the deadline for preliminary written notice.
  15. What option clause is in the contract? If the clause is FAR 52.217-9, and if the only problem is that the government failed to give the "preliminary written notice," then the CO should ask the contractor to waive the preliminary written notice requirement in writing and then exercise the option before the end of the period of performance. The CO must obtain an approved sole source justification in order to do either of those things.
  16. Vern Edwards

    A Hiring Challenge.

    @PepeTheFrog @jayandstacey and @ others: I understand that some of you do not like the idea of a six-hour test of knowledge, understanding, and writing ability. What I do not understand is your obsessiveness. jayandstacey has posted three times to say just how much he/she does not like the idea and why. My reaction is: OK, I get it. I expected that some people wouldn't like it. But, really, must you go on? I was not trying to sell the idea of a six-hour writing test. I just wanted to use it to see if people would accept such a challenge. There is a theory that you can attract some people to want a status by making it hard to get. They want to be among the special ones and work with such people. The tougher the membership challenge, the more they want to go for it. Others will walk away. Certain organizations in our world, including some schools and business organizations, think that way. They think it's a way to separate the wheat from the chaff. Such organizations want the ones who want the challenge. They don't care about the ones who don't. I wanted to see how the denizens of Wifcon would respond. Twelve people out of the Wifcon membership have responded. It is clear that most of them didn't like the challenge that I posed. It's interesting though, that although Q2 is obscure because of the way Bob posted it in the poll, it's clear that some of the ones who didn't like the challenge would accept it anyway. I think I've learned what I wanted (and expected) to learn and I doubt that the poll percentages would change much as a result of more responses. I think my scenario was poorly designed and I give up on it. Among my failures was that my scenario wasn't clear. For example, I didn't mean that you would have to write for six hours, only that you would be given six hours to write. You could leave whenever you were done. But some of you can't get past the scenario itself and keep coming back to say just how much you don't like it. You can't seem to accept it as make-believe. It's as though you fear that someone might think it's a good idea. You would like the job, you just don't like it enough to devote six hours of your time. I get it. I abandon this thread. Thanks very much to all who responded.
  17. Vern Edwards

    A Hiring Challenge.

    @jayandstacey You made it clear in your very first post in response to my scenario that you do not like the hiring procedure that I described, and I appreciate your comments. But in the above post and the one immediately before it you've gone overboard. LOOK, it is a thought experiment, and you've made your point. Frankly, I consider your latest objection absurd. Pepe's claims aside, there are not many $180,000/year + benefits government contract negotiator/administrator jobs that come with an administrative assistant. There will be plenty of competition for such a job, were it to exist, and a corporation would have every legal right to set up whatever selection process that it likes that does not illegally discriminate under applicable federal and state law. If you were worried about misappropriation of your written product, you could put a copyright notice on it. This is from an OPM webpage: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/assessment-and-selection/other-assessment-methods/writing-samples-summary.pdf And from another site: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/writing-samples-for-job-applications-and-interviews-2061594 Here's from another: http://www.ncsl.org/legislators-staff/legislative-staff/program-evaluation/writing-exercises-for-job-applicants.aspx Now, I know my thought experiment goes beyond a simple writing sample, but it's a THOUGHT EXPERIMENT. Get it? It's not real, and I haven't recommended it as a technique. If a job candidate for a position such as the one I described were to voice your concerns to me as the hiring official, I would think him stupid. I know a lot of smart people, including myself, who would be intrigued by such a challenge and eager to take it on for a chance at $180,000 a year and an administrative assistant. I've always liked working for demanding outfits. The only people I know who would turn it down would be someone who thought he or she couldn't cut it. Six hours a waste of time for a $180,000 a year job? Hell, man, the old Civil Service Exam I took in 1974 was three or four hours, and that was for $8,500 a year. I spent three weeks trying to qualify as a paratrooper for something like $2,000 a year. You've probably spent more than six hours binge-watching "The Office." Give it a rest. Please.
  18. 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
  19. Vern Edwards

    A Hiring Challenge

    As a thought experiment, suppose that you have applied for a senior government contract negotiator/administrator position with a large, highly reputable, and very successful corporation that provides top-level professional support services to U.S. government agencies throughout the world. The position is prestigious within the corporation, pays $180,000 per year and generous benefits, and has very good promotion potential. The job is entirely professional and includes no administrative or clerical tasks. The job holder will have an administrative assistant. You expect the application process to be highly competitive. After a preliminary background check and a series of interviews and assessments, you are notified that you are one of the top three finalists for the job and have been invited to participate in the final stage of the job competition. The notification advises you that the final stage will entail two steps. The first step will be to report to the corporate offices at a specified date and time to write a spontaneous essay on a theme related to the job, which will be disclosed to you upon arrival. The second step will take place one week later, when you may be invited to discuss your essay with three top-level corporate officials, who will make the job selection recommendation. Upon your arrival you are instructed to write on the theme: Fundamental Concepts and Principles of Contracting for Long-Term Professional Support Services. You are given six hours in which to write your essay and one hour for lunch. Your essay must be at least 3,000 words in length about 12 double-spaced pages in 12 point Times New Roman but it may otherwise be as long as you wish. You are told to write as if you were talking to a newly-hired novice. You must write the essay in an assigned room in the corporate offices. You will be provided with a laptop with voice dictation capability, a printer, pen, paper, and a dictionary. You will not have internet access and you will not be able to consult with others. The test is of your topical knowledge, insight, explanatory skill, and writing ability. Your essay will be evaluated for (1) demonstrated breadth and depth of knowledge of the topic, (2) understanding of and ability to explain fundamental service contracting concepts and principles, and (3) clarity of expression. QUESTIONS Do you think the challenge is reasonable? Would you accept the challenge or walk away? If you would accept, how well do you think you would do?
  20. Vern Edwards

    A $1,220 Coffee Mug

    Maybe acquifiends.
  21. Vern Edwards

    A Hiring Challenge

    Then how about "Go ahead"?
  22. Vern Edwards

    A Hiring Challenge

    Whatever. Go ahead. But I've like most of the comments. It's just that if you don't cut Pepe off at the pass you end up with a new trail.
  23. Vern Edwards

    A Hiring Challenge

    @bob7947 I wanted to make it a poll, but couldn't figure out how to do it, even after calling Don Mansfield. Please just leave it as it is at this point. Thanks for deleting the wandering posts. Vern @jwomack Thanks for the comment.
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