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RCB

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Everything posted by RCB

  1. Defending the FAR

    Thank you for a very thoughtful post defending the FAR. It is a very flexible set of regulations. I always like to point out FAR 1.102(d) which states: "The role of each member of the Acquisition Team is to exercise personal initiative and sound business judgment in providing the best value product or service to meet the customer’s needs. In exercising initiative, Government members of the Acquisition Team may assume if a specific strategy, practice, policy or procedure is in the best interests of the Government and is not addressed in the FAR, nor prohibited by law (statute or case law), Executive order or other regulation, that the strategy, practice, policy or procedure is a permissible exercise of authority." So, this guidance provides a tremendous amount of discretion if we only choose to use it (and remind others of it if necessary).
  2. Wonderful posting! As to the "fair dealing" issue, more openness would go a long way to resolving most any matter. More openness in the debriefing would certainly go a long way to show industry that there was fair dealing in the source selection process. Just looking at the most recent annual report on bid protests by the GAO, the vast majority of protests filed (about 80%) are withdrawn before reaching a final decision. In some cases this is the result of corrective action taken by the agency and in other cases the protester withdraws once its counsel receives the agency report and gets the details of the evaluation process. If more detail was provided, it would save both sides considerable time and effort. While I am not advocating release of any information exempt from release under FOIA, a properly redacted decision document should be part of the debriefing to help the unsuccessful offerors better understand why they were not selected. I have even been involved in some debriefings where the evaluation of unsuccessful offeror's proposal contained in the proposal analysis report was provided as well as the source selection decision document. In that case, the agency did not want to have to deal with a protest on a classified program so it took extra measures to give the unsuccessful offerors as much information as possible. FAR 15.506 should contain more explicit release requirements, and it should establish more uniformity among agencies in the release of the evaluation record through the debriefing process. Debriefing processes even vary widely within some agencies. There should be consistency and more openness.
  3. FAR 52.249-8, the Default clause for fixed price supply and service contracts, in section (a)(2) states that a failure to make progress termination or a failure to perform any other material portion of the contract must be preceded by a written cure notice to the contractor providing at least a 10-day period to notify the Govt of how it plans to address performance problems. However,no such prior notice is required for a failure to perform or deliver by delivery date reflected in the contract.
  4. The judge's attempt to use a sesquipedalian adjective went awry!
  5. THINK! (maybe)

    Great posting, Vern! I hope everyone takes it to heart (and mind), and they keep pushing that rock uphill. I would only add that FAR 1.102-4(e) has some very good guidance to remember and quote often: The FAR outlines procurement policies and procedures that are used by members of the Acquisition Team. If a policy or procedure, or a particular strategy or practice, is in the best interest of the Government and is not specifically addressed in the FAR, nor prohibited by law (statute or case law), Executive order or other regulation, Government members of the Team should not assume it is prohibited. Rather, absence of direction should be interpreted as permitting the Team to innovate and use sound business judgment that is otherwise consistent with law and within the limits of their authority. Contracting officers should take the lead in encouraging business process innovations and ensuring that business decisions are sound. So, those in Government should use this to push back the naysayers, and those in industry should liberally quote this to counter Government intransigence. I have been on both sides and each side can improve by using our minds a bit more often.
  6. I went to the FARSite to read the AFFARS Part 15 Mandatory Procedures for source selection but it looks like the content is blocked. I also found that the referenced policy letters with links were also blocked. Does anyone know of an on-line source? Thanks!
  7. Thank you, amthomf! I have not received a return call from the contact person at Hill AFB, but your alternate source is just what I am looking for. It looks like the AFFARS Part 15 Mandatory Procedures has been replaced by this DoD-level procedure for all the Services. Perhaps the FARSite will update its content to indicate the change which was effective July 1, 2011.
  8. Yes, Napolik, I think you might be on a Government system. Vern, you and I are on "home" computers. I have left a voicemail with the FARSite contact folks at Hill AFB. I will hope that there is some public source. I don't see why it should be blocked from public view. Thanks!
  9. In an ongoing cost-type contract, if the Government requests a proposal for certain work, can it deny reimbursement for the proposal prep costs? My understanding was that it cannot if it directed the contractor to do such proposal work. The Government is asserting that it did not receive any benefit from the proopsal prep work and is denying payment. The Government did not proceed with the planned work because it was too expensive. If the proposal prep costs are reasonable, allocable, and allowable, there would not seem to be a fourth criteria involving benefit. Any thoughts from anyone?
  10. Hi Cajuncharlie- Thanks for your thoughts on this (sorry about the "criterion" slip up). Yes, for those working both FFP sand cost efforts sometimes the distinctions blur. I suppose we will have to submit a formal claim for the proposal prep costs because discussion and correspondence have failed to resolve it. RCB
  11. Hi Vern- Yes, directed in writing by the contracting officer as a proposed change to the cost contract. However, once the proposal was received, the Government chose to not proceed with the effort.
  12. Thanks! Yes, the preparation of the proposal was directed by the contracting officer and just because a case of "sticker shock" may have set in once the proposal was received, it just did not seem reasonable that recovery of the proposal preparation costs would be rejected on a theory that the Government received ni benefit. I will take a look at the CAS references you provided as well as the FAR Part 31 citation. RCB
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