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Fear & Loathing in Contracting

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  1. Has anyone recently used FAR 15.102 oral presentations in any source selections? If so, what were your experiences? The good, bad, and the ugly. How did you use them? As a substitute for written information? Just to augment written information? If you have used them (or are simply just aware of any) do you know of any prior/sample RFP's you could direct me? Thanks
  2. Is anyone aware of the existence of any studies connecting the adjustment of key variables in the source selection process to improvements in acquisition outcomes? After digging around, so far the only one I was able to find was a DEC2015 NPS report entitled, "RELATIONSHIP OF SOURCE SELECTION METHODS TO CONTRACT OUTCOMES: AN ANALYSIS OF AIR FORCE SOURCE SELECTION." It is actually very good and useful; but it would be great if there was any more out there. Also- is anything like this being pursued as a research topic at any traditional universities? In other words, are there any non-DoD/Agency
  3. This is an ACAT program so requirements are are controlled via the JCIDS process. As this is to be a production contract, its requirements must be driven by an approved CPD, which in this case is an Army CPD. The USMC requirements trace back to specs that they are sending to the Army PM folks who then blend it into their docs and then say- no impact on our stuff- ok. And since we are talking about several 100 M here, with USMC covering a bit more than half- they of course want to be part of the source selection process. Specifically, they want folks on the eval boards. Further complicatin
  4. I am an Army Contracting Officer in charge of the source selection for the production of an Army system. Since it always looks good for the program management folks to reach out to the other services (demonstrates you understand the “big picture”), this has occurred. In this case, the USMC wants to “be part of the procurement.” On the contracting side, it has always been our position to attempt to accommodate where it makes sense and when it does not jeopardize our core objective of meeting the Army mission. Now in the current situation, the participation of the USMC is considerable. Their des
  5. Clarification: The contractor would have agreed at the time of the original award to provide the increased rights, but the price would have been much higher. The customer business decision balanced the price (at the time) against identified benefits and made the business decision not to purchase the increase rights.
  6. There are multiple software and data rights clauses on the prime contracting including DFARS 252.227-7013, 252.227-7014, 252.227-7015, & 252.227-7027. I have been particularly focused on DFARS 252.227-7014(b)(4) "...may be modified by mutual agreement.." How though does this solve the scope issue?
  7. The following scenario pertains to a major system that is in the final stages of a "smart" shutdown and its related primary development contract. The original large sole source contract was awarded 3 years ago. A critical system component is a piece of software that the contractor asserted as exclusively developed with IR&D funding and having Restricted Rights. At the time, the Government made the business decision to accept the software with these rights. Since then, the program has been placed under Smart Shutdown and the contractor and PM have had some conversations on purchasing the so
  8. The term "embryonic requirement" was probably not the best choice of words. I meant to convey that it is very early in the source selection process. The requirement is actually "moderately mature." It is for a configurable software solution that serves to integrate/coordinate/co-configure capabilities across a family of systems. Most of the family member systems are either in the last steps of development or sustainment. Even "moderately mature" is a bit of a loaded term. The PM group (who is driving this RFI) has been designated as the "Trail Boss" leading all the systems groups that need to
  9. RFI. It basically asks about whether your SW can do X, Y, Z, etc... and then asks to elaborate on certain aspects of the SW. Responders submit a white paper & fill out a supplied grid chart. RFI has since closed and there were more than a dozen respondents. Customer now wants to "evaluate" the responses and "down-select" to no more than 3. These 3 will be invited into a lab setting to demo their SW. Based on lab results, observations, SW performance capabilities/limits, etc... the customer will then use this info to help flush out/adjust the requirement.
  10. I am a DoD KO serving a major system customer. They've been living in large sole source world since before the dawn of time. After several years of prodding, they have finally started wading into the land of competitive source selections. Well, long story short, we issued an RFI for a somewhat embryonic requirement, it is about to close, and it looks like we will be getting anywhere from 6-12 responses. Then tacked onto the end of a multi-topic customer e-mail, was something to effect of: once the RFI closes we will then "evaluate the responses", and then "perform a down-select to the best 3,"
  11. Thank you VERY much Vern. All of the above is extremely helpful, especially the process guidance such as this: And even more so this: I am looking through the GAO cases right now, and I can already tell they will also be quite useful. When you ask what questions/information I am looking for- it is just this sort of thing. Essentially, I am trying to get my arms around the process and get a bit more focused on the thinking part. As strange as it sounds, I have had challenges finding others near me who have ever incorporated a system verification component into the sour
  12. Correct. Offerors would set-up & connect into the system. Certain parameters & attributes would be quantified. The biggest challenges are: (1) the systems high performance sensitivity to environmental factors; (2) relatively tight award target; (3) rolled up nature of the system. It is being formed from multiple smaller systems that were originally sole sourced awards- so in a way there are two semi-"incumbents" likely to be the main competitors. Lastly, the customer has dwelled in sole source land for a very long time and this is one of their first major forays (commendable/we've been
  13. I am a contracting officer assisting in the planning of a source selection for an ACAT system. As part of the source selection process, the customer is adamant about including significant field testing as part of the evaluation process. The system is highly sensitive in that just about everything could affect its performance including weather, time of day, harsh language, etc. As to be expected, everyone on my end, especially legal, is worried about risk of a protest from the losing offeror. Any ideas, useful guidance, prior examples... anything would be helpful and appreciated.
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