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  1. Another thing I learned is that librarians are processing direct transfers for FEDLINK subscriptions/products I understand that the process happens like this...the program office will send the money to their agency's library team. From there, the library team transfers the funds directly to the selected vendor. I think some sort of IAA needs to be set up between the agency and the vendor for these types of fast transfers, which can be much more streamlined than processing orders via a CO.
  2. Yes, I have read the link, plus all related information regarding FEDLINK going back years. It appears that FEDLINK has five separate contract categories (Books, Foreign Language, Electronic Resources, Preservation, and Serials). It appears that requirements within the Foreign Language segment need to be competed, as stated on their website. Legal stated that we don't need to be doing a FAR 16.505 justification, as FEDLINK is established by statute (2 USC 182c), and the statute authorizes agencies to purchase directly through FEDLINK. Other COs I know at other agencies have received similar guidance. The challenge here is that the LOC team is not very responsive or customer-oriented.
  3. I heard that some people are putting FAR 16 Justifications into their files, but I'm not so sure if that is even necesary. It appears that these are not multiple-award IDIQs, but really just a group of standalone single-award IDIQ contracts. it also appears that each base IDIQ contract was awarded with a JA.
  4. Has anyone ever processed orders off of any of the LOC’s FEDLINK IDIQS? Looks like the LOC has awarded numerous sole source single-award IDIQs for various database subscriptions, which can then be used by any agency. If we were to process an order, would we even need a sole source justification at the order level if one was already drafted at the base IDIQ level? This option is rather new to our office, but seems almost too easy, unless we are missing something. FEDLINK.
  5. I believe there a few contractors serving in highly-specialized professional staffing roles that aren’t considered to be inherently governmental. I don’t believe the companies they work for would even be able to compete on any future requirement related to the demos.
  6. I moved over to the IT program side a number of years ago. The new West Coast office I’ve been assigned to conducts a massive amount of market research year round with sources sought notices, RFIs, conferences, and demos. Previously, the program office had a penchant for almost trying to evaluate or down-select a vendor during the market research phase. The biggest thing I recall from my 1102 days at my old agency was that there was a policy in place where third-party contractors couldn’t even attend product demos. The new agency doesn’t appear to have a policy, but I don’t even recall TPCs being present at vendor demos. This team has a huge number of TPCs - is it allowable for a TPCS to attend a product demo? I assume that if so, they wouldn’t have to identify their contractor status. Perhaps posters could share their experience on conducting vendor demos and offer suggestions on what works and what doesn’t?
  7. I've used it a few times. One challenge is that you have to go through training in order to receive the Delegation of Procurement Authority (DPA) from the OASIS team. One other aspect is that you can issue direct awards on OASIS. The OASIS Ordering Guide states that the OASIS SB contract also authorizes the OASIS OCO to choose to issue a direct award to a HUBZone, SDVOSB, or 8(a) contract holder, as authorized by statute (see FAR 16.500(b) and 6.302-5(b)). Please follow specific FAR and Agency guidance in making direct awards.
  8. Jamaal, does your agency have research services or information professionals (librarians) that can be consulted? Usually, if I need something researched, i just email our internal library and they can usually find what I need. I know our library has several law librarians, so they are well-versed. I agree with Vern I that a person will have a great deal of difficult using rather complicated search tools and databases without proper training.
  9. CPARS as well. Seems like a large amount of my time is spent on reporting and administrative duties that take up a great deal of valuable time. What was the real reason for eliminating the 1105 series anyways?
  10. With regards to a written exam, who would be the grading authority? If DAU’s Ask a Professor is any sort of guide, it shows that everyone has an opinion. One professor may say one thing, while another professor may believe something else. Answers to written exams aren’t always clear cut. Then again, multiple choice exams seem to encourage rote learning/memorization, rather than critical thinking. Perhaps rather than having three levels of certification, would it be worth looking at having some form of certification for specific segments within the FAR? Perhaps a mandatory general certification followed by a specialist certificate in areas such as IT, construction, commercial, and simplified? The only reason I suggest “specialty areas” is because it seems like many people stay in the same area for long periods of time. Would that be too limiting? I can’t speak for everyone else, but most people in my shop have stayed within one general area (construction, for example) for their entire time in contracting. The folks in the construction branch couldn’t be of assistance during the end-year rush because none of them had ever worked on commercial and simplified buys. Should training focus more on specialized areas within the FAR?
  11. I wish that was true, but that hasn't been the case where I am. I came in under FCIP and had to go through annual rotations (4 managers in 5 years). Only one manager actually had the patience to train me in anything related to acquisitions.. I'm sure all my managers had the knowledge and experience, but they considered training to be a chore. On a related note, we have far too many people in managerial positions who have absolutely no business managing people. If you want to be a GS 14 or 15 and manage people, you better be all in.
  12. As someone who just completed all Level III training, I'd say we need better training. By "better" I mean that various set standards need to be followed in order to get the most out of the courses. I recall my CON 217 class was radically different than the 217 taken by a colleague a few months later. Some instructors require formal closed-book exams, while others allow open notes. Some instructors grade on presentations, while others grade on paper projects. I've also noticed a sharp difference between teaching styles at MCI, ESI, Gestalt, and NPI. Seems like these private vendors tailor their course content as they see fit. I mean, I am sure they have some guidelines, but how do we know for sure? Why not put "undercover" acquisition professionals/experts in these brick-and-mortar courses just to get their opinion. It sounds a bit paranoid, but might be worth a shot.
  13. A Management Concepts classmate mentioned the same exact thing with regard to the cradle-to-grave admin work. He had moved from the DoD to a smaller civilian agency and was blindsided the amount of administrative mods, de-obs, invoicing, and other nuances involved. He came from a large-scale program to the "minor leagues" and it was totally new. I'm at ba civilian agency and the cradle-to-grave type of work seems normal to me. I spend half my day dealing directly with program offices and other customers. I can't imagine not having direct contact with the requiring customer office.
  14. 1. What is your all time favorite book? Dodge Dynasty by Caroline Latham and David Agresta 2. What is your all time favorite song or album? Album: Tears for Fears: Tears Toll Down Greatest Hits 81-92 Song: Time by Pink Floyd 3. What is your all time favorite movie? Fletch 4. Who is your favorite poet? Edgar Guest
  15. I suppose I was inquiring about both, in a way. However, my agency is much smaller than the DoD, so the scale of the programs(s) is much smaller. I have found, however, that many of the COs become "subject matter experts" after being involved in a program for so long. The problem is that the Co becomes so valuable to the program (embedded or not) that if he or she leaves, the effect becomes detrimental to the program itself.
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