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Posts posted by Smurphy430

  1. I am a COR I am in a situation where I have, and I walked into this so it has been the practice of this organization. Regardless of work status, i.e. Federal Employee,Active Duty, or Contract Employee we have a system that the person signs into in the morning. The system is not precise enough to track hours, its sole purpose is to know who is in the building and who is not.

    I now have the lawyers saying no we can't have the contractors reporting their status as such. Being a contracting professional as well as a experienced COR I can make the argument both way.

    1. No the contractor is not our employee and we should not present a perception of employer/employee relationship. Having the contractor sign into this system does give that impression. The system does not have to be signed out of.

    2. As a safety aspect we should know who is in the building in case of emergency and who is not. We would have to account for every person in a time of evacuation to ensure the building was vacated.

    My question to my WIFCON Colleagues is: Is there any case law, rules or regulations that requires accountability of personnel within our premises?

    Thank you all for any help...

  2. As a general question and all quality assurance and reasonable surveillance being adhered to. Is there any prohibition on letting contractors work an alternate work schedule, e.g. 9 hour days for 8 days, 1-8 hour day and one day off?

    I can find no prohibition against the practice any input would be appreciated.

  3. I would agree with granulaity of billing, if it were consistant. However, it is not consistant. It appears that the contractor deviates from task order to task order. I think this accounting practice is unreasonable to account for. Especially when a contractor logs 8.60 hours for one day which mathmatically works out to be 8:36. Not to mention the nightmare it creates when you try to close out a contract with seconds, and minute computations.

    But this is my opinion, I am sure some people will defend the practice as well as perform the practice.

  4. Agreed, no, no reservations it is a control thing..."they" fell that more control over the contractor would give them greater latitude for personal services. We CORs are interfering with scope creeping. Will see if the CO has the leadership skills necessary to make a decision.

    Unfortunately, this is one of the systemic issues in DoD...and one of the reasons I left the contracting agency. While I was perfectly whiling to prevent this as a CO, leadership would allow it under the auspices of customer satisfaction.

    Ah well....

  5. I have searched the forums extensively and found nothing specific to the following subject. I know from being a Governent contracting professional that duplication is frowned upon. However, when I try to defend my position I have nothing I have nothing. My only defence is that it would cause increased cost in monitoring, administration, and not make good business sence.

    What do you tell the section that just wants their own contract that is word for word as the already awarded ID/IQ?

    I need something specifically prohibiting the practice...

    Thank you in advance, Steve

    60 Minutes /100 =0.6 .60 of 1 Hour is 36 Minutes = $44.50 at $1.24 per Minute

    12.60 Hours Overtime (Keith)

    TDY Trip to Germany was from 01/13/2013 to 01/18/2013 Authorizes 8 Hours for Overtime.

    4.60 Hours OT Not authorized.

  6. I have recently taken over the duties as COR for a IT Service Contract. The contract is a T&M ID/IQ service contract in which T&M or FFP orders are placed in the form of task orders. There is no optional work within the task order and there is no mixed task order i.e. T&M Line Items with FFP Line Items.

    My question is that it has always been my experince that hours are billed in 1/4 hour increments. I have some invoices where the hours are billed fractionally:


    60 Minutes /100 =0.6 .60 of 1 Hour is 36 Minutes = $44.50 at $1.24 per Minute

    The contractor says by not-rounding the Government is saved money, in my opinion this is not reasonable. The additional manhours to track and then try to close this task order washout any savings by a "to the minute recording of time worked". Not to mention monthly invoice reviews.

    My question to the forum is: Is there anything that gives guidance regarding timekeeping recording? If so, please tell me provide the references....

    Thank you in advance Steve

  7. I think will have to keep in mind that GAO is comprised of like-minder professionals that are ubiquitous in any Government organization. GAO can miss-speak and even at times openly disagree with one another. While there is a mechanism in place to show a united posture towards any situation GAO’s historical documents are evidence of changing and conflicting positions. Again, GAO’s writers are human, and we must read their decisions with a critical eye, as we read anything….

  8. We here have used plug numbers extensively both for T&M, CR, and CPFF. The problem when using the plug number is that you remove the numbers from the competition, you are essentially leveling the field and making the numbers a none-issue as a discriminator for evaluation. Another issue we have seen when giving plug numbers the contractor has the ability to "buy-in" to the contract, and then coming back to the Government for overruns that it cannot be held against the contractor because they did not originally bid the number. Another issue in CPFF if the CAS rules may be invoked when you do a Cost type contract. an overrun would negate the contractor's right to the fee, but the overrun would be the Government's fault because the Government gave the number. I suggest doing a T&M CLIN before a cost reimbursable CLIN if you have to do a plug number, and leave the fee out of it. Moreover, when you do a cost CLIN you get into FPRA/FPRR/Provisional Pricing, remember this is true for any part of the contract is cost. If you have a FFP contract with small parts being cost, you do not get away from some of the requirements implicit in a full cost type contract.

  9. SSKO, I do not think you will find anything that limits the number of exercisable optional tasks. Remember according to FAR 17.207(f) the option must have been evaluated as part of the initial competition and be exercisable at an amount specified in or reasonably determinable from the terms of the basic contract. Moreover, we the Government have a responsibility to contract in good faith. Therefore, I would not have 1400 exercisable task options when you have no intention of exercising them. Be reasonable in your assessment of the work, and have options that have a good possibility of being exercised, and that meets the Government need.

  10. I was personally involved in a case in which three government employees were financially ruined because they broke the law in order to get an approved project done with end of fiscal year funds. They also talked a contractor into going along with them. The contractor was suspended and eventually went bankrupt. The project was approved and funded, but they did some lying in order to get the work done under the cover of a contract that was for other work. Their families were under a terrific strain for a number of years. I was hired to explain to a U.S. attorney that they were stupid, but not criminally-minded. He did not believe me. The U.S. attorney eventually decided not to charge the men, but the investigation required that all parties hire expensive attorneys to represent and defend them.

    Support the mission, but don't break the law to do it.

    Thank you for sharing Vern...I apreciate the support.

  11. That's not a decision for a CO to make, simply because a CO doesn't have the authority to violate the ADA. A CO's actions are limited by FAR 1.602-1(B), which states:

    A CO acting outside the scope of their authority can be held personally liable for their actions. A CO has no more authority than the garrison janitors to violate the ADA. If there's no funding in place, that's not the CO's fault. The problem of the hungry troops should be laid at the feet of those with the authority to do something about it. A CO who thinks that it's his or her call to knowingly violate the ADA is beyond stupid.

    I agree with Don. And, the troops will not starve to death. The Garrison commander will be forced to explain his ineptitude in securing the proper funding and for putting the CO in the position in the first place. These problems persist, because CO's are stepping around the rules to accomplish the mission. Well mission accomplishment is not part of the oath, obeying the law is. There are far more people in prison, or who have forfieted their carreers because the held mission accomplishment above the law, nothin is above the law.... not even the mission, nor the officer's OER!

    Moreover, when it comedown to it, these people will leave the CO out in the cold so fast it will make your head spin...

  12. I think the problem is years ago I put proposals in to a CO, that were reviewed by COs and managed by COs with the help of CORs. Now, I turn proposal in to a Contract Specialist (who is usually contract company employee) who has zero authority and basically manages emails and phone calls. They usually defer my questions to the COR who then makes the decision and I finally get a modification with a CO?s name whom I've never heard of (usually months later).

    It seems the agencies (at least in the DC Beltway) have less CO s and more 'contract specialists' then ever.

    The reasons these problems are happening is because the system allows it. I have been a contractor, a COR, and now a contract specialist with desires to be a CO. Having said that, when the COR or any Government employee other than the CO directs a contractor to do anything out of scope the contractor should contact their contracts administrator to make contact with the CO, and at least get a email regarding the added work. To often as a COR I have seen my collegues intimidate contractors into free services and work. If played right the COR will get hammered by the CO and get their letter revoked. Unfortunately, there are too few CO's with enoughleadership to pull the trigger and do ratifications. When the COR misbehavoir starts cutting into their pocket it will stop.

    But as long as there are contractors out there willing to do the work without question it will continue...

  13. So, if there were no appropriation in place on 1 October 2011, the contractor would still have to work and the Government would still have to pay, correct? Wouldn't this be the creation of an obligation in advance of an appropriation--an Anti-Deficiency Act violation? The fact that you don't record the obligation until after the appropriation is enacted is irrelevant--what matters is when the obligation is created.

    That is the issue Don, I cannot get past the FAR 32.704©, not to mention accepting voluntary services, potentially in violation of 31 U.S.C. 1342. Therefore, we were wanting to see what authority they are using for this action.

  14. Have you discussed services that are essential to the support of on-going programs, projects or operations? Does your contracting office have an "Essential Services" statement in the contract?

    Unknown, how it is described to me it is the Garrison, i.e. on a Army Intsallation in the Continental United States, environment. The contractor provided services such as post maintenence, dinning facilities, dental healthcare, on post housing maintenence, these types of services...

    What the Contracting Officer has been doing is cohercing the contractor to work at risk until the installation FCO finds or gets the money to pay for it. Therefore, the contractor is working at risk, with the encouragement of the contracting staff. The contracting staff says "well we have always done it this way before", but the new chief wants the authority, for she has never heard of such a thing.

    I think it is garbage on all levels..."We always done it this way" is not reason enough in my opinion, but that is the Army...

  15. Is therer some provision that allows a Contracting Officer to knowingly be aware that a Contractor is working at risk when no funds are received for health, welfare and morale, i.e., support for dining facility, building maintenance? Does anyone know of a provision that would allow this in a Garrison invironment?

  16. Steve, you didn't explain if this involved current ot prior year funding. Please clarify. Thanks.

    There are rules which restrict re-obligating prior year funds from work that was terminated for convenience. Would this be a similar scenario?

    Yes it is a similair issue. I would say that if the requiring activity wants to increase the scope back to the original scope of the task order the current year funds must be used, not original funding from the time of execution. And the once removed work that was re-added would be treated as a new requirement. Thus, my concern for the Bonafide need. I think the added work should have been recompeted....or a J&A done to justify to the work.

  17. Steve,

    Your post is somewhat vague (or silent) on the facts, so let me "replace" your facts with my own as an aid to discussion.

    Hypothetical: If FY10, the agency orders ten widgets with one-year funds. That same year, the parties make a deductive charge decreasing the order quantity to five. The government deobligates the difference in price. In FY11, the agency decides it needs the additional five widgets.

    Question: Can the agency use FY10 funds for the additional five widgets?

    Answer: I would say not. This would seem to be inconsistent with the Recording Statute. The fact that the agency once had a requirement for ten widgets makes no difference.

    Now, your facts may be more complicated than these, but your post doesn't include any facts on how this could be appropriately treated as an upward adjustment, relating back to the original year's obligation.

    Thank you for the help...

  18. I have a task order that was reduced in scope and the period of performance was reduced to accomodate the reduction. Now the requiring activity wants to get back what it gave away. I would think this is now a Bonafide need issue. But cannot find anything to support my position. Does anyone know of a similair circumstance where the scope was reduced, and therefore the bonafide need was forfieted?

    Thank you for any help Steve

  19. Steve,

    Just to clarify, there is no "choice" or "decision" involved when using FAR Part 12 procedures. If the services meet the definition of commercial item at FAR 2.101, then use of FAR Part 12 is mandatory. If the services do not meet the definition, use of FAR Part 12 is prohibited (except as described in FAR 12.102(g)). See FAR 10.002(d):

    Having said that, I don't know of any rule or guideline that says that if a service is X% commercial, it meets the definition of commercial item.

    Thank you Don, I too have pointed this passage out to the KO, and the customer. But they have found a task order that they feel pulls them out of the commercial arena, and are riding it all the way. Of course it represents 1/400th of the work, but no matter, I have spoken my piece, and I am not signing it...

    Good to have confirmation and know I am not going crazy...

    Have a good day in class, Steve

  20. I am currently involved in a recompete for a current ID/IQ MAC Non-Commercial. Although the current contract was competed and awarded 4.5 years agao the current view is that "It was non-commercial then, it must still be." I have pointed out that the commercial T&M rules have changed and that we should take a harder look at the pros and cons before making a decision, there are good and bad points to both part 16 and 12. Well I was blown off, although everything well 99% of the task orders we do is 100% commercial they are hanging there hat on the 1% to justify calling it non-commercial.

    Is there any hard and fast policy that I can use to bolster my argument. I have read Shay Asad's memo and all of the other stuff I can get my hands on, but just can find it.

    Any ideas?

    Thank you Steve Murphy

  21. Does anyone have a resouce or know where one could verify what type of funding should be used to fund whatever work is being asked? I have some task orders that literally every type of appropriation known on a single task order. But, how can we verify that dumping of monies is not happening and we are performing our due diligence?

    Any ideas?

    Thank you

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