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MrProliferation

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About MrProliferation

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  • Birthday 09/17/1980

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    Indie Film, Rock, and Hip Hop, Webcomics, Politics and Public Sector Reform, Fine Literature
  1. NIH CPS - Contractor Comments?

    Does anyone remember or know of whether or how the NIH Contractor Performance System (CPS) allowed contractors to comment? It has been a very long time since I've used this system as our agency switched to CPARS, but we are looking over some reports in PPIRS that were filed via CPS in later FY 2009 about a contractor that are very troubling. The only issue is that there are no comments recorded by the contractor. This seems highly unusual given how negative the assessment is, as usually contractors manage some kind of rebuttal. We are wondering if the contractor was ever given an opportunity to really respond to the record because none of us can recall exactly how NIH CPS worked in that regard or whether CPS had any mechanism for a contractor to dispute a rating. I've tried to find old manuals to the NIH CPS to see if they could help, but I haven't been able to locate anything more than an old NIH policy that describes how CPS works in general without addressing that question. Anyone out there have any idea about this? I would ignore the record, but it is within the three year window and potentially relevant.
  2. Contracted 1102s and Past Performance Information

    Thank you for the feedback as that somewhat follows my thinking. Section 852 is another matter though, of course, because my agency isn't DoD so we correspondingly do not have the impetus of insourcing or other things to help us expand the tiny sliver of acquisition workforce here other than use contractors. My agency, being the dreaded non-defense discretionary spending, is also looking at a budget cut that will likely reduce our number of feds and our already tiny statutory cap of employees further. My primary concern isn't actually with the PPIRS/source selection piece, while that is important. My concern is more getting the actual records themselves populated and entered into CPARS. As the contractors are serving as the CS' and keeping tabs on the contracts for their COs, they are the best ones to work the CPAR and make sure it is accurate. If they can't touch it or see it at all, it has to fall on the CO, and here we only have four of those, who are consequently our team leads, in an office of 20. It's not hard to see how soon Team Leaders' ability to manage is going to be further compromised because they are going to be drowning in required CPARS reports if they can't farm the drafting of the CAPR out to the specialists, who happen to be contractors.
  3. I have recently moved to be the sole procurement analyst at a smaller agency's contracting activity and have a challenge on my hands as we are moving to be more compliant with the push for using CPARS and we are currently using PPIRS. While it's obvious that your garden variety support contractor should never see anything in CPARS or PPIRS that affects anything not related to thier specific firm that they are the designated POC on due to potential OCI, what about contracted 1102s working in a contracting activity? Are they also forbidden from seeing things in CPARS and PPIRS? The DoD Policy Guides don't seem to give any leeway in this regard, but support contractors who are acting in an 1102 capacity would seem to be a different case to me. Is there any other specific policy prohibiting contractors from using or seeing the output from these systems aside from general fears about potential OCI? Our contracted 1102s are from very small businesses to help mitigate that sort of issue and sign extensive NDAs and disclosure documentation to prevent OCI. Is that good enough? Again, what is the governing policy here beyond the DoD Policy Guide for CPARS? Is there any? Or legal precedent? This problem is acute for my contracting activity because we have, in an activity of only 20 personnel (all of which are operational 1102s but myself, even our SPE/Director signs contracts and our EAs, such as they are, are purchasing agents) less than half our Government and the rest are all contracted out 1102s. I'm the designated focal point for CPARS and PPIRS (I'm also Government) but using these systems in source selections and in contract administration, just in terms of getting the records properly populated and inputed into the system, is going to be difficult or well nigh impossible if a contractor can't touch or see it at all. Right now the three team leads/contracting officers are feds and all the specialists working under them with the exception of two are contractors. Also, if this prohibition on any support contractor seeing the information is only a DoD policy, does it apply or not apply to civilian agencies if they are using CPARS, which is a DoD system? Or is the policy Government-wide but just documented in a strange place? Any helpful tips on how to deal with this situation would be appreciated. My overall question would be what the policy for this is. DoD guides and training say contractors aren't to see the information under any circumstances, but I cannot find anything in the FAR or CFR that would have such a strong prohibition.
  4. Does anyone out there know if there are any legal decisions on where/how indefeasible right of use (IRU) leases would be treated? Or, barring legal decisions, would anyone care to offer an opinion on what FAR/DFARS parts would apply to it? Specifically I am trying to figure out if one would view this as an "investment" and thus a procurement-funded type acquisition or one funded with sustainment-type funding. I am trying to look at all options for an acquisition at the very theoretical phase right now and I don't know whether IRU could be considered a viable multi-year contracting approach as it is, in a sense, an asset that the Government would not own but would have unlimited use rights or whether it would be viewed as more of an operations and sustainment requirement that would have to be done with annual leases. It seems pretty clear to me that an IRU is an investment of a sort as it would grant central management rights, but I have no idea how kosher the basic approach is since it is a lease on a very specific, large, and long-term kind of lease. I know there have been precedents for doing contracts using IRUs, but I'm not sure how to look at it from an appropriations lens. Certainly the dollar value of it would be high enough to consider it procurement, but at its core its a service requirement that doesn't result in a tangible end item, only complete control over such an item with no long-term ownership rights. I know this is a very unusual topic and probably more a question about appropriations law and DFMR, but I have searched that document top to bottom and cannot find a lot about leases and thought to check here to see if anyone has any contracting experience with IRUs and/or knows of any case law and precedents regarding them.
  5. When and why should a contracting officer go to a lawyer?

    I just left a job where this problem had paralyzed the entire contracting activity. That contracting activity was at a certain legislative agency who does auditing work that shall remain nameless. The OGC there designated a former bid protest attorney to serve as "Procurement Counsel." He reviewed everything, from RFQs, purchase orders and contract mods under $100K to RFPs, all RFP amendments, and all task orders. Procurement Counsel even reviewed and approved each and every technical evaluation both at the individual and consensus level. As he was a bid protest attorney, his perspective was always skewed to "avoiding" a protest (which is impossible, you can only try to win protests if you get them) and not to actually achieving best value or any efficiency in the acquisition process. The Director of the acquisition shop, a lawyer by training also, mandated this in policy. The result of this "quality assurance" was to basically shut down any discussion of regs or knowledge of regs by any of the 1102s who worked there. I arrived from extensive experience in other shops, and whenever I tried to question anything, even modification authorities, immediately the question became a legal one. "We have to run that by Procurement Counsel" became the mantra whenever the FAR or anything was brought up. It was sad and highly inefficient place, and that's why I didn't stay there for very long.
  6. Finding Info about Various MACs

    Thank you. That is quite helpful.
  7. I have found this to be a particularly vexing problem throughout my acquisition career, but I wanted to see if anyone out there has a particularly good method for identifying potential MACs. The GWACs are easy enough, but I don't think those will do it in this case for me. The only method I really know if is getting lucky by finding the websites of various contracting activities and searching through those, but maybe there is a better way and if anyone would know it would be WIFCON posters. In my particular instance I am trying to locate any vehicles that I could order security equipment (CCTV cameras and the like) through. The broader question is still an important one though. Usually search engines only turn up a lot of junk related to the GSA FSS and nothing else.
  8. Low-Risk IT Contracts- CPFF

    Without revealing too much, I'll say that I work for an agency that isn't subject to FAR, but follows it when it feels like it. Thus, there is no agency supplement for my agency, although in my previous jobs at other agencies I've used such structured approaches. In this case I'm unfortunately having to operate without a lot of facts at my fingertips that would allow me to fill out a structured approach sheet. I've more been tasked with doing blind research on what is a likely fixed fee to expect given only the minimal facts I've stated here and a few others. I hope later to get more information in order to do a structured approach, but that won't be until down the road. That's why I'm asking for more of a ballpark number.
  9. Low-Risk IT Contracts- CPFF

    No, I am not DOD, but do you know where I can obtain the weighted guidelines? DFARS? This is a civilian agency contract. I should have said that up front. We're talking only US domestic too, very few or no international implications in this contract.
  10. I'm doing research for an acquisition that is in the low (barely) nine-figure range, CPFF, and for IT support services. The bulk of the requirement mostly entails LAN administration. In my opinion, this is a very low-risk set of services, especially since it's a CPFF contract type, and I was wondering what people here would think is an appropriate or reasonable fixed fee? I've heard everything from 4-8%, but I thought I would put it out there to hear what WIFCON would have to say. Any thoughts or experiences on the topic, no matter how redacted, would be helpful.
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