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apsofacto

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About apsofacto

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  1. I realized today I have been on a jihad spiritual struggle within oneself against sin against the word "Indicate" for a few years now. I saw the Environmental Protection Agency Acquisition Regulation (EPAAR) Clause Update for Submission of Invoices federal register entry on the Main Page and started compulsively trying to rewrite this section: According to the linked Merriam-Webster definition, "Indicate" has a few meanings, some mean to "to state", and others are more advisory or suggestive. So whenever I see the word, I wonder for a fraction of a second which version the author means. The passage says "clearly indicate" which surely helps. Why not just say "state" or "describe"? Won't this version always be better?: (Also cut "clearly", and added "of the work" because we pay folks for work, not for period of performance) Question is: should "Indicate" be vindicated, or annihilated? We know by now that I have some issues. I'm getting old, and crusty. Set in mah' ways. Resisting the urge to change the passive voice in the second sentence! So I appreciate your feedback, I may need to be yanked out of this rut I'm in. Or perhaps we can destroy this scourge that plagues us. If this devolves into a contest to rewrite that clause section that's OK too, that would be fun.
  2. Honestly I think so. Budgets are very important- it's why people fight over them. You can persuade the IT group to consolidate licenses, etc., and you should because its a sensible thing to do. However, the first official act is humping a requisition over to the procurement office, and that is solely in their control. Your remaining concerns are: Contract Type; Past performance Evaluation; and Price Evaluation When we discuss these issues, we don't deploy much specialized IT knowledge, though certainly a little is required. If you are curious, observant, stick around for a little while and are tight with the IT group you can get through those problems and run a great procurement together. You are absolutely right that if a contracting officer has the following shortcomings, they won't be able to pull of an Agile procurement: Unilaterally refuses to pay people by the hour; Has zero interest in writing new words for the evaluation factors; and Cannot evaluate a labor-hour based price proposal These are procurement shortcomings I think, and they won't be corrected by increasing the amount of IT technical know-how of the CO. I think those shortcomings would make it more difficult to procure MEP services, for example. Those will hurt the CO in all sorts of areas. We don't disagree on much. I think the cure to this disease lies in being a better procurement guy in general, and you believe further focusing on IT subject matter will help (Correct me though if I'm misunderstanding your cure.) Would be safest to do both, but we're luck to accomplish even one of those two things. . Most likely outcome is neither- improving people is really hard. Side note: Have you tried defining a "sprint" or "scrum" and procuring say 20 of those? They're labor hours in drag, but they might sneak by because you do not have to use the word trigger-word "hour" in the description. I haven't had 1/10th the push-back on the labor hour thing you may have experienced, but that was my back-up plan if that problem came up.
  3. I don't think you hire the 1102 to consolidate data centers and push them to the cloud. The budget to accomplish that would come from the IT department, so it must always originate there. But let's say it did, is your thought that the 1102 would need a lot of technical knowledge in order to issue the solicitation to accomplish that? I'm certain that is true to some extent, but I'd rather the 1102 concentrate on being a great 1102. The IT folks need us to ensure discussions are fair, to help navigate the small business world, to make sound best-value trade-offs, and a host of other things. They can't do that stuff on their own, but they can pull their weight on the technical side. I've been fortunate to have a good relationship and a fair amount of trust with the IT groups I've supported over the years, and I've learned a great deal about their business mostly through interacting with them all the time and seeing their various successes and failures (they've seen a few of my failures as well). To address the question posed, I don't think lack of knowledge is the driver of being left behind. If you are curious, observant (or nosy), stick around for a few years and can manage a relationship with the folks you support I think you will be OK. This is more attitude than anything I suppose.
  4. Sole source acquisitions to the actual sole sources may help you through some of this. Someone will need to write justifications. Say you did that alone, how much of a toothache remains? Also, FAR 19.502 gives you an out, but some justifying is required: Regarding the "dedicated suppliers", would competing the remaining work under some BPAs fit the bill? These ideas require more up-front paperwork, but hopefully a payoff down the road. Supply chain is not my world, just trying to provide another option in addition to Pepe's above. Folks, feel free to open fire on this trial balloon.
  5. I am aghast. There are no Bs- there are only A1s and A2s. Seriously though, are we getting stupider as the generations go by? Will we one day obsess about the amount of electrolytes our crops are receiving? Or is this just something typical 42-year-old males worry about? I fear that I'm a "B" and I'm being followed up by mostly "C"s.
  6. This really does not sound like a deal-killer. I'd get it if you needed 15,000 hours and it only had the 10,000. Could you just use the thing and see how it goes? Maybe re-compete in a few years if it is driving you nuts?
  7. This is the life of frogs, warts and all. Elaine, We are obviously too much fun to leave. Find a different office, though. Yuck.
  8. I prefer seeing who can hold their bare forearm over a candle the longest. It weeds out the more stable people and gets you some real free-thinkers.
  9. You can not begin work on the purchase order and/or refuse it in writing. It's an offer to you, so refusing it is OK. If you already began work on it then you might be stuck.
  10. Thanks C, Cannot speak for the others, but I always gravitate toward GAO because their decisions are just so much easier to read, and I know how to use their search engine. Not the best reasons! However, I have noticed they weigh in on this one contract admin issue on the occasion when a disappointed firm sees a contract modification they do not like on a contract they lost (as with your example). I remember seeing this more with contract mods that add a chunk of work, so its nice to read your example because it is new to me. I thought this passage from your link was also worth reading: There may have been a different outcome had the Contractor floated up this bad-boy for first article testing- would have been one Valhalluva big change to the original contract specs and performance requirements:
  11. Can you think of any areas in the solicitation other than the scope? Q&As not incorporated into the solicitation leap to mind as a possibility.
  12. Thanks, Ji, I'll continue then. Appreciate your insight about the Government reviewers. Anyone- I seem to spend a lot of time reviewing SOWs lately, and I don't think I'm the only one. This seems like a challenging area for beginners so please feel free to post any advice as a comment or as a new post. Folks will be interested. I'll do another one about Background sections later.
  13. There are times in a man's life when he has to look hard in the mirror, spit mouthwash at his own reflection, and decide for himself whether or not something is a cardinal change. We have learned on the message boards over the years there is now hard and fast rule for determining this answer, there is just a judgement of whether or not the instant change to the SOW, the contract price, or the schedule deviates from the original purpose of the contract. I have found myself adding these types of sentences to SOWs as both cardinal-change-battlespace-preparation. (Also seems useful to describe what the higher-rank folks think this Contract is for): These are fictional examples, but you are welcome to google. Example 1 is vulnerable to price increases (e.g. security is ramped up after a security event). Example 2 is vulnerable to both price and period of performance increases if the construction phase of the project drags on. Example 3 could be vulnerable to all three: price, period of performance and scope changes. Is this a waste of time? Is it accomplishing my goal of cardinal change battlespace preparation? Or is this sort of thing just superfluous?
  14. It sounds like you will not be able to split this into smaller, more manageable chunks. Can you pick the most likely scenario, evaluate those options, and force the requiring activity to provide sole source justifications for deviations? I assume they are foisting this on your office somehow, so you should inflict as much suffering upon them as you can. Looking forward to hearing better responses that this, just getting the ball rolling. Best of luck to you, General.
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