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InNeedofWisdom

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Posts posted by InNeedofWisdom

  1. Bending the Cost Curve: "A targeted initiative that can be accomplished within current Air Force budget programs" and "different than past initiatives in that the Air Force is looking at very specific, albeit large, programs": http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=123974.

    Excerpts:

    1. The initiative aims to improve dialogue with industry, “so we can better understand how processes, procedures, and some of the choices we make can inadvertently contribute to rising costs, the stifling of innovation and slow processes."

    2. "We think that by gathering data from a range of sources, it should be possible to identify instances where small changes in capability have large impact on cost."

    3. “Under our new PlugFest Plus approach, we will put in place a mechanism whereby a vendor could walk away with a contract just a few weeks after an event."

    4. “What we’re really after here is a data-driven approach to spending.”

  2. Or would we be okay if this employee's Timesheet is still completely blank?

    Who would enter the "zeroes"? My experience in relation to timekeeping and DCAA leads me to the conclusion that more important than having time filled out every day is that the employee certifies that time. I have known DCAA auditors to be understanding of off-site employees having their time-sheet filled out by an admin as long as it is approved after the fact by the employee. Your explanation that these are part-time employees who have not started work that week should be sufficient.

  3. They are for services. I already did request additional information and they are claiming that because its commercial services, they are not required to submit.

    I work for a prime contractor. One or more of these offerors may have chosen to go sole/single source with a "commercial" subcontractor. It could be that procurement at the offeror was prevented from competing the subcontract by engineering or the program office. If you are not satisfied with the analysis performed by the offeror's procurement (e.g. no subcontract competition), you may run into a wall with the offeror's procurement. Like Don explained above, you can use your leverage of competition at the prime level to encourage the offeror (i.e. the program office and upper management) to re-consider any sole/single source commercial decisions.

  4. Get it? Now... what would you cut? No need to respond if you wouldn't cut anything or can't think of anything to cut.

    Yes, Thank You, Vern. :) I would cut FAR 15.404-3( b ) for sure. Based on this paragraph at least some auditors think that prime contractors have to "comply" with the FAR to perform price/cost analysis (outside of a contract provision). I would also cut DFARS 244.402(a). Based on this paragraph at least some prime contractors mistakenly assume they have final authority to determine subcontract commerciality irrespective of what the government contracting officer says. DFARS case 2000-D028 shows otherwise on the first page at the bottom of the middle column (http://www.federalregister.com/Browse/Document/usa/na/fr/2002/5/31/02-13358).

  5. [W]hat would you cut?

    FAR 15.408, Table 15-2 I.A.(8) asks the offeror to disclose if its proposal is not consistent with FAR 31 cost principles. FAR 52.215-12(a) requires prime contractors to require subcontractors to submit certified cost or pricing data in accordance with Table 15-2. However, I have never seen a subcontractor disclose that its FFP proposal is inconsistent with FAR 31 cost principles. Any inconsistencies are handled in negotiations.

    When I first saw the above question, I thought, "Table 15-2", but then I thought about what could happen if there was not a standard format. GAO issued an interesting report in April 2014 on "Reexamining Regulations" http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/662517.pdf. My concern is that Table 15-2 is part of those regulations being re-examined with the Better Buying Power initiatives and government budget constraints.

  6. If the Contractor submitted an invoice for the entire $400,000, don't you think it would be a false claim because he did not meet the terms and conditions of the contract and knew that the quantity was incorrect?

    I think it would be a false claim if the contractor somehow claimed on its invoice that it had actually repaired 450 vehicles (when really it was only 350 vehicles). But if the contractor disclosed that it had only needed to repair 350 vehicles and still submitted an invoice for $400,000, I do not see how (at least yet) that would legally be a false claim. If the contractor submitted an invoice for $400,000 without disclosing the number of vehicles repaired, the government might try to prove some kind of wrong-doing under those circumstances. All these scenarios would arise after contract award.

  7. I expressed an opinion about whether a particular task is a moral obligation. I didn't express an opinion about moral obligation per se. You don't know what I think about the nature and sources of moral obligation, and thus you don't know anything about any implicit argument by me about moral obligation. What you're calling an implicit argument is nothing but an unjustified assumption on your part.

    I think metteec is getting the conversation back on track after my detour. :) Vern, I agree with you that my statement about your opinion on moral obligation was broad. I assumed that if you made an absolute statement about moral obligation for one scenario, that statement would apply absolutely to all moral obligations. Again, thank you for the clarification and additional opinion.

  8. This is what I said that prompted your comment in Post #4:

    Those two sentences do not constitute an argument, much less a circular argument. The first is a statement about what I know about the law. The second is statement of my opinion, which is that the existence of a moral obligation is a matter of opinion -- something to be argued about. The two sentences are not related. The closest I have come to making an argument is what I said in Post #6.

    Your statement that you think that there is more to the world than opinion is banal. Of course there is more. Your statement

    is nonsense. I mean that literally: it makes no sense.

    I know that you admit to being in need of wisdom, but that does not mean that you have to post meaningless junk. If you want to take issue with my statements in Posts #2 and 6, I'd be happy to read what you have to say, if you intend to be intelligent. But if all you want to do is punch in with silly statements that you think are pithy and amusing bon mots and moral theory, then you are wasting our time. They aren't pithy, they aren't bon mots, and as moral theory they're not even half-baked.

    Without an explicit argument on your part, I don't think there is very much more to discuss about your original statement. I disagree with your implicit argument and your opinion about moral obligation. You made an absolute statement about moral obligation in the last part of Post #2 without qualification. However, your most recent post makes it clear that you meant all of your original statement to be qualified as simply your opinion. Thank you for the clarification. :) I agree with you that there is no legal obligation for the contractor to disclose the government's error back to the government.

  9. X is under no legal obligation that I know of. Whether there is a moral obligation is a matter of opinion.

    The above statement itself appears to be an opinion. If moral obligations are simply matters of opinion, it is difficult to understand how legality is anything more than the opinion of the majority via the government. But, maybe opinions are all that people are really wanting anyway.

  10. Based on this set of facts, what, if any, obligation does X have to bring this error to the government's attention? If X does have an obligation to tell the government of the error, what is the source of the obligation, e.g., a FAR provision?

    [uS flag waving slowly in the background...]

    [soft patriotic music starts playing...]

    The obligation to bring this error to the government's attention comes from the noble cause that the contractor is privileged to support. The government will thank the contractor for its integrity and desire to serve the public's best interest. Contractor management will sleep better at night knowing that because of their actions, more taxpayer dollars will be available to support the noble cause elsewhere.

  11. AF contracting culture is thoroughly corrupt.

    "what the customer wants" is their only aim.

    nobody in AF contracting is looking out for the taxpayer.

    bigger picture,

    $ 3 M is chump change.

    go after the humongous frauds; ignore this.

    It sounds like you have experienced some hard things in contracting. Be sure that it doesn't get to you as well. I am not surprised when I hear that people are corrupt. I have learned that the hard way (similar to how it sounds like you have learned). I used to feel some kind of moral obligation to maximize taxpayer savings. Then, I realized that no taxpayer was getting a refund check for any savings. As a defense contractor employee, I now seek in good faith (and truthfully) to help the government spend as much money as it desires. I hope this perspective helps you where you are.

  12. Bob, this is remotely related to contracting and Vern's EO example, not politics, contrary to Don's myopic view of the Civil War or the procurement of a wife, inter alia -

    OK, inadvertently, an Administrator provided the rationale why persons traveling from Ebola, at risk countries should not be banned from entering or traveling via airline transportation to the U.S. -

    If we banned all flights from Ebola, at risk countries or connecting flights from Europe (as we have no direct routes), then the Ebola carriers would resort to infiltrating our southwest border which is not protected or even monitored to any exclusionary or competent degree. By allowing Ebola carriers to fly into this country, we can at least perform cursory inspections such as questions or temperature taking, none of which will protect you or the entire country from being infected.

    Incompetence or planned?

    I think this has been planned but how would you write the contract? (Non sequitor)

    I feel like "chemtrails" should have somehow gotten into the story as well. :)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemtrail_conspiracy_theory

  13. I have had several COs from different agencies (both DOD and Civilian) tell me that when their management is involved in contracting related decisions, they are afraid that taking the ethical road will result in "does not work well with others" in their performance review or getting a write-up for insubordination.

    If these people had a healthy fear that was bigger than the unhealthy fear described above, they would hopefully do differently in this kind of situation. I hope this encourages you. :)

  14. How would you combat with facts a statement that "the technical analyst determines fair and reasonable price in a sole source negotiation, rather than the contracting officer"?

    It looks like you did a good job of supplying those facts from the FAR. :) I think this contracting officer has determined the price is fair and reasonable by relying on the opinion of the technical analyst.

  15. Vern is right about adequate price competition under FAR 15.403-1( c )(1)(i). If the agency only evaluated one offer, they should not conclude that the unevaluated offers meet the Government's expressed requirement for purposes adequate price competition. If the agency is part of DoD and decides to go down the path of FAR 15.403-1( c )(1)(ii) for adequate price competition with only one offer, it makes sense that they should follow DFARS 215.371 Only One Offer.

    However, I am not convinced that FAR 15.404-1( b )(2)(i) requires adequate price competition. The requirement in the first sentence appears to only be that there are two or more proposed prices received in response to that particular solicitation. Furthermore, the second sentence qualifies itself with the word "Normally" in regards to establishing price reasonableness by adequate price competition. Thus, I do not think the requirements for FAR 15.403-1( c )(1)(i) are incorporated into the requirements for FAR 15.404-1( b )(2)(i). Here is the actual text of FAR 15.404-1( b )(2)(i):

    Comparison of proposed prices received in response to the solicitation. Normally, adequate price competition establishes a fair and reasonable price (see 15.403-1( c )(1)(i).

    When the requirements for adequate price competition under FAR 15.403-1( c )(1)(i) are not met and there are no other qualifying exceptions, FAR 15.404-1( b )(2)(i) provides for price analysis to supplement the cost analysis that must be performed with certified cost or pricing data. Taking it a step further, some defense contractors may subcontract requirements for commercial items (e.g. 25 units) with two or more "sole/single source" subcontractors (e.g. Sub A gets 10 and Sub B gets 15), but then use FAR 15.404-1( b )(2)(i) for price analysis of the commercial items.

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