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  1. Beyond the question of whether it is unduly restrictive, I am not convinced as to how we would accomplish this. The sentence above could be interpreted as "the subcontractor shall not...." It just seems to me that it is written using passive language, which makes it all the less clear and enforceable. Here it is again-- DO state that a firm may attend only one oral presentation, whether for itself as a prime offeror or as a subcontractor for another firm. If I translate that into something I can incorporate into a solicitation, preserving as much of the language as I can, then it
  2. Sure, in fact, when I brainstormed about this on my ride down the interstate, this was the other workaround I arrived at, which is to say, in addition to the "open-book" tech challenge approach. Without giving the PM either of the options, I highlighted my concerns. He immediately answered with "can't we give everyone the questions up front"? Being the consummate team-player and wise CO that I am, I figured I would let him think the idea was all his. To your point about the nature of the requirement and how many subcontractors are likely available within this marketplace--by my underst
  3. I am the CO assigned to a requirement for services. My program office has elected to conduct oral presentations. An evaluation plan with the following language was submitted to me-- DO state that a firm may attend only one oral presentation, whether for itself as a prime offeror or as a subcontractor for another firm. If by this language, we mean to say that a contractor (prime) competing for an award under this solicitation may not participate both in an oral presentation for itself and as a subcontractor for a competing contractor, then I am fine with this language.
  4. It is good to hear this from a veteran KO, Joel. Aside from the differences of opinion on terms and processes, what has always concerned me the most is a reviewer's unwillingness to support their review comments. It never ceases to amaze me that such approaches are tolerated by those individuals' supervisors. My asking for justification is seemingly taken as an affront. I was recently told by a hiring manager that highly-skilled 1102s, which he defined as those at the post-GS-13 grade-levels, were the most difficult to hire, because the pool of qualified applicants is so light. Yet, when a
  5. Since I inherited this action from another CO (who was involved in requesting the original legal review), I reached back out to one of our reviewing attorneys again this morning to obtain clarification. The attorney indicates that the work is within the general scope of the original contract, i.e., no cardinal changes are being made. My understanding of the litmus test for determining a proposed action to be "within the general scope" is whether it seems more than likely that the contracting parties could have reasonably anticipated such a change at the time of original award. Another attor
  6. Yes, bottom line, we do want to expand the contract beyond whatever options were originally included under 52.217-9 and yes, the reason is to be able to cover a period prior to the next recompete. The reviewers and I all agree we need a sole source justification (or JEFO if you like--I'm not getting too bogged down with the specifics for purposes of anonymity). We all agree that the funded extension needs to be accomplished bilaterally. The difference of opinion is simple. The reviewers are insisting we call the extension (bilateral) an option on the SSJ and on the modification itself. I s
  7. Yes, Bob, FAR clause 52.217-9 is incorporated. In addition to the proposed contract extension by mutual agreement of the parties for which there is a funding commitment, the office wants to incorporate three "short" options as safety nets in case we fall behind on our milestones in awarding the recompeted contract. I indicated that we need to modify to increase the ceiling in paragraph c of that same option clause, "...shall not exceed xx (months) (years)," as we are approaching the maximum number of months therein specified. Do you see any issues with this approach?
  8. It's a supplemental agreement within scope. What clause am I citing? Well Don Mansfield probably does not think I need to cite any clause. Is not a signature from an authorized representative of the contractor enough? Hmm, perhaps I would cite the commercial items clause, paragraph c (52.212-4(c) Changes), but isn't that superfluous? Why isn't an action based on the mutual agreement of the parties a bilateral action, you ask? It is, I agree with you; never said it was not.
  9. Per the title of this discussion, FAR section 2.101 states, "'Option' means a unilateral right in a contract by which, for a specified time, the Government may elect to purchase additional supplies or services called for by the contract, or may elect to extend the term of the contract." My office seeks to extend the term of a contract by several months on a sole source basis. Our attorney offered his legal opinion, saying he believed such an action was within scope of the original action and therefore permissible. I am doing the contract extension via a modification by the mutual agreem
  10. General, you offer a lot of good suggestions above for evaluation criteria one might use to conduct a downselect. My original question is focused on how to support a selection decision through documentation after the Government has determined which criteria it will use to evaluate. Our criteria for evaluation must always be stated in our solicitation. However, the way we document our evaluation and selection does not necessarily have to be included in the solicitation language. I have found that many decision authorities prefer to tell contractors a lot about how they will document their d
  11. Ibn Battuta, My dear father was a sergeant in the Army. I believe this is a term he brought back from his enlistment which my brother and I heard countless time growing up, among many of his other favorite sayings and aphorisms from the service. I am sorry, no harm or insult was intended I chuckle every time I think of that saying, which in this case, I replaced with a euphemism. As you can guess, it means focused on minor (perhaps trivial) details. I never meant to come across as vulgar, nor subject you to a lecture. This forum can get energetic and mildly sarky, as I'm sure you ar
  12. I would draw your attention to FAR 1.108(a), Words and terms, which states, "Definitions in part 2 apply to the entire regulation unless specifically defined in another part, subpart, section, provision, or clause. Words or terms defined in a specific part, subpart, section, provision, or clause have that meaning when used in that part, subpart, section, provision, or clause. Undefined words retain their common dictionary meaning." Moreover, I would point you to the link JI included, specifically the cited GAO case, AlliantCorps, LLC; B-417126; B417126.3; B417126.4; February 27, 2019 (se
  13. JI, Innovation Technique 5, Comparative Analysis, states "Probably more suited to acquisitions with a few quotes and a few evaluation factors." The point of Phase One, a downselect, is to narrow a larger pool of offerors down to a more manageable pool, i,e, best qualified. Based on our market research, I can conjecture as to how many task order proposals we might receive. However, I cannot say with any certainty. I have to presuppose that all contractors under the socio-economic category for which we are setting our FOPR aside might submit task order proposals. It should be noted that the
  14. I understand, Don. It seems the "even swaps" method would work better using rankings as the HBR article states. I like the ranking or scaling method for this approach. However, I know a lot of contracts managers are averse to the idea of ranking. Why do you think this is? Perhaps it is equated with numeric scoring, which has become a bit of an anathema. For example, no one wants to explain to the GAO why an offeror lost to an awardee by a single point. It seems to me we rank offerors regardless as evaluators and selection authorities, if in no other way, in our minds as we are performin
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