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jtolli

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Posts posted by jtolli


  1. Here's a question and answer from the Ask-A-Professor site that would lead one to believe the DoD memo applies to 8(a) also.

    Can I use GPC for a service buy under $25k if it is off a GSA contract schedule holder?

    Posted to Government-wide Purchasing Card on 4/1/2009 12:00:00 AM

    The Scenario?

    I have a requirement to have some furniture moved to another building. The price exceeds the micro-purchase limit but is not over $25k.

    The Question?

    Can I use a GSA schedule holder if I get 3 quotes? If not, may i issue a P.O. directly to an 8(a) contractor

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I recommend you read FAR 13.301 which addresses utilization of the Government Purchase Card in greater dollar amounts.

    To answer your question on going directly to an 8a Firm, I recommend you read Memorandum for Secretaries of the Military Departments, Under Secretary of Defense, 10 Mar 2009, at https://acc.dau.mil/CommunityBrowser.aspx?id=275888.


  2. For what it's worth, I have a Government Contracts Dictionary that was provided to me many years ago when I went to my first contracts training class. I use it quite often. It doesn't always give the source for its definitions, but in the forward it says it has been compiled from scattered elements of Federal, State and local government contracting regulations and literature. Here are the definitions it contains for Contractor and Vendor:

    Contractor: (1) A supplier, vendor or manufacturer having a contract (commitment) to provide supplies or services to the Government. (2) Any individual or other legal entity that (a) directly or indirectly (e.g., through an affiliate), submits offers for or is awarded, or reasonably may be expected to submit offers for or be awarded, a Government contract, including a contract for carriage under Government or commercial bills of lading, or a subcontract under a Government contract or (B) conducts business, or reasonably may be expected to conduct business, with the Government as an agent or representative of another contractor.

    Vendor: (1) Seller. Means a supplier of goods or one who operates in real estate; a supplier of a house, etc. (2) An individual, partnership, corporation or other activity which sells property to the military establishment. A vendor may supply a Government contractor. See Contractor.


  3. Vern, point(s) taken. Actually I am a very helpful type of procurement person, even if I do say so myself B) I usually end up working with them to develop cost estimates, and am putting together some training materials now that everyone will hopefully benefit from.

    The problem at the moment is by the time I get involved they (the technical people) have already gone to a vendor and got a quote. While they won't admit that they provided the vendor a copy of the PWS, it looks suspicious when the vendor's quote has the same labor category that the customer used in the PWS, which isn't a standard labor caegory. I actually called one vendor and the vendor told me they wrote the PWS and gave it to the government. The real issue I have is the technical person giving me a package with one quote from a vendor, and when I ask them for an Independent Government Cost Estimate (IGCE), they say the quote is their IGCE. So, I have to explain to them the purpose of the IGCE. I certainly don't throw it back in their face and tell them to get something else.

    I am aware of industry days, draft solicitations, pre-solicitation conferences, etc. Those may be good if we had time to do something like that. Unfortunately, by the time the customer comes to me with their requirement they are expecting to have their service in place within a month. Also, most of these requirements are under $500K, so may not be worth doing some of the other things.

    Lazy was a bad word to use, the problem is the technical people just need educated and trained.


  4. Sharing a PWS with a vendor as part of market reserach could provide that source with a competitive advantage. The question is does that information allow the source to craft a better proposal over competitors that won't see it until the solicitation gets issued?

    When conducting market research it's always better to communicate needs just in general terms. At that stage, requirements shouldn't be definitive enough for a completed PWS. You really should be looking at things like are there sources capable of responding, could commercial items meet the needs, specific practices of the market, best practices of other agencies and organizations in buying the same or similar things, etc.

    fomerfed, that's my line of thinking too. I just need to change the mindset of some of our technical people. They tend to go out to vendors and ask for pricing in order to develop cost estimates. Their reasoning being the vendor has the capability to determine what skill sets are required, and therfore what labor categories and rates are appropriate to meet the requirement. I think they are just being lazy, and don't want to put much work and thought into developing cost estimates. I have some reservations with the Ask-A-Professor answer that "...any information be provided to one potential competitor that may result in a competitive advantage then that information should be included in the resultant solicitation." If we follow that line of thinking, then we could share the PWS with one vendor weeks before the solicitation is issued, and then say we are OK since the PWS will be shared with all interested vendors when the solicitation is actually issued. Obviously the vendor who saw the PWS initially will have a significant haedstart on developing a response to it. I am new at my present job, and don't know how long this has been going on, or if the Contracting Officer's are aware that it is happening, but will find out shortly what their take on this is.


  5. I read a question and answer on the DAU Ask-A-Professor web site as listed below. I was curious as how some of the experts here feel about this answer?

    I have a similar situation where I work now. A particular vendor saw, or probably saw, the Performance Work Statement (PWS) for a requirement. If the PWS was revealed, it was done by the technical people as part of their market research to develop an Independent Government Cost Estimate (IGCE). So my question is; is sharing the PWS with a particular vendor (or vendors) as part of market research an acceptable practice, as long as the PWS is included in the reusltant solicitation, which it will be? It seems to me that other vendors could complain that one vendor had advance knowledge of the requirement, and therefore more time to develop a proposal.

    Here is what was posted at the Ask-A-Professor site:

    Quotes & Proposals

    Posted to Pre-Award Procurement and Contracting on 3/11/2009 12:00:00 AM

    The Scenario?

    My Division CHief says it is OK for techical people in our organizatioon to accept quotes and proposals from vendors as long as we let them know they are non binding.

    The Question?

    When, if ever, is it ok to receive quotes or proposals from a prospective vendor if you are not a contracting officer?

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Request for Proposals (RFP), Request for Quotes (RFQ), and Invitation for Bids (IFB) have specific meanings in federal acquisition. Therefore responses to them should be the domain of the contracting officer. Government personnel conducting market research may request technical as well as pricing information. Care must be taken during market research to ensure that industry understands the informality of market research.

    Also, care must be taken not to share one competitor's information with another. Additionally should any information be provided to one potential competitor that may result in a competitive advantage then that information Should be included in the resultant solicitation.


  6. I was recently asked a question and would like to see if anyone has a reaction to my answer, pro or con. When conducting a lowest price technically acceptable source selection (see FAR 15.101-2), if the offeror with the lowest price is technically acceptable, may the agency award to that offeror without evaluating the technical acceptability of the other offerors?

    I said yes, and recommended that the solicitation announce the plan to use the procedure.

    I am familiar with the language in FAR Subpart 15.3 and do not think anything therein or elsewhere in FAR bars such a procedure. I found no GAO decisions that bear on the question.

    I would say yes, award can be made without evaluating the technical portion of the other offerors. The reason I say that is, what would be achieved by evaluating the remaining proposals? Under LPTA you are awarding to the offeror with the lowest price on a go/no-go basis for technical factors. So it doesn't matter how "good" the offerors technical solution is, as long as they pass the acceptable threshold, then it comes down to price. So common sense would tell me that you would do the price evaluation first, rank the offers by price, and then not need to go any farther once you found a technically acceptable offer.


  7. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe much of the stimulus money will be going out in the form of grants, not acquisitions. In other words, xxx billion goes to the federal transit agency to fund transportation projects, xxx billion goes to DOE for energy-related projects, etc. The funds go to state and local governments, and other recipients, who then award contracts for the projects. As such, this will all occur under the agencies' grant regulations, not acquisitions.

    If so, does FedBizOPS, and even the FAR, come into play at all, at least for the money that gets disbursed through grants?

    Each Agency has their own web site dedicated to the Recovery Act. Listed below is what DoD says their portion of the funds will be used for. Looks like a lot of construction contracts mostly.

    $4.2 billion in Operation and Maintenance accounts to upgrade DoD facilities, including energy-related improvements

    $1.3 billion in military construction for hospitals

    $240 million in military construction for child development centers

    $100 million in military construction for warrior transition complexes

    $600 million for other military constructions projects such as housing for the troops and their families

    $300 million to develop energy-efficient technologies

    $120 million for the Energy Conservation Investment Program (ECIP)

    $555 million for a temporary expansion of the Homeowner?s Assistance Program (HAP) benefits for private home sale losses of both DoD military and civilian personnel

    $15 million for DoD Inspector General oversight and audit of Recovery Act execution


  8. What if the Government isn't totally happy with some of the incumbent employees on the contract? In the past I worked for a contractor submitting a proposal on a contract being re-competed. The incumbent contractor had earned a reputation of being somwhat sloppy in their workmanship, with some of their employees being lazy. Granted a lot of those types of problems can be fixed by strong management, but we (the outside company) wanted to bring in a largely fresh set of people so there would not be an impression, if we won, that it was status quo with the contractor employees merely putting on a different color company shirt when they came back to work on Monday working for a new company.

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