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Michael11

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Posts posted by Michael11


  1. As a contractor in this situation I think it’s important to evaluate things beyond just the terms and conditions spectrum as well. 

    Once you have cleared what you see to be the legal hurdles (solicitation language, FAR, contract) will your firms reputation still be in tact?

    Even if you’ve determined you’re not obligated to disclose a thing, how will your actions be perceived by the govt or others?

    There is a difference between substituting a key position where 1) you know your company has 5 more equally qualified replacements who wouldn’t skip a beat and 2) the one of a kind project lead that you’d be up a creek without a paddle looking to replace.

    If it were the latter and you knew the award depended on this person, even if you risk losing the business, it may be worth disclosing to the agency (if you still had the chance to). If you didn’t and you can’t deliver you likely just cost yourself a customer.

    If it were the former you can probably sleep well at night knowing that you can still staff a high performing individual at a key position (and one that the govt won’t freak that you’re replacing).

    This might not good advice but it was what I thought about after having cleared contractual obligations 

     


  2. I faced this same scenario where our folks identified as key personnel in a proposal had moved on by the time our award rolled around. 

    Our staffing matrix and qualifications for key personnel held significant weight in the technical evaluation too.

    At the time I searched for anything in the solicitation or otherwise that forced a contractor to disclose they’d left and ultimately I did not find anything that required this disclosure. With the eval criteria you could argue there should have been.

    Knowing that a disclosure of this change to the agency could have thrown our tech evaluation upsidedown, albeit completely unintentional, it wasn’t worth the risk of disclosing prior to a fully executed contract. 

    We abided by the key personnel clause in the award and no one got too bent out of shape. But it was a balance to not appear a bait and switch was going on (which if intentional  would be a much different situation).

    The adage better to ask for forgiveness than permission did cross through my mind once or twice 


  3. We just went through several years worth of ICS audits.

    This was through a private consultancy working on behalf of dcaa.

    Took about 45 days for us to correct initial deficiencies in our proposals and for them to be deemed adequate.

    What retread said is right on. No stone is left unturned. The business systems check was pretty rigorous and high, high volumes of backup support. 

    Once our proposals were deemed adequate it was ten months. The idea of it taking three times as long via a dcaa audit could drive one insane


  4. So I've been providing ongoing support on incurred cost audits for my company. During their last big audit and before my time DCAA challenged and sought to disallow a substantial amount of ODCs that weren't supported with a formal vendor or subk agreement.

    Maybe disallow is the wrong word but these were direct project ODCs which were all billed and paid during contract performance.

    It seems they're taking the same stance with a current audit they're conducting.

    My question here is what sort of clause or manual requires ODCs to be supported with an agreement in order to be deemed allowable? I'm not talking about what I'd consider a true subcontractor where we'd execute a formal sow, payment schedule, flow downs, etc. That's obvious. We're talking about things I'd normally consider simply vendors or suppliers of ODCs.

    Maybe we asked them for a proposal, maybe they'd provide catalog pricing that fit our need, or whatever else. Like if you ordered 1,000 pens and pads of paper from Office Depot, say it cost $25k, would you go back to them to get some sort of additional documentation beyond simply processing and paying their invoice, then passing that along to the client as an allowable project cost (assuming it was)?

    Does anyone have experience with what i've probably not all that well explained here?


  5. Thank you I should have thought of that Retreadfed, you're right on the money, FAR 52.212-4 is in our FSS contract which we've become familiar from another award. And this does speak directly to termination so I'll likely incorporate this into the memo

    Thanks for the response, Vern. That's right along the lines of what I was thinking. I imagine I'll run into some 'why do we need to do this' along the way so i appreciate your feedback.

     


  6. Our client (COR) indicated to our project team that our contract was essentially an initiative that for various reasons has been eliminated from their agency. Read, to me at least, terminated for convenience. No one at our company, in any capacity,  has received a formal stop work notice or termination letter. These conversations were mostly handled over client calls, etc. where they indicated that we should be shutting everything down and no longer working (this was at least a month ago). The CO finally just last week put in writing that no additional work shall be performed under this contract.

    Is the government required to issue either a stop work or term notice if they want a contractor to stop working and shall we insist we receive one to cover us for any outstanding deliverables that we won't be able to deliver for this reason? We're about 3/4 of the way through the program which is a time and materials GSA task order. The task order has hardly any T&Cs in it. FAR 52.242-15 is in our master FSS agreement but I haven't seen any termination clauses. And the CO now wants us to send them a "final invoice".

    From a cost perspective, there's nothing we'd necessarily seek to recover as a result of the program going away (non cancellable commitments, subs, etc.). We're at a point where, if there's no more work, once we send them a final bill for labor hours from a month or two ago, we're done. 


  7. The more I read the language in the RFP the less I think they're actually expecting a performance based plan (PBP) as described in FAR 32.10.  They want a performance based payment schedule. None of the aforementioned PBP clauses are included.  And no mention of contract financing.

    Can you have a performance based payment schedule, but not as a means of contract financing (an actual PBP)?  It's our fault that we're guessing and there's no time for clarifications.


  8. Help that is exactly what i am saying.  it says to "as this is a performance based acquisition, the contractor is required to propose a performance based payment schedule based upon tasks completed, submission of approved deliverables and task order milestones achieved within each period."  PBP is not called for in the underlying agreement and there is no more mention of it in the rfp.


  9. Help, just curious.  Does the absence of a formal FAR prescription or FAR 52.232-28, Invitation to Propose Performance-Based Payments change your mind at all?  All it says it pretty much  provide a PBP plan based upon tasks completed, submission of approved deliverables and task order milestones achieve in the contract period.

    There's no other information and no one asked any questions because that would have made too much sense.

    I'm not saying that I would, but you could argue a traditional milestone schedule may still be considered a performance based payment plan? 


  10. Thanks for this information.  Help sorry if it seemed as if I had done no research on my own.  I do consider myself competent with Google and I probably dug up most of what Vern provided before I posted.  I must be, as Vern noted, making it more complicated than it is.  Which might be because if you go to the DOD PBP tool it quickly becomes more complex than just traditional milestone billing. Showing estimated expenditure timeline, etc.

    Don the solicitation does not contain FAR 52.232-28, Invitation to Propose Performance-Based Payments.  It pretty much just says offerors must propose a PBP based upon tasks completed, submission of approved deliverables and task order milestones achieve in the contract period.  It's going to be a hybrid contract with FFP and T&M line items.  So I think we're going to keep it as simple as possible and it sounds like since there are no specific guidelines we won't sweat over a specific format. 


  11. I think the posts here were really helpful in covering the topic of proposing items or services not on a contractor's gsa schedule.  We're in receipt of a similar RFQ which has almost identical language - offeror's can propose only odcs on their schedule or items up to the micropurchase threshold and all subcontractor labor must be mapped to the prime categories and rates.  After reading FAR 52.216-31, is my earlier hypothetical cost proposal setup the right one?

    The rows on our cost proposal could look like this -

    • Engineer II $50 per hour
    • Engineer II (IT Help LLC) $50 per hour
    • Laborer $45 per hour
    • Laborer (Workers Inc.) $45 per hour
    • Laborer (Cleaning Co.) $45 per hour

    I think that would satisfy FAR 52.216-31.  But I think if you disclosed that Engineer II and Laborer services will be performed/fulfilled by the subcontract employees identified in our proposal that would also work.  But we definitely should not show them as an ODC or subcontract in the budget right?

    And does anyone have any workarounds for proposing ODCs which are required for performance of the work but not on a contractor's schedule?  This would seem to severely limit our ability to propose the costs we'll actually need to do the work.


  12. It's my understanding that any executed CTAs were done so preaward. and I don't think we have the ability to request one at this time but I'm going to look more into. Also look into the restrictions called for in open market items. from a price competitiveness standpoint, I think we'd actually prefer to propose our subs at their rates plus any applicable odc burden verus wrapping them into our prime rates.

    Whynot you really hit the nail on the head. I plan on looking myself but is there a specific restriction, for open market items, that we should be concerned about when classifying such a service as an ODC (versus labr)?


  13. Thanks Help. I think you pretty well covered it. In this case it's actually for an FFP which imo makes it an even poorer prescription. do u still think it makes sense to include the sub hours under direct labor with the sub designation for the category . So sub gives us a budget and we do the best job of roll/mappijg their categories and rates jnto ours. Or sub gives us a budget we map it to out rates and put a plug in the sub category. I think both accomplish the same thing


  14. Yes we're the prime. This is for a call under a GSA BPA. In the Q&A it says 'subcontractors rates need to map to the prime's rates'. And consultants also have to "map to the prime's rates just like subcontractors". They are distinguishing anyone that does not have a contractor teaming arrangement in place as a subcontractor.

    Can we show something like this and then map the titles accordingly? And actually show this in direct labor category? Or should it still be recorded as a sub in the budget?

    Project Manager $100/hr

    Project Manager (Sub A) $100/hr

    Assistant $50/hr

    Assistant (Sub B ) $50/hr


  15. The RFQ specifically says offers must do this. In doing so how do you present the sub in your budget? Are they shown in the direct labor portion of the budget with a designation that they're a sub or are they still put in the sub or ODC cost category?

    Does anyone have any best practices? Must this mapping process have a full blown analysis of the sub quals vs. the prime GSA categories and qualifications? Any help is greatly appreciated!


  16. thanks for the additional feedback. Don I like that approach/guidance but at this point I think to avoid being found non responsive we're going to go along with this. Help that is essentially the format. We'd have to take it upon ourselves to add a place for a discount at the most senior level categories. And to Joel's point, we're still left with a similar disparity for the most junior staff but in the opposite direction. that is if we don't bump their "estimated" salaries a bit higher for them to hit the target.


  17. Thanks Vern. I'm pretty confident that, considering the language in the RFP, none of this is binding and is for evaluation purposes only. Which makes it that much more an exercise in futility. But that is no doubt our biggest fear - for an element of one of these calculations to be held against us at a later date. Or our approach be found faulty. We want this analysis to be somewhat verifiable - but at the end of the day to make a square peg fit into a round hole we are going to have to cut the edges off something. Whole thing makes me queasy.


  18. Yes this is a competitive procurement and they are intending to award one T&M contract. No cost or pricing data is requested or required to be completed. I do believe this is a commercial item RFP. They did indicate this was an exercise in determining cost reasonableness. Other folks asked during the Q&A whether they could just use their GSA rates. the response was basically yes but you still have to complete the format provided i.e. providing a breakdown of your gsa rate


  19. Correct - our rates are based primarily on market and not cost buildups. And correct, we are not sure which information to furnish in response to agency's instruction.

    We could come up with financial data to support many of these indirect elements but it's nothing I would consider totally auditable. As far as we're concerned, we'd like to keep the rates we currently charge this client. Which, for some categories, look like a bargain when we actually do a cost buildup.

    Is there anything preventing us from backing into these rates? If we apply the same burdens to all of the categories, the only thing left to manipulate is salaries. Which would translate to showing sr staff salaries likely below average and jr staff a bit more than our current average. Is there a better approach than this?


  20. We're submitting a response to a T&M rfp. The agency has requested that we propose for each labor category a breakdown of the direct labor, OH, fringe, G&A, and profit. They've provided a template that is to be completed for each category. Each of these cost elements are to be expressed in a $ value - so direct labor and all IDC/profit should sum to the proposed hourly rate for each category.

    We have several questions about what sort of pricing to provide them. We currently have contracts with this agency and charge a certain set of rates. These rates, and our company's pricing model, do not generally fit well into this cost buildup. We hardly do any cost reimbursement contracting. Senior counsel staff would have enormous rates and jr staff rates would be more paltry than we currently charge them. So we have financial data to do the buildup, but the result is nothing that's really in our best interest to propose.

    Nowhere do they state that this should be verifiable cost and pricing or salary data. I don't think the word rate is mentioned anywhere - they want a $ value for each cost driver and a rate for the title, nothing more.

    Does anyone have any experience with this? Ideally we'd like to keep our rates close to what we're currently charging. Which is generally administered at a loss for sr staff and a profit at the junior level. Is there any harm in manipulating, say, the estimated salary in our buildup to fit into a pricing model that is attractive to the client? We want to be consistent with the rates and profit were apply to each of our LCATS. So the only other variable we have to work with is the estimated salaries to reach out fully loaded rate.

    It's hard to tell what sort of analysis they'll be doing with this pricing. Folks asked questions and their answers were vague and nonconclusive as to what the purpose of this exercise was.

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