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Contracting123

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  1. Is the SF-18, Request for Quotations, a valid form to use when soliciting for a non-complex construction project under the SAT? My interpretation of FAR 13.003(g), and 13.307, is that the SF-18 is not precluded from use. However, FAR 36.701 does not speak to the SF-18 at all.
  2. Blind Evaluation

    While at a previous agency there was an existing policy that required offerors to submit redacted technical proposals, along with an orginal copy. The purpose was to let the technical evaluation team evaluate the redacted technical proposals, so as to remove any possiblity of unfairly evaluating all offers based on any prior knowledge of the competing firm. The CS or CO would label the technical proposals (A,B,C,D) and the TET would evaluate without knowing the identity of each offeror (A,B,C,D). This was never meant to insult any of the technical evaluators, or accuse them of having bias towards one contractor or another. It was meant as a simple step to take to maintain the integrity of the evaluation process. This doesn't appear to be the way my new agency operates. I'm told everyone on the evaluation team is an upstanding Federal employee and there is no need to not let the TET know the identity of the firms they are evaluating. Again, I'm not insinuating that the members of the TET would be influenced by this knowledge, but that there does exist a possiblity that it could happen. My question is if anyone knows of any published guidance or best practices I can refer to in order to show my leadership that this could be a beneficial process to institute here. On the other hand, if anyone thinks I'm off base and there would be no reason to not let the TET know the names of firms, please let me know.
  3. Travel Pricing Structure on FSS RFQ

    Whynot, "It is also wrong to think that proposing/negotiating travel on a fixed price basis will likely end up costing more. " Perhaps it is wrong to state the above as a blanket statement, I grant you that. However, in this office, historical record has shown, over several contracts, that money has been lost due to travel previously being priced FFP. Whynot, Can you please use your stunningly simple logic to address C-FSS-370 where it is stated that travel costs are reimbursable or can be priced as a fixed item? I see no "shall" in that clause.
  4. Travel Pricing Structure on FSS RFQ

    Maybe you can chalk this up to naivete from me being new to the contracting workforce (5 yrs) but why would any steward of taxpayer funds be willing to price "estimated" travel on a FFP basis? The bottom line as I see it, is that pricing the unknown and estimated travel as FFP will more often than not result in a loss to the Government. Also - what's wrong with having a mixed contract type? If it accomplishes the necessary tasks, with minimal risk to the Gov't, and is not explicitly prohibited, then it's appropriate - isn't it? Keep in mind, the only item I want to make reimbursable is travel - nothing else. Please note: The obvious answer of "your program office needs to more clearly and definitively define their travel requirements" (which I myself would be tempted to respond to this question with - and I'm surprised I haven't rec'd yet) won't help in this situation. I truly appreciate the continued responses and dialogue concerning this issue.
  5. Travel Pricing Structure on FSS RFQ

    Thanks Don Acquisition. I'm hesitant to use the Alt 1 of 52.212-4 in the debate with legal on this issue because it only applies to T&M or LH contracts. I see what your saying about how this shows you can have a reimbursable CLIN on a commercial contract, but I can see legal's response now -- "only if it's T&M or LH."
  6. Travel Pricing Structure on FSS RFQ

    Well we are procuring on a FFP basis. The contractors are quoting FFP for task and deliverables. They aren't giving firm fixed hourly rates, they are using their schedule rates to price our deliverables. So I don't think I can go back to him on 52.21204 which applies to T&M. On the other hand, does that open a whole new can of worms on how we are asking contractors to price these task orders? I guess my main issue is legal saying that one reimbursable CLIN renders the entire action non-commercial.
  7. My contracting shop is working on several program/project management support type RFQ's, which we procure via FAR pt. 8.405-2, FFP. For many of these solicitations the program office was not able to sufficiently gauge the exact amount of travel that would be required. However, we were able to tell potential respondents estimated travel req's, specifically, destination, and quantity of trips. We then asked contractors to give us a NTE price quote for travel, which we would reimburse after travel took place (of course we need to fund the task order appropriately, thus the NTE reimbursable CLIN). Our legal dept. has advised us that we cannot do this, referencing FAR 16.301-3b which states that the use of cost reimbursement contracts is prohibited for the acquisition of commerical items. My argument is that having one CLIN as reimbursable should not make the entire contract cost-reimbursable. Their response is that having one cost-reimbursable CLIN would cause the entire action to be a non-commercial contract because commercial contracts can only be FFP/FFP with EPA/T&M. When I pointed to C-FSS-370 in the base GSA contract which states travel costs are reimbursable by the ordering agency or can be priced as a fixed item, I'm told the clause is only descriptive (and I'm not sure what is meant by that.) Legal has advised that travel should be priced FFP. My argument is that could result in a loss to the Government if that travel does not take place at all, or not all of the estimated trips need to be taken. Ultimately, I'm going to have to do what legal wants here because they won't deem these RFQ's legally sufficient with travel as an NTE reimbursable CLIN. I just wanted to guage what others on this forum think, and if they know of any GAO decisions or any other regulation thay may differ from our legal guidance. Thanks!
  8. Our office is currently using an electronic contract writing program that enables us to post an RFQ to e-buy via an interface between that program and e-Buy. We have been instructed by our HCA not to email any RFQ's to schedule contractors because we are posting every RFQ to e-buy (and theoretically, every schedule holder has access to review the RFQ we post to that particular schedule). However, on more than one occasion we have seen that the list of schedule contractors relevant to one category on the contract writing program has not accurately meshed with the list of schedule contractors relevant to that same category as shown on GSA Advantage. This makes some of us question how well the interface is working. Here's my question: when we run into the situation (which I'm certain we will) where a schedule contractor claims they cannot access our RFQ through ebuy for some reason or other, and they specifically ask for the RFQ to be emailed to them - what do we do? Our HCA has provided direction not to email RFQ's to anyone - however, FAR 8.405-2©(4) states "the ordering activity shall provide the RFQ to any schedule contractor who requests a copy of it." Can/should we really just stand on the position that we posted the RFQ and all schedule contractors should be able to access it?
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