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About DWGerard1102

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  1. Joel, Karma played out in the end for the KO, he died less than 6 months after retiring when he had a heart attack while gardening in his back yard. He wasn't a bad guy to work for but he was a coward when it came to standing up to the bully that was committing the crime. I think it weighed heavily on his heart and spirit what he had failed to handle properly, which is a heavy burden for sure.
  2. Here is the case that I brought up to my leadership and was ignored so I resigned my the civil service position for a position in industry: https://www.justice.gov/archive/usao/ma/news/2010/July/THROWERverdictPR.html After I left the Army HQ CID folks found the CD with all the needed information for their case in a blank envelope stapled to the contract file. The person who took over my desk when I resigned told me that the KO pulled all the paper documents out of the file and shredded them. The amount that was defrauded by the perps was somewhere north of the amount in the story. I was told by the investigator who called me more than a year after I resigned the amount stolen was closer to $50M than it was to $4 mil but they had enough to put him away so they stopped investigating. The contract I was working on was $1.5M and the perp had more than 3 fraudulent contracts in place with similar award amounts at that time alone.
  3. The SBA Mentor-Protégé program is not a joint venture so it does not have a minimum percentage of work for either party. The MP program is where a mentor trains the protégé in specific area and is supervised by the SBA on at least an annual basis. The SBA MP program allows (but does not mandate) JVs and eliminates the affiliation between the JV partners so long as the SBA MP program is in place and no other factors are present. The JVs formed must follow the JV rules and the overall project manager must come from the protégé firm. The MP regulations to not specify the percentages of work for the associated JV. With that, when the SBA reviews and approves the JV as part of the MP program, it expects to see the percentage of work done by the protégé company grow over the life of any contracts awarded to the JV to at least 51% if not more, depending upon what is agreed upon between the MP participants and the SBA.
  4. The SBA can perform the evaluation and provide the KO with the information he or she needs to know in relation to the LOS regulation. The authority to enforce remains with the KO, but the information and evaluation process is difficult and time consuming for a KO (I know that some KOs would disagree, but I have been told it was too hard to do many times by KOs), so I as a PCR will perform the evaluation for the KO if there is a serious concern regarding a contractor's adherence with the LOS regulation
  5. I have been advising KOs to refer any suspected violations of the Limitations on Subcontracting to the SBA Area Office for their action. If its a CFR issue, then its up to the SBA to resolve the problem. The LOS scenario is similar to the Ostensible Subcontractor evaluation and the SBA is authorized to obtain employment records and financial documents so it can perform the analysis with all the needed data, and the SBA office is set up for that work so it is not contrary to the other functions like a contracting office would face. I can say that because I work for the SBA now as a PCR (Procurement Center Representative), and I am one of the people who would receive those cases to work.
  6. One thing that might impact this scenario is 13 CFR §125.6(1) where similarly situated entities (small businesses) can assume part of the 50% requirement. If the HR firm is a small business under the appropriate NAICS code, their employees are added to the prime employees towards the 50% requirement. The Ostensible Subcontractor rule does not apply to all of the employees, it only applies to managers, key personnel and contract executives responsible for primary and vital requirements of the contract.
  7. No, I don't work for either of those two agencies.
  8. This is anecdotal, but I believe it reflects how the Government treats technology procurements. Our office decided to update all the employees with top of the line equipment including new state of the art mobile phones and lightweight computers. The purchase of the new equipment was approved and the contracts awarded. Once the equipment was delivered, the software was considered. The equipment sat in a warehouse for more than a year before it was sent out to the workforce. Meanwhile the "state of the art" moved on and the equipment was no longer top of the line (Iphone 5 well after the introduction of the Iphone 6 models), when it was received by the user. The software is also more than a year behind, and we cannot even access our own agency webcasts because the browsers (IE and Chrome), are both so out of date they will not allow access to the webcast system. Trying to get those programs updated is not automatic and requires the user to contact the help desk and request the upgrades. That creates another problem when the upgraded program no longer works with existing printers, scanners and the like. Also, the new computers did not come with DVD players/writers, which some offices still use, so each office had to buy their own separate DVD player/writer for each user. I don't blame our leadership, they are trying. I don't blame the contracting team, they too are trying. The problem is that the procurement system is so cumbersome, so complex, so weighed down with processes and reviews, that it simply cannot respond quickly enough to purchase and deploy the latest technology.
  9. In the recent past I have seen contractor proposals in response to a single solicitation vary in cost by 100% ($400K to $800K) and in simple page counts by the same percentages. Meanwhile the Government estimate for that same project was $200K and was written on just over 4 pages of technical information. In my review I suggested that the technical office have their technical information reviewed to see if it made any sense at all because I could not understand what they wanted, other than a comprehensive research project of some sort or another. The 4 pages were full of acronyms that were not explained, technical jargon and I could not find an end product other than "a research paper". As a 3rd party reviewer for 13 different buying agencies, it is amazing how we (procurement officials), can send out solicitations that only we understand and then expect everyone else to understand our madness as well as we do.
  10. http://www.federaltimes.com/story/government/management/hr/2016/03/09/tester-competitive-service-act-clears-senate-obama/81528674/ I saw this today and found this section to be most interesting: "The legislation provides a pathway for agencies to select qualified applicants, even if they initially applied to other agencies." Imagine applying for a position with say, the Dept. of Agriculture and then getting a call from the Dept. of State for a position that you didn't apply for or even know existed. Considering some of the parallels between the federal hiring process and the world of contracting, this could be made quite interesting if it jumped that particular fence!
  11. One thing to remember if you are dealing with small businesses: only the SBA can determine if a small business is NOT responsible per FAR 19.6-1.
  12. Vern, I did contact the base IG, they did nothing with the information. After I left the KO did take all the paper documents out of the contract file, but he did not think to remove the unlabeled CD in the envelope stapled inside the contract folder. The break in the case came when the PM's sister bragged about her "projects" to another contractor, who then contacted the IG in DC. The investigation came from DC, not the base where the contracting office was located at. I left because not one of the leaders in the office cared about possible fraudulent activity, the legal staff did not care, the base IG did not care and the Commanding Officer did not care (or at least his gate keepers did not care because they kept me from talking to him personally about the matter). I left because the corruption and corruption through non-action was unsurmountable to me, a non-supervisory low level GS employee, without destroying my career. I did what I could and left with honor, refusing to just play along and leaving enough information for anyone who cared to put the case together.
  13. I know of at least one reason and situation that the Contracting Personnel should see what they are buying; you might be buying nothing more than fraud. Long story: In my case, the PM would send us specs to solicit in an IFB, refuse to answer my questions on the documents and then get the KO to release them anyway. The contractor with the lowest price had won nearly all of the previous competitions which had been processed before I took over the program. Several weeks later we issue the notice to proceed and a week after that I visit the work site. In that visit, there was no lay down area, no signage, no contractor vehicles. Two weeks go by and I send an email to the PM about progress and he states that the project is on schedule. Again I visit the work site with no contractor activity in sight. I verified the bldg. number and went back to my office. I called the PM and asked him to take me to where the work was being conducted and he refused. I brought this up with the KO and he told me to "relax". I went to his boss and she told my KO to "resolve this issue". Later then next day the PM, the KO and myself had a meeting and I asked again where the work was being conducted and for the PM to show me the work. He refused and said that I was "too ignorant of construction methods" to even look at the work. I then had to be pulled back from punching him by the KO who pulled me back across the table. I brought this problem up with my KO's supervisor, the HCA, the Contract Attorney for the office and the local investigations office. Nothing was done or said so several weeks later I resigned from the Civil Service for a job in the private sector. Before I left I put evidence and copies of all messages along with a memo to file with my suspicions that the project was a fraud against the Government inside the contract folder. I also made copies digitally and put them on a disc which I enclosed in an unmarked envelope inside the contract folder. Later on, after I had been gone a few years, I found out that the PM had been indicted and found guilty of defrauding the Government for millions. His sister in NY who owned the contractor company also won herself a trip to Club Fed. The KO was allowed to retire and his supervisors all had some kind of negative actions applied to their careers. Short story: Know what you are buying because going to jail, losing your job and/or facing financial penalties is not a good thing for Contracting personnel, even when it is not your fault!
  14. Policyguy, Thanks for reminding me of that function, he or she will be contacted asap!
  15. Joel, From what I have gathered, the IT work is currently being completed using a system created by/maintained by an 8(a) contractor. I do not know if that contract was originally awarded by the buying activity who now has the requirement. The buying activity is seeking to move that work to a remediation ID/IQ contract task/delivery order so that the work would be within their funding authority. I have found that if the work would be awarded outside of the remediation contract it would likely be awarded by another division within the overall organization since the buying activity does not have the authority to establish a stand alone IT system. That leaves two issues; should the work be moved to the remediation contract and can the requirement be removed from the 8(a) program? As far as the relationship between the remediation work and the IT system, I have not gotten that far into the weeds yet.