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Patrick Mathern

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About Patrick Mathern

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    Copper Member

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    Santa Barbara, CA
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    Cost analysis, supplier rate and factor audits, business system reviews, training, consulting, exchanging ideas, networking

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  1. Price Analysis - Modifications

    If you work for a contractor rather than the government, check your procurement policies and procedures. May be there rather than the FAR.
  2. Subcontracting with CPFF

    Hi Jennifer - You will get a far more complete answer from some of the other folks in this forum, I focus my efforts on cost and price analysis. From that perspective, you will want to determine whether what you're buying qualifies as a commercial item/service (as defined in FAR 2.101). If it does prove to be commercial, it will simplify your flowdowns and possibly the cost/price analysis requirements. If it's not commercial, you'll want to know if your subcontract will be >$750K. This will have implications for cost vs. price analysis. Questions to you then: does this qualify as a commercial item/service and is it >$750K? Patrick
  3. Award with a Proposal

    Hi Vern - Thanks for setting me straight! We have used this approach for over ten years but based on the straightforward text in 52.215-12, I'm changing my tune (and process). Very helpful discussion!
  4. Award with a Proposal

    Hi Vern - I think so, but help me walk through this. That citation references FAR 15.408 which references Table 15-2. In Table 15-2, it notes that "The requirement for submission of certified cost or pricing data continues up to the time of agreement on price..." Therefore, if the Prime has already agreed to price with the Customer, Certification does not apply. Since Certification applies between Customer and Prime (then waterfalls through the applicable subs,) alleviating the Cert at the Prime would then alleviate any benefit at the sub level.
  5. Award with a Proposal

    If price negotiations between the Prime and customer are not yet complete, certification is still required. However, if the prime has already negotiated and received award, then certification by the sub should not be required. POST-SUBMITTAL EDIT: Based on what Vern has posted below, I no longer hold this belief. If 52.215-12 is included in the Prime flowdowns, cert at the sub level is required regardless of timing.
  6. Subcontractor fee evaluation

    Absolutely - here's the deal with profit/fee (as long as you're calculating as a % of cost, we're basically talking about the same thing): It's the one area of a subcontractor's proposal that doesn't require any support or substantiation. A sub can propose an exorbitant profit/fee rate and there's no requirement that they explain it to you. Same goes between the Prime and the government. Where things get sticky is when the Prime sets forth an opinion of reasonableness in a cost/price analysis. If that opinion is not supported with a systematic method of evaluation, then it's going to be subject to challenge. In other words, you can analyze and support profit in any way you see fit. It requires no additional information from the sub and there's no requirement that you have to use the Weighted Guidelines. It just so happens that the Weighted Guidelines is a systematic approach that is generally accepted in the industry. I echo Neil's question above - what is your role? Is this a TCOPD (formerly "TINA") procurement?
  7. Subcontractor fee evaluation

    We use the weighted guidelines for all of our subcontract cost analysis reports. There's no requirement to use it, but CO's, the DCMA, and DCAA generally like seeing it since it's familiar to them. In fifteen years of providing cost analysis reports on behalf of large primes, this approach has never been challenged.
  8. FAR 13 fair and reasonable

    I've done this before and here's what we advise our clients when this comes up: If the offerors were notified in the solicitation that it was a competitive procurement, and if bidders acted independently, and if there was nothing that otherwise suggested an invalid competition (i.e. competitive range considerations) then the competition can be accepted as valid. Based upon the criteria stated, one can be reasonably assured that market forces are present which result in reasonable pricing. While admittedly a special case, competing among distributors does not in and of itself invalidate a competition.
  9. International Suppliers

    Hello - I have connections at a company called IPT (Integrated Procurement Technologies) that specializes in this type of procurement. Here's their website: http://www.iptsb.com/. Take a look and then private message me with your contact information if you'd like an introduction. Patrick
  10. Cost/Price Risk

    The issue that you run into when you assess risk using these types of categories is in how to fold that into scoring to come up with a fair award. Typically, it's possible to quantify risk (cost, schedule, and technical) in terms of dollars one way or another, which results in a more objective award summary, or at least one that can be discussed in objective terms. Pushing forth with the above approach is great, but that you'll get better results by pairing it with a corresponding quantified adjustment to offered price.
  11. If the only "original" document that's created is the approval signoff page and the rest is just a reproduction of an electronic document, you should only need to keep the signoff page. To H2H's point, I agree that reviewers typically have a fairly severe reaction when confronted with the possibility of accessing electronic documents. Additionally, providing access to systems tends to snowball in unintended ways. Having said that, as noted previously, I think that you've sufficiently addressed this concern by planning to print requested documents rather than provide access electronically. Hope this helps!
  12. Sylvia: Please help clarify. What I typically see is documentation that is emailed to buyers and then printed. In addition, the buyers create electronic documentation that is also then printed. In both of these cases, the electronic documents (not printed copies) are technically the "originals." Do your buyers work with truly original non-electronic documentation that would then be subject to the 1 year rule pointed out by H2H, or are they using printed reproductions of electronic documents? Are the electronic copies modified manually after printing? H2H & Vern: Am I off-base here by saying that the original documentation is the electronic copy and that the paper copies therefore aren't subject to retention unless modified manually?
  13. Hi Sylvia - This is something a lot of companies are looking at right now - there is not a requirement that I know of to maintain original paper copies of this documentation, but if there is one out there, Vern will no doubt be able to point to it! From a practicality standpoint, the risks of going this direction typically apply when companies do not intend to provide paper copies at all, but rather intend to just provide system access in the event of a CPSR. This opens up a plethora of issues, but it sounds like you've already addressed this by planning to print out requested documents. It will be a slow move, but this is the future of documentation. We've also embraced it by creating an online price analysis reporting / documentation tool, SpendLogic. Good luck!
  14. Thanks Vern. At the end of the day, the CO has the authority to request this information, but in this case specifically, there neither is a business nor risk case to justify that request. The client has nothing to hide here - just too few hours in the day to fiddle with this type of request when there are other significant issues at hand requiring attention. Paralysis by analysis...
  15. Not a dumb question at all - we aren't redacting the invoices. It's the client's subs that are doing the redacting. In aerospace and defense, one day you're a customer, the next day you're a competitor. We see this quite a bit.