Jump to content

Patrick Mathern

Members
  • Posts

    80
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Patrick Mathern

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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?

  5. 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!

  6. 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...

  7. They haven't told us yet, but that looks like it would fit their assertion!  This PCO is WAY overstepping their bounds here in my opinion.  Subject OIG report is for a prime contract that was determined COTS and worth $1B.  In our case, we're talking about a subcontract that was determined commercial (and well documented, I might add) with value less than $1M.  

     

    My case for pushing back rests on these facts plus application of 15.402(a)(3):  "Obtain the type and quantity of data necessary to establish a fair and reasonable price, but not more data than is necessary."

     

    Exercising the client's subs in this way is unnecessary and wasteful.

  8. This is a first: We have a client that has used redacted invoices for support of price analysis of a commercial item and the government customer sent the following response:

    "A recent DoD OIG inspection just slammed an agency for relying on sales data that did not include customer names. We need to see customer names to perform a valid analysis."

    I've requested this OIG report, but in the meantime, does anybody else have experience with this or have a copy of the OIG report that discusses this?   

  9. It's a determination that's made on a risk-adjusted basis.  Factors include whether a CPSR was conducted previously and the amount of time since that past review, total value of government contracts, types of contracts being placed between contractor and gov't, growth in value of contracts over time, and results of other audits.  The CPSR team has a very limited scope for conducting reviews each year and they try to revisit prior CPSRs every three years.  New CPSRs occur each year, but not many.

    If you have questions regarding the CPSR, check out the CPSR guidebook for a basic overview.  You can find it here:  http://www.dcma.mil/policy/109/CPSR_Guidebook.pdf.  I have partnered with Mark Hijar at Procurelinx on a couple of CPSR's and he does excellent work.  If you have one coming up, touch base and I'll make an introduction.

  10. Great question! I look forward to others weighing in on this, but I'll take a stab based on how we analyze these costs typically.

    Based on GSA Federal Travel Regulation guidelines (found here,) SS301-10.121 defines coach class as "the lowest fare offered..." and 10.122 states that "coach-class fare must be used except as provided in 10.123 and 10.124." Those sections basically outline exceptions based on special needs including security or medical related.

    However, since you're not traveling on official government business, I assume, I would recommend that you review the Prime's travel policy, which should be included (or referenced) in your subcontract agreement. Travel must be in alignment with the requirements set forth in your contract. If your contract refers to the FTR's, which many do, then you have to make the case that there's a special need, as discussed above. Otherwise, they probably have grounds for disapproval.

  11. I have worked with lots of formats, but PIA's preclude me from sharing. You can find the Uniform Contract format here...this is likely overkill but may serve to get you moving if you're truly starting from scratch. What is useful in the UC format is that it consists of a simple document that outlines requirements that is then supported with additional attached documents as required.

    If it's a particularly large procurement, including a proposal adequacy checklist (such as the DFARS version found here) can cut down on the time it takes to analyze the resulting proposal(s).

  12. In general terms, what does having a "directed source" do for a Prime with a certified procurement system other than relieve them of justifying the decision not to compete?

    I have a case where the Prime is considering using "directed source" as rationale for saying that a review of price reasonableness is not required (cost or price analysis). The logic here is that since the CO directed the source, the Prime has no option and therefore has to purchase at the offeror's price.

    I wholeheartedly disagree with this - source direction has nothing to do with price reasonableness. Has anybody experienced a case where source direction was successfully linked to price reasonableness?

  13. Though Vern is probably right from a by-the-book perspective, I would proceed in alignment with Here_2_Help's advice. If LCAT rates are agreed-to and on contract, those rates are considered fair and reasonable only within the scenario that supports them. If it can be shown that the lower rate is for the same caliber of labor and that there will be no additional hours required due to the lower-cost employee, then I'd say there's a to be made for stating the lower rate as "fair and reasonable." Realize, however, if you can lay that story out, then you've actually conducted a price analysis and this whole conversation goes away.

    With regard to an approved purchasing system, Here_2_Help again makes a good point. Even if you're negotiated at the Prime, if you have an approved system, you have to make a determination of fair and reasonable. Doesn't have to align with TINA at that point, but the work has to be done.

  14. They're always going to request data in their format. However, if there's nothing in your contract that states this as a requirement, you should be fine in your own format. Do your best to provide the data elements that they've requested. I would recommend that you submit it in a format that can be modified and worked with (xls rather than pdf if that makes sense for you). Frustrating an auditor doesn't typically work out in the end for contractors.

    Best of luck!

  15. Here's the scenario:

    A large business submits a contract-specific small business plan with their proposal. Prior to negotiations, two of its key small businesses become large businesses (one is purchased by large business and the other grows beyond the size requirements). The impact is sizable and there will be no chance for the subject large business to meet their goals originally stated in the proposal:

    Question: Is it customary to submit a modified contract-specific small business plan for the contract when this occurs since negotiations have not been completed?

    Thanks!

  16. I'm working through a Prime proposal >TINA in response to a non-competitive FPIF RFP with progress payments. I have limited experience with FPIF, so I need some education.

    My question is regarding liquidation and profit:

    Assuming a 20% liquidation rate (80% progress payment) how and when does the contractor invoice profit/fee? Is it invoiced with customary progress payments and if so, what % is applied? The target fee % agreed to in negotiations? How/when is that then adjusted to reflect the outcome of the agreed to share ratios related to the FPIF?

    Thank you,

    Patrick

  17. Unless your contract has a provision in it that requires you to disclose or share savings, your rate is firm and shouldn't be re-opened. As long as you acted in accordance with TINA (if this is in fact a TINA procurement) and did not hold back information when agreeing to the rates, you should be ok in my opinion.

    Would love to hear from others on this.

    Patrick

  18. I think your question has been answered but wanted to give you a piece of advice on how you respond since you mentioned "Learning Curve" in your original post. If you did not use a learning curve but it is something the DCMA requested, make sure that you respond with a case that implicitly refutes (no need to spell it out) the applicability of a learning curve, especially if the number of units being purchased now is >=10% of the total units produced to date (rough rule of thumb I use).

    Good luck!

    Patrick

  19. Like some of the other respondents, this is a little confusing to me. Could you clarify this: Are incurred costs being requested in order to determine what you're due as a result of the termination? Or are the incurred costs being requested in support of Table 15-2, which is used in proposals?

    I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that it's the latter. Since your customer has a fixed bucket of dollars, they're going to be required to substantiate that the value of the work incurred plus the value of the new work is truly worth what you're charging.

    If that's the case, you're in the driver's seat on this one. Speaking as simply as possible: Provide actual hours and actual material dollars. They can burden all of that using the bid rates that you provided previously.

×
×
  • Create New...