Jamaal Valentine

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About Jamaal Valentine

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  • Birthday August 8

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    Being good...when I can't be good, being compliant...when I can't be compliant, being liked.

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  1. Hopefully, this will help bkl14, myself, and others answer Vern' question: How do you best identify a regulation that has the force and effect of law? Within FAR how do you know if a section, subsection, paragraph, etc. has the force and effect of law? Is it as simple as identifying if a passage implements a statutory requirement or executive order? If yes, I believe this can be found in the rule making process by using citations in CFR and the Federal Register. (If FAR does not state that a passage is pursuant to statute or executive order) As I understand it, not all of FAR has the force and effect of law. For example, does FAR 4.102, Contractor’s signature, have the force and effect of law? (Accardi doctrine aside)
  2. People are likely to put in the effort if there is reasonable assurance that their ideas have more than a snowballs chance at being acted on. It would be helpful if the panel shows prior comments from the field that were acted upon. This will serve a couple of purposes: providing insight into the types of recommendations the panel acts on; and restoring faith that acquisition leaders are actually working hard to remove barriers that working-level acquisition teams suggest are impeding their ability to get work done. The types of things that delay acquisitions are often capacity concerns. The administrative burden, lack of skill and manning is a nasty combination. CPARS, CORT Tool, EZ Source, Government Furnished Property (attachment and management), etc. It is routine to spend equal amounts of time dealing with data entry/metric issues (e.g. PDS compliance) as it is researching and crafting technical, professional, and sound source selections. Process wise, can we change the DoD policy that if only one offer is received in response to a competitive solicitation and the solicitation allowed fewer than 30 days for receipt of proposals, the contracting officer shall resolicit for an additional 30 days? (Parts 208, 213, 214, 215, and Subpart 216.5) By change I mean reduce the policy to the statutory or regulatory minimum. Raising the micro-purchase threshold to $25K would allow government-wide purchase cardholders to execute lower-level work purchasing agents snd others used to do; thus, allowing 1102-types more time to do the professional work.
  3. I know it's commonly accepted that price reasonableness is only concerned with prices that are too high, but is that all a prudent and competent buyer would be concerned with? CPRG alludes to price reasonableness being concerned with prices being fair to the seller (not too low). Awarding at prices that are unfairly low may have an undesired impact on the market and the buyer's own interest. For example, Canada took advantage of an expired trade deal in 2015 and sold lumber at unfairly low prices here in the U.S, and that [resulted in less competition as smaller mills could not compete]. At that point, the remaining sellers had more control over prices. https://www.google.co.jp/amp/s/www.marketplace.org/amp/2017/05/22/economy/timber-tariff-cuts-different-ways-in-canada-us
  4. I followed FAR 1.108(a) convention and used the following common dictionary meaning of buyer: 1. A person who makes a purchase. 1.1 A person employed to select and purchase stock or materials for a large retail or manufacturing business. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/buyer FAR uses the term buyer at least thirteen times - all seemingly consistent with one or more of the definitions above. In my judgement, FAR's use of the term buyer includes the general public, private sector, and government buyers. (Unless a specific use requires a different interpretation)
  5. See FAR 15.404-1(a)(7), which refers you to the informational Contract Pricing Reference Guides (CPRG) for instruction and professional guidance. Here is what Volume 1, Chapter 0 states: What Is Reasonable? A reasonable price is a price that a prudent and competent buyer would be willing to pay, given available data on: Market conditions, your alternatives for meeting the requirement, price-related factors, noncompetitive acquisitions, non-price evaluation factors, and applying judgment to the determination. CPRG further provides that "…a price that is reasonable today may not be reasonable tomorrow." *it is noted that the CPRGs are not directive in nature
  6. Two things I would like to make clear to readers: 1. Price reasonableness (contracting officer) is separate from requirements definition (client, program manager, etc.). I have witnessed contracting officers overstepping their roles because of price related concerns. 2. Price reasonableness always considers the non-cost/price factors of the source selection. (e.g. the evaluation factors and significant subfactors that establish the requirements of acceptability including past performance)
  7. Cinnamon sticks and vanilla beans. Currently, for fresh produce, I pay four to five times the cost compared to the states. Not many people signup to bring a fruit-tray to bbqs or office parties. Growing up in Southern California I was spoiled … here, it's $4 for five small jalapenos, $20 for a watermelon, don't even think about mangoes, strawberries, or blueberries.
  8. Matthew, et. al.: I found a great site that provides an impressive list of executive summaries for many of the books listed above. http://m.summary.com/home Air Force personnel have free access through Skillsoft's Books24x7 program via the Air Force Portal. The program is labeled as providing leading on demand business, management, leadership, computer, technical and engineering content containing thousands of digitized "best in class" books, book summaries, research reports and best practices. The Books24x7 On Demand Platform enables users to search, browse, read and collaborate with other users of these vast professional libraries. I use it as a try before you buy site.
  9. Thank you, sir.
  10. Vern, I have been intellectually satisfied several posts ago; however, I do value the on-going discussions. That's in regard to unreasonable prices. Maybe it is possible to award at unreasonable prices and maybe FAR 15.404-1(b)(2)(A) supports that. Why else would they caveat comparison with historical prices paid by saying "...if the reasonableness of the prior price is uncertain, then the prior price may not be a valid basis for comparison."? Sounds like some contract prices are assumed to be unreasonable. Also, FAR 13.106-3(A)(2)(ii) states that contracting officers can determine a price fair and reasonable by comparison of the proposed price with prices found reasonable on previous purchases. Is that suggesting that not all purchase prices are found reasonable? I still think so-called unreasonable can be called reasonable under the FAR concept of a fair and reasonable price, which has elsewhere been described as the price that a prudent and competent businessperson would be willing to pay for an item or service under market conditions, given available data on the marketplace. In essence, for me, price reasonableness is largely a judgement call based on market conditions, alternatives for meeting the requirement, price-related factors, non-price evaluation factors that relate to each procurement, and what price can be negotiated with an offeror. Willing to pay is a different standard than happy or wanting to pay. I don't like it, but that's how I see it. I would document the file to explain the situation and move forward. As always, thank you for the thoughtful and thought-provoking analysis. I'll go watch Disney's Frozen with the kiddos and 'let it go' …
  11. This is what I keep returning to. Once a contracting officer elevates an action to a level above, the higher official may determine a price is reasonable given available data on market conditions (i.e. there is no other palatable choice). If the offeror will not budge and alternatives do not exist maybe the price is fair and reasonable, today. That is a possibility in free markets. One more reason relying on previous fair and reasonable price determinations is not a best practice.
  12. Well, this is not what I wanted to wakeup to. To Monsieur Edwards, congratulations, and thank you. The view and plan are wonderful!
  13. Retreadfed: That has been my experience too.
  14. Seeker: Not sure who this was directed to, but it is essentially what I have heard repeated by instructors, trainers, leaders, contract specialists, and contracting officers, etc. I understand the argument, but do not see how it comports with FAR.
  15. Matthew, I agree and believe it is a viable candidate for removal from FAR. I read it the way you read it, but if someone has a differing argument I'd like to hear it. What I was saying was inconsistent were the interpretations I have heard, in classes and offices, about the level-above requirement. I know it's not much but, this type of tutorial information can be removed in its entirety.