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Matthew Fleharty

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Everything posted by Matthew Fleharty

  1. Not by incessant whining that they didn't meet the goal % without any consideration of other factors which is what your scenario consists of. If you'll refer to my previous post, the analysis of the good faith effort comes down to an examination of the subcontracting plan which includes actions that the prime commits to taking in achieving those small business goals. If a prime fails to meet their goal a Contracting Officer should then review whether or not those actions stipulated in the subcontracting plan were taken to assess whether or not the prime actually made a good faith effort - the term may be nebulous in abstract, but it shouldn't be when there is an accompanying subcontracting plan.
  2. All I've heard are complaints - I've yet to see a valid alternative proposed. I keep reading about this thing called a "requirement," but I still have no idea what that means, what authority a PCO has to do impose such a "requirement" (short of an approved deviation), and why that would be an overall desirable outcome for a contracting arrangement (let's remember that small business considerations are not the primary purpose for contracting...fulfilling the requirement/Government's need is). Also, that straw man characterization of yours is not how I would pursue liquidated damages and ignores my previous remarks.
  3. Even "requirements" of the subcontracting plan only require a good faith effort by the Contractor (based on the clause that governs it). Part of assessing whether or not the prime makes a good faith effort to meet those goals or requirements of the subcontracting plan includes, but is not limited to, examining how efficiently or more effectively it (or others) can perform the work. More broadly, the subcontracting plan stipulates the efforts that the prime will take in order to comply with the goals/requirements - assessing the good faith effort comes down to reviewing (a) if the prime is meeting the subcontracting goals/requirements and if not (b) reviewing whether or not the prime is following the commitments/efforts to pursue small businesses as subcontractors detailed in the approved plan.
  4. Joel, I understand the concern - the way that subcontracting is specifically stated in the base contract is through the subcontracting plan. Sure the plan has goals, not "requirements," but (a) the plan still has to be approved by the Contracting officer and (b) the Contractor has to make a good faith effort to follow it. I know that Pepe has alleged that the good faith requirement is a low hurdle to jump, but I don't think that a Contractor could merely choose to self-perform any/all task orders and ignore the agreed to subcontracting plan. It has teeth if agencies care about the subcontracting plan and proper contract administration. I've still yet to see/hear of an alternative that would impose these so called "requirements." What are they and where does their authority stem from?
  5. You miss my point - they are evaluated on it in the status quo, both prior to award (establishing an acceptable subcontracting plan and even evaluating their past performance related to achieving small business goals) and during performance (via compliance with the T&Cs as well as through CPARS), neither of which establishes the requirement you seek. Your only way around the "good faith effort" language under the required FAR clauses is a deviation (see FAR Subpart 1.4).
  6. How is that substantively different from the requirement of FAR 19.702(a)(1) which requires that "the apparently successful offeror to submit an acceptable subcontracting plan. If the apparently successful offeror fails to negotiate a subcontracting plan acceptable to the contracting officer within the time limit prescribed by the contracting officer, the offeror will be ineligible for award"? Subcontracting plans include a % of dollars that are to be subcontracted to various small business concerns. That plan, short of a deviation, is then governed by the clauses already provided and, therefore, only requires a good faith effort...maybe I'm missing something, but I don't know how that proposed requirement is substantively different. If an agency wants/needs to motivate small business participation, they could use a carrot rather than stick approach by incorporating FAR 52.219-10 "Incentive Subcontracting Program" (refer to FAR 19.708(c)(1)) into the contract.
  7. JIR17, The way the Government holds contractors accountable is through terms and conditions in the contract. Short of a deviation to the required T&Cs I've already referred you to, I don't know where this so-called requirement with teeth is going to come from or what it would look like. Maybe a small business office or expert knows better than I do - have you tried contacting the SBA?
  8. I disagree - if a contractor does not show good faith in complying with the contract's subcontracting plan, there are consequences (breach & liquidated damages). I'm not familiar with the requirements you mention. I'm only aware of the statutory requirements outlined in FAR 19.702 (which are implemented contractually by the clauses I previously referenced)...(emphasis added below). Why/how are those insufficient for your agency's needs?
  9. Recommend you read FAR 52.219-9 "Small Business Subcontracting Plan" & FAR 52.219-16 "Liquidated Damages - Subcontracting Plan" to see if those answer your question. Can you elaborate on the distinction you seem to be drawing regarding "goal" and "requirement"?
  10. CPPC

    Did you read the clause I referred you to? You may have consent to subcontract requirements in which case the CO would certainly have such authority.
  11. CPPC

    That's quite possible if the prime contract was not a T&M contract. Is clause 52.244-2 "Subcontracts" in the prime contract?
  12. WD's - when are they effective on a contract?

    DAS1220, Read the clauses of your contract, specifically FAR 52.22-41 which should state: So to answer your question, as long as your payments from April 2016 through September 2016 were IAW the wage determination attached to the contract at the time, no, you do not have to go back to April and adjust all the affected salaries even though the updated WD was not incorporated into your contract.
  13. The Importance of Reading

    I rather enjoyed reading Gen. Mattis' remarks on the importance of reading...though (similar to Bob's comment about being "a world of 140 characters or less") I think we could also add writing to the list as well.
  14. Adding Commercial Clauses to a Task Order

    Is it inconceivable that a contract for or including commercial items could be awarded with the wrong, non-commercial clauses? Fair point - I suppose I'm a bit jaded from seeing too many commercial contracts awarded using the UCF and wrong (non-commercial) clauses. In the event that the description(s) of the supplies/services in the IDIQ included commercial items, I don't think the clauses (or lack thereof) would trump those description(s). Given the information provided thus far, I guess we cannot make a reasonable conclusion one way or another.
  15. Adding Commercial Clauses to a Task Order

    Based on the facts provided by the OP, I don't think this is a reasonable assumption or pertinent to the discussion here. We don't know the extent of what items/services may or may not be procured through the IDIQ, only the T&Cs that govern the resulting task orders. As I read the issue, the problem is not that one is unable to procure commercial items through the IDIQ, but that if one were to procure commercial items through the IDIQ, the T&Cs would not include the appropriate commercial clauses.
  16. Adding Commercial Clauses to a Task Order

    I agree, to an extent - my remarks/concerns are for instances where those other clauses would conflict with the clauses in the IDIQ - in those cases, wouldn't that require a deviation to FAR 52.216-18 which states "All delivery orders or task orders are subject to the terms and conditions of this contract. In the event of conflict between a delivery order or task order and this contract, the contract shall control." I suppose this is just another example where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
  17. Adding Commercial Clauses to a Task Order

    Theoretically, contractors should be more amenable to the standard commercial clauses versus any non-commercial counterparts (for example, consider in a commercial contract, all changes must be mutually agreed to IAW FAR 52.212-4( c ) whereas other Changes clauses, FAR 52.243-1 through 52.243-6, allow the government to unilaterally make changes to the contract). Still, if a disagreement or dispute amongst the parties arises, Don is right that the basic IDIQ contract's clauses would govern in the event of a conflict, so I'm not sure how much use it would be to pursue incorporating commercial clauses when they could/would be overridden anyways IAW FAR 52.216-18.
  18. Adding Commercial Clauses to a Task Order

    Don hit the nail on the head with respect to the clauses so I have nothing to add there. You stated that the department's contracting officer said "the IDIQ contracts were intended for commercial and non-commercial use" - have you seen a copy of the ordering procedures? It's doubtful, but there may be separate procedures/T&Cs for commercial and non-commercial items stipulated there.
  19. Is this a conflict of interest

    I don't think the HUP is an analogous situation - one argument that could be made is that the Government has an interest in its employees having office software access at home (for example, when teleworking) which is why HUP is included as part of the license agreement. I think comparing the HUP to the original scenario and Mettec's proposed solution is only muddying the waters. I also don't think there are any further arguments for me to make on this issue - if I haven't convinced you or Mettec yet, I doubt I will.
  20. Is this a conflict of interest

    Jason, I still think you're missing the point (apologies if I wasn't clear enough previously). The objection raised was in reference to requesting the contractor extend a discount to all government employees - not whether or not discounts for all federal employees (and accepting them) are ethical/unethical.
  21. Is this a conflict of interest

    Mettec, Your analysis ignores the second part of the restriction: "or other item of monetary value" as well as paragraph 7 "employees shall not use public office for private gain." Do discounts have monetary value? Does asking a contractor to extend a discount to all Federal employees so one (or an agency) can take advantage of it result in private gain? You and Jason (conveniently) ignore the particulars of this situation: the contractor is only offering the discount to a specific agency. Barring any interference, the contractor is unlikely to change their behavior. Mettec's proposed solution was to take the proactive step of asking the contractor to extend the discount to all Federal employees. That action, in my opinion, is unethical (see above). A more sound/ethical alternative would be to formally notify the contractor that the current discount for the agency's individuals is inappropriate IAW...(everything provided above)...then allow the contractor to make an independent decision on what to do. As I see it, they'd have two options: (1) to withdraw the discounts entirely or (2) extend discounts to all military or government officials...but asking/encouraging the contractor to do the latter so the agency can continue to use the discounts would be an abuse of one's official position. Is the Home Use Program a free offering from Microsoft or does the Government pay for home use licenses for Government employees? I don't know the answer to that question, but this is an important distinction with a difference.
  22. Is this a conflict of interest

    I agree with Vern. If the discount is bargained for or contingent on a contractual relationship with the Government, it's wrong. Bargaining for the discount would violate the General Principles in 5 CFR §§ 2635.101 "Basic obligation of public service," specifically paragraph 4 which states: You could also make an argument that it would also violate paragraph 7 which states:
  23. Past Performance Evaluation

    ContractSpecialistTJohn, Certificates of Competency are not unique to FAR Part 15 (reference FAR 9.104-3(d)(1)) - read FAR Subpart 19.6 and see if that answers your question with respect to your particular situation. I would also recommend you touch base with a knowledgeable Contracting Officer in your organization to go over the structure of the FAR, particularly the Scope and Applicability portions, so you can better understand when a requirement in a particular FAR Part is applicable to a contract action and when it is not. Also, don't stop short when reading the FAR - twice now, sections you've cited have referred to another Part of the FAR which contained the answer, yet it seemed you stopped short of seeking it - when FAR 15.101-2 cites "Subpart 19.6" or 15.3 cites "Subpart 9.1" go read them and you'll be able to find the information that answers your question (or, if not, at least adds more context so you can ask a better question).
  24. Past Performance Evaluation

    ContractSpecialist TJohn, Past performance evaluations and responsibility determinations (including the requirement for a satisfactory performance record) are separate from one another and serve different functions. Reference FAR 15.305(a)(2)(i) where it reads (emphasis added below): Past performance evaluations seek to evaluate "the offeror's ability to perform the contract successfully" which is a narrower scope than the satisfactory performance record portion of a responsibility determination which concerns itself with the prospective contractor's entire performance record. As part of a past performance evaluation, one would assess the recency and relevancy of the past performance information, factors which are not evaluated as part of a responsibility determination (reference FAR 9.104-3(b)). For example, let's say you're contracting for custodial services - an offeror could presumably submit past performance information on all their custodial contracts and be selected as the prospective awardee/best value because they performed well on the custodial contracts reviewed; however, if the prospective contractor has been seriously deficient in contract performance on other, non-custodial government contracts (for example, grounds maintenance contracts, IT support, etc.), the contractor could still be determined non-responsible despite the acceptable past performance evaluation.