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  1. I am always amazed at the vast number of companies, most of whom are small mom and pop shops, are willing to pay someone to register or renew their SAM accounts. My .02, if you are new or looking to do business with the Government, either self register or utilize a PTAC. Link for helpfulness: https://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance/ptac
  2. I wish I worked for more KO's like you, Vern. Too often KO's swim outside their lane by thinking it is their responsibility to determine whether or not the requirement is valid and question the daylights out of it.
  3. Incentive: 1% cash back of savings upon completion of services or acceptance of supplies. Why this will succeed: More creativity and care of tax payers dollars. If we received financial incentives from just awarding there wouldn't he much incentive to make a great award. Awards would constantly be made to the lowest priced technically acceptable offeror because mad profits. But, if it hinged upon successful contract performance, there is the incentive to make the correct award. Hinge the financial incentives on the CS staying there until the payment is made, thus helping turnover. Why it will fail: There would still be too much of an incentive to always make awards to the low priced offeror.
  4. I think you need to go back and re-read that thread, especially the comments from metteec and Vern. For you first question, I believe that answer is nicely spelled out between Vern and metteec. In this scenario, Vern brings up a flight hour. A flight hour contains not only the labor costs of the pilot, but also the cost to operate the aircraft. FAR 16.601(a) defines what a T&M is, which if you are only hiring a pilot to fly a Government aircraft would work. However, if you are hiring a company to fly their own plane, they not only need to account for the cost of their pilot, but also the cost to operate the aircraft. As stated by metteec, "In response to your questions, the difference between a T&M contract and FFUP relates to the cost risk to perform a specific service. Under a T&M contract, the extent and duration of labor and material costs is unknown until the completion of work (My own comment: A key here for using a T&M is knowing the end point but not how long it will take to get there. If you don't know how long it will take or even where the end point is, a FFP Level of Effort Term contract would be a better option to go). However, under a FFUP contract, both the Contractor and the Government know the cost to perform the work at the onset; the duration of work required is known, just not the extent." Per the link Don posted metteec commented that, "In terms of pros and cons, a FFUP contract is coded as a FFP contract in FPDS."
  5. Could you include a Surge Option for any areas that will require additional work?
  6. Not entirely true, but I do think it is reasonable to expect that with the higher wage it will bring in a higher level of caliber employee in the industry. Picture you are in your mid 30's and have for almost half your life been fighting the GWOT. If you can make $250k overseas or $45k stateside, what would you take based upon the lifestyle you are used to? Further, would you take that knowing that in four or five years you may be out of a job or having to work at a lower rate because your 2% escalation in wages are now above the WD rates and so you will have to come back a few thousand a year when the next contract comes around to retain a job? Having done PSD work downrange, I can tell you these guys care more about money and the excitement the lifestyle brings than the security of being home. Even the guys in the lower echelon of the work are making $150k. So even the "newer" shooters, who meet the minimum requirements, are able to take this Instructor rating and use it to get the higher paying jobs. For a recent example of this, read up on the Army's latest contract for SERE and 19 instructors out of 29 not showing up to work once the new contract date started.
  7. Pepe, you are correct, nice catch. I used a phrase associated with LPTA and should have realized what I said, but didn't; much like not confusing cost and price or quote and proposal. It will be a tradeoff, where technical will be more important than price. Shooting instructor's have become a dime-a-dozen in the past decade thanks to the GWOT. Once these guys get hired, and can now pad their resume as an Instructor with this particular course, they jump ship for the higher paying jobs down range, or quit after the re-compete because each year their wages get drugged down as a result of the Department of Labor and Wage Determinations. There was a period for awhile where many shooters were coming home and taking these jobs because the overseas jobs were diminishing; however, with an uptick recently in contractors down range, the target market of shooters we want to attract to be heading back over overseas. I like the idea of trying to create language which helps guide contractors to what dollar per hour they should be paying their employees, but I am not sure my chain of command will go for it. It won't be the first time I have crafted up some far fetching evaluation factors (admittedly I lost the battle with legal). Or, do you think going to the DoL and trying to get a new labor category created and setting the rate that way could help? Is that an unrealistic idea?
  8. When dealing with high-risk training services (shooting instructors), how do you prevent the race to the bottom for wages contractors pay their employees? Is there an evaluation factor, maybe somewhere in "Staffing sub-factor" in the technical factor, that you can evaluate the contractor's plan to attract and retain talent? I know it's highly subjective, and probably susceptible to a protest, but as a result of having to use wage determination rates, it makes it rather difficult to incentivize contractors pay their employees more because most are focused on price. If a Wage Determination says, $21, how do we write it to incentivize contractors to pay their employees more money? I do state that the Government will be doing a best value and technical is more important than price, but there is still a race to the bottom in wages.
  9. I like it, but let's also set the synopsis value up to the current SAT level ($150,000) and allow oral quotes up to that dollar value (or close to it).
  10. To preface, I will say that I am an Intern with just a little over a year of experience in contracting. I came into this career field having no past history of contracting or the fact that 500 trees that must die in order to complete a SAT purchase. I think my first solicitation I posted, I was flabbergasted that it came out to be 73 pages. Of course, being my first solicitation, there were errors that needed to be fixed within. So, I printed it off again. After my KO approved said solicitation, I needed to print off yet a third copy, but this one with out the draft watermark. According to my math, that is 219 pages of paper I used just for the solicitation. By the time I made the award, I can't remember off the top of my head the exact page number for it, but for the sake of a conversation let's just say it was 50 pages, I used 319 pages for COTS items that cost roughly $65,000. The total price per item was anywhere from $25 to $150 so it's not like these parts even fell under DFARS 252.211-7003.
  11. If you are a DOD organization, follow the procedures under DFARS Class Deviation 2014-00011; then you would then use the procedures found in FAR 8.405.
  12. Oh, I agree 100% that people will always be needed to make the final determination, but it gives breadth of knowledge in our field.
  13. NavyBuyer

    Career Changes

    Having only been an 1102 for a year (with no other federal experience), I can say that I enjoy my organization (and agency) but would like to gain experience on contract vehicle types other than FFP. Unfortunately, that is about all we touch here (other than the occasional travel CLIN that is Cost). While FFP contracts are nice to learn the functions of contracting on, limiting the exposure to just FFP will also exponentially limit growth potential. At some point I would like to touch different types of contracts. So I will be a GS-12 in competition with other GS-12's or even 11's, for a position and have the potential to be on the outside looking in due to a lack of experience with those contract vehicle types. Because of that, I can see why some organizations have a higher turnover rate, especially for younger people such as myself.
  14. Vern (or anyone else who disagrees with big data), with regards to your comments on the "Data Madness" thread, do you stand by your beliefs that a system like this will never work in the acquisition field?
  15. Garbage in garbage out is an adage most of us are familiar with, but what if it wasn't humans inputting that data in? While probably a decade away from anything mainstream coming out, Google's AI system, DeepMind, has proven that AI will soon be capable of replacing humans at many tasks and be far better at it than many of us ever will. I think one of the career fields that could be heavily vested with AI systems is the contracting field. The Government is supposed to work on a win-win basis during negotiations. If an AI system has all this internal data and then can read what a contractor is proposing, all that data going in can come out with that scenario in mind that is a win-win. Poor contractor performance? I would easily bet that an AI system would be able to have an algorithm written that it can take into context systems like CPARS and FAPIIS and create forecasts for how that company would perform on future contracts. Certainly not a perfect system for the career field, but it could put a lot of people out of a job because it could capture so much "large data" and actually process it into something meaningful.
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