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Posts posted by MV2009

  1. Formerfed,

    Thank you, no question that the requesting agency wasn’t involved with the pre-award portion but OMB memo does state there are two types of interagency acquisitions. This doesn’t fall within the direct acquisition definition either and don’t believe this situation was anticipated based on OMB memorandum. If doesn’t fit as assisted acquisition, what would you call it?

  2. Seeking clarification on assisted acquisitions. The servicing agency awarded a contract for itself. Prior to one of the option periods, a portion of the requirement was transferred to another agency, hereafter referred to as the requesting agency. The requesting agency intended to use servicing agency’s contract, where the servicing agency would be responsible for contact administration to include exercising the option period. Based on the definition in FAR Part 2, I would like confirmation that this would be considered an assisted acquisition, even though the requesting agency was not involved in the pre-award process as the servicing agency was responsible for that requirement at that time.


  3. While it is good idea to look for another office to work for, you really need to discuss it with the panel and/or your supervisor. There is probably some constructive feedback you need to hear and if doesn’t work out between you and your employer, at least you would gain perspective to avoid  those pitfalls or be mindful of them with your new employee. I think FOIA wouldn’t get you much, you could go the EEO route if you feel it is necessary but I echo what the others have said. The true litmus may be interviewing somewhere else and seeing how your current employer speaks about you.

  4. I worry about the long term health of this profession. There are bright spots but systems being slow, multiple checks in systems that should be automated or eliminated, and lack of connection with younger generations is concerning. DAU is not incentivized to fail students so the rigor is lacking to determine top contract professionals. I agree hands on learning is critical but fundamental changes need to occur if the goal is to have any contract professional be able to work at a top organization and yield the same result as those organizations.

  5. Barring anymore information, your subcontract is written like an agreement as the prime has complete control of whether you get work or not as it will issue you orders when they need you. Review your contract to see if you had a minimum guarantee LOE order in the contract, follow Matthew's guidance and call your prime to see if they would give you some information. I would suspect they will say they havent received that type of work yet. 

  6. Joel,

    Sorry for the delayed response and Bob, thanks for providing search result.  The terms are not defined in the solicitation.  I agree with Joel.   There are some that believe there is a difference between target and desired and a weakness could be rendered for merely failing to meet a target. There are some that believe when target is used with minimums, it is defined differently. I fail to see the difference between desired and target and do not believe a target is a minimal. That being said a response made by an offeror in attempt to meet a target may result in a risk that could result in a weakness.  Failing to meet a target should never be considered a weakness for merely failing to reach a target because that is something the Government would like to see. To me, target and desired provide a benefit beyond the minimum requirements because it is something you would like to see.  Could have this posted in the beginners forum? Sure.  I agree that defining the terms would resolve this easily. 

  7. Before I post on this topic, is the search functionality not working for anyone else? When I try to search the forum, I’m getting the following error: “Not Found (404) The requested URL /discussion/%3E%3Cimg%20border= was not found on this server.


    If someone is aware whether this topic has been previously discussed, please let me know and apologize for repeating the topic here.

    In terms of a evaluation, what is your position on how to evaluate target qualifications, desired qualifications, and do you consider there to be a difference when target qualifications are used inconjunction with minimum requirements?

  8. Agreed, bosses would rather keep doing what got them into the position than realize they must change their focus when they get a supervisory role. The current demographics in the profession are a big part of the reason for all the emails as well as leaders not communicating effectively. Many are afraid to make a decision or have a creative idea. It’s not easy and good leaders need to have the discipline to maintain its focus on leading their team. 

  9. Communication is critically important to lead effectively. In today’s environment, many believe they should get an immediate response and provide little critical thinking prior to releasing their emails. Many managers feel like they need to respond to the constant number of emails they receive quickly because the workforce expects it. When I’m talking about ground rules, I mean leaders need to communicate clearly and be transparent. In doing so it will free up the time they need to think critically about how to lead the organization into the future vs responding to each email from it’s workforce. The latter is nearly impossible to do since each member of the team can send multiple emails expecting an immediate response vs searching for the answers themselves. 

  10. While the author has valid points, I wonder if they could handle the position they desire in today’s environment. Looking at the 1102 profession today, there are generational differences, significant knowledge gaps in the workforce, and constant tinkering in the entire process.  Leaders struggle today because of the lack of ground rules they set and as a result do not have time to think independently on the direction to which lead.

  11. Vern, let’s be clear I’m not asserting the second portion; that deception is necessary or essential in sole source negotiations nor am I saying that I support it. What I’m saying is it occurs and negotiators on both sides may do it. I was asked to provide an example, let’s start with one of the biggest problems - material pricing. If a seller gives the buyer a material price based on a quote knowing it may (in reality, will) buy in bulk or has the material on hand to perform the job and it will use that material via an internal transfer to do the job it’s deception. A historical example (now resolved) that does not meet the definition of deception in every instance is Performance-based payments. The clause was changed to account for the fact that sellers were achieving a significant amount in free cash flow because the costs incurred were significantly below the PBP schedule. Another that has been said several times already is failing to bring someone to the table that can negotiate any change in their position when a change is required. Whether you agree or disagree to which the frequency it occurs, it will continue to occur. Failing to acknowledge it may occur, not taking steps to arm yourself with the ability to ask the right questions, and spot it results in significant risk that you may not be getting a fair deal. So instead of focusing on the utopia state, let’s focus on reality and what to do to identify deception when it occurs.

  12. Whether it is fundamental or not, failing to acknowledge that deception routinely occurs in sole source negotiations would make me wonder about the individual’s ability to negotiate a good deal. Firms do it rountinely. Instead of wondering if it happens or not, let’s discuss how to ask the right questions that would mitigate any potential deception during negotiations or what you do to handle it during negotiations.

  13. FrankJon, you are correct and I’ll try to clarify what I intended.  Organizational success is dependent on a lot of variables.    Employee morale is an important variable towards obtaining that success. If individuals do not feel like the work they are doing is meaningful, the work product quality may decrease.  If the buyer receives no feedback from industry on the requirement or only one offeror responds to a competitively solicited action, it can have an adverse impact on morale as an inidivual may feel helpless in achieving its objective to provide best value to the government and taxpayer. I understand there is more to it as there are internal items (management, contracting officers) that impact employee morale significantly as well. Since these internal items require an in-depth look and assessment of the organizational, which cannot be provided here. I was seeking an answer to the following:

    How do you promote competition in markets where suppliers do not seem very interested in responding to solicitations? Are there items in the notice or at the industry day event that need to be explicitly written or said to promote feedback and questions from industry? 

    I did wonder if it was a perception issue but after reading here_2_help post, its clear that is unlikely the reason.

  14. The "Ethics and Transparency" thread posted by Eagle93 led a number of people to recommend for the individual to head for the exits and do not look back. I wanted to see what steps the community would recommend if the individual sought to improve the organization vice leaving. Reading and gaining the technical knowledge and demonstrating what you learned will be the most important elements to gain respect within your office but how does the individual change the perception of the office that industry may have? Revising the requirements is key but the lack of interest from industry regarding the requirements makes me believe there is more to the story than just the requirements being revised.

  15. If you want to set yourself apart, research the place you are applying for by finding slides or info on that contracting office by searching the web and then use FBO to look up current and archived FBO notices to see the type of work they do. A lot of people are just applying these days without knowing much about the office they are applying for. 


  16. Sal,

    First, I recommend you email the contracting officer notifying them that you are aware of your invoice being rejected and would like to understand why was it rejected as you performed the effort authorized by the contracting officer. If you are unable to receive a response you can always file a claim.

    In the future, I would recommend requesting the contracting officer to put their verbal direction in writing  prior to start working. At a minumum, you should put an email together documenting your discussion with the contracting officer and request acknowledgement of receipt prior to start working. This will strengthen your case if a claim is required and it becomes a battle of he said she said and reduces any potential ambiguity.

  17. A question was asked if DD Form 1423s should be used on solicitations for commercial services/products under FAR Part 13.  One side stated that CDRLs (Contract Data Requirements Listare never incorporated on commercial services/products and would not support CDRLs on any FAR Part 13 acquisition. The other side stated CDRLs can be incorporated on commercial acquisitions but depends on what the CDRL is asking for. 

    Since I am arguing on the latter side, I wanted to lay out my thoughts and see if anyone wants to add to it or say where I am off base. I appreciate any help.

    1) The purpose of DoD 5010.2-M, Procedures for the Acquisition and Management of Technical Data, is to provide a uniform approach to the acquisition and management of data required from contractors. Within DoD 5010.2-M, it states "It should be noted that DiDs DI-TMSS-80527 and DI-TMSS-80528 are the only authorized DiDs to be used when the procuring commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) manuals."

    2)  It is not uncommon that commercial services (outside of the DoD) require data to be furnished during and/or at the end of performance.  If the DoD has uniform set of items it wants in its report, this to be no different than Walmart or any large business requiring certain content to be in its deliverable company wide to ensure consistency. The only difference is where the Government calls it out (i.e. in the DiD)

    This may just be a terminology debate but it does not make sense that CDRLs could not be used in commercial services. 

  18. Tomahawk,

    Based on Vern's comments of the RFP, there are some contract writing systems that require every line item to specify a contract type whether it is priced or not-priced. For the contract writing system I am thinking of, this was part of a mass update that will not allow the line item to go on the contract without the contract type.  Not sure if this is the exact situation because I haven't seen the RFP but wanted to let you know as this may appear depending on the contracting agency's contract writing system.  As previously noted, industry should always ask questions.  Ultimately, the awardee and the Government will live with the contract so at the very least industry's questions should force the CO to think about the question.

  19. Interesting read. Federal contracting is managing scared and that is no way to manage a business. The net results of doing so are fear, delays, and mistakes. If you want to look for improvements in contracting start with looking at aligning the incentives of the acquisition team and focus with the end state in mind.  FAR Part 1 is clear we need to manage risk not avoid it.  

  20. Retreadfed, I agree with you the point is to fund up to the contract value but if I don't know if the funds will ever come outside of the guarantee received prior to award, its bad practice to encourage performance to continue.  Vern, you are correct that the costs associated with the stop work and restarting the work or contractor requesting termination would be more expensive. I don't know why it is hard for agencies to fully fund or provide accurate and realistic funding increments.

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