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REA'n Maker

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  1. REA'n Maker

    Negotiation Skills and Tactics

    It's quite simple, really: deception is only acceptable to those who approach a negotiation as a transaction, rather than part and parcel of a professional business relationship. You only get to deceive once, because once you do it, you have destroyed the relationship, and therefore, any potential for future equitable negotiations between the parties is gone. Deception is short-sighted, destructive to your reputation, and not in the government's best interests because it demonstrates bad faith. synonyms: deceit, deceitfulness, duplicity, double-dealing, fraud, cheating, trickery, chicanery, deviousness, lying, pretense, treachery; informal crookedness, Yes, Virginia, there is a difference between a used car lot and a government contract negotiation. (For REA'n Maker's small-brained old yellow coots only: If my grandmother has wheels, does that make her a bicycle? 😋)
  2. REA'n Maker

    Contractural Threshold

    I believe the $ threshold you mention is related to small business set-asides, as described in 19.508(e). I've always read it to be limited to each individual order/call/contract, but I know that's been debated with regard to options on those vehicles. Is this another way of asking "at what point can a prime contract become a complete pass-through"?
  3. REA'n Maker

    Fee on Negotiated Changes

    I think I finally understand the context of the negotiation Pepe The Frog is describing, where deception plays a major, positive role in the outcome: In this context, Pepe is 100% on the mark. I stand corrected. 😄
  4. REA'n Maker

    Fee on Negotiated Changes

    My response is devoid of any emotional or moral precepts. It's simply a fact that deception is not a sound business strategy. There is no recovery after your deception is exposed. Your effectiveness as a negotiator after that point is zero. Simple as that.
  5. REA'n Maker

    Fee on Negotiated Changes

    de·cep·tion dəˈsepSH(ə)n/ noun synonyms: deceit, deceitfulness, duplicity, double-dealing, fraud, cheating, trickery, chicanery, deviousness, slyness, wiliness, guile, bluff, lying, pretense, treachery The downside of course being that you only get to employ that tactic once, because your credibility and integrity is totally shot thereafter.
  6. And the number two problem is the lack of responsible and accountable leadership. After all, somebody is signing that crap that goes out the door. Hence, my Two Golden Rules of Government Consulting: 1. Management never believes it's their fault, and; 2. It's always management's fault (see first sentence above).
  7. As one who helped DLA set up the contracting system component of the ERP which formed the basis of this automation, I can tell you that DLA is fairly unique in its high volume/low dollar/low complexity business model. In fact, much like the Obamacare website, things didn't go well upon go-live because PD2 choked on the volume of orders and line items. DLA also has a system of Prime Vendors who hold long term ordering vehicles that facilitate this automated model, and the agency is organized around firmly segregated and predictable lines of business (e.g., land, maritime, air). It's also worth noting that DLA built a manual-assist process from the get-go, which kicked out a significant # of nominally simple procurements which were too complex for automated processing (which were identified by a separate PIID schema). So even the automated process for a commodity-focused procurement system was built with the expectation that everything couldn't be automated
  8. Here's why it would be a good idea: It would spread the wealth to the entire country, not just DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Look at the last recession and note how the DC area was relatively untouched; Telecommuting makes physical location of the workforce much less important. Travel costs are irrelevant, as every dollar spent on travel to DC would be offset by reduced travel from DC; It would increase the diversity of the work force, politically and otherwise; It would make the federal government less of a remote and detached entity from its citizens, literally and figuratively; It would help address the Agency Problem by placing Agents geographically and culturally closer to their Principals. (Dept. of Interior for example). I have participated in and conducted numerous studies commissioned by DC leadership in both Defense and Civilian agencies. The one consistent theme was that not only was leadership not cognizant of what was going on with the constituents outside DC who relied on their services (USCIS for example), they weren't even cognizant of what was going on outside DC in regard to the workings of their own agencies. (For the record, I have worked with and for 20+ agencies in every branch of government inside the DC beltway for the last 25 years, in addition to living here)
  9. REA'n Maker

    Commercial Product Definition

    Any idea of the problem allegedly being solved here? The Discussion Draft is chock full of so many inanities, it's hard to figure out what he thinks his point may be.
  10. REA'n Maker

    Fee on Negotiated Changes

    Fair point. But a contractor has no incentive to delay receiving revenue, whereas the Government does have an incentive to delay expending revenue. Plus, this is the Government we're talking about here...😀 In all honesty, when I used to do this stuff for the Navy, there was oftentimes a little devil sitting on my shoulder, whispering in my ear that if I just dragged my feet for a month or two, the negotiation would be much easier because it would simply be a matter of reviewing actuals at that point.
  11. REA'n Maker

    Fee on Negotiated Changes

    I would say 'yes', as doing otherwise would not result in a fair and reasonable outcome. A false assumption may also indicate an ambiguity in the requirements.
  12. REA'n Maker

    Fee on Negotiated Changes

    There is a certain perverse logic in play here - Government delays the negotiation, and in so doing achieves a lower fee ! I'm assuming at this point you are asking for actual costs plus fee/profit? As suggested, if I were you, I would focus the negotiation on the portion of fee that is supposed to compensate for that risk component. Yes, 'pepe' is incorrect. Good negotiators don't have to lie, and good negotiators don't let their emotions sway their judgement (think of LCDR Data. He was incapable of lying, because lying is an emotion-based response to avoid embrrassment, consequence, etc.). As a practical matter, I simply don't know how you could even have a strategy based on misrepresentation. How would that work in the PNM? Would you actually add a 'misrepresentation' cost element, which detailed the upper and lower bounds of what you are going to misrepresent? The negotiator's job isn't to get the Best Price in The History Of The World; it's to achieve a fair and reasonable price. Ralph Nash sums it up nicely in his writings on Good Faith and Fair Dealing on the part of the Government. Those F-35s ain't going to build themselves after all.
  13. Yes. My experience from working on a CPFF science-support contract was that the cost of DBA insurance was impossible to predict, because it depended on things like the season; in my case, the 'winter-over' crew and the 'summer' crew had very different rates. Now; if someone would care to explain why it's called "Defense Base Act" when it applies to ALL contracts outside the US, I'd be much obliged.
  14. REA'n Maker

    How can we speed up the source selection process?

    In this context, "not owing fealty to any specific program or organizational unit", i.e., independent professionals who are focused on the mission.
  15. Didn't you answer your own question when you said: ???