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About GREGariousONE

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    Sacramento, CA by way of Washington DC
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    Weightlifting, alpine skiing, running, hiking, paddle-boarding, reading and music.

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  1. Many Non-DOD agencies allow Contract Specialists to CO their own work. These agencies' contract actions tend to obligate amounts that pale in comparison to DOD. So relatively speaking the risk is low and hence there is less allocation of resources or regulatory requirements to provide oversight. That said, having worked DOD after first working non-DOD and at first resenting the DOD "bureaucracy" I get it. If I could go back to CO my own specialist work I would request informal peer reviews. That second set of eyes goes a long way. It's not a matter of competency. Rather, when you're so close to one tree you can easily miss other trees or the forest.
  2. Ninja, two months have passed. Have you awarded the contract yet? If so, was your award protested? If not, why do you think the risk of litigation or to be clear a post-award protest is low? An acquisition plan demonstrates the agency intentionally considered what it's buying, why it's buying it and how it intends to buy it. A source selection plan demonstrates the agency's intentional thought process to compete, evaluate and award the contract. If your award decision is protested and your file lacks both an acq plan, a source selection plan or both then the agency's credibility is undermined in the very least. If protested, to the extent that the agency didn't evaluate proposals the way it advertised it would, your Office of Counsel is likely to recommend you take corrective action. If this happens you might consider intentionally thinking through how you intend to evaluate proposals and then either decide to cancel the RFP and resolicit if you change your instructions, evaluation criteria or both, or do what you said you'd do to evaluate proposals and reevaluate. Protests are lost mostly due to poor documentation or because the government failed to evaluate the way it advertised it would in the RFP or both. Forgive me for preaching but in the end, be intentional with what you do. Know your why. Don't just check the boxes. If you don't have an acq plan or a source selection plan by now despite your agency requirements, don't just create one now for the optics of the file. Who cares about auditors?! What you really need to care about is passing the CNN test or being able to testify to a judge and have both the media and the courts decide the government acted legally and reasonably.
  3. Agencies are still trying cherry-pick contractors. Source Selections have been bastardized into mere writing exercises to justify the cherry-picked contractor with the hope that the award decision isn't protested. When protests are filed agencies must face their incompetence despite the often hyperbole-wrought bases for protests. Someone should tell contractor legal Counsel they don't need to try so hard in their protest write-ups. Agency incompetence almost always speaks for itself during discovery. As a contracting officer / business advisor I tell requiring activities they can listen to Contracting now or they'll have to listen to Contracting later.
  4. Thanks again, Joel. This is EXACTLY the type of situation I am trying to avoid. However, because the production and distribution of an award cd is something our PM-shop refuses to let go of, I'm trying to demonstrate the danger the Government assumes by continuing this unnecessary practice. Certainly administrative issues like what you described are possible. But, I'd also like to make a legal argument in order to solicit the support of our OC. Since the KO is responsible for the contract file, I'm wondering if I can just preface EVERY award going forward with language like, "Only the Contracting Officer is authorized to distribute contract documents. No additional distribution of this contract or the documents contained herein is authorized without the express written consent of the Contracting Officer." I'm just not sure how to appropriately enforce a violation of this requirement, should PM disregard it and continue producing and distributing award cd's. Trying to pick my battles wisely... but, given the potential risk the Government assumes completely unnecessarily because of this practice, I believe it's one worth fighting. But, changing a practice so deeply embedded within this unit's culture is a challenge.
  5. Thanks, Joel. Contracting incorporates the tech proposal into the contract and distributes all contract documents to the KTR, ACO, COR and various intra-agency offices that claim an interest in having a copy of the contract, including PM. PM then takes the documents contracting has already distributed and creates an award CD with which to redistribute to the KTR. I don't understand the purpose of this redistribution. On the surface it appears redundant, duplicative and wasteful. Just as stating the Period of Performance (for example) in multiple places within a contract exposes the government to an unnecessary risk of contradiction, inconsistency and/or ambiguity; unnecessarily redistributing contract documents may expose the government to an unnecessary risk, perhaps administrative (if say the wrong iteration of the SOW or a certain Spec is included on the award cd, and the KTR then inadvertently but inappropriately uses it leading to admin issues later); or perhaps legal when an entity with no authority under the contract (PM, in this case) distributes contract documents without the express consent of the contracting officer. I just want to make sure that this redistribution is being done for the right reasons and not simply because "it has always been done this way." Thoughts?
  6. Thanks, Jamaal. These citations sufficiently support my refusal to disclose the price proposal and PNM.
  7. The Program Management (PM) office of the agency I recently signed on with distributes construction contract award cd's to (so I'm told) the contractor and contract administration office at the pre-construction meetings. This practice dates back to the early 90's. In an effort to gain perspective, I questioned the practice and in doing so walked into a hornets nest. After contracting awards a contract and distributes the documents to the contractor, ACO, COR and as a courtesy to other internal agency offices (including PM), PM uses said documents and creates an award cd adding SPECSintact and CAD drawings (which our RFPs state will be distributed after award) to the documents contracting has already distributed. I get concerned though when PM asks (demands) that I provide them with solicitation amendments, the contractor's acknowledgment of said amendments, the contractor's price and tech proposals, and our price negotiation memos (PNM) to add to the award cd. I have refused to share these additional documents, because: the amendments are obviously incorporated into the contract at the time of award, the government wouldn't accept an offer or negotiate and award without the contractor acknowledging the amendments, the price proposal may be proprietary and the PNMs are source selection sensitive. In an effort to avoid being given the third degree every time I award a contract, I'm trying to identify legitimate reasons as to why this re-distributive effort is in the least a poor business practice or at worst a potential legal liability - otherwise, I have no reason not to provide the documents. In addition to simple compliance with FAR 4.202, it seems this re-distribution effort could expose the government to unnecessary risk which may have contract admin. and/or legal implications. These reasons may not be strong enough to support what would amount to be an agency culture change. Thoughts?
  8. 1) FAR 4.202 states that “agencies shall limit additional distribution requirements to the minimum necessary for proper performance of essential functions.” 2) Without knowledge of a legal definition, it seems reasonable to me that “essential functions” means the parties having privity of contract. 3) Generally, unless specifically stipulated in the contract, the parties having privity of a federal contract are the Contractor and the Government. The contractor has an agent authorized to act on its behalf and the government’s procuring contracting officer (PCO) acts on its behalf. 4) In some government agencies, the PCO may delegate limited responsibility to an administrative contracting officer (ACO) and contracting officer’s representative (COR). 5) Therefore it makes sense to distribute contract award documents to the Contractor and Contract Administration Office (consisting of a delegated ACO and designated COR). 6) Additionally, there may be some internal agency offices that claim an interest in receiving a copy of the contract, although it is arguable that said offices are necessary for proper performance of essential functions. Aside from being duplicative, redundant and wasteful, does anyone have concerns with or see any potential legal implications if an internal agency office (non-contracting) establishes a practice of re-distributing contract award documents?
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