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About PepeTheFrog

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  1. PepeTheFrog

    Advice on Job Offer

    If you move to the D.C. area, right when you step off the airplane, they will hand you a GS-14 just like they hang a luau (or whatever that flowery necklace is called) on your neck when you arrive in Hawaii.
  2. PepeTheFrog

    Advice on Job Offer

    Classic short-term versus long-term decision. DOD: larger agency more future positions higher grades more funding for training and travel more prestige better training opportunities potential to obtain or retain security clearance VA: GS-13 practically guaranteed (assuming your offer is for GS-12 in a GS-13 target or terminal position) no security clearance required absolute disgrace of an agency PepeTheFrog usually advises frogs to always go with the higher grade, all things being equal. But things are not equal in this circumstance. It sounds like you will still have to wait at least one year to get to the target or terminal GS-13 position at the VA, correct? Do you have 365 days of experience as a GS-12, i.e. are you eligible to accept an offer and start as a GS-13 immediately?
  3. PepeTheFrog loves it
  4. flitzer, play dumb and ask your colleagues about this "policy." Try to extract a law, written policy, regulation, court decision, GAO recommendation, etc. Say you want to share the reasoning with a colleague in a different agency who has the same problem, and is asking for the underlying, written, official reasoning. Or, say you're compiling it in your written notes of contracting wisdom. Use your judgment, but often people like this, who make stuff up, get very defense when you question anything about it. So, be careful. If your office colleagues cannot come up with anything, there is your answer. It's just how they like to do it.
  5. You should adopt a medium-term goal of leaving behind your office to find another job. They sound like dunces. Sometimes a significant spread of price quotes can indicate: (a) quoters do not understand the work (b) government did a poor job of describing the work (c) a little of column (a), a little of column (b) If the quotes are technically acceptable, this is commercial, LPTA, and under simplified acquisitions, you are dealing with pants-on-head dunces. PepeTheFrog assumes your office did not give you any rationale or reason based on statute, regulation, policy, or court decision. They just told you how they "feel" and what others have said or done in the past. These are not people you want to shape your career, education, and training.
  6. Thanks to all for responding. PepeTheFrog now understands and agrees with all the frogs who are saying that the form of the contractual agreement should not matter (i.e. new contract award versus modification to an existing or expired contract) as long as the underlying work it contemplates does or does not violate CICA. PepeTheFrog's point is not that it cannot be done, but that by focusing on the new work as essentially a new contract, the issues of CICA are clearer. PepeTheFrog was driving at the opposite stance of what Lionel Hutz explained well, which is that "if a direct award of a stand-alone contract would violate CICA, why would a direct award of a contract via modification of an expired contract not violate CICA?": Well said. PepeTheFrog agrees that this should be the focus of the analysis, not the form of the contract (new contract versus modification), but rather the substance of the new work (or work within the scope of the original contract). PepeTheFrog said this, not Retreadfed. Retreadfed agrees with you, jwomack. Retreadfed was quoting PepeTheFrog.
  7. PepeTheFrog does not think that your suggested paraphrasing is accurate. CICA requires full and open competition through the use of competitive procedures unless there is an exception (listed in CICA) or there is a different statutory authorization, for example, "Other Transactions" under 10 USC 2371. CICA is "the default," unless you can find statutory authority to not use CICA. CICA also expressly names the FAR to implement what "competitive procedures" means. The BAA process is listed as a competitive procedure at FAR 6.102(d)(2). The BAA process is not an "exception to CICA." The BAA process is a competitive procedure available to fulfill the requirement for full and open competition (i.e. CICA). What is your point? Are you referring to this language in subsection (c): "(B) to establish or maintain an essential engineering, research, or development capability to be provided by an educational or other nonprofit institution or a federally funded research and development center"? CICA "§253. Competition requirements (a) Procurement through full and open competition; competitive procedures (1) Except as provided in subsections (b), (c), and (g) of this section and except in the case of procurement procedures otherwise expressly authorized by statute, an executive agency in conducting a procurement for property or services- (A) shall obtain full and open competition through the use of competitive procedures in accordance with the requirements of this title and the Federal Acquisition Regulation; and (B) shall use the competitive procedure or combination of competitive procedures that is best suited under the circumstances of the procurement."
  8. The Competition in Contracting Act (statute), which the FAR implements, requires full and open competition for new work or work that is outside the scope of the original contract, hence the discussion in this thread about where the line is drawn and whether a J&A is required. What is your point?
  9. No. In this scenario, "expired contract" means when the delivery date, completion date, or period of performance is exhausted and there are no available (pre-negotiated) options that can be exercised according to the original terms. "End of the road" as far as dates to perform or deliver or options to extend.
  10. This theory of @ji20874 and @Lionel Hutz is admirable to save some work, but PepeTheFrog is not convinced it is sound. Timing and the existence or non-existence of a contract to modify First, when you "agree bilaterally to a modification to re-establish" - What contract are you modifying? There is no contract. As stated, "the contract expired in January." There is no modification possible. It's a legal fiction. You need a new contract, not a modification to something that doesn't exist. Isn't this "modification" effectively a new contract? Awarding a modification "against the BAA" with no J&A Under this theory, the agency can tack on an unlimited number of bilateral modifications to the original award, as long as the period for submissions of proposals for the BAA is open. In other words, the agency can perform this shortcut indefinitely, over and over, using the same contractor/performer. Does anyone dispute that consequence? If you can do it once, you can do it twice. Does that not seem like a problem, and something that demonstrates why this shortcut violates the spirit and law of CICA? Administrative convenience of modification versus new contract, but what about the program office's work (evaluation or decision to fund)? PepeTheFrog understands that a modification is easier to execute than a new contract. That saves some time. But what about the other work of "awarding against the BAA," which includes the non-contracting side of the agency? What about the peer or scientific technical review? Does that happen each time you use this fanciful theory or shortcut? Is it really saving you that much time? Are you saying this entire shortcut happens in the contracting office, and skips the program office review? If so, is that really following the terms and procedures of the BAA?
  11. Translated: If I don't need [to show that I departed from CICA but received the required, statutory approval, AKA "J&A"] for an initial contract [that satisfies CICA], then I don't need [to show that I departed from CICA but received the required, statutory approval, AKA "J&A"] to add "new work" [that does not satisfy CICA]. This doesn't make sense and doesn't follow logically. Consider the following. Yes, the award of the contract pursuant to the BAA for R&D satisfies CICA. Everyone agrees. But you're saying that gives the contracting officer a free pass to tack on an indefinite amount of "new work" in the form of "modifications" that was not evaluated as part of the original BAA solicitation process. Sure, the contracting officer can make a new award, against the BAA, using the BAA procedures. That new award can fulfill whatever you wanted to accomplish using the "modification." That would be doing this "the hard way." Is that what you're driving at? But if you want to do this the "easy way," by skipping the full BAA procedures, and instead awarding the "new work" in the form of a "modification," the purpose of the J&A (justification for the use of other than full and open competition) is essentially to confess that you skipped the BAA procedures (which would satisfy CICA). Put more simply: The words "based on a BAA" are not magic words that satisfy CICA. When you use those words to describe the contract award, it means you followed the BAA procedures. The BAA procedures are not likely to include language that says "The Government is free to add unlimited work via bilateral modification following initial awards." So, when you say the "new work" is "based on a BAA," you have done nothing to satisfy CICA or the procedures of the BAA. Does that make sense?
  12. PepeTheFrog

    Allowable ODC Charge?

    Could the ticket have been immediately exchanged for a refund? Did the subcontractor choose, on its own, to wait one year to see if the ticket could be reused? Are there any contract or subcontract terms that require invoicing of travel costs within X number of days?
  13. PepeTheFrog

    Data Rights under an SBIR contract

    Was this preceded by a showdown at high noon at the O.K. Corral? Or a beat-em-up, shoot-em-up at the local watering hole?
  14. PepeTheFrog agrees with @napolik's analysis. A more pressing question is: If an agency violates CICA by awarding "new work" without full and open competition under the guise of a bilateral modification, can they get away with it? Who will find out about it? Who will care enough to actually protest? In large source selections under FAR Part 15, there is usually a well-defined pool of potential contractors. Some of them are keenly aware of and closely monitor their competitors. In that scenario, it's more difficult for agency to get away with it. The competitors will find out about the improper modification through publicized award notices, FPDS, or loose-lipped gossipers or braggarts at the local drinking hole. Such competitors will care enough to actually protest. However, in the BAA research and development environment, things are quite different. Although the companies can be considered to be competing against each other, they do not compete directly. The companies are not evaluated against a common statement of work and are not specifically "traded off" against one another. The pool of potential contractors is not well-defined and often numerous and unorganized, consisting of many unrelated companies or research organizations. They don't pay as much attention to each other. Even if they find out about the improper modification, would they care enough to actually protest? For what end? It's not like a FAR Part 15, distinct service requirement where a competitor can swoop in and perform the work instead. In research and development, each approach is unique and it's not feasible to substitute one contractor for another. Therefore, there is less practical risk in cheating the CICA system via improper modification within the BAA research and development scenario.
  15. PepeTheFrog

    Data Rights under an SBIR contract

    Where did @Vern Edwards go? All his prior discussion posts show up as "Guest Vern Edwards" and all of his blog posts seem to have disappeared with dead links. @bob7947