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FAR-flung 1102

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  1. AI can’t vote or run for office...it’s part way to felon status right out of the box...
  2. Milkenhiem, I don’t know the answer to your question. It’s been my experience that getting a job is best approached as a job...you’ll probably find answers to those questions and much more in your first a half week’s work at it (20-25 hours) of seeking out, researching about, striving to demonstrate qualifications of, applying to, and interviewing for your next job opportunity. You may want to work the problem from different angles to begin with...consider paths that many others won’t look at...for example, see this deployable position with the Army Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) Announcement number C1-000248-2018. The opportunity closes in a week, deploys to Kuwait, has a $51K salary, indicates that Bachelors degree is highly desired...it doesn’t say a bachelors is required. The position probably works with non-appropriated funds, meaning it doesn’t touch the FAR, requires a lot of hard work, and isn’t an “internship”, but you probably weren’t counting on living an ordinary life anyway...this might lead to other things...you can do a web search on the interchange agreement for NAF employees of the DoD allowing some to compete for civilian federal jobs after they achieve some certain sort of status...at their NAFI (Non-Appropriated Fund Instrumentality of the Department of Defense). Happy trails and best wishes for you whatever you pursue....
  3. Let me give it a try. Here is a suggested Contracting Personnel topic: Does anyone think we should discuss Duty? Some things we might consider: What kind of a thing is Duty? (credit comes from elsewhere, as I have seen Vern ask this question of a different kind of thing) Why does it matter to Contracting personnel? What follows from Duty? What doesn’t follow from Duty? As practitioners are contracting personnel engaging in a profession? If so, what standards of conduct or principles do they as a body and as individuals profess? How does Duty differ from Responsibility? Should Duty and Responsibility be used as terms of art?...Or will their plain language meanings suffice?
  4. Concur, I like the new forum, but am a little worried lest we forget or not consider as a first principal that our opportunity should be to fix government’s role in a problem after first recognizing that which needs no fixing. Milton Friedman’s comments about the price system come you mind right now Leonard Reid’s classic essay I, Pencil also comes to mind. http://www.econlib.org/library/Essays/rdPncl1.html The commercial market is our first super computer and not so well understood. Its invisible hand solves problems in pricing, resourcing, and distributing goods and services while minimizing surplus and shortage and incentivizing innovation and change in ways that no one need understand and that no commissar or bureaucracy can hope to better. We don’t always need to see what is in the box...It is almost as if doing so, will alter the subtle dynamics of the mechanism at work (hello Shroedinger’s Cat, am I really proposing a kind of Quantum Economics...no, no really, it is just a metaphor). There are so many ways in which the commercial marketplace does not need an assist no matter how smart the master minds are. ...Except when it doesn’t. Knowing what to solve is the real debate and the real call for wisdom. Yes, there certainly are agency problems to detect and solve or social goods (externalities and inequities) that society and government should and must address. That is what we all do here...and it is a joy of mine to both watch and participate. Thank you Bob for giving us this Forum!
  5. Jamaal, The wind might be blowing the other direction in the matter of OTA’s. Section 204 of Representative Thornberry’s new draft acquisition reform proposal calls for a reporting of DoD OTAs over $5Million.
  6. FAR-flung 1102

    Will Federal Acquisition Lead the Blockchain Revolution?

    The US Government first might not get there first...I just ran accriss what this observer had to say in Ireland... https://www.siliconrepublic.com/enterprise/digital-government-blockchain
  7. FAR-flung 1102

    Will Federal Acquisition Lead the Blockchain Revolution?

    And one Introductory discussion is on WIFCON: There are so many opportunities including, a new accountability framework, smart contracts, and reporting systems. I think we’ll either be leading or following, but we are going to follow the blockchain...which will change aspects of governance that are hard to imagine now.
  8. Since DLA is on the cutting edge, I wonder if they have a plan...if things go badly, just how does an AI get sentenced to Leavenworrth?
  9. FAR-flung 1102

    Bridge Contracts

    Thank you, Vern. I think that is correct...and I am schooled by your brevity. I am concerned that establishing a reporting requirement for bridge contracts may only serve as a proxy for a real solution...GAO was content not to recommend further steps though they discussed a lot of factors. I have one more solution: mentoring and I don’t just mean that which is done by supervisors...I mean mentoring (both formal and informal) by anyone who models valuable professional traits and practices and is willing to mentor. Personally, I think of peer reviews of solicitations and awards as a kind of “peer mentoring”. Yes, we might all learn to make the same mistakes through peer review that way, but I like to think that we tend to spiral upward when we are being mentored.
  10. FAR-flung 1102

    Brand Name Or Equal--Commercial Item

    What would you do?
  11. FAR-flung 1102

    Bridge Contracts

    A recent discussion of lengthy protests reminded me that DoD has newly implemented a reporting requirement for Bridge Contracts with the expectation of reducing their use. This initiative follows a recommendation of the GAO in its report 16-15: https://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/sa/docs/learnmore/DPAP-SA-Report FY15.pdf The GAO report’s main recommendation other than defining bridge contract, is an unsurprising application of the useful adage...”if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it”... GAO in their 43 page report conducted an analysis that should have called for a root cause analysis, for example by using five “Whys”, but GAO did not in my view conduct a root cause analysis...instead they looked at a sizable collection of data and seemed to ask one “Why” many times over and recorded the first unique answer each time. The bevy of complaints or causes they elicited is an impressive list and it might strike one as comprehensive in that it covers a lot of landscape, albeit at one inch depth; and I don’t think you’ll find many roots at one inch depth or by using GAO’s method. Where is the comparison with contracts that need no bridge contract?...What are the elements common between those contracts that needed bridging and those that don’t...couldn’t those elements be ruled out as a root cause? I am curious...By asking “Why” five times or by any other favorite method, what is your analysis of the root cause(s) Question 1) What is the real problem (the root cause) of too many bridge contracts? Question 2) What is the real solution(s) to the root cause you cited? Maybe you think GAO nailed it...after all, they did get a working definition of bridge contract for use in a new DoD Report. Or maybe not, let me know...if not, there’s...Question 3) What is the root cause of a superficial 43 page GAO report?
  12. FAR-flung 1102

    Problem of the Month

    ...and if using oral solicitations, under authority found at FAR 13.106(c) as described at FAR 5.101 (a)(2)(ii), from only local sources, and applying the FAR 5.202(a)(12) exception to the usual FAR 5.201 synopsis requirement, then absent the requirement to synopsize, the requirements of FAR 5.102 do not apply, and the single source brand name documentation which is prepared under authority of FAR 13.106(b)(1) need not be posted on the GPE.
  13. FAR-flung 1102

    Problem of the Month

    Don, Are qualified local sources available?
  14. FAR-flung 1102


    Thank you, all. Could you imagine doing this for a living? Oh well, if it were easy they would not need us in the first place...
  15. FAR-flung 1102


    Thank you, Joel. Reading that also led me to search out a similar 2016 GAO Report for a different agency... In which GAO added reporting of an Anti-Deficiency Act violation to the mix as well: https://www.gao.gov/mobile/products/D13774. This serves as an apt illustration that it is not enough alone to know the regulation (FAR and agency Supplements),...see FAR 1.602-1 (b) “No contract shall be entered into unless the contracting officer ensures that all requirements of law, executive orders, regulations, and all other applicable procedures, including clearances and approvals, have been met.” In the spirit of prevention, I could stand to learn more of other rules or unknowns in our sphere, which are not in regulation...Anyone know what else what might be lurking in the trees just out of sight?