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FAR-flung 1102

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About FAR-flung 1102

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  1. IDIQ Decision

    So, absent some additional conditional qualifier such as "when", what Is the imperative meaning of the term "shall" followed by "only if"? Take the example given, what all is the Contracting Officer required to refrain from doing and/or do by the language found at FAR 15.403-4 (a)(1)?
  2. Kickstarter and the GCPC

    Vern:, You're welcome and you're probably correct about the future of government...though that doesn't stop me from trying to work toward something a little better than what we have now.
  3. Kickstarter and the GCPC

    Carl, Other Transaction Authority (OTA) has recently been revised and given a new statutory basis. Using OTA is not an attempt to make a prototyping project comply with the FAR and that is what makes it interesting. An OTA GPC transaction, if it could be done, would be outside the FAR, and may have other significant features, see one explanation at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/section-815-other-transaction-agreement-prototype-mcmartin-esq- All, Are we taking the right path trying to: Either shoehorn commercial vendors into compatible agreements with the federal government, (see https://www.digitalgov.gov/resources/federal-compatible-terms-of-service-agreements/) Or Render unenforceable the offending portion of common agreements that nevertheless may remain included in the stated terms of Supplier Agreements (see the 15 types of terms and conditions rendered unenforceable by the three classes GSA implemented in their 31 July 2015 Class Deviation: http://www.esi.mil/download.aspx?id=5726 Or providing for this extraordinary treatment given to commercial terms purchased via GPC out of government concerns that terms involving indemnification are incompatible with the Anti Deficiency Act, see FAR 13.202: "13.202 Unenforceability of unauthorized obligations in micro-purchases. Many supplies or services are acquired subject to supplier license agreements. These are particularly common in information technology acquisitions, but they may apply to any supply or service. For example, computer software and services delivered through the internet (web services) are often subject to license agreements, referred to as End User License Agreements (EULA), Terms of Service (TOS), or other similar legal instruments or agreements. Many of these agreements contain indemnification clauses that are inconsistent with Federal law and unenforceable, but which could create a violation of the Anti-Deficiency Act (31 U.S.C. 1341) if agreed to by the Government. The clause at 52.232-39, Unenforceability of Unauthorized Obligations, automatically applies to any micro-purchase, including those made with the Governmentwide purchase card. This clause prevents such violations of the Anti-Deficiency Act (31 U.S.C. 1341)." I have heard that remarkable paragraph termed a Chridtian Doctrine in reverse. It is not as broad as the other mechanisms above, in that it does not treat other types of terms such as automatic renewal or legal jurisdiction, and a host of others, but it does reveal the heavy hand of government; it is one of the new top down 70 percent solutions that will eventually replace most of the older top down 70 percent solutions. Whose job are the 30% solutions? How many purchased don't happen for these reasons? For the most part we don't track what we don't buy and why we don't buy it. And what will be the trend? In a marketplace where bricks and mortar increasingly become a burden, might the government learn a lighter touch? ...we might then ask ourselves as a government: "Who will be around to do business with us the old fashioned way, if we don't learn a new way? I have hope that eventually the digital natives will sort this out...
  4. www.farsite.hill.af.mil

    Really??? Is it just me or does anyone else wonder how many current contracts include the now obsolete link to farsite.hill? What's a diligent contract administrator to do? I suppose, send an eMail to the contractor, to be placed in the file, and wait until the next contract modification to include the new link. Either that or send off a note asking folks at Farsite.hill if the tail must really wag the dog...and hope for the best.
  5. Kickstarter and the GCPC

    Mr. Fleharty, I would be surprised if it could not be done. It would be a lot of work, that's for sure. It would involve setting up a new GPC card program (totally separate from an appropriated fund GPC program, such as is done for Non Appropriated Funds (NAF) and Chapel funds). It would need business rules and make use of one of the contracted banks. This site discussing eligibility for SmartPay programs is linked here: https://smartpay.gsa.gov/content/about-gsa-smartpay#sa356 and this link below gives contact information for the GSA SmartPay Program Management Office: https://smartpay.gsa.gov/content/contact#sa608
  6. Kickstarter and the GCPC

    Hmm...maybe there's still a way... In DoD depending on department or agency notable exceptions to the advance payment using GPC are training and subscriptions. Those don't seem to get the job done. Chapel GPC programs fall entirely outside of the FAR...could Kickstarter be compatible with it? Could it fit their mission? I doubt it, but I don't know. I don't like to give up on an opportunity to do the government's business; So on to appropriated fund GPC... I say, why fret about ADA before we have thiroughly considered what we are buying? What is our requirement? And what authority exists that allows advance payment? The DoD FMR is okay with advance payment on Copyrights and Patents (DoD FMR Vol 10, Ch. 4 , paragraph 040305). Isn't that what this is? We get lifetime rights to use? Is it an ADA violation if we buy a patent and it does not work as hoped? Or is it an ADA violation if we buy a patent that we never use? How is this different? At a fundamental level is not our requirement the permanent right to an opportunity, whatever that opportunity affords us? I think commercial transactions in the government's interest should be viewed with a strong bias toward commerciality, whatever that might mean. Sometimes we just don't know how not to act like a monopsony. Now about using the card, the Air Force GPC, for example; some of the advance payment exceptions at DoD FMR Ch 4 are already permitted in the Air Force appropriated fund GPC guide (AFI 64-117). Their general prohibition on GPC advance payments is at paragraph 4.5.1.15. So, I say Ask. There is a waiver process near the beginning of the guide,; use it. The authority to make advance payments for copyrights and patents is already stated in FMR, so if I wanted to do it, I'd send a request above my operational unit through my MAJCOM Contracting Division to SAF/AQC for approval. I'd cite the FMR authority and describe the requirement and include any required functional area approvals required (I can't think of any for this one). If approved, I would also expect to have to elevate a request via eMail to adjust the merchant category code on the card account to allow the transaction to go through at the bank; my MAJCOM GPC Level 3 should be able to do that. From cardholder to SAF/AQC, the GPC waiver request could have eyes on by as few as 4 and as many as 7 or 8 levels of government, when a final decision is made...which kind of validates the original questioner's concern.... Or if GPC is not accepted by the vendor, which is a real possibility, a micro-purchase can be done via contract, which in DoD, unless in exceptional circumstances, requires a written determination by a general or flag officer or member of the SES IAW DFARS 213.370 (b) (1). Also, kind of validates the original questioner's concern, doesn't it?
  7. Accountability Might Need a New Name

    Thank you Mr. Fleharty. The resources you linked are clear eyed and helpful. Yes, I see the features of this effort fitting nicely in the early implementation described by the authors in the linked HBR article. Namely, the initial effort I envision is: One customer, that being DoD or one of its components; limited scope, that is accountability systems (accounting & property); simplistic regulatory framework, that is mainly Congressional oversight instead of being a commercial sector concern which may face many multi-level considerations in a GAAP/SEC/FNRA/FED/IRS/shareholder/congressional oversight environs; a long cherished elusive and difficult to achieve goal, that is achieving and maintaining audit readiness; the prospect of fulfilling the promise of improvements in doing government business , that is the essence of this effort to re-envision government accountability; overall improvements in cost avoidance, cost visibility, responsiveness to oversight, and decreased management burden, these are major incentives with obvious appeal both in and out of the executive branch.
  8. Audit readiness and information reporting are the reasons for more and more of the things we are called upon to do as stewards of a vast public trust. There seems to be an air of inevitability about it...a kind bureaucratic mission creep so easily sets in and there are new reasons to ever add new tasks, new considerations, and new demands to our day. It has come to dominate the landscape around us. With new tools we may be able to query most any question about government spending and get the answer immediately. Blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoin should enable us to uniquely label (or perhaps instead of "label" call it "name" if you like, in a nod to personal finance and budgeting authority, Dave Ramsey) every single dollar to spend and add to that label for every event involving that dollar. To conduct an audit or obtain a report (they become the same thing done by different people) read the label for every single dollar spent at any time during the acquisition cycle and compile the result to your heart's content. In Real Time. Every single dollar will carry its complete history: Appropriation data, time and date infirmation, the personnel making approvals and authorities cited award data, socio economic data, acceptance and chain of custody, associated RFID identification, physical inventory results and emergent ideas not yet considered. I wouldn't get concerned over things this idea isn't. This isn't a budget process; and it isn't a new currency; and it isn't using Bitcoin to pay vendors; it isn't using bitcoin at all. It is a new tool to track the flow and use of dollars in government in real time. What's more there will be ways to reliably and permanently obscure proprietary information so that it will have proper and determinable boundaries. We don't have to do what we have always done. Without statistical sampling we can query the dollars themselves and learn anything we want from those dollars about government spending in real time. Who da thunk it? Insight into uses of blockchain technology is growing now: http://www.businessinsider.com/bitcoin-blockchain-tech-leaders-according-to-morgan-stanley-2017-6?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_term=170616&utm_campaign=moneystuff A daily watcher of blockchain technology, Matt Levine can be found here: https://www.bloomberg.com/view/topics/money-stuff Thoughts? Predictions? Reality Checks, anyone?
  9. Contract Closeout Process

    I apologize for the typo: deobligation. For info on ADA you might start with this site: http://www.gao.gov/legal/anti-deficiency-act/about
  10. Contract Closeout Process

    I might as well mention the elephant in the room. What steps should I take to avoid an Anti Deficiency Act Violation for improper drobligation?
  11. Supply vs Service

    Thank you for the explanation...with that I see no issue with induction/deduction. Understanding definitions can be a fun ride...I learned that in Guam, which sonetimes does or most of the time does not fall under the pertinent FAR or DFARS definition of the United States.
  12. Supply vs Service

    It strikes me that this discussion, removed one level, is really about the usefulness in our career field of both inductive and deductive reasoning. To me, Don's observations here demonstrate the usefulness of inductive reasoning, that is, arguing from the particular case toward that of the general case. I think that Vern's query aims at considering a rule by process of deduction, that is, a rule from the general case to the particular case. The Wikipedia article on inductive reasoning gives a succinct example of these two kinds of reasoning: "Given that "if A is true then that would cause B, C, and D to be true", an example of deduction would be "A is true therefore we can deduce that B, C, and D are true". An example of induction would be "B, C, and D are observed to be true therefore A might be true". A is a reasonable explanation for B, C, and D being true." (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductive_reasoning) The two methods when offered in argument variously for or against a proposition present an interesting challenge that we might find on the job fairly often. As a novice, I try to think carefully about such things to avoid confusion. I might find it useful to ask myself "what, if anything, has been refuted?" At times, I may be tempted to surrender too early and be too easily convinced of an alternative proposition. At other times I have let myself get needlessly stubborn in the face of a better argument to the contrary. Vern, I find your observation, above, curious. I am interested what direction this will take and what, if anything might be refuted.
  13. Supply vs Service

    105 CONS, 1) Before deciding that the Service Contract Labor Standards Act (SCLSA) applies, you might consider if the "representative of the manufacturer") was really an employee of the manufacturer. If, instead, the individual who performed the services was directly engaged by the government for his or her services, see the FAR 22.1003-3 (f) exemption which includes "Any employment contract providing for direct services to a Federal agency by an individual or individuals;" 2) The point is now moot, but if the vendor had already provided the necessary certification and if the contracting officer had already made the subject determination, you might be using the exemption to SCLSA at FAR 22.1003-4 (c) for office/business machine repair, subject to the listed qualifications.
  14. Procurement Assistance

    I like how Ben Franklin really put it (common misattribution explained): " 1. "A penny saved is a penny earned." Did Ben Franklin say it? No. "Franklin never actually said his most famous misattribution," McCormick said. "The actual quote from 1737 is 'A penny saved is two pence clear,' which is far more financially sophisticated. The misquote blends cost saving with revenue creation and stays completely on the income statement. The actual quote comes from the balance sheet." From: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150701152634.htm
  15. MATOC Small Business Set-Asides

    Vern, Thank you for the overview. I do see your point about "any" not always meaning "any one"...and specially in FAR 15.502-4. I think we should often consider flipping our assumptions mid-argument as a means of detecting error or obstinance. I for one, like learning new tricks.
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