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FrankJon

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  1. To be clear, my post wasn't meant to take a position on the merit of the 8(a) Program. I simply learned something about the 8(a) Program that I was shocked I hadn't learned before. I understand why Pepe is frustrated, but I don't necessarily share his point of view.
  2. It's interesting to me that the FAR uses quotation marks around "in the open market," then cites to FAR 12 as an example. Here's what the statute states: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/41/6505 I'm speculating, but my impression is that the FAR drafters did not know exactly what the statute meant by the quoted language, so they decided to give an example that they were sure about and keep it open to interpretation. To your question, we do know at a minimum that anything that can be defined as "commercial" is exempted. So you have to look at the thing being purchased to determine commerciality in this case, not the source or program under which it's purchased, and compare it to the definition of Commercial Item at FAR 2.101. AbilityOne is a program. As far as I know, its suppliers, such as Skilcraft, only make commercial items, like clocks and pens (I don't know this to a certainty, but I'm pretty confident office supplies represent the vast majority of what they do). Just because a pencil says "Skilcraft" on the side doesn't mean it's not commercial. I don't know what you're buying under the AbilityOne Program, but I think there's a very good chance it's commercial, and thus you are exempted from the requirements of 41 U.S. Code § 6505.
  3. Sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for the recommendation, Vern. And I'm sure many on here sympathize with your disgust for FAR 19 (and a power-hungry SBA)!
  4. @joel hoffman I see what you're saying, and I agree with your initial point that a warranty and maintenance should be two different things. Perhaps this discussion will help to clarify OP's thinking. If it helps to alleviate concern in OP's office, perhaps the "warranty" can be specified in the contract with a "NSP" CLIN and POP.
  5. In this scenario the warranty would be "not separately priced." So it seems that OP's concern is that there wouldn't be a POP associated with it, hence the "break."
  6. Joel - Let's say "warranty" and "maintenance" involve the same work under OP's scenario. Do you see an inherent issue with the Government including a year-long break in performance?
  7. Not according to @Vern Edwards, who would distinguish between the expiration of the contract and the expiration of the POP. See, for example, this thread: Your situation is different from what is described in that thread, however, in that you're not suggesting the Government has broken any terms. In your scenario, the terms will simply specify a one-year break in service. I know of nothing that would prevent the Government from doing this.
  8. Why do you call it an "expired contract"? Because there's a break in work between POPs?
  9. I've observed and pondered the dynamics you're referencing. I have several thoughts as to why this seems to be the rule of thumb, but here is my primary hypothesis: The people who are responsible for hiring the Head of the Contracting Activity are themselves customers and/or are accountable to the organization's customers. Thus, when they are hiring, they are seeking foremost an HCA with a strong inclination toward customer service, not necessarily one who takes a nuanced view of the contracting process and its responsibilities. Once hired, that HCA wants to keep her job and obtain a favorable annual review just the same as anyone else. In order to ensure this, the entire contracting office must be customer-focused, not just the HCA. So, the HCA sets expectations with the rest of leadership and management, who themselves will be inclined to comply in order to receive favorable reviews. The result, unfortunately, is a lot of kowtowing, which can be confusing and difficult to navigate for operational personnel trying to do their jobs with integrity. The upshot of this is poor morale among the acquisition workforce, and particularly among newer, motivated 1102s, who learn one thing in class only to find a much different reality. I don't necessarily think it's as simple as calling it "poor leadership," as you say. While frustrating to the (relative) handful of contracting personnel in your agency, the rest of your agency might view this as extremely effective leadership if they are able to consistently get what they want when they need it, while providing minimal support to the acquisition process. Also, you can hardly blame a person for acting in her own career and financial interests by meeting or exceeding the expectations set for her. Instead, I think the problem resides either with the acquisition process itself or with the organizational structures under which the acquisition process operates. That's a much bigger discussion, though...
  10. FrankJon

    Eliminate FAR 52.217-9?

    Thank you all for the feedback.
  11. The following questions are for "senior" 1102s. I'll define "senior" as having at least 15 years of 1102 experience, regardless of whether you are still an 1102 today. What do you think was your best career decision? What career decision do you most regret? What is one piece of knowledge or information relating to the 1102 field (substantive or otherwise) that you wish you'd have known earlier in your career?
  12. FrankJon

    Eliminate FAR 52.217-9?

    @here_2_help, thanks for the feedback. Is there a specific period for preliminary notice that you think is generally reasonable for a service contract (e.g., 30 days, 60 days, etc.)? What are some primary indicators that a CO should look at when considering whether to push the notice period higher or lower?
  13. @joel hoffman, @Vern Edwards Pepe provided a rationale for his recommendation that lacked context. Having done a fair amount of research into the MAS Program, I knew that this rationale could get FSS contractors into trouble if relied upon in situations different from OP's. I quoted only Pepe's rationale, addressed it, and provided citation. My mistake, as far as I can see, was believing that it would be evident to the reader that I was addressing only the quoted text, not OP's issue. I've learned something from this.
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