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    Invoicing for unworked hours under a FFP TO

    I really appreciate all the responses, in digging and getting more people (program office) involved, the SOW was specifically written to give them flexibility to assign a variety of work to the contractor. The COR informed me that tasks are generated mostly on a daily/weekly basis and occasionally monthly, and are then assigned to contractor personnel. It seems we got what we paid for (support) but we will still proceed to discuss availability issues with the contractor. We also bounced around the idea of having a task list that will be incorporated into the task order on a monthly basis and seeing if the contractor will be okay with including this in the SOW. You posted to the forum for beginners, so I assume that you are a beginner in contracting. Since you are a beginner, I hope that you have learned something from the responses that you have received here---not about the answer to your question, but about the nature of contracting. I will not recommend a contract type for your requirement, but I will say that it sounds like it should be some form of level-of-effort type. Vern, I downloaded the DAU contract type chart and reviewing all the contract types, I agree with your statement but LOE type contracts are frowned upon here. The other possibility I think might work is an IDIQ, but some of the tasks are so small and the administrative burden may not be worth it. I am hoping I can apply the lesson learned here to my new requirement. @FrankJon and @Jamal, The OASIS IDIQ has the non-commercial clauses but our TO has commercial clauses. The statement below is from section I1 in the Oasis IDIQ contract " "In accordance with FAR 52.301, Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses (Matrix), the OASIS master contracts cannot predetermine all the contract provisions/clauses for future individual task orders. However, all Applicable and Required provisions/clauses set forth in FAR 52.301 automatically flow down to all OASIS task orders, based on their specific contract type (e.g. cost, fixed price etc), statement of work, competition requirements, commercial or not commercial, and dollar value as of the date the task order solicitation is issued. However, the OCO must identify in the task order solicitation whether FAR Part 12 commercial clauses/provisions apply or not apply. Furthermore, the OCO must identify any Optional, and/or Agency-Specific provisions/clauses for each individual task order solicitation and subsequent award. For Optional and/or Agency-Specific provisions/clauses, the OCO must provide the provision/clause Number, Title, Date, and fill-in information (if any), as of the date the task order solicitation is issued " Thank you all and if I get any interesting advice from legal today, I'll be back to update the post.

    Invoicing for unworked hours under a FFP TO

    Thank you all for your responses....This is a contract for commercial services where the contractor supplements the government effort in several technical areas and in many of the positions, the contractor staff have a higher technical expertise. The SOW does not list specific task but general areas where support will be required, I’ll give an example which I have altered a bit. a) The contractor shall provide support to include the following technical areas: Propulsion Systems, Electrical Systems. b ) The contractor shall provide SME in Design and Construction of XXXXX. The contractor shall assist in development of system specifications, engagement with industry The sow does not detail the exact work to be performed just the technical and subject areas where the work will performed. The contract does call for monthly deliverables that list the work that was performed, interestingly, the contract also requires the contractor to include a breakdown of labor hours and labor categories but the contractor has never complied with the LCAT and hours part. It is not so easy to answer the questions 1)was the performed? and 2 ) what exactly did the contractor bill for that was not performed? In the absence of the contractor the Government employees picked up the slack and performed the work, the best I got from the COR was that because the contractor employee was unavailable the technical drawings were not completed Two more contractor employees just left and due to the very technical nature of the work they are struggling to fill the positions We are now going to legal to see what we can do. I am new to this agency and I have a new requirement that very much mirrors this one and the SOW Is even less definitive on the nature of the work. I don’t think we selected the right contract type and I would like to read your comments and hopefully help guide me on the right path sorry for the long post but wanted to provide as much detail as possible
  3. We have a FFP TO awarded again a GSA Oasis Contract (16.5 not 8.4), the contract has a SOW to provide support services in different areas (PM, Acquisition, Logistics, e.t.c.) and payment is made monthly for 1/12th of the total price. The total value of the contract was determined by estimating the number of hours needed for different LCATS. Although the labor hours and labor rates were never incorporated into the contract, we have bilaterally made several changes to the contract, increasing and decreasing the estimated hours required to provide the support needed. One of the CORs (contract supports several programs and we have 2 CORs) just notified us that one of the contractor personnel was only at his duty location about half the time in the last few months and he was completely absent last month. The contractor invoiced and was paid in full for both months. The COR kept track of the exact hours worked, but I am not sure how much good this does with a FFP contract. I asked the COR to identify the section in the SOW that was not performed due to the absent employee, which he did , but I have been told by more experienced Specialist and KO's that there is nothing we can do but ding them in a CPARS because its a FFP TO. Do we have any recourse to recoup an of the money paid or at least negotiate some consideration. The TO has 52.232-1 and has 4 option years left. I welcome and appreciate all input.
  4. My agency is in the process of awarding a part 8 BPA along with the first two TOs. The BPA-PWS is so general and reads more like a SOW and we are worried all offerors will simply restate all the task/services listed in their quotes and say, yeah we can do that --no real discriminator for a technical factor. For instance, one of the services listed is PMO support and the BPA-PWS simply lists all the activities in the PMBOK. The two task orders on the other hand have some meat and will allow us to identify those who can truly perform the work. Our plan is to evaluate the task orders first and award the BPA to 3 - 5 of the highest rated quotes. My goal here is to obtain some feedback on the potential pitfalls of not evaluating the BPA at all, or maybe having 3 evaluation factors TO1, TO2 and BPA with the BPA being the least important factor. Another possibility is to perhaps eliminate technical as an evaluation factor in the BPA and really drill down on PP and experience but this is not favored by many. If any one has gone this route and has a sample ITO that would be very helpful.

    Informal Price Analysis for Options

    Thanks to everyone for your input. I think Joel highlighted what I was missing, I was fixated on the price part that I wasn't really using non-price factors in my reasoning and justification.

    Informal Price Analysis for Options

    @ Todd Davis, thanks for the knowledge. I talked to another CO who just told me the story of a CO who exercised the option on salt without a price analysis only to find out the price of salt had dropped significantly. @ Vern, What kind of hourly rates do you have? Direct labor rates (employee payment), which don't include indirect costs and profits, or burdened rates, which do include indirects costs and profits? If burdented rates, what do they include beside direct labor rates? Vern, These are fully burdened rates (discounted GSA prices) and are FFP contracts. We negotiate how many hours will be needed for the requirement and generally use the changes clause to add more hours if needed.

    Informal Price Analysis for Options

    Vern, My first thought was that a formal analysis requires following the requirement in 15.404-1(b) while an informal is more of a simple price check, less detailed. After reading through that section of the FAR, I believe the difference is simply the level of detail and the techniques describe can 15.404-1(b)(2) can be used with varying detail. Looking forward to your input.

    Informal Price Analysis for Options

    Joel, My problem is I can always find prices higher and lower than the option pricing for the labor categories, which is why I think the GSA CALC may be an option showing the option price is within 1 SD of the average pricing of the labor category. I always use the higher prices in my memo to justify the option pricing is the most advantageous offer but I can't help but think this memo is BS. Let me also add that price is almost never the most important evaluation factor. Thanks for your input.

    Informal Price Analysis for Options

    Some contractors are more efficient than others, have a better solution or approach to the service, or are willing to reduce market pricing to obtain more work or keep a labor force employed, etc. Todd Davis, Thank for your response, Based on the highlighted response, do some Contracting Officers require their technical personnel to re-evaluate the technical proposal to see if the solution is still cost effective? i.e. do we have an Engineer IV preforming a task that could be performed by an Engineer II. Another question that comes to mind, how can the CO/KO determine if other identified source can perform the work without getting some detailed information about their capabilities especially when price was not the most important evaluation factor during award. This sounds like determination (1), which I know I need to avoid if possible. My idea was to use the ECI to support determination (2). I think I may be over analyzing as usual, options must be exercised in accordance with the terms of the BPA and the procedures of FAR Subpart 17.2, I must make a determination based in (1) (2) or (3) and (2) & (3) seem to be the more logical options. Thanks for the input.

    Informal Price Analysis for Options

    My contracting office requires an informal price analysis before the exercise of all option. About 90% of all our actions are BPAs and TOs against FSS, and 99% of all actions are for services (professional services not subject to SCLS). I intend to make an argument that memos documenting the informal analysis is not necessary for a majority of our actions based on the following reasons. 1. These options were competed at the time of award and considered fair and reasonable 2. Options prices are generally discounted GSA pricing which has been determined to be fair and reasonable 3. Hourly labor rates for professional services rarely go down based on Employment Cost Index (ECI) table on the BLS site. O ur informal price analysis generally involves going on GSA to find hourly rates that are lower than the rates negotiated for the option periods, and using this information to satisfy 17.207. I understand why this would be necessary when buying products, especially commodities that could fluctuate in pricing but I am struggling to see why this is necessary for FSS professional services hourly rates. I have been an 1102 for only one year and I do not want to come-off as an idiot when I make this argument, this is why I am hoping wifconers can pick apart my argument and provide me with some missing points. The best answer I got from my Contracting Officer is that we once had a Group Manager(Branch Head) who came from another agency and required an informal price analysis for all options. I also think GSA CALC may be a better option for an informal price analysis as it provided an average price and standard deviation for a labor category. All comments will be very much appreciated. ECI.pdf