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Everything posted by Freyr

  1. Not sure if this is the right subforum but does anyone have experience or knowledge of how their organizations track CPARS as an organization? I'm mostly interested in seeing the quarterly or monthly changes in status (what's added, what's been done, etc.). I know you can get spreadsheets but is there an easy way to compare say a spreadsheet I get now to one I get next quarter and then the quarter after?
  2. When I was with DoD we used to require balance sheets and other data, Don provided a good answer here: http://www.wifcon.com/discussion/index.php?/topic/4097-reponsibility-determination-far-9104-3a/ Typically their technical proposal responses were used for much of the other criteria of responsibility. A non-DoD office I was at used to request data on an SF 1407 for high dollar requirements and have them provide written confirmation that they met the other requirements for 9.104-1(b)(e)(f)&(g). Admittedly, for SAP/low dollar buys we would not perform a responsibility determination other than checking SAM for exclusions and require statements from the contractor that they certify they were able to perform.
  3. If we have a commercial requirement that includes travel/lodging and is anticipated to be entirely FFP and not on GSA schedule, do we have to require the contractors to propose that travel/lodging in accordance with the JTR/FTR? I have a branch chief that's tell me that all travel/lodging must always be at or below the GSA per diem rates in accordance with the JTR (pretty sure it's the FTR that applies since it's CONUS but whatever) due to FAR 31.205-46 but I thought this only applied to cost contracts, not FFP.
  4. As far as qualifying for a total small business set-aside, does it matter if they're a JV or a prime/sub (other than MPJV)? For some more context, a lot of the questions we've gotten have been complaints about us "allowing" MPJVs to submit proposals and requests for us to allow small businesses to form JVs and prime/sub CTAs outside of the MP program with large businesses and submit proposals which I don't believe we have the authority to do.
  5. My CO and I have a solicitation out for a Multiple Award IDIQ for consulting services (541611), estimated at around $9M, that is a total small business set-aside. We've gotten a lot of Q&As lately asking us if they can team with large businesses for the purposes of submitting a proposal using the large business past performance, resources, capabilities, and whatnot. My understanding is that this is not permissible under a total small business set-aside because FAR 19.001 defines a concern as "Concern" includes but is not limited to an individual, partnership, corporation, joint venture, association, or cooperative. Then FAR 19.301-1(a)(i) says that the concern has to meet the size standard under the NAICS for that solicitation. Ignoring the exceptions to affiliation (like MPJVs), is my understanding wrong? Can a small business go out and find large businesses to team with, use their experience and qualifications, and submit a proposal for a total small business set-aside?
  6. I've recently been informed by our COR that apparently our contractor has been rotating personnel on our contract every few months after an employee receives their security clearance, allegedly so that the contractor can have a larger cohort of cleared personnel for use on other contracts and opportunities. The COR hasn't identified any performance issues with this, however his management has stated that it's costing our organization a significant amount of money to process all these clearances/investigations/screenings through DCSA. Does anyone have any experience with this kind of issue or have any suggestions on how to approach the problem?
  7. This contract is for one job to support a migration from one system to another. Some of the tasks include creating a migration plan, draft necessary waivers, and assist in development of other specific documents. Like @ji20874 mentioned part of the issue, and I think this is where my CO has the most concerns which I do understand, is that it seems we're buying employees to work on tasks which may or may not have firm deliverables or outcomes. In this case, our one deliverable is a weekly status report (though I'm trying to see if we can't change that to something more tangible).
  8. I think those references require us to have a fixed hourly rate which is what we'd have but it doesn't require a set number of hours, we just wouldn't break it down by how many hours each task would take in the task order. I think not restricting the hours for each tasks gives the contractor some flexibility to perform the task in however many hours it takes to perform each task. If we stick with the cuckoo clock example, what if we have : 001 Clean Wall, Hang and provide O&M for cuckoo clock (Ceiling Price for all work $XXX) 001aa Laborer - Clean Wall - 5 hours @ $XX per hour 001ab Laborer - Hang clock - 10 Hours @ $XX per hour 001ac General Maintenance Worker - 500 hours @ $XX per hour 001ad Materials - At cost + XX% What if Clean Wall takes only 3 hours, but Hang Clock hits 10 hours and the work isn't done? Wouldn't they need to stop working, then Government would need to inspect and not accept the work as incomplete? Or am I reading FAR 52.212-4 Alt I wrong? I would say that putting the number of hours doesn't really provide any value in this example but may hinder the contractor's ability to get the work done within the ceiling price. It might be useful for some other situation, though I'm not sure what that'd be. I guess I'm just having a hard time seeing what the point is of including hours in the contract.
  9. My CO tasked me with working with our customer to set up a CLIN structure for a commercial T&M requirement. I feel I followed all the requirements of the FAR in doing so but they're not saying that we have to structure it based around labor categories and hours vs tasks (which is how I had it set up). They expected it to be structured as CLIN 0001 LCAT #1 1,000 hours at our IGCE rate to create a ceiling for that CLIN while I have it set up as CLIN 0001 Task #1 and expect the contractor to propose LCATs, a rate, and a ceiling for that CLIN (I suppose the CLIN itself doesn't need a ceiling, or does it?). Their concern is "how are we going to administer this without a ceiling on hours?" which I don't understand. My answer was that the COR would follow the QA Surv Plan, contractor would invoice and explain the tasks accomplished per the PWS and break out the hours, LCATs, and rates. Apparently this approach is "too risky" and will "complicate invoicing." What am I missing here? My CO doesn't seem willing to discuss any further and just wants me to change it.
  10. I'm curious about both the reasonableness of this (which you and Vern spoke to well) and the realism aspect of it. Realism should be what we, the Government, expect to pay to the contractor for the requirement right? So if we expect something should cost $100/hr but the contractor hires someone for the job and pays them $50/hr, a reasonable person might expect that $50/hr to go up during performance at some point right? Assuming there's no good explanation on why they're paying them $50 when we thought it'd cost $100.
  11. I'm doing a peer review of a cost evaluation and part of the write up states "the rates proposed are based on actual salary data and are therefore considered realistic, fair, and reasonable." Is actual salary data or accepted job offers really a basis for determining a labor rate to be realistic, fair, and reasonable? I could understand using it as a basis for realism to some degree but not necessarily realistic, fair, and reasonable. My thought process: If someone accepted a job for $30/hr and finds out the work is way more involved after their start date, they may ask for $50/hr or quit. Especially if historical data shows the incumbent personnel made $50/hr, I'd say that even though they accepted $30/hr there's a high risk that rate may go up and therefore may not be realistic. On the other side of it, if someone accepted a job for $300/hr that might be realistic but likely it's not going to be fair to the Government or reasonable if other data shows that the position is normally accomplished at $80/hr. Am I missing something or is the evaluation being performed without any real thought? Context: This is in a single award IDIQ environment on a cost plus fixed fee task order. The quoted language is standard language they use on all cost evaluation write ups.
  12. We have a T&M contract set up for which requires the contractor personnel (researchers/SMEs) to get cleared prior to working, pretty normal stuff. The tasks/deliverables don't include them onboarding, they just have to provide the personnel and get them cleared before working on those tasks. The issue is that the process has taken a while and the contractor already has those people on the payroll. We got the first invoice in today and it seems the contractor has billed hours for personnel who have been in the middle of the clearance process, and in one case they were in the middle of the process and decided to take another job. The Government's gotten zero benefit from those hours and they're not tasks or deliverables from the SOW, I can't imagine we could or would want to pay for those hours. My CO agrees and she thinks the money should come out of the contractor's pocket. So is it normal for contractors to bill for these hours or are we being unreasonable in not wanting approve this?
  13. @Don Mansfieldreading what you just put logically makes sense but why then do COs always put "is significantly more important" when what it really comes down to is the basic question of whether or not the technical superiority is worth the price? Is it just to comply with the FAR? Is it just a clumsy way of saying "we'll pay more for a better technical solution if it's worth it"? Every evaluation I've seen starts, as the FAR requires, with an eval against started criteria. Why doesn't the FAR allow us to just cut the chase and compare each proposal to one another?
  14. To what degree are agencies required to justify paying a premium for a better technical solution if the solicitation says the technical factors are significantly more important than price? I understand that each higher dollar doesn't need to be accounted for (like Feature A is worth $20,000, Feature B is worth $50,000, etc) but how in depth should the analysis for that trade off be? I've read this article and the cited GAO cases but I'm not sure I fully grasp what it means to provide meaningful consideration of price without quantifying features of a proposal that may not be quantifiable.
  15. Hopefully this is a pretty straightforward question: We have a Task Order for 12 months that includes FAR 52.217-8 and ends on 9/30/2021. The IDIQ's ordering period ended on 9/30/2020. The IDIQ's clause 52.216-22 paragraph d states "Contractor shall not be required to make any deliveries under this contract 12 months after the last day of the ordering period." My question is, since exercising the -8 on the task order would put it outside of the 12 month period after the last day of the ordering period are we not allowed to use it? Edit: Follow up less straightforward question: If the above answer is that we can't extend ... The clause 52.217-8 states that it needs to be exercised 30 days prior to the contract performance period. The contract defines "contract performance period" as the period stated in 52.216-22 (which is technically 12 months after the ordering period right?). So even though the ordering period has ended, would we be able to exercise the -8 on the IDIQ to extend it's ordering period to March 2020 thereby allowing us to extend the POP of the task order an additional 6 months via the -8 on the task order? I'm guessing the answer is no because it feels like I'm stretching things way too far here since the ordering period is up and it makes no sense to retroactively extend an ordering period when you're 2 months past the last date you would have been able to place a new order anyways.
  16. Thanks all, I'll try to answer the questions as best I can and clarify the situation. I'm not sure I'd call it an "assisted acquisition." The agreement itself cites "49 U.S.C. 106(1)" as the authority to enter into the agreement, that citation doesn't seem to be useful or accurate at all... The agreement essentially says that we'll provide services to this other agency which is normally in the form of our fed employees helping them with their projects. Of course we also need to purchase supplies/services to assist with that. As far as the couches, what I'm talking about isn't a late delivery, it's a planned delivery of an item outside the POP of the IAA itself. We issue the order knowing the IAA expires on 6/1 and agree that the contractor will deliver on 6/15. I've been told the other agency has set up a new agreement and we're looking to spend all the funds on the old one before it's POP ends so they don't want to go through the hassle (however little) of extending this old one.
  17. Hi all, this is the first time I'm working with an interagency agreement and the question has been brought up of whether or not delivery of an item can be outside the period of performance of the underlying interagency agreement. For example, we have an interagency agreement from 1/1/2021 through 6/1/2021 and award an order to deliver 10 couches but the contractor can't make delivery until 6/15. Would that be allowable? What if they couldn't make delivery until 12/15 (just an example)? Is what matters the POP of the interagency agreement or the available period of the funds (like FY21 funds vs FY22 funds)? It seems like a bona fide need rule issue and I know there's some exceptions to it but I'm not sure how that works with the underlying interagency agreement or how that complicates it. We've been told that performance can't exceed the POP of the interagency agreement but does that also mean all deliveries and acceptances need to be made within that POP?
  18. @Don Mansfieldthanks for the forum link, beta Sam post, and gao case! Gives me lots to think about. Do you think this language and approach could be used for FAR 16.505 procurements as well?
  19. Thank you Vern, this is very on point with the situation at hand. I'll probably read through this another 3 times and then see if our Chief is open to revising the standard language we use to be more clear and more flexible. The CO already awarded this to Offeror A without communicating with either of them after receiving the offers, since it's such a low dollar procurement I doubt Offeror B will look to protest anything or even ask for any kind of debrief but you never know.
  20. FAR 52.212-1 was included but there was nothing mentioned about possible communications after submission. The terms for offer and selection/acceptance are pretty standard in the office for all commercial SAP buys, it really just says that offerors shall propose prices in accordance with the CLIN structure provided and that award will be made on best value in terms of price.
  21. Hi all, this got brought up during an office meeting this week and I've been mulling over what I thought. We had a commercial SAP requirement for an Off-Road Vehicle with a maintenance agreement each year for 2 years. The CLIN structure we solicited was a single CLIN for the vehicle with a second CLIN for 1 year maintenance and a third CLIN that's optional for the second year of maintenance. The issue is that we had two vendors submit offers, the first vendor (Offeror A) conformed to what we submitted but the second one (Offeror B ) provided a quote for the vehicle plus 5 years of maintenance. If we only evaluated 2 years of maintenance on Offeror B it would be lower than Offeror A. Offeror B didn't show any options on their offer or any language saying they're open to offering just two years of maintenance. My thought is that Offeror B didn't submit an offer that's in accordance with the solicitation and therefore shouldn't be considered. Some others thought that we could just send the award to Offeror B for the vehicle and two years of maintenance and see if they accept. Ultimately the CO decided along the same lines as me and just awarded to Offeror A but it made me think, am I being too strict in my thinking? Was there an option to have Offeror B "clarify" their offer without prejudicing Offeror A?
  22. I have a CO who is citing FAR 5.202(a)(11) as a reason she doesn't need to synopsize this her FAR 15 requirement because it's a "follow-on" to the current contract in place. It is a sole source and that document will need to be posted but she says she doesn't need to synopsize it first before awarding. There's no change in the PWS at all, it's just that we need more of this requirement. I've read the language in the FAR, definitions in FAR 5.001 and 2.1, and it seems permissible. It just doesn't pass the sniff test to me, seems like an easy way to try to sneak through multiple sole sources for the same requirement and only post the justification. Is this really one of the purposes of (a)(11)?
  23. Hi all, when awarding an IDIQ for a civilian agency should we be citing funds for the minimum guarantee on the base IDIQ or immediately be issuing a task order that has the funds? To be clear, I mean getting a purchase request that has a line of accounting then commit and record an obligation for the minimum guarantee (I saw a few threads where nomenclature seemed important on this topic). Seems our office does both with some COs vehemently opposed to putting money on the base IDIQ and others who don't care, just wondering if there's advantages/disadvantages to either method. The COs that are vehemently opposed to it say that since work isn't being performed under the IDIQ but rather the TOs, then money shouldn't be put on the IDIQ itself and only the TOs. The COs that don't care point to FPDS allowing us to show an obligation when we create the CAR for the IDIQ.
  24. I had a feeling these would be the responses (I don't disagree)! It's curious to me though that such a large/visible program like OASIS would take this approach, if it's a poor/non-compliant approach then why would they write it like that? Did they just try to be too clever to make it user friendly?
  25. Hi all, I was reading through the OASIS Contract (page 52) and came across the section on Clauses. It states: "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. (Note: Any Applicable and/or Required provisions/clauses that require fill-in information must be provided by the OCO in full text)." Basically, if it is applicable or required then it's included in the subsequent task orders but any fill-ins must be provided by the OCOs. I was wondering what you all thought about this? What about incorporating this into other solicitations? Ie- We issue a full and open solicitation and say all applicable and required provisions/clauses are incorporated into this solicitation, additionally here are the fill-ins that apply. Seems like we'd be skipping a lot of the legwork involved in creating RFQs but also introducing a lot of ambiguity into the situation. Thoughts?
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