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General.Zhukov

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About General.Zhukov

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    Strelkovka
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    Deception & surprise, combined arms maneuver to encircle and destroy the enemy, T-34-85 Soviet Medium Tanks.

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  1. Need more info. Without knowing the specifics, I can offer my really basic two-part test for approximating an answer to "can we tell them?" Part one: Does telling them violate any regulations, laws, policies, guidance, etc? Part two: Should you tell them - is telling them to our benefit? Its pretty unlikely that you are prohibited from telling them the number of hours. So its probably a question of should you tell them.
  2. 1) Inspection is, at least, closely associated with inherently governmental functions. From FAR 7.503's list of what is inherently governmental v) Administering contracts (including ... accepting or rejecting contractor products or services)
  3. On your first point: Less effort for same result. In my agency and in my field (IT Services), options need perhaps 1/20 the effort of a new Call. I may need two months to complete a new Call, while I can do an option exercise in a day or two. Thus, we tend load Calls with options whenever we can.
  4. I know this one because I do mostly IT services, which sometimes has a mix of exempt and non-exempt labor, and I primarily issue my It services as orders against IDIQ/IDC/GWACs. So this issue come up. Summary: In the IDIQ/IDC contracts I am familiar with, the SCA (I also use SCLS) determination at the order level is independent from whether the IDIQ/IDC is covered by the SCA. IDIQ has SCA clauses, but orders may be exempt from the SCA - GSA's Schedule contracts. IDIQ does NOT have SCA clauses, but orders may still be subject to the SCA - GSA's GWACs (8(a) STARS II, Alliant, VETS2). In both cases, the ordering contracting officer affirmatively determines that this particular group of clauses is an exception to the usually flowdown per 52.216-18. In the case of Schedule contracts (that have the SCA in them), the OCO is affirmatively determining the order is exempt. In the case of the GWACs, the OCO is affirmately determining the order is NOT exempt, despite the base IDIQ having no mention of FAR 22.10 or its clauses. In the case of an IDIQ that does have the SCA language, but also has functional areas that are obviously exempt from the SCA (like OCONUS), I would probably limit making a determination to edge-case orders, where its unclear if the SCA applies or not. An order that is entirely OCONUS services needn't bother with an SCLS exemption. On the flip side, an order that is self-evidently covered by the SCLS - janitorial services - shouldn't have to include the clauses since the SCLS is definitely flowing down from the IDIQ to the order.
  5. My two cents Short Version: a lot of analysis is lost in the overwhelming amount of contracting paperwork, documentation and procedures. There is so much that you must do, you skip the stuff you should be doing. Long Version: In my Department (HHS) a written AP is required for anything over the SAP (HHSAR 307.something), and the AP must follow FAR 7.105. The HHS Acquisition Plan template has about 70 data fields to fill-in, for thousands of contract actions per year. So a purchase of $400,000 of live mice has an AP that, in theory, considers Section 508. A $400,000 purchase of commercial software has an AP that, in theory, considers subcontracting competition. In practice, this stringent Acquisition Plan documentation requirement effectively negates Acquisition Planning. If you are writing, or reading, or approving dozens (or hundreds) of Acquisition Plans per year, you are not giving them much attention or thought. People tend to thoughtlessly skim past the actual strategic planning & analysis parts of Acquisition Planning - such as lease vs. buy for heavy machinery - along with junk parts of the Acquisition Plan. In an organization with this type of process, you can figure out how many simple business/acquisition analysis are overlooked.
  6. A cautious response would state we can't possibly know the answer here without a lot more detail, a careful review of the contract itself, the administrative record, etc...however, when moonlighting as an anonymous internet poster with no stakes in any of this, I won't be cautious.... Defective specifications are a type of constructive change for which the Government is liable and the contractor entitled to some type of recovery (like an equitable adjustment). I doubt that any term or condition like 'concurrent delay provision' somehow prohibits contractor recovery in event of constructive change. What's more, there seems to be nothing concurrent about this delay. As described, only one party has hindered or delayed performance - its 100% due to the Government - so the provision doesn't apply. Therefore does not trump. That's my 5 minute, shady-tree-contract-lawyer answer. More helpfully, I'd recommend a careful reading of Contract Attorney's Deskbook, Volume 2, Chapter 21 - Contract Changes.
  7. Example June - Issue order #1 for 1,000 term software licenses from SEWP. Period of Performance of one year ending July 31, 2020. Licenses $1/Month so $12,000 FFP. Order has clause 52.217-6/7 for, say, up to 500 additional licenses. All additional licenses co-term on July 31, 2020 and licenses cost is pro-rated per month. July - Hey, we forgot about the American Samoa field office, we need another 50 licenses starting August 1st. Issue modification to order #1, adding 50 licenses for $550. (50 licenses x $1/month x 11 months) Now you have only one order, #1, even though you've purchased the licenses two times. June of Next Year - Issue order #2 for 1,050 term licenses from SEWP. There are better ways to buy software, but if your agency is like mine and tries to use notionally competitive FFP GWAC orders for all IT, then I've found this method to be beneficial. 1) Easier and faster to do an option than a new order. 2) Easier to track and administrate if all the software is on one contract vehicle.
  8. Not if you are exercising options for additional quantity instead of issuing multiple DO's.
  9. Most (maybe all?) federal agencies have a legislative mandate to get a handle on their software acquisition. The MEGABYTE Act in particular requires agencies to implement a software management process that is under the CIO (not Contracting). What you are describing is a failure of software management. This is IT's problem, and they should fix it. Limited to contracting: 1) https://www.sewp.nasa.gov/catalogs.shtml - sorta like a BPA, but better. 2) If you must by software through highly-specified GSA/SEWP orders, write-in as much flexibility as possible. For example, Option for Additional Quantity, P-Card payment authorized, etc. 3) A good source of info and best practices for enterprise software procurement - https://www.esi.mil/Resources.aspx 4) Whenever possible, I try to consolidate a particular software license into a single order and co-term the license PoP. Use modifications to add more software. Makes administration a lot easier.
  10. Most Government agencies have a Business Process Improvement group, or if its IT focused something like a Digital Transformation Center. They will know about automation/digitization and may be able to help. DCMA, for example, has the Process Working Group.
  11. Scenario Using FAR 16.505 ordering procedures with exception to Fair Opportunity - Brand Name Only. Estimated value is $100,000. It seems that FAR 16.505 (a) (4) states that a Brand Name Justification must be posted if the value is over $30,000. However, FAR 16.505 (b) (2) (ii) states an exception to fair opportunity must be posted if the value is over the Simplified Acquisition Threshold ($250K for me). I take this to mean - For amounts between $30K - $250K, JEFO is posted if, and only if, its Brand Name Justification. No need to post for any other type of JEFO. Questions Is this correct? If so, why would Brand Name Justifications have a much lower public notice threshold than any other type of exception to fair opportunity? Refs FAR 16.505 Ordering (a) (4) (ii) Requirements for use of items peculiar to one manufacturer shall be justified and approved using the format(s) and requirements from paragraphs (b)(2)(ii)(A), (B), and (C). (iii) (A) For an order in excess of $30,000, the contracting officer shall ... FAR 16.505 Ordering (b) (2) (ii) (D) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2)(ii)(D)(5) of this section, within 14 days after placing an order exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold that does not provide for fair opportunity in accordance with 16.505(b), the contract officer shall - (i) Publish a notice in accordance with 5.301; and (ii) Make publicly available the justification required at of this section.
  12. Not an expert, not a lawyer, but this question is weirdly close to something that came up a in my office a few weeks ago. So check with people who actually know what they are talking about, such as lawyers, SBA, etc. Answer: No. The prime contractor must hold the GSA Schedule (aka, have an IDIQ with GSA). Otherwise, there is no contract against which the order can be placed.
  13. I'm in agreement with the other posters. The office culture and the type of contracting they do matters a great deal. To do the cool stuff you first have to have know how to do the boring stuff. You don't like doing the boring stuff, neither does your boss. And guess who assigns the work? Sorta like a Seaman's job vs a Chief Petty Officer. Personally, I find I am satisfied with the amount of cool stuff I do on a day to day basis. I work for a small agency, which means we 1102s can't be too specialized. And I only work with IT, which is often complicated and employs a lot of different contracting techniques. So lots of novelty. Today's Backlog as of now. I'll probably only do two or three of these today: For a single-award BPA for IT services, tell the contractor we all agree, negotiations are over, and prepare the award (boring) For another single-award BPA for IT services, finish updating the Task Order term and conditions, send RFP to contractor. We are expecting contentious negotiations so I am being very deliberate (not boring). Deal with a super-difficult customer who doesn't know what they want, but knows they want it now, and knows how much it will cost, so what's the hold up? (not boring). Review and approve some option exercises and administrative modifications (boring) Finish writing an 8(a) Offering Letter (boring) Update my statuses (very boring). Figure out what to do about a contractor that has unfinished work, that the PM doesn't like, and whose entire team working on my task was recently poached by a competitor (not boring). Send option notices (the most boring possible thing in the world).
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