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About NenaLenz

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  1. Follow-up question - If the purchasing agent refuses to change his or her purchase order, which is the appropriate procedure for disputing/appealing the purchase? Thanks!
  2. @Jamaal Valentine and @Deaner - thank you for the input. This is exactly what I needed.
  3. FWIW - this appears to be the form that purchasing agents use to place prosthetic orders - Prosthetic Authorization for Items or Services, VA Form 10-2421
  4. Thanks, @Jamaal Valentine I realize that I packed a lot into my first question. I'll try to unpack it with a bit more factual context. The fundamental question is about purchasing authority. Generally, prescribing doctors working with VA patients do not have warrants. They are not authorized purchasers. They cannot bind the government. But they are responsible for determining what is medically necessary for patient care. Here, I'm trying to figure out how procurement of prosthetics works. Prosthetics are defined broadly by VHA to include basically anything that replaces, supports, or complements the human anatomy (e.g., orthotics, hearing aids, medical equipment and supplies, etc). According to VHA Handbooks 1173.1 , 1173.2 and 1173.08 , VHA Prosthetic Departments are responsible for procurement of prosthetics. Here is the scenario: Dr writes Rx for a specific prosthetic item deemed necessary for a veteran patient. Rx is for a COTS prosthetic that is under the micro-purchase threshold and is on VA Schedule. Other manufacturers that sell this general type of COTS prosthetic to the federal government. Dr thinks this particular COTS prosthetic is best for patient care. Rx is sent to the local VHA Prosthetics Department and a prosthetics purchasing agent makes the purchase. Prosthetics procurement agent decides to purchase a different COTS product from a different vendor. Dr. is not happy and neither is patient. Does a Prosthetic Purchasing Agent have the authority to ignore the Dr choice of prosthetic? Thanks for any insight you can offer!
  5. All, If a physician issues a prescription for a specific COTS prosthetic for a veteran and that prosthetic is on the VA Schedule, does the VA prosthetic department that receives the order have to provide the specific item that was ordered? How does the procurement process for VA prosthetic purchasing agents intersect with physician determinations of medical necessity for specific items? If the doctor believes that a certain product is best for his or her patient, does the doctor get to choose the product? I reviewed the VHA handbooks regarding procurement of prosthetics, but I am not finding anything the addresses this question. Hoping someone here has practical experience dealing with this process? Thanks, Nena
  6. Q: What terms and conditions apply to a task order placed by the USPS under a GSA Schedule contract? The USPS KO asserted that GSA Contract (FAR) clauses are the same as the USPS clauses and the only difference is the clause number. Therefore, the KO is unwilling to address order of precedence in the agreement. Although the USPS clauses & provisions do largely track the FAR, they are definitely not the same. The USPS task order includes all the terms and conditions that would be required for a USPS purchase -- i.e. the entire procurement process and task order fulfill the USPS "Supplying Principles and Practices" requirements. And USPS is not subject to FAR in any event. Have you encountered this before? How are we supposed to understand the GSA T&Cs read alongside the USPS task order T&Cs? I've done my level best at finding this answer through legal research, but I've come up short. Hoping this group can offer some practical guidance from your experience -- or show me what I missed! Thanks in advance.
  7. They reserved the right to make multiple awards, but their goal is to get a single vendor to cover all their needs. What concerns me is that the actual RFP included a relatively small number of sites. Even with the statement reserving their right to expand the list, going from 250 to 25K locations seems out of scope. Do you disagree?
  8. Company has submitted a bid for a contract to provide services at USPS sites. The RFP SOW lists specific services that must be provided at about 250 USPS sites on a periodic basis over a 12-month period. Bidder's offer included an annual fixed price per site for the services. The RFP includes the caveat that "USPS reserves the right to add or remove USPS facilities to the contract in accordance with the changes clause of the contract if such action is determined to be within the best interest of the USPS." USPS Changes Clause 4-1(c). USPS held discussions with bidder and informed bidder that it hopes to add substantially more locations to the contract, including up to all 25,000 USPS properties! Would that really be within the scope of the changes clause? When does adding sites to a contract like this exceed scope? Company wants this contract, but does not want to service all 25K locations. Providing discrete services to far-flung USPS locations is much more expensive than working in large facilities in metropolitan areas. How would you recommend the bidder communicate with USPS about this issue? Finally, if USPS does add sites to a contract like this, the contractor would negotiate for a fair price for its work, and a fair price would be expensive. Company wants to make sure that they could charge USPS prices that actually include profit. USPS equitable adjustment clauses and guidance don't offer the comfort I need on this one, and so I am hoping the experience of this group can provide some practical insight. Thanks in advance for your insight and please let me know if you need additional details or citations to answer my questions.
  9. Thank you for your help on this. I have what I need. This thread ended up heading in the same direction of a prior thread on the topic.
  10. @Retreadfed, you're right -- that is a complicated analysis that requires broad expertise and inappropriate for this forum. For the purpose of this discussion, my question is limited to how accepting/performing federal work orders would impact an affiliate. If we forgo formal subcontracts, wouldn't the affiliates then be viewed as part of the "prime contractor" and be subject to the prime contractor's obligations?
  11. Fortunately, my choice of the word "subcontract" in the original post was inaccurate - the company is currently using work orders to facilitate this work. There are no formal subcontracts at this time. I am trying to help them figure out the compliance obligations on the contract holder and affiliates performing the work. Originally, I was thinking subcontracts were a good idea, but it sounds like executing formal subcontracts may be ill advised. My concern with not using subcontracts is that the compliance obligations that apply to the contract holder would then also apply to all performing affiliates without the "flow down" filter/buffer that insulates subcontractors from many prime contractor obligations. Does that make sense? For example, not all affiliates need affirmative action plans at this point. Would the use of a "make program" somehow trigger AAP obligations for all affiliates under the parent? Or just the ones accepting/performing work orders that trigger the requirements? (Again, the concept of a "make program" is new to me, so these may be rather simple questions. I appreciate any wisdom this group can offer.)
  12. I like this conclusion. But I am new to the "make" versus "buy" concepts. Does the concept of a "make program" impact the entire enterprise? Does this pull the whole network of affiliated entities under contractual compliance requirements? For example - How do we decide which affiliates must have affirmative action plans? I would greatly appreciate any general guidance on make/buy you can offer.
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