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Everything posted by NenaLenz

  1. Yes, sound advice, but to implement that advice, we need a plan. This conversation is about what makes sense to put in the plan.
  2. @Neil Roberts - There is no rule precluding subcontracts. Yes, the company does have long-term agreements with material suppliers. It is my understanding that none of these agreements are with small businesses. Because those are long-standing agreements that pre-date this government contract and will not be modified for the performance of this government contract, I do not believe those long-term agreements are necessarily government subcontracts. I suppose we could propose that when those supply agreements are up for renewal, the company could use good faith efforts to identify and contract with small business suppliers. But my understanding is that we already know there aren't any small businesses that make the specific items that will need to be purchased under those supply agreements. Therefore, I am not sure what subcontracting goals make sense to propose--the company most likely won't hit any targets we set. For overhead item goals, could we include them in the individual plan or would those need to go in a commercial plan?
  3. @Don Mansfield a fair response to a vague question. I’m trying to figure out whether the VA can require the company to submit a plan that includes goals that are not zero. As I read the rules, there will not be any “subcontracts” involved in performance of the contract. Therefore, putting any goal other than zero is not attainable and I don’t even know what good faith efforts toward meeting the goal would look like. The company has its supply chain established with long-term agreements in place with the suppliers for the materials that the company uses to self-manufacture the products. None of this will change for performance of this contract. The company has no other federal contracts under which it could pick up credit using a commercial plan. This can’t be a unique situation. How do other companies handle this?
  4. Client is applying to get on VA Schedule to sell medical devices. There is no way to engage small businesses is any part of performance of the contract. VA will not accept a individual plan with a goal of zero. What should the company do?
  5. Because this is a micro-purchase for a COTS product on the VA FSS, there was no requirement for competition if the procurement agent gets a Dr. Rx. My understanding is that the VA Dr and patient saw the product and tested it to make sure of fit and function for the specific needs of the patient. The Rx was sent to purchasing dept. When a product was delivered to patient home, it was an entirely different product.
  6. Yes, the company learned about it -- this is helpful. Thank you
  7. Yes. We are the supplier that the doctor and patient prefer.
  8. 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!
  9. @Jamaal Valentine and @Deaner - thank you for the input. This is exactly what I needed.
  10. 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
  11. 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!
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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?
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. @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?
  18. 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.)
  19. 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.
  20. Is there any reason that subcontracts to affiliates would not be reportable under FAR 52.204-10? (Assuming all other reporting thresholds are met). I ask because subcontracts to affiliates are not reportable on eSRS per FAR 52.219-9(l) "(l) The Contractor shall submit ISRs and SSRs using the web-based eSRS at http://www.esrs.gov. Purchases from a corporation, company, or subdivision that is an affiliate of the Contractor or subcontractor are not included in these reports. Subcontract awards by affiliates shall be treated as subcontract awards by the Contractor. Subcontract award data reported by the Contractor and subcontractors shall be limited to awards made to their immediate next-tier subcontractors." I do not see any similar caveat to the FSRS requirement. Do you? FYI - Under 52.304-10, “First-tier subcontract” "means a subcontract awarded directly by the Contractor for the purpose of acquiring supplies or services (including construction) for performance of a prime contract." Thanks for your insight.
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