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About ContractingCowboi

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  1. Vern, this is exactly it. Just replace the lawnmower with medical equipment. I didn't want to get into the weeds on what the stuff does, but it's very commercial and under the SAT. I'm on the same page as you in this discussion, just receiving a lot of pushback. it was competed, all offers are being fairly considered, but a particular brand meets their needs the best. They are great at explaining the brand, but can't give any past performance information on the other brands. So I'm having them answer simple technical questions. Why is this one better? What can it do that others can't? Wh
  2. I love that thread- it's one of the discussions that got me into FAR part 13 and simplifying processes. I typically do these comparative evaluations whenever I'm in a Part 13 scenario. However, my bigger concern is that while doing comparative evaluations, my end users struggle with evaluating "quality." They confuse it by saying they've worked with a certain brand before, they know the quality is good, and it's suitable for them. Could you or your technical team (while doing the comparative evaluation) identify a certain brand as more suitable to the user simply because they are more fam
  3. I quoted FAR Part 13 verbatim, though, so I don't know how it ignores the purpose of it. 13 allows the CO to select an offer "suitable to the user," then look at lower priced quotes other than the brand name, see if there's any value indicators, and determine whether those indicators warrant selecting a different product. I disagree. Look at FAR 12.602(b) -- "For many commercial items, the criteria need not be more detailed than technical (capability of the item offered to meet the agency need), price and past performance. Technical capability may be evaluated by how well the proposed
  4. It's going to get butchered by CO's. "Oh, we have 100% design on construction. This is now commercial." It conflicts with section (1) and contracting officers will take full advantage of that.
  5. I can get behind that. How do suppose it gets fixed? Training is a rough one, the Government "tries" with DAU. I think one big problem with the workforce is you've got two extremes. Ones who don't care and pencil whip everything with LPTA, and the others are "too good" in which they over-analyze and drag out acquisitions when it's unnecessary. So two questions really: How do you fix it? Where do you start? From higher dollar acquisitions down to SAP? Or start from the bottom and work your way up? Or is there a "blanket" solution?
  6. Where does everyone think the problems in federal procurement are coming from? Is it the thick rule book(s)? Is it the lack of delegation to the lowest possible level? Is it the process? Fear of protests? The oversight? Fear of simplifying? Fear of a bad deal? I'm curious to know everyone's opinion. My personal opinion is almost all of the above, but mostly the oversight and fear of protests. It's been pretty rare in my experience that my leadership feared a bad deal. They always fear protests. That being said, my experience isn't large weapons systems or anything extremely complex.
  7. I'm thinking more along the lines of the $7M simplified acquisition.
  8. Usually our "users" aren't technical experts, just users of the machine. What I'd like to do is describe what I want the item to do as opposed to specific specifications (engine size, speed, etc). "We want to mow 10 acres of Kentucky Bluegrass. The mower must cut near, but not damage trees." So offerors will send us a bunch of items that meet our needs, John Deere being one of them. The customer knows about the quality of John Deere, and for the sake of this requirement, we'll argue that there's a local John Deere maintenance shop nearby. Note that we didn't ask for a brand name product
  9. That's extremely hard to do when you've got clearances, legal reviews, etc., where you've got to justify every decision you make. There's too many hands on too many acquisitions and in order to do things in a simplified manner, you've got to justify it somehow. I mean, look how much push back I've given, and I'm a front-line CO. Briefing these thought processes to a 30-year branch chief, flight chief, or commander would be nearly a guaranteed stonewall. If I have a regulation to back me, they don't have much of a leg to stand on. I used FAR 12.208 as an example because QCP's are anot
  10. I think you've finally gotten through to me... I was going to say "what about quality assurance plans?" But then I saw FAR 12.208 -- Contracts for commercial items shall rely on contractors’ existing quality assurance systems as a substitute for Government inspection and testing before tender for acceptance unless customary market practices for the commercial item being acquired include in-process inspection. The more I think of it, you're right -- price/past performance will tell you a lot more than some plan or approach.
  11. True. Follow up question, though. Why can't a staffing plan, which could be part of a quality control plan, be incorporated into the contract? My argument is that the technical information lets me know who is likely to both understand and perform the contract. Maybe I'm misinterpreting what folks in here are saying, but why wouldn't something in a quote/proposal be binding? Barring some wordsmithing (i.e, "we'll try to refill a position" or "our goal is to fill a position") why wouldn't those terms be binding?
  12. FAR 13.106-2(b)(4) is an area of interest for me because it seems almost too easy. The problem is, not many people have done it that I'm aware of, and there's not a lot of guidance I can find online. I'm curious to know the execution method. (4) For acquisitions conducted using a method that permits electronic response to the solicitation, the contracting officer may— (i) After preliminary consideration of all quotations or offers, identify from all quotations or offers received one that is suitable to the user, such as the lowest priced brand name product, and quickly screen al
  13. I wholeheartedly agree with this. That's the best way. Yeah, you're right.
  14. I'm saying your staffing plan gives me a decent understanding on whether you're capable of complying with the terms of the contract. If you're going to respond, please don't twist my words.
  15. How would you justify a negative CPARS rating if you didn't evaluate technical in the first place? "There was no plan so, uh, even though they failed to perform, we can't hold them to anything?" Take services out of the equation. Let's say we're looking for a brand name "or equal" product. Are we just going to rely on the contractor to provide an equal product? or should we look at technical data to ensure it does? "I need a fire suppressant system that is compatible with "x brand" suppressant system." I'm not a technically savvy person, but I'd love for the contractor to tell
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