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Witty_Username

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  1. On the original topic, is there a single person within the requiring activity who is in charge of the requirement, or will receive the goods or services? Assuming there is no actual program manager or functional service manager there is still likely someone in charge, maybe a chief of staff or something. I would ask the director to approach this person and ensure they understand that if they desire a contract they must fulfil their role in the acquisition process (e.g. provide funding, the evaluation team, required approvals, etc.) and let them handle any issues with the evaluation team chairperson: "If you want a contract for this requirement you need to provide a dedicated evaluation team from [date] to [date]. If they are unavailable on those dates or do not stay to complete the evaluation then contract award will be delayed based on how long it takes to reschedule them, bearing in mind we have other source selections on the schedule for other customers as well. If you no longer need a contract to support this requirement let me know ASAP." Sometimes it seems like the contracting office wants the contract more than the requiring activity/customer...
  2. Here's a scenario where it may make sense to create an overall price based on the Government's best estimate of what the labor mix might be instead of just determining that individual labor rates are fair and reasonable: For simplicity, assume two labor categories, Project Manager and Laborer. Proposed rates are as follows: Offeror A: Project Manager $50/hr; Laborer $20/hr; Offeror B: Project Manager $60/hr; Laborer $15/hr; You can do some kind of analysis to figure out that the individual labor rates are each fair and reasonable, but even without knowing the exact labor mix (otherwise it could be FFP) you may be confident that you will use only one Project Manager and many Laborers. So despite the total of Offeror A's rates being lower ($70) than Offeror B's ($75), it would be advantageous to apply the same estimated labor mix (say 1920 hrs of PM and 19,200 hrs of laborer) to generate evaluated prices you can compare during source selection, giving Offeror A an evaluated price of $480,000 and Offeror B an evaluated price of $403,200. An interesting question is whether you should give the offerors your labor mix/evaluation model, which gives them an opportunity to try to game it, but also encourages them to price the expected high-usage labor categories more competitively; or should you simply notify them you will use a model but not tell them what it is, to encourage them to price all labor categories as competitively as possible?
  3. We regularly use T&M for repair parts under maintenance contracts, so I'll admit this is a little concerning. I think the key is the difference between "commercial items" and "direct materials" which FAR 16.101 defines as "those materials that enter directly into the end product, or that are used or consumed directly in connection with the furnishing of the end product or service." So, while a toner cartridge is clearly not a service, I think you could try to make the case that in this case it is also not a "commercial item," but rather is a direct material consumed in furnishing the end product, a functioning copier. That argument is probably a stretch if this is a straight up supply contract, but if it were a copier lease, or a copier maintenance service contract, or even a 3PL copier supplies logistics management contract (I just made that one up) it might make sense.
  4. I think it depends on how you intend to "obligate" funds against the BPA. In the original draw-down example, the Government bought the amount of toner they "obligated" against the BPA, and now they are just pending delivery when a call is placed. Otherwise it wouldn't actually be an "obligation." This works fine if you have a reasonable idea of how much you'll order in a year, and have already taken care of any competition requirements up front, i.e. when the original order was placed. If you didn't compete up front but are placing orders over the micro-purchase threshold and you want to maintain three BPA holders that you can place calls against it gets trickier to record obligations for all three BPAs in advance of placing calls, because once you obligate the funds you've made the purchase. In this case it might be better to hold a funding document with a specific amount committed against the contract, but don't obligate until the calls are placed. With the competition requirements for calls over the MPT and the technical challenges in recording obligations when calls are placed I think the only real advantage of BPAs is to allow government commercial purchase card (GCPC) holders to place orders where they would otherwise be restricted by the vendor's terms and conditions. In the example above, assuming the GCPC process is too slow to place orders, I think I would just place a single competitive annual order for no more than an estimated year's worth of toner to be delivered within 48 hours of notification (or whatever the required timeline is) by technical direction letter or something. Just know that once the order is placed the money is obligated and the government owns the toner. The contractor is just holding it for you as part of the contract until you ask for it.
  5. The only "lead time exception" for services seems to be related to training that is required in the current FY and is scheduled to start as soon as possible which happens to be in the next FY, which is not the case here. If there are several options left you could consider bilaterally modifying the contract to shorten the current period of performance by a day or two and change the POPs for all remaining options to allow you to exercise with end-of-FY funds for the remainder of the contract. Otherwise if you are ever delayed in getting funding the first day of a new FY and can't exercise the option the contract will end.
  6. Use of an option implies severability (at least between the base and option), which could make obligation of future FY funds problematic. Even assuming you can use current funds for up to a year of severable services (e.g. DOD) I think use of current year funds to exercise an option with a period of performance that begins in a future FY would be a bona fide needs rule violation. For DOD, 10 USC §2410a says the you "may enter into a contract [...] for a period that begins in one fiscal year and ends in the next fiscal year if (without regard to any option to extend the period of the contract) the contract period does not exceed one year." I think since options are excluded from what constitutes a year (otherwise the entire contract, options included, could only last a year) then options should be excluded from determining that the period of performance has begun in the current year. Of course, if you know prior to award of the base that you want to exercise the option, then you could just add it to the base period and not call it an option at all. If, as I suspect, you cannot do this because the requirement for the option will be developed during the base, then use of a fixed-price option isn't really appropriate anyway, regardless of FY.
  7. The total of $77k includes the $50k to pay for Precaution A, plus the expected value of the contingency, which is $27k (90% x 30% x $100k). It is interesting that there is no single scenario in which the contractor will actually experience a cost of $77k. Either they will pay the $50k for precaution A and then contingency either won't occur, or will cost $0, in which case their total cost will be only $50k, or they will pay the $50k and have bad luck anyway and still experience the $100k contingency, in which case their cost is $150k. Only if they run the scenario multiple times will they all average out to $77k in the long run.
  8. It looks to me like an expected value problem. In the scenario with no precaution the expected value is the chance of the contingency occurring, times the expected value if it does occur, so .9*(1*100,000)=90,000. Precaution A gives an expected value of 50,000+(.9*(.3*100,000))=77,000 Precuation B gives an expected value of 75,000+(.9*(.1*100,000))=84,000 Since the scenario with the lowest expected value is Precaution A, I would allow the contractor to price the contingency at a maximum of $77,000.
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