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Everything posted by Maureen

  1. Where did you hear that Hill AFB's FARSite will no longer be updated?
  2. Understood. DAU actually already has an online course for risk management, CLM017. Just for me, online has nothing on face to face. So I will suggest our HQ think about a custom DAU course. And I understand what you are saying in regards to a short course not providing that solid understanding I so desperately want. We are just so short staffed and overwhelmed with work - I was hoping for something to kick start us into getting some sort of foundation. As the lead PA and trainer, this is something I am going to have to devote time to learning and teaching - on a continuous basis, of course. Thank you for your recommendations.
  3. Services acquisitions for a military installation, anything from solid waste management to transportation motor pool to operational testing (a mission we have here). Majority of our work is commercial FFP, but we do have cost reimbursement contracts as well. Much are done on IDIQ contracts. I admit to not having the best understanding of this concept. In our acquisition strategies, we are required to address AFARS 5137.590-6(a)(2): "Provide an assessment of current and potential technical, cost, schedule and performance risks, the level of stated risks, and a risk mitigation plan." Our template type documents further provides guidance such as for cost risk we are to address current and potential cost risks such as the competitive environment, resource constraints, funding shortfalls (personally, I think that focuses too much on the acquisition process and not enough of any cost risk that could occur during performance). DoD does have a Risk Management Guide for Defense Acquisition Programs (December 2014), which I will read all 100 pages at some point (I hope). Sometimes much of the "official" guidance that is available focuses on systems acquisitions and leaves us poor red-headed step children at installation contracting offices with no practical format or guidance to follow. We did have some HQ training on this concept a year or so ago, but it was a one day and not as in-depth as I would think is necessary to ensure a solid understanding. From what I understand, conducting this risk assessment/management review is critical to developing a quality PWS, not to mention PRS and the evaluation factors in our solicitations. As it seems that risk management is the foundation for so much of what we do, we need to better understanding what it is and how to do it.
  4. I am getting that sense, that there is no already developed course for this. I appreciate the suggestions for Fed Pubs or Public Contracting Institute. Probably won't make our FY17 wish list, but it is something to check out. Thanks!
  5. I am in the process of putting together our FY17 training wish list. I very much want risk assessment training brought to our organization. Requirements would be generally as follows: 1. Classroom setting, size approximately 25. 2. Discussion covering what risk assessment is, how to conduct it, how it relates to the PWS, PRS, evaluation factors, pricing, etc. 3. Hands on working through several examples. This is a tough concept. I'd like to work through easy example at first, then build to more complex work. This will be for an DoD installation level contracting office, NOT systems acquisition. I am looking for sources of such training that you highly recommend, that was successfully performed for your organization. Your help in this market research is most appreciated. Thank you!
  6. Yes, it appears that price realism can be done. To be honest, I don't believe our RFP language was necessary. The requirement is a very standard installation support requirement (albeit possibly not as clearly defined as it should be). Nevertheless, we have it in the solicitation. We have some hiccups to get through (not the least a "get it awarded now" date), but everyone's comments have been helpful and are very much appreciated. You all are awesome and I very much appreciate this site. Been going here since 1999 for help and have never been disappointed. Thank you.
  7. As a matter of fact, it did.... "Unrealistically low and/or unreasonably proposed costs/prices may be grounds for eliminating a proposal from competition either on the basis of lack of understanding of the requirement or unreasonable/unrealistic proposal. Proposals that fail to me the requirements set forth in FAR Clause 52.212-5, Instructions to Offerors (and its Addendum) will be rated as unacceptable."
  8. I will check out the case. Many thanks for helping a Monday befuddled brain.....
  9. A contractor can certainly propose lower than an IGCE. And I do not want to penalize the company. However, I don't want the Government to be 6 months down the road with a contractor who is going broke because he misunderstood the requirement and does not have sufficient funding to hire the appropriate personnel or appropriate number of people. The Government's estimate and the other competitors are closer in agreement. This outlier makes me nervous. Maybe it's a factor of ensuring the technical review is spot on and can support the decision to award to the outlier. But I do believe our C&P team has an obligation to point out the fact that the offer is definitely an outlier and the KO better be sure the technical review is sound. Thanks!
  10. Scenario: FFP requirement with options, IDIQ. Several proposals come in priced within reasonable range of each other and the IGCE. Another comes in 30% below the IGCE. Cost/price analyst will be conducting unbalanced pricing assessment IAW FAR 15.404-1(g). If we were to find unbalanced pricing issue, I know I can rely on what 15.404-1(g) says in terms of the risk of paying unreasonably high prices. However, my gut tells me that all line items will be lower. And this is still a risk. Problem: I want our team (policy/C&P team) to be able to articulate to the specialist and KO why this is a performance risk. I can craft an argument addressing whether the outlier fully comprehended the requirement, as evidenced by how removed this offeror is from the rest of its competition. Naturally, a technical review can mitigate this concern. However, I would like to be able to find policy, case law, whatever, that I can use to say hey, you need to consider this. Does such a thing exist? The Contract Pricing Reference Guides focus on Part 14, or the assessment of unbalanced line items. I kind of want something that talks about a proposal in its entirety being suspect. Hope this makes sense. It's Monday morning after all. Thanks!
  11. Don, Martin - thank you very much. It helps to have folks to "discuss" policy issues with. I know I could ask my counterparts higher up, but this was quick and easy, and confirmed what I thought (although I missed FAR 17.502-2 (B ), shame on me - thank you Martin). I think I would have gotten there if I wasn't so overwhelmed (training five interns at the same time ). Thanks again, much appreicated.
  12. The Economy Act and FAR 17.5 is the bane of my 1102 existence. I am the only one in the office who knows basically what FAR 17.5 and 17.7 covers and thus have become the go-to person. I am trying to advise my customers on documentation requirements, and would be grateful for some help confirming what I think is the right way to go for this specific action. Intent is to offload a requirement under $500K to a GSA FSS. Per FAR 17.500(c )(2), FAR Part 17.5 does not apply to orders of $500,000 or less issued against Federal Supply Schedules. Am I correct in interpreting this to mean that the Economy Act Determination and Findings required in FAR 17.502-2 is also not required under these circumstances? Thanks.
  13. Thank you, Mr. Edwards, and Mr. Mansfield. I guess my competitive solicitation hat was on too tight and I could not let go of the need to do an "evaluation" by including some sort of criteria. Both of you provided good advice. I just want to take the opportunity to say how much I appreciate this website, and your involvement. I have been relying on you whenever I get stumped for a good fifteen years, if you can believe that. Again, thanks!
  14. Mr. Edwards - I realize I am late to this thread, but out of curiosity, why did you ask the question? As a procurement analyst, I am a member of the peer review boards that assess solicitations prior to being released. When a sole source requirement is submitted for review, the solicitation usually does not have evaluation criteria. I understand that - no reason to distinguish amongst offerors (as they proposed to the evaluation criteria). But, if we have a sole source service requirement, how do we assess whether this contractor will meet our needs sufficiently? Do you believe that was done as part of a vetting process before we chose to go sole source? I guess what I am looking for is for some way to be sure that the contractor will deliver what we are expecting, if that makes sense. Perhaps we need this contractor to have certain certifications. Would we want to have them produce the certifications when submitting a proposal? Or do we need to have a clear understanding of the proposed training plan, so we need to have it submitted with a proposal. I hope this is clear, Monday being what it is. But I would be grateful for your thoughts. Thank you.
  15. Thanks for pointing me to 15.201. So used to the death grip on information. This helps, appreciate it.
  16. Office is holding an Open House for Small Businesses. We are targeting specific requirements that will likely be set-asides covering FY14 - FY16. Requiring Activity will be present, and this will be a shared briefing with them and us. Putting together a list of Dos and Don'ts on behalf of RA on what we can and cannot say. Doing my research on this, but would appreciate hearing the community's thoughts on what is allowable. Thanks!
  17. Thank you, Mr. Edwards, I knew I could count on you. I probably should have known this, so a little shame here. Will work with our attorney advisor next. Again, thank you.
  18. Have you seen any? I am investigating this for an upcoming requirement in which it is desirable to have a more stable period of performance. I have researched the regulations (FAR, DFARS,AFARS) and can find no mention of maximum length of time for option periods. Has anyone awarded contracts that have included options that were, say, two years in length? How did you support this decision? BTW - we are also looking into award term contracts. However, I want to also see if two year options (x 2) are possible. Thanks.
  19. "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell" - by Susanna Clarke. Victorian era fiction about magic. Though I am listening to it in the car. And I think I am glad that I am listening; I am not so sure I would have stuck with this by reading it. Slowly but surely it is catching my interest. Did the same with "The Historian". Really am enjoying having a book to listen to on the drive home. I am actually reading "The Merlot Murders" by Ellen Crosby.
  20. Darby and Vern are correct. I think we have taken the idea of ?meets or exceeds? the salient characteristics listed in a brand name or equal description and turned it into something more generic, not necessarily connecting to a brand name or equal solicitation. Thanks for the help!
  21. My colleagues in our pre-award division use the terminology for simplified acquisition purchases, presumably because "it's what we've always done." One of them wanted to find out exactly what "meet or exceed" is supposed to mean in terms of evaluation of quotations received against the criteria in the solicitation. You get so used to hearing the terms that you believe there is FAR coverage. I am guilty of it myself. I am guessing that what I need to examine is the idea of brand name or equal, maybe? I was just interested in knowing if anyone had a similar understanding, or if it was one of those things that just grew around our office into some sort of unspecified standard. Thank you!
  22. Does anyone know if the FAR makes use of the terms "Meet or Exceed" when it comes to the evaluation of submitted quotes? We sometimes toss these terms about so casually, but I am trying to find out if the FAR actually recognizes them. Thanks.
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