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Everything posted by Tamblyn

  1. http://saveaward2012.ideascale.com/
  2. IDEASCALE SUBMISSION: Prayer For those that believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit cares about such matters: Pray and check out the community of Faith at Work at https://connections.usda.gov Tag words: energy resources procurement all agencies all federal agencies efficiency Comment: would you please be so kind to advise why you have used PROCUREMENT as a tag for your submission? I'm not sure how the two connect? Response: Gladly. Procurement is the act of procuring, or obtaining or getting by effort, care, or the use of special means. That effort, care, or special means for the acquisition of goods or services involves Philippians 4:6 -- Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Comment: Well the fact is that I am unable to take a requisition and petition it to God. I don't know how he would supply the computers, the software, the office furniture, the vehicles, the aircraft, the ships, and the many other things needed. In the Government, which this venue serves to find cost savings, the "effort, care, or special means" used to acquire goods and services is in compliance with the Federal Acquisition Regulations and supplemental Departmental regulations. I do not get anxious about procurement - it is my job, my career not my life. Also, I do not think God is listed in CCR, and not sure how Treasury would pay God should God provide the goods and services needed. Do you at all think God created people to serve one another? Maybe that is how the Government should procure things, from other people (that God created) and by their talents in creating and providing things and services. By the way, I cannot access the link you posted.
  3. Federal employee submissions to the Administration are quite interesting, and include: -Federal-wide Acquisition System: Rather than each Federal entity continuing to buy and maintain its own acquisition system, which typically cost several million dollars to purchase plus millions more in ongoing maintenance of each system, the Federal Government (OMB or another entity) could purchase on behalf of all Agencies and Departments a Federal-wide web-based version available to all federal contacting entities. This would save millions of dollars, create large economies of scale and increase efficiencies for every Federal entity. -Sign bills with only one pen To limit the signing of a bill by the president with one papermate (or simliar "normal" less than a buck) ink pen. Wouldn't that be a good start to stop waste? -Acquisition Regulation Changes Instead of the constant onslaught (daily/weekly) of regulatory changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulation, make changes only on a quarterly basis. Except for any action that is deemed urgent to save lives and/or significant cost to the Government. -Use of CCR system for Do Not Pay The latest Government wide initiative to ensure the Government does not use contractors on the various Do Not Pay list are now being asked to create interfaces to yet another system to compare vendors. The Government has already been mandated to use Central Contractor Registration (CCR) file as the bible of vendors and requires these vendors to register and annually confirm that registration so if we used CCR as our government wide Do Not Pay list every agency wouldn't have to create another file transfer containing PII data to another system being created to combine the 5 lists at Treasury. I attempted to get OMB to look at this as a possibility early in the process but they felt the Treasury solution to collect the files and have agencies bounce vendor files and a payment file against their consolidated database was a better option. If we have GSA manage this as part of the SAM refresh project, we could manage vendors in one system - Ensure Section 508 Procurement Clauses are in the base contract Our constant challenge with acquisitions and 508 compliance is that Section 508 is not part of requirements. The largest impediment to the implementation of Section 508 in the current requisition process is the absence of Section 508 clauses in base contracts. The most critical action required is to make sure the correct applicable Section 508 clauses are in the Contract/Requests for Proposals and Statements of work. This is the only way to hold the vendor to compliance. If the critical language is not in the contract, vendors charge a considerable amount of extra money to bring the product to compliance. By ensuring Section 508 clauses are in the contract the Agency can save money. According to a case study by Pressman (2005), it is expensive to retrofit software to meet accessibility standards. The cost of revision is estimated to be one to six times greater during development than during the design phase and sixty to hundred times greater after release. So Section 508 should be part of the requirements and should not be an after thought. -Rewrite the FAR -Digital contracts and electronic signatures -Defense Acquisitions Clearinghouse The Department of Defense needs a Centralized Defense Acquisitions Clearinghouse to examine "ALL" requirement packages prior to solicitation. The purpose of this entity will be to determine whether or not contracting actions are being duplicated. For example, there have been instances in our agency where Division, X, awarded for PM X, the exact same effort that Division Y, awarded for PM Y. A Defense Acquisitions Clearinghouse would be able to identify efforts that are similar and can be combined, or efforts that can be ordered from previous efforts. The Savings would be significant in that the workload caused by dual efforts would be reduced; RDT&E and administration costs(developing and processing contracts) would be less; and economies of scale increased (the cost per unit should fall as the scale of the combined efforts increase output). It will be interesting which, of the currently 7,884 ideas, is the final one selected for implementation. Stay tuned...! http://saveaward2012.ideascale.com/a/ideafactory.do?id=19787&mode=top&discussionFilter=active
  4. I agree that the goal give something to work towards. I just looked at the overall Gov't achievements, and if you subtract DOD and DOE from the equation, the rest of the government obligations come to 30% (if I did my math correctly). I think DOD does pretty good with their achievements based on the programs they support. It looks like DOE has the most work to do.
  5. There is nothing that prohibits us from signing vendor agreements. I've incorporated vendor documents in my order/contract (as Timbuk2 did) and at times, I have signed their agreement referencing our order/contract number and adding the citation that should any discrepancy in the terms and conditions arise, those of the Federal Government shall take precedence. I'll also redact such things as "...the laws of the state of XXXX shall govern this agreement..." It should be rare, however, that we sign vendor agreements, and should work to resolve the issue to get the vendor to agree to our terms and conditions. But if they really are a hold out, and may be the only source of something, it can be done.
  6. Statutorily, the Federal Government has a goal of awarding 23% of its prime contracts to small business concerns. Having reviewed the scorecards that were just released http://www.sba.gov/content/small-business-procurement-goaling-scorecards and reading the various commentaries about how the goal has not been met for 10 or more years, makes me wonder if 23% is an unrealistic goal? There are enough laws, regulations, policies and procedures to choke an elephant that apply to procuring the goods and services needed by the government, and giving preference to small businesses, and those in the sub-parity programs such as women-owned, hubzone, vet and disabled vet, disadvantaged and 8(a) firms, etc. Theres the Adarand decision that made waves and changes, the Competitive Demonstration Program that was implemented and ended, the non-manufacturing waiver that came into play, and probably other programs I'm not even aware of that have come and gone or come and stayed all to improve awards to small businesses. But apparently not to success. Maybe instead of one overall goal, individual small business goals could be established based on a NAICS Subsector. My thought is that very few small businesses are manufacturing Aerospace Product and Parts (NAICS subsector 3364) so the goal could be 10% (based on past historical contract awards) however many small firms manufacture Medical Equipment and Supplies (NAICS Subsector 3391) so the goal would be 50% (based on past historical contract awards). I am just using these two NAICS as examples, but maybe using historical data and establishing goals we would realize more success. Maybe my idea is all cockamamy (had to look that up). But it doesn't seem to be working as it is...or is it and we are just plain unsuccessful? a trend analysis should be done on the individual NAICS Sectors, and small business goals be based on
  7. So much is being said about an upcoming sequestration, and I'm not sure what to think about it. (Mostly because I don't really understand it) Typically we end up in a Continuing Resolution situation from one FY to the next FY. But this talk about sequestration sounds so much more serious and detrimental. Probably pretty much a dumb question on my part, but can someone simply state how terrible a sequestration would be? When is the last time we have had a sequestration...if ever? Just trying to learn something new. Thank you in advance.
  8. very interesting article. Here is a response, from a different slant, based on a very recent experience. CS and CO work with end-user to determine the acquisition strategy for a requirement. Due diligence is done, market research, resources, internal/external contract vehicles available, etc. Everything is hunky dory with our plan, which because of the $$ magnitude, must go through channels to the HCA for approval to proceed. Agency Procurement Manager is opposed to the strategy no reason given. Even though our proposed strategy is one of efficiency, meets competition and parity goals, etc. Everything grinds to a stop, while we have meetings, write additional rationale, re-do our diligence in the matter and so on. Weeks later we get approval to proceed with our original strategy. At what cost/benefit to the Agency? None that I am aware of. Yes, we can do things faster and better. People have to be able to make decisions and be confident in us underlings and our ability to propose viable work products.
  9. good to know. I agree, we are all tremendously busy. I also thought it was a kind of cumbersome survey.
  10. it appears there is very low responsiveness to the FAI 2012 Workforce Survey. To date, only 7% of 71,000 civilian acquisition workforce members have participated, not sufficient for valid results. Any ideas about why there is such a lack of responsiveness? http://www.fai.gov/survey/index.php?sid=45615〈=en
  11. I'm on my way out of the field, by way of retirement after 30 years. The learning takes time and most of it will be on-the-job. I very much learned from others who were willing to take me under their wing. And your career is going to be what you make of it. The interesting thing is that so much continues to change. The range of items I have acquired through the years (from typewriters to IPADs), as well as the range of people I have worked for and with, have held my interest. You can learn and perform pretty much by rote if you desire that route. But, digging into the depths of the organization you service, the mission and Agency contracting needs is where the fun and challenge lies. I've had an impact in suggesting changes (procedurely and regulatorily) that were adopted. I've had to stand up and support my position during controversial actions, and I've not always been successful. Good luck to all of you who are new to the career field - and read those protest decisions! You can learn a lot from them.
  12. We have been told, by our Directorate, to compete and comply with FAR for our telecommunication requirements, including cell phones and revenue meters. Not sure that is completely accurate re: the previous reply and the FAR cite. However, in the end, we are acquiring the cell phone and revenue metering services under GSA contract, so all is well for us, at least. You may want to review the GSA contracts with Verizon, Sprint, Alltell, & the others.
  13. in 2002, according to FPDS, GSA PBS had a "Purchase Order" to Walters Family Partnership, in Palm Springs CA. The NAICS code used is 721120 (Casino Hotels). The amount of the "Purchase Order": $970,830.00 In 2005, according to FPDS, EEO Commission had a Definitive Contract with Caesars Palace, in Las Vegas, CA. The NAICS code used is 721120 (Casino Hotels) The amount of the contract: $581,098.30 Quite a few other examples. Maybe -hopefully- these were more appropriate as far as cost and program/agenda. Sure hope so. No doubt there will be significant increased scrutiny of conferences going forward.
  14. Since the passage of the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 (FASA), the preference within the Federal Government has shifted from the acquisition of items developed exclusively for the Government to the acquisition of commercial items. This change was necessary to take full advantage of available and evolving technological innovations in the commercial sector. The Government?s increased reliance on commercial items is essential to provide technology solutions that increase warfighter capabilities.(Source: http://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/Docs/cihandbook.pdf ) For the past 11 years, we have used this test program extensively to acquire commercial equipment, supplies and services. The loss of the test program rescinds the COs' ability to use procedural discretion and flexibility, so that commercial item acquisitions in this dollar range could be solicited, offered, evaluated, and awarded in a simplified manner that maximized efficiency and economy and minimized burden and administrative costs for both the Government and industry. At this Agency, we?ve been tasked to provide examples of our use of the Commercial Item Test Program, and describe the resulting benefits derived by using Federal Acquisition Regulation Part 13 procedures for Commercial Items valued in excess of the Simplified Acquisition Threshold. Rather than providing anecdotal evidence of the effectiveness and efficiencies of the Test Program, however, it may be relevant to bring forth conclusive evidence that has already been provided to justify the continuation of the Test Program, and/or conversion to a permanent acquisition methodology going forward. Specifically, please refer to the Under Secretary of Defense FY2007 Competition Report, which includes references to Component Initiatives such as the Commercial Item Test Program, and provides numerous specific examples of the savings and efficiencies gained via use of the Test Program: http://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/cpic/cp/docs/DoDFY2007Report.pdf Based on the recurring extension(s) of the Test Program, it appears that it may be appropriate to make the Test Program a permanent fixture in the Federal Acquisition toolbox.
  15. I was told by my Policy folks that, for whatever reason, only DOD can resurrect this program but if they are able to do so, it will also apply to Civilian Agencies. To me, this is one of those things 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' and it should be made a permanent process for commercial items. I think it is going to get ugly as actions over $150k will take more time. And neither the customers or the vendors will be happy and we in procurement will be in the middle paddling as fast as we can (or not...)
  16. ouch! How much time and money was expended related to EPA's PO#EP07H001074, valued at approximately $5,000?!? http://www.epa.gov/oig/reports/2012/20111228-12-P-0160.pdf I suppose the four month review, and resulting report had to be done based on the constituant's complaint to their Congressional representative, but if I were the CO or the CO's boss, I could have resolved this internally, and then sent a letter to the vendor, Congressman, and OIG as to the resolution. #1. unfortunate that vendor did not get PO to know invoice/payment details #2. incredibly sad all this extra effort had to be focused on this one action I'm thinking the review and report easily cost the government between $15,000 - $20,000 just really hit me wrong when I read this Audit report on WIFCON It's good info, though, especially for newbies
  17. my goodness...very poor effort on the part of the Government.
  18. Headlines: Contractor pays $9.25 million to settle false claims act allegations. Contractor agrees to pay the $1.5 million to resolve allegations that it knowingly submitted false claims and paid kickbacks relating to a DOE contract. Contractor and its President agree to pay $200,000 to resolve claims that they inappropriately obtained HUBZone contracts. Contractor's owner agrees to pay $800,000 to settle allegations that it falsely obtained a contract set aside for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business. Contractor agrees to pay $13 million to resolve allegations that it paid kickbacks to a contractor employee. Question: Does the Government usually receive these fines in full? Does anybody know how much in fines, on average, gets back into our treasury in a fiscal year? Comment: It seems that there could be substantial funds to offset some of the budget shortfalls...? Just looking for some enlightenment on this subject from those in the know about these funds. Thanks!
  19. If anything, our OSDBU is telling us to do less sole source 8(a), SDVOSB and Hubzone and do more competition. A really strange position for OSDBU to take, that should be the competition advocate but guess that is what happens when the OSDBU reports to the Comp Advocate. Sorry 8(a)s, don't come knocking at our door.
  20. Appreciate your view, and the info, as I wasn't aware of the "apprentice, journeyman, expert" job designations. Personally, I am okay with the term journeyman (journey-person?) as to me, it is simply the bridge from apprentice to expert. Journeyman is the "in the trenches" position that provides the most experience, challenges and learning. thanks again for all you do for all of us, whether apprentice, journey-person or expert!
  21. I found that the language at 15 U.S.C. 655(g)(2)is as follows: 15 U.S.C. 644(g)(2) requires the head of each Federal Agency, after consultation with the Small Business Administration, to establish realistic goals for the award of contracts to small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, and small business concerns owned and controlled by women. The Government-wide goal for participation by small business concerns is not less than 23 percent of the total value of all prime contract awards for each fiscal year. 15 U.S.C. 644(g)(1). The Government-wide goal for participation for small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals is not less than 5 percent of the total value of all prime contracts and subcontract awards for each fiscal year. 15 U.S.C. 644(g)(1). The Government-wide goal for the participation of small business concerns owned and controlled by women is not less than 5 percent of the total value of all prime contract and subcontract awards for each fiscal year. 15 U.S.C. 644(g)(1). Since the goals being reported as achieved are not being calculated on the TOTAL VALUE OF ALL PRIME CONTRACT AWARDS, the government is not adhering to the factual and transparent reporting requirement it has itself mandated, and in fact, has not achieved many of the parity program goals it is touting it has met/achieved.
  22. It seems that the way Small Business Goal Achievement is calculated in FPDS is different from the way the goals were calculated several years ago. It appears that the Small Business Goal achieved by an agency is determined by calculating the total obligations awarded to small business, and factored only against small business "ELIGIBLE" actions. Previously, I believe that the Small Business Goal achieved by an agency was determined by calculating the total obligations awarded to small business in comparison to "TOTAL DOLLARS" obligated by an agency. Does it matter? Has it changed? It seems the numbers are being skewed (by calculating achievements from a smaller universe) for better results. Perhaps I am alone in my thinking.
  23. So you work for the USA for 20 or 30 or 40 years. You are given a Length of Service pin. It makes you kinda proud, sure it's a little pin but you know it represents years of hard work and dedicated service. You get ready to pin it to your lapel and you see that on the underside of the pin, it says "Made In China" Does that seem right? Maybe the pins should be made of the palladium GM no longer buys from US producers because they are buying Russian palladium. Maybe some fine tuning of the Buy American Act needs to be done.
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