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Sam101

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  1. ji, It says "the Contractor shall not be required to make any deliveries under this contract after the completion of customer order, including options, 60 months following the expiration of the basic contract ordering period." This is in their FSS contract, if I were inputting this clause in an agency IDIQ I would phrase it the same... although as Vern mentioned it does say [insert date], in which case I would calculate the date and insert it... I never awarded an agency IDIQ, just BPAs so I never had to worry about that clause.
  2. Not upset, just surprised that a buyer can pay 2021's rates in 2026.
  3. Hello, am I understanding correctly that for FSS task orders if FAR 52.216-22(d) of the Schedule contract says "60 months" that it means that if on the last day of the FSS Schedule contract the hourly rate for a project manager is $100.00 per hour then for the duration of the entire 60 month task order period of performance the government will pay no more than $100.00 per hour for that labor category? That means no increase in rates for 5 years, right? And, as a secondary question, am I understanding correctly that agency's don't care about AllWorld Language Consultants, Inc. B-411481.3 and just ignore GAO's opinion in regards to options in that case?
  4. I wonder if GAO went a bit too far in B-416076 EFS Ebrex SARL saying that that 80% unsated evaluation factor was not proper, minus the misleading discussions part, I agree that discussions were misleading. But I kind of disagree with the fact that it was not proper for the agency to use the 80% cut-off for Acceptable even if it was not stated in the solicitation that that would happen in the evaluation stage. Perhaps not making it a cut-off and instead making it part of the subjective analysis that Ebrex just deserves an Acceptable and not a Good might have worked. As it relates to this thread, the agency did state in their RFP that "those aspects of relevancy include experience performing deliveries as a full line food service distributor, dollar value, and number of customers." FAR 15.304(d) says "[t]he rating method need not be disclosed in the solicitation" doesn't it? Apart from that if the agency wanted to enter into discussions with Coastal they should have eliminated Ebrex from the competitive range because Ebrex didn't have a chance of winning even if discussions were to be held with them anyways, eliminating the "discussions were not meaningful" problem.
  5. Are recurring supplies treated like severable services in terms of funding the requirement if I'm using annual one-year funds? If I have a contract where the contractor delivers 1 bottle of water per month (commercial item) to my office and the period of performance is 07/01/2021 - 06/30/2022, can I fund the entire 12 months with FY21 funds like I can with severable services? I see the Principles of Federal Appropriations page 5-13 says "We do not mean to suggest that an agency may purchase only those supplies that it will actually use during the fiscal year. Agencies normally maintain inventories of common use items. The bona fide needs rule does not prevent maintaining a legitimate inventory at reasonable and historical levels, the “need” being to maintain the inventory level so as to avoid disruption of operations" but I take this to mean that it's OK to purchase more supply "as a one-time bulk buy" than is going to be used this fiscal year but I'm not sure that it means that I can treat recurring supplies like severable services, does it? I can buy 12 bottles of water and keep them in the fridge and drink one bottle per month, but can I get the water bottles delivered one month at a time and still fund all of it with current year funds?
  6. I guess if the government can document that "knowledge of our agency" is worth up to 15% to 20% more I guess that's OK and same goes for wanting a new contractor.
  7. If two offerors have exactly the same proposals but the only difference is that one is the incumbent, how much lower/higher priced does the incumbent need to be to be awarded the contract? How much lower/higher priced does the new contractor need to be to be awarded the contract?
  8. Hi Vern, 1. I usually buy professional services NAICS Code 541611 - Administrative Management and General Management Consulting Services. 2. By approach I mean "what processes/methods will you use to accomplish the requirements of the SOW, to include the description of labor categories and hours for each labor categories that you plan to use." But the exact language will depend on the SOW of course. 3. It can be for information purposes just so that the government understands that the offeror can do the work and understands the requirement or if it's for complex services I'll include the language from the best parts of the offeror's approach in the award version of the SOW. The hours are just for information purposes though because 1,000.00 hours for project manager will be considered a weakness because it's too much level of effort for what the government needs, otherwise the evaluation panel will only find out when when see the price volume (if hours are broken out there).
  9. Lately I been instructing offerors/quoters in section L to state how many hours for each labor category they plan to use to perform the SOW as part if their technical approach section. For example: Offeror A: Project manager: 100 hours Senior developer: 200 hours Offeror B: Project manager: 125 hours Senior developer: 150 hours First of all, this is helpful to evaluating technical approach because it shows the extent to which the offeror understands the requirement, if this information is only seen in the price volume then the technical team will only realize that thier outstanding rated offeror is proposing 1,000 hours for the project manager after they see the price volume... the number of hours is a technical thing just as much as a price thing, so I want to see that number in the technical approach. Other times I also "release the budget" and tell quoters (never done this for an RFP) that "the estimated level of effort is $100,000.00" and I get quotes around that range give or take, I seen SOWs that unless you disclose the level of effort in terms of dollars or hours to the vendors that some will quote $500,000.00 and some will quote $5 million for the same exact SOW. In my case the IGCE was around $500,000.00 and the $5 million quote could have been avoided if I had stated in the RFQ somewhere that this SOW's level of effort is around $500K.
  10. If say a strength is defined as anything that exceeds the minimum requirement then all strengths are some additional things to the SOW which makes the SOW change in such a way that an amendment to the RFP would need to be done or the RFP would need to be recompeted if there are too many changes wouldn't it? I know the answer is no but I don't understand why the answer is no.
  11. @formerfed I heard that too but I'm not understanding how an agency wouldn't have to recompete that new SOW since it's not the same as the original requirement.
  12. How is an offeror's proposal related to the SOW once the contract is awarded? Here's a simple example of what I'm not understanding: Government requirement: Acquisistion support services for an agency in Washington, DC. SOW: The contractor shall provide a senior level contract specialist to support the daily tasks of the agency's contracting division. This position is 100% remote telework and if requested to be on site for a site visit the government will reimburse travel costs. Offeror A's proposal: Bob Smith will be the contract specialist and he lives in DC and here is his letter of commitment and resume. Agency awards to Offeror A based on the perceived benefit that they will not have to pay for travel costs and the reliability that the CS is close by so no delays will occur in them being able to come on site to DC if need be. A week after the contract is awarded Bob Smith moves to California and the contractor thinks that this is OK because the SOW says that this contract is 100% telework. If the government incorporates the proposal into the SOW or modifies the SOW to say the CS shall live in DC wouldn't that be an out of scope change to the RFP's SOW? And if the SOW is not modified then the government is not getting the benefit that they thought they would get when they were doing the trade off analysis. In terms of incorporating a proposal into an award, wouldn't that always be changing the SOW? Am I understanding correctly that when the government awards a contract that it just hopes that the contractor will perform in accordance with thier proposal but really the contractor is only required to perform what is written in the SOW and that it is not proper for the government to change the SOW right before award to make all the stuff in the proposal be incorporated into the award SOW because an unsucessful offeror can say that those changes are out of scope?
  13. If you have a NAICS code in mind you can try searching by that and key words and make sure to uncheck the active box so that you see the RFPs that are not in active status.
  14. The combined synopsis/solicitation is a FAR Part 12 thing, it's mentioned in FAR 13 but it's really a FAR 12 thing, you can do a combined synopsis/solicitation no matter what the IGCE is as long as it's for commercial items, you can do a combined synopsis/solicitation even for a $100 million contract for commercial services, and an IDIQ is just a type of contract. If the contract IGCE is $100 million and commercial you would use FAR 12 in conjunction with FAR 15 (unless of course you're using GSA) and FAR 12 lets you use the combined synopsis/solicitation method.
  15. L.2 Factor 1 - Technical Approach: The offeror shall describe the processes, procedures, methods, and techniques that they intend to implement to accomplish the requirements of the SOW. M.2 Factor 1 - Technical Approach: The government will evaluate the offeror's technical approach to determine the extent to which the offeror proposes sound and feasible processes, procedures, methods, and techniques to accomplish the requirements of the SOW. Offeror A's Response: Technical Approach: We will drive to the store and buy Brand A steak, we will not freeze it and we will take it out of the packaging carefully and wash it. Then we will tenderize it with a new tenderizer for each steak and never reuse a tenderizer. We then will season the steak and then proceed to marinate it for 3 hours. After that we will sear it on both sides for 3 minutes each side. After that we will put it in the oven for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. We will take the steak out carefully to make sure not to drop it on the floor as we are taking it out of the oven, if we do we will start over at no additional cost to the government. We will then serve the steak with A1 sauce. Key Personnel and Staffing Plan: See Resumes, and we will cross train employees to be able to perform all tasks and we will have our staffing full at all times. Bob Smith (see Project Manager resume) will be the one taking the steaks out of the oven. Corporate Experience: Description of three similar projects. Past Performance: PPQs sent to CO. Offeror B's Response: Technical Approach: We will drive to the store and buy Brand A steak, we will not freeze it and we will take it out of the packaging carefully and wash it. Then we will tenderize it with a new tenderizer for each steak and never reuse a tenderizer. We then will season the steak and then proceed to marinate it for 3 hours. After that we will sear it on both sides for 3 minutes each side. After that we will put it in the oven for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. We will take the steak out carefully to make sure not to drop it on the floor as we are taking it out of the oven, if we do we will start over at no additional cost to the government. We will then serve the steak with A1 sauce. We have been driving to the store for years and know how to do that, we haven't been freezing steaks for 5 years now, past customers liked that we marinated the steaks for 3 hours instead of for 2 hours. CO's response to Offeror B during debrief: Your blurb about "We have been driving to the store for years and know how to do that, we haven't been freezing steaks for 5 years now, past customers liked that we marinated the steaks for 3 hours instead of for 2 hours" was a waste of space and was ignored during the evaluation of your technical approach because the RFP instructed you not to do that and why would you even want to do that when you have the Corporate Experience section for that? We simply asked you to describe your processes, procedures, methods, and techniques that you intend to implement to accomplish the requirements of the SOW for the technical approach factor.
  16. Well, yes, I guess saying "see corporate experience #1" in the middle of the technical approach would violate the terms of the RFP's section L just like explicitly writing about the corporate experience would.
  17. Thank you all for all the responses, to slightly deviate from the original question, how would an unsuccessful offeror know after a debrief to protest on the ground that the government evaluated the awardee's proposal improperly (like if the government didn't ignore the corporate experience and self-proclaimed past performance in the awardee's technical approach as stated they would in the RFP)? Because the FAR says at 15.506(d)(2) "The overall evaluated cost or price (including unit prices) and technical rating" of the successful offeror, it doesn't say to address every strength that the government found in the awardee's proposal, so why do I see GAO cases where the protester is protesting on the grounds that the government evaluated the awardee's proposal improperly? How do they even know how the government evaluated the awardee's proposal other than the overall ratings? For example in the debrief I just say this about the awardee: 1) The awardee's technical approach was rated Good, their Corporate Experience was rated Good, and their Past Performance was rated satisfactory. 2) The summary for the rational for award is that the awardee is the best value because they rated better than you on the non-price factors and their price was reasonable. And that is all the unsuccessful (i.e. debriefed) offeror hears about the awardee and the rest of the time I'm just talking about the debriefed offeror's weaknesses.
  18. The evaluation criteria for technical approach is the government will evaluate the offeror's technical approach to determine the extent to which the offeror demonstrates that thier proposed technical approach will meet the requirements of the SOW, then I have lettered bullet points such as: a) Serve steaks which are not messed up. b) Provide steaks on time and within budget. c) Ability to season the steaks good without too much salt. If the offeror doesn't have experience with doing this and they rate Outstanding on their technical approach then so be it, they will rate Marginal on Corporate Experience and wouldn't win the contract anyways. I may do a a combined technical approach/corporate experience factor in the future and see how that works out.
  19. It says this: L.1 The offeror shall provide the requested information within the designated volume evaluation factor. Any requested information placed outside of the designated location shall not be considered or evaluated under that evaluation factor regardless of whether it is located somewhere else in the proposal. As an example, the offeror shall not refer to any key personnel qualifications, the staffing plan, corporate experience, or past performance in the Technical Approach factor section of its proposal. If the offeror does so, that content will not be considered by the government during the evaluation of the offeror’s Technical Approach. L.2 Factor 1 - Technical Approach: Offeror shall describe how they will perform the SOW's requirements. L.3 Factor 2 - Key Personnel and Staffing Plan: Offeror shall provide resumes of the key personnel listed in C.15 and describe their staffing plan. L.4 Factor 3 - Corporate Experience: Offeror shall describe three past contracts of similar size and scope. L.5. Factor 4 - Past Performance: Offeror shall provide the attached PPQ to the customers of the three contracts mentioned in the Corporate Experience Factor.
  20. @ji20874 what I mean by "I don't see why an offeror would have to validate their technical approach in their technical approach narrative just so the Government will understand their technical approach" I mean saying "we will sear the steak on both sides and not just on one side" is already understandable enough to where the offeror doesn't have to write "we will sear the steak on both sides and not just on one side, Agency X liked this when we did it for them 5 times last year and it cut their costs by 50%". Everything past the first comma is corporate experience and maybe some self-proclaimed past performance, the only technical approach is "we will sear the steak on both sides and not just on one side"... I see where you're coming from with you "would have more confidence in the soundness of an offeror's technical approach where the offeror has actually successfully done it rather than where an offeror who has not done it" but isn't that what the corporate experience section is for, perhaps their corporate experience can reference their technical approach for clarity? Why have a separate corporate experience evaluation factor if you're allowing offerors to put corporate experience in their technical approach? Unless you want to combine the technical approach section with the past experience section and call it Technical Approach/Corporate Experience I see how that makes sense but in my scenario I have technical approach and corporate experience being different factors each evaluated separately and the RFP says "only put information that belongs in each factor under that factor and it will be ignored if it is not under the proper factor." If I award to Offeror A then Offeror B will be like "well the 5 strengths you gave Offeror A under the Technical Approach factor was really them talking about their corporate experience when they should have been talking about their technical approach, so you should have ignored that information."
  21. Hello, I typically don't allow an offeror to mention anything about corporate experience in their technical approach narrative however I seen many responses to solicitations where the offeror inserts a short blurb in their technical approach narrative basically validating their proposed approach by saying that they have done this in the past and it worked out well for their clients, but then what is the corporate experience section for? If they wanted to reference that xyz was done for a past customer can they just put "see corporate experience #1"? But then the evaluator will have to look at technical approach and corporate experience holistically (i.e. together) wouldn't they? If so how can the Government say that they gave the Technical Approach an individual rating of Good if they had to read the corporate experience section along side the technical approach section to even get that rating? And even if that "validation of how it was done with past customers" is in their technical approach then wouldn't the Government have to ignore it since it's technically not their technical approach but their corporate experience? Or am I overthinking this? To make a long story short I don't see why an offeror would have to validate their technical approach in their technical approach narrative just so the Government will understand their technical approach. Yes, I know technical approach can be an essay writing contest but still, I don't see how blubs about past experience with xyz are needed to describe xyz.
  22. What happens when you eliminate all offerors from the competitive range leaving just one offeror to re-open discussions with and that offeror ends up not cooperating? Is the Government allowed to bring an eliminated offeror back into the competitive range to further negotiate with them? Or does the Government need to re-solicite the entire RFP?
  23. Hello, I was reading case Global Language Center B-413503.8 and I'm wondering if I'm understanding the agency's error correctly regarding the "post-final proposal revision (post-FPR) discussions only with awardee" ground for sustaining the protest. If the agency wanted to properly reopen discussions with only one offeror should the agency have simply just eliminated all the remaining offerors other than Salient? In other words, could the agency have sent all offerors other than Salient a letter saying that they are no longer in the competitive range and then that would have been proper for the agency to only reopen discussions with Salient? Also, am I interpreting this case correctly when I think it means that a weakness which is also a "the offeror didn't conform to the solicitation requirements" type of weakness that it is still OK to eliminate all other offerors from the completive range after the evaluation of final proposal revisions if the Government believes that this offeror is the best value and just wants to negotiate with this one offeror? Or is the fact that "the offeror didn't conform to the solicitation requirements" somehow make it a special type of situation where it's impossible to eliminate all other offerors from the competitive range and proceed to only negotiate with this one offeror to allow them to fix their one last weakness and then safely make the award?
  24. I used low dollar amounts just for simplicity's sake, the total IGCE for each year to include the "fairly certain to order" amount plus the "maybe we'll order" amount in my example would be $140 every year... I should have included that in my original post to make that point more clear.
  25. Yeah, saying that the first task order is the minimum doesn't make sense to me either since by definition an IDIQ is a vehicle that the agency intends to issue a lot more than just one task order off of, so saying that they are fairly certain that only one task order will be issued is a lie. The easiest thing to do will be to just write a memo to file saying what the minimum is and just writing another memo when that minimum is reached and calling it a day. Plus section G will state the minimum and everyone is happy.
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