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Everything posted by Sam101

  1. I was just thinking about this very topic the other day, I can see how it's normal to accept a firm fixed price task order quote without the price breakdown showing the labor rates and hours but then how would the CO know if the Contractor is proposing rates at or below their GSA rates for the respective labor category? If I send an RFQ and in response get $100,000.00 as the price quote without a breakdown of how that $100,000.00 came to be, how do I know that $90,000.00 of that amount isn't from open market items/labor categories? And from a contractor's perspective, I wonder why it woul
  2. Is it not allowable to issue a combined synopsis/solicitation when doing a sole source buy? And is the J&A allowed to be posted along with the synopsis? Or is the J&A only allowed to be posted after award?
  3. Thanks C Culham, will the new OLM SIN make protests like Bluewater B-414785 not happen (or get denied, given that OLM costs don't exceed 33% and all the rest of the OLM requirements)? In general, is the OLM SIN meant to avoid even having to worry about FAR 8.402(f)?
  4. Hello, I was reading the FAR and began to over-analyze it again, I'm just confused about including open market items in an award of a task order using FAR 8.4 procedures. I understand that I need to publicize on the GPE and unless it's a sole source I'd have to use FAR 13, 14, or 15 competitive procedures, but my question is, who else will bid on this open market solicitation other than the GSA contractors who are bidding on the main GSA task order? If the open market items are incidental to the GSA task order that I'm trying to award, then can I expect that a contractor that does not hav
  5. What if the contractor is having consistent problems on contracts with your agency but is performing well with other agencies? I think since they are doing well overall, they will be found responsible in terms of FAR 9, because FAR 9 looks at responsibility overall with no regard to a specific agency, i.e., if their CPARS has more good ratings than bad, especially for those contracts which seem to be similar to the one you are about to award, wouldn't a CO have a hard time finding them not responsible?
  6. What happens if I'm using FAR part 15 procedures and hold oral presentations and the RFP says that the government intends to make award without discussions? In this case, if the government asks for a clarification to address a minor error (e.g. in what they heard or saw on a PowerPoint slide) and the offeror's answer seems like they changed their original proposal as a result of that clarification? Or is it a good idea to only hold oral presentations after establishing a competitive range to avoid this situation? EDIT: I'm talking about in-person live oral presentations in this case, wher
  7. Thanks Don, fair enough, sorry about that... I knew that you were asking a question, my reply wasn't an answer to your question, it was just an observation to your question, maybe I was thinking out loud... In my post about the rule of two I stated that I may not be interpreting FAR 19.502-2(b) correctly after my statement, I knew that I had to be wrong because the GAO keeps applying the rule of two to services. I never seen a bid protest involving travel cost constraints in a solicitation, and I have looked.
  8. Right, and I'm thinking that based on this logic, that if a CO is wanting to be "nice" or accommodating to some degree in regards to Travel cost, that the CO can state in the solicitation which elements of Travel (such as airfare only) is an allowable cost to include in a FFP proposal (although I believe that even in a cost-reimbursement or T&M contract type RFP that a CO can do the same). Airfare reimbursement is better than nothing. But this leads me to another question, since Travel must be requested by the contractor and approved by the COR/CO prior to the contractor incurring Tra
  9. I take this to mean that in accordance with FAR 31.205-46, a contract can never be FFP since it would be nearly impossible to estimate the true cost of Travel at time of submitting a proposal. And that there is no point of indicating in the contract that the Travel CLIN has a "not to exceed" limit (I always indicate that the Travel CLIN has a NTE limit, although I'm not sure if that is common practice), since if during performance the contractor incurs Travel costs beyond the "not to exceed" amount, the contractor can still bill for Travel costs incurred anyways. And if 31.205-46 is sayi
  10. So, 31.201-2 "Determining allowability" says at (a)(4) "Terms of the contract", which means the terms that are in the solicitation, and the terms in the solicitation can be that only transportation is an allowable cost. If I were a contractor wanting to win a contract at least for past performance's sake, I would much rather see a solicitation saying that "airfare is the only allowable travel cost" in section H rather than seeing "travel shall not be reimbursed at all." If allowing Travel automatically means that the government is required to allow all costs that the FTR allows, then it may ma
  11. Thanks Jacques. I guess just to be safe I would probably include key personnel and prior experience as separate evaluation factors, in addition to past performance. I just don't feel the need to include technical approach as an evaluation factor on every single acquisition, especially when FAR 15.304(c)(2) says that the quality of the product or service can be addressed by things other than technical approach.
  12. Hi, So, FAR 15.304(c) says the following: (c) The evaluation factors and significant subfactors that apply to an acquisition and their relative importance, are within the broad discretion of agency acquisition officials, subject to the following requirements: (1) Price or cost to the Government shall be evaluated in every source selection (10 U.S.C.2305(a)(3)(A)(ii) and 41 U.S.C.3306(c)(1)(B)) (also see part 36 for architect-engineer contracts); (2) The quality of the product or service shall be addressed in every source selection through consideration of one or more non-c
  13. Thanks Jacques, and so, in accordance with 13.5 I can use this super easy "price alone" approach on a commercial item acquisition as long as the IGCE is under $7 million? Just send out the SOW and ask for a price and award to the lowest price? I know it's probably not a good idea, but is 13.5 saying that I can do that?
  14. Hi, what does it look like in practice when doing a part 13 buy and using price as the only evaluation factor? 13.106-1(a)(2) says "(price alone or price and other factors, e.g., past performance and quality)." And so, I imagine that sections L and M will look like this: Instructions to Offerors: Fill in the unit price of the CLINs in section B. Evaluation Factors and Basis for Award: Price, LPTA. So, in this case I imagine receiving a proposal with only a dollar amount and nothing else, and I award to the lowest price, and how do I know whether or not the offeror read
  15. Thanks here_2_help, I'll read FAR 31.205-46, I just have to determine when it applies, such as does it apply to 8.4, 13, 14, 15, 16.5, and contract type. From first thought I don't see how a firm fixed price contract under any FAR part can have Travel "reimbursed" though. Perhaps capping the Travel at $50K or something is my first thought, but I'll have to read the FAR to come up with something regarding 31.205-46. First thought regarding how to evaluate Travel costs during proposal/quote evaluations, I have wrote in the solicitation that for purposes of evaluation of price, the Travel CLIN wi
  16. Just state in the solicitation that Travel will not be reimbursed and case closed. If you receive one proposal/quote then so be it. Or you can state in the solicitation that only airfare/ground transportation will be reimbursed, but not meals and incidentals or lodging. It depends on the dollar value of the acquisition, if it's $1,000,000.00, maybe reimbursing travel is not a big deal. FTR only applies to federal employees, so just because a CO allows Travel reimbursement on a contract it does not mean that the contractor is entitled to all of the elements that FTR offers, such as lodging and
  17. Thanks Jacques, this is the exact answer I was looking for, the (see paragraph (c) of this section) makes it a lot more clear now... I knew that there had to be a reason why GAO keeps applying the rule of two to services.
  18. I completely agree with C Culham... always discretionary! I just get a little confused when I read GAO cases when they seem to always say "Under FAR sect. 19.502-2(b), a procurement with an anticipated dollar value of more than $100,000 must be set aside for exclusive small business participation when there is a reasonable expectation that offers will be received from at least two responsible small business concerns and that award will be made at a fair market price."... and they fail to mention the fact that 19.502-2(b) is clearly talking about small businesses who are offering PRODUCTS made
  19. Thanks Joel, I was talking about the lowest level of the actual prior year accounting line, but I see your point, so, my take away from your answer is that the accounting department must find prior year funds somehow, but if they cannot find them from any level, then supplementing the remainder of the mod amount from current year funds is allowable.
  20. So, if there is not enough funds in that prior year account when that in scope mod needs to be executed, can I use whatever is there in that prior year account and fund the rest with current year funds? I have done that before but I don't know if that is common practice. For example: In-scope mod amount: $50,000.00 FY 18 account available amount: $30,000.00 Current Year available amount: $1,000,000.00 Solution: Take $30,000.00 from that prior year FY2018 account, and take the remaining $20,000.00 from current year funds. Is this common practice? Or is it an all or noth
  21. And there is a difference between the "mandatory" rule of two and the "discretionary" rule of two. For supplies above the SAT, if the conditions at 19.502-2(b) are met, a set aside is mandatory (and you have to consider the 4 socioeconomic programs first), for services however, it's always discretionary above the SAT, but if you choose to discretionary do that, you have to also remember to consider the 4 socioeconomic programs first. I may be wrong on this but this is what the FAR says in part 19, or maybe I'm just not interpreting it correctly.
  22. You can't do a general small business set aside unless you first consider the 4 socio-economic programs in part 19, for example, a sole source to a HUBZone small business takes priority over general small business set aside.
  23. I'm confused, what is the point of synopsising a part 13 BPA call order on the GPE if only the BPA holder(s) can quote on the call order RFQ anyways? What good will it do to have a synopsis that the government intends to solicit from the BPA holder(s) when the company that does not hold that BPA can't quote on the call order RFQ anyways?
  24. So, ok, I now see that according to 19.203(c) that a CO may set aside a service acquisition for general small businesses if the IGCE is above the SAT, but I do not believe that it is mandatory to do so. I only believe that it is mandatory to do so for products when the conditions at 19.502-2(b) are met. Is it mandatory for services? Does the government really want every single open market acquisition to be a set aside? I see that in 13 CFR it says every acquisition above the SAT must be set aside for small businesses if the rule of two is met, but the FAR is at 48 CFR and its rule of two is at
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