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  1. Thank you, Vern. I completely agree with your school of thought. Contracting should serve as the lead in any and all conversations/communications prior to award. The program that I have taken over consists of numerous moving parts and the previous CO/CS was not as involved in fact-finding questions that the program office sent to the contractor. Since taking over, I have noticed that the program office was actually negotiating with the contractor and revised proposals would be submitted. I explained the issues with the program office that they do not have the authority to negotiate on behalf of the government and when they ask the contractor to "adjust/reduce" costs, that is considered negotiating. Additionally, I requested that they send me all of the fact-finding questions they have for me to review prior to dissemination to the contractor. They asked for a handout to help them understand the differences when drafting any fact-finding questions for the future, which is why I asked the original question. I would like to thank everyone for their feedback and this helpful discussion.
  2. Thank you so much for your responses! I got into a situation where the Program Office was requesting the Offeror to "adjust/reduce" hours and costs and then calling it "Fact-Finding". Additionally, they alluded to Contracting Officer/Specialist does not need to be involved when it's "Fact-Finding". I immediately put a stop to it and started working on developing some type of reference chart for what is considered "Fact-Finding" and what crosses the line into "negotiation".
  3. Is there a clear line between what type of questions are acceptable to ask during fact-finding vs negotiating in a sole-source acquisition?
  4. My agency currently evaluates resumes during a source selection for personnel/SETA contracts, however when it is time to award, those personnel may no longer be available. We are looking at other avenues to evaluate proposal without reviewing resumes. In your opinion, what is the best way to evaluate personnel/SETAs in a source selection without reviewing and evaluating resumes?
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