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Vern Edwards

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Everything posted by Vern Edwards

  1. Great story! Too bad you couldn't finagle a way to get down there. Would have been very cool. 😆
  2. We don't know that 1102_InquiringMind has a mess. What we do know is that they are "managing" a task order that they don't seem to understand well enough to make effective inquiries about. But we must recognize that the OP has said they are a rookie. So we must cut them some slack. I hope that all 1102s who read this take seriously the notion that skill in asking questions is as important in their work, indeed, as skill in answering them. Indeed, more important. Almost all learning and every decision a CO must make must be based on information obtained by asking good questions. And every good question is based on a specific context (state of affairs), clear and appropriate language, and a sound strategy of inquiry. The ability to ask good questions is the sine qua non of professional contracting, and based on what we have seen at Wifcon Forum, it is and has long been in short supply among the workforce.
  3. Lesson to be learned: Contractual requirements for travel and contractor compensation for travel are two of the issues that should be discussed and resolved during contract formation.
  4. @1102_InquiringMindThink! Just for a moment. I warned you about what is happening in this thread. So now let me be frank with you. Is it your impression that there is a standard explanation for how funds obligated under a task order FFP line item can exceed the price? If so, you are misinformed. There are any number of possible answers. Yet you want someone here to explain an occurrence under a task order that none of us have seen, with a file that none of us have seen, and that was issued under a GSA schedule contract that few if any of us have seen and that you seem to know little about and have not clearly described. In order to explain an occurrence under a contract a person needs information about the contract and the circumstances of the occurrence. In this case, you don't have enough information to enable anyone to even speculate intelligently. What bothers me about this is that you don't seem to get it what's happening here. Some of you who come here looking for answers don't know how to ask questions. Yet, for an 1102, the ability to ask clear and properly contextualized, i.e., intelligent questions is the primal skill. Almost all contracting work entails asking and answering questions. Tasks like requirements analysis, cost analysis, and claim settlement pretty much consist of looking at information, developing questions, asking them, and assessing the answers. Think about that, 1102_inquiring mind. I know you said you are a "rookie." Well, welcome to a tough business. I've been in it 48 years, and it's still a challenge. Now go find someone in your office who might be able to answer your question. Or, better yet, read the order and the contract and go through the task order file, item by item, and see if you can find an answer for yourself. That would be worth doing, unlike what you're doing here.
  5. @1102_InquiringMind I find your descriptions of the task order and of your issue confusing. You refer to FFP and labor hour pricing in such as way as to make it hard to understand the nature of your problem. What if anything do the FFP items have to do with the labor hour items? Is your problem connected to the FFP portion of the contract, the labor hour portion of the contract, or both? If you cannot do a better job of sorting out the issues and describing the problem, then what you are going to get here is a series of inquiries from people instead of a helpful response. Communicate clearly, fact by fact, sentence by sentence.
  6. If I understand you correctly, the contractor wants to be paid for the hours that its employees would spend traveling from one place to another. I do not know of any rule in FAR that prohibits paying the contractor for travel hours. I believe that the matter is negotiable. That's not to say that it would be good business to agree to such a deal. You should ask some questions, look at some cost data, and decide what would be fair and reasonable.
  7. @Contract Noob Your first option is probably the norm in most offices that handle cost-reimbursement R&D. It might add more value, depending on what you mean by "value" and what you would learn from each. What in your mind is the difference in content between a "rough order of magnitude" estimate and a "proposal" estimate? Do you think that either of those terms describe specific content? What info do you need to make a funding decision?
  8. Yes, unless you promised not to release their identities. See FAR Subpart 5.4, Release of information. l do not know of any statute, regulation, or policy that prohibits disclosure of the names of firms that have merely expressed an interest in an upcoming procurement. FOIA exemption 4 does not preclude the release of such information. https://www.justice.gov/archives/oip/foia-guide-2004-edition-exemption-4#:~:text=Exemption 4 of the FOIA,government and submitters of information.
  9. Actually HHSAR 307.105 says: It doesn't explicitly say it has to cover "everything" in FAR 7.105. Just address the topics pertinent to the acquisition.
  10. Since the OP appears to be with DOD, they might want to discuss DFARS PGI 215.406-1(b) with their supervisor. H2H's post might be interpreted to mean that the CO has discretion to negotiate a rate higher than the FPRR. That might not be the case in all offices at all times. ACOs and auditors can be touchy about agreements and object to those, including agreements about billing rates, that exceed their recommendations. While the CO has the final say on paper, that might not be the case in fact.
  11. The language "incidental to the place of performance" was added to FAR 45.000 by FAC 2005-56, 77 FR 12937, March 2, 2012, effective April 2, 2012. The change was accompanied by the following comment and response:
  12. I wouldn't think laptops would be "incidental to a place of performance," since they exist to allow the user to operate from almost anywhere. This would especially seem to be the case if the contractor employees are allowed to travel with the laptops and to take them home. It is unclear to me whether "administrative property" is a subcategory of property "incidental to the place of performance" or a distinct category. But whether the contractor must maintain a property record for laptops may depend on whether the government has established a "previous accountable property record." If it has, then it seems to me that the CO should require the contractor to maintain a property record. Then again, laptops are generally cheap (unless it's a MacBook Air or a MacBook Pro). But there is this: Emphasis added.
  13. No. So you'll have to fact-find, develop an objective, and then negotiate.
  14. @C Culham What leaders of the Forum think that? Good job finding the DOD instruction. The OP could have, and should have, found it for himself.
  15. Yeah. Something goes wrong when I try to copy the link. Go to Google Books and search for Armed Services Procurement Regulation Manual for Contract Pricing 1975 and scroll until you reach a downloadable version. The 1969 and 1986 versions are also available at Google Books. They are still good reference works.
  16. It's available for download in pdf at: [Dead link removed.]
  17. You found a typo in the article. Kelman was Administrator from 1993-1997, not 1973-77.
  18. I am. But at least I get paid for doing it. This was a headline in yesterday's Washington Post: "Sixth consecutive year." We must all accept as fact that the federal government of the United States of America is no longer fully functioning and has not been fully functioning for quite some time. Many presidential appointments are unfilled. And even when filled, they are often filled by unqualified persons. This is true all the way up to the cabinet level. The federal government is not fully competent. We cannot expect the best from our government right now. I wonder if we will ever be able to expect the best again. This should be a matter of grave concern to all citizens, but I do not think it is. I think most citizens have little if any direct contact with the federal government, or only infrequent contact, and do not know much about it. But every person I know who knows the federal government and has known it for some time thinks the situation is grave and getting worse, and that it's getting worse just as the challenges we face are becoming ever more serious. All each of us can do is the best that we can.
  19. Never apologize for editing your posts. Edits are signs of thoughtfulness.
  20. And just think: Boeing filed a protest to win that contract.
  21. Emphasis added. It might seem strange to some, but don't generalize too broadly. For one thing, "unsatisfactory past performance" may be nothing more than a statement about the past that has no bearing on the offeror's present condition in light of corrective action.
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