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Vern Edwards

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Everything posted by Vern Edwards

  1. Good grief! Off hand, I recall only two general percentage limitations on subcontracting—the one in FAR 52.219-14, which applies only to small business set-asides and which limits subcontracting with not similarly-situated entities, but does not require that a prime do 51 percent "of the work," and the one in 52.236-1, which applies only to construction and which does not set a standard percentage limitation. Patrick3 cited Apple "as an example" and asked, He also said, Well, he got it from nowhere. My answers to Patrick3's two questions based on his "example" are yes and no. If Patrick3 didn't use a proper "example" or ask the right questions, that's his fault. What he really wanted to know is whether there is a limitation on subcontracting and, if so, what is it?
  2. You are misstating a more complicated rule. Read the clause.
  3. The scenario is that the prospective contractor is Apple. The contract can't be a set-aside. In no known universe is Apple a small business.
  4. There are only two question marks in that post. They come at the end of these two sentences: The answer to that, based on the scenario, is yes. The answer to that, based on the scenario, is no.
  5. In answer to your questions: No and no. You have accepted a job with a lousy office. If you can afford to do so, I recommend that you immediately start looking for another job. I would throw that "new team" under the bus in a heartbeat. Why be loyal to a "team" that won't help you? Find a better outfit to work for, and ask them at the job interview what kind of training they'll provide. Don't sell yourself short. And don't try to learn by using templates produced by a crummy organization.
  6. For an interesting prospective on T for C vs. deductive change, see "Deletion of Work—Change or Partial Termination?: Gotta Be This or That," The Nash & Cibinic Report (August, 1988), which begins: If poor performance is an issue, that should show up in CPARS, regardless of the method used to delete work.
  7. I cannot see how it could be bad for the contractor's record.
  8. Are we using it to make better decisions? A Boeing V-22 Osprey just crashed killing four more Marines. Before the latest accident the V-22 had 13 crashes with 51 fatalities. The Boeing KC-46 is still not fully operational. And yet we're actually considering giving them more contracts. They've moved their HQ from Chicago to Crystal City in order to be closer to the spigot. Any chance of bringing Ike back from the dead?
  9. @Voyager OFPP has neither the capability nor capacity to do any of those things. It has neither the power nor the influence. Voyager, OFPP is a dead office. Its principal statutory function is to provide "overall direction" of procurement policy and "leadership." It has not done much of either since 1997, when Steve Kelman left. It has not issued a policy letter since February 13, 2012 (11-01, 77 Fed Reg 7609). (Dan Gordon issued a couple of fruitless memoranda.) It is a decapitated and dead office. That's not the fault of the people in the office. It's the fault of the presidents under which they have operated. I'm sorry, but I'm a realist. I don't look to OFPP for anything, and neither, apparently, does President Biden. If there will be leaders in the future, they will come from the ambitious folks in the ranks. The ones who observe, study, and learn.
  10. THE noun synopsis and the verb synopsize are problematical. Before establishment of the Governmentwide point of entry (GPE) the CO announced an upcoming procurement in the Commerce Business Daily with a notice called a "synopsis" (brief description) 15 days prior to making the RFP available. Interested companies would then contact the CO and ask for a copy. There was only one published notice—the synopsis. But according to SAM.gov there are seven different kinds of preaward notices: Special Sources sought Presolicitation Intent to bundle requirements Solicitation Combined synopsis/solicitation Award No. 3, Presolicitation, is what we used to call a "synopsis." FAR Part 5 still uses that word, but also uses "presolicitation notice." See FAR 5.204. The Presolicitation notice is the synopsis notice required by FAR 5.101(a) and 5.201. FAR 5.203(a) requires that release of the solicitation be delayed for 15-days thereafter. So now there are two notices. Publication of the No. 3 Presolicitation notice comes first; publication of the No. 5 Solicitation notice is supposed to come after the delay. SAM.gov seems to require a separate, No. 5 Solicitation notice, but it appears that it's usually done by modifying the Presolicitation notice. Of course, FAR 5.202 describes exceptions to the requirement for a presolicitation notice. The terminology and rules in FAR Part 5 are needlessly confusing, but the FAR councils think confusion is a method. FAR ought not to use the words synopsis and synopsize. They are outdated. The notices should be called (1) Presolicitation notice and (2) Solicitation notice, and FAR Part 5 should specify the rules for each. Period. It's no longer necessary to use the term "combined synopsis/solicitation." Somebody call GSA and tell them to sort things out. New times, new terminology, clearer rules.
  11. Who knows what AllyM is doing? That was written by someone who simply doesn't understand T&M contracts. Five of us have responded. As far as I can tell, we haven't accomplished a thing. At this point, I say we write AllyM off and move on.
  12. The White House has withdrawn Gebre's nomination to be OFPP administrator. The nomination had been made in August 2021. I've seen no explanation. OFPP is as dead as a doornail. Requiescat in pace.
  13. I think you misread my last post. I don't think you misunderstand and are wrong about anything. I think that people who use T&M and L-H contracts for annual staff augmentation requirements are the ones who are wrong. I think you and I are in agreement. T&M and L-H contracts are the worst of all contracts available to government agencies, and they should be used only in extremely limited circumstances.
  14. @Guardian I for one know what they've been doing by way of staff augmentation for years, since back to the late 1960s and '70s. Staff augmentation contracts have come up in Congressional hearings many times since then. You're right, it's not new. And, fundamentally, there is nothing wrong with it from a contracting point of view. (From an agency management point of view it's a different matter.) You can easily write an IDIQ contract for such services. I did that for a program office back in the '70s (and caught some minor league flak for it). But we've been responding to a particular opening post. And calling a staff augmentation contract T&M just because it contains burdened hourly labor rates and lets the agency use people as it sees fit is simply not correct. You don't need a ceiling price and T&M clauses for such a contract. Thinking that you do indicates that you don't know how a T&M contract works.
  15. It's bull. Four years of delay, calculated in such a way, is a credibility-destroying number.
  16. It sounds like there is a lot of email back-and-forth with waiting time in between. It also sounds like the negotiators are not dedicated to each negotiation and were working other jobs as well. It's hard to understand those numbers without information about the type and dollar value of the contracts involved and the number of simultaneous negotiations being handled by each DARPA contracting person. In the past, DARPA negotiations were not "tough," because in my experience contractors wanted the DARPA funding and looked forward to future business growing out of the DAROA undertakings. They were not looking for big profits. I can only go on my experience negotiating high tech contracts, and a week to negotiate just profit sounds like waaay too long. But you say the interviewees thought that was low. As for weighted guidelines, I could make those come out any way I liked in an a very short time. With a skilled price analyst at my side we could crank out three of four versions in an hour and have them pocketed and ready at counteroffer time. Maybe skills at the working lever are not what they once were.
  17. A week? That's either bull or the people doing the negotiations are numbskulls and shouldn't be working for DARPA. I negotiated some large contracts and mods in my time, and I cannot ever recall being held up for a week just to get a profit agreement.
  18. Uh, I think you need to rethink that analysis. The 200 delays are not singular and cumulative.
  19. Historically, a synopsis (brief description) of a procurement—a presolicitation notice—had to be sent to the Department of Commerce for publication in the Commerce Business Daily 15 days prior to release of a solicitation so that prospective competitors would have time to submit a written request for a copy in time to prepare a bid or proposal. Today, with the GPE and electronic response, the delay is no longer necessary in many cases, and you can base the bid or proposal due date on the date of publication at the GPE. In short, you still need an announcement of the procurement at the GPE. It's just not necessarily a presolicitation notice. That's probably true. I think the term synopsis is confusing.
  20. What is the cost of negotiating fee? How long does it take a competent negotiator to do that these days? A few minutes to a few hours time? Does it take so much time and cost so much that you have to dumb-down the contracting process even further by "automating" fee determination?
  21. What I think she's doing is preparing a solicitation for what should be considered a single-award IDIQ contract for staff augmentation. They are calling it T&M because the prices are just hourly billing rates. But I can't be sure from the information that she's provided, and her response to ji20874 did not answer his question.
  22. @CMM Your argument appears to boil down to this: Since the statutes refer to bids and proposals, and since FAR says quotations are not bids or proposals, a CO need not publish a synopsis if issuing an RFQ. Have I interpreted your argument correctly? Two thoughts: First, the definitions of bid and proposal in FAR are not relevant. What matters are the definitions, if any, in the statutes. Have you checked for definitions in the statutes? What if there are no definitions of those terms in the statutes? Second, FAR 5.101 and 5.201 say, "As required by 15 USC 637(e) and 41 USC 1708..." The phrase "As required by..." merely puts COs on notice that the FAR Councils have interpreted the statutes as requiring synopses for "contract actions," as defined in FAR 5.001, that are not covered by an exception in 5.202. FAR 5.001 defines a "contract action: as "an action resulting in a contract, as defined in subpart 2.1, including actions for additional supplies or services outside the existing contract scope, but not including actions that are within the scope and under the terms of the existing contract..." An RFQ is clearly issued with the intent to award a contract, so it is a contract action. Therefore, it the RFQ is issued with the intent of awarding a contract in excess of $25,000, then the CO must publish a synopsis. What do you think? Why doesn't FAR 5.202 simply provide an exception for SAP acquisitions in excess of $25,000 and not in excess of the SAT? BTW, I searched GAO and COFC protest decisions for a case "on point" and did not find one. BTW, I wish your argument were true, but I don't think it is.
  23. Emphasis added. No, unless it's agency policy. See FAR 31.102.
  24. Automated profit determination. 😏 Another "tool" for the clueless. Some companies have no shame.
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