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Everything posted by WifWaf

  1. I see the Senate's version is also on the Legislation page now (thank you so much, Bob). Since the Senate's version is more cumbersome, containing the House's version plus additional reporting mandates, I wonder if this House version's contents will pass?! Significant changes are proposed to the commercial product definition in this bill. Also the progress payment rate is poised to significantly affect large business' internal rates of return. These were hot-button issues for the Director, Defense Pricing over the past decade.
  2. Is there an organization out there that can proctor this as a sort of exam, before these newbies are hired? The newbies could be instructed to list their exercise results on their resume, and to list the organization’s representative as a reference.
  3. If you are in this business for accolades, you are going to be a manager. Congratulations. You’ll talk your way through one big award, get that promotion, and then have your supervisory responsibilities and interoffice politics be the focus of the rest of your career. Why we still call you 1102 and not an 0343 at that point, nobody knows. if you are in this business for the art of it, don’t go after those big awards until you reach mid-career. Instead, practice what is preached on this website under the review thresholds where only you and your supervisor know what you’re doing - like it’s some big secret. You’ll be recognized as a thought leader when you get to mid-career and start applying sound principles to those big awards. Templates and samples are touted by the managers, folks. Edit them and let the managers take all the credit.
  4. Isn't that amazing? If we cannot read our solicitations and apply what they say, the rule-making process here actually made it more difficult for nontraditional defense contractors to enter the market. That is where I have been coming from in this thread. The essential information from the above link as applied to this thread and some background info (for beginners) is that: DOD created DFARS 252.215-7010 four years ago and now prescribes it in lieu of FAR 52.215-20. The -7010 provision includes a flowdown requirement and the -20 provision did not. The -20 provision relied on FAR 52.215-12 as the operative clause for determining to grant subcontractors certified cost/pricing data exceptions. FAR 52.215-12 includes a flowdown requirement. FAR 52.215-12 wholly relies on the FAR's certified cost/pricing data exceptions with no relaxation of their statutory language - unlike the -7010 provision, which may inadvertently contradict it (if applied by primes to subcontractors), at paragraph (b)(ii)(3)(E) quoted above. The FAR 52.215-12 clause is still required alongside the -7010 provision. The DAR Council's wording of -7010 is written in a way where practitioners cannot agree whether prime contractors should be flowing down -7010(b)'s more relaxed language to include a nontraditional defense (sub)contractor exception, or should continue only flowing down FAR 52.215-12's statutory exceptions. If nontraditional defense subcontractors are just a myth and a misnomer, I would say there's traction for a FAR 1.502 unsolicited proposed revision to the DFARS here, and the DAR Council's own Federal Register comment (quoted by Don above) is all the data and rationale needed to permit its evaluation. My revision to the DFARS would be to remove the flowdown requirement from -7010, and to furthermore amend DFARS 252.215-7013, "Supplies and Services Provided by Nontraditional Defense Contractors", to say "10 U.S.C 2380a provides DoD with the permissive authority to treat items and services provided by nontraditional defense contractors as commercial items. This authority was neither mandatory nor was it extended to prime contractor commercial item determinations for subcontracted items and services." What would yours be, Fara?
  5. Hi to you. I would define it as this: “Conformed contract” means the award vehicle with all its modifications made to it. I am government. ww
  6. In traditional sole-source-prime negotiations of subcontract costs, the CID is the prime’s to write and provide to the CO. The prime implores the CO to agree with him about his proposal to grant the subcontractor a commercial item exception, because the CO will then relent on pursuing the sub’s certified cost data and cost analysis. The prime does this by arguing for the exact way(s) it meets the Commercial Product or Commercial Service definitions. Those definitions are a negotiation standard, albeit ones where the CO has little leverage as I’ve said. In the nontraditional case though, the prime simply provides the CO the attestation from the provision that I have put in quotes above. There’s no negotiation standard, because either the government or the prime, depending on your stance in this debate, has all the power. Even though primes don't have the statutory power as Don pointed out, they have the negotiation power when they're sole-source. They can refuse to budge. Quite a precarious position to be in with no procedures, guidance, and instruction on the subject. You will have to use your judgment! It helps to not care if you don’t get the cost data because your market research can negotiate a fair and reasonable price via price analysis instead. They call it "negotiation jujitsu" when you can use the other party's power against them, right? Where are my Art of War readers? Or at least, where are my MMA fans.
  7. Yes, that’s my advice to contractors. And for COs, my advice is this: read read read, as your DFARS PGI 215.403-1 instructs, the DOD Guidebook for Acquiring Commercial Items Part B: “Pricing Commercial Items”. Be ready for sole-source contractors to challenge you by saying there is no requirement in your solicitation for their subcontractor to submit cost data. The holes in the government’s noncommerciality arguments are so big you could drive a Mack truck through them - and they’re growing - because Congress stacked the deck against you. So embrace the challenge of having to throw out your old process and templates where the sub submits a cost build-up and gets audited, and begin gathering market research on your upcoming subcontract costs instead.
  8. No, the provision at DFARS 252.215-7010 doesn’t. Do you agree with me that primes don’t follow FAR/DFARS Part 12 when they award subcontracts?
  9. I don’t think I agree with any of that, Fara. Read the provision. It sets forth nontraditional defense contractor as a basis for the commercial item exception right alongside “items previously determined commercial.” The two bases for the exception are equal in the eyes of the provision. That one is subparagraph (A), and this one is (E): “(E) For items provided by nontraditional defense contractors, a statement that the entity is not currently performing and has not performed, for at least the 1-year period preceding the solicitation of sources by DoD for the procurement or transaction, any contract or subcontract for DoD that is subject to full coverage under the cost accounting standards prescribed pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 1502 and the regulations implementing such section.” Is there a DFARS or PGI you are thinking of that adds red tape to the CO’s acceptance of this basis in negotiations with the prime contractor? Or what?
  10. The question in bold at the top reflects a fundamental misunderstanding. Subcontractors don’t get awarded anything using FAR procedures. They get awarded business-to-business subcontracts under uniform commercial code or common law. The subcontracts also include what the prime contract’s FAR-based clauses and provisions say must be applied to subcontracts (i.e., they get the flowdowns). One of those flowdowns is usually DFARS 252.215-7010, requiring certified cost or pricing data be submitted to the prime contractor. Now, understanding all that, if the prime solicitation doesn’t include this provision, then does that answer your question? If still unsatisfied, read on. If the flowdown must occur, then the subcontractor may, however, be excepted from this provision’s certified data requirement. As you may know, commercial items are one of those exceptions. As I am trying to point out and have you read, DFARS 252.215-7010 details how a prime contractor can respond to the CO’s solicitation by saying the subcontract is for a commercial item. There are five provided reasons it can be commercial. One of those five is “nontraditional defense contractor.” If you are seeking some other advantage for a subcontract to be called nontraditional, please let us know. I have fully described the advantage in terms of certified data requirements for you, though.
  11. Joel and Carl, you raise the question: what is the Government's intended purpose for including an inspection clause? Yes yes, I agree with you that there are clauses available for the CO and COR to gang up on the Contractor's Contracts Manager. These are there to fall back on, despite the Contracts Manager and very likely the CO not having read them at the time of meeting minds and signing. I have had to use these myself, and the effect on a contract like the described situation here is usually ticky tacky and saves us a few bucks for a few months, at great expense of time, and with much hand-wringing. But I said: And I meant the inspection clause and its saber-rattling language ideally deters bad performance. It is best used as something we point to in Section B or C alongside the description of the most critical thing we are buying, to highlight what matters most to us be performed. That way the Contractor's President on up cannot miss the CO carrying a big stick. Joel, read FAR 52.246-4 again, and highlight to yourself where it says "contract requirements". When you see its use of that term, what do you think the Contractor thinks it means in kburnett's stated situation? There is no NSN for services. This term is really up to us to define unambiguously and with a mission-focus in the solicitation, through our tradecraft of writing the CLIN description or statement of work.
  12. Should have come up with the value at solicitation stage. It’s too late for this inspection to have its intended effect. @kburnett4112, use this experience to work on improving the performance requirements summary and CLIN structure for your next TO/contract.
  13. This referred to the question: A poorly worded question to be sure, but still we could just as well make something of this OP and reword it: “How should a contractor ensure a causal/beneficial relationship between the ‘costs for rent, electricity bill, corporate jet operations, the company Fourth of July picnic, or anything else included in OH or G&A pools’ and a fluctuating direct labor base, subject to PCO wage determinations and sovereign acts of minimum wage increases?” This would serve to broaden perspectives of P/ACOs to their industry counterparts’ in this Contract Administration (a two-way street) forum.
  14. This thread makes sense from a PCO perspective only. From an ACO or contractor perspective, the answer given is rather unsatisfactory. @Neurotic, are you asking questions from the perspective of a PCO/analyst, an ACO/analyst, or a contractor?
  15. Some use a DL hours base for their SCA work’s overhead, for this very reason.
  16. Having once worked in a high-functioning organization of the USAF that procured these, I can help here. We won an award at the AFMC level for our work one year competing amongst other systems contracts shops. As a GS-12 CS, you could get a $5M limited warrant based on supervisor discretion by passing a written board exam after 2-3 years’ experience in the shop. To go from that to an unlimited warrant, you had to pass two boards and have no less than 3 years’ experience in the shop to get a warrant. There was the written warrant board that was standardized across all of AFMC, and then there was the oral board chaired by our GS-15/O-6 Chief of the Contracting Office (known outside USAF as a “Procurement Director”). A GS-13 warrant candidate would normally speak with a GS-14 supervisor during midterms or performance appraisals about their intent to go to the board, and would then be allotted some time to pursue this. You kept your workload but would have your assigned CS prepare much of your work at the same time. You spent time in self-study after work and were allowed time for group board cohort study during work. The process to get the warrant took 3-6 months. How else can I help, @MichaelJonReed?
  17. Neurotic, Just follow FAR 52.222-43. FAR 52.222-43 and FAR 22.19 are set up so that the PCO will just increase his DL costs, thus letting the newly increased costs accumulate in the overhead base (if contractor uses a DL cost base) and the G&A base without making a change to his contract-level indirect rates. That way, the contractor’s DCAA or ACO can in turn respond to him and other PCOs increasing DL costs by issuing a new PBR letter or FPRR based on the accumulation of these new, increased costs shown in the contractor’s certified incurred cost submission’s bases, in the year they are incurred. We are all cogs in the machine here.
  18. From the subject article, preceding its conclusion to use the perceived inadequate definition of "Subcontract" in 13 CFR 125.1: My emphasis in bold. Might the FAR Council resolve this issue by revising FAR 2.101 to add a definition of "subcontract"? I see there is currently an open FAR Case No. 2018-006, "Definition of 'Subcontract'," but I am not sure what their plan is to implement that Case's statutory basis for change, which was that 41 U.S.C. 1906 was amended to change its definition of "subcontract" for reasons unrelated to the matter at hand here. Regardless of how it happens, there is a basis for consolidating the definition into FAR 2.101 sometime soon: it was part of the Section 809 Panel's first recommendation. See Report of the Advisory Panel on Streamlining and Codifying Acquisition Regulations, Volume 1 of 3 (January 2018), Recommendation 1, p. 14 (https://discover.dtic.mil/wp-content/uploads/809-Panel-2019/Volume1/Recommendation_01.pdf)
  19. Well, if that ever changes, or if any other reader ever wants to know how to work the system, then note I just went to usajobs.gov, typed in keyword “writing system” using quotation marks, and clicked on the only high-paying job in the query results. The lower grades’ JOAs just required you know a contract writing system, not oversee it.
  20. No. There are programmers contracted to insert the clauses in the contract writing software databases. They usually have a COR whom can navigate the Federal Register, the regulations, and the Class Deviations, in order to assign them their work. Maybe that's the kind of job you want to pursue? Try this one, which is open to veterans: https://www.usajobs.gov/job/640252800 You'd have to have this experience (my emphasis in underline): I guarantee it's good work if you can get it - at least, until it gets automated someday. By then, however, you're already in with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC)! Read about them here: https://mrdc.amedd.army.mil/ and see this excerpt about their mission: I used to love job-hunting. This just made my lunch hour 😃
  21. Thanks for sharing that, Joel. Did he teach any classes you attended while he was there?
  22. https://bitwizards.com/thought-leadership/blog/2012/march-2012/4-types-of-people-every-entrepreneur-needs-to-know
  23. “Now, I know advice is cheap and often suspect, but here goes. You’ve had a good start and there’s a long road in front of you, but always remember this: Your most difficult problem will be the people. In the military, they mostly divide themselves into four major categories: There are the ‘me-firsters’, the ‘me-tooers’ the ‘deadwood,’ and the ‘dedicated.’ You are among the minority, the ‘dedicated.’ Stick with them, search them out, and work hard to be worthy of their company. You won’t be popular with a lot of your bosses who act dedicated but really aren’t, and that can make life difficult at times. Beware of the ‘deadwood.’ Most of them mean well and, in their own way, try hard, are loyal, and even useful. But too often they’ll botch things up and get you and your outfit in trouble. Watch out for the ‘me-tooers.’ These guys will tell you whatever they think you want to hear. They borrow thoughts and ideas from others and present them to you as though they were their own. They are opportunists who look for every avenue to advance themselves, without sticking their own necks out. They ride someone’s coattails and try to make themselves indispensible to the boss. Believe me, they are not to be trusted. You don’t want yes-men around you. But you can’t always avoid them. The worst and the most dangerous are the ‘me-firsters.’ Most of them are intelligent and totally ruthless. They use the service for their own gain and will not hesitate to stick a knife in your back at the slightest indication you might stand in their way. They seem arrogant, but don’t be fooled; they are really completely lacking in true self-confidence. Do you understand that?”
  24. In DOD system acquisitions negotiations, is the understanding of these points the CO's job or the Contract Price/Cost Analyst's job? In other words, should a CO take the analyst teammate's word for it if the teammate agrees with the contractor.
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