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Everything posted by brian

  1. If I understood the article, the author is arguing at first for abandoning LPTA completely. But then goes on to say that LPFB (tradeoff) is better than LPTA in some cases. Hold onto your chair. Where I sit, the room is starting to spin.
  2. the entity named on the SF-1449 or other bid document would be the prime ktr. the identity of the prime is tied to a specific DUNS number. if that entity is a JV of 2 8(a) firms, then the prime - the JV - must perform 50%. look at the JV agreement. I expect it would say that the JV is a joining of the 2 firms for this limited purpose. if so, then either 8(a) can contribute toward the 50%. if the prime ktr is a single 8(a,) and the second 8(a) is a sub, then the prime must perform the 50% themselves. I don't have a cite for this specific interpretation; it's just applying the regs and definitions as written. ******************* I don't think a JV can enroll in the 8(a) program. 8(a) is a 9-year training program. JV's are for sort duration projects. If the Kt is awarded to one of these 2 firms in the program, then I don't think the JV exception will apply. ***************** this might be a case where SBA allows the rules to be broken, as your attorney suggests. Who's hurt ? Who could protest ? I think some other 8(a) that CAN satsfy the 52.219-14 requirement is the one who is hurt. but if the Agency doesn't like them, they'll never know what they missed out on.
  3. Happy Birthday next year, Bob. see, I'm not late -- I'm early. this site is a national treasure. and where does that Spring Chicken Edwards guy get off calling you old ?
  4. Does the vendor who was initially selected for award know that she or he was selected ? Had you contacted the vendor with the error to tell them they had lost ?
  5. while RetreadFed is giving good advice, I think a bigger issue is that any answers you get here may not be reliable. Heck, would you base your decisions on advice from me ? I assume that you are an attorney. Collaborate with an attorney with the experience that Retread mentions. ASBCA probably has rules of practice just like other appeals fora. http://www.bcaba.org/ looks like a good place to start. You can split fees. It could lead to work flowing the other way, too.
  6. Thnx 4 the tip, Vern. I didn't realize I could go to the Federal Circuit after I lose at COFC. I think I'll try that, next time I lose at COFC, which could be next week.
  7. I find it interesting that government folks like GAO and dislike COFC. Does that suggest anything to you ? It does to me. And Bob, as for your factory, Yugos were produced in a factory.
  8. Bob, have you ever come across an Agency Protest that was upheld ? I've heard that it happens, regularly, but can't think of one right now.
  9. wouldn't you be lucky if some enterprising SB were to team up with your incumbent to learn the ropes.
  10. If I understand your point, Biz Man, you are saying that the fact that something is done by many is an indication that it is not illegal. If I understood you correctly, then I must disagree.
  11. what a blessing to have someone like Joel here to correct me. I make lots of mistakes; far more tragic when one of my mistakes gets someone else in trouble. thanks, brother.
  12. I believe that the Clause is included because the prescription (and some law) requires it, not because the CO thinks it should be included for this specific requirement. If you ask the CO directly, verbally, you might get a better answer. This sort of thing, violating 52.219-14, sometimes results in criminal charges, but only after someone knowledgeable complains. If all contractors submitting bids are made aware of the ground rules, you might skate free. If that's not good enuf, that's all I got. Sorry.
  13. why is it that the Special IG's appointed to look at contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan only found fault with individuals in small matters of waste, fraud and abuse, and the big cahunas got away ? Oh, yeah. IG's were appointed by a particular political party. As far as this GSA Conference, I can't see what the big deal was. I worked at HQ USAF Space Command in the 1990's, and they wasted at least $800K on unneeded conferences every month. Folks traveled needlessly all the time. The Commanding General would fly his wife and his girlfriend around the world, to the same destinations, on separate Air Mobility Command aircraft, as if they didn't know about each other.
  14. there are some differences in the two fora. For example, a GAO protest draws an automatic stay. If all the advantages to protestors of a GAO Protest are migrated to the COFC Protest forum, through a change in the Tucker Act, which provides the authority to the Court to hear such protests, then I'm all for it. A pro se Protestor can file a protest for the cost of a first class stamp, or an email. To file a Claim with the Court of Federal Claims, it costs at least $350, generally more. This might get the Military/ Industrial/ Congressional Complex denizens to tone down the shrill cries of "frivolous." An Agency Level protest is little more than an expression of dissatisfaction, with no hope of either corrective action or justice. A GAO Protest is at a step above that, where Agencies often / sometimes acknowedge errors and take corrective actions, because the requirement to prepare an Agency Report usually gets someone from the Agency but outside the circled wagons of the contracting office - an attorney - to look at the facts without trying to rationalize anything. The chances of a GAO attorney giving fair consideration to the merits of a Protest still aren't that great. But at the level of the COFC, that's when the possibility opens up for someone who isn't invested in showing the Government is never wrong to look at the facts objectively. Most GAO Protests contain at least a hint of an allegation of bad faith on the part of the Government. There's a lot of history behind the standard of "well nigh irrefragable," but the actual level of corruption in government contrcting offices does not support it. It ought to be a "preponderance" standard. Maybe the consolidation into one forum can fix that, too.
  15. Suggestion: permit the Ktr to excavate a location on base with clean soil; let them place to potentially contaminated spoil in that hole and remove a corresponding amount off base. Maybe pay them to place a liner in the empty hole, prior to backfill, just in case. This looks like a good deal for everyone.
  16. Don't know if this applies, if the acquisition is for a Commecial Item, but FAR 12.302 says that FAR 52.212-1 isn't supposed to be tailored: "... in a manner that is inconsistent with customary commercial practice for the item being acquired unless a waiver is approved in accordance with agency procedures." In the few narrow areas where I am exposed to customary commercial practice, I don't often see where solicitations restrict alternate proposals. More often I see a solicitation restricting who can submit an offer, usually limited to established qualified sources. My sense is that, generally, if there's a better way of doing things, which usually means cheaper, then industry wants to have that option.
  17. Vecchia, I once bid on a job advertised by the VCSA's Rapid Equipping Force. If you don't know their reputation, OK. So, anyways, I contacted a potential supplier after bids closed, and he wonders why I'm bothering with supplier quotes, since the bid acceptance period is over. Well, I told him, I bid using mostly WAG estimates. So he sez to me, would I be interested in teaming with someone who really, really knows this requirement ? Sure, I reply. An hour later, the incumbent calls me. He gripes that his bid was rejected for being 20 minutes late. (In my personal experience, barely late RFP submissions tend to get accepted, unless there's some bad blood. Excuses can be made.) Turns out, he was the REF Project Manager for this exact requirement, until he retired and got a sole-source $20 M Kt to do the initial effort. He assumed that the bid deadline was flexible. But his late proposal was rejected. The supplier I contacted was his supplier. The only other bidder, as far as they knew, was a multi-billion dollar trans-national mega corp., the #2 supplier worldwide of the principle raw material this effort called for. So, this guy had developed the govt requirement, screened potential subs in a series of field trials, then retired and was given the prime Kt to do the work. ........... Should I have reported the guy to an IG or something ? Of course. But I'm a public person, and make enemies like most folks make acquaintances. I don't like having my family threatened, which happens more that even I can believe. Besides, considering my relationship with the SecDef at the time, this would have been turned around to be my fault. SO I did the wrong thing and let it slide. This was the first acquisition I protested where GAO told me that the Agency doesn't have to give me a debriefing. Golly, it was 2 years after the contract was awarded before they even announced who got the award, and at what price. GAO stated that the only reason for their bid protest forum was to promote competition, and debriefings don't promote competition.
  18. Industry isn't looking to hire the schlubs out of the 1102 field to work for them. They are trying to hire the kind of folks who frequent this site. The same can be said of the GAO PLCG, and who leaves that office for industry. Who does that leave to sign contracts for the Government, or to write GAO Decisions ?
  19. I'd like Dan Gordon to take a look at Protests before the Court of Federal Claims. I think the results might be different. The article notes that some protests are filed in order to find out what happened. Agencies sometimes refuse to give debriefings, and debriefings can still leave a disappointed bidder not knowing why they lost. Of course, not getting a debriefing is not protestable, so an actual or percieved error must be alleged in order to get the agency to prepare an Agency Report. Vern, your 11:49 AM post borders on being imperious. "If you protest because you were not chosen for award, it is because they did not want to do business with you." Technically, it is not supposed to be a matter of personal preference of the gov't technical folks who wins; the award is supposed to go to the offeror whose bid represents the best value. While a government official may believe they know what would be the best value, regardless of what an evaluation in strict compliance with the terms of the solicitation suggests, that sort of personal insight (aka, "corruption") is supposed to be removed from the process. If a government official wants to give a job to a drinking buddy, let them do it out of their own pocket. This report seems to validate my contention a month ago about the quality of GAO decisions, no ? Does anybody except Vern still believe that, in general, CO's have better knowledge of the FAR than most contractors ? I acknowledge that Vern, and most folks on this site, know lots more than me and most contractors about the FAR. So what ? Y'all are the 1/10th of 1% outliers. Most CO's wouldn't think to ask anyone for feedback on a site like this; they are, as I recently read, "high handed," unaccountable, and confident the GAO will bend over backwards to avoid confronting agency error. Don't even bring up the "well nigh irrefragable" standard for bad faith, which is actually somewhat widespread.
  20. I suspect this might aggregate Agency Protests and GAO Protests. The rate at which an Agency recognizes, after receiving an Agency Level Protest, that there was an error of some consequence on the part of the Agency, is approximately Zero. Some Attorneys practicing in this field will advise to never file an Agecy Level Protest. The Agency Level Protest assumes a good faith response on the part of someone who is being accused of not doing their job properly. I suppose it could happen, theoretically. Page 5 of the "GAO Bid Protest Annual Report to the Congress for Fiscal Year 2012," GAO-13-162SP, dated Nov 13, 2012, http://www.gao.gov/assets/650/649957.pdf (my browser had a lot of trouble with this link,) shows a table of statistics on success rates of Protests at the GAO level. This Table shows an "effectiveness rate" of 42%, meaning that "Based on a protester obtaining some form of relief from the agency, as reported to GAO, either as a results of voluntary agency corrective action or our Office sustaining the protest. This figure is a percentage of all protests closed this fiscal year." So, in those contracting offices where there is a manager who pays attention to when a CO screws up, there's at least a possibility that such malfeasance won't be repeated by the same CO in the same manner. If you can believe that a sore loser contractor cares about improving the system, this is how we do it.
  21. FAR Fetched, you definitely have it worse than me. In my case, the Agency, it looked to me, was expecting a bid in the range of $500K, with 3 people doing all the work. My analysis, it was about double that. So I think my price was way higher than they expected, and I wouldn't have been surprised to have been told that I was out of the competitive range. I have a son who hates his job, and I was going to put him in charge of this. He can stay where he is for now. So I'm not suffering. But I suspect that there were only two bids, a fella who recently retired from the Agency, who they plan to give the work to, and me. I think, when they saw my approach, they shared some of my stuff with him, and all this time that I've heard nothing, the other guy was being given the chance to change his approach, if he wanted to, incorporating stuff that I anticipated, but that he didn't anticipate when he wrote the PWS before retiring. I expect an award to him at about 5% below my price.
  22. In FAR 16, my absolute favorite type of contract is the CPPC -- cost plus percentage of cost. I can't seem to find the exact FAR cite, but it used to be quite popular, didn't it ?
  23. thnx for the responses. With bids expiring tomorrow, I finally got the CO on the phone today. First, he asked if I was sure that bids were only good for 60 days. He thought he had 120 days. I referred him to Block 12 of the SF 33. The RFP does not contain 52.214-16, minimum bid acceptance period, or anything like it. I didn't have the heart to tell him that this deadline is up to the offeror, not the Agency, and some bidders could set a deadline of less than 60 days. Then he reassured me that expiration of bids was just a formality. When his technical people get back in touch with him, he will then ask offrors to extend their bids, even if it's well after the 60 days have run out. In a way, he's exactly right. While letting bids expire means that offerors are no longer obliged to enter into a contract, this is such an interesting project that I don't imagine anyone who submitted a proposal would then want to decline an award, even if it comes 2 or 3 months later. I suppose I could revise my proposal, maybe raising or lowering prices, and modifying the technical approach, but with no feedback whatsoever, I wouldn't know what to update. My technical aproach includes a glaring factual error in the background section explaining why I took the approach I did. Too late to pull that back. Where is that "unsend email" button, anyway ? But even fixing that error, I wouldn't change the approach where that error was concerned.
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