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brian

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Everything posted by brian

  1. Sequestration

    Bob, when I was a kid, my Mom put a pork chop necklace on me so the dog would play with me. You remember my type from high school, I assume. Trying to buy friends and loyalty. So, when I saw the botton, I thought to myself that I could ingratiate myself with folks here. Distraction ? - absolutely. ____ What's the deal with "warning points," and how do I get some ?
  2. Sequestration

    I just noticed the "like" button for the first time. I tried liking a post here, but was informed -not too subtly, either - that I had already reached my daily quota for positive likes, so I guess my quota is "zero." Mr. Antonio rightfully fears that I will go overboard.
  3. this is actually a question about Contract Formation, not Contracting Workforce.
  4. the federal contracting business is guided by the Federal Acquisition, Title 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations. That derives from legislation, but laws are rarely consulted or cited directly. I am not familiar with the term "bid tabulature." I assume this means, in this context, a listing of all bids received. In an IFB sealed bidding situation, it is common knowledge how many bids were received. In a negotiated procurement (RFP,) that is not the norm for bidders to know how many competitors responded. But it dies happen. ..... If I understand your concern, and I may not, your firm submitted a timely offer, and after the time for bids passed, the government issued an Amendment, reopening the bid acceptance period and allowing new bidders to submit an offer. If this is your question, go to the WIFCON Legal page and look at the variety of decisions and outcomes in the matter of GeoSEIS Helicopters. The COFC can't tell the Comp Gen what to do, and vice versa. These 2 fora decided the question you have differently. So, if you're gong to protest, protest to COFC, who says that "Late is Late." Understand that the consensus at this website is that Contracting Officers can do whatever the heck they want, so long as they come up with a narrative "justification." For this situation, the rationalization is "increasing competition," which happens to be how the GAO Protest forum is justified (CICA) and funded, which should tell you how they decide the question. Of course, if the solicitation has a material error, an Amendment is appropriate. But who gets the Amendment is spelled out in FAR 15.206(c,) which seems to me to say that Amendments that are issued after the established time and date for receipt of proposals should only be issued to those offerors who already submitted a timely offer and who have not yet been eliminated from the competition. Then again, if in the judgment of the contracting officer, based on proposals received, or on other informtion, an amendment proposed for issuance after offers have been received is so substantial as to exceed what prospective offerors reasonably could have anticipated, so that additional sources likely would have submitted offers had the substance of the amendment been known to them, then FAR 15.206(e) seems to direct the contracting officer to cancel the original solicitation and issue a new one, regardless of the stage of the acquisition. Hmmm.
  5. Contract Duplication

    Such an inventory would make some management decisions look questionable. Like the inventory of Contractor personnel, it will never happen.
  6. Sequestration

    Don't know about where you are, but the Sun rose in Colorado this morning. QED, the world did NOT end.
  7. Sequestration

    one hopes OFPP is developing guidance
  8. The Moral Of The Story

    with the case number, I was able to look up the Docket in PACER. It was interesting enough that I then skimmed through the DECISION. First impression: DOJ ran out the clock. From the Decision, the Agency came across as imperious. I've worked for that Agency as an 1102; no surprises there. Transparent Bad Faith. The Agency, from CO to Procurement Executive, is immersed in a culture of corruption. The Agency blames everything on the lowly Contract Specialist. That's characteristic of Agency leadership at all levels. Larry, you worked for the Agency for 25 years. You knew all of that going in. Why the heck did you even bother to protest within the Agency ? Maybe the COFC Judge exaggerated, or her Clerk did, but the Decision does not paint the Comp Gen as a competent tribunal, or whatever the proper term is. I hope the PCLG handled this matter better than the record indicates. I'm not confident that they did, though. It looks like the most you will be able to split with your brother is the $87 K figure. And that CO will not be fired for any reason, though the case provides several sufficient grounds. I feel for ya, man. I didn't read everything. I hope the follow-on wasn't another bogus sole source.
  9. Contract Duplication

    just guessing, Steve, but maybe your customer has some reservations with the existing IDIQ that they haven't told you. Are they wanting an identical contract with the same contractor ? This is a situation that calls for some CO leadership, not for a COR to negotiate, methinks.
  10. New work- Modify or Compete?

    I thought that this proliferation of IDIQ contracts for anything under the Sun was because it is so easy to do a TO/ DO competition.
  11. as someone who bids on small government jobs, I assume that a requirement is funded if it is advertised as an RFP or IFB. I understand 52.232-18 to mean that funding was requested and is expected to be appropriated for that specific requirement, effective at the start of the new fiscal year. I don't assume that when an RFQ is issued. In my parochial view, if you don't have the money, or have the "... express assurance from a requiring activity that a certain, reasonable amount of funds are available for and will be commited to the specific requirement being solicited," you got no bizness asking for a proposal, or even a bid. Issuing an RFP or an IFB implies more than market research.
  12. ANC Acquires 8(a)

    the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971, 43 U.S.C. 1601 et sec., set up a dozen or so ANC Regionals and about 200 ANC villages. It conveyed some land to them, and abrogated all their other claims. It was done in part so that the pipeline could be built. I don't know if it was fair to the natives or not. Sometime between then and 1990 the Small Business Act of 1965 was amended to benefit these ANC's - I think all 200+ of them, though the Regionals are the most active in the 8(a) program. In effect, an ANC could form a daughter corporation and that daughter automatically would meet most of the qualifications for 8(a) participation. IIRC, they could only be disqualified if their income was too high to qualify as small. That would be per SIC or NAICS Code. There was no limit on the number of daughter corporations, so some ANC's would have a half dozen or more of them going after various 8(a) opportunities. Sometime in the 1990's this was expanded to include businesses owned by American Indians or Native Hawaiians. I think this was to address wrongs these groups suffered in the past. My impression, the 8(a) program was originally intended to address wrongs suffered by African-Americans in the past. ...................... Under the scenario presented, I think the newly acquired firm could be designated an ANC daughter corp and get a whole new 9 years to participate in the 8(a) program.
  13. Multiple Offers from One firm

    I have been known to ask questions that I think I already knew the answers to. My intent was to get the questions answered in an Amendment, as a way to clarify to potential competitors the complexity of a job that may not be obvious from the RFP. "Lowballing" is as widespread as it ever was, and getting something clear that could otherwise later be called a "latent defect" in an attempt to get an Equitable Adjustment (price hike,) is my way of heading that tactic off. Sometimes it works. Of course the answers to some questions are obvious.
  14. Thoughts on FSSIs

    responding to Vecchia, it looks like DHS has exempted themselves from hassles like full and open competition, transparency, socio-economic programs and fair and reasonable pricing. Contracting Nirvana, n'cest pas ?
  15. I agree with what I think FAR fetched was implying -- if you had teamed with one of your subs in a JV, then your firm and theirs could do the "over 50%" in any combuination you wanted. But by being the prime, and they your Sub, your firm by itself has to do the "over 50%" all by itself. Limitations on Subcontracting is often not enforced. Some strategies I've seen attempted to escape LD: *** treating it like a subKt plan target, I've seen missing the "target" rationalized by the SB Prime, and that accepted by the CO - in writing. *** Prime arguing the nature of the work ("it's not services, it's construction.") *** arguing that the nature of the work changed, and the Prime no longer had organic capacity. *** teaming after the fact. If there are no Liquidated Damages stated in the Prime Kt for missing this, maybe you can skate.
  16. Is this contract invoiced through WAWF or a similar system ? Seems to me that when a COR on a contract of mine failed to review and put a notoation that there was something wrong with one of my invoices within 7 days, then WAWF just went ahead and processed the invoice without her input. After that happened 2 times, the COR learned that no, the world doesn't sit around waiting until she feels like doing her job. From that point on, she went into WAWF and approved invoices in time. LM ABITWT's problem isn't really with the COR; the CO isn't doing their job. This COR cannot handle their job responsibilities, but it's not their place to fire themselves.
  17. After seeing on fbo.gov that the SBSA on an RFQ that I had furnished a Quote on was being dissolved, I emailed to ask why they didn't award to one of the SB's who had Quoted. I just got an email from a contracting official. It said the government was dissolving the SBSA because they didn't get 2 Quotes from SB concerns. It sounds like they feel that they didn't get any SB Quotes, notwithstanding what I sent them. "Brian, We did not get two or more quotes from small business, therefore there was no competition. The only quote we did receive was unreasonable and did not include information to determine responsiveness. As the FBO posting clearly states that an award is anticipated to be within the Simplified Acquisition Procedures threshold. We are well within our rights to Amend this solicitation." I should fashion a question, but I'm really here just to cry in my beer. Doesn't CICA say that competition is decided by who is solicited, not by who responds ?
  18. I admit that I wasn't sure of the Level of Effort that would satisfy the tech requirements, so I bid 2 FTE at each of 2 different locations. A cap of $150K - in extremely remote locations - for folks who need both advanced degrees and specialized experience, now I think they wanted about 1/2 FTE at each location. So, yes, my price was over their estimate. Way, way over. And they clearly don't think it is reasonable. That completely justifies dissolving the SBSA. I agree. I'm chagrinned, if that's the right word, by the assertion that they only got one bid (mine) is an indication that there was no competition. Joel, I think of 15.403-1 and stuff about obtaining certified pricing data or other than certified pricing data as being about ways a CO can determine a price to be reasonable. That question was already answered for the CO in my case. "He!! NO!, it's not reasonable." I've thought for some time that, as long as a sole bidder expected others to bid, then that bidder's state of mind is what constituted "competition." There's no way for me to do this work for even double that cap, unless the Govt clarifies the LOE required, or at least how much work has to be done, and what hours someone has to be on-call. Once again, I've quoted on something I shouldn't have. Fortunately, this time I didn't get stuck with a contract I couldn't perform for the price I bid. That has happened. Those are painful jobs.
  19. Biz man, I checked your link for Texas: "Only specialty contractors, including HVAC, fire sprinkler systems, plumbing, electricians and well drilling/pump installation specialists, need to be licensed in Texas. Home builders are not licensed, though it is advisable to check with your local municipality or county in areas of the state outside of municipal jurisdiction, for local requirements." As I read that, TX is like CO. Getting bonding is a lot tougher than getting a license. Vern relying on the license as proof of competence or sound business practices is better than nothing, but not by much. There are plenty of licensed contractors in my jurisdiction who are flaky, despite having passed an open-book test, which is the main requirement to get licensed here where I am. Getting licensed is only a little harder than getting registered in SAM, compared to getting Bonding. And I've never had an insurance salesman tell me he couldn't issue coverage. Golly, folks who sell Workers Comp don't even ask any questions, other than those needed to set a price (premium.) But if those are separate issues to you, maybe there's more to a license in TX than I understand. I've been turned down for bonding, more than once. Could SBA have helped ? Yes, but I have never asked for their Bonding help. On the other hand, I've never had trouble getting licensed. That's mostly about providing an address where they can find you, and proving you have insurance. Oh, and passing a test on the ICBO Code, with it open right in front of you.
  20. I take "Alternative Proposal" to mean something different; something submitted at the same time the other ("original") proposals are due. What you describe I might call something else, because if it ain't costed, it ain't a real proposal. "Brainstorming ?" "Advisory and Assistance Services ?" "Doing our thinking for us ?" "Creating and donating IP for free ?"
  21. My anecdotal input, FWIW. I was Quality Manager on a 260-person, basewide O&M Kt, many years ago. I was the Regional Building Official on base. The jurisdiction of the civilian Regional Building Official off-base stopped at the fenceline. I've also done a couple federal construction contracts. Nothing fancy. My biggest was about $3 Million, back in 1991. I had a GC Contractor's License in Colorado, but nowhere else. I've done federal construction in Detroit, Duluth and the Arizona Strip, all without a license. Here's the real hurdle that kept me from bidding on stuff that was not covered by my license -- BONDING. Sureties tend to be real conservative. If anyone requires a license, it's usually the folks who issue Performance and Payment Bonds. Again, don't know if my experience applies more broadly, but General Construction Contractor Licenses are issued by Regional Building Officials, where I'm from. Not the State. The same folks who issue building permits. Which also may not be required on federal projects.
  22. I just read the DOJ Press Release that Bob posted last week about "Virginia man gets 37 months for bribery and kickback scheme involving government contracts." At first, I assumed that, since the Corps of Engineers was involved, and since the fines were in the $10 million ballpark, per individual, that it was on a contract for construction in Afghanistan. NOPE. Simple little IT contract for the USACE, performed in NOVA and DC, apparently. How does a Contractor scam $20 Million plus on a $40 Million contract, and the COR doesn't notice ? Oops. The COR was one of the conspirators. How do they pull it off without the CO getting suspicious ? I didn't find an answer to that one. What broke this case open ? Was it just good detective work ? Partly. Seems one of the conspirators forced his son to get involved in hushing up a cousin who threatened to rat them out. That raised the first red flags. Then the poor little Sub who was doing ALL of the work on a Kt for $44 M, but only got paid less than half of that amount, went crying to the CO (I'm guessing) that it wasn't fair. But how was this even possible ? It was an Alaska Native Corp. Sole Source. In my anecdotal experience, Requiring Activities like those precisely because they permit abuse of COR discretion. Maybe we learn something from this ?
  23. Interagency Agreement (IA)

    I wish I had stopped by earlier. Like right after this was first posted. My reply wouldn't have been as elegant as Acquisition Don's, but MAN that musta felt sweet, pointing out that the Red Cross is not a Government agency. In the test that is life, sometimes the only ones I get right are the obvious ones. And sometimes the obvious ones are actually trick questions.
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