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  1. Does the contract contain 52.222-43 Fair Labor Standards Act and Service Contract Labor Standards—Price Adjustment (Multiple Year and Option Contracts)? If so, that may offer a solution to the problem.
  2. Motivation is an emotion. Your reasons for self improvement may stay constant and your willingness will fluctuate. Motivation gets you started. Self-discipline keeps you going when the motivation runs out. The majority of an 1102s job is fairly routine, generic, and administrative in nature. We can discuss the "good old days" forever and the clericalization of professional jobs will likely continue until replaced with full automation (i.e., AI). Since most of what we do as a profession is relatively mundane it is difficult to sustain motivation. A manager can strive to create a workplace that maximizes sustained motivation ( http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/post-tribune/opinion/ct-ptb-hoagland-smith-september-st-0925-20170924-story.html) and that is difficult to as a lot of constraints are agency directed. Motivation provides that initial burst of desire and energy to start improvement (intellectual, physical, emotional, etc.). However that eventually fades and discipline is what allows you to continue even when the emotional drive decreases. "It gets easier. Every day it gets a little easier. But you got to do it every day. That's the hard part. But it does get easier."
  3. I am a student of Buddhism and currently am in Dialectic Behavior Thought (DBT) therapy which uses mindfulness as a cornerstone of its process. This article discusses mindfulness and meditation which are the seventh and eighth aspects of the eightfold path while ignoring the first steps. Right view, intention, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and meditation. “…first let’s consider the word “right.” The word the Buddha actually uses was samma. Samma is usually translated as “right” – but not “right as opposed to “wrong,” or “bad,” or “evil.” Normally the moment we say “right,” we’ve already implied “wrong.” We’ve implied dualism. It’s better that we understand right as “this is appropriate,” “this works,” “this in sync with Reality.” Buddhism Plain and Simple – Steve Hagen Chapter 5 the Art of Seeing Then the researches provided mundane tasks and measured motivation. What does motivation have to do with mundane office tasks? And while their motivation to complete the tasks was less there was no corresponding decrease in quality. Did they measure peace of mind, contentedness, or satisfaction? Then they used financial incentives to try and increase motivation. To start a high level review of the successfulness of money as a motivator I’d recommend “Drive by Daniel Pink” https://www.samuelthomasdavies.com/book-summaries/business/drive/. This is one of the (many) reasons pay for performance is, to me, a deeply flawed concept. And even the ruler they are using to measure (motivation) can be seen as inaccurate. “Discipline, Burke continues, is what "drives you to do the work you don't enjoy, but is required. Discipline conquers fear. Discipline keeps you going when your curiosity, motivation, and excitement evaporate." https://www.inc.com/john-rampton/which-is-better-discipline-or-motivation.html I do not want motivated employees, I want disciplined ones. Motivation is fleeting, ephemeral, and elusive. In my experience mindfulness and meditation lead to deeper appreciation of people, a calmer attitude, and the ability to continue to strive for improvement in the face of an apparently impenetrable bureaucracy. It has nothing to do with motivation and everything to do with discipline.
  4. It is not my intention to side track this discussion and with regards to travel my organization (USDA) sometimes uses invitational travel orders to get around cost reimbursement issues when the contractor is unwilling or unable to provide a firm fixed price for travel.
  5. Favorite book? The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss Favorite song? Moonshadow by Cat Stevens Favorite movie? The Princess Bride Favorite poet? Stephen Crane
  6. The justification contained the information in 6.303-2 (using the authority of 6.302-1) and was posted in accordance with 5.201. As a general policy we make a sole source notification on fbo.gov prior to award for all actions over $25,000.00.
  7. I posted a sole source notification to fbo.gov in early July 2013 for 30 days (commercial item, over SAT). For reasons not relevant to this question an award was not made before the end of the fiscal year. The program recently contacted me and would like to continue with the procurement. How long is a sole source notification valid? I’d have been comfortable awarding up until September 30th (nearly 60 days since closing) without reservation but was unwilling to use the existing justification to make an award in November 2013. Evidently 120 days is too long for my personal comfort level. I’ve been looking for case law or GAO decisions to see if I could find how long a sole source notification is “valid” if an award isn’t made but haven’t found anything yet. Thoughts?
  8. FAR Part 5 is titled Publicizing Contract Actions. In subpart 5.5 Paid Advertisements 5.502 Authority. (a) Newspapers. Authority to approve the publication of paid advertisements in newspapers is vested in the head of each agency (44 U.S.C. 3702). This approval authority may be delegated (5 U.S.C. 302(). Contracting officers shall obtain written authorization in accordance with policy procedures before advertising in newspapers. Does 5.502(a) only apply to publicizing contract actions as implied by the title of Part 5 or does it apply to any paid advertisements (e.g., ad placement for the “I Promise” campaign by the USDA http://stopthebeetle.info/) in newspapers? When I looked at 44 USC Public Printing and Documents chapter 37 Advertisements by Government Agencies it appears that 5.502(a) should apply to all advertisements placed in newspapers (regardless if the placement is for publicizing contract actions or if the placement is for other purposes). While I originally thought 5.502 applied to publicizing contract actions I now believe it applies to all advertisements. Thoughts or comments?
  9. Just finished "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfus and "Dragon" by Stephen Brust. About to start the Emperor trilogy by Conn Iggulden (I read the first two Genghis Khan books but haven't read the third "Empire of Silver").
  10. I attended a GAO fiscal law training and asked the instructors about obligations on multiple award IDIQ service contracts. We awarded five IDIQ contracts and issued two task orders in the first year (meeting the contractual minimum for these two companies). We also obligated the contractual minimum for the remaining three contractors. The plan was to compete the service requirements amongst these five companies throughout the period of performance. GAO stated that the minimum had to be obligated at time of award (so we wouldn?t be Anti Deficient) to each company and a task order had to be issued before those funds expired to each of the companies in order to meet the Bona Fide Needs rule. If we were using annual funds the task order had to be issued within a year. Basically they said since we didn?t issue a task order to three companies there wasn?t a Bona Fide need in the fiscal year charged. I changed the scenario to no year funds and that gave me the entire period of performance to issue task orders. However, if one or more of the contractors never received a task order they considered that specific IDIQ contract award a violation of the bona fide needs rule. They gave a couple of ways to get around this as long as it was properly reflected in the ordering instructions (e.g., rotate vendors until minimum awarded to all and then compete future task orders).
  11. They were good when posted (I read the files) but now I am getting an HTTP 404 error.
  12. ?Even Big Cats are not safe outside their compounds, and with a lawyer?s ingenuity the Deparment?s able counsel reminded us?? ??though one might have supposed the Big Cats able to protect themselves against the native Indiana fauna.? ?The Department?s counsel made the wonderful lawyer?s argument?? ?But our task in the case is not to plumb the mysteries of legal theory?? ?But we attach no weight to the Department?s inconsistency?? Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! for introducing me to this Judge!
  13. Which exemption would you claim under 15.208(? It is an offeror's responsibility to deliver its proposal to the proper place at the proper time, and late delivery generally requires rejection of the proposal. Integrated Support Sys. inc, B-283137.2, Sept. 10, 1999, 99-2 CPD para. 51 at 2. However, a hand-carried proposal that arrives late may be considered if improper government action was the paramount cause for the late submission, and where consideration of the proposal would not compromise the integrity of the competitive process; improper government action in this context is affirmative action that makes it impossible for the offeror to deliver the proposal on time. Id. Nonetheless, even in cases where the late receipt may have been caused, in part, by erroneous government action, a late proposal should not be considered if the offeror significantly contributed to the late receipt by not acting reasonably in fulfilling its responsibility to deliver a hand-carried proposal to the proper place by the proper time. See O.S. Sys., Inc., B 292827, Nov. 17, 2003, 2003 CPD para. 211 at 3. ALJUCAR, LLC, B-401148, June 8, 2009
  14. Just to comment on the DAU classes which I (and two of my peers) recently finished. We took the classes at the same time, worked through any and all problems, and discussed in depth most of the questions. However we quickly learned that to pass the test you just had to save the entire course as a pdf and use the search function to find the answer. There were a few ?trick? questions but with multiple attempts given to pass the test it was never an issue. One of my final college classes was done online. We had to read, make weekly intelligent posts (as judged by the professor AND peers), respond to multiple posts per week, take online quizzes, and submit papers. It was as academically challenging as any brick and mortar class I attended. Why can't DAU online classes be held to the same standard?
  15. I love the idea. As a Government KO it would allow me to get an outsiders perspective on potential employers.
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