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Everything posted by bremen

  1. 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.
  2. All Time Favorites

    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
  3. Is the contract for supplies or for services?

    This is the exact conversation we were having in our office last week. The discussion focused on industries that custom build items to the customers specifications (e.g., machine shops). The discussion example was a custom built motorcycle. Are we paying for the motorcycle (supply) or the expertise to make the item (service). Great discussion with no concrete resolution.
  4. 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.
  5. 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?
  6. 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?
  7. SF 1449

    Does anyone know of instructions on how to fill out an SF1449 (i.e., what goes where)? Specifically we are having a discussion if block 3 (award/effective date) is left blank is the effective date based upon the signature date of the contracting officer (block 31). If the contractor returns a signed copy (block 30) after the KO signs, which governs? Assuming the contractor has not begun performance, my opinion is the later of the two dates. Another person in the office insists that the contract be modified to include the date.
  8. What are you reading?

    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").
  9. 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).
  10. OMB to GAO: Get lost!

    They were good when posted (I read the files) but now I am getting an HTTP 404 error.
  11. ?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!
  12. KC-X Tanker Competion via Sealed-Bid?

    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
  13. contractor seeking advice on contract type

    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?
  14. I love the idea. As a Government KO it would allow me to get an outsiders perspective on potential employers.
  15. 15.305 (2) (ii) The solicitation shall describe the approach for evaluating past performance, including evaluating offerors with no relevant performance history, and shall provide offerors an opportunity to identify past or current contracts (including Federal, State, and local government and private) for efforts similar to the Government requirement. The solicitation shall also authorize offerors to provide information on problems encountered on the identified contracts and the offeror?s corrective actions. The Government shall consider this information, as well as information obtained from any other sources, when evaluating the offeror?s past performance. The source selection authority shall determine the relevance of similar past performance information. 12.206 Use of past performance. Past performance should be an important element of every evaluation and contract award for commercial items. Contracting officers should consider past performance data from a wide variety of sources both inside and outside the Federal Government in accordance with the policies and procedures contained in Subpart 9.1, 13.106, or Subpart 15.3, as applicable. 13.106-2 ( (3)? Evaluation of other factors, such as past performance? (i) Does not require the creation or existence of a formal data base; and (ii) May be based on one or more of the following: (A) The contracting officer?s knowledge of and previous experience with the supply or service being acquired; ( Customer surveys, and past performance questionnaire replies; © The Governmentwide Past Performance Information Retrieval System (PPIRS) at www.ppirs.gov; or (D) Any other reasonable basis. Emphasis added Given the above I don?t see any conflict.
  16. Clauses

    At least once a year (and sometimes more often) I pick a contract, start at 52.202-1, and go through each clause and prescription. I?ve been in contracting for less than 4 years and this has taught me way more than any DAU or Management Concepts class (with the exception of Don Mansfield?s CON 120). I recommend using the online version of the FAR and just toggling between windows.
  17. How Do You Feel About Your Work?

    Best advice EVER!
  18. FOB Destination

    Please look at FAR 47.303-1 F.o.b. destination, within consignee's premises.
  19. Subcontract Type

    We stopped letting the contractor charge a fee and instead they charge their hourly rate based on the complexity (dollar value and medium) of the placement. I've also seen a companies create a media buy plan with a fixed price for purchasing all of the advertising.
  20. Change vs New Work

    Dtes, Please provide your justification that a ?marginal~10%? change is within scope.
  21. Subjective Past Performance Evaluation

    It sounds like they are using FAR 13.106-2. (3) If using price and other factors, ensure that quotations or offers can be evaluated in an efficient and minimally burdensome fashion. Formal evaluation plans and establishing a competitive range, conducting discussions, and scoring quotations or offers are not required. Contracting offices may conduct comparative evaluations of offers. Evaluation of other factors, such as past performance? (i) Does not require the creation or existence of a formal data base; and (ii) May be based on information such as the contracting officer?s knowledge of and previous experience with the supply or service being acquired, customer surveys, or other reasonable basis.
  22. Why would the CO have to make a statement that they intend to release the total contract price of the winning offer when that statement is contained in 52.212-1(l) or 52.215-1(f)(11)? I understand not releasing line item pricing. In a purchase order with only one line item wouldn?t it be the responsibility of the offeror to identify this information as proprietary or a trade secret during the solicitation process since they are told that if they are successful this information will be given during a debriefing?
  23. See FAR 19.702 ( Subcontracting plans...are not required (1) From small business concerns. Make sure that you add 52.219-14 Limitations on Subcontracting. Nevermind
  24. What if I don't want a warrant???

    Before transitioning to pay for performance (NSPS) the Army Corps of Engineers considered a GS-11 contracting specialist as a journey level.