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Don Mansfield

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Everything posted by Don Mansfield

  1. Don Mansfield

    A Hiring Challenge

    1. Yes 2. Accept 3. Very Well
  2. Assume you are evaluating cost realism for the award of a competitive cost-reimbursement contract using the tradeoff process. You receive two offers--one from Edwards and one from Hoffman. You've determined that the most probable cost for both Edwards and Hoffman is $100 million. However, the probability of the cost being $100 million dollars differs between the two offerors. The probability of Edwards's cost being $100 million is 80%. There's a 20% chance that the cost will be $120 million. The probability of Hoffman's cost being $100 million is 60%. There's a 40% chance that the cost will be $120 million. For purposes of conducting tradeoffs, what values do you use for Edwards's proposal and Hoffman's proposal?
  3. Don Mansfield

    Probability Problem #2

    Not quite. I wanted to see how people would react to information about possible, but less probable, costs. jayandstacey reacted the way I think most contracting people would--they ignored it (I'm not picking on you, jayandstacey). I think standard practice when it comes to cost realism is to determine a most probable cost point and use that when making tradeoff decisions. There's no consideration given to how probable the most probable cost is, and what are the probabilities of other costs. An alternative to using the most probable cost is to use the expected value. This is what Matthew calculated. This takes into account every probable cost and its probability of occurring. Given a probability distribution function, we can calculate the expected value. In my opinion, that's a better number to use when making decisions than most probable cost. There's a good illustration of two different probability distributions in Figure 2 of this article: https://www.dau.mil/library/arj/_layouts/15/WopiFrame.aspx?sourcedoc=/library/arj/ARJ/arj62/Dorey_ARJ62.pdf&action=default Using most probable cost, we would favor the red cost estimate. However, if we factor in the probability of the all potential costs, both the blue and red cost estimates are equal.
  4. Don Mansfield

    Probability Problem #2

    Assume the method was reasonable. Not in my example. There's only two possible cost outcomes for each offeror. Please don't fight the hypothetical.
  5. Don Mansfield

    Master Degrees

    LucyQ, I have an MBA from the University of San Diego. Looking back, I think a JD or JD/MBA would have been a lot more valuable in my career.
  6. Don Mansfield

    Probability Problem #2

    So you think using the expected cost would be compliant with FAR 15.404-1(d)?
  7. Don Mansfield

    Probability Problem #2

    Assume the RFP says "We will perform cost realism analysis in accordance with FAR 15.404-1(d)".
  8. Scenario: Assume you are an interested party who would like to file a protest against an agency. You intend to start with an agency protest, then if you lose file a GAO protest, then if you lose file a COFC protest, then if you lose file an appeal at the CAFC. You have a 20% chance of winning at each forum. Question: What is the probability that you will win in at least one forum?
  9. Don Mansfield

    SCA Seniority

    It's reassuring to know they are getting paid the prevailing wage.
  10. Don Mansfield

    SCA Seniority

    I was looking through this the other day and found "carnival worker". It made my day.
  11. Don Mansfield

    Bridge Contracts

    Who knows? But, that would be a stupid thing to say. The KO should just explain the facts--for acquisitions under FAR part 6, they don't have the authority to limit competition unless it's justified. A lack of advance planning is not justification for limiting competition. Unless there's a legitimate justification, the problem will have to be solved a different way. Here are some other things we can do...
  12. Don Mansfield

    Successive Bid Protests

    If the exchange must be classified as one of the three, then I think it would be clarification. The purpose would be to enhance the parties' understanding of the prospective contract, allow reasonable interpretation of the proposed contract, but not permit revision of the proposal. However, I don't think that such an exchange needs to be classified as one of the three. You've identified a risk that the contracting officer takes when awarding without discussions. This exchange mitigates that risk. I don't see anything in the FAR that would prohibit such an exchange.
  13. Don Mansfield

    Successive Bid Protests

    Vern, Would you please clarify your position? Are you saying that a contracting officer should talk with a prospective contractor (to ensure common understanding, etc.) before awarding a multi-million dollar contract? Or are you saying a contracting officer should conduct discussions with offerors before awarding a multi-million dollar contract? I think a contracting officer could have a professional talk with a prospective contractor to go over terms and conditions in order to try to confirm a meeting of the minds, determine that discussions are unnecessary, and award without discussions. I don't think that would be insane.
  14. Not until July 1. We're still in the old days.
  15. Don Mansfield

    NASA SEWP and BPAs

    @FrankJon, I think you are in the land of FAR 1.102(d).
  16. Don Mansfield

    SDVOSB resellers and work percentage

    That doesn't make sense. FAR part 12 does not contain a distinct set of procedures for solicitation, evaluation, and award. When using FAR part 12, you do so in conjunction with FAR parts 13, 14, or 15. See FAR 12.203:
  17. Don Mansfield

    Fee on Negotiated Changes

    @PepeTheFrog Are you advocating deception in negotiation, or are you just saying that it's common and that you should be prepared for it?
  18. Don Mansfield

    SDVOSB resellers and work percentage

    Do the contracts contain FAR 52.219-27? If so, have you read paragraph (d) of the clause?
  19. Don Mansfield

    SDVOSB resellers and work percentage

    Are you referring to set-asides? Are the procurements over the SAT?
  20. If we start from scratch, do we have to work within the Constitution, or is that on the table, too?
  21. Don Mansfield

    Evaluation Factors

    It could, but that would be the antithesis of performance-based acquisition, which is defined as: If I'm concerned about outcomes as opposed to manner of performance, what would be the point of making the staffing plan binding? Also, it may not be consistent with customary commercial practice to make a "plan" binding.
  22. Don Mansfield

    Evaluation Factors

    You're not being responsive to my question. Let's try this: True or False: For purposes of evaluating my performance under the contract, it really doesn't matter if I follow my staffing plan--what matters is that I comply with the contract terms.
  23. Don Mansfield

    Evaluation Factors

    The fact that the Government consistently requires submission of plans, etc., does not mean that doing so is consistent with customary commercial practice. What you want to find out during market research are the customary practices under which commercial sales of services are made. Do sellers customarily have to provide "QCP/Contract manager's resume/complete package submitted/technical approach to performance" to potential buyers in order to make a sale? Or is this just something that Government buyers ask for? As a Government buyer, you have baggage. When you are buying a commercial item, you need to minimize your baggage as much as possible.
  24. Don Mansfield

    Evaluation Factors

    ContractingCowboi, So, what you're saying is that it really doesn't matter if I follow my staffing plan, what matters is that I comply with the contract terms, correct? If you're going to respond, please don't ramble.
  25. Don Mansfield

    Evaluation Factors

    Really? What if I don't follow my "staffing plan", but I perform the contract successfully (everything delivered on time, nothing lost, etc.)? How would you justify a negative CPARS?
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