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  1. Yes, the government can be responsive at times. On the other hand, the government can take terribly long times spinning its wheels. A great example is the five year backlog with getting out some FAR cases. I don’t know the details involving your BAA question to OMB but to anyone needing a quick answer, your five week OMB turnaround doesn’t seem prompt. Two problems with that though. One is finding the right part of the organization that is knowledgeable and capable of responding. The second is finding the right person that can respond immediately and without needing to coordinate and obtain approvals. I would say a very large share of 1102s in the government would have a very difficult time even locating the specific office in OMB to ask.
  2. Really disappointing decision document from this judge. She seems to have knowledge of contracting from this select portion of the COFC bio and shouldn’t have to lay out this much background and rational It’s a shame she allowed her clerks and staff to just piece together this 131 page document without succinctly summarizing the points
  3. Lots of agencies use TikTok and I assume their operational support contractors do as well. It’s a highly popular form of social media to reach out to a wide spectrum of our population, especially younger people. Just guessing but probably the military services use it for recruiting, HHS for informing about health issues, VA to communicate to Veterans, Education about the availability of financial assistance, Agriculture to provide safety information on fruits and vegetables, CPSC on dangerous products, and on and on. Much of the public communication activities of the government are contracted out.
  4. I’ve met and worked with lots of HCAs and think most would be glad to meet and hear these issues. But before doing that, gathering some basic intelligence about the agency and the key people is a good idea. Get to know “the lay of the land” so to speak. The contractor might start with the agency small business office.
  5. So true Vern. Being honest, I was also a little clueless at times during my first few years as a new contractor. This was after 30 years as an 1102.
  6. I started to post something similar to what Joel Hoffman just said. Why don’t you just meet with the contracting officer and perhaps their management and explain everything? Also, to be blunt, this seems to indicate your company isn’t starting out doing business with the government on a good note. Regardless of the reasons for the CPARS rating, the rating shows performance problems from at least the CPARS evaluators. Your company fell short in their eyes. Really CPARS results shouldn’t come as a surprise if the contractor is closely interfacing and communicating with the government. This allows the contractor to fix performance issues timely and responsively. The manner in which the CPARS process was handled by your company is indicative that things went wrong. If I were you, I would meet with the government as soon as possible. Forget about disputes and courts. Use this as a learning experience. Seek government feedback on what your company needs to do better. Hopefully the government will revise the CPARS. But if not, at least you gained knowledge on what you need to do better.
  7. I’m not sure what a “streamer” is but if the intent of a post is getting a rise or a reaction, the common term is “trolling.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(slang) Edit: never mind. I just realized what a streamer is in the context of Screaming Eagle 😁
  8. @dsmith101abn You need to carefully read FAR 33.104 and not base questions on what you think or remember. Then carefully read 4 CFR part 21. There isn’t any conflict. Disregard any other responses you received here after asking that question (which shouldn’t have been asked in the first place because you couldn’t get acquisition.gov to open)
  9. I also doubt if FPDS provides information on the basis of award. Most award decisions now use some form of trade off so offerors need additional information from the contracting officer other than what’s conveyed in FPDS.
  10. I think you’re correct that industry won’t focus on the federal contracting field for investing resources, at least at this stage. From what I’ve heard and read about industry and AI development, government contracting will ultimately benefit from general purpose AI tools that are adapted to our field. A good example of that is the original contract writing system developed 35 years ago. Contracting users asked a series of multiple choice, yes/no, fill in the blank questions using a decision tree based process. That “expert based” process wasn’t developed for the government market but government contractors saw a market for the tools after they were used for other customers.
  11. While the GAO report and SOCOM BAA don’t specifically address our contracting field, it doesn’t take much thinking to see how the would is evolving and that contracting will be radically different in the future. I mentioned earlier trying to speculate what the specific impacts on our field is likely fruitless because things are moving so rapidly. Some initiatives will be successful while others won’t but I think it’s safe to say what we now do as current contracting practices won’t work in a few years. There are two routes 1102s can take - resist until they drag you out of your office, or adapt and be part of the change movement. There are likely rewards for those that do the later.
  12. The future of AI likely will have the bot continuously updating and maintaining itself. I think the vision is have it programmed initially by “experts” in the field to critically “think” and “analyze” all available data for itself and come up with the best answers. Improvements will evolve over time and use.
  13. Vern, Lots of things an expert can find wrong with that advisory multi-step example. A big claim for benefits of the multi-step process is improved efficiency through early elimination of non viable offerors and fewer detailed proposals to evaluate. The experts would say a valid test requires solid data on the number of proposals anticipated without the multi-step process and resources utilized to evaluate versus what actually occurred with the process. That requires a lot of upfront planning, identifying potential variables, formulating assumptions, and then accurately capturing results. With contracts, that’s an extremely difficult task considering all the potential things that can impact awards and numerous variations between different contract experiences. That’s a big difference from just asking the CO to write down their expectations. I’m just saying proving whether an innovation works or not in this field is very, very challenging. Anytime someone touts benefits received from an innovative concepts, another person comes along and finds holes in the logic. There seems to be no easy answers to claims around PBA, oral presentations, product or technical demonstrations, discovery or due diligence, and on and on. Anecdotal evidence seems to be the norm. That’s not saying these don’t work; it’s just absolute proof is hard to find.
  14. I’ve thought a lot about how innovations in acquisition can be tested. From all practical perspectives, they can’t. To do so requires a solid, well defined, accurate, and repeatable baseline. Even if someone picked a very simple contract and recompeted it using some innovative approach, it won’t be meaningful. Even if the comparison results were positive, how do you identify the reasons? The baseline contractor could be a poor performer, the newly selected contractor could be a stellar performer, the new contractor and government want the test to be successful so everyone tried harder, etc. Plus contract work rarely stays unchanged over time so the test might compare apples with oranges. To conduct a well controlled test requires very comprehensive analysis and extensive data collection and lots of preparation. Nobody in government program offices want to make that kind of commitment and what’s in it for the participants? Proof will remain based on anecdotal stories.
  15. I think speculating about the future of 1102 work is futile at this point. So many new things are constantly happening, predicting how our job will look long term is useless. Instead, people need to stay on top of the latest and be curious, insightful, and welcoming. I’ve seen so many people rapidly advance in their careers because they saw what’s down the road, adapted and even facilitated implementation. Heres a great quote from the third article Vern listed:
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