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formerfed

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  1. For many projects, employee certifications and other qualifications don’t really matter that much. Really doing solid past performance research is often a better indicator of potential success. By that I don’t mean asking offerors for references (their friends) or looking at CPARS (in many cases a waste of time). I mean actually doing research on their performance, talking to people without a canned script that can’t be deviated from, and even visiting sites and doing impromptu interviews with users for significant efforts. A company can have a large staff of people with certifications, advanced degrees, and years of experience but deliver poor work. So many other factors come into play.
  2. Take the case of an employee needing a highly specialized tablet. Seems like something easy to buy? First the requirement had to be screened against everything the agency had. Then it had to be matched against what was available under all the potential other contract vehicles. The person needing it had to write a four page justification and get six different approval levels. The CIO had to research how use on the agency’s network might impact network performance. Next the CIO checked to see how staff could support it along with the specialized software. The IT security people had to verify security claims and determine if a CAC would work or a token is better. Finally Labor Relations people got involved because bargaining unit employees were told only certain standard devices were given to employees. Seems complicated to me.
  3. The rating is evident on solicitations. Why would orders with the same rating be marked CUI?
  4. It’s a big organization. Most of the staff are knowledgable and professional. There are some exceptions but every office is like that. They are customer focused and stress planning in a collaborative manner with program offices. Because the office is large, there are opportunities for advancement as people retire. They do lots of IT contracts and expect COs (noticed your KO reference showing DoD background) and CSs to have a basic understanding of IT acquisitions. They also do lots of professional services as well as studies and analysis.
  5. Are you a contractor/company or an individual seeking employment there?
  6. The footnote in the case regarding FSS orders being contracts is interesting. There are several unique aspects of FSS contracts and ordering that makes one think - ability to negotiate lower prices, use of CTA, adding agency specific clauses to orders as long as they don’t conflict, including subcontractors labor if they fit within the contractors billing rates, and including ODCs if the agency complies with all procurement regulations such as synopsizing and competition requirements if applicable. Take the example of $10 million system development effort. Say the contractor does $5 million of the work themselves, has $1 million work done by a sub but billed under the contractors rates, has a $2 million CTA with a hardware company also on FSS Schedule, and includes $2 million of ODCs from commercial sources that the agency added after preparing a JOFOC and synopsized. Is that an order or a contract?
  7. Don’t mean to get this thread off topic but we did a somewhat similar approach a long time ago with R&D. Many of the actions were for basic and applied research. Competition was often between commercial organizations, non and not-for-profits, educational institutions, and certain kinds of labs. An RFQ was used as the solicitation and contract terms and conditions were decided after source selection. Those often were negotiated between the selectee and the KO. The RFQ contained high level evaluation factors and a suggested contract type but offerers were free to propose alternative types. The process worked well for years but got stopped when word reached the ASD (I&L) as being too unstructured.
  8. I left out wording in my prior post. I went back and edited it. What I meant is some agency policies say use standards for factors rather than comparison. After your explanation, I didn’t really need to say more.
  9. Many agencies have operational policies saying the evaluation teams must only evaluate proposals using the stated standards established for factors and not make comparisons. Then comparison occur after evaluation in source selection. Edit: I didn’t see Verns post when I made mine. It wasn’t there. Strange but the times are two hours apart.
  10. Off topic but somewhat humorous. I worked in ADP acquisitions at GSA at the peak of Brooks Act influence. GSA wrote a source selection manual for ADP for governmentwide use and often conducted acquisitions for other agencies - agencies had to request a delegation to conduct their own procurement or GSA did it for them. The policy required everything, including price/cost to be point scored. The lowest price offeror got the maximum and other higher price offers received proportionally less. The winner was the source with the most points!
  11. @Vern Edwards I don’t know. The quoted statements make sense on the surface. But it poses serious problems in relaying on a single source, there won’t be competition for a long time (this is a ten year contract that’s taken three years to get this far so a single award might really translate into 15 years or more), and what will be the incentive for a contractor to stay with newer technology? If this contract was awarded five years ago, the likely sources would be IBM, Google, and maybe Adobe. Now the contenders are AWS and Microsoft. Sales force is another company that came out of nowhere. Considering the size and importance of JEDI, there has to be other approaches like contractor for an integrator, dividing up the work into discreet pieces, requiring partnering, and probably others.
  12. Vern, Yes, it would be more of a transactional approach. I think relational business arrangements are important for the government. But in the case of JEDI, it may not be best. Technology evolves so rapidly in this field. Who would have envisioned a system that AWS has a few years ago or Microsoft suddenly being a major player? I don’t know much what JEDI is except a network with a cloud and use of machine learning and AI. But I’m guessing what we see today will be radically different in a few years. My question is do we want our national defense to be wed to a single company? A multiple award approach gives some alternatives.
  13. If multiple firms are qualified with competitive pricing, nothing wrong with maintaining competition during the performance period. Technology will rapidly change over the next few years. Having contractors deliver using an “open architecture” approach needs stressed for the good of the country where one company can easily pick up where another left off.
  14. Carl, You're taking this way off topic. Those GSA blog comments have nothing to do with this. Of course agencies can add clauses to their orders that don’t conflict with the Schedule. My comment had to do with whether clause 552.212-4 applied to orders. I admit I got off track thinking of a couple past situations where Schedule clauses referred to “GSA” and “contractor” and agencies tried wrongly to say those clauses pertained to their individual orders substituting themselves for GSA. I was wrong with that. As Vern mentioned, we don’t know what the agency modification said in the OPs case. Certainly an administrative action can be unilateral. But In other situations where an agency’s action infringes altering contractual rights, the modification needs to be bilateral reflecting mutual agreement.
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