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About formerfed

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  1. Bob, I didn’t look through it but I remember seeing an article a couple weeks ago on intellectual property. Apparently DoD must conduct a pilot to evaluate effective means of dealing with IP. It covers issues like Agency program specific tech data deliverables and whether that’s cost effective versus commercial practices and licenses.
  2. @ji20874, Might an evaluators confidence rating be an example of what you’re talking about? I can see that subjectivity plays into assessing how well an offeror understands the requirement, the degree of soundness in a technical approach, and the likelihood of success.
  3. A group of the people at the company I work for was tasked to facilitate and oversee proposal evaluations. We did training and then watched evaluators. We kept telling them to stop scoring first and then doing narrative supporting the score. We could see evaluators frustrations because we kept stopping them - “focus on identifying attributes first.” They complained that’s not the way they do it. One morning we showed up and the door was locked. We called the CO and he promised to straighten it out. The next morning the building was dark and the evaluators moved. Our engagement ended.
  4. Most people at a prior job worked in open areas but there were a few offices. There was always lobbying over who got the offices. Then we had a major expansion and office renovation. Fortunately my boss was in charge of agency facilities and understood procurement. Just about everyone got a private office after the renovation. But the lobbying and jockeying for offices didn’t stop - only a few got windows so that became the next controversy.
  5. @Confused1102 what responses do you see as funny and old school perception?
  6. This article was in yesterday's Washington Post. The interesting thing is GAO couldn’t substantiate benefits. I think the 1102 series occupation is fine for telework in many cases. Some limitations are high speed network access, security, and access to sensitive needed systems like financial. There’s also questions of immediate telephone connections with industry sources. The problem is a large share of the workforce abuse telework which hurts everybody. There’s no easy fix. One way is set productivity standards for employees but union involvement essentially kills that.
  7. The difference between contracting and other profession is we are overly rule bound. The culture is risk adverse for lots of reasons. There’s little incentive to be innovative and in some places, you are chastised. However, some are moving ahead. Here’s a compilation of new things underway. https://www.fai.gov/periodic-table/. Someone can probably take several of these, talk with coworkers in their office, and get pushback as why they aren’t proper or won’t work. If you don’t believe me, take one-on-one market research and see if it’s used. The advantages are huge but you hear all sorts of reasons why not. These all are different ways of doing work. Some are much more beneficial than others. But few are practiced on a widespread basis because they push many people’s comfort levels and their willingness to try new things. Our profession is changing and many will either be left behind or miss out on opportunities for advancement
  8. Interesting article. You likely won’t agree with everything in it but the examples of how much change happened is eye opening. Lots of people at agencies throughout the government that are stuck to the past stand out right now. It will only get worse for those that aren’t willing to adapt. I see see telling Alexa to build an RFP for me in a couple years. 😊 https://www.ncmahq.org/docs/default-source/education/whitepapers/ncma_whitepaper-finalv5_web.pdf?sfvrsn=347c49c9_32
  9. Got it! I believe the example about not properly recording an obligation involving a reserve personnel appropriation has to do with timing. There are several instances of ADA violations involving agencies not recording obligations including personnel including salaries, benefits, training and support prior to FY end. When discovered there’s no money left.
  10. You’re not reading this properly. The obligation wasn’t recorded and when it was, it exceeded the amount available in the appropriation. The appropriation is stated in a funding bill and generally is a huge amount. For example here is an example https://appropriations.house.gov/news/press-releases/appropriations-committee-releases-fiscal-year-2020-homeland-security-funding For an ADA violation to kick in, an obligation has to cause those amounts to be exceeded. An exception is a violation violates a quaertky apportionment. There are other exceptions but you get the idea.
  11. A lot of confusion and misunderstandings exist about ADA. Violations occur when agencies exceed their appropriations or subdivisions. If the agency has proper funding, an obligation like a contract or modification that goes over what’s in a requisition or commitment isn’t an ADA violation. Examples of ADA violations are spending more than what’s appropriated, exceeding an OMB apportionment, buying an airplane when it’s not in the appropriation, etc.
  12. Agree. ADA violations are serious; fixing what is wrong here is easy. There isn’t an ADA violation. Maybe nothing is wrong. If the contract doesn’t have a FFP, just document why it’s added or the contract is reformed - decided that the contractor should assume greater risk with contract type. If justification for use of a letter contract is needed, just do it. Do anything that’s needed and get the contractor paid.
  13. Since all five are way over the manufacturers price, there may be more to it. Lots of things can account for higher distributor/dealer prices like transportation, installation, warranties, technical support, and no cost maintenance over a long period. In other words, the manufacturer may not be including some things dealers are. Ask questions.
  14. I’ve heard one IG saying parking money in similar situations as this is one of the most frequent issues of wrongdoing they find. They go against many of the items Carl points out. But the IG says it’s a low priority for reviews. He commented when audit reports get done on this, no one cares. In fact managers get rewarded for saving FY money. So he doesn’t waste resources going after those things.
  15. In my opinion, award fees may work and can provide improvements in performance. But they usually don’t because of two reasons - plan not well thought out initially and use/implantation poorly done. GAO found numerous examples of contractors awarded for essentially doing little. in this example, most of the areas just address items the contractor is supposed to be doing anyway. Under technical performance, maybe some of technical requirements, innovation, communications and risk management might be appropriate to incentivize. Nothing I see in business management is valid. Perhaps cost control might work. The rest of the plan is about the contractor doing what the contract says. There shouldn’t be any reward in that. The behavior you want to see with an award fee mechanism is the contractor sitting down regularly with the government and ask what can they do better and how can they proactively improve. It’s similar to an employee wanting to improve their job performance and the annual performance appraisal. A motivated employee and a supervisor who’s also coaching employees want open and frank discussions. The questions from the employee are what am I doing well and not do well, and how I can I improve? It’s about what do you see that I can do to make this office better? Instead it’s more like the employee saying what their performance plan calls for and why they should earn a good rating. In my opinion, a good plan has no more than a half dozen elements. Much of it is subjective. You want the contractor to improve, innovate, and be responsive on the few areas you see as important. You also want the carrot large enough to capture their attention.
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