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formerfed

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About formerfed

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  1. Agree. Since you are doing a CR type contract, it’s probably true the nature of work isn’t precise. The question is why would you want to make performance more constrictive than necessary? You usually want flexibility and efficiency.
  2. A more common approach to involving the most highly qualified vendors is pick just one contract vehicle. Promote teaming arrangements including subcontracting by your fair opportunity notice and even a fedbizopps/beta.sam notice. You could also allow a few extra days in your schedule for those arrangements to form
  3. I’ve heard the term mentioned several times but never actually in use. It was one method of measurement covered in Agile training I took but nothing more was discussed about it. I think it requires a level of preciseness that runs counter to the flexibility and adaptability of Agile.
  4. I chatted with LOC today about something else. I bought this issue up. LOC attorneys say they only address LOC contracts. To establish a noncompetitive contract, an approved justification is required. They don’t comment on agency orders and make it clear agencies are free to do what is necessary for their needs . They tell agencies to look at this and let ordering agencies decide for themselves. https://www.loc.gov/flicc/contracts/InfoRetrieval/index_inforetrieval.html An example of an agency order which is significant in scope and size with high level legal review and approval https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.govtribe.com/fbo5/ecc6de209f8cc2e7a40cc97a11ba7206/4d0bb8ea0dfdc1cf6562f8487f830243?response-content-disposition=attachment%3B filename%3D"FAR_13.5_Justification_for_Other_than_Full_and_Open_Competition_Redacted.pdf"&X-Amz-Content-Sha256=UNSIGNED-PAYLOAD&X-Amz-Algorithm=AWS4-HMAC-SHA256&X-Amz-Credential=AKIAIHF4QMYGDHWDKE2Q%2F20200623%2Fus-east-1%2Fs3%2Faws4_request&X-Amz-Date=20200623T233323Z&X-Amz-SignedHeaders=host&X-Amz-Expires=3600&X-Amz-Signature=077c44d92395abbb603c23425178743592d82a1512fe13fb127ef8fcf583e7c0 Edit: follow up info. LOC determines that only one company provides specific services and awards a contract for those services. Agencies need to determine what sources out of the universe of suppliers can meet their needs. For example an agency might need IT research and analysis services. Gardner, Forrester, and Aberdeen are available through Fedlink. I wouldn’t think an agency could just pick Gardner and say under FAR 16.505 (b)(2), no justification is needed.
  5. Motorcity, did you read the Fedlink link I provided? You are correct In that the contracts are just a group of standalone contracts. LOC also negotiated with a J&A. That’s because each contract generally provides proprietary services unique to that vendor. But what you need to resolve with your own actions are you selecting one contractor on a sole source basis or are you competing among several contract holders? And more more quote from the LOC website
  6. The ordering and use rules aren’t spelled out clearly. It’s confusing because much material addresses agencies transferring funding to LOC and LOC does the procurement. But in most cases, agencies place orders directly with LOC contractors. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FEDLINKdirect So you would need justification if you didn’t make a competitive selection
  7. You’re preaching to the choir. I’ve said for a long time most agencies do source selections wrong. The process should start with comprehensive market research to identify best performers and what they do that makes them the best. That translates into evaluation factors and includes things like methodologies, processes, and other items that the very best do and other competitors don’t. Past performance Is also essential. I don’t mean CPARS or sending questionnaires to offeror provided references. I mean digging and finding the most relevant customers and then asking pointed and direct questions about satisfaction and delivered results. As you said technical approaches and key personnel aren’t that valuable.
  8. Matthew, Ok, fair enough about me leaving the thread. Let me add some additional information on why I think the Army’s prize competition makes sense or at least worth the experiment. The government in general, and military in specific, has a need for small, portable ventilators that work in rural and remote locations. The government received lots of ideas, many from very small businesses including single inventors. Many seemed promising but government officials the regular procurement process wouldn’t work. One barrier is many suggestions came from sources without any experience in government contracting and lacked capital. The Army decided after talking more with these sources that some type of government endorsement of their ideas might prompt teaming or partnerships. So the prize competition came about. 150 concepts were submitted. Several were selected to proceed on. One was from a company headed by a former AF medic involving hand pumped bellows. Another was to a consortium of five businesses that may not even be involved without the prize approach.The $100,000 awards were made and sources developed prototypes. The Army also issued an ATO solicitation on May 7 for productions of ventilators. Perhaps your suggestion of announcing 4 $250,000 contract awards for prototypes might be better. Who knows. What did happen is the Army got to pick from 150 ideas and many of those would make it into a response to a solicitation. Only time will tell if the prize competition was successful or not. But I personally feel it was worth the effort considering the stakes involved.
  9. Matthew, you seem to have a rigid idea of how things should be and don’t want to change from that. You also suggests in a couple posts that I read articles. Let me just say I know a lot about source selections and don’t need lecturing type responses here. The Army chose to use the approach they did because of the anticipated benefits. It had the scrutiny and approval at very high levels. If you see faults, why don’t you offer your advice? The motivation for the small businesses to produce viable products is follow on production contracts. The competition allows for those awards. I’m done with this thread. You seem to think the Army is all wrong. That’s your choice.
  10. I’ll change objectives to purposes then. One purpose is developing and proving some newer technologies to produce ventilators. The other is encouraging vendors with various commercial components to team up and produce low cost and small ventilators. If you think the Army is just doing paper essay writing, what do you think proposals are? The difference is the prize competition pays vendors to do development that I assume the Army won’t get without some prize money. Edit: The Army one is reserved for small businesses and educational institutions. I remember someone saying they needed prize money to encourage responses.
  11. Yep, different set of rules and more importantly, different objectives. The Army prize competition is encouraging development by promoting new technologies and innovations with monetary rewards. SOCOM explained their competition isn’t looking for companies to do research and development of new things. Rather it’s taking pieces of existing, commercial items and coming up with small, better, and cheaper devices by encouraging teaming and partnering among suppliers. Crowdsourcing is a key tool. They felt if there was a way to promote sources to get together and talk, that’s a win.
  12. The latest version of the DCMA closeout manual has some useful information https://www.dcma.mil/Portals/31/Documents/Policy/DCMA-MAN-2501-07.pdf?ver=2019-01-15-105034-927 I mentioned use of an administrative modification annotated with “For Internal Distribution Only” to allow excess funds to be used by the OPs headquarters for other purposes. DCMA refers to this as “Q-final” and they just take the money and returns to the procuring agency. It’s covered on page 31. Page 28 says Q-final is used when all required performance is complete and paid for. I assume this is what Voxx is asking about but we don’t know for sure. DCMA also says a deobligation modification is used when the contract calls for delivery of 10 widgets but the contractor only delivers 8. That modification explains why 2 weren’t delivered and why.
  13. Several negative comments on my posts. I responded to the basic issue and question about what happens if a contractor hasn’t responded to a close out mod. Since a mod was sent, that assumes the contractor did everything expected. Headquarters wants to use the excess money. The discussion went to receiving nine units of something instead of ten or not all labor on the contract provided. Again those are moot if a bilateral modification was prepared assuming the contractor requirements are satisfied. As Joel said, if those are real issues, better contract administration needs performed. All sorts of scenarios arose. But it seems OPs situation involves simply how does unused funding get removed from a contract when the contractor is no longer responding?
  14. Let me add a final comment for me. Contracting and Procurement often has a low regard at most agencies and this discussion is a prime example. Senior agency management looks to us to make sound business decisions for their agency. Many comments here reflect very conservative and bureaucratic responses. An example is the policy people haven’t come up with a solution after several weeks. I have seen many, many similar situations get to the top levels within government, although not the identical. Conversations might go like this: Program office - “we need money deobligated to cover a new action” Senior management - “why isn’t this done?” Contracting - “we think the contract is complete but we need the contractor to sign a modification to deobligate excess money and the contractor hasn’t responded” Senior management - “did you call, email, look at their website to see if they are in business.” Contracting - “uh, we need official documentation like a signed bilateral modification. Then we need to wait 60 days after sending a certified letter, and legal review before we do a termination (we haven’t decided on the type yet) and then the excess money can be deobligated by December provided the contractor hasn’t appealed to the COFC.” Senior management - why not assume the company is out of business and just take the excess money off the contract.” Contracting - “we are waiting on the policy people to make a decision” A common sense and appropriate business decision is documenting actions taken showing that the contract is complete, the contractor is not responding, and there’s no further need for funds on the contract. If the contractor responds showing that position is in error, put money back on. All this talk about contractor claims is just far fetched.
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