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Everything posted by formerfed

  1. Several years ago when strategic sourcing was in vogue, some agencies awarded requirements contracts for commonly purchased supplies and services. Since those contracts were mandatory in agency use, they felt requirements type was appropriate as opposed to IDIQ. As such they didn’t necessarily need to specify maximum quantities.
  2. This is from a GSA blog that answers agency questions. It addresses differences between IDIQ contracts and BPAs
  3. I’m sure Biden hasn’t nominated anybody because he’s satisfied with the status quo. Two campaign priorities are assisting small and disadvantaged businesses and promoting labor initiatives. So far he’s delivering. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/07/26/fact-sheet-biden-harris-administration-advances-equity-and-economic-opportunity-through-federal-procurement-and-state-and-local-infrastructure-contracting/ https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/11/18/fact-sheet-president-biden-signs-executive-order-to-ensure-quality-jobs-for-service-workers-on-federal-contracts/
  4. I completely agree. As far as facts, the data is very limited and use of what exists would be practically meaningless. I’ve seen some individual agency data on expeditiousness between task order awards and comparable contracts. It’s nearly impossible to base a fair comparison because circumstances vary so much and the volume of transactions is small. It would take a governmentwide analysis to come to valid conclusions I do think GWACS MATOCs have the potential to make awards easier and quicker but not less costly. That’s assuming ordering agencies follow proper procedures like not incorporating FAR 15 processes and use “fair opportunity” the right way. The problem is ordering agencies, at least at the contracting officer levels, either don’t understand what should be done, afraid to try it, or are forced by others in the contracting office to stick with FAR 15 processes.
  5. Good research Carl. I stand corrected. I’ve spent a lot of time at a lot of agencies working on their COR programs and this never came up. That makes me believe the policy is either not well known or just ignored.
  6. @2FARGone I don’t ever remember seeing anything anywhere about a COR being required to maintain an active certification through the contract life and repercussions if they don’t. I’m aware of a couple instances where a COR couldn’t take the continuous training courses and the CO just replaced them. There’s usually nothing that benefits a COR personally about having a FAC-COR certification so many don’t care. Edit: There are two issues here. The first is whether a COR must maintain their certification for a contract and it’s full duration. As I said, I’ve never seen that as written policy. The other has to do with initial COR appointment for a contract. That’s where the OFPP document requires continuous training requirements for a certification. So a COR gets FAC-COR certification. To keep that current, they must receive additional training periodically.
  7. The success of some of these multiple award IDIQ contracts like Alliant, CIO-SP3, SEWP, etc. is leading to problems like this. So many small businesses, especially start-ups and those struggling for existence, see these contracts as their salvation. They feel losing out on award means their end. The self scoring mechanism NIH used in the solicitation should be a clear indicator what’s need to the firms proposing to make it. But those companies then protest when they don’t make the cut. NIH is trying to do too many things for too many people including both government users and companies. They either need to better define and narrow their objectives for clear and specific purposes with a viable number of awardees or do like the Navy did with Seaport and award 600 contracts to everyone.
  8. About the only instances of PBA I can say worked all involved use of Statement of Objectives (SOO). The agencies stated a need or problem in terms of sought outcomes. Then they allowed offerors to propose a variety of solutions much like in R&D and selected the most promising for award. I believe opening up the range of ideas as opposed to the traditional way of the government deciding the required approach upfront in a SOW allowed for the successes, albeit in limited numbers. Those occurred probably more due to the SOO concept rather than application of PBA techniques for contract management and administration.
  9. @govt2310 carrying the mail delivery example further, the outcome might be mail gets delivery timely, accurately, and safely to all offices. Mail gets delivery via trucks from USPS, FedEx, UPS, etc. You don’t tell the contractor how to do the jobs of dealing with the bags of bulk mail, screening, sorting, prioritizing designated addressees, bundling, and distributing. All that’s up to the contractor.
  10. Sure. It’s done in many instances where you don’t see significant advantages paying for performance exceeding standards. One example that comes to mind is internal agency mail delivery to individual offices. You want mail delivered on time but don’t see advantages delivering early
  11. I believe placement of many clauses in Section H is driven by decisions from years ago when their contract writing systems were developed. I can understand why DOE has so many special provisions in their management and operations contracts. They are very large contracts where the contractor has a wide range of duties functioning as an extension of the government. For example, they have latitude to conduct extensive procurements for the operation and their procurement procedures and practices are periodically reviewed for FAR and DEAR compliance by DOE headquarters. https://www.acquisition.gov/dears/part-970-doe-management-and-operating-contracts
  12. Excellent analysis @Contracting_in_Wonderland. Another guess but PTO may had four separate requirements and only one was for cybersecurity specifically. The others might be somewhat related. I think it’s unusual for an agency to make multiple awards for something like cybersecurity. @lotus you have a POC for PTO from govwin. Check with him and let us know what you find.
  13. After thinking back on the many source selections I’ve been involved with, I totally agree. Acquisitions for professional services, A&AS type, especially can be accomplished in many instances using just experience (what have offerors done) and past performance (how well have they performed) as evaluation factors. I’m leaving out key personnel for much of those contracts because past performance can account maybe better than resumes for qualifications and accomplishments. By past performance, I’m mostly excluding CPARS. CPARS isn’t that meaningful in many instances. Rather I think the evaluation team needs to research instances where offerors performed and not limit to just what offerors say in their proposals. The evaluation team needs to ask detailed and direct questions of customers and end users of the offerors prior work. If the acquisition is significant, perhaps actual visit to customer locations to talk with individuals familiar with offeror performance and witness operations and demonstrations of work products.
  14. Does govwin mention any solicitation? Just a guess but the government may have used market research and selected a pool of GSA contractor holders to solicit. If so all that’s required is soliciting sufficient sources to ensure a minimum of three responses are received. Again just guessing but I would bet quite a few sources were solicited. Most likely USPTO evaluated the responses and made multiple awards. Before you go further, carefully read the ordering process under FAR 8.405-2.
  15. In addition, the discount negotiation objectives with the higher technically rated offeror bring rates almost identical to the lower priced source. This conveys a suspicious tone that the agency only wanted Vendor A and sought very specific price reductions solely from them to get to equal pricing between the two. If I were you I would seek price reductions from both and let both make technical improvements.
  16. I guess I can. I know some Briefing Papers are available online without a subscription. I’ll take a look at those, familiarize myself again, and maybe take a shot.
  17. I enjoy writing and did a lot several years ago. But instead of articles like the Briefing Papers, I prefer covering things like different ways of performing acquisitions and associated functions. One I did that got a huge amount of feedback was on Share-in-Savings contracts. At least one agency had success with it but it wasn’t widely adopted mostly because nobody knew how to proceed or were too reluctant to try. This thread got me interested in writing more. One subject I think I’ll cover is use of past performance. Maybe another is evaluation schemes tailored to specific acquisition subject matter commodities instead of all the typical boilerplate plans. The problem is now that I’m retired, I no longer have editors and graphics people to make me look better than I am.
  18. Vern, I know all that. Local offices do have concerns and procedures but most of them I see don’t serve any real purpose. Every office thinks they are unique and individual people thinking in a stovepipe mode want their perspective included whether it’s physical delivery at a loading platform, background checks on employees, tracking new property, special invoicing, and on and on. In the case of SEWP, NASA has some pretty specialized requirements. But if their local offices can get by with the SEWP T&C’s probably most other agencies can as well. A pet peeve of mine is the perceived need within the government that everything must be spelled out in detail and every agency is unique. The notion is workers can’t be trusted to think on their own. So management needs to make the process foolproof and identical for everyone. We can’t get by with just the FAR. DoD needs the DFARS. Then the components needs more so we end up with things like the Navy supplement. Then the next level down at the command and lower levels have their procedures. So with all this, a local contracting office feels they need to include all this plus local instructions in an order. And, in the case of SEWP, the items are commercial. So my original question of why would you need local clauses is asked in this context. I bet just about everything the office wants isn’t really important.
  19. SEWP is mainly for hardware and software. Why would you need to add local clauses? The contract is designed to just place orders, get items delivered and installed, and maybe some incidental support services.
  20. bosgood got it. Note number 11 of the decision also noted the errors. Its been many years since I took a statistics course but I’ll take a guess at the scales. The technical rating score uses ordinal while price uses ratio.
  21. Since the procurement is for a suite of training, operations, and administrative services, I don’t see the evaluation factors making sense. Nor are they well structured. It seems like experience and past performance are better suited factors. Perhaps technical might include a transition plan and methodology for conducting some of the work. It definitely looks like an essay writing contest. Years ago I saw a very effective approach for this type work. It involved oral proposals and “pop quizzes” for the key offerors personnel. I don’t see the numerical rating as beneficial at all. Before I saw the question about should the lawyers have rejected the decision document, that was one of the first things that popped into my head. How could any lawyer reasonably versed in contracting not question it? It’s a $100 million action with selection based on percentage of numerical points of one offeror over another. Who knows why the agency fought this? It may be hoping to cover up a big blunder. 12 months to award a task order for training, operations, and administrative services! Maybe four months or five at most.
  22. I’ll reply to your question later Vern after I read the decision. But describing a scoring or rating scheme in the RFP is a pet peeve of mine. I see it all the time and asked numerous COs why they do it but never received a satisfactory answer
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