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About KodiakBuyer

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  1. KodiakBuyer

    We have lost it.

    Agreed. It isn't the dumbest thing to come down the pike, but it is really close. Of course, maybe it is just my 'generation' speaking. I can barely text with both hands and full attention, let alone while driving. My grandkids are whizzes.
  2. KodiakBuyer

    GPC Program

    Knowledge and a SENSE OF HUMOR is extremely important. I was a Level II with the Army after being a Contracting Officer for several years. The previous three GPC Coordinators had come and gone so quickly that this was a secondary duty along with being an 1102. The best thing you can do is have the endusers make all requests in WRITING. Nine times out of ten they figured out the answer themselves when they had to put it down in writing. I returned phone calls once a day (otherwise you are bouncing back and forth between customers all day long.) Secondly, make it clear from the start that 'no exceptions' will be made for people who do not follow the regulations. YOU are the person that will take it in the shorts if you let them get by with stuff. Third, document all conversations. You will need a paper trail to show WHY you changed something. Fourth, your Approving Officials will change regularly. This can make it hard to reconcile an account. Keep good communication with the units so you know who they are and that the backup are CURRENT. ACA Hawaii used to have a great GPC training slide show on their website. Print it out for the attendees at your classes and then they have something to refer to. Another source: http://dccw.hqda.pentagon.mil/services/dow...rd/PCOPFY07.pdf Best of luck. I enjoyed it but took another job that was only one mile from home (rather than 40). Loved it though.
  3. KodiakBuyer

    Inter-Agency Contract Transfer

    There will need to be a written Memorandum of Understanding between the two agencies, signed by the appropriate people, plus a separate contract to be administered. This MOU will list the responsibilities of the gaining and losing agency and will cover who is responsible for which costs and responsibilities. Will there be a NEW (separate) contract for the same items? Or are you talking about a DOD contract being administered by NASA? If so, I forsee problems as the clauses are not the same. For a clear break in responsibilities and payments, a new contract under the gaining administering agency is easier. Talk to your Grants and Agreements Specialist.
  4. KodiakBuyer

    FAR trumps SBA Regs?

    I think I'd like a GAO decision.
  5. Have you notified the Contracting Officer of the apparent error? I'd notify them immediately, otherwise, once the error is found the award process will be affected. During the solicitation period it is MUCH easier to fix. Thanks!
  6. I fully agree. I get the impression that this is the way they always do business and we are the first ones who have called them on the carpet. Disappointing to say the least. Bottom line, they bid on a job with specific specifications; it was awarded based on those specs; and we expect them to PERFORM to those specs. If they had a problem with the specs they had ample time to come up with an alternative BEFORE work started. They get paid to the SPEC, not 'good enough' for government work. Thanks for the support.
  7. Thanks Joel. Yes, the work was shut down immediately. Economic Waste Theory probably won't apply here as the fix we are willing to accept is well below the cost of repairing HOWEVER the problem appears to be that the contractor wants us to accept the 'non spec' in place of the 'spec' product without a reduction in price. We are still in negotiations, so I cannot discuss more fully. We've already pointed out that 'our' testing is for 'our' benefit and they should have been testing all along ESPECIALLY after we pointed out that it appeared the rock was not meeting spec. We had to do our testing in order to actually have proof -- or a legal leg to stand on for shutting them down.
  8. Thanks Joel! Unfortunately all our files are still 'active' as this project has not been completed. I just sent a request to the company asking them to give me written permission to speak with their attorney and to designate exactly what and how much authority he has to speak for them. I had ALREADY suggested most of what they now have decided they want. The only real disagreement is on how the Federal Government should be compensated for the out of spec work. We are unwilling to pay them full price for items that are clearly out of spec. The Economic Waste Theory was based on an under one percent deviation, and quite frankly, could have been a deviation resulting from 'measuring' equipment not being calibrated correctly. Our problem involves a LARGE deviation where they also continued to place product after we notified them of the deviation. Personally I think the Government deserves an equitable adjustment -- not just contractors -- when specs are clear and they purposely ignore them.
  9. Yes, we're already working on the FOIA portion. Thank you.
  10. Guess I've been lucky in the past -- or maybe the economy was better and penny pinching wasn't the new mantra. In your experience, have they usually used FOIA? And are you familiar with the 'Economic Waste' theory? Thanks, as always.
  11. OKAY!! The other shoe just dropped. The law firm is trying to avoid costs involved in litigation by using FOIA rather than Discovery. Can't go into details on the contract, but suffice it to say the contractor is trying to find a reason / excuse why he did not comply with clear specifications -- and wants us to use the doctrine of 'economic waste' to allow him to not comply -- with minimal costs to him for substandard work. Guess he thinks it is Christmas AND Easter. We'll see.
  12. KodiakBuyer

    Construction Contracts

    Mike: Basic instructions need to come thru the COR. Problems need to be resolved by the CO, and relayed to the COR and contractor at the same time. Bottom line, what I was trying to say and apparently was unclear on, was that 'divide and conquer' is used by contractors all the time. Hope this clears it up.
  13. My Agency recently received what appears to be a 'blanket' FOIA from a law firm requesting copies of 'any and all field reports, diaries, photographs, emails, memoranda, investigations, analyses, any calculations relating to the production, shipment or placement of riprap for the above projects, both at the project locations and quarry sites' plus 'any and all records relating tot he development of the plans and riprap specifications'. This is for two projects that appear to have been copied from FedBizOpps info. The letter goes on to ask that we 'let them know when it would be convenient' for them to come over and view our files and copy our records. Needless to say, the request is way too vague and would, in most cases, be months if not years worth of effort to provide. This will also cost them a lot. Just reviewing and redacting records will be very time consuming, let along the costs involved. Is this a 'new' tactic for law firms teaching construction contracting / claims law? These are working files for projects CURRENTLY under construction. Since FOIA and construction contracting offer special 'opportunities to excel', perhaps someone with broad experience in this area could comment??? Any suggestions? Any stories? THANKS
  14. KodiakBuyer

    Construction Contracts

    I've done Construction Contracting for years. The best I can recommend is that you sit down with FAR Chapter 36, and pay special attention to the referenced FAR 52 clauses. Print them out so you can see how they differ from services and product. In addition, Management Concepts (among others) offers a one week class on Construction Contracting for about $950. You not only pick up some information, but some resources. The books they give you are pretty clear too. It also satisfies a CON or warrant education requirement. Construction is DIFFERENT. And depending on your agency, there might be special rules for you. Check your agency sub-FAR. Look through the OLD contracts. (FAR clauses are updated so you might need to re-visit the FAR to verify they are still accurate), BUT it will give you a good idea of how it works. Bottom line: make sure the specification for the job is COMPLETE and CLEAR. If YOU can't understand it, pity the poor contractor who will probably add $100K on to the price just to decipher it. Communication with the engineer, the COR, and the contractor is key. There is a list, I believe in FAR53, that shows EVERY clause required in solicitations and awards, according to the type and purpose. Print it out and mark it for the type and purpose of YOUR requirement. GOOD LUCK! p.s. one thing that has kept me out of trouble thru the years is to NEVER go to the job site without the COR. Divide and conquer is a game all kids (and contractors) play if they can. YOU make the decision, but let the COR relay it. That way everybody is clear as to what the intent is and there is no he said, she said.
  15. KodiakBuyer

    The Good News and The Bad News

    You are correct. Unfortunately there is no clear and concise STANDARDIZED training for interns. I've worked with a couple -- and it depended entirely on their supervisor as to whether they learned anything. During the internship they were supposed to be exposed to the various types of contracting: they learned instead to be computer clerks. They needed 'mentors' but didn't have them. One got sick during the internship and almost got fired because of it. No feedback, training, encouragement, planning, or respect. Only one is still a Federal employee, and that was in spite of their former supervisor. The 'intern coordinator' told them 'not to call him'. Training for 1102's used to start with a month long 'basics' class. You had other 'newbies' to bounce ideas and questions off. You had a support system from the staff. The information from that class has now been condensed into 'on line' classes -- not worthless, but just about. You have to KNOW the material before the on line courses work. In the hurry to put 1102's 'on the street', the boat has been missed. The other major problem I see is the lack of support from procurement techs or office staff. Management has virtually eliminated support staff. When you are paying a GS-12 to make copies or fax, something is wrong. I'm not too proud to make copies or fax something, but it means I can't be doing something else. It also means that in order to do my job I end up doing work on weekends or holidays. Then you end up with burn-out, which can cause errors. Vicious circle. Procurement Techs used to be the training area for 1102's. Now, unless they have a college degree, they are considered worthless. I worked hard for my degrees, BUT I know lots of people with degrees who can't tie their own shoes without help. Some of the smartest people I know were 'only techs' when they started. Recommendation: reinstitute the procurement tech (1106) career field. It would give a 'progression ladder' plus have the added benefit of supporting us 'old folks'. There is information I can share, (as was shared with me), but I have no one to give it to.