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benmac

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About benmac

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  1. Thanks all.. we are up to 15 aliases and random company names now... all the read receipts are pinging from the original contractor..
  2. Vern/Retread - thanks for suspended/debarred reminder, I was speaking from the heart not the head. I have no issue with the complaints, quite used to those too, but some of my peers are feeling attacked/harassed by this guy so trying to develop a strategy for stopping it. Carl - thanks for the tip, we are going to look into a few IT options to see if we can match them up. These contractors also have to authenitcate their identities to match their DUNS/SAM accounts, so thinking we might have an avenue to data mine that end of it too.
  3. These are all BPAs we put in place for future work and we have two options for acquiring these services: 1) for the high use services we issue solicitations which the companies/aliases quote on and we establish multiple BPAs and 2) we establish source lists for the low use, infrequent services, and establish POs if/when needed. So under #1 the aliases are providing quotes, which we suspect are from the original terminated contractor. Under #2 the same aliases are demanding we solicit via #1, making threats, harassing us, etc.
  4. Under the eval criteria we use for this type of service we have the ability to rate propsepective contractors as a "high performance dependability risk" and therefore not award. The original contractor has a poor performance record and has been evaluated as such, so its likely they would receive this rating again and not be considered for an award. Thus the reason they are approaching us with the various company names and aliases.
  5. Wondering if anyone has encountered this and looking for tips on how to address it. Myself and several counterparts from other offices across the agency are dealing with an individual contractor who we suspect is posing as numerous additional companies with numerous aliases. The agency had performance issues with the original company in the past, to the point where they were terminated for cause, and now it appears this individual is attempting to re-enter our marketplace using different company names and POC aliases. A couple observations we've made: 1. They are using numerous aliases, most are names of prominent/historical individuals in their region of the country. 2. None of the aliases will call any of us, they insist on email commo. 3. The aliases all write in a similar threatening tone, demanding to speak to our supervisors (to date they have not); stating they will file complaints with OIG (which they have), and generally follow the same script. They got their hands on various audit reports and demand we issue contracts for various services identifed in them. 4. All their email handles are generic gmail accounts. We tagged several responses with read receipts and they are returning confirmations they were read by the original terminated contractor. We suspect these are phony email accounts that forward to the original contractor. 5. Several of the companies are incorporated as "shells" - from the firm addressed in this article: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/28/us-usa-shell-companies-idUSTRE75R20Z20110628 6. Most of them are in SAM with valid DUNS. 7. The new companies dont have CPARS records. 8. The original company was deferred to SBA after a determination of non-responsibilty and SBA granted them the COC. We have not tried this with the new companies. 9. One of the new companies is soliciting competitors and encouraging them to write complaints about us and attempting they file protests (or joining him in a joint protest). So bottom line we think there is one individual behind all the other companies and we are not interested in doing business with him/them. Several of our employees feel the communication has gotten personal to the point they are feeling harassed, but we are struggling on how to deal with him. We are engaging our legal counsel as well, but was curious if anyone else has dealt with this sort of thing and would be willing to share your advice. Thanks.
  6. Carl - appreciate the ICPI referfence, that was squarely under my nose.. considering I was on the team that developed the position.... That was carried over from the now defunct CRNW (Crew Rep NW) but is still part of the Crew inspections (MSPA is required in the Crew Agreement/Contract) - but we havent been checking this for the Engines (since MSPA wasn't inlcuded in the BPAs). By the way, we know each other, I am your former peer a couple hundred miles to the west of you... would be receptive to elaborating on this offline if you are open to it. My first name is in my handle... email me if you still have it, otherwise our buddy Gary could link us up...
  7. Vern - I can all but guarantee it wouldnt go that far. The more I digest this its becoming clearer to me the issue has more to do with coordination/collaboration between the agencies than it does with procurement policy or administration. We are hearing about this from our vendors, not DOL, so in a perfect world we would have been notified ahead of time, modified our BPAs to incorporate the MSPA requirements, and wouldnt have been caught off guard. But the way this unfolded we, as the hiring agency, were not aware of the new enforcement and as such may be left scrambling to accomodate the changes, alter our eval processes, and ehance our administration procedures a couple months before fire season. It may sound benign, but this type of change creates significant impacts for us downstream.
  8. Joel - we are working our way towards that discussion at the agency level, we are hoping to sort this out Regioanlly first. That is one of the sticky points actually, from what we can gather this interpretation appears unique to a single state/distict DOL office and it may not be consistently interpreted and/or enforeced nationally. Carl - Will do. We include a "Fire and Emergnecy Services" SCA Wage determination, so its actually different than the Forestry one. That unfortunately has been a saga too, DOL stopped publishing an annual WD due to some supposed abuse during Hurricane Sandy. We now have to request a new WD for each solicitation.. and technically for each Emergency Agreement, of which the latter isnt practical since the WD wouldnt be issued until after the work was completed. So now we incorporate a WD effective the date the RFQ is issued, but 1) the WD does not update annually anymore and 2) they are not updated/current for each BPA call. Retread - We had the same situation with one of our national helicopter vendors, that office was prepping our counsel, but DOL backed off in that case and we stopped short of getting their take. We may revisit if needed though.
  9. Thanks Don and Vern. Don - I appreciate your point on the contract lacking the clause, which for the scenarios you listed I dont argue. In our agency we acknowledge when this law is applicable in our agency Acquisition Regs and add to our contracts when needed. This serves as notice to our vendors when they need to obtain the additional MSPA license - which in my case we've left out intentionally since we do not consider it applicable. I do not agree, however, that the contractor was aware they needed it though.. mainly because the vast majority of them rely on us to inform them of what federal laws, training, registrations, etc. they need to adhere to.. and in this case, we werent even aware it was needed so I wouldnt expect our vendors would be either. In fact, we have about 900 vendors in the same category in my region alone, and I would suspect 90% or more wouldnt even now what MSPA was. In light of that, I feel we have a responsibility to notify our vendors if MSAP is requried. Vern - Without question I am strategizing on how to intercede, but its on a bigger scale as I am concerned about having 900 additional vendors in the same boat in my Region, thousands more across the agency. There are ramifications agency-wide that would be a significant challenge for us to absorb on this short of notice if DOL enforces this and abruptly expects us to require MSPA in all of our BPAs... so this has the potential to sting both the vendors and the agency. Our agency may press this, so at this point I am simply researching and seeking opinions. This is a new wrinkle for myself and our policy staff so I really appreciate all of your input.
  10. Thanks ji20874, Affirmative on all but #3. DOL investigated the contractor after the call was completed. They were apparently looking at allegation, e.g., a wage complaint from an employee, and during the investigation brought up the MSPA requirements.
  11. I am looking for some advice, guidance, or precedence on a pending issue. I am a CO with the US Forest Service and we contract with companies to provide operated equipment (e.g. engines, dozers) for wildland firefighting support. We establish Commercial Item BPAs on a competitive basis, where vendors submit quotes in response to a RFQ published in FBO. Our specs, requirements, etc. are boilerplate throughout the country, so all the FAR clauses are standard (Part 12). These are all covered by the Service Contract Act. We establish BPAs with hundreds of vendors in my Region. That said, one of our BPA vendors was recently investigated by the DOL Wage and Hour Division for an undisclosed allegation. During the investigation DOL discovered the vendor was not registered as a "farm labor contractor" in accordance to the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) and is facing potential fines/penalties. MSPA was not the reason for the initial investigation, but came to light during. The act identifies specific safety requirements, protective gear, driving requirements the contractor must adhere to. The registration is common in Forest Service contracts for labor intensive services such as fire handcrews, tree planting, reforestation work, etc. and we include an agency acquisition regulation in our applicable contracts stating the contractor must be registered and adhere to the standards. When MSPA is applicable, we verify the vendors are registered, perform inspections at the work site, etc. to ensure they are in compliance with the various requirements. The CFR can be found here: http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=48d6ee3b99d3b3a97b1bf189e1757786&rgn=div5&view=text&node=29:3.1.1.1.1&idno=29%C2'> Issue: our fire equipment BPAs do not include the agency clause stating MSPA is required, so we do not expect them to register nor do we monitor for compliance. In other words, the Forest Service does not consider MSPA applicable to our equipment BPAs; but DOL is enforcing as if it were. Questions: 1. While the applicability of MSPA is arguably debatable (I contend its being misapplied), the part I am struggling with is the fact our vendor could be found non-compliant and fined for a law/regulation they were not aware of since it was not included in their BPA. So, do you think its appropriate for DOL to fine our contractor for lacking a registration they were unaware of or was not required by the hiring agency? Has anyone experience this before? 2. Would the contractor have any remedies through the Disputes Act against the Gov? The contractor would have been under contract via BPA call when the alleged violation occurred. 3. If our agency contends the law is being misapplied, do we have any recourse to challenge DOL's interpretation? This came out of nowhere and the implication MSPA is required for our equipment vendors could have significant impacts on what the Forest Service requires of our contractors and how we administer the BPAs. I appreciate any insight or advice on how to approach this and please dont hesitate with questions.
  12. Yes, this is a BPA under Part 13. The only threshold we reference is one limiting calls to under $150K. Thanks for the reference, think this concludes it for me.
  13. Yes, the BPA was set-aside 100% for Small Business.
  14. Long time reader first time poster. I am seeking guidance on the applicability of 52.219-14 Limitations on Subcontracting under the scenario outlined below. The clause is included by reference in our procurement software, i.e. included in an non-editable template, but I question if its truly applicable. Here are the facts: 1. Solicitation is 100% Small Business set-aside 2. This is a Commercial Item RFQ for Services 3. Awards are for Multiple Award BPAs 4. Individual calls are limited to $150K I question if 52.219-14 is applicable for the following reasons: 1. FAR 19.508 prescribes 52.219-14 "if any portion of the requirement is to be set aside for small business and the contract amount is expected to exceed $150,000." 2. With a BPA, wouldn't this only apply to calls over $150,000? 3. Since our BPA is limited to calls under $150,000, wouldn't the limitation be moot? Our policy group attends since the aggregate of all calls could exceed $150,000 over the life of the BPA, the clause should therefore be included. In other words, they are "lumping" unknown orders to get to a theoretical $150,000 threshold. I look at this differently, as a "splitter", where each call stands alone as its own contract and thus the clause would only be applicable for calls exceeding $150,000. And since we limit calls to under $150,000, the clause would therefore never be applicable. Appreciate your perspectives. Thanks.
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