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jonmjohnson

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About jonmjohnson

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    jon.johnson@vt.edu
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  1. Khuggart...please feel free to contact me offline. Jon.johnson@gsa.gov. I am familiar with this and can advise.
  2. Bob...thank you for posting this. This will be a very interesting read.
  3. Basic Question

    Vern/jj...so I read the same as you, and I am concluding that although there are some vehicles that are not identified in the regulation, so long as you have permission from the vehicle owners then it can be done. At least there is nothing stated in regulation that would prohibit this in practice, and it appears allowable based on 51.102(c)(5). This is not an uncommon practice for agencies that leverage managed service providers in federal IT to grant FAR 51 authority, however there may be some vehicles that could possibly be used than the ones mentioned within 51.102(c)(1-4). For example, cloud services can be acquired via GSA Alliant, NASA SEWP, and NITACC. What about hard line telecommunication/network services? That can be had by Networx/EIS. Would these be examples of a "government supply source" without being considered a (mandatory) "source of supply"? This later point I just found interesting. Why use the terms interchanably? “Source of Supply” appears pretty specific in FAR Part 8 “Required Sources of Supplies and Services”, and it appears to be what people jump to when they allow for FAR 51 buying authority. That being said, FAR Part 8 is specific to “required sources” for first consideration, meaning that there are other sources that exist. I raise this because I think FAR 51 authority is going to be a trend in federal contracting particularly for federal IT. Agency’s are being asked to tighten belts, and the supply of COs/KOs are not going to be able to keep up with the demands of CIO offices. As agencies modernize their IT infrastructure and operations, IT program offices and contracting shops are going to have a difficult time keeping up with the demands and expectations. This may be all for nothing and just a thought exercise. Just thinking thinks. Thanks Vern and jj.
  4. Basic Question

    Don't have one.
  5. Basic Question

    Wanted to get the community's take on this. What is the difference between a "government supply source" (identified in FAR 51.101) and a "government source of supply"? Is this part of the FAR simply allowing authorized use of federal supply schedules, or could it be applied to such vehicles as DHS Eagle II, DOD vehicle, or other non-FAR Part 8 vehicle at GSA or elsewhere. Thoughts?
  6. NITAAC vs GSA

    Depends on whether FAR 8 or FAR 16 makes is easier to execute for you. FAR 8 is typically easier and gives wide berth to the CO so long as you understand what is and is not required. Pricing is likely to be comparable. Agencies pay a fee to use NITAAC but they don't under Schedules. That comes from industry. Same structure under SEWP.
  7. "Breakdown Activities" for the Contracting Workforce

    Reading comprehension and writing logical positions?
  8. Reading Recommendations for Contracting Professionals

    Vern...thank you for posting this. I just had my mid-year review, and the feedback that I received from my supervisor has been the same every review period for the past 2 years: learn better habits with executive communication. The way my supervisor sees things makes sense. My executive gets maybe 2 hours per day to read and respond to emails. She may spend no more than 40 seconds per email, therefore make it short. I write and think in complete sentences and struggle with bullets because I find details and context necessary to communicate for decision making. Not only the what's but also the why's. Further, internal communication is a funny thing in a bureaucracy and often a message from below ends up being either miscommunicated or changed when moving up the chain due to other's ignorance or self-interests. Communication ends up being what the person wants to communicate about a situation rather than an accurate reflection of the situation. We use the BLUF technique, but I struggle with this constantly.
  9. Request for Assistance

    So I was told of a language processing tool run by IBM's Watson and inputted Don's sentence to see if an engine doing text analysis through natural language processing could identify the subject of the sentence. Nope....here is the engine: https://alchemy-language-demo.mybluemix.net/ Engines like this only as good as the programmers who builds them. Attorneys should not worry about their jobs...just yet.
  10. Procurement Swamp Article

    DOD procurement is no different than CIV sector. Just more, bigger, larger, higher dollar, but problems are absolutely similar. Inefficient is inefficient, and nobody claimed that CIV sector was better. Poor efficiency on one hand and worse efficiency on the other doesn't make the situation better.
  11. Layers Upon Layers

    Todd....thanks for sharing this. I am an admirer of Paul Light and didn't see this until you pointed it out.
  12. Organizational Games

    I was having a discussion with some contracting folks on the problem of getting information from either contractors or program offices. This one person described a discussion that had me in stitches. Their description of the exchange reminded me of the following clip. How many of these kinds of conversations have happened in your organizations? Anyone younger than 40-45 may not know this routine, but it is one of the true classics of comedy. For your viewing pleasure.
  13. Procurement Swamp Article

    I have no idea if this is a confirmation bias that I am witnessing or what, but every day I see evidence that C. Northcote Parkinson was correct. The function if a bureaucracy is to increase the number of subordinates and decreasing the number of rivals while making work for one another. A bureaucrat's currency is budget and people, and they have incentive to grow both. Here is a fairly good Economist article on Parkinson's Law. Applying Parkinson's Law to DOD (or any other large, federated, cabinet level agency for that matter), one may say that the acquisition infrastructure is put in place to increase the number of acquisition subordinates while decreasing the rivals who would intrude on buying decisions. Parkinson also made the observation that (and I am paraphrasing but looking for a clean article on it) while the British empire was shrinking, more resources were placed in the areas of decline and never once did that change the course of that decline.
  14. Procurement Swamp Article

    Not sure if anyone read this, but Fortune Magazine had a fascinating article on DOD procurement this past weekend. Not every day when acquisitions gets a center stage write-up like this (and DOD does not look good as a result). Nobody looks good in this one (DOD Acquisition DefSec, Army CO's, DAU, GAO) but the underlying problem(s) are beyond DOD because the perverse incentive structures exist everywhere. Impressions? "Donald Trump, Palantir, and the crazy battle to clean up a multibillion-dollar Military procurement swamp"
  15. Request for Assistance

    Subject = Time Next person up...identify the predicate. That is a good one Don. I clearly owe you a drink.
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