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policyguy

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  1. If I understand you correctly what you are seeking to do may be permissible. See FAR Subpart 1.4 - Deviations from the FAR, as well as your agency FAR supplement, and local supplement/guidance.
  2. Excellent article. Thanks for sharing/posting. Sadly I don't see improvement any time soon.
  3. The base contract has the term and conditions and the delivery order is the order and payment etc. If the base contract did not have the DPAS clause it could not be applied to the delivery order. Since this action is with DOD you can obtain information from the office that handles DPAS: The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Industrial Policy - contact information is as follows: Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Industrial Policy 1400 Defense Pentagon, Room 3B854, Washington, DC 20301-1400 (703) 697-0051 osd.mibp.inquiries@mail.mil https://www.businessdefense.gov/
  4. It's my understanding that OMB OIRA grants approval for the information collection for three years. After that time the agency must obtain approval for the information collection and as part of the renewal process the 60 day & 30 day notices are used to validate the information collection especially what the agency believes is the burden on the public. It's my understanding that if there is no OMB OIRA approval for the agency collection then the agency cannot collect that information. I believe there are consequences if they do but not sure what OMB OIRA can do as far as actions against the agency for using an unapproved information collection. It's my understanding that the information from the Federal Register Notices are used by OMB OIRA in the approval process. My impression is that OMB OIRA wants to reduce the burden on the public and will take seriously the responses from the public on the information collection. That is my understanding on what this exercise is about. This process may be connected with a final rule; however, once approved in the final rule the renewal of the information collection is a separate process due to the three year limit.
  5. EO designation number: Executive Order 14063 https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2022-02-09/pdf/2022-02869.pdf
  6. You will need to see the clause that is flowed down to your company from the Prime. It's my understanding each Department & Agency will issue its own FAR Class Deviation and there is a possibility that, depending on the Department/Agency, the clause may apply to COTS. It will all depend on the policy that issued in that Department/Agency FAR class deviation. You also may want to locate the website for the Department/Agency that you support in the next weeks to see what guidance they are providing to contractors. Hope this helps.
  7. I believe the Federal acquisition system is complex. I have read and heard for many years that the Federal Government should run like a business but I think this is incorrect. I believe reformers should look not at business but other Governments. What do other Governments, for instance countries in the European Union, and their acquisition system, do or not do, that could be used to improve the US Federal acquisition system?
  8. Here is a GAO decision that you may want to research: GAO Decision B-318046, Library of Congress—Obligation of Guaranteed Minimums for Indefinite-Delivery, Indefinite-Quantity Contracts under the FEDLINK Program, July 7, 2009, https://www.gao.gov/assets/b-318046.pdf
  9. From the article it does not appear he has much of a background in Federal Procurement. If the past is prologue with recent OFPP Administrators I don't think he will be in the position very long.
  10. I noticed in the decision reference to several different dictionaries such as Oxford English Dictionary, Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Random House Dictionary of the English Language, etc. I would take from this that when considering the use of a word you may need to research several different dictionaries.
  11. You may want to check NCMA and or Bloomberg Government as a source. I found a report by NCMA and Bloomberg Government on 2013 Government Contracting that contained data on 1102 work force "Total Number of 1102s, 1998–2013" and "Average Number of Contract Dollars Obligated Per 1102" and they may have better data in a more recent report. Here's the link for reference: https://www.govexec.com/media/gbc/docs/pdfs_edit/061914cc3.pdf
  12. I would check within your Department/Agency for new supervisor training. When I became a supervisor for the first time I found I had the technical knowledge and experience but very little when it came to being a supervisor. Leadership is nice but if you have a subordinate that needs to be placed on a Performance Improvement Plan do you, as the supervisor, know what that entails and how to do it? For reference below is a link from OPM on Supervisory Leadership Development: https://www.opm.gov/wiki/training/Supervisory-Leadership-Development/Print.aspx In light of the Pandemic there are new HR polices in place with more coming in areas like: Excused Leave for Dependent Care/Caregiving; additional leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) During the COVID-19 Pandemic; a new Paid Parental Leave Program; policies concerning teleworking, etc. Much of these polices fall on the supervisor to know, implement, approve/disapprove for subordinates, etc. In sum try and get as much training about this part of the job e.g. being a supervisor as you can. Good luck!
  13. Department of Commerce website has information on DPAS that may be useful to you: https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/other-areas/strategic-industries-and-economic-security-sies/defense-priorities-a-allocations-system-program-dpas
  14. The DOD office that you can contact for DPAS assistance is the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy. They are delegated authority from the Dept. of Commerce (DOC) that administers the Defense Production Act and related Executive Orders. The DOC website has a briefing package for Industry. The link is as follows: https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/other-areas/strategic-industries-and-economic-security-sies/defense-priorities-a-allocations-system-program-dpas From the slide deck: "In the event of a problem a person should immediately contact the contract administration officer for guidance or assistance"
  15. See FAR Subpart 33.1 Protests for information on protest to the Agency, to GAO, and to US Court of Federal Claims. Per GAO: "In general, a protest challenging the terms of a solicitation must be filed before the time for receipt of initial proposals. A protest challenging the award of a contract must be filed within 10 days of when a protester knows or should know of the basis of the protest (a special case applies where, under certain circumstances, the protester receives a required debriefing). Please be aware that the regulations regarding the timely filing of protests depend on the circumstances of each case and are strictly enforced. For more information, see our Bid Protest Regulations (4 C.F.R. § 21.2) and Bid Protests at GAO: a Descriptive Guide." https://www.gao.gov/legal/bid-protests/faqs
  16. Have you looked at Defense Acquisition University "Ask a Professor" website? If not you may find it helpful. Here's the link: https://www.dau.edu/aap/Pages/home.aspx Another resource you may want to check is the National Contract Management Association. Here's the link: https://www.ncmahq.org/
  17. I would suggest you consider submitting an REA. If that is denied than you can pursue a claim. Here's an interesting read that is on REA vs. Claim: REA or Claim (2).doc
  18. In addition to the eCFR I would also suggest you use the General Services Administration web site Acquisition.gov https://www.acquisition.gov/ This site has the FAR and links to Department/Agency FAR supplements. In addition you can sign up for email alerts when proposed/final rules for FAR changes are issued.
  19. If you are a Government subcontractor your company is required to have a written code of business ethics and conduct and should have information on how to disclose violations - see FAR Subpart 3.10 - Contractor Code of Business Ethics and Conduct. I would refer to this code and follow what it says for reporting your issue.
  20. IAW FAR 15.506 (d)(2) a debriefing shall include the overall evaluated cost or price (including unit prices) and technical rating, if applicable, of the successful offeror and the debriefed offeror, and past performance information on the debriefed offeror.
  21. An agency may modify a contract without running afoul of the Competition in Contracting Act, so long as the the modification is deemed “in scope.” An “out of scope” modification, on the other hand, is improper–and may be protested at GAO. GAO states that the Competition in Contracting Act ordinarily requires “the use of competitive procedures” to award government work. However, “[o]nce a contract is awarded…[it] will generally not review modifications to the contract because such matters are related to contract administration and are beyond the scope of [its] bid protest function.” While a modification that changes the contract’s scope of work is an exception to this rule, such a modification is only objectionable where there is a “material difference” between the modified contract and the original contract. A material difference exists when “a contract is so substantially changed by the modification that the original and modified contracts are essentially and materially different.” A material difference typically arises when an agency enlarges a contract’s scope of work, the relaxation of contract requirements post-award can also be a material difference. In assessing whether there is a material difference, GAO will look to: “[T]he extent of any changes in the type of work, performance period, and costs between the modification and the original contract, as well as whether the original solicitation adequately advised offerors of the potential for the change or whether the change was the type that reasonably could have been anticipated, and whether the modification materially changed the field of competition for the requirement.” One GAO decision that you can read more about this is Zodiac of North America, Inc., B-414260 (Mar. 28, 2017). You should probably check with your Legal Office for assistance on whether a contract modification or a new contract action is the way forward.
  22. Many years ago Vern Edwards provided tips for contractors. I have found this advice valuable throughout my career and they may be valuable to the OP so I provide them as follows: "...Here are 14 tips for the Truly Clueless Would-Be Government Contractors who think that winning a government contract is the yellow brick road to riches: 1. If you are thinking of competing for a government contract, hire good professional help to negotiate and manage the contract, and listen to them. 2. Your technical and marketing employees are the ones who are going to get you into trouble on a government contract. Keep them on a leash. 3. Buy first-rate training for all of the people who will be involved with government contracts. If you will not invest in training you have no business doing business with the government. 4. Don’t compete for a government contract if you are not sure that you can do the job to the government’s satisfaction. Make sure that you know what it will take to satisfy the government before you submit a bid or proposal. 5. Don’t assume that the government’s representatives know what they’re talking about when they explain rules, specifications, and the contract clauses. In my experience, most of them don’t. 6. READ THE SOLICITATION. THE WHOLE THING. 7. If you win the contract, take a firm, formal, arm’s-length, businesslike approach to all aspects of the deal. Comply strictly with all contract terms and insist that the government do the same. Know all of your contractual deadlines and meet them. Know all of the government’s contractual deadlines and notify them in writing the moment that they are late. The very moment. Neither ask for nor grant exceptions except through formal processes, such as engineering change proposals, formal waivers, and change orders. Know your obligations and fulfill them. Know your rights and insist upon them. When you truly believe that the government owes you something, ask for it in writing. If you don't get favorable action within a reasonable period of time, submit a claim in accordance with the contract Disputes clause and FAR Subpart 31.2. If the contracting officer does not make a decision within the deadlines set by the Disputes clause, hire an attorney and appeal to a board of contract appeals or to the Court of Federal Claims, unless you are willing to let the government keep what you think is yours. 8. Never yield to threats from a contracting officer or a contracting officer's representative. If you do, things will only get worse. When you insist upon your rights and the contracting officer’s representative says: That cuts both ways, just say: Yes, and we can live with that. 9. Don’t rely on personal relationships with government personnel. Good personal relations are important and desirable; but, in the end, it’s a dog-eat-dog world. Never consider a government representative to be your “friend.” Remember that government personnel are not business persons. They are government officials with limited authority, limited knowledge, a heavy workload, and lots of people looking over their shoulders. They will not (and should not) stick their necks out for you(emphasis added). If they do they are either stupid or dishonest and cannot be trusted. Some will make an extra effort for you, which is okay, but many will not. Assume from day one that you are on your own. 10. Keep good records. Document every telephone call and meeting. EACH AND EVERY ONE. Write down who, what, when, where, why, and how, and make your people do it as well. Check to see that they do. File every email and letter. EACH AND EVERY ONE. He or she who does not document or who skimps on documentation is a fool. 11. Promptly follow up on oral understandings and agreements in writing. Send crucially important communications by certified mail, return receipt requested, including confirmation of emailed and oral understandings and agreements. 12. It's business, not personal. When speaking with and corresponding with government personnel, always be calm and polite, no matter how badly they have behaved or how angry about it you are, but always be determined and firm. 13. Remember the 999/1,000 rule: You can do things wrongly 999 times out of 1,000 and nothing bad will happen. It’s the 1,000th time that will do you in. 14. Make sure that you have the telephone number, email address, and street address of a good government contracts attorney and a good government contracts accountant. If you can't afford that kind of help, stay away from government contracts(emphasis added). Now, I know that many readers will consider some of the above to be impractical. Business people are risk takers, and many will consider what I suggest to be too formal and stern. In their experience, business doesn’t work well when there is too much formality and insistence upon strict contractual compliance. So be it. I bow and yield to your superior wisdom. I have to admit that as a government contractor I have not always followed all of my own advice. So if you don't follow my advice and things go badly for you, the good Vern will not say I told you so, but the bad Vern will laugh."
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