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Everything posted by GOVCO

  1. To me, no, I do not believe the rules are too complicated. However, I believe some, not all, COs make it more complicated than the initial GSA MAS/FSS Program, of "a simplified process for obtaining commercial supplies and services at prices associated with volume buying." Could certain areas be further clarified, sure, as some have said. For me, I see and hear COs say, 'it's complicated,' as if we're in some weird dating circle. Just my opinion of course.
  2. There you have it folks. Enough said. [Waits for same agency to issue [sSJ/JOFOC/LSJ/JEFO] to outfit Mgmt with new innovative iPhone 6s and 6Ps, rather than Android products, cause, well, their 'thinner, and lighter, and better, and stuff like that.']
  3. I began grabbing excerpts to quote, and drafted this long response, only to conclude.....#Hilariously[TRAGIC]!
  4. Innovation and the Government.....some areas maybe, procurement, possibly. "Too much procurement" issues, sure. Would I love some sort of "elite workforces," with an emphasis on real "competence." Sign me up. We have to start, or continue building on what we have. For me, that's here locally at my own agency. I may sound naive. I may even be a dreamer. However, I'm not willing to throw in the towel just yet....that comes later around retirement time. Articles like this: http://www.ideo.com/images/uploads/news/pdfs/InnovationInGovernment.pdf, and maybe programs such as this: http://www.ourpublicservice.org/OPS/programs/cgl/leadership_excellence_in_acquisition_program.shtml, has me hoping some day FAR and Innovation can truely be bridged together. Easiest way to eat an elephant right....one bite at a time.... Just my $0.02 for what it's worth.
  5. In a nutshell, what I'm saying is, concerning services, if yes, I was limiting consideration to fewer than what 8.405-1 (-2, or -3) calls for, then I feel it's more appropriate to cite FAR 8.504-6[a][1] - A, B, or C. Citing para (B ) I see as a sole source, and not where two or more resellers of a specific manufacturers exist for 'pricing' purposes only (as the manufacturer will still be providing the service). This gets into the whole 'passthrough' issue we all know about. Either way, moving on. Appreciate your input.
  6. In scenario above, services would be procured following FAR 8.405-2[c][3]. Would you say services [in general; not bundled with an item], whether available on one or more schedule contracts, would ever be justified in accordance with FAR 8.405-6? Bottom line: I cannot see how an ordering activity could justify its action when restricting consideration for services as "Items peculiar to one manufacturer." Conversely, I can see how services could be justified in accordance with one of the circumstances in FAR 8.405-6[a] (i.e.urgent and compelling need, only one source capable, or logical follow-on.).
  7. [Preface - Yes, I really am asking for more feedback] Question: Must a CO prepare (and post along with RFQ) an LSJ under the authority of the MAS Program citing FAR 8.405-6 Item peculiar to one manufacturer, if the current requirement is for an authorized [partner, reseller, etc.] to provide [XYZ] services [sold as services under SINs 132-51 (or -52)] on previously purchased [items peculiar to one manufacture; e.g. software products]? Note: Services available from multiple authorized [partner, reseller, etc.) under the FSS Program. Ktr will need to hold certain credentialing. My Opinion: Items peculiar to one manufacturer applies to supplies, not services. (See Reference below) Reference: ASI Government published, What's in a (Brand) Name?, November 2013. (Attached) As the advisory article states, it "explores the justification, approval, and publicizing requirements for brand name acquisitions." "Does brand name include services [EMPHASIS ADDED] as well as supplies? Our interpretation of the FAR is that brand name descriptions apply only to supplies. However, supplies often come packaged with installation, maintenance, or repair services. In those cases, where the services in support of a brand name item cannot be separated from the item, the services should be included in the brand name description." FAR 11.105: "Agency requirements shall not be written so as to require a particular brand name, product, or a feature of a product, peculiar to one manufacturer, thereby precluding consideration . . . . . .unless....."
  8. Well, I don't think anyone is saying T&M or LH contracts don't involve "levels of effort." They involve this information, as you state, to assist with establishing the ceiling price. However, what I am saying is, based on the discussions under posts 4-6 above, is that, if a T&M or LH contract is not a true "level of effort" contract, whereby Gov is not requiring the Ktr to provide a specified level of effort, over a stated period of time, on work that can be stated only in general terms; and, is does not agree to pay Ktr a fixed dollar amt. (e.g. as is FAR 16.207 [FFP-LOE]), why would we state the "levels of effort" in the contract. I might not be able to "estimate accurately the extent or duration of the work, or to anticiapte costs with any reasonable degree of confidence," which is why I'm establishing a ceiling price, which sure, is based in part (or whole) on what we [Gov/Ktr] believe the "levels of effort" might be, but not too sure. I guess I'm looking for, yes, it makes sense to state the "levels of effort" in the contract if you require more control, or no, do not state the "levels of effort" because you're not "buying hours." I agree "the T&M or LH is not a fixed price contract." I also agree with your last statement.
  9. So, if a LH or T&M contract is not a "level-of-effort" contract, and thus, doesn't 'buy hours,' it seems to be counterintuitive to specify the estimated hours under a LH or T&M contract. LCATs and fixed hourly rates yes. Does this really boil down to how much 'control' [or Government surveillance] is required "to give reasonable assurance that efficient methods and effective cost controls are being used."?
  10. [...fast forward to today...new follow-on question] Re T&M or LH contracts: When, if ever, is it beneficial to explicitly state in the contract the hours per LCAT? Specifically, looking for feedback on possible Pros/Cons of including/not including the breakdown of hours per LCAT in the contract. Also, curious to see what is the common practice among other agencies in how to specify proposed LCATs in the contract For example: Option 1: Task 1 - X,Y,Z: LCAT SME1 NTE 50hrs at $100hr = $5k LCAT SME2 NTE 100hrs at $150hr = $15k Task 2 - X,Y,Z: LCAT SME3 NTE 50hrs at $200hr = $10k LCAT SME4 NTE 100hrs at $250hr = $25k Ceiling Price = $55k Option 2: Task 1 - X,Y,Z: Task 2 - X,Y,Z: Approved LCATs: LCAT SME1 at $100hr LCAT SME2 at $150hr LCAT SME3 at $200hr LCAT SME4 at $250hr Ceiling Price = $55k (calculated based upon Ktr proposing same level of effort and mix of labor as under Option 1; although, Ktr can use any mix found to be appropriate during actual performance; Gov provides appropriate surveillance of Ktr through QCP, etc.) Appreciate some feedback.
  11. Thanks Vern for responding. See comments within your response. Bottom line is I'm trying to see how other agency's pay for unknown training that pops up under a LH contract. Do agency's pay for the contractor's time and cost of training? One or the other? None? Is contractor responsible for back-filling the personnel attending training, so no lapse in service happens? Guess it boils down to what we said in the contract. Well, what if we establish a new contract?
  12. Scenario: IDIQ contract w/ pricing on a FFP and LH basis for services [staff augmentation] to perform X. However, 'X' often changes as new technology is released. Contract is silent on paying for training. However, contract includes language that mentions contractor traveling to agency to participate in meetings, vendor sponsored training and workshops. Question 1: Under LH orders - Is it common practice in your agency to pay (e.g. directly for cost of training, or labor hour rate for time in the training, or both) for contractor personnel working under contract to perform 'X', to attend agency-specific OR 'commercially available' training, workshops, seminars, etc.? Question 2: Under LH orders - Are cost for things such as training contractor personnel already built into the contractors fixed hourly rate? Question 3: Same as above, only under FFP orders. Question 4: Does anyone have language they would share where, 1) Training is not allowed; and 2) Feedback greatly appreciated!
  13. Soooo.....anyone else in the same funding boat as me.... [Preface my post by claiming ignorance in this area...but having an eagerness to learn.] The agency I work for is still obligating partial funds on contracts awarded during FY13. We initially funded contracts for the duration of the then current CR (i.e. March 27, 2013). However, once H.R. 933 was signed into law, we received additional guidance [from our OB; similar to post #s 5 and 6 above] stating to only provide funding for those contracts for an additional month, and only fund new 'operations essential' contracts above a certain dollar threshold for a month. It is what it is. I understand part of H.R. 933 bill made continuing appropriations for FY2013 to a variety of other federal agencies and programs at what appears to be FY12 levels. I don't quite get if this mean 'technically' those "other federal agencies and programs" [such as mine] are still operating under a CR through the end of FY13, at the current levels (i.e. FY12 levels). I hear some folks say, we are still under a CR because we did not receive an 'appropriations' like some agencies (i.e. DOD, VA, etc.) Others say, we are not under a CR, since we received funding, albeit at the current levels (e.g. FY12). My agency falls under Division F of HR 933. So, those agencies falling under Divisions A-E of HR 933 received FY13 'appropriations,' whereas those under Division F received funding at the FY12 levles as acknowledged under the CR. What a mess this is....or what a mess inside my head. Again...claiming ignorance, but looking for clarification in the simplest of ways. Thanks in advance!
  14. So: Yet: Conclusion: At least [Joins the "vast majority" group and calls it a day].
  15. WIFCON Gut-check assistance required: Can this be done: Award a sole source IDIQ contract for commercial services (over $6.5M under $103M) with rates established on a time-and-materials or labor-hour basis. The IDIQ will be structured to allow for order to be placed on a FFP, or LH basis. (See FAR 12.207[c][1][ii] and [c][2]) BUT THEN I READ..... FAR 12.207[1], which says a T&M, or LH contract may be used for the acquisition of commercial services when - [A] Competitive procedures (e.g., the procedures in 6.102, the set-aside procedures in Subpart 19.5, or competition conducted in accordance with Part 13); The procedures for other than full and open competition in 6.3 provided the agency receives offers that satisfy the Government’s expressed requirement from two or more responsible offerors; or [C] The fair opportunity procedures in 16.505 (including discretionary small business set-asides under 16.505[2][F]), if placing an order under a multiple-award delivery-order contract; and [ii] ...D&F stuff. Yeah, I get this part. Well....my requirement doesn't meet the above [1], which leads me to believe I can't treat it as a commercial services. Thoughts welcome.
  16. I will look into the book references you provided. Thanks Vern!
  17. That is exactly my point. With 5 pages worth of threads under the "Schedules, GWACS, MACs, IDIQs" forum, it may be benificial to capture an overview, rather than dive into specific situations. It was just a thought I had at 12:13 this afternoon.
  18. Follow-on question. Looking for a GSA schedule course. Can't seem to find anything. Anyone know if they do on-site training, or have a POC I can inquire with?
  19. Does anyone work for an agency that has a structured training program for 1105s? If so, I may want to chat offline to ask additional questions. Thanks!
  20. Some additional info I find useful: http://interact.gsa.gov/wiki/far-part-15-doesn%E2%80%99t-apply-so-don%E2%80%99t-use-it.
  21. Well, Vegas odds is steering me to 4, as 1, or 2 may be longshots. All joking aside, I really am curious.
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