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Everything posted by napolik

  1. If each office has its own purchase card holder, let each office use its card for its employee(s).
  2. Awarding to More Awardees

    What did you state in your solicitation? How many offers did you receive?
  3. SIg Sauer

    You issued your own trigger warning! Take a selfie, distribute it and celebrate yourself!
  4. SIg Sauer

    See the Indefinite Quantity clause in the contract: The Army provides consideration via paragraph (b ). It should have obligated the funds at the time of contract execution. Perhaps the CO issued the first order at the time of contract execution. If not, there may be an internal problem with the GAO.
  5. SIg Sauer

  6. SIg Sauer

    The 2 sentences above come from the contract, page 2. This clause comes from page 277:
  7. The last little bit: Quote PUBLIC LAW 109-461 On December 22, 2006, President Bush signed Public Law (P.L.) 109-461, The Veterans Health Care, Benefits and Information Technology Act of 2006. This law directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to “give priority to a small business concern owned and controlled by veterans, if such business concern also meets the requirements of that contracting preference.” 38 U.S.C. § 8128(a). To implement the Veterans Benefits Act, VA established the “Veterans First Contracting Program” on June 20, 2007. See AR 38-540 to 541 (New Guidelines for Placing Items and Services on the AbilityOne Procurement List (Apr. 28, 2010) (“New Guidelines”)). The program directed VA to consider service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (“SDVOSB”) and veteran-owned small businesses (“VOSB”) as a first and second priority when satisfying its acquisition requirements. Id. at 38-541. A final implementing rule establishing changes to the Department’s acquisition regulations was made effective January 7, 2010. See 74 Fed. Reg. 64619-01 (Dec. 8, 2009) (codified in scattered sections of 48 C.F.R. Subparts 802, 804, 808, 809, 810, 813, 815, 817, 819, 828, and 852). VA’S IMPLEMENTATION OF PUBLIC LAW 109-461 In 2006, Congress created the Veteran First contracting program to help provide preference to small businesses owned by veterans and service-disabled veterans over other companies. VA was charged with putting procedures in place to verify the ownership and status of the companies that wanted to participate in Veterans First. The VA has failed time and time again to follow the “Veterans First” law, which establishes set aside guidelines for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. While the GAO has investigated and agreed with the protest’s claims, an internal memo from the VA dated October 17th makes the assertion that since the GAO is part of the legislative branch, the VA is not bound by their findings and that the courts would decide the issue.. The memo goes on further to state that “GAO recommendation does not change how VA will acquire goods and services in support of its mission.” On October 26, 2010, the United States Court of Federal Claims (USCFC) set precedence on behalf of all SDVOSB / VOSB, when it ruled in favor of Angelica Textile Services, Inc., in the case of Angelica Textile Services, Inc., v. United States (10-496C) . The Federal Court decision confirmed that veterans have a contract preference and priority. Here are some excerpts from the court ruling : • “The Veterans Benefits Act is a specific mandate to the Department, and only to the Department, to grant first priority to SDVOSBs and VOSBs in the awarding of contracts.” • Above “any other provision of law” such as FAR Part 8 Required Sources of Supply • Above “any other provision of law” such as FAR Part 19.14; • Above general federal statues and initiatives • In all market types such federal supply schedules and open market; • Exclusively within the VA under 8127 (b), (c), or (d) and 8128 Unquote https://www.legion.org/legislative/testimony/160365/va’s-service-disabled-veteran-owned-small-business-certification
  8. The VAAR does address priorities that can be translated into tiers or cascades. This citation appears to be the device for implementing the legislation: Quote 819.7004 Contracting Order of Priority. In determining the acquisition strategy applicable to an acquisition, the contracting officer shall consider, in the following order of priority, contracting preferences that ensure contracts will be awarded: (a) To SDVOSBs; (b) To VOSB, including but not limited to SDVOSBs; (c) Pursuant to— (1) Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(a)); or (2) The Historically-Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Program (15 U.S.C. 657a); and (d) Pursuant to any other small business contracting preference. Unquote Also see this: Quote 815.304-70 Evaluation factor commitments. (a) VA contracting officers shall: (1) Include provisions in negotiated solicitations giving preference to offers received from VOSBs and additional preference to offers received from SDVOSBs; (2) Use past performance in meeting SDVOSB subcontracting goals as a nonprice evaluation factor in selecting offers for award; (3) Use the proposed inclusion of SDVOSBs or VOSBs as subcontractors as an evaluation factor when competitively negotiating the award of contracts or task or delivery orders; and (4) Use participation in VA’s Mentor-Protégé Program as an evaluation factor when competitively negotiating the award of contracts or task or delivery orders. (b) If an offeror proposes to use an SDVOSB or VOSB subcontractor in accordance with 852.215–70, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned and Veteran-Owned Small Business Evaluation Factors, the contracting officer shall ensure that the offeror, if awarded the contract, actually does use the proposed subcontractor or another SDVOSB or VOSB subcontractor for that subcontract or for work of similar value. Unquote
  9. PUBLIC LAW 109–461—DEC. 22, 2006 appears to give the VA authority to do cascades.
  10. I have been searching, and this is the best I could do, so far . PUBLIC LAW 109–461—DEC. 22, 2006 appears to give the VA authority to do cascades. Specifically, Quote § 8127. Small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans: contracting goals and preferences ‘‘(i) PRIORITY FOR CONTRACTING PREFERENCES.—Preferences for awarding contracts to small business concerns shall be applied in the following order of priority: ‘‘(1) Contracts awarded pursuant to subsection (b), (c), or (d) to small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans with service-connected disabilities. ‘‘(2) Contracts awarded pursuant to subsection (b), (c), or (d) to small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans that are not covered by paragraph (1). ‘‘(3) Contracts awarded pursuant to— ‘‘(A) section 8(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(a)); or ‘‘(B) section 31 of such Act (15 U.S.C. 657a). ‘‘(4) Contracts awarded pursuant to any other small business contracting preference. Unquote https://www.va.gov/ogc/docs/pl109-461.pdf These priorities appear in a 2016 VA solicitation: Quote The proposed acquisition will be an unrestricted acquisition. Please note that this Pre-Solicitation notification informs the Small Business Community of the VA's proposed acquisition and its intent to use a cascading method for selection. Construction & Facilities Management will advertise an announcement./Request for SF330s nationwide for locations listed but not limited to Lake Worth, FL, Elwood, IL, Phoenix, AZ, Bushnell, FL, Holly, MI, Bourne, MA, San Antonio, TX, Montevallo, AL, Houston, TX. Cascading Method for Small Business Awards In accordance with FAR Subpart 19 and PL 109-461, award under this solicitation will be made on a competitive basis from a cascading method as defined below who submits a technically acceptable (as evaluated by Technical Evaluation Board), responsive offer (qualified, responsible, and meets minimum technical requirements), with a fair and reasonable price (determined by Contracting Officer), provided that there is adequate competition among such offerors. a) If there is inadequate competition and/or if the offeror does not meet our requirement based on our best value criteria for award to a SDVOSB concern, award will be made competitively to an eligible Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB) concern. b ) If there is inadequate competition and/or if the offeror does not meet our requirement based on our best value criteria for award to a VOSB concern, award will be made competitively to an eligible 8a, HubZone, or a Woman Owned business concern. c) If there is inadequate competition and/or if the offeror does not meet our requirement based on our best value criteria for award to a 8a, HubZone, or a Woman Owned business concern, award will be made competitively to an eligible small business concern IAW FAR 19.5. Unquote https://oppex.com/notice/FBO_4ca6b4ec54319c9cf4a9eabb591a269d
  11. It appears that agencies must have specific statutory authority to use tiers or cascades: Quote 13 CFR 125.2 - What are SBA's and the procuring agency's responsibilities when providing contracting assistance to small businesses? (e) Multiple Award Contract – (7) Tiered evaluation of offers, or cascading. An agency cannot create a tiered evaluation of offers or “cascade” unless it has specific statutory authority to do so. This is a procedure used in negotiated acquisitions when the contracting officer establishes a tiered or cascading order of precedence for evaluating offers that is specified in the solicitation, which states that if no award can be made at the first tier, it will evaluate offers at the next lower tier, until award can be made. For example, unless the agency has specific statutory authority to do so, an agency is not permitted to state an intention to award one contract to an 8(a) BD Participant and one to a HUBZone SBC, but only if no awards are made to 8(a) BD Participants. Unquote https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/13/125.2
  12. A Competition Revolution

    Won't happen unless the new Prez slashes the DoD workforce including DPAP. Even then, the SS procedures will probably stay. Apart from the change in administrations, it is my assessment that the majority of contracting offices are incapable of writing and applying procedures that are legal, effective and efficient.
  13. A Competition Revolution

    Don, In my view, DoD must modify the procedures to conform to the Section 825 of the 2017 NDAA and to the GAO Sevatec decision. But, we have a new Prez and SecDef en route. At least the Prez elect thinks we are paying too much for DoD supplies and services. We will see what we will see.
  14. See page 18 here:https://vsc.gsa.gov/stepstosuccess.pdf. "We suggest that any arrangements between teaming partners be put in writing to prevent any misunderstandings. At a minimum, the CTA should clearly identify the MAS contractor team members, services and products that each team member will be responsible for supplying, price/discount of each line item and the applicable GSA contract numbers. Each team member will be responsible for reporting his or her sales and submitting the appropriate portion of the Industrial Funding Fee (IFF) against the MAS contract. Invoicing, payment, warranty and reporting remittances are areas that should be addressed in a CTA. Many times, agencies will want to receive a single invoice that cites the lead MAS contract. It is a good idea for each teaming partner to annotate his or her own MAS contract number on all invoices submitted to the CTA lead contract holder."
  15. Here is an interesting document on CTAs: https://www.gsa.gov/portal/mediaId/152791/fileName/MAS_CTA_StudentGuide_Fall_2016.action Regarding the number of BPAs issued to holders of the CTA, see page 29: “The task order or BPA is issued to the Schedule contractor team as a whole, and lists all Schedule contractor numbers on it. In some cases, depending on the agreement, task orders can be issued directly to each team member. If multiple award BPAs are awarded to multiple teams, then the teams must compete for the task orders.” Regarding number of delivery orders issued, see page 37: “Customarily, it is the CTA team lead that receives the delivery/task order award. However, unlike a prime/subcontract relationship, where all reporting is done under the prime’s name, a CTA focuses upon who performs the majority of work.” Regarding the IFF, see page 27: “Reporting of sales and Industrial Funding Fee (IFF) payment responsibility. The CTA document should: • Specify that each team member is responsible for reporting its own sales under its GSA Schedule contract and paying the related IFF to GSA. • State that each team member will track sales by contract number to meet contract pricing and IFF reporting requirements.”
  16. www.farsite.hill.af.mil

    Forza Italia! 252.204-7015 Notice of Authorized Disclosure of Information for Litigation Support. As prescribed in 204.7403(c), use the following clause: NOTICE OF AUTHORIZED DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION FOR LITIGATION SUPPORT (MAY 2016) (a) Definitions. As used in this clause— “Computer software” means computer programs, source code, source code listings, object code listings, design details, algorithms, processes, flow charts, formulae, and related material that would enable the software to be reproduced, recreated, or recompiled. Computer software does not include computer data bases or computer software documentation. “Litigation support” means administrative, technical, or professional services provided in support of the Government during or in anticipation of litigation. "Litigation support contractor" means a contractor (including its experts, technical consultants, subcontractors, and suppliers) providing litigation support under a contract that contains the clause at 252.204-7014, Limitations on the Use or Disclosure of Information by Litigation Support Contractors. “Sensitive information” means controlled unclassified information of a commercial, financial, proprietary, or privileged nature. The term includes technical data and computer software, but does not include information that is lawfully, publicly available without restriction. “Technical data” means recorded information, regardless of the form or method of the recording, of a scientific or technical nature (including computer software documentation). The term does not include computer software or data incidental to contract administration, such as financial and/or management information. (b) Notice of authorized disclosures. Notwithstanding any other provision of this solicitation or contract, the Government may disclose to a litigation support contractor, for the sole purpose of litigation support activities, any information, including sensitive information, received-- (1) Within or in connection with a quotation or offer; or (2) In the performance of or in connection with a contract. (c) Flowdown. Include the substance of this clause, including this paragraph (c), in all subcontracts, including subcontracts for commercial items. (End of clause)
  17. FYI, I learned at the Nash & Cibinic Roundtable that the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes a DoD recommendation to allow all agencies to select contractors for multiple award contracts without considering price. The consideration of price is deferred to the evaluation of task and delivery orders under the MACs. This will be a significant, beneficial change. Quote SEC. 825. EXCEPTION TO REQUIREMENT TO INCLUDE COST OR PRICE TO THE GOVERNMENT AS A FACTOR IN THE EVALUATION OF PROPOSALS FOR CERTAIN MULTIPLE-AWARD TASK OR DELIVERY ORDER CONTRACTS. (a) Exception To Requirement To Include Cost Or Price As Factor.—Section 2305(a)(3) of title 10, United States Code, is amended— (1) in subparagraph (A)— (A) in clause (i), by inserting “(except as provided in subparagraph (C))” after “shall”; and (B) in clause (ii), by inserting “(except as provided in subparagraph (C))” after “shall”; and (2) by adding at the end the following new subparagraphs: “(C) If the head of an agency issues a solicitation for multiple task or delivery order contracts under section 2304a(d)(1)(B) of this title for the same or similar services and intends to make a contract award to each qualifying offeror— “(i) cost or price to the Federal Government need not, at the Government’s discretion, be considered under clause (ii) of subparagraph (A) as an evaluation factor for the contract award; and “(ii) if, pursuant to clause (i), cost or price to the Federal Government is not considered as an evaluation factor for the contract award— “(I) the disclosure requirement of clause (iii) of subparagraph (A) shall not apply; and “(II) cost or price to the Federal Government shall be considered in conjunction with the issuance pursuant to section 2304c(b) of this title of a task or delivery order under any contract resulting from the solicitation. “(D) In subparagraph (C), the term ‘qualifying offeror’ means an offeror that— “(i) is determined to be a responsible source; “(ii) submits a proposal that conforms to the requirements of the solicitation; and “(iii) the contracting officer has no reason to believe would likely offer other than fair and reasonable pricing. “(E) Subparagraph (C) shall not apply to multiple task or delivery order contracts if the solicitation provides for sole source task or delivery order contracts pursuant to section 8(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(a)).”. Unquote

    The abbreviation BAFO has been replaced by FPR (final proposal revision). The issuance of a FPR is commonplace whether the procurement method is tradeoff or LPTA. A proposal revision or a FPR must be requested following discussions. Contracting officers conduct discussions and request proposal revisions/ FPRs to obtain price reductions, to improve the quality of an acceptable proposal, and/ or to give a contractor an opportunity to make an unacceptable proposal acceptable. The contracting officer must obtain a proposal revision or a FPR when the solicitation document is being amended.
  19. A GSA spokeswoman issued a statement Wednesday contradicting the lawmakers' characterization of the discussions: GSA does not have a position that the lease provision requires the president-elect to divest of his financial interests. We can make no definitive statement at this time about what would constitute a breach of the agreement, and to do so now would be premature. In fact, no determination regarding the Old Post Office can be completed until the full circumstances surrounding the president-elect’s business arrangements have been finalized and he has assumed office. GSA is committed to responsibly administering all of the leases to which it is a party.
  20. Inauguration Holiday?

    You need to look at your contract clauses. I issued many service contracts. In some cases, government holidays were irrelevant (e.g. ship repairs at contractor facilities or data analysis services that did not require access to government offices). In other cases, the contractor was required to provide on-site support at government offices. In the latter case, the contract contained a clause stating that support would, or would not, not be provided on holidays.
  21. Informal Price Analysis for Options

    It appears that contracting officers can have pecuniary liability. See this discussion from Ask a Professor: https://dap.dau.mil/aap/pages/qdetails.aspx?cgiSubjectAreaID=3&cgiQuestionID=18532 Quote Up until a few years ago, Contracting Officers were not considered "Accountable Officials." In the second edition of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) "Principles of Federal Appropriations Law" (commonly known as the GAO Redbook) Volume II Chapter Nine the following definition of an "accountable officer is provided. An accountable officer is any government officer or employee who by reason of his or her employment is responsible for or has custody of government funds. 62 Comp. Gen.476, 479 (1983); 59 Comp. Gen. 113, 114 (1979); B-188894, September 29, 1977. Accountable officers encompass such officials as certifying officers, civilian and military disbursing officers, collecting officers, and other employees who by virtue of their employment have custody of government funds. With rare exceptions, other officials who may have a role in authorizing expenditures (contracting officers, for example) are not accountable officers for purposes of the laws discussed in this chapter, although they may be made accountable in varying degrees by agency regulation. See B-241856.2, September 23, 1992. However, this was recently changed. The current same section of the GAO redbook reads as follows: An accountable officer is any government officer or employee who by reason of his or her employment is responsible for or has custody of government funds. B-288163, June 4, 2002; 62 Comp. Gen. 476, 479 (1983); 59 Comp. Gen. 113, 114 (1979); B-257068, Oct. 22, 1994; B-188894, Sept. 29, 1977. Accountable officers encompass such officials as certifying officers, disbursing officers, collecting officers, and other employees who by virtue of their employment have custody of government funds. Clearly, the relevant statutory provisions are the first place one looks for the source of authority conferring the status of "accountable officer" and establishing the responsibilities and liabilities that go with it. Does this leave any room for agencies to create "accountable officers" by administrative action? Until recently, GAO decisions indicated that agencies could impose accountable officer status and liability so long as they did so by specific regulation. See B-247563.3, Apr. 5, 1996; B-260369, June 15, 1995; 72 Comp. Gen. 49, 52 (1992); B-241856, Sept. 23, 1992, and decisions cited. These decisions reasoned that such liability, duly imposed by regulation, could be regarded as part of the employee's "employment contract." However, in B-280764, May 4, 2000, GAO reconsidered its position and held that accountable officer status and liability can only be created by statute. The 2000 decision overruled prior inconsistent decisions. The change between these two Redbook editions resulted from Congress passing the 2003 National Defense Authorization Act (codified at 10 U.S.C. § 2773a), which provided a statutory authority defining individuals who are responsible in the performance of their duties for providing to a certifying officer information, data, or services that the certifying officer directly relies upon in the certification of vouchers for payment as "accountable officials." While the statute does not further define this, the DoD Financial Management Regulation (FMR) DoD 7000.14-R (http://www.dod.mil/comptroller/fmr/) does specifically include both the Contracting Officer and the Administrative Contracting Officer in their list of "accountable officials" since, in the course of their duties, they provide accounting information to certifying officials. Thus Contracting Officers are possibly pecuniarily liable for erroneous payments resulting from their negligent actions in accordance with 10 U.S.C. § 2773a. Unquote See 10 U.S. Code § 2773a - Departmental accountable officials here: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/10/2773a. Also, I found a power point presentation entitled “Certifying Officer Legislation Training” here: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwips9KjhdHQAhUBhiYKHcAwAc8QFggbMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fsill-www.army.mil%2FUSAG%2FDOC%2Fppt%2FCOL%2520TRAINING.PPTX&usg=AFQjCNG6wWsRutS_3MFQpraKsyha-9svQA&bvm=bv.139782543,d.eWE. I found this on slide 12 of the power point presentation Quote Departmental Accountable officials are responsible for providing to a Certifying Officer information, data, or services that are directly relied upon by the Certifying Officer in the certification of vouchers for payment. Two examples of individuals who could be appointed as Departmental Accountable Officials are: Receiving Officials and Contracting Officers. Unquote Next, I found this on page 33-9 of the DoD 7000.14-R Financial Management Regulation VOLUME 5, CHAPTER 33: “CERTIFYING OFFICERS, DEPARTMENTAL ACCOUNTABLE OFFICIALS, AND REVIEW OFFICIALS” Quote *330305. Departmental Accountable Officials (DAOs) A. DAOs are responsible in the performance of their duties to provide certifying officers with information, data, or services to support the payment certification process. They have unique mission area responsibilities that require supervisors and appointing officials to not only decide if DAO appointments are required, but also define clearly each DAO’s functions. Appointment of DAOs in not mandatory; examples of persons whose duties could be considered as appropriate to support their being appointed as DAOs include, but are not limited to, receiving officials, contracting officers, personnel who make payment eligibility determinations, time and attendance personnel, and travel approving officials. Unquote Finally, DoD 7000.14-R Financial Management Regulation Volume 10, Chapter 23 seems to focus only on contracting officers involved with purchase cards: http://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals/45/documents/fmr/Volume_10.pdf.
  22. Informal Price Analysis for Options

    No, I have not found a regulation imposing personal liability for an unauthorized commitments, but I have found the following Extract from the Department of Defense COR Handbook, Chapter 7 - Contract Administration Ratification of Unauthorized Commitments. See here: https://acc.dau.mil/CommunityBrowser.aspx?id=526643 Quote The COR should report any perceived unauthorized commitments immediately to the Contracting Officer. At the same time, CORs themselves must take great care not to instruct a contractor to perform a task that may be outside the scope of the contract. CORs are reminded that they, or any unwarranted Government official, may be financially obligated for any costs or damages incurred as a result of their directing contractor performance beyond the scope of their authority. Unquote
  23. Informal Price Analysis for Options

    This contracting officer paid a price, literally, for failing to do a market price analysis: http://www.gao.gov/assets/330/325996.pdf. Quote The basis for assessing the debt against Mr. Martino was the lack of evidence that he conducted or relied upon any kind of market survey in signing the contract extension as required by regulation. PCC's Inspector General found substantial evidence to support the conclusion that the extension was made with the knowledge that it was not supported by fact and was contrary to law or regulation. In particular, the contract extension was for $355/ton of liquid chlorine at a time when the producer price index was around $200/ton at the point of origin and the contractor was paying $165/ton to its supplier. The PCC concluded that since prices were considerably lower than the PCC was paying, Mr. Martino could not have conducted the required investigation of market prices prior to extending the contract. The PCC found that Mr. Martino's deliberate disregard of the FAR which required a market analysis made him responsible for the losses sustained by PCC as a result of his actions. Given the wide disparity in prices between what the PCC paid and what it might have paid for the commodity in question, we conclude that the PCC had a rational basis for the finding it reached. Unquote
  24. You must stipulate a maximum quantity in your IDQ contract, and you must use the dollar value associated with the maximum quantity when applying the certified cost or pricing data threshold. Take a look at FAR 16.504(a)(4)(ii) and 1.108(c): 16.504 -- Indefinite-Quantity Contracts. (a) (4) A solicitation and contract for an indefinite quantity must— (i) (ii) Specify the total minimum and maximum quantity of supplies or services the Government will acquire under the contract; 1.108 – FAR Conventions. The following conventions provide guidance for interpreting the FAR: (c) Dollar thresholds. Unless otherwise specified, a specific dollar threshold for the purpose of applicability is the final anticipated dollar value of the action, including the dollar value of all options. If the action establishes a maximum quantity of supplies or services to be acquired or establishes a ceiling price or establishes the final price to be based on future events, the final anticipated dollar value must be the highest final priced alternative to the Government, including the dollar value of all options.
  25. Paragraph (a) of the definition of a contract seems to apply in the Great Southern Engineering decision. NASA provided a different definition of contract for purposes of evaluating past performance: "Specifically, NASA informed the firms that “the requirements have not changed as it relates to Past Performance. . . . [A] contract will be considered a single contract regardless of the number of task orders issued under the contract.”