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Everything posted by woops85

  1. My new agency allows the use of an SF-182 to procure training up to the SAT. The people procuring the training are currently NOT required to be 1102s, CORs, or have any training on Simplified Acquisitions. So that means we have lots of training bought without getting multiple quotes or looking at small business status. But we're working on fixing all of that, especially the training part. We're trying to establish the new way of doing business. We've thought about doing a multiple award BPA for instructor-led courses but post-award adminstration would be a nightmare. Most vendors want 15 -30 days notice of cancellation and many classes don't fill up until the last minute. It takes 2 weeks to get a requisition through our financial system (mainly due to it being new and the learning curve) to contracts, who then need 10 days to process. That means lots of potential cancellation fees. Additionally, they still want to use the SF-182 as an ordering instrument. So I wanted to get thoughts on using Basic Ordering Agreements to establish what would be a preferred vendors list. But I don't have any experience with agreements - I'm the Program person, not an 1102. I'm thinking we could have a panel review vendor responses and the outcome would be a list of vendors whose curricula for various courses has been approved to be taught within the agency. Could have some sort of process to add new offerings/vendors as well as take people off the list if there's a quality problem (shown by course evaluations). Then training coordinators could get quotes from the folks on the list who offer the class they need and still use the SF-182 to place the order. So thoughts?? What obstacles am I not seeing? What ways have you seen training procured that have worked well? Our agency has folks nationwide and runs about 20 classes a month in classrooms across the country. Trying to find a way to ensure quality of the training as well as the procurement process. Oh and we are very decentralized but could get an agency mandate to use a BOA or other process if one existed. Thanks
  2. My Department allows the use of an SF-182 as an obligating instrument by non-warranted personnel if (1) it's below the SAT, (2) cost is of a fixed nature (price per student, per course or per program) AND (3) program, course or instructional service is off-the-shelf and no modification or development resulting in increased cost is needed to meet the need. We've got an in-house developed supervisory course that presented by an instructor certified to deliver the results of the assessment the student take (MBTI, 360's, that sort of thing). Originally was supposed to be all Government folks presenting the class with the occasional contractor brought in in case of conflicts. Based on staffing changes, it's now rare to have a Government person teach the class. At one point, senior management was comfortable that the hiring of a facilitator/coach to present this curriculum was an instructional service and met the requirements for using a SF-182. New senior management came in and said nope - doesn't meet the three tests. The Department has a BPA for coaches so we started using that. Only issue we have had with this approach was that program folks arranging the courses have been waiting too long to submit purchase requests so everything gets rushed. No ratifications yet but only because of acquisition folks jumping through hoops. Now program people are trying to claim that the government development course is "COTS" and they can hire any company they want to using a SF-182 to present the curriculum. Reality is they want to sole source to an instructor who is not part of the coaching BPA. Since they don't understand acquisition enough to make an argument that makes sense to us, can anyone here explain to us why the program folks might be right?
  3. Thanks all! I will use this to help the program folks craft an argument for senior management that is better than their current "we were always able to before". But to answer your questions. C Culham - 3 tests are in first paragraph of original post. My shop does the money and we have to add line of accounting to the 182s. Every time I refuse to do so and tell them they must do a PR, we're getting a little tempest in a teacup. And it's easier to rail at me than do what I tell them - take it up with the boss if they don't like my answer. Just getting a little tired of the repeated monthly drama. Previous management allowed based on their definition of the facilitated delivery as an "instructional service". Desparado - Several agencies actually do allow use of 182 but only up to 25K. Asked the question in a multi-agency working group I'm in but didn't ask about the non-warranted part. Scary part about our policy is that there is no training requirement outlined in the policy before someone can obligate using a 182. Not even purchase card training or anything about doing market research. And yes, I've raised it with the policy folks that they have left a big door open to trouble. Don - This course is very specific to my agency - includes a lot of agency policy and we actually have an HR person for one 2-3 hour period to respond to questions that come up the first 3 days. It's a very interactive course. There's a bundle of online courses that are taken before - many from OPM's HRU website on the basics of stuff (Merit Systems Principles, etc) as well as a couple assessments (MBTI, DISC, etc). Many vendors do have supervisory courses that are equivalent to the about 24 hours of the material and there's no issue if they order those courses using the 182. Heck could even do one of those courses and then tack on an extra day to have an agency instructor and HR person team up to do the other material with no issue. Vern - not classified or FOUO. But to be presented to other agencies, about 6 hours of classroom time would need to be changed to be pertinent to those other agencies. That's why I don't think the course manual is COTS. I can actually see the argument for the facilitated delivery as an instructional service of a GOTS product that would meet the agency 182 use rules.
  4. My old organization used to do it routinely at the macro level - definitely not at a CLIN level. Would give estimated dollars or hours but never both. Vendors who proposed outside the range were asked to include an explanation in the cost proposal of why they were outside the range. Maybe they saw risks we didn't, etc
  5. Department of the Interior has an Acquisition Development Management Program that posts vacancy announcements throughout the year. It's a 2 year term appointment under the Pathways program (where veterans' preference applies) and folks are brought in on a 9/11/12 PD. DOI (one of my coworkers) runs the program but the positions are funded by various agencies. DOI has an agreement with Office of Personnel Management that allows the individuals to be hired by the funding agency at the end of the program (usually a Pathways term appt can only be converted by the agency holding the position). Participants are DOI employees during the program, receive all needed training for FAC-C Level 1 or 2 depending on the funding agency requirement. Can find some info at https://doiu.doi.gov/programs/acquisitionInstitute.html. May be too junior for you. We currently have a cohort for DOD Washington Headquarters Service and are about to recruit for a cohort for Interior's Acquisition Group.
  6. Thanks Old-Dog. Using the definitions on the Cendi page, it's definitely a Government Work, created by Government employees as part of their official duties. But Cendi doesn't help with the question of "Can the Government provide the course materials to any vendor and allow that vendor to add the course to their commercial catalog?" Because in order to use an SF-182 to order the course from a vendor IAW our Departmental Policy, the program folks would need to show their market research and get vendor quotes/catalogs showing this as one of their products.
  7. I've done this twice before within GSA where we and the other office had different payment systems. We were lucky enough to be able to do it at the option year of the contract so had a clean break point. In each case the old office did a bilateral mod that was effective on the last day of the current option period transferring administration of the contract. The new contract office executed and funded the option period. We revised Section G, Contract Administration, to include language that all matters involving payment for costs incurred were to be handled by the contracting office that had cognizance during that period of performance. That way no funds changed hands between the two offices, and the old contracting office was effectively able to do a contract close-out on their portion after they got the last invoice and provided a copy to the new office. (Luckily neither one was Cost Plus)
  8. woops85

    FAR 52.217-8 AND FAR 52.217-9

    "What the heck does "incorporating/exercising" mean?" I would guess that means they intend to add the clause allowing options and then exercise the previously non-existent option in the same modification. Hopefully MeryWifcon will respond soon to clarify
  9. At my old organization we had a contract with the Reserves that included support for various distance learning centers (the infrastructure install, maintenance, de-install if needed). Because the contract POP was covering years when BRAC moves would be made, the customer knew there would be times when an existing learning center would have to be de-installed from one location and then re-established somewhere else, usually in the same geographic area. They were able to use previous BRAC move history to estimate a number of times this would occur but they could not estimate the when - RFP was on street before BRAC commission announced recommendations and then there's the fighting afterwards to stop it. They set it up as an optional task within the SOW and the cost proposal for that task was for a specific scenario - take it down from point A, re-establish it at Point B within a 500 mile radius. Timing was good as BRAC recommendations came out during evaluations and Govt wound up using a NTE number for that task each year based on vendor bid and their estimate of number of times it would happen. As I recall, wound up not having that task exercised until Opt 2 but they were pretty close on number of times we needed to do it each year.
  10. woops85

    Why protest?

    Re Vecchia Post #16. Don't forget the folks who erroneously use the term "sole-source" when referring to a competitive procurement process that resulted in a single bid.
  11. woops85

    GSA Official Reinstated

    Unfortunately the guy in the tub drinking a glass of bubbly (Neely) was allowed to retire. Too bad MSPB could not negatively impact his retirement in some way
  12. woops85

    Why protest?

    GovExec says the article is being published by Dan Gordon in the Public Contract Law Journal in the spring.
  13. A variation of the language is still in the GSAM (at least the one linked on Acquisition.Gov) if you're with GSA. May still be in other agency supplements as well 519.502-1 Requirements for setting aside acquisitions. (a) You may make awards under the 8(a) Business Development Program (see FAR 19.8), or set aside for the Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Program (see FAR 19.13, Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Program (see FAR 19.15), or Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Procurement Program (see FAR 19.14). (B ) Once a contracting activity acquires a product or service successfully on the basis of a set-aside, the activity must acquire all future requirements for that product or service using set-aside procedures. If you determine that you no longer can reasonably expect to receive offers from at least two responsible small business concerns and make awards at fair market prices, use the procedures in FAR 19.506 to withdraw a repetitive set-aside. However, the availability of Federal Prison Industries, Inc. and Nonprofit Agencies Employing People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled (JWOD) mandatory sources which may not have existed at the time of the original requirement are sufficient reason to discontinue setting aside a continuing requirement
  14. woops85

    Contract Duplication

    Maybe someday that threatened OFPP inventory of all IDIQs/BPAs in existence will actually get produced and then it can be a required check when determining acquisition strategy.
  15. woops85


    Having spent the morning working sequester drills, I can tell you that my agency, at least, has lots of flexibility in how we get to our number. Right now we are looking at things we can cut and the impact of those cuts. I'm sure there will be a lot of discussion next week about whether it is better to reduce non-personnel funds for a program (and this would include contractor costs) or personnel funds for the same program and what the right mix is. And the word "optics" will get thrown all over the place before a decision is made.
  16. woops85

    Fractional Hourly Billing

    The contractor's stated practices and their timekeeping/accounting system are also drivers on billing quarter hours versus by tenths
  17. woops85

    Parlaying Contracting Career

    Agency - If we can ask, why don't you think it's a good fit? At my old agency (GSA), there were lots of different 1102 positions. Some were policy, some dealt solely with awarding vehicles (schedules, IDIQs, etc), some with specific types of commodities and others handled primarily services. So I'm wondering if it's the particular type of work you're doing or just doing contracts in the Government that not working for you
  18. personal past experience has shown that if you use "According to the FAR" in a statement/question to agency CO and they are not subject to the FAR, they are very quick to tell you that.
  19. The Executive Order issued on 30 Jan 2009 requiring right of first refusal did not address level of pay.
  20. What's the contract type? And what was the reason for the deobligation?
  21. woops85

    Page Numbers wrong on contract.

    Stahr - How it happens is easy. Someone doesn't go into the Header/Footer and update the references when they drop off the sections. In my old shop we did not use continuous numbering for that reason - instead contract pages had section numbers (A-1, B-1, etc) So then when the CS did a Save As on the solicitation to use it as the basis of the award document and started deleting stuff, it wasn't a problem. And if the "of 50" part was typed in instead of using the reference functions for page numbering, then it's even easier to forget.
  22. OFPP published guidance in June 2008 on Interagency acquisitions that could pertain if that's the nature of your agreement. It requires a Best Interest Determination before entering into the agreement ofr an interagency acquisition but doesn't specify a format. 2011 OFPP guidance covers the contents of Interagency Agreements but makes no mention of having to do a D&F
  23. Best person to ask is the CO for the contract.
  24. woops85

    Award protest time period

    jj - OP said award was made on 28 Sept so 10 days from award had passed prior to debriefing being sent out on 9 Oct. Duke - What FAR part was the procurement done under? We're assuming 16 but please clarify. Also - I would check with the Office of General Counsel for your agency. When I was at GSA, all GAO correspondence went to our OGC and if a notice came in late on a Friday, I might not hear about it until Monday afternoon. Does the protest show up on the GAO Bid Protest docket website?
  25. woops85

    Multiple Award IDIQ

    Ref Second Question - i think it all depends on the ground rules you establish in the solicitation about the ordering process and how you establish the regions in the solicitation. If you don't establish regions in the solicitation, then you are asking for trouble if you try to limit fair opportunity afterwards. It's essentially the same approach as previous GWACs (Millennia Lite, CIO-SP2i, ImageWorld2) used with Functional Areas - vendor could bid on one or more functional areas and could receive an award in all, any or none of the areas they bid on. Each order afterwards was classified into one or more of the functional areas and only awardees with that (those) functional area(s) were given an opportunity to bid. For ease of example, say you have 3 regions (north, south and west). If you are making a single award in each region, then each order under the MAC essentially becomes a sole source contract with your acquisition strategy focused on why you are using the MAC, not that vendor. If making multiple awards in a region, then you're competing each order for that region to meet fair opportunity process that you described in the solicitation and resulting contract. What happens if an order covers more than one region? Make sure you cover that scenario as well or rule it out completely I think the harder part is justifying the single versus multiple award in each region at the MAC level.