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  1. A friend of mine is looking for someone to head their contracts department; mid-size company that does most of its work in the Federal space. He didn’t have anyone in-house with extensive senior level contracting experience so he asked me to perform one part of the interview screening just to discuss contracts and make a recommendation. This position would have 1 or 2 direct reports of entry to mid-level contracts persons to support and mentor. This position would report directly to the C-level of the company and provide guidance on contractual issues/risks and manage its day to day contractual needs. The minimum requirement, among the obvious educational requirements, was 10 years’ experience managing contracts. I interviewed 9 people; all exceeded the minimum requirements including two that had a JD. Their HR department asked that I develop a list of topics/questions to cover for the sake of consistency. The topics/questions were, not asked in any order but I made sure I covered them during our conversations: The US government has three branches of government; the FAR applies to which one these three? Feel free to discuss any exceptions - No one could answer this question. Are you familiar with the Christian doctoring and how it relates to government contracting? – two people answered this with understanding. Tell me about an instance where an issue/disagreement was identified by Operations/Program office and was sent to Contracts to resolve? And specifically, how you resolved it? – (I thought this question was a gift). Only three could give a situation where they resolved something (e.g. COTR and PM disagreeing) This was particularly amazing to me, how anyone could go 10+ years supporting corporate contracts and NEVER disagreed with a COTR, CO or program office on the government side. What statutes which govern federal procurement are you familiar with? Of those, what risks would you advise during a proposal and/or operations phase? – No one could answer this until I started throwing softballs, “like the Davis-Bacon Act?” Tell me some of the different risks associated with a T&M, FFP and Cost Plus type contracts. – I got a lot of ‘choppy’ answers, most kept telling me that “Cost Plus has NO risk”…(me: “Really? None?”). Are you familiar with the Code of Federal Regulations and how it is the associated with the FAR? - only two people knew that the FAR was part of the CFR, one actually knew it was Title 48, chapter 1. One person actually told me the CFR is just another name for the FAR. There were several other questions related to customer specific/industry experience and working knowledge but these 6 above shocked me the most. My question to the Wifcon: Where these questions too hard for someone working at this level?
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