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I work at a small civilian Bureau, have to run the Purchase card program for our state, and I am aware the Micro-Purchase Threshold (MPT) was recently increased for some categories of requirements up to $10,000. However, on another forum post last year regarding an $11,000 tree removal requirement and using vendors not in SAM, another forum user suggested I negotiate down to the newer/higher $10,000 MPT, so it could be put on a Purchase card. At the time (FY-end madness) I thought that was odd, but didn't follow back up then. My Bureau's leadership insists that only some services have an MPT of $10,000, if they are exempted from a $2,500 threshold per 41 USC Chapter 67. The only services that we currently exempt are those that we determine to be professional or creative, per 29 CFR 541.301. When I first started, I inherited our entire state's Purchase card program, which was right after the MPT was increased, during high staff turnover, and a switch to a new card vendor; cue mass confusion. I met with other CO's and a Dept of Labor wage specialist, and the determination (and guidance from above us in the Bureau) was that all "blue-collar", or non-professional and non-creative services, are subject to SCLS / SCA / FLSA and have only a $2,500 MPT. In short, right now at my Bureau, every blue collar requirement over $2,500 cannot go on a Purchase card and must be a contract (or order off an existing vehicle). The $2,500 amount is first mentioned in FAR 2.101, where it's spelled out as: [The MPT] means $10,000, except it means- (1) For acquisitions of construction subject to 40 U.S.C. chapter 31, subchapter IV, Wage Rate Requirements (Construction), $2,000; (2) For acquisitions of services subject to 41 U.S.C. chapter 67, Service Contract Labor Standards, $2,500; (3) For acquisitions of supplies or services that, as determined by the head of the agency, are to be used to support a contingency operation....[yada yada] The only other time the $2,500 amount is explicitly referenced again is in FAR 22, with a general emphasis being that Service contracts over $2,500 have to have certain Clauses, Previsions, Wage Determinations, and other relevant attachments. Otherwise, just "micro-purchase threshold" is used throughout FAR 5, 6, 12, 13, etc. My question: is my Bureau wrong about the "blue collar" rule, in which non-professional / non-creative services all still have just a $2,500 MPT? I looked at 41 USC Chapter 67, which has these exemptions under para. (b): (b) Exemptions.—This chapter does not apply to— (1) a contract of the Federal Government or the District of Columbia for the construction, alteration, or repair, including painting and decorating, of public buildings or public works; (2) any work required to be done in accordance with chapter 65 of this title; (3) a contract for the carriage of freight or personnel by vessel, airplane, bus, truck, express, railway line or oil or gas pipeline where published tariff rates are in effect; (4) a contract for the furnishing of services by radio, telephone, telegraph, or cable companies, subject to the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 151 et seq.); (5) a contract for public utility services, including electric light and power, water, steam, and gas; (6) an employment contract providing for direct services to a Federal agency by an individual; and (7) a contract with the United States Postal Service, the principal purpose of which is the operation of postal contract stations. The Chapter 65 exemption referenced therein refers to Supplies requirements. Administering the Purchase card program is honestly the bane of my professional existence...whether it is cardholders splitting purchases, cardholders begging to exempt things from the $2,500 MPT, Ratifications in the $9k-$11k range, and PR's in the $2,500 - $10k range - this eats up SUBSTANTIAL hours of my and other CO's time. If the Services MPT was just uniformly $10k, life would be remarkably easier, and I could spend much less time on these abundant low dollar value requirements. It would also make a lot of sense....so I assume that's not how the regs work, and my Bureau's current policy is right. However, I assume that the comments on my other post were just made in error, and my determinations so far, and my Bureau's leadership's determinations, are in fact correct and many services still have only a $2,500 MPT.
I am a recently Warranted CO at a civilian Bureau only working in the states (not overseas) that deals with a lot of very low dollar requirements between the Micro Purchase Threshold (MPT) and $15k. I also have to run the purchase card program, but that's an entirely different headache. I currently have an ~$11,000 tree removal project that does not count as unusual and compelling urgency. The only capable vendor, according to the requiring office, is not in SAM. My question is: for things under the $15k threshold, with no synopsizing or publicizing required, and with only oral quotations, and with an attempt to innovate, keep documentation minimal, and be maximally efficient (IAW FAR 13), is there any way to use a non-SAM-registered vendor? I am trying to figure out if there is a way to use purchase card, too, because logically, we are given these tools (Warrants, training, purchase cards, FAR 13, etc) for exactly this reason: to not spend hours and hours on low risk, low dollar, low priority awards. Could one simply have a vendor manually fill out 52.212-3 to get their representations in writing? 52.204-7 System for Award Management, as prescribed at 4.1105(a)(1), must go in "all solicitations" - and it looks like the only real exception an exception under 4.1102(a)(5): Somewhat tangential: these MPT - $15k projects can be very frustrating and time consuming, particularly because the administrative costs are so high relative to other work we have to do, and requiring offices insisting we use "their" "local" vendor who they often talk with for weeks before we get a PR. Being able to streamline and simplify the 100+ requirements like this that we deal with each year would save us hundreds of hours of work.
I posted a RFQ for Commercial Services on FBO. I receive four quotes that are acceptable. The prices came in $1,050,000, $1,075,000, $1,125,000 and $1,175,000. Programming only has $950,000 available for this project. Is it acceptable to go to the lowest quote I have and ask them to reduce their price to $950,000 and send them the PO if they agree? I am essentially counter offering their offer. Thoughts?