Jump to content
The Wifcon Forums and Blogs

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'Source Selection '.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Instructions and Terms of Use
    • Terms Of Use
    • Before You Register, Before You Post
  • Contracting Forum
    • Section 809 Panel
    • Polls
    • For Beginners Only
    • Contracting Workforce
    • Contract Award Process
    • Contract Pricing Including CAS & Allowable Costs
    • Contract Administration
    • Schedules, GWACS, MACs, IDIQs
    • Subcontracts & Subcontract Management
    • Small Business, Socioeconomic Programs
    • Proposed Law & Regulations; Legal Decisions

Blogs

  • The Wifcon Blog
  • Vern Edwards' Blog
  • Don Mansfield's Blog
  • Bob Antonio's Blog
  • NCMAExecutiveDirector's Blog
  • Professor Ralph Nash's Blog
  • Emptor Cautus' Blog
  • Centre Knowledge Blog
  • Leftbrainpro.com Answer Blog
  • SmallGovCon.com
  • Patterns of Procurement

Calendars

  • Community Calendar

Categories

  • Rules & Tools
  • Legal Opinions
  • News

Found 8 results

  1. Whose requirement is this & how do I resolve?

    I am an Army Contracting Officer in charge of the source selection for the production of an Army system. Since it always looks good for the program management folks to reach out to the other services (demonstrates you understand the “big picture”), this has occurred. In this case, the USMC wants to “be part of the procurement.” On the contracting side, it has always been our position to attempt to accommodate where it makes sense and when it does not jeopardize our core objective of meeting the Army mission. Now in the current situation, the participation of the USMC is considerable. Their desired portion/impact has the following characteristics: (1) They would be getting about 55% of the produced systems; (2) They would be providing about 55% of the funding; (3) About 20% of the specifications are not shared between the Army and USMC, so the USMC systems would require adjustment; & (4) A small but critical portion of the USMC systems would require a major configuration change. Some other important factors: The Army has based its decision to move ahead with this acquisition based on the system being COTS or an NDI. This is not a designated joint program and there is no formal agreement between the Army and USMC (no MOA exists). There is also a question as to whether the major system configuration change desired by the USMC falls under COTS or NDI. As an Army contracting officer, I want to do the right thing and best serve the Warfighter (which includes marines). We are very much encouraged to do this. Alternatively, this is not just adding on a few extra systems for the USMC; this is slightly over half of the procurement. I (we) have already sketched out numerous legal/ regulatory pitfalls, etc., but I do not want to influence anyone. What does everyone think about this? What are some ideas on how to best resolve?
  2. Odd Protest

    http://www.wifcon.com/cgen/414223.pdf I just read this protest on my lunch break and found it very odd. Correct me if I am wrong, but did the incumbent contractor just try to protest away its 'incumbent advantage'?! 1. Protest challenging the terms of the solicitation as ambiguous is denied, where the solicitation provides offerors with sufficient information to compete intelligently and on a relatively equal basis, and where the information requested, much of which is proprietary to the protester, is not necessary for offerors to be able to draft their proposals. 2. Protest arguing that the solicitation should resolve an alleged ambiguity by including the protester’s proprietary data, after the protester waives its rights in the data, is dismissed where the protester failed to establish that it is an interested party to challenge the lack of data in the absence of any competitive prejudice.
  3. RFI ... Evaluations and ... Down-Selects? Huh?

    I am a DoD KO serving a major system customer. They've been living in large sole source world since before the dawn of time. After several years of prodding, they have finally started wading into the land of competitive source selections. Well, long story short, we issued an RFI for a somewhat embryonic requirement, it is about to close, and it looks like we will be getting anywhere from 6-12 responses. Then tacked onto the end of a multi-topic customer e-mail, was something to effect of: once the RFI closes we will then "evaluate the responses", and then "perform a down-select to the best 3," and then "invite those 3 winners in to do demo's." At this point I just sat there staring at the screen... Has anyone ever heard of such a thing?
  4. Field Testing as part of Source Selection

    I am a contracting officer assisting in the planning of a source selection for an ACAT system. As part of the source selection process, the customer is adamant about including significant field testing as part of the evaluation process. The system is highly sensitive in that just about everything could affect its performance including weather, time of day, harsh language, etc. As to be expected, everyone on my end, especially legal, is worried about risk of a protest from the losing offeror. Any ideas, useful guidance, prior examples... anything would be helpful and appreciated.
  5. On my way into work this morning, NPR aired a segment on making better predictions (http://www.npr.org/2016/09/01/492203116/want-to-make-better-predictions-researchers-explore-where-we-go-wrong). The research (http://repository.upenn.edu/edissertations/1074/) was focused on predicting sporting events and in cases where more details were given or required to be assessed, individuals made (some) worse predictions. Disclaimer: I haven't completely read the dissertation (it's an EOFY work day and the dissertation is 200+ pgs...), but I couldn't help sharing due to its applicability to the contractor selection process, which is ultimately a predictive process itself. Assuming these issues/difficulties are also present in the contractor selection process, the large amounts information/data requested from contractors could not only be wasteful (in that it doesn't help the acquisition team make a better decision team) it might actually be harmful (in that it results in a worse prediction). Thoughts?
  6. Had you ever speculated on why April Fools’ Day seems to be such an important day for federal acquisition? After all, consider some of the regulatory and policy issuances on that day: The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) became effective on April Fools’ Day (1984). The Federal Aviation Administration became exempt from the FAR on April Fools’ Day (1996). The Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) memorandum on “Protests, Claims, and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as Factors in Past Performance and Source Selection Decisions” was issued on April Fools’ Day (2002). Army Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (AFARS) Revision #25 was issued on April Fools’ Day (2010). FAR Case 2010-015 on the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Program was published in the Federal Register on April Fools’ Day (2011). No doubt a little research would provide a number of additional examples. Frankly, if it were me, April Fools’ Day would probably be the last day that I would pick for issuing important regulations or policy statements. That is one day that I would avoid like the plague. [Note: The last statement is not technically correct, I would go to greater extremes to avoid the plague than to publish an acquisition policy or procedure on April Fools’ Day.] Why not just wait a day, and avoid all the innuendo and snickering? After all, consider, April has 29 other days that are perfectly suitable for issuing regulations, policies, procedures, guidance and information. Comparison of Major Contract Types For example, on Monday, April 25, 2016, the Defense Acquisition University/Defense Systems Management College updated the Acquisition Community Connection with a revised version of its Comparison of Major Contract Types (i.e., Comparison of Major Contract Types - April 2016). [For those who would like a direct link: https://acc.dau.mil/CommunityBrowser.aspx?id=214513.] The new version better aligns with the terminology in the Contract Pricing Reference Guides, updates the charts on the reverse, and adds a chart on “Achieving a Reasonably Challenging but Achievable (RCA) Target Cost,” one of topics discussed extensively in the new Guidance on Using Incentive and Other Contract Types. Over the years, various versions of the “Comparison” have been fairly popular (i.e., 94,863 Page Views and 80,840 Attachments Downloaded. Although, given the number of personnel in the Defense Statutory Acquisition Workforce Contracting Career Field, 29,690 as of the 2nd quarter of 2015, those Lifetime Activity numbers may not be all that high, relatively speaking. The April Fools’ Day Announcements for 2016 So, it can be done. However, this April Fools’ Day (2016) Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy (DPAP) elected to issue two important pieces of procedures/guidance to the Defense Statutory Acquisition Workforce: Guidance on Using Incentive and Other Contract Types (April 1, 1016). Department of Defense Source Selection Procedures (SSP) (April 1, 1016). The Guidance Both documents have their warts. For instance, the Guidance incorrectly identifies one of the two statutory references for limitations on negotiation of price or fee. The good news is that thee one applicable to the DoD was identified correctly. Running the Spelling and Grammar checker one last time would not have been amiss. Warts aside, the results of this Better Buying Power (BBP) are somewhat disappointing. The Specific Action in the USD(AT&L) memorandum “Implementation Directive for Better Buying Power 2.0 - Achieving Greater Efficiency and Productivity in Defense Spending” was, “Director, DP will provide a draft policy guidance document on the use of incentives in contracting to the BSIG for review by July 1, 2013. The starting point for this document will be the DoD and NASA Guide, “Incentive Training (sic) Guide,” originally published in 1969.” For those of you unfamiliar with the Incentive Contracting Guide, it was the last of a number of such guides published in the 1960s. That particular version of the Guide was 252 pages. By comparison, the new Guidance is 41 pages. About 40 % of the Guidance is devoted to negotiation of fixed-price incentive (firm target) (FPIF) contracts in a sole-source environment a discussion of Reasonably Challenging but Achievable Target Cost (RCA), which go hand-in-hand. The coverage for Time and Materials/Labor Hour (T&M/LH) Contracts amounts to a paltry nine (9) lines. Ask yourself these two questions, “How many sole-source FPIF contracts does the Department award? If ‘T&M is the least preferable contract type,’ where should the emphasis have been placed?” For those of you who need guidance on structuring multiple incentive contracts the DOD and NASA Guide: Incentive Contracting Guide 1969 may be a better bet than the new Guidance. The good news is that it is still available on the Defense Acquisition University’s Acquisition Community Connection. [For those who would like a direct link: https://acc.dau.mil/CommunityBrowser.aspx?id=189615.] The Procedures The updated Source Selection Procedures are more than 505 longer than the previous version. The Procedures would have benefited from fact checking, copy editing and proof reading. Another warts issue. Warts aside, for those of you who will be involved in DoD source selections that meet the thresholds in the Procedures, you will want to give it a thorough read. Among other things, you will see some new descriptions of adjectival ratings and a new source selection procedure in APPENDIX B, “TRADEOFF SOURCE SELECTION PROCESS: SUBJECTIVE TRADEOFF AND VALUE ADJUSTED TOTAL EVALUATED PRICE (VATEP) TRADEOFF.” The latter came about as the result of USD(AT&L) memorandum “Implementation Directive for Better Buying Power 2.0 - Achieving Greater Efficiency and Productivity in Defense Spending.” Under the heading of Better define value in “best value” competitions there was a Specific Action, “Director, DP will review the ‘Process Manual’ developed by the joint Service team led by the Air Force and present a recommendation for adoption with any recommended changes to the BSIG by July 1, 2013.” You need to read the entire section to understand the direction. No doubt you will see a good deal of discussion about VATEP percolating up. Understand that although the Guidance and Procedures were issued on April Fools’ Day, they are no joke. Read them carefully, and implement them wisely.
  7. Quick Cut

    "I have this friend..." who is in a source selection. Her policy people suggested a proposal elimination strategy termed: "Quick Cut". Where if a proposal does not meet a specific element up front, it is not further evaluated. For example (yes this is an unrealistic example): The proposal is for bird pevention services. The RFP states that if a proposal does not include shooting the birds, it shall not be further evaluated and it shall be considered unacceptable. This element shall be evaluated before any other subfactor, blah lah. It makes mt friend's tummy queezy just thinking about it. Has anyone heard of this before?
  8. I am curious to hear reactions to the decision by the US Court of Federal Claims (No. 13-506C) in Amazon Web Services v. US and IBM, in which the court decided that the corrective action taken by the agency upon GAO recommendation was irrational because the GAO recommendation was irrational. I am particularly interested in knowing if you think there are things the agency could have done in its contract documentation, or in presenting its arguments to the GAO, to have brought the GAO to a decision in its favor under the original bid protest. Or is this a case where there is a difference of legal opinion between the GAO and the court that would have put the agency in the middle no matter what it did in its source selection process and documentation thereof. If the latter, it surely shows that source selection is a process fraught with peril for contracting officers.
×