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The Section 809 Panel, created in section 809 of the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), is charged with recommending improvements to the defense acquisition process. In January 2018 the panel released their first volume of three, which provides guidance for simplifying the DoD procurement process in ways that could benefit contractors. Their insights shed light on the obstacles contractors face, and pave the road for changes in law to help overcome them. Read the full article at Petrillo & Powell's Patterns of Procurement.
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?
Newish CO here. I am pre-award with an IDIQ that will have a BOM for a bunch of contractor-provisioned IT COTS hardware (maybe 100 different items, up to $80K unit price). These IT materials are from a dynamic market. Prices, models, features all change quickly. I am being asked by management to get 5-year pricing at the unit level for everything, and incorporate that pricing into the IDIQ. To me, this is a bad idea and a waste of time. My question to you all is - am I right in my assessment? Am I missing something? I see nothing in FAR 16.5 requiring any pricing of any type at the IDIQ level. Pricing and price analysis occurs at the order level. I understand that ceiling unit prices can be established by the IDIQ and found fair and reasonable, so that orders with unit prices at or below those levels are also fair and reasonable automatically, and this greatly speeds up the procurement process. However, this is predicated upon the assumption that the unit prices and things being priced will be stable over time. For example, carpenters and database administrators exist now and are reasonably likely to exist five years from now, and their hourly rates aren't going to change very much between now and then. This is not the case with IT hardware. Basically everything on the IDIQ's BOM has a lifecycle of less than 5 years and prices will change quickly, and by a lot. Also, new stuff comes onto market all the time. So why bother with IDIQ level pricing, you are going to have to do the price analysis per order anyways? If you know now, before award, that the IDIQ unit pricing will be obsolete and therefore can't be used for price analysis in the future, why bother having it? I know I will not win this battle with management, so this is for my personnel edification.
Hi, An agency is interested in evaluating a COTS software package from a vendor for a defined period of time, for no cost ($0). The vendor will supply an evaluation software license agreement covering the use of the software during the evaluation period. Is this considered an acquistion and does it fall under the guidance of the FAR? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!