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prodigalko

Scope of Administrative Decisions from B-189329, FEB 15, 1978 (G.S.E. Dynamics, Inc)

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Can anyone shed light on what decisions of a predecessor contracting officer are considered administrative - and therefore harder to question - under the GAO Decision B-189329, FEB 15, 1978 (available at http://www.gao.gov/products/426006#mt=e-report)?

When I was active duty and had to clean up messes made by previous KO's I would write an MFR to document missing items in the file and move on. Now that I am back in the government I am curious what the scope of the guidance above is (I was not able to find regulation and this looks like a seminal decision) and would appreciate any assistance.

In short, what can you change and when? Anything prior to award? Are some things off limits?

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Is the following sentence from the decision what you are talking about?

WE HAVE LONG RECOGNIZED THAT A DETERMINATION THAT BID PRICES ARE NOT REASONABLE IS A MATTER OF ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION WHICH OUR OFFICE WILL NOT QUESTION UNLESS SUCH DETERMINATION IS UNREASONABLE OR THERE IS A SHOWING OF BAD FAITH OR FRAUD.

[all caps in original]

If so, this decision has nothing whatsoever to do with successor contracting officers.

A successor contracting officer need not question or re-visit the decisions of a previous contracting officer. Rather, the new contracting officer simply needs to make decisions at present based on the facts of today. In some cases, a contracting officer's "new" decision affecting an already-awarded contract might require the contractor's agreement.

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prodigalco:

If you want to understand the concept and limitations of administrative discretion, go to www.gao.gov and open or download the GAO "Red Book" (Principles of Federal Appropriations Law), Volume I. Then go to Chapter 3, "Agency Regulations and Administrative Discretion," and read Section C, "Administrative Discretion." It's about 14 or 15 pages long. It begins:

Throughout this publication, the reader will encounter frequent references to administrative discretion. The concept of discretion implies choice or freedom of judgment, and appears in a variety of contexts. There are many things an agency does every day that involve making choices and exercising discretion.

Although GAO discusses administrative discretion in the context of fiscal law, the discussion is generally applicable.

Also, go to http://digitalcommons.wcl.american.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1793&context=aulr , get Steve Schooner's paper, "Fear of Discretion and the Fundamental Failure of Businesslike Government, and read footnote 29.

Examples of decisions that involve administrative discretion are determinations of price reasonableness, determinations of contractor responsibility, and source selection decisions.

Do you really want to be a "prodigal" KO? My Oxford Dictionary of English says that the adjective "prodigal" means: "Spending money or using resources recklessly; wasteful, extravagant." Maybe you are a prodigy KO. The noun "prodigy" means: "A young person with exceptional qualities or abilities."

But you know yourself best.

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In the proper context, prodigal can refer to one who has been redeemed, forgiven and set free. It could apply to any of us. In fact, the term could apply to the father of the "prodigal son", who not only gave half of all his possessions to a rebellious son, who then proceeded to squander them, he hiked up his robe and ran shamelessly out to greet and hug and kiss his wayward son, then threw a lavish feast with music and dancing to celebrate his return from the "dead"*. Only the OP knows him/herself best.

* as the term "Prodigal" can be applied to the Father, see the 2nd definition of prodigal at the Oxford Dictionary. " 2 Having or giving something on a lavish scale:

the dessert was crunchy with brown sugar and prodigal with whipped cream"

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Joel:

Uh, it's been a while since my Sunday school days, but I'm going to disagree with your contextual usage of "prodigal."

In the parable of the prodigal son (In Luke), the son was not prodigal because he was forgiven and redeemed, he was forgiven and redeemed despite having been prodigal.

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.

I wonder if our government would make someone a KO who had squandered his own wealth in wild living, and earned a bad credit rating, or forgive one who had squandered the taxpayers' wealth. I rather doubt that a father forgiving and redeeming a son is the same as the government forgiving and redeeming a KO. I suppose someone might refer to himself as a prodigal son, meaning that he had been like the one in the parable. But prodigal KO?

But, you're right -- a person can call himself whatever he wants.

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Interpretation is a very important issue for contracting folk. A speaker can identify himself with any number of names and symbols and have a subjective understanding of what he means. However, he probably shouldn't be surprised when those around him, especially his audience, apply more objective criteria in trying to decipher his meaning. Put differently, a person can call himself whatever he wants, but he is not immune from the foreseeable consequences of doing so. We are not all the Queen from Alice in Wonderland, free to have words mean what we want them to mean, or free to change the meaning of words from one moment to the next.

I suspect Joel's "forgiven" connotation is a usage in reference to the story, not a usage that would be made contemporaneously with the events of the story. In other words, the son in the story was not being called the prodigal son because he was forgiven, but because of his lifestyle.

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Thanks, Jacques. Yes, I'm referring to the prodigal son as in his former state. The prodigal son repented and his father forgave, embraced, rejoiced and celebrated his return.

The beauty and emphasis of this Parable involve the love and actions of the Father toward his wayward son and this son's sorrow and repentance for what he had done and the way he had treated his father.

Louis Gigglio, of Passion City Church, Atlanta, gave perhaps the most inspiring presentations I've ever heard at Student Life two summers ago in Daytona Beach before 5000 students and adult leaders. At any rate, he characterized the boy's father as the Prodigal Father for the way he loved his son (who each of us represent). That's the second definition of Prodigal that I cited in my earlier post. Remember, too that the Prodigal Father had already given the son half of all that he owned with no strings attached.

All I'm saying is that one can't characterize the present state of our dear original poster by the name he used here.

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I don't understand why people use these weird screen names. :D

Oxford dictionary says in addition to the negative connotation:

1.1 (also prodigal son or daughter) A person who leaves home and behaves recklessly, but later makes a repentant return.

[With biblical allusion to the parable in Luke 15:11–32]
I should add that there is nothing worse that a prodigous prodigal progeny.

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Listen, you guys, I merely asked him if he wanted to be known as prodigal, given the dictionary definition of that word. I didn't criticize him for naming himself "prodigalKO." I just asked if he really wanted to be known as that. I was trying to be polite by not asking him if he knew what prodigal means.

I'm feeling sensitive and touchy feely today. Okay? If you guys think I was mean I might cry. And I'm wondering if apsofacto just called me a P-Cubed. If I thought so I'd have to complain to Bob and demand an apology and deletion of all of apsofacto's posts. I'd probably want him condemned to 40 years wandering in the wilderness. And an eternity standing in for Sisyphus in Hades. So watch it, apso. No more ad hominem attacks!

:(

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I always identified with the elder son, the one who stayed home and did the right thing and didn't need to be forgiven by the father. I always thought he got the shaft in the parable.

H2H

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I hate to be the killjoy but I think Vern completed the answering of this question in post #3. Thank you Vern.

We can end the discussion of icon or username selection. These extra posts usually make my life more difficult.

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Thank you for the guidance everyone.

Regarding the name my old username was formerko when I left the government, but since returning I was unable to find my password for my old username. Having majored in religion (a long time ago) I did not consider the correct meaning of prodigal or review the definition (a sloppy move, I admit). Rather I associate the story with someone I was close to - now passed - who particularly enjoyed the story.

While I was away from the government I worked as a contractor, so the name is also a joke regarding my time as a contractor. While I really enjoyed the places I saw, people I worked with, and all that I learned, I really missed being a contracting officer.

Applying the literal meaning to my past I would say that I felt like it was a waste of my talent and motivation working to enrich the different companies I was employed by. I prefer working for the government. It is not always perfect, but for me it is a better fit.

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Welcome back "home", prodigal!

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