Jump to content
The Wifcon Forums and Blogs

Recommended Posts

To give a little background I have access to the legal databases through my school (Westlaw, Lexis, Bloomberg). Other than access to the Public Contracts Journal and the Nash & Cibinic report Westlaw does not seem to specialize in government contracts. I have not found anything on Lexis. Bloomberg - which also the only one that continues access through the summer and encourages professional non-academic use - does have a government contracts section and daily update of recently decided cases or news.

The main difference that I see from these databases is that VAO is government contract specific and is designed for individuals that are largely not attorneys. Also, it provides more assistance with templates for various types of acquisitions and training.

There is some overlap with GSA's new Common Acquisition Platform, but because that website is free to the government, I do not see any reason that they cannot be used concurrently if possible (assuming the cost of VAO is worth it).

Link to post
Share on other sites

I use both Westlaw and Intelliconnect by Wolters Kluwer. Besides having the Nash & Cibinic e-Series (all their books in electronic format) Intelliconnect has a good weekly newsletter (Government Contracts Reporter) and a well-organized research section. I recommend both databases highly.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If anyone wants to do a search on a relatively expensive service, your agency's Office of General Counsel more than likely has the service.

An alternative is to check with your agency's library. Sometimes, they are linked to the various electronic services your agency has.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Back to the orginal question about VAO. We bought a subscription for all our CO/CS and contract hire contract specialists (265). Some use it a lot and some very little . It has great checklists for ensuring specialists do not forget anything they need to do before award. In fact the checklists are so inclusive that our personnel cannot believe they are supposed to verify and justify so many items before award. I want to mandate their use but the director is not comfortable with doing that yet.

VAO has pulled the best templates and document samples from across the Government and can save a specialist a lot of time if they are inexperienced in writing many of our myriad of decision documents. They have very well written reports and analysis of current policies, procedures and recent FAR changes. As part of the subscription they will research up to 3 hours on any topic you ask them to report on. If it is something they think has broad applicability, they will do a full research paper on it and publish for all. They also publish all questions asked. VAO really helps as an outsourced resource for management and procedure assistance.

The webinars and training are accurate but they are one hour snipets. They also allow personnel to answer quizes on current changes for CLPS. The questions are hard so they are not give aways. YOu can gain valuable CLPs that way though. I am level III already so any CLP is a good CLP in my book.

Their subscriptions are by organization with a basic cost for the hookup and set number of licenses. Added licenses are lower in cost. Pricing is off a Library of Congress contract that we award delivery orders against. They also have a lower cost COR Toolkit with just the items CORs need. We have about 800 CORs licensed. I don't think they have a way to buy just one license at a reasonable cost but they may. You need to contact them directly.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Vern Edwards
To give a little background I have access to the legal databases through my school (Westlaw, Lexis, Bloomberg). Other than access to the Public Contracts Journal and the Nash & Cibinic report Westlaw does not seem to specialize in government contracts.

prodigalko:

I guess you gave little background about Westlaw because you don't know much about Westlaw. Westlaw has a HUGE database on Government contracting. Aside from PUBCONLJ and Nasn & Cibinic Report, the database includes several other periodicals dedicated to Government contracting, such as The Government Contractor, and entire treatises, such as Nash and Feldman, Government Contract Changes, and Manos, Government Contract Costs and Pricing, and many, many others. Many thousands of pages. It also provides some access to Commerce Clearing House publications.

Full disclosure -- I'm paid to write for Westlaw's owner, Thomson Reuters.

I don't know anything about VAO, but then I'm not big on templates and document samples and would probably publicly ridicule anyone who tried to make me use them. I believe in learning by thinking. Checklists might be okay, although you'll learn more by developing your own. But if you need templates and document samples, maybe VAO is a good resource.

Link to post
Share on other sites

VAO is a good resource. Their monthly webinars (Update - Key Acquisition Developments) are helpful and a good way to learn CLPs, and VAO's research papers are also a good resource.

I know of agencies in which templates (e.g., Justification and Approval, KO Determination to Exercise Option) are mandatory and treats a change/alteration as a deviation according to FAR 1.403 -- Individual Deviations.

Therefore, 'learning by thinking' may not be a concept encouraged by some procurement managers.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...