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Michael11

Mapping Subk Rates and Titles to Prime per RFQ request

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The RFQ specifically says offers must do this. In doing so how do you present the sub in your budget? Are they shown in the direct labor portion of the budget with a designation that they're a sub or are they still put in the sub or ODC cost category?

Does anyone have any best practices? Must this mapping process have a full blown analysis of the sub quals vs. the prime GSA categories and qualifications? Any help is greatly appreciated!

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Are you the prime?

Does the RFP actually state, word for word, that you must "map subcontractor rates and titles to the prime"? I bet not. What does it actually say, word for word?

H2H

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Yes we're the prime. This is for a call under a GSA BPA. In the Q&A it says 'subcontractors rates need to map to the prime's rates'. And consultants also have to "map to the prime's rates just like subcontractors". They are distinguishing anyone that does not have a contractor teaming arrangement in place as a subcontractor.

Can we show something like this and then map the titles accordingly? And actually show this in direct labor category? Or should it still be recorded as a sub in the budget?

Project Manager $100/hr

Project Manager (Sub A) $100/hr

Assistant $50/hr

Assistant (Sub B ) $50/hr

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First of all, I think the requirement is patently ambiguous. What does the term "rates" mean? Does it mean hourly billing rates for each labor category (i.e., as would be the case in a T&M contract), direct labor rates, burdened labor rates before fee (possibly applicable to interorganizational transfers as per 31.205-26(e)), or just the indirect cost rates (which might be relevant in a cost-type contract)?

Also "mapping" is a poor word choice because it omits discussion of accounting and billing requirements. If you "map" the subcontractors to the prime for a proposal, must you also follow the same "mapping" for billing? What if that "mapping" conflicts with the contract's payment clause?

Further, does "mapping" mean "averaging" -- as in, you have to blend all the rates together to arrive at a single contract hourly billing rate per labor category? If that's what it means, why doesn't the RFP say so in clear terms?

Putting all that aside, this seems to be a godsend because, if your interpretation is correct and the mapping supersedes the payment clause requirements and billing instructions, and mapping doesn't mean "averaging" or "blending" then you get to bill subcontractors using the same hourly billing rates as the prime contractor. If this is a T&M contract then you can bill the subcontractors at your rates (the "T") and you don't have to bill them at your actual cost plus applied indirect cost rates (the "M"). All you have to do is identify which subcontractor employees "map" or "equate" or "qualify for" each labor category. Nice.

To sum up, I don't know how to "map" and what "rates" to map, but it looks like this may be a great opportunity to interpret the Q&A to your advantage and make some profit by billing your subcontractors at your hourly rates.

Or you could follow-up with some more questions to the Contracting Officer, because s/he may not have thought that off-the-cuff Q&A answer all the way through.

Hope this helps.

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Thanks Help. I think you pretty well covered it. In this case it's actually for an FFP which imo makes it an even poorer prescription. do u still think it makes sense to include the sub hours under direct labor with the sub designation for the category . So sub gives us a budget and we do the best job of roll/mappijg their categories and rates jnto ours. Or sub gives us a budget we map it to out rates and put a plug in the sub category. I think both accomplish the same thing

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"do u still think it makes sense to include the sub hours under direct labor with the sub designation for the category[?]"

No I don't think it makes sense but making sense is not what the RFP/RFQ/Q&A calls for. If it were me, I would ask the CO to clarify the statement, since mapping job titles and mapping labor rates and mapping fully burdened labor rates and mapping fully burdened labor rates with profit are all reasonable interpretations of the direction. I would ask what the intent of the direction was, so I could comply.

But that might just be me.

H2H

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I believe that this is a FFP offer and all labor/product has to be on GSA Schedule(s). If the prime does not use a Contractor Team Arrangement then any provided non GSA schedule labor has to be run thru the prime GSA labor rates as a subcontractor (this maintains the labor as being on the GSA schedule). If the prime wants to classify the subcontractor labor as ODCs then this labor is not on a schedule and would be subject to the open market limit restrictions of the GSA Schedule. The GSA Schedule prime contractor can account (ODC burden as opposed to direct labor burden) for this subcontractor any way they want.

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Whynot,

That's a clear explanation and rationale.

So what I'm seeing is that the prime should (a) create a CTA, ( B) show how the subcontractor labor corresponds to its GSA labor rates, or © bill the subcontractor labor as an ODC (subject to open market limit restrictions).

Thanks

H2H

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It's my understanding that any executed CTAs were done so preaward. and I don't think we have the ability to request one at this time but I'm going to look more into. Also look into the restrictions called for in open market items. from a price competitiveness standpoint, I think we'd actually prefer to propose our subs at their rates plus any applicable odc burden verus wrapping them into our prime rates.

Whynot you really hit the nail on the head. I plan on looking myself but is there a specific restriction, for open market items, that we should be concerned about when classifying such a service as an ODC (versus labr)?

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Post # 10 Posted by shikakenin on 29 January 2016 - 06:56 PM:

Whynot, on 28 Jan 2016 - 4:16 PM, said:
I believe that this is a FFP offer and all labor/product has to be on GSA Schedule(s). If the prime does not use a Contractor Team Arrangement then any provided non GSA schedule labor has to be run thru the prime GSA labor rates as a subcontractor (this maintains the labor as being on the GSA schedule). If the prime wants to classify the subcontractor labor as ODCs then this labor is not on a schedule and would be subject to the open market limit restrictions of the GSA Schedule.

Whynot, hit it. I speculate that all the CO is concerned with (especially since this is an FFP order) is to avoid invoking FAR 8.402(f) which has triggered many a GAO protest that essentially results in any item (including a service) over the micro purchase threshold not priced on the GSA FSS Contract being challenging to procure in an FSS order unless all acquisition regulations are followed. Thus making it a conundrum as to follow all acquisition regulations means synopsizing on FBO, competing outside FSS, etc. negating the benefit of using FSS. In regards to T&M orders, GSA is working on a solution to the dreaded FAR 8.402(f). You can read about it at the bottom of the blog post here: https://interact.gsa.gov/node/454788 Thus, what I speculate all the CO means regarding "mapping" is do not show any labor categories/rates in your FFP build up that are outside your FSS labor category titles/rates (less a discount, naturally). You cannot supplement missing labor categories/rates you do not have on your GSA FSS Contract with subcontracted labor that does not exist on your FSS Contract without invoking FAR 8.402(f). You can only do that via an official FSS CTA without invoking FAR 8.402(f). When I say "official FSS CTA" I am NOT talking about a FAR 9.6 CTA. A lot of contractors get confused and believe they can subcontract to other GSA FSS contractors for the missing labor rates by using the FSS labor categories/rates of from their GSA FSS holding sub. They can only do that via an FSS CTA, not a prime sub relationship. Hope this helps. This can be a confusing issue for sure.

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Post # 11 Posted by here_2_help on 30 January 2016 - 06:25 PM:

Hypothetically, if a prime contractor bidding on a solicitation for a GSA award were to "map" its subcontractor labor rates to its own labor rates, so as to hide the fact that subcontractors were performing some of the the work outside of a CTA, would anybody consider that to be misleading in any way? As in, taint the award misleading? Would it provide protest grounds for an unsuccessful bidder?

If that were the case, what would the denizens of WIFCON think about a Contracting Officer who stated that's exactly what the government expected its prime contractors to do?

Just wondering ....

H2H

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Post # 12 Posted by Whynot on February 1, 2016, 01:53 PM

No, there is no requirement for contractor employees to be the sole fulfillment source for these commercial T&M labor categories. However, under a set aside, there may be a limitation of subcontracting requirement, whereby the prime would have to perform 51% of the effort. Conversely, a small business subcontracting plan may actually drive the use of certain disadvantaged subcontractors.

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Post # 13 Posted by Retreadfed on February 1, 2016, 04:15 PM

H2H, look at 52.216-31. If a provision similar to that is in the solicitation, the contractor could be in big trouble if it failed to propose in accordance with this provision. Similarly, if a contracting officer told potential offerors to disregard what this provision requires and to submit only prime contractor rates, I think that CO would be in for some problems.

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Post # 14 posted by Retreadfed, on 01 Feb 2016 - 9:41 PM,

H2H, look at 52.216-31. If a provision similar to that is in the solicitation, the contractor could be in big trouble if it failed to propose in accordance with this provision. Similarly, if a contracting officer told potential offerors to disregard what this provision requires and to submit only prime contractor rates, I think that CO would be in for some problems.


Your "...submit only prime contractor rates..." is a little misleading to me (I could be misreading it, sorry if I am). My read of the provision does not state one must change the rates, but simply disclose the applicability of those rates https://www.acquisit....html#wp1117371 Thus the bold shown below would appear to meet the provision's disclosure requirement would it not?

Michael11, on 27 Jan 2016 - 11:51 PM, said:

Yes we're the prime. This is for a call under a GSA BPA. In the Q&A it says 'subcontractors rates need to map to the prime's rates'. And consultants also have to "map to the prime's rates just like subcontractors". They are distinguishing anyone that does not have a contractor teaming arrangement in place as a subcontractor.


Can we show something like this and then map the titles accordingly? And actually show this in direct labor category? Or should it still be recorded as a sub in the budget?

Project Manager $100/hr
Project Manager (Sub A) $100/hr
Assistant $50/hr
Assistant (Sub B ) $50/hr

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The next post would be #15 and that is all I have.

You may commence posting to this topic discussion without worrying about losing it.

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Bob,

Thanks for the recovery of the "lost posts".

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I think the posts here were really helpful in covering the topic of proposing items or services not on a contractor's gsa schedule.  We're in receipt of a similar RFQ which has almost identical language - offeror's can propose only odcs on their schedule or items up to the micropurchase threshold and all subcontractor labor must be mapped to the prime categories and rates.  After reading FAR 52.216-31, is my earlier hypothetical cost proposal setup the right one?

The rows on our cost proposal could look like this -

  • Engineer II $50 per hour
  • Engineer II (IT Help LLC) $50 per hour
  • Laborer $45 per hour
  • Laborer (Workers Inc.) $45 per hour
  • Laborer (Cleaning Co.) $45 per hour

I think that would satisfy FAR 52.216-31.  But I think if you disclosed that Engineer II and Laborer services will be performed/fulfilled by the subcontract employees identified in our proposal that would also work.  But we definitely should not show them as an ODC or subcontract in the budget right?

And does anyone have any workarounds for proposing ODCs which are required for performance of the work but not on a contractor's schedule?  This would seem to severely limit our ability to propose the costs we'll actually need to do the work.

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