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Jamaal Valentine

Are We Reading FAR?

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An article suggested contracting officials should read the FAR before issuing calls for reform and innovation.

http://about.bgov.com/blog/reform-the-far-maybe-you-should-try-reading-it-first/

In your experience, are acquisition workforce personnel reading FAR?

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Yes, in a reactive-sense.  If there's an issue, they read just what they believe they need to know to respond to the issue. But in a proactive-sense?  No.  

For example, reading a GAO decision and reading a specific clause cited in the decision to learn more, the answer is ""No."  Or "I'm curious, and want to know more", the answer is "No."  

 

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Jamaal,

I think the real question should be: Are supervisors and SESs and HCAs reading the FAR?

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No.  Many are not.  For example, I've had some of the most basic questions asked about a clause, which if one read it, they would know the answer.  I was taught to look it up my answers and read.

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Not enough.

I've had colleagues, supervisors, and upper leadership befuddled when I've pointed out wording in the FAR to support my positions.  They get so wrapped up in established procedures they forget what the rules actually are.

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This appears to be the type of question that will cause Vern to absolutely go off, appropriately so. No disrespect intended, but I've read many of Vern's comments in the past related to this question and I know he has strong feelings about it.

I believe that new contract specialists/officers want the answers handed to them and experienced ones think they know the answers already. I don't know of too many contracting people that stay up on the FAR as much as we should.  Sadly, I have to put myself in that category as well. With workloads being what they are, very few have the time to dedicate to keeping up with the various changes. I try, but I know that I fall short...  

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In PepeTheFrog's experience and opinion, many contracting "professionals" overuse FAR 20.304, "That's the way we do it at this office." and FAR 21.202, "We've been doing it that way for years." These same contracting "professionals" strongly believe that FAR 20.304 and 21.202 have special authority to trump any other FAR citation.

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26 minutes ago, Desparado said:

This appears to be the type of question that will cause Vern to absolutely go off, appropriately so. No disrespect intended, but I've read many of Vern's comments in the past related to this question and I know he has strong feelings about it.

I believe that new contract specialists/officers want the answers handed to them and experienced ones think they know the answers already. I don't know of too many contracting people that stay up on the FAR as much as we should.  Sadly, I have to put myself in that category as well. With workloads being what they are, very few have the time to dedicate to keeping up with the various changes. I try, but I know that I fall short...  

One reasonable compromise is willingness to reread when others cast any doubt on a topic.  Too many of those thinking they already have the answers aren't willing to re-assess.

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1 hour ago, PepeTheFrog said:

In PepeTheFrog's experience and opinion, many contracting "professionals" overuse FAR 20.304

Pepe.  You failed to mention FAR 20.305, "I'm the contracting officer signing the contract, so it is my decision/discretion."

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And FAR 40.206, "Notwithstanding any other provision of the FAR, no acquisition matter shall proceed from one reviewer to another reviewer until the contracting officer has changed the acquisition to satisfy the first reviewer, and no acquisition matter shall be submitted to an approving official until the contracting officer has obtained the concurrence of all reviewers."

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A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled.

Sir Barnett Cocks

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“A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain.”

Robert Heinlein

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On ‎5‎/‎31‎/‎2016 at 4:26 PM, ji20874 said:

And FAR 40.206, "Notwithstanding any other provision of the FAR, no acquisition matter shall proceed from one reviewer to another reviewer until the contracting officer has changed the acquisition to satisfy the first reviewer, and no acquisition matter shall be submitted to an approving official until the contracting officer has obtained the concurrence of all reviewers."

 

On ‎5‎/‎31‎/‎2016 at 2:15 PM, Todd Davis said:

Pepe.  You failed to mention FAR 20.305, "I'm the contracting officer signing the contract, so it is my decision/discretion."

:lol: If only it were possible to strike these FAR references!

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You folks crack me up! It took me way too long to research the FAR Part 20 and Part 21 citations!

Good job.

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