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Guest Vern Edwards
On 9/22/2016 at 9:15 PM, Navy_Contracting_4 said:

apsofacto,

Which laws would you like to see repealed?  Which regulations would you like to see removed?

H2H:

That's the post that started the current discussion. Navy didn't say he was launching a brainstorming session, and I do not think that brainstorming rules apply. I presume that Navy wanted argument-supported recommendations, not simple wish lists (dream schemes). So I feel free to criticize what I think are pointless recommendations and unsound arguments.

I frankly don't give a damn about dreams that can't come true. Repeal of the ADA is not going to happen. Congress will NEVER agree to it. And anyone who thinks that going back to 19th Century civil service firing rules will solve acquisition problems isn't thinking. The problems it would create governmentwide would be much, much worse than any we have now. (Sorry, Pepe, but government employment is nowhere close to being an "entitlement.") What we need is supervisors who'll do their bleeping jobs under the current rules and take the heat.

Will elimination of CAS require rewriting of FAR Part 31? Yes, but that was the idea behind Navy's question. What laws and regs can we change to remove costly and ineffective administrative burdens? The FAR councils rewrote FAR Part 15, and they can rewrite FAR Parts 30 and 31 to change the references to CAS, which would be much simpler. Hell, H2H, you could probably rewrite them in a week or two. If we can't rewrite burdensome regulations, then there's is no point to this exercise.

This people who post at this website likes to think of it as a font of knowledge and wisdom. Well, stop dreaming and be wise. What ACQUISITION laws and regulations can we change, and what are the arguments for changing them? That's where our expertise is supposed to lie, and that's what we can talk about with some claim to knowledge. Why make fools of ourselves?

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Vern... You are coming across like that guy in the brainstorming session who keeps criticizing other people's ideas. We seem to have differing ideas regarding the point of the thought experiment.

I hope so.

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Guest Vern Edwards
On 9/23/2016 at 11:31 PM, Boof said:

Lets get rid of the ratification process.  It always punishes the contracting personnel and the vendors instead of the program offices it is supposed to wake up. 

Boof:

I understand your point, and I agree to some extent that ratification "punishes" the wrong people. But your recommendation is not clear. The purpose of ratification is not punishment. The purpose of ratification is to put a seal of approval, so to speak, on an unauthorized commitment. Punishment is another thing entirely.

Are you recommending that the government just pay the bill whenever someone makes an unauthorized commitment? Or are you recommending a different ratification process? Or a different process manager?

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On ‎9‎/‎23‎/‎2016 at 2:35 AM, Vern Edwards said:

Repeal of laws is hard. How about amendment?

3. Competition in Contracting Act--eliminate requirement to use specific contracting methods; permit certain awards without consideration of price; raise SAT to $1,000,000; set SAT at $100,000 per unit for quantity buys; raise micro-purchase threshold to $50,000; eliminate mandatory use of sealed bidding.

4. Amend OFPP Act and Small Business Act to raise synopsis threshold to $50,000.

I like it, but let's also set the synopsis value up to the current SAT level ($150,000) and allow oral quotes up to that dollar value (or close to it). 

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On ‎9‎/‎26‎/‎2016 at 8:31 PM, Vern Edwards said:

Are you recommending that the government just pay the bill whenever someone makes an unauthorized commitment? Or are you recommending a different ratification process? Or a different process manager?

FAR 1.602-3(d) states non-ratifiable procurements could be resolved by the GAO, and is therefore very scary to the wayward PM since his chain of command cannot help him. 

Should all unauthorized commitments (ratifiable or not) be referred be referred to the agency OIG? I don't expect the OIG to retroactively approve the commitment, of course, but . . . we were talking punishment, too . . .

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Guest Vern Edwards
10 hours ago, apsofacto said:

FAR 1.602-3(d) states non-ratifiable procurements could be resolved by the GAO, and is therefore very scary to the wayward PM since his chain of command cannot help him.

FAR 1.602-3(d) is out of date. GAO no longer has claims settlement authority. Pub. L. 104-53, 109 Stat. 514, 535, November 19, 1996, transferred that authority to OMB. See Transfer of Claims Settlement and Related Advance Decisions, Waivers, and Other Functions, B-275605, March 17, 1997, http://www.gao.gov/assets/200/198248.pdf.

See also: https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/foia_transfer_gao_auth

 

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Guest Vern Edwards

If you want to see what's wrong with acquisition regulation today, see this GAO witness statement about VA procurement that was recently submitted to a congressional committee. Read the discussion of Veterans Administration procurement policies that begins on page 6. .

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/VR/VR08/20160920/105313/HHRG-114-VR08-Wstate-MackinM-20160920.pdf

Here is a source for ideas about what needs to be done. The problem is not unique to VA. The statutory/regulatory/policy system that governs acquisition is a real mess.

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What's "wrong" with Government contracting is that it is not, nor has it ever been, about achieving the lowest price for an item or service.

If that were the case, drinking fountains would still read "whites only", job ads would still read "Irish need not apply", only Fortune 500 companies would sell to the government, and women would still be fired from their jobs when they got pregnant.  Am I the only one who didn't sleep through that part of CON 101?

So I think it's fair to say that eliminating all these "nuisance" provisions would be good for the acquisition community, bad for the country.  And when you are spending taxpayer dollars, "bad for the  country" is a cost like any other.

If paperwork ain't your thing, you're in the wrong business.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, REA'n Maker said:

What's "wrong" with Government contracting is that it is not, nor has it ever been, about achieving the lowest price for an item or service.

If that were the case, drinking fountains would still read "whites only", job ads would still read "Irish need not apply", and women would still be fired from their jobs when they got pregnant.

Am I the only one who didn't sleep through that part of CON 101?

I don't follow...Are you stating that Government contracting should be about achieving the lowest price for an item or service?  Or is that what you think others on this forum are advocating for?

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Guest PepeTheFrog
2 hours ago, REA'n Maker said:

If that were the case, drinking fountains would still read "whites only", job ads would still read "Irish need not apply", only Fortune 500 companies would sell to the government, and women would still be fired from their jobs when they got pregnant.  Am I the only one who didn't sleep through that part of CON 101?

So I think it's fair to say that eliminating all these "nuisance" provisions would be good for the acquisition community, bad for the country.

cool story, bro

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Guest Vern Edwards
3 hours ago, REA'n Maker said:

What's "wrong" with Government contracting is that it is not, nor has it ever been, about achieving the lowest price for an item or service.

If that were the case, drinking fountains would still read "whites only", job ads would still read "Irish need not apply", only Fortune 500 companies would sell to the government, and women would still be fired from their jobs when they got pregnant.  Am I the only one who didn't sleep through that part of CON 101?

So I think it's fair to say that eliminating all these "nuisance" provisions would be good for the acquisition community, bad for the country.  And when you are spending taxpayer dollars, "bad for the  country" is a cost like any other.

If paperwork ain't your thing, you're in the wrong business.

Let me see if I understand you, REA'n Maker --

You think that this thread has been about wanting to (a) bring back segregated drinking fountains, (b) allow discrimination against immigrants, (c) award contracts only to large businesses, and (d) allow companies to fire women who get pregnant, all in order to get the lowest price.

Do I understand you correctly? Is that what you think this thread is about? Wanting those things?

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I read it as an assertion that procurement rules were responsible for the Civil Rights Movement, various worker protections, dramatically reducing the transaction costs of small businesses selling goods/services to the Government, and a cry for help.  If that is the case, my response is "false", "false", "does the opposite", and "I'm here for you brother" respectively.

 

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