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47 minutes ago, uraniumgal said:

This was my very first Federal contract and I did learn a harsh lesson:  Never to bid on Federal contracts again.  Small businesses just cannot manage the weight of all the regulation.  Our $6 million contract was not worth the havoc played out in my professional life as well as my personal life!!!

Sorry you had such a bad experience. However, the Federal government is very big and there are agencies out there who know what they are doing. I'd like to say that your experience was atypical, but that would probably be a lie.

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18 hours ago, uraniumgal said:

Also, believe me--I know that the list in 17.207 needs to be addressed only when an a priori decision to exercise the option has been made.  It's just that NO ONE made that a priori decision, or at least no one who wants to admit it!  

This was my very first Federal contract and I did learn a harsh lesson:  Never to bid on Federal contracts again.  Small businesses just cannot manage the weight of all the regulation.  Our $6 million contract was not worth the havoc played out in my professional life as well as my personal life!!!

I'm not sure you're using a priori correctly.

If the Government wants to exercise an option, the Government is required to follow the process at FAR 17.207. It doesn't simply just "happen". The Government would have sent you a notification of intent to exercise the option according to the date identified in FAR clause 52.217-9; if you didn't get a notification within that time period, reaching out to the contracting officer would be in your best interest. For example, if the period of performance ends on 30 September and FAR 52.217-9(a) says "60 days", and you haven't received anything from the contracting officer on 31 August, you may want to reach out to confirm that the Government does not plan on exercising the option. When you sign a contract with options, you are not signing a contract that assures you will have 2, 3, 4, 5, or whatever number of years of work to do.

The lesson should be "read the contract, understand it, and ask questions if you don't understand it". There are many cases to be made about overburdening small businesses with regulations, but use of options isn't really one of those cases.

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2 hours ago, Jason Lent said:

I'm not sure you're using a priori correctly.

I'm pretty sure she's not using it correctly. Now, if by "a priori decision" she meant theoretical decision, then maybe she used it correctly. But theoretical decision doesn't make much sense to me in context--much like the rest of this thread.

Quote

If a Federal agency does not act on an option period (one year) on a labor-hour ID/IQ task-order contract because the person responsible for initiating the exercise of the option year didn't, because she did not know she was responsible and, thus, she failed to act--did she act?  Can an agency not exercise an option simply because no one thought to do so? 

I wonder if, as the deadline for exercising the option approached, uraniumgal called the CO and asked, "What are you going to do about the option?" or "When are you going to exercise the option?" or said, "Just checking in on the status of the option exercise." That's what a prudent business person would have done, especially if failure to exercise the option would cause havoc in their personal and professional life.

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16 minutes ago, Vern Edwards said:

I wonder if, as the deadline for exercising the option approached, uraniumgal called the CO and asked, "What are you going to do about the option?" or "When are you going to exercise the option?" or said, "Just checking in on the status of the option exercise."  That's what a prudent business person would have done, especially if failure to exercise the option would cause havoc in their personal and professional life.

...or even asking about the option when the preliminary written notice of the Government's intent was not provided in a timely manner.  By default, the time period is usually 60 days before the contract expires which should be more than enough time to avoid any surprises.

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3 hours ago, Jason Lent said:

The Government would have sent you a notification of intent to exercise the option according to the date identified in FAR clause 52.217-9; if you didn't get a notification within that time period, reaching out to the contracting officer would be in your best interest.

For goodness sake already, at t = 90 days both CORs on our two task orders indicated that the agency would be exercising the option.  At t = 60 days, no letter came; I of course called the CS almost immediately and that's when I found out the agency was not going to elect the option year.  Since they'd elected the first option, I know what to do...

WRT "a priori," sorry if my Latin wasn't correct--what I meant was someone making the decision that the option would be exercised and, hence, FAR 17.207 had to be gone through.  Asking that question is how I found out that the Contract's COR didn't know she was responsible for starting the process, so no one made a decision, the Contract simply expired.

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22 minutes ago, uraniumgal said:

For goodness sake already...I know what to do...

I don't believe anyone's intention here is to "pile on" - this is a public forum for the contracting profession and if another contractor or person with a similar situation comes here to find information on this subject, the users here are merely trying to document what could/should have been done to hopefully avoid future occurrences.

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4 minutes ago, Matthew Fleharty said:

the users here are merely trying to document what could/should have been done to hopefully avoid future occurrences.

Yes, I know and I really do appreciate all your thoughts and discussion.  I'm just trying to figure out what went on and what I could have done to be a better small-business contract holder.  I don't expect to bid on another Federal contract ever, as I am approaching retirement, but I have a set of younger friends who are business owners themselves and they have followed my travails closely so that they might learn as well.  So, thank you all for your thoughts and responses.

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