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LucyQ

A Problem within Soliciations - IDIQs

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My Boss recently came to me to research a topic that she has found when we're putting in several solicitations. The question is whether the scope of a RFP simply include the 
Government's requirement" (FAR 15.203 (a) (1)) or if it must be exactly for the government requirement.

 

Proposal A

     REQUIREMENTS: 1,2,3,4

Proposal A became Contract A and was awarded for Requirements 1-4. We were part of a losing team on that proposal. A big part of that proposal was Requirement 4 which highly impacted price and promised to be the entirety of Aircraft X's widgets.

 

Proposal B (Authority 15.101-1)

    REQUIREMENTS: 4,5,6,7

A new proposal comes out with a scope including the highly advertised scope requirements which we know for a fact is in Contract A. Now, this has happened to us before, the government overestimates their scope and the price that we give them as to include discounts for this huge requirement that they could have but we know for a fact will never actually be given under this contract because they already have another vehicle.  

We brought this up to the CO and their response was, " [Requirement 4] has been identified so that offerors understand that there is a difference in the requirement associated with these parts. For these items, requirements for procurement on  [Contract B] will come from one of two avenues, 1)  [Contract A]'s contractor will have the option to purchase these items through [Contract B] at their discretion, and 2) the Govt needs to maintain the ability to procure additional assets to support pipeline shortages as well as support FMS / OS requirements that cannot be fulfilled on [Contract A]."

 

Again, my question is, how is this fair? We know that they won't actually be buying these parts off of this contract however they are including this scope requirement which will inherently lower price. I don't see this being strictly prohibited in the FAR so I suppose it's discretionary but FAR 1.102 (b) (3) requires that the system be fair - How is creating fake competition fair?

Anyone's thoughts on either scope or "fairness" would be appreciated.

Thank you!

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Does para. (c)(4) of the clause at FAR 52.215-1 (or other similar provision in your solicitation) help you?

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I'm not seeing the unfairness. The Government says they have a requirement for the widgets above what they purchased on Contract A. How do you know they won't be buying these parts off of Contract B? What evidence do you have? Why would it be to the Government's advantage to lie about its intentions?

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This has happened to us before - that is our only evidence. They have an IDIQ contract saying it will include many requirements and they only ever plan to contract out a few of those requirements. Yes, I know they're allowed to have a ceiling but by adding scope that will never come and knowing that price is a portion of the factor, this will make (at least my Boss) have to lower her price to offer a price discount based on all this work that won't come. 

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Your CEO can condition the discount on a minimum -- such as $100 each for units 1-500 and a 10% discount for quantities over that.  You need to treat this as a business proposition and play ball, or walk away for other opportunities.  Or, pose the question directly to the agency.

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8 minutes ago, ji20874 said:

Your CEO can condition the discount on a minimum -- such as $100 each for units 1-500 and a 10% discount for quantities over that.  You need to treat this as a business proposition and play ball, or walk away for other opportunities.  Or, pose the question directly to the agency.

Yes, I feel this is the correct way to handle things but it's not my call to change our approach on proposals. I suppose I was hoping for a far off argument somewhere.

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1 hour ago, LucyQ said:

This has happened to us before - that is our only evidence. They have an IDIQ contract saying it will include many requirements and they only ever plan to contract out a few of those requirements. Yes, I know they're allowed to have a ceiling but by adding scope that will never come and knowing that price is a portion of the factor, this will make (at least my Boss) have to lower her price to offer a price discount based on all this work that won't come. 

Is the agency explicitly directing you to rely on government estimates in arriving at your prices? If so, the agency will be liable for inaccurate estimates. See Admiral Elevator v. Social Sec. Admin., CBCA 470 07-2 BCA ¶ 33,676

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54 minutes ago, Don Mansfield said:

Is the agency explicitly directing you to rely on government estimates in arriving at your prices? If so, the agency will be liable for inaccurate estimates. See Admiral Elevator v. Social Sec. Admin., CBCA 470 07-2 BCA ¶ 33,676

This was a very fun read, thank you for that. 

How did you know about this? Is it using the search option or did you remember having read it? I ask because I'd like to add more tools to my tool belt and reading these as soon as they come out might give me an extra reference for later. If you searched for it, what were your search terms? If you remembered it, kudos and thank you again.

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I should also add that I use a database called Intelliconnect that includes the Nash & Cibinic e-Series (all the Nash & Cibinic books in electronic format). Some people think I know something about contracting, but the truth is I'm just good at looking stuff up in Intelliconnect.

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On ‎9‎/‎7‎/‎2017 at 10:57 AM, Don Mansfield said:

I should also add that I use a database called Intelliconnect that includes the Nash & Cibinic e-Series (all the Nash & Cibinic books in electronic format). Some people think I know something about contracting, but the truth is I'm just good at looking stuff up in Intelliconnect.

Same here.  To me, having access to resources like those, knowing how to find what is needed, and being able to comprehend the material is essential.  I call my Nash and Cibinic books, the books that make me look smart.

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