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@joel hoffman

On 2/14/2018 at 2:21 PM, Corduroy Frog said:

Mr. Edwards I appreciate your experience, but I am obviously not going to reveal too much about my client's proposal except in very generic terms, so I doubt I could ever supply you with enough information to expect an accurate response.

I don't know who Corduroy Frog is, but based on the phrase "my client's proposal" it appears that he is not with the company that is submitting a proposal, but that he is somebody hired by that company to help with proposal preparation. If so, that might explain why he or she hasn't called the CO.

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2 minutes ago, Vern Edwards said:

@joel hoffman

I don't know who Corduroy Frog is, but based on the phrase "my client's proposal" it appears that he is not with the company that is submitting a proposal, but that he is somebody hired by that company to help with proposal preparation. If so, that might explain why he or she hasn't called the CO.

Got it, thanks for the reminder, Vern.

Perhaps the client is communicating with the government. At any rate, if I were advising a client in a situation like this, I’d advocate frank communications and scope resolution. 

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Vern Edwards has concluded correctly.  I am not an employee, but an "at large" consultant working for myself.  I have 3 and sometimes 4 customers for whom I do incurred cost submissions, pricing proposals, and tax work.  Most customers limit the people who can talk to the customer - usually it is owners/officers and contracts people.  I rarely talk to CORs and COs, and only by request of my own customers.

I've noticed in recent years the quality of government contracts people has markedly declined.  Maybe the Civil Service has rushed to turn the 50+ year-old people out to pasture, leaving contractors to talk with GS-6 people instead of GS-13 folks.  Another conversation, but the quality and cryptic questions arising out of RFPs is another casualty.

For those who don't know who I am - we can settle that.  I am Ron Jordan, from Manchester, TN, with customers in Oak Ridge, Tullahoma (TN) and Huntsville (AL) and a commercial customer in Nashville.

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27 minutes ago, Corduroy Frog said:

I've noticed in recent years the quality of government contracts people has markedly declined.  Maybe the Civil Service has rushed to turn the 50+ year-old people out to pasture, leaving contractors to talk with GS-6 people instead of GS-13 folks. 

I attended a dinner a couple of years ago with some retired DOD senior contracting officials and program managers who had gone to work for big contractors. They told me that it's hard to do business with some of today's contracting officers, because they don't know enough and are not confident in the answers they give and in their responses to proposals. As one put it, "It's hard to do business with people who don't know much."

That, of course, was anecdotal and unscientific information.

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2 hours ago, Vern Edwards said:

That, of course, was anecdotal and unscientific information.

As with any large population, attributes are distributed in a more-or-less Bell curve. Sometimes you get the CO on the good tail of the distribution; other times you get the CO on the other tail. One thing I've noticed is that the population of contract specialists, cost monitors and the like seems to be sprinkled with contractors. These contractors are nice folks who show up late to the party, don't understand the acquisition strategy, and still try to do their jobs the best they can. Results tend to be suboptimal, from my perspective.

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Based upon my experience and observation (purely unscientific), if we use performance appraisals as the basis for constructing a Bell curve, I suspect that the curve would be skewed substantially to the right, with very few rated as marginally satisfactory or unsatisfactory.  If they are rated unsatisfactory, chances are they will be put on a performance improvement period before removal procedures are begun.  If the individual is removed or actually improves, the curve would be skewed even more to the right.  This raises the question as to whether performance evaluations are being done properly or whether standards have slipped so much that what was once mediocre is now considered above average or exceptional?  As a side note, pity the poor contractor who has to deal with a government employee who is on a PIP.

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