Jump to content
The Wifcon Forums and Blogs

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 112
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Guest Vern Edwards

Oh, wait, I see it! Wow! Platinum!

Quote

Well I see the Gang of Three is alive and well...

I think Carl's on to something with his three thing:

The three Furies (of Greek mythology)

The three witches (of Macbeth)

The three Fates (again, of Greek mythology)

The three strikes (that put you out in baseball)

The three rings (of a circus)

The Three Billy Goats Gruff

The three sheets to the wind

The Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria

The little kittens that lost their mittens

The three bears (of Goldilocks)

The three movie stars that always seem to die around the same time

Zeus, Neptune, and Hades

The three vectors (Three Vs) of Big Data (volume, velocity, and variety)

The three sides of a triangle (hypotenuse, opposite, adjacent)

The three little words that mean so much

and many more.

What is it about threes?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Vern:

In your list of threes, you mentioned:  Roy Rogers, Trigger, and Bullet.  My 2 poodles, Blue Jay and Lily, feel slighted about the order that places bullet last.  Your three should be Bullet, Trigger, and Roy Rogers.

That's another three I list in their order of age:  Ambrose (in Heaven), Lily (4th in their litter) and Blue Jay (7th and last in their litter).  

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Vern Edwards said:

What is it about threes?

Quote

Irving Berlin knew it when he wrote, "From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans white with foam." Emma Lazarus knew it when she wrote, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." Abraham Lincoln knew it when he wrote, "Of the people, by the people, for the people." And Thomas Jefferson knew it when he wrote, near the beginning of the Declaration of Independence, "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," and, at the very end, "our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor." 

Rhetorically, three has magic properties. Something within us is affected by a series of three items, read or spoken, and skilled writers know how to use series of three to appeal to our aesthetic sense, our emotions, and perhaps to something even deeper.

https://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/teachersatwork/the-magic-of-three-teaching-students-about-triplets/

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Vern Edwards

The concept is called "The Rule of Three." See this: https://www.copyblogger.com/rule-of-three/ I had never heard of it before, inspired by Carl, I started researching trios.

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité!

http://www.jonathancrossfield.com/blog/2009/06/writing-the-power-of-three.html

https://rule-of-three.co.uk/what-is-the-rule-of-three-copywriting/

https://www.enchantingmarketing.com/rule-of-three-in-writing/

But it's not just the rule of three in writing, which, I think, is largely about rhythm: Wynken, Blinken, and Nod. 

It's also that so many thoughts and ideas have involve the number 3. See this list of movie titles in which the word "three" appears https://www.ranker.com/list/best-movies-with-three-in-the-title/ranker-film

And see The Use of Three in The Bible https://bible.org/seriespage/3-use-three-bible

Fun research.

Thank you, Carl. Seriously. Just goes to show---you never know whence come the sparks of curiosity, knowledge, and inspiration.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎3‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 4:58 PM, Don Mansfield said:

I think you're #2 would result in the violation of the Recording statute

As you said, right or wrong, many do it.  So I looked into this a while back and thought it was ok but can't remember the rationale.  I think there's some leeway for acquiring repetitive needs without having to establish a new obligation at each instance but can't remember the citations, etc.,  I may start another thread on this topic.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎3‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 5:32 PM, C Culham said:

what do you do with a contractor who refuses, once, twice or more, kick them to the BPA curb?  

Depending on the circumstances, I would probably just stop ordering from them.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎3‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 4:58 PM, Don Mansfield said:

I think you're #2 would result in the violation of the Recording statute (31 U.S.C. 1501).

 

See B-321296, specifically Digest paragraph 2 and the Court Reporting portion of the decision.  As it would be relevant to funding a BPA call with an unknown but estimated quantity –

 

“At the time each contract was executed, NLRB, as a matter of fact, did not know with certainty the total amount it would ultimately spend on court reporting services ordered under the contract. The amount of NLRB's liability depends on various factors such as the number of proceedings, the length of the transcripts delivered, and the number of ancillary materials such as exhibits. NLRB knows the amount of its liability with certainty only at the conclusion of the performance period, after it has ordered all the services under the contract. To determine the amount to obligate when each contract was executed, NLRB calculated an estimate, based on past practices and trends, of the total amount of court reporting services it would need under a particular contract.

 

We have previously addressed the amount an agency should obligate when the amount of its obligation is uncertain. B-305484, June 2, 2006. In that case, the National Mediation Board (NMB) contracted for arbitrators, and incurred obligations, when it appointed an arbitrator to hear a specific case. However, the length of the arbitrator's appointment and, therefore, the amount of the obligation were uncertain at the time of appointment. We noted that "it is the amount of the commitment, not the commitment itself, that is uncertain." Id. We concluded that NMB should "record an obligation based on its best estimate of the costs of paying the arbitrator and adjust the obligation up or down as more information becomes available." Id.

 

Similarly, in this case, the quantity of court reporting services that NLRB would ultimately order was uncertain at the time each contract was executed. NLRB properly obligated an amount based upon a reasonable estimate. As the performance period continues, NLRB should deobligate amounts if it realizes that it overestimated the quantity of services that it would order under the contracts. Conversely, if NLRB determines that it will need to order more services than initially estimated, it should obligate additional funds in accordance with a revised estimate. Because NLRB initially obligated only fiscal year 2010 funds for the contracts, any adjustments to the obligations must also be made against fiscal year 2010 funds.”

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, jwomack said:

See B-321296, specifically Digest paragraph 2 and the Court Reporting portion of the decision.  As it would be relevant to funding a BPA call with an unknown but estimated quantity –

That's a good find, jwomack. However, I don't think the GAO was consistent with the Red Book in the decision. From p. 7-21 of the Red Book:

Quote

Thus, in a variable quantity contract with no guaranteed minimum—or any analogous situation in which there is no liability unless and until an order is placed—there would be no recordable obligation at the time of award. B-302358, Dec. 27, 2004; B-259274, May 22, 1996; 63 Comp. Gen. 129 (1983); 60 Comp. Gen. 219 (1981); 34 Comp. Gen. 459, 462 (1955); B-124901, Oct. 26, 1955 (“call contract”).11 Obligations are recorded as orders are placed.

The case that GAO relied on in the case you cited is inapposite, in my opinion. In that case (B-305484) the Government awarded contracts to arbitrators and was uncertain how much it was going to end up costing, so they obligated an estimate. At the time of the contract, the arbitrators were required to work and the Government was required to pay. The Government was liable and should have recorded an obligation at that time. This is the same rationale for recording an obligation of the estimated cost in a cost reimbursement contract. However, that doesn't seem to be the case in B-321296. In that case, the contractor was not required to perform court reporting until a need arose and the Government ordered them to do so. There was no liability unless and until the order was placed, so there was no recordable obligation at award (unless there was guaranteed minimum).

As far as an open-ended BPA call for emergency repair services, where the Government orders work as emergencies arise, there's no liability unless and until the Government orders the services. As such, there's no recordable obligation.

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Don Mansfield said:

there's no liability unless and until the Government orders the services

A BPA call would be the order.  It would have an estimated quantity with details further definitized at the subordinate work order level.

I like it when GAO isn't consistent.  Contradictory decisions give me more tools to choose from.

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, jwomack said:

A BPA call would be the order.  It would have an estimated quantity with details further definitized at the subordinate work order level.

I like it when GAO isn't consistent.  Contradictory decisions give me more tools to choose from.

Yes, but at the time you placed the call, the contractor would not be required to work and the Government would not be required to pay. An emergency would have to arise and the Government would have to call the contractor.

Look, I get what you are proposing and you could probably convince a lot of folks that it's ok based on the case you found, but I'm still not convinced.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎4‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 12:04 PM, jwomack said:

A BPA call would be the order.  It would have an estimated quantity with details further definitized at the subordinate work order level.

So if I unravel your train of thought correctly -

1. You would compete the BPA's prior to issuance or in other words advertise in FBO.

2. Once competed you would issue the BPA's to one or multiple entities - not sure about this one?

3. Once the BPA's are issued you would issue a call to one (or more) of the BPA holders for undefinitized needs other than stating that it is plumbing and that the work will be done at certain rates and material prices.

4. As the emergencies arise you would then contact one of the entities to which you issued the call to have them come and do the work.   If you issued more than one BPA and more than one open ended call if the first one you contacted did not want to come and do the work then you would then call the next one and maybe the next one and......

If I have this correct then the questions that come up for me are -

1. As already mentioned by me where is the guarantee that you have an entity on call to do the work with little or no effort to get them there to do it?

2. What steps have you saved say as compared to issuing a fixed price time and materials requirements type contract?

3. Noting the long term inference of the need by the OP how would you address the bona fides need rule with regard to a call (noting that GAO addressed this matter in the decision you quoted)?

For me you may be on to something with regard to the recording statute but I am left wondering how the competed BPA route is any better than other firm contract types that are available as you have basically taken BPA's and made almost a firm contract.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Why use a requirements contract with only one firm?  What if they are not available to respond in time?  Most plumbing firms are not big enough to always respond immediately to one client. 

The ordering officer should be able to call around from the BPA list for availability, as the first priority, like you would do if you needed a plumber for an emergency. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, joel hoffman said:

Why use a requirements contract with only one firm?  What if they are not available to respond in time?  Most plumbing firms are not big enough to always respond immediately to one client. 

Joel - I understand the argument and without going into grand detail I have even issued BPA's of this nature but for fire and other  incident response (hurricane etc).   Anyone wondering read up on Incident BPA's (IBPA).  However in the case of the IBPA there is a structured (electronic) approach to use.  And as Don has noted the commitment and obligation occur when the Call is made and the details of the IBPA discuss their potential open ended possibility.  But for sure one IBPA Call is not issued for say 60 months.

My grasping of the requirement contract concept is that my read of the OP's comments is that they want the guarantee that someone will be there in 2 to 4 hours.   I just have trouble with the fact that a BPA will do this.   Heck I can't get a plumber that fast to my house, I know I have tried.   The plumber will use their own sift to determine who they want to meet the expectations of little ol Carl at his house or Mr. Got Rock's at the mansion, or the continual corporate/government plant or facility and vise-a-versa when say I am the plumbers borther.   The requirements contract or some other firm arrangement (now with a performance bond)  outside of the BPA encourages the plumber to put me always at the top of the list every day, every Call if in fact that is what the OP is shooting for.   If not then have at it with a BPA.

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Carl, i just don’t think that there are many plumbers that would be foolish enough to bind themselves to a government contract (ESPECIALLY a government  contract with all its bureaucracy) to guarantee that they drop whatever else they are doing to make a typical service call. Maybe in a big city...

it would seem to me that responsiveness and availability would be more important than a $50 or $100 difference in price between plumbing firms for an emergency service call.  I guess it would depend upon the nature and amount of time needed for the fix, of course.  But $10-$20 per hour price savings isn’t important if they can’t respond...

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, C Culham said:

So if I unravel your train of thought correctly -

The steps you cited are correct.  To your questions -

1.  There is no guarantee/obligation on any party with a BPA.  Of course even if you had a contract in place that's still not a guarantee they'll show up.  While the contract may give the Government recourse after-the-fact, it still doesn't stop the leaking pipe in an urgent situation.  For something like these emergency repairs, my guess is the response rate from a BPA holder vs someone with a contract would be nearly identical.

2.  None that I can think of.  The goal isn't to save steps on the front end.  The goal is to get a vehicle in place so, when an emergency arises, the Government doesn't waste time in getting an available repairman to take action.  Requiring a KO to be in the loop during an actual emergency is an unnecessary time waster.

3.  I'd try to use no-year money if available.  Otherwise, assuming annual funds, I'd cite FAR 37.106 and the GAO decision.  And maybe FAR 1.102 (Guiding Principles).

I don't know that the BPA route is any better than the contract options.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's curious to me that everyone is focused on dealing directly with local contractors. My initial thought process was that the contractor probably wouldn't be local. Intuitively, I would want a contractor that specializes in 24/7 support, which local independent contractors generally don't do, and can service my area. For example, a quick search for "24/7 emergency plumbing services" gave me Roto Rooter.

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, FrankJon said:

My initial thought process was that the contractor probably wouldn't be local. Intuitively, I would want a contractor that specializes in 24/7 support, which local independent contractors generally don't do, and can service my area. For example, a quick search for "24/7 emergency plumbing services" gave me Roto Rooter.

No doubt the details of what the OP's needs really are would add much more context but I had the same thought and you beat me to the punch.   But then again you forgot the principles FAR subpart 8.000 and I went here https://www.gsaelibrary.gsa.gov/ElibMain/home.dohttp:/www.gsaelibrary.gsa.gov/ElibMain/scheduleSummary.do?scheduleNumber=03FAC   then I thought what about Ability One and then I just threw up my arms as I decided I have turned the wrench on this one way too long and time to move along.

 

6 hours ago, jwomack said:

Otherwise, assuming annual funds, I'd cite FAR 37.106 and the GAO decision

Moving along here too with the parting drop that what you have is a BPA and then a Call that I agree turns into a contract.  Begs the question why not just create a contract in the first place especially if you really mean "vehicle" as opposed to vehicles as one BPA is a waste of time all the way around.  As stated before the facility would be left to "dialing for dollars" because as you note there is no guarantee most especially with a BPA.

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, C Culham said:

Joel - I understand the argument and without going into grand detail I have even issued BPA's of this nature but for fire and other  incident response (hurricane etc).   Anyone wondering read up on Incident BPA's (IBPA).  However in the case of the IBPA there is a structured (electronic) approach to use.  And as Don has noted the commitment and obligation occur when the Call is made and the details of the IBPA discuss their potential open ended possibility.  But for sure one IBPA Call is not issued for say 60 months.

My grasping of the requirement contract concept is that my read of the OP's comments is that they want the guarantee that someone will be there in 2 to 4 hours.   I just have trouble with the fact that a BPA will do this.   Heck I can't get a plumber that fast to my house, I know I have tried.   The plumber will use their own sift to determine who they want to meet the expectations of little ol Carl at his house or Mr. Got Rock's at the mansion, or the continual corporate/government plant or facility and vise-a-versa when say I am the plumbers borther.   The requirements contract or some other firm arrangement (now with a performance bond)  outside of the BPA encourages the plumber to put me always at the top of the list every day, every Call if in fact that is what the OP is shooting for.   If not then have at it with a BPA.

I think that some market research would be in order to see what the capabilities and interest are out there. I agree that we don’t know enough details about the scope or specific circumstances to provide strong recommendations here.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Vern Edwards
22 hours ago, jwomack said:

There is no guarantee/obligation on any party with a BPA.  Of course even if you had a contract in place that's still not a guarantee they'll show up.  While the contract may give the Government recourse after-the-fact, it still doesn't stop the leaking pipe in an urgent situation.  For something like these emergency repairs, my guess is the response rate from a BPA holder vs someone with a contract would be nearly identical.

Requiring activities commonly want to set response deadlines or windows for the performance of "emergency" services. Such deadlines are commonly unrealistic. As a practical matter, if included in a contract they are not enforceable except through payment deductions (which will make matters worse) or, in an extreme case, contract termination. Any CO who agrees to make responses to such deadlines contractually binding will inevitably face a functional head and/or COR who has determined that the contractor has been late some percentage of the time and wants the contractor chastised or punished.

I would not, even under threat of torture, agree to award a T&M/requirements contract for the services described by the OP in his scenario just in order to get a "guarantee" of a response within 2 to 4 hours. I might do it if lives would be at stake, not because I thought it would buy us anything in terms of actual performance, but for the sake of public perception. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...