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sjanke

Monitoring of Subcontractors

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Vern, please refrain from continuing your personal, condescending attacks on me because my background isn't the same as yours. The last time I checked the Forum rules, they don't restrict discussion to anyone in particular. And I thought that personal attacks were in violation of the spirit, if not rule number one, of the Forum. My advice here is to Sjanke, not to you. You don't have any idea of what my overall background, inside and outside of the Federal government, is with other organizations, other governments, contracts, the public or contractors that I've dealt with over my career as a contract administrator, engineer, ACO, source selection leader, claims advisor/negotiator, designer, planner or consultant to government, private clients and contractors.

I'm not attacking you. I'm reacting to your recent tendency to give hasty, off the mark advice, and I have every right to point out when I think your advice is unsound. You often cite your personal experience as the basis for your opinions and advice. I think it's within bounds to point out that your experiences are not always pertinent. When someone asks a question about a regulated matter, you would do better to cite the regulations and decisions that interpret the regulations.

If I've made any factual error, please point it out and accept my apology. If you think I'm making a personal attack, complain to the webmaster and let him adjudicate the issue.

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The contract and regulations don't always cover every situation. There isn't always a black and white solution and there isn't always only one reasonable answer.

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The contract and regulations don't always cover every situation. There isn't always a black and white solution and there isn't always only one reasonable answer.

I agree entirely. I did not mean to attack you personally. I apologize for any offense.

Vern

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Vern, I accept your apology, thanks.

Factually, I indicated in a post on the afternoon of the 12th of January that if the PO appears to be leaving the prime out of the information loop that is "unprofessional". I stand by my statement.

A government representative should - no must, as a matter of professional contract administration - keep the prime, who is responsible for the performance of its subs and for meeting the contract requirements, informed about technical directions he provides to the sub. That is not only common sense, it is a requirement in our agency QA and contract administration procedures and training curricula. I would hope that is a requirement in any agency's procedures.

If that isn't happening in this situation, then my statement isn't relevant to the instant problem.

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Factually, I indicated in a post on the afternoon of the 12th of January that if the PO appears to be leaving the prime out of the information loop that is "unprofessional". I stand by my statement.

A government representative should - no must, as a matter of professional contract administration - keep the prime, who is responsible for the performance of its subs and for meeting the contract requirements, informed about technical directions he provides to the sub. That is not only common sense, it is a requirement in our agency QA and contract administration procedures and training curricula. I would hope that is a requirement in any agency's procedures.

I agree that if the government gives technical direction to a subcontractor in the ordinary course of business, then it should share that communication with the prime. (There may be legitimate reasons for communicating with the sub before the prime.) However, that was not the issue raised by sjanke. I think sjanke posted five times. Here is the original post:

The Project Officer on our contract has a tendency to make unannounced visits to one of our major subcontractors. We feel we should be given adequate notice to have someone accompany the project office on the visit. I have not been able to find any FAR's which allow or disallow this. Has anyone had any experience with this?

The second post:

Thanks for all the input. I thought I could add some further clarification. The work being done by the subcontractor is in support of a firm fixed price line item in our contract with the government. We use the product we get from the supplier in production of the end product which the government buys from us. FAR 52.246-2 Inspection of Supplies - Fixed Price is in our contract with the government.

The complicating factor is US government property is used by the supplier in the production of the product, so the government project officer goes to the subcontractor to check on the status of the property.

In the third post, sjanke quoted what was presumably a contract clause about technical direction, but made no assertion about the project officer or any other government employee. In his/her fourth post he/she said:

Furrther "fuel for the fire". The Project Officer seems to have something against this particular supplier, one of two used by us on the Contract, both provide the same raw material to us. We want to have one of our reps accompany the PO to the supplier, but event the Contracting Officer is suggesting they can do this. I have been unable to find any FAR covering this.

In his/her fifth and last post:

I have reviewed the FAR's referenced in previous comments(copied below) and cannot find anything that specificially states a government representative can visit the prime contractor's subcontractor without first notifying the prime contractor. Or conversely, I can find nothing that states the government representative does not have to notify the prime contractor prior to visiting the subcontractor. It seems to be an area that is not properly defined.

That was followed by a quote from the Government Property clause and FAR Part 45.

In no post did sjanke say that the project officer was giving technical direction to a subcontractor that he was not sharing with the prime or that the prime was being kept out of any loop. The only poster who said anything like that was loul, who said it apropos of nothing. The only issue raised by sjanke was unannounced visits to check on government property, which might be entirely appropriate.

When I pointed out that there may be valid reasons for such unannounced visits, you said:

Vern, I agree with you if checking on the status of govt property and perhaps how to use it is the actual purpose of the PO's visit.I somehow missed the purpose of the visits and keyed in on the contract language indicating the role of the PO.

As for not sharing information with a prime about a sub, the propriety of that depends entirely on the nature of the information.

I will repeat my earlier comment, with no intention of insulting you, but only stating my opinion: You were too hasty in this thread. You did not stick to the issue raised, and your comments went too far. I want others reading this thread to know that someone disagrees with you.

You are welcome to the last word.

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Vern, I agree with you that there may be times when a COR would first advise a subcontractor then inform the prime. And, I guess I made a pre-emptive strike about the PO not keeping the prime informed. I was trying to figure out what the real problem is as Sjanke dribbled in information. The "end around" situation is often the problem when our folks talk to subs without the prime being there. He did indicate that the contract language discussed the PO providing technical direction or details.

As of today, Sjanke is still looking for a legalistic solution. There appears to be a real problem with what is going on between the PO and either the prime or the sub.

If the sub and the prime don't like the unannounced visits, all I know that they can do, from the information provided, is unite, bow-up and say that they are required to provide reasonable access to the PO. They can assert that their standard of reasonableness includes courtesy notice to the prime before going to the sub's business. Sjanke apparently wants to be there for some reason, as he indicated that the sub is allegedly being treated differently than his other sub.

I'd suggest continuing to try discuss their concerns with the KO before letter writing, but sjanke has that right, too.

I don't know who the PO is but our KO's are usually effective at instituting some corrective action if our QA folks or our customer personnel are being unreasonable. When I was the District Chief of Contract Admin, we'd often get the call before the contractor went either to the KO or to the District Commander. The ACO's worked for our boss as well as contractually under the KO. Between us, the KO and/or the Colonel, many of the personality issues got resolved.

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