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creyes814

Number of hours specified in a Statement of Work

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Hello, I am working on a proposed A&E task order under a stand alone contract.  I received a new purchase request and in the Statement of A&E Services (scope of work) the Project Manager has listed the number of hours under each work element such as "Work Element 1 - Project Management (include up to 80 hours to provide support that includes all activities required to successfully execute this task order"...….  I don't believe this is acceptable? The COR under this contract agrees with me.  We shouldn't tell the contractor how many hours to propose.  Please advise. 

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1 minute ago, PepeTheFrog said:

Why do you think this is unacceptable? What citation would you or the COR use to prove it is unacceptable?

I didn't think it was acceptable to tell the contractor how many hours to propose. 

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Maybe the program manager doesn’t really want a stated definite goal (or target) and specified end product (or outcome).  Maybe he or she only wants for the contractor to devote a specified level of effort for a stated period of time?

Edit:  I prefer completion form (contracting for a stated definite goal (or target) and specified end product (or outcome)) rather than term form (contracting for a specified level of effort for a stated period of time).

 

Edited by ji20874

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1 minute ago, ji20874 said:

Maybe the program manager doesn’t really want a stated definite goal (or target) and specified end product (or outcome).  Maybe he or she only wants for the contractor to devote a specified level of effort for a stated period of time.

You do have a point!

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Need more info.  Without knowing the specifics, I can offer my really basic two-part test for approximating an answer to "can we tell them?"  Part one: Does telling them violate any regulations, laws, policies, guidance, etc?  Part two: Should you tell them - is telling them to our benefit?   

Its pretty unlikely that you are prohibited from telling them the number of hours.  So its probably a question of should you tell them.

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Or, maybe the program is poor, and the program manager wants to tell the contractor that he or she only wants a bronze-plated deliverable, so to speak, instead of gold-plated.  There are other ways to do that, but that is a valid purpose.

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3 hours ago, creyes814 said:

"Work Element 1 - Project Management (include up to 80 hours to provide support that includes all activities required to successfully execute this task order

This doesn't tell the contractor how many hours to propose.  It only places a limit in the number of hours that may be proposed.

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That’s why you NEGOTIATE the task order. You shouldn’t  direct the A/E as to how much time is needed or put a limit on the time needed to  manage the task order in the contract.  

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3 minutes ago, joel hoffman said:

That’s why you NEGOTIATE the task order.

Right!

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38 minutes ago, Retreadfed said:

This doesn't tell the contractor how many hours to propose.  It only places a limit in the number of hours that may be proposed.

I didn't think there should be any hours at all. 

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5 hours ago, PepeTheFrog said:

Why do you think this is unacceptable? What citation would you or the COR use to prove it is unacceptable?

Pepe is correct.  Joel, said you "shouldn"t " provide hours, which may be a best practice.  However, he did not say you cannot.  Specifying hours is not an uncommon practice, just as it is not uncommon for agencies to specify labor categories or the amount of subcontract work that is to be awarded to each of the various categories of small business concerns.  I come back to my original post which is that the quoted language does not tell contractors how many hours to propose.  Along this line, is project management or something like that an evaluation factor?

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It appears to be an A/E design task to a specific A/E firm on an IDIQ contract . It isn’t an A/E task order competition. “Evaluation factor” for what? There is already a contractor.

The government should not be specifying a cap on management hours in the statement of work for the task order.  I just reread the initial post and the OP said that the government project manager has listed the number of hours under EACH work element. A cap on project management hours was identified as an example.

The parties negotiate the A/E’s price proposal to perform the  A/E services.

Unless this is a task order to simply provide bodies for something like Title II services during construction, the government shouldn’t specify the number of hours or a cap on hours necessary to design a project or to  manage that design. 

 For a design task, the A/E should provide a price proposal reflecting how it intends to perform the A/E services. The government should evaluate it. Then the parties negotiate the price proposal for the services. The government has the opportunity to discuss the proposed approach and comment on or question the reasonableness of proposed hours and disciplines, management, etc..

creyes814, is this a design task or a task to provide various specific disciplines for some other purpose? 

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My post disappeared for some reason...

The USACE is one of the largest government agency users of A-E contracting. 

Pepe the Frog asked: “Why do you think this is unacceptable? What citation would you or the COR use to prove it is unacceptable?“

Here is a link to Engineer Pamphlet EP 715-1-7, “Architect Engineer Contracting in USACE.”.  It describes the entire life cycle process, including a sample statement of work, sample request for price proposal,  discussion of the negotiation process including technical analysis, fact finding (pre-proposal) meeting(s) , etc., etc.

https://www.publications.usace.army.mil/Portals/76/Publications/EngineerPamphlets/EP_715-1-7.pdf

The PM can provide their input to the IGE and might be involved in its preparation and with discussions, etc. 

But the government should not tell the contractor how to perform its design or dictate the number of hours for each activity in the statement of work - which is to provide the project technical requirements and various statutory and regulatory constraints, etc.

 

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 By specifying or limiting contractor hours, the government might effectively create a term or level-of-effort contract. If the government wants a completion contract, it should remove the hours from the statement of work and place them in the government estimate paperwork. 

 For a design project, the government probably wants (or must have) completion form. Maybe for an inspection project, the government might be satisfied with term form.  The program manager might not be able to tell the difference, so the contracting officer can help him or her.

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2 hours ago, ji20874 said:

 By specifying or limiting contractor hours, the government might effectively create a term or level-of-effort contract. If the government wants a completion contract, it should remove the hours from the statement of work and place them in the government estimate paperwork. 

 For a design project, the government probably wants (or must have) completion form. Maybe for an inspection project, the government might be satisfied with term form.  The program manager might not be able to tell the difference, so the contracting officer can help him or her.

Agreed. 

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On ‎7‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 4:39 AM, joel hoffman said:

My post disappeared for some reason...

The USACE is one of the largest government agency users of A-E contracting. 

Pepe the Frog asked: “Why do you think this is unacceptable? What citation would you or the COR use to prove it is unacceptable?“

Here is a link to Engineer Pamphlet EP 715-1-7, “Architect Engineer Contracting in USACE.”.  It describes the entire life cycle process, including a sample statement of work, sample request for price proposal,  discussion of the negotiation process including technical analysis, fact finding (pre-proposal) meeting(s) , etc., etc.

https://www.publications.usace.army.mil/Portals/76/Publications/EngineerPamphlets/EP_715-1-7.pdf

The PM can provide their input to the IGE and might be involved in its preparation and with discussions, etc. 

But the government should not tell the contractor how to perform its design or dictate the number of hours for each activity in the statement of work - which is to provide the project technical requirements and various statutory and regulatory constraints, etc.



 

Thank you for your input! This is very helpful! 

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Glad to be of some assistance.  :) Good luck! 

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