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Guest PepeTheFrog
On 8/23/2019 at 8:16 PM, joel hoffman said:

 Anti-bid shopping concerns and, thus measures for discouraging bid shopping are not uncommon in public contracting. 

joel hoffman, will you please explain exactly what you mean by the practice of bid-shopping? How does that work? Who does it? Why do they do it?

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2 hours ago, PepeTheFrog said:

joel hoffman, will you please explain exactly what you mean by the practice of bid-shopping? How does that work? Who does it? Why do they do it?

Here is one article that offers a pretty good explanation to your questions, Pepe. 

If you want to read multiple, similar explanations, perhaps with various twists/scenarios,  type “bid shopping” in a Google Search.

https://www.keglerbrown.com/publications/ethical-challenges-of-bid-shopping/

There are various possible scenarios. For instance, It can happen when a GC proposes a specific subcontractor, using that firm’s quote/proposal or identifying that firm’s quote/proposal in its proposal to the owner during a competition or sole source negotiation, then shops for lower prices from other firms in order to obtain a lower price (thus a larger margin) or to squeeze the original firm to either lower its price or be replaced. 

Its harmful to trade subcontractors.  It’s dishonest and unfair to the owner when a bait and switch is involved and/or having represented its proposed Price being based upon the prices of specific key subs’s pricing, it has no intention of using those prices. 

It also occurs on low bid IFB’s, where there is no negotiating, bargaining between the prime and the owner and no identification of proposed subs or their prices. 

 

Edited by joel hoffman
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Going back to my earlier post today and the original intent of this thread, technical approach and experience/past performance should be it for the majority of acquisitions.  Excluding major systems, services are the bulk of what’s bought.  So you publish the outcomes you seek, ask for brief responses on how offerers will do the work,  and request real examples of where they performed. You ask for demonstrated results which you verify instead of words on what they did.  

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13 hours ago, formerfed said:

Going back to my earlier post today and the original intent of this thread, technical approach and experience/past performance should be it for the majority of acquisitions.  Excluding major systems, services are the bulk of what’s bought.  So you publish the outcomes you seek, ask for brief responses on how offerers will do the work,  and request real examples of where they performed. You ask for demonstrated results which you verify instead of words on what they did.  

Key personnel might not be discriminators in services. I’ll accept that. 

Key subcontractors might or might not be discriminators in services.  They generally are in A-E, construction and design-build.  If subcontractors perform significant roles in service contracts , then their experience and past performance are probably a discriminator.

In construction and design-build,  subcontractor often perform most of the work, so it would be kind of silly to focus solely on experience and past performance of the prime. 

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Joel,

i know you specialize in construction and you are an expert in it.  But it’s important to not slant that perspective in the larger scheme of  procurement in general.   My last two posts are intended to address mostly IT and professional services and not things like facility management, construction, depot operations, etc.  Maybe I should be clearer but a true SOO type statement of requirements doesn’t work well where a detailed approach is a given.  

In the spirit of the latest and greatest evaluation factor, GSA does an excellent job in my opinion making a case for just technical approach of just 2 or pages and easily demonstrated experience and past performance.   This isn’t for everything because what it involves is a contractor supplying a knowledgeable and capable team team using proven tools and methodologies to perform a job.  You want a company to tell you how they will meet the objectives in Thor approach and to show they have successfully done this before.  A quick and easy solicitation, a proposal of just a few pages, and an evaluation that should be done in a few days.  Ideally it lays out things clearly so marginal companies won’t take the effort to propose.

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23 hours ago, formerfed said:

Joel,

i know you specialize in construction and you are an expert in it.  But it’s important to not slant that perspective in the larger scheme of  procurement in general.   My last two posts are intended to address mostly IT and professional services and not things like facility management, construction, depot operations, etc.  Maybe I should be clearer but a true SOO type statement of requirements doesn’t work well where a detailed approach is a given.  

In the spirit of the latest and greatest evaluation factor, GSA does an excellent job in my opinion making a case for just technical approach of just 2 or pages and easily demonstrated experience and past performance.   This isn’t for everything because what it involves is a contractor supplying a knowledgeable and capable team team using proven tools and methodologies to perform a job.  You want a company to tell you how they will meet the objectives in Thor approach and to show they have successfully done this before.  A quick and easy solicitation, a proposal of just a few pages, and an evaluation that should be done in a few days.  Ideally it lays out things clearly so marginal companies won’t take the effort to propose.

Agreed. I was specifically addressing construction and D-B. The OP didn’t specify what type of contracting the factors are for. 

If addressing services, be sure to say that but not generalize that approach across the board. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Just remembered one.  This certainly isn’t the latest but may be the greatest.  Years ago NASA Goddard patterned the Mid- Range Streamlined approach.  It was called mid-range as fitting between simplified acquisitions and major buys.  The solicitation was brief and essentially just described the purpose the supply or service was to accomplish in meeting a program need.  Evaluation factors addressed the ability of offerors products or services to meet that need.  For example, NASA might say we need a widget or service that accomplishes such and such. Criteria addresses how offerors fulfill those requirements. 

Offerors are instructed to respond in brief and simple terms how their product or service does that.  They are specifically instructed to cover the evaluation criteria.  Strict page limits are applied so this eliminated a lot of the fluffy language usually found.

NASA usually had a two person evaluation team - the program manager and the CO evaluate both cost and technical. They were free to use more technical people if necessary.  The rules generally limited one half page narrative for documenting evaluation of each factor.  The idea is refer to offerors proposal for more detail on how they comply.  The source selection document was one page.

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On ‎9‎/‎29‎/‎2019 at 3:41 PM, formerfed said:

Just remembered one.  This certainly isn’t the latest but may be the greatest.  Years ago NASA Goddard patterned the Mid- Range Streamlined approach.  It was called mid-range as fitting between simplified acquisitions and major buys.  The solicitation was brief and essentially just described the purpose the supply or service was to accomplish in meeting a program need.  Evaluation factors addressed the ability of offerors products or services to meet that need.  For example, NASA might say we need a widget or service that accomplishes such and such. Criteria addresses how offerors fulfill those requirements. 

Offerors are instructed to respond in brief and simple terms how their product or service does that.  They are specifically instructed to cover the evaluation criteria.  Strict page limits are applied so this eliminated a lot of the fluffy language usually found.

NASA usually had a two person evaluation team - the program manager and the CO evaluate both cost and technical. They were free to use more technical people if necessary.  The rules generally limited one half page narrative for documenting evaluation of each factor.  The idea is refer to offerors proposal for more detail on how they comply.  The source selection document was one page.

This sounds incredible, and for my agency anyway, would never, ever, ever happen.

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