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ServingTheFeds

contractor seeking advice on contract type

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thomas.rutherford, that's a very sad story. But it is exactly that kind of CO to learn "how not to be" when you do become a CO yourself. And vice versa for the good ones. I am a strong advocate of getting to know your customer. The customer generates the need, you support them by producing the right instrument on which to achieve their need. I always tell my people that there are two top priorities and they take on equal weight...no matter what. Support the customer and produce a product that you're proud of because it goes out the door for the world to see. And oh yea...don't be afraid to ask questions. Keep up the good work!

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Guest Vern Edwards

Well, they're acquisition experts, right? And DOD acquisition offices are short-handed, right? Wouldn't you think they'll have to fight off suitors? I know a couple of DOD offices that would kill to get you.

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I agree that implementation would be a challenge, but so was going to the moon, and we did that successfully.

Going to the moon is easier than trying to implement this great idea. :mellow: I can imagine the pushback from employee unions, the greivances from those not picked for unlimited warrants ("super COs"), the arguments about higher grades/higher pay for COs with unlimited warrants, people wanting to study on work time or work assignments not done timely because of study demands, etc.

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Guest Vern Edwards

Yes, I agree. We live in the Epoch of Mediocrity, in the Days of the Second Rate.

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Well, they're acquisition experts, right? And DOD acquisition offices are short-handed, right? Wouldn't you think they'll have to fight off suitors? I know a couple of DOD offices that would kill to get you.

That sounds like I would have to do real work, which isn't for me. I'll have to oppose that portion of your proposal in my own self-interest.

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Guest carl r culham

Vern ? Slow response on my part yet here is my re-entry to the discussion. The discussion has moved on however I feel compelled to address your specific response to me.

Reference Your Post 958 -

You did not say the folks were getting warrants without waiver but you and no one else did not say they were. I would offer that posters were either purposely implying that warrants were being issued without waiver to support arguments or they were stating that the warrants were being issued without proper certification or waiver because they flat do not know what the processes for warrant issuance are. To me the latter supports exactly a point that you make on many occasions that some 1102?s of today are woefully not prepared to participate in their career field. However in my experience of TODAY where I work with several CO?s on a daily basis most do know the DAWIA/FAC-C and warrant qualification requirements. Some do not, which I believe is exemplified by some of the posts to this thread and as I pointed out for a 1102 to not know the DAWIA/FAC-C certification requirements and the related warrant qualification process and requirements of the their individual agency, whether one likes the red tape of the process or believes that it is not representative of a good measure of qualification, is in my view unacceptable. At the expense of repeating myself the certification and qualification requirements are not de minimis they are required.

Next to your reference to the New York State eligibility standards. I accept your facts but not your attempt to detract and avoid my stated facts, You cannot dispute them so instead you want to take the conversation another direction to support and further your ideas. Fine, but the fact that I presented was that only ?in very rare circumstances can one pass the bar and become a practicing lawyer without a degree with the rare cases still requiring CLEPs that are equal to a degree?. While you offer one State?s requirement in the context of this thread it is a fact that every State requirement for sitting for the bar is different. So again the New York reference is not material to the discussion. I stand on the statement I made.

You then state that ?By contrast, you can be DAWAI/FAC-C qualified to have "unlimited" authority to do one of the most complicated jobs in the world and to obligate the government to pay very large sums without having passed any kind of exam.? Patently wrong. To obtain an unlimited warrant in many agency?s means that one shall have ?passed? exams to obtain a Bachelors Degree and must show satisfactory completion of the required combination of CON courses to be DAWIA/FAC-C certified at Level III. Completion of a CON course in many cases means one must ?pass? that course exam, Noted too is that many CON courses are accredited as being equal to college level courses and is the purpose that they include exams. Granted there is not one big exam as required for the bar or CPA but you must pass ?any kind of an exam?.

Moving to the sum of the other posts regarding your preferred alternative all ideas are palatable save one, the writing of a 5,000 word essay. It is an unnecessary entry into a subjective evaluation that does nothing but to further the personal biases of an individual or group of folks who would grade the exam. You and I have been down this path before of sorts in past discussions. I know by personal experience that I could submit an essay to one evaluator for grading and receive a passing grade and take it to another and not. I know because I lived this exact experience in college. Further the essay is duplication of the learning experience rather than an objective test of knowledge.

And to Don ? It would be a loss if you did not seek to transfer to one of the acquisition academies.

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Guest Vern Edwards

Carl,

I have made my positions clear. I am on record. I think the DAWIA/FAC-C standards are contemptibly inadequate. Passing tests in CON classes comes nowhere near what I would require by way of professional examination. (I can't believe you even brought that up.) In light of the clarity of my position, I see no reason to argue with you about who said what. Given the depth of our disagreements, I see no reason to address the palatability to you of my ideas. To me, you are defending the status quo that I despise, and "despise" is not too strong a word for how I feel about it. To continue a discussion of professional standards in the mode that you are pursuing would be like discussing intergalactic space travel with a 14th century bricklayer. As you say, the discussion has moved on. I see no reason to go backward.

If I see you at the Roundup, I'll buy you a beer, but we won't talk contracting.

Vern

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Guest carl r culham

Vern - If you are in fact coming use the usual methods to get my number so I can show you around. You are on for the beer, which I understand is your first preference even though around here it is Pendleton. Your critic of the city's new and first brew pub ever would be more than welcome. And we will be sticking with the code of the west with regard to hospitality, it will always be my treat!

Agreed no contracting!

Carl

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Just to comment on the DAU classes which I (and two of my peers) recently finished. We took the classes at the same time, worked through any and all problems, and discussed in depth most of the questions. However we quickly learned that to pass the test you just had to save the entire course as a pdf and use the search function to find the answer. There were a few ?trick? questions but with multiple attempts given to pass the test it was never an issue.

One of my final college classes was done online. We had to read, make weekly intelligent posts (as judged by the professor AND peers), respond to multiple posts per week, take online quizzes, and submit papers. It was as academically challenging as any brick and mortar class I attended. Why can't DAU online classes be held to the same standard?

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Hi guys, I am the original poster and surprised to come back to the WIFCON forum and see so many responses! It is great to see that we have a mix of all kinds of individuals - visionaries, veteran experts, hungry up-and-comers, etc. It is great to have a forum where people can have a civil discourse and agree to disagree without it devolving into name calling like so many industry forums tend to.

I did not mean to upset or disparage any contracting folks. I think the problem is with the Customer and myself (Vendor) in that we don't know who to contact. The GSA is vast and different regions/departments *seem* to be specialize in IT acquisition and others specialize in XYZ. I really have no idea what I am talking about, that is why I use the word seem. I am a computer programmer/business owner. Because of my experience I consider it a miracle that we've made it to this point and have some large contracts.

Could anybody begin to nudge me in the right direction? Who is the kind of person/consultant I should hire? What would the terms I should google for? 80% of what has been stated in this thread goes straight over my head. Am I on the wrong forum? B)

To reiterate, what I am looking for is an expert who can talk with me and our End Customers in plain English. I will tell them "Hey, we have identified some IT products/services that our end user at GSA is interested in acquiring from us. We have an 8a SDB designation but they need about $50m in services and products and that is over the $3.5m threshold that our current contracts with them are. Blah blah". The expert will reply "Ok, from everything you told me so far, I suggest we meet together with the end user at GSA and we can show them two options on how to approach the contracting folks and get this awarded. For example, we could try to get a BPA setup, or maybe a Limited Sources competition. Blah blah. I recommend use GSA Region X office for this."

My end goal is to reduce the lengthy discussions that go on between end users and the contracting staff as they try to figure out this and that. If we can arm our End User with valuable information then it helps everybody out!

I know that many of my peers rely on their Federal Sales people to try to help the End Users navigate these treacherous waters. I would rather find a specialized expert to help us out.

We have a potentially $50m project at DHS on our long term horizon that we also need help with.

Please send me a Private Message if you know of anybody who we can hire for this.

Thank You!

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Hi guys, I am the original poster and surprised to come back to the WIFCON forum and see so many responses! It is great to see that we have a mix of all kinds of individuals - visionaries, veteran experts, hungry up-and-comers, etc. It is great to have a forum where people can have a civil discourse and agree to disagree without it devolving into name calling like so many industry forums tend to.

I did not mean to upset or disparage any contracting folks. I think the problem is with the Customer and myself (Vendor) in that we don't know who to contact. The GSA is vast and different regions/departments *seem* to be specialize in IT acquisition and others specialize in XYZ. I really have no idea what I am talking about, that is why I use the word seem. I am a computer programmer/business owner. Because of my experience I consider it a miracle that we've made it to this point and have some large contracts.

Could anybody begin to nudge me in the right direction? Who is the kind of person/consultant I should hire? What would the terms I should google for? 80% of what has been stated in this thread goes straight over my head. Am I on the wrong forum? B)

To reiterate, what I am looking for is an expert who can talk with me and our End Customers in plain English. I will tell them "Hey, we have identified some IT products/services that our end user at GSA is interested in acquiring from us. We have an 8a SDB designation but they need about $50m in services and products and that is over the $3.5m threshold that our current contracts with them are. Blah blah". The expert will reply "Ok, from everything you told me so far, I suggest we meet together with the end user at GSA and we can show them two options on how to approach the contracting folks and get this awarded. For example, we could try to get a BPA setup, or maybe a Limited Sources competition. Blah blah. I recommend use GSA Region X office for this."

My end goal is to reduce the lengthy discussions that go on between end users and the contracting staff as they try to figure out this and that. If we can arm our End User with valuable information then it helps everybody out!

I know that many of my peers rely on their Federal Sales people to try to help the End Users navigate these treacherous waters. I would rather find a specialized expert to help us out.

We have a potentially $50m project at DHS on our long term horizon that we also need help with.

Please send me a Private Message if you know of anybody who we can hire for this.

Thank You!

There are many many many firms out there looking for you! I know of several that would gladly take you by the hand and get you through these processes. I'm not sure that if I mention any here in this forum that it would be appropriate. Can anyone out there give me guidance on that issue first?

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We are an 8a SDB company serving the Federal Government. We have a GSA Schedule (70). Our schedule contains approximately 30 labor categories.

The GSA in 4/2009 awarded us a FFP contract with ceiling of $3.5m and have spent $2m to date on this contract. They loved our performance and indicated they want to give us more work. In 2/2010 we were awarded a new TM contract with ceiling of 3.5m. Our performance has been stellar and they have again indicated they want to give us more projects! B)

Great! Now the problem is that the GSA IT staff who are managing us do not understand acquisition, and our own IT staff is not knowledgeable on federal contracts. The GSA IT staff has many different projects of all different sizes and scopes that are looming on the horizon and we want to work with them to help complete these different projects. We are searching for a way to have a bucket of money ($50 million) obligated and they can easily write task orders and have us rapidly complete the task orders without having to bother the contracting officers for every single project/task. Time is of the essence for us to be assigned projects and have them completed. We love to work fast and get things done fast. Surprised!? B)

Can anybody advise what the best course of action is? What contract type? How to make it sole source? We are searching for a professional consultant to help guide us (and the GSA IT staff).

Thanks!

As a taxpayer and a contracting officer, this email from this contractor offends me. There is nothing wrong with making a buck; I am all for it!!.

It's the description of dumping of a "bucket" of taxpayer money in apparent violation of bona fide needs rule that disgusts me.

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As a taxpayer and a contracting officer, this email from this contractor offends me. There is nothing wrong with making a buck; I am all for it!!.

It's the description of dumping of a "bucket" of taxpayer money in apparent violation of bona fide needs rule that disgusts me.

As I was trying to state from the beginning I don't know what I am doing, I am a PWIC who is trying to hire a PersonWithAClue to help educate me, my team, and our potential customers. My point about the bucket of money should probably have been stated "obligate funds" and it should have been stated "we have identified 50m worth of work, we are not sure how verbose the SOW needs to be for this work, we'd like to have the flexibility to have the government assign tasks easily". Similar to how 8A Stars works. Again, sorry for my writing, I am still trying to understand how everything works on a realistic level.

Mucho Gracias to all those who've helped me to date!

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As I was trying to state from the beginning I don't know what I am doing, I am a PWIC who is trying to hire a PersonWithAClue to help educate me, my team, and our potential customers. My point about the bucket of money should probably have been stated "obligate funds" and it should have been stated "we have identified 50m worth of work, we are not sure how verbose the SOW needs to be for this work, we'd like to have the flexibility to have the government assign tasks easily". Similar to how 8A Stars works. Again, sorry for my writing, I am still trying to understand how everything works on a realistic level.

Mucho Gracias to all those who've helped me to date!

ServingTheFeds,

Your questions about sole sourcing and establishing a bucket of money run counter to what most of us preach about. A good many of us here are Contracting Officers or former Contracting Officers and our jobs are to promote competition and get the best possible business arrangements for the government. So that's why you haven't received much help.

What you need your program office to do is sit down with their Contracting Officer and work out a strategy. It sounds like they have a long term requirement and need flexibility in approaching the work that needs done. What makes sense is conducting a competitive action to establish a single or multiple Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) against a Group 70 GSA Schedule contract. They can compete the action using a broadly defined Statement of Work for the overall need. The selection criteria can be corporate qualifications, experience, past performance, and price. Pricing consists of offerors proposing against a defined level of effort.

Once the BPA is awarded, individual needs are set out in a Statement of Work and the BPA holder proposes against it. Then the details get worked out and a task order gets issused for that descret piece. However this process only allows money to be obligated against the individual needs and not the full amount upfront.

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Guest carl r culham

Serving ? In this particular instance the opportunity to leverage your 8(a) status or your Schedule Contractor status provides limited opportunities but there are some.

With regard to approaching the work as an 8(a) set aside with the agency the following is offered.

The identified need is $50 million, and even though you have indicated it covers several projects, it sounds as if could be procured in total as well. Therefore as a standalone 8(a) project the agency would be required to compete among 8(a) firms if offered to and accepted by the 8(a) Program. If the projects can in fact be separated out those that fall below the competition requirements of the 8(a) Program (See FAR 19.805) you could request separate sole source matches for each project, while those over the competitive threshold would need to be, again, competed among 8(a) firms. Whether all the projects fall within the same scope or not is a determination left to the Agency.

Note that 8(a) Program requirements regarding competitive mix your firm should be achieving would have to be compared to the extent of projects you are hoping to be matched with. Further, consideration should also be given to FAR 19.804-4.

From the view of your Schedule status Former Fed has offered the idea of BPA?s. In considering this idea or even others under the Schedule Program your status as an 8(a) offers you no opportunity other than agencies are encouraged to include one disadvantaged business in the mix of selected Schedule contractors to received quotes from. Simply for the purposes of Schedule 70 you are one of the thousands of contractors that an agency should consider in selecting the minimum required to solicit quotes from per GSA's guidelines on ordering from schedules found here - http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/contentVi...tentId=8126#bpa . Whether looked at as opportunity or not, at least Schedule competition provides the opportunity for limited competition as compared to a full and open or full and open after exclusion of sources (FAR Part 6).

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