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Looking for help with an odd situation! 

Our MDG ordered some items from a US Company through ECATS. When it arrived they realized it was the wrong thing and sent it back to the vendor. The vendor gave them a credit for the returned items and they are reaching out to us to help them purchase new stretchers from that same company in order to utilize the credit. They cannot make this purchase over ECATS. My CO's concern is that we cannot just directly award to this vendor without competition. I'm not sure what the best method to make this purchase is. 

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@anparkerIf your question is about how to work this in conjunction with ECAT, have you contacted the ECAT Help Desk, via email: dscpecathelp@dla.mil or phone: 800-290-8201 (7 a.m. to 5 p.m.), or the Customer Interaction Center,  1-877-352-2255https://www.dla.mil/CustomerSupport/ ? 

If your question is merely about how to make the purchase without competition, a real contracting officer should know the answer. If not, the CO should read FAR Part 13. If I were buying the stretchers, I would write a memo to file explaining the situation and then just make the buy.

But maybe there is more to this than you have communicated.

All:

anparker appears to be associated in some way with Defense Logistics Agency, Troop Support Medical.

https://www.dla.mil/TroopSupport/Medical/

"ECAT" is their electronic catalog system.

https://www.dla.mil/TroopSupport/Medical/ECAT/

If you know anything about the ECAT system and know how to help anparker, please do.

@anparkerYou're new here, and your post seems urgent, so I understand. But if you ever post again, try communicating clearly.

Do you think everybody knows what MDG and ECAT mean, how ECAT works, and who "us" is?

Is this an ECAT issue or just a competition issue? Were you seeking help only from DLA personnel who understand the ECAT system and know DLA's rules? If so, you should have said so up front. If this is not an ECAT issue, just a competition issue, or maybe a funding issue, then why even mention ECAT? It was confusing.

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1 hour ago, Vern Edwards said:

If I were buying the stretchers, I would write a memo to file explaining the situation and then just make the buy.

@anparker I want to buoy this suggestion just a little.   By my read of the FAR/DFARS the CO that you refer to has to the authority do exactly as suggested.  Please see FAR 13.106-1(b) and FAR 13.106-3(b)(3)(i) which again by my read is not supplemented by the DFARS so doing a single source procurement in this instance is entirely doable.  It has been well established that single source is not the same as sole source in the context of the FAR and as such the memo approach is all that is needed.

And another thought - contact the vendor and ask them how you can redeem the credit.  I agree 100% with contacting ECAT for assistance but with my additional suggestion I would hope that a contractor who does business through ECAT has some understanding of how, when they issue a credit, a federal entity has the ability to get that credit on a future order processed through the ECAT system. 

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Thank you all for the suggestions, they're much appreciated! I'll try to be clearer in any future posts!

Mr. Edwards to answer your question -this situation boils down to a competition issue in my eyes. I reached out to the vendor issuing the credit and they communicated that the credit could not be applied to a new purchase in ECATS. I've actually never worked in the ECATS system though, so I do think I'll reach out to their help desk for clarification on that as it does seem odd. 

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Agree with the grey beards 😁

 

Its is not a competition issue.  FAR 13: Contracting officers may solicit from one source if the contracting officer determines that the circumstances of the contract action deem only one source reasonably available

Your circumstance: This order fixes a mistake. We bought the wrong size product, returned product to vendor, have credit, and now want to use credit to buy correct size product from same vendor.

I can't speak to the mechanics of how credits in ECATS work, but in my experience, every procurement system has a way of dealing with 'oops. we bought the wrong thing and want to exchange the wrong thing for the right thing.'  You can explain the vendor that simply they have your money, you have nothing in exchange, and they either give you your money back or give you the product you want, figure it out. 

 

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ECAT (dla.mil) 

So basically DLA created a "Amazon" style ordering system for "a wide range of laboratory supplies and equipment, dental supplies and equipment, optical supplies, orthopedic implants, cardiovascular products, medical/surgical supplies, and medical equipment" and forgot to address what happens to the obligation when you order the wrong item and want to return it?

I find it hard, though not impossible, to believe that was not something addressed when setting it up. 

Maybe I am being overly picky, but why/how did the vendor end up with $43K in their bank account for something we did not accept?

Edited by Constricting Officer
Composing while Retreadfed was posting.
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18 hours ago, Constricting Officer said:

Maybe I am being overly picky, but why/how did the vendor end up with $43K in their bank account for something we did not accept?

Funny.

I was going to ask what contractual mechanism allowed the government to contract with a supplier, order an item, receive it, determine it was in all respects exactly what was ordered, then return it because it was unsuitable for purpose (even though it was perfectly functional), and then expect the supplier to refund the payment?

Me? I thought the supplier was being incredibly generous. Seems to me that the supplier values its relationship with the ordering agency and is making an effort to retain that relationship.

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@here_2_helpHere's the opening post:

On 8/23/2021 at 12:19 AM, anparker said:

Our MDG ordered some items from a US Company through ECATS. When it arrived they realized it was the wrong thing and sent it back to the vendor.

That doesn't say that the government ordered the wrong thing. That could mean that the contractor shipped the wrong thing.

Just sayin'.

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3 hours ago, Vern Edwards said:

@here_2_helpHere's the opening post:

That doesn't say that the government ordered the wrong thing. That could mean that the contractor shipped the wrong thing.

Just sayin'.

Pretty sure that if the supplier shipped the wrong thing, the government would then (rightfully) be entitled to the right thing or a full and immediate refund. My assumption, right or wrong, was that the supplier shipped the right thing.

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Sorry for the delay in response! So in this case, the medical group ordered the wrong item, the vendor sent what the medical group ordered, then the medical group realized they ordered the wrong thing and sent it back. 

I can't speak for when payment occurred as I have never worked in ECATS and I'm not sure how their billing works. 

This whole situation fell into our hands in contracting when the medical group realized they wouldn't be able to make the new purchase in ECATS. 

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7 hours ago, anparker said:

So in this case, the medical group ordered the wrong item, the vendor sent what the medical group ordered, then the medical group realized they ordered the wrong thing and sent it back. 

Seriously, they are acting like it is Amazon. 

Guess your are back to FAR 13 single source as your primary option. $0.00 PO referencing a $30K credit. No worries, it is the end of the year. I am sure the requesting office can find something that cost exactly $30K they don't need to tie this up. 

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8 hours ago, anparker said:

Sorry for the delay in response! So in this case, the medical group ordered the wrong item, the vendor sent what the medical group ordered, then the medical group realized they ordered the wrong thing and sent it back. 

I can't speak for when payment occurred as I have never worked in ECATS and I'm not sure how their billing works. 

This whole situation fell into our hands in contracting when the medical group realized they wouldn't be able to make the new purchase in ECATS. 

@Vern Edwards

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10 hours ago, anparker said:

I can't speak for when payment occurred as I have never worked in ECATS and I'm not sure how their billing works. 

Do you know that payment occurred?  If it did not, is there really a credit involved in this transaction?

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