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I am looking over Policy Alert No. 10-42, which is found here:

https://dap.dau.mil/policy/Lists/Policy%20D...629-10-DPAP.pdf

The gist of the memo is that when solicitations are advertised for fewer than 30 days and only receive one offer (no specification whether this refers to quotation or proposal), the solicitation must be advertised again for at least 30 days. You can read the memo for the details.

Anyway, our office does many simplified acquisitions, so I am trying to figure out whether this memo applies to ALL contracts or only to contracts under Part 15, as the memo specifically refers to Part 15. I interpret the memo to mean that it does NOT apply to acquisitions under Part 13. Somebody over at DAU agrees with this view too:

https://acc.dau.mil/CommunityBrowser.aspx?i...response_410799

Susan Hildner at OSD was listed on the memo as the contact person. I called her but have not been able to reach her for comment.

Any thoughts?

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I read the memo as applying to the solicitation of offers, not quotes. The memo does not mention quotes at all. So, unless you are soliciting offers under FAR Part 13, the memo would not apply.

I want to agree with you, but I cannot - as yet. I am familiar the kinds of FPDS data analyzed and discussed prior to the issuance of the memo. The DPAPers looked at all actions coded as competitive for which a single offer or quote was received. These actions included ones under FAR 8, 13, 15 and 16.

I should have more info on this in the next few days.

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Guest Vern Edwards

Boy, I think you guys are nuts to ask. I would take the memo at its word. It says "offer" and mentions only FAR Part 15. In a thousand years I would not go to them and ask if they meant offers and quotes. Good grief.

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Boy, I think you guys are nuts to ask. I would take the memo at its word. It says "offer" and mentions only FAR Part 15. In a thousand years I would not go to them and ask if they meant offers and quotes. Good grief.

That's what I thought too, but my boss has directed me to interpret it as applying to Part 13 as well.

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Wow. Your boss is making quite a leap.

Among the purposes of simplified procedures is to "promote efficiency and economy in contracting." FAR 13.002©. FAR 13.104 acknowledges the need to consider the administrative cost of the purchase in deciding what competition is practicable.

The process for documenting a fair and reasonable price for a simplified acquisition is spelled out in FAR 13.106-3(a). The second and third prongs of adequate price competition in Part 15 seems far removed from your facts.

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While I should probably leave well enough alone, I won't.

The 24 Nov 10 memo contains a couple requirements: (1) COs may not use the second and third prongs of the definition of adequate price competition when assessing whether there is adequate price competition (para 1); (2) for solicitations open less than 30 days, a re-advertising and negotiations requirement.

My initial comments focused on the first requirement, but your question is plainly focused on the second. Sorry for the confusion.

A solicitation can only be open for less than 30 days in one of three circumstances: (1) the government isn't following the rules; (2) the acquisition is below the simplified acquisition threshold; or (3) the acquisition is for commercial items. FAR 5.203?.

For the memo not to apply to simplified acquisitions, you would have to assume that the memo is focused on one of the other two circumstances, but I couldn't find any language in either of the two memos to support a distinction. The definition of solicitation in FAR Part 2 reaches simplified procedures:

?Solicitation? means any request to submit offers or quotations to the Government. Solicitations under sealed bid procedures are called ?invitations for bids.? Solicitations under negotiated procedures are called ?requests for proposals.? Solicitations under simplified acquisition procedures may require submission of either a quotation or an offer.

If you treat these two requirements as unrelated, your boss's argument is not as far fetched as I initially thought. However, I don't think they are intended to be separable. I appreciate that this puts me in the less-than-ideal position of suggesting the guidance amounts to a reminder to follow existing rules.

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Guest Vern Edwards

A friend of mine is at Assad's conference in Florida. We just spoke on the phone and I was told that it was announced that the memo was intended to apply to everything, including solicitations for quotes under Part 13 and solicitations under Subparts 8.4 and 16.5. Clarification may be forthcoming in another memo.

All I know is what I have been told.

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Contracting Contractor, I had similar issues with this policy. This memo is not clear and requires a rewrite. Perhaps next time, assuming Vern's contact is correct, the memo can state, "This policy applies to all blah, blah, including solicitations for quotes under Part 13 and solicitations under Subparts 8.4 and 16.5." Or better yet the next memo could have subheadings such as purpose, applicability, scope, implementation instruction, etc., oh well.

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I think it's funny that the memo is in response to the larger "Better Buying Power: Guidance for Obtaining Greater Efficiency and Productivity in

Defense Spending" memo. So how does re-soliciting quotations under simplifed acquisition procedures promote greater efficiency? It would be interesting to see the average procurement lead time for a program office submitting a requisition for a simplified acquisition to award and delivery/receipt of what they need. Now add another procurement cycle including a 30+ day solicitation period.

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  • 5 months later...
I should have more info on this in the next few days.

The memo has been modified effective 27 April. See here: http://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/policy/policyv...080-11-DPAP.pdf.

DoD is pushing hard not only on competition, but on "effective competition". The later term is defined as a competition that elicits at least two quotes or offers. "Competition" is a process; "effective competition" is an outcome. All DoD components now have goals for "effective competition" as well as for "competition".

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Don,

That's a good point. I know for a fact that contractors are rountinely asked to "throw together" a response to help agencies with their competition image. It will only get worse.

It is good to know cynicism is not limited to a specific generation! I thought it was confined to "grey hairs" or "no hairs".

DoD is doing this not merely to create rules; it is seeking ways to make the Better Buying Program a success. Given the reductions, or reductions in growth rates, confronting DoD, improved competition is seen as one way to reduce the costs / prices DoD pays for its goods and services. Big DoD believes, not without some justification ? in my view, that poor SOWs, short lead times, excessive proposal requirements and the overuse of past performance in evaluation criteria reduce the number of firms willing to prepare and submit proposals. These practices also discourage new entrants to DoD procurement that could offer better, lower priced ways of doing things.

Other ways to promote the success of Better Buying Power include improved requirements? definition, different contract types and better contract admin.

V/r,

Pangloss

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It is good to know cynicism is not limited to a specific generation! I thought it was confined to "grey hairs" or "no hairs".

Vern's influence--he has corrupted me. I should thank him for that.

I'm on board with BBP as you describe it. Just not sure the policy in the memo gets us there.

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Did anybody other than me read Jacques Gansler's testimony before the CWC and before the Senate Armed Services Committee (Subcommitte on blah blah)?? WIFCON posted the links....

Oh how I wish the PWACs and others in DOD policy-making positions would listen to, and implement, his recommendations.

H2H

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Guest Vern Edwards

We ought to know that, as a general matter, policy and process reform does not work. What we need is organizational and cultural reform. What we should be doing is cutting bureaucracy and regulation and creating and relying upon a culture of knowledge, competence, and energy.

Requiring certified cost or pricing data when only one proposal is received is not going to lead to "better buying power" if the people using the cost or pricing data don't know anything about industrial processes, cost estimating, and cost analysis, and are not skilled in one-on-one, face-to-face contract negotiation. And what good will it do to tell people to award more FPI(F) contracts if the people doing that do not fully understand cost estimating, probability methods for cost uncertainty analysis, and incentive structuring?

In DOD we currently have a bloated headquarters bureaucracy and a culture of professional ignorance and incompetence. It would take years to fix those problems, even if we had competent leaders, which we do not. I have no quarrel with the intentions behind "Better Buying Power," but I think the concept and execution go way beyond being stupid. What is happening now is empire building and the consolidation of power at the headquarters level, which will stifle creativity in the field through the discouragement of the best and most promising minds and the dissipation of inventive energy.

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  • 2 months later...

How does this memo apply (or should it apply) to a GSA Schedule. I am a contractor working with a Government Agency who states that even though the memo allows for a waiver none will ever be given and that other than cost and pricing data will always be required when there is only one bidder. However, the first thing they ask for is our quotes from our vendors. They state that they need to determine that the price is fair and reasonable which I can understand but I do not understand how they determine this by just looking at our margins. Also these are FFP bids. Ultimately I am just wonder what they are allowed to ask for and what we are required to provide. Thanks for the help.

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