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FBO Notices of Recovery Act Actions

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Does anyone know the background behind the task/delivery order public notice requirements from the following procurement executive notice? Isn't this contrary to FAR 8.4 and 5.2? Is there a FAR case brewing to change things?

"OMB M-09-10 specified in Section 1.5 that all agencies submitting contract action types, "(i)n addition to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 5 requirements for pre-solicitation and award notices, publish pre-solicitation and award notices of orders under task and delivery order contracts on FedBizOpps," and . . . "

"Klaatu, if only we had played up the gameshow angle instead of the doomsday one in our production, I'll bet we coulda beat out that slumdog flick for best movie. Oh well, coulda, woulda, shoulda . . . that and $1.35 will get you a ride on the DC metro."

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I believe the public notice requirement is for transparency to show the public how the money is spent. I don't think it has anything to do with obtaining additional competition or adding complexity to placing orders under FAR 8.4. In other words, you can comply with the public order notice and tell anyone inquiring that the order has already been placed.

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Don't forget that all J&A's restricting competition also must be posted on FBO as well, which should be fun to watch over the next few months. Our agency has the position that all but FAR 13.501 specific J&A's must be posted, which is already causing a lot of squirming from the Program Offices.

To me, the whole shebang looks like a new stimulus plan for enriching lawyers in these "hard" times. That's just me though, always looking for where the money is going. Must be that old law enforcement training I went through!

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe much of the stimulus money will be going out in the form of grants, not acquisitions. In other words, xxx billion goes to the federal transit agency to fund transportation projects, xxx billion goes to DOE for energy-related projects, etc. The funds go to state and local governments, and other recipients, who then award contracts for the projects. As such, this will all occur under the agencies' grant regulations, not acquisitions.

If so, does FedBizOPS, and even the FAR, come into play at all, at least for the money that gets disbursed through grants?

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe much of the stimulus money will be going out in the form of grants, not acquisitions. In other words, xxx billion goes to the federal transit agency to fund transportation projects, xxx billion goes to DOE for energy-related projects, etc. The funds go to state and local governments, and other recipients, who then award contracts for the projects. As such, this will all occur under the agencies' grant regulations, not acquisitions.

If so, does FedBizOPS, and even the FAR, come into play at all, at least for the money that gets disbursed through grants?

Each Agency has their own web site dedicated to the Recovery Act. Listed below is what DoD says their portion of the funds will be used for. Looks like a lot of construction contracts mostly.

$4.2 billion in Operation and Maintenance accounts to upgrade DoD facilities, including energy-related improvements

$1.3 billion in military construction for hospitals

$240 million in military construction for child development centers

$100 million in military construction for warrior transition complexes

$600 million for other military constructions projects such as housing for the troops and their families

$300 million to develop energy-efficient technologies

$120 million for the Energy Conservation Investment Program (ECIP)

$555 million for a temporary expansion of the Homeowner?s Assistance Program (HAP) benefits for private home sale losses of both DoD military and civilian personnel

$15 million for DoD Inspector General oversight and audit of Recovery Act execution

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There is a lot of contracting activity planned. Part of the governmentwide $11 billion R&D effort is grants but a big portion is planned as contracts.

GSA got $6.7 billion for construction and moderization of Federal buildings.

HUD got $2.5 billion for construction - hosuing upgrades and energy efficiencies

GSA got $600 million for Federal vehicles

NOAA got $600 million for their satillite program.

Social Security for $400 million for a new computer center.

It's really very varied and involves lots of contracting.

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Does anyone know the background behind the task/delivery order public notice requirements from the following procurement executive notice? Isn't this contrary to FAR 8.4 and 5.2? Is there a FAR case brewing to change things?

"OMB M-09-10 specified in Section 1.5 that all agencies submitting contract action types, "(i)n addition to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 5 requirements for pre-solicitation and award notices, publish pre-solicitation and award notices of orders under task and delivery order contracts on FedBizOpps," and . . . "

"Klaatu, if only we had played up the gameshow angle instead of the doomsday one in our production, I'll bet we coulda beat out that slumdog flick for best movie. Oh well, coulda, woulda, shoulda . . . that and $1.35 will get you a ride on the DC metro."

I don't know the specifics of the notice you quoted, but the 2009 NDAA contained a provision that imposes on all agencies the competition requirements formerly imposed on DoD by section 803 in regard to orders under multiple award contracts, including GSA Schedule contracts. The FAR has not implemented this provision yet, but the notice may be an attempt at implementation prior to formal FAR coverage.

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The OMB memo provides "initial" guidance on implementing the stimulus law. It is 66 pages long. Pages 38 - 48 address contracting. Here is the section about FBO notices:

6.2 Are there actions, beyond standard practice, that agencies must take related to solicitation of offers and award of contracts under the Recovery Act?

Yes. While the FAR generally provides the necessary policy and procedure for solicitation of offers and award of contracts, the Recovery Act imposes unique transparency requirements that change the pre-solicitation and award notice process, beyond standard practice, as described in (1) ? (5) below:

(1) Unique Requirements for Posting of Presolicitation Notices

Presolicitation notices must be posted on FedBizOpps (FBO) in accordance with FAR Part 5, including applicable dollar thresholds. Under the Recovery Act, presolicitation notices are required for any order, meeting the FAR Part 5 dollar thresholds, under a task or delivery order contract, including GWACs, multi-agency contracts, GSA Federal Supply Schedule contracts. These notices will be posted in FBO for information purposes only (i.e., the requirements of FAR Subpart 5.203 do not apply). Contracting officers should continue to also use their usual solicitation practice (e.g., e-Buy).

To facilitate transparency and ensure consistency in tracking notices for Recovery Act funds, agencies must use the following special formatting requirements:

  • All presolicitation notices must include the word "Recovery" as the first word in the Title field in FBO preceding the actual title.
  • Presolicitation notices for delivery and task orders must also include the following statement in the Description field preceding the actual description:

"THIS NOTICE IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. THIS OPPORTUNITY IS AVAILABLE ONLY TO CONTRACTORS UNDER [contracting officer insert program name. For example: GSA Schedule 03FAC, COMMITS, Navy's SEAPORT-E.]

(2) Unique Requirements for Announcing Contract Awards

Contract award notices must also be posted at FBO in accordance with FAR Part 5, including all task and delivery orders as described in (1) above. To facilitate transparency and ensure consistency in tracking award announcements for Recovery Act funds, agencies must use the following special formatting requirement:

? All award announcements must include the word "Recovery" as the first word in the Title field in FBO preceding the remaining title.

.

Items (3) through (5) address reporting, not FBO announcements.

Gort, unless I've missed something, these requirements are not a big deal.

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Thanks everyone for your thoughts. I trust that Vern is right that this is not a big deal.

It's just that a companion document entitled, "FBO_Quick Reference Guide_Recovery Actions.pdf" had an FBO screenshot in which an entry will need be made for "Is This a Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: Yes - No". In context with the rest of the guidance, this almost made it appear that all task order notices must be posted. Those not Recovery Act related would result in a No entry. But I guess another way of interpreting this is that the No answer is available for all other procurement notice types being posted, and that task orders known not to be Recovery Act-related, and not otherwise required to be posted a la 5.202 and 8.4, would simply never have to answer this question since no FBO posting would be necessary.

Just trying to make sense of the guidance from all perspectives. :-)

"I'm almost tapped out. That is to say, I need to find a renewable source of energy soon or I'm going to have to run down to Circuit City for one of those closeout power supply deals just to keep the lights going."

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Wouldn't this mean that there will be more competition on Recovery-Act funded GSA schedule orders, since 8.405-2©(4) and (5) require CO to provide RFQs to anyone that asks, for buys for "services requiring a statement of work" - and to evaluate their responses?

Mightn't COs get more requests for RFQs as a result of the now required presolicitation notices?

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contractor100,

Yes, agencies should get more requests for copies of RFQs. How that impacts the agency likely is something difficult to answer. I assume since there is urgency in making awards, agencies will not be eager to extend RFQ closing dates so new firms will need to respond in compressed timeframes. It's difficult for a new company to effectively compete with sources that the agency is already familar with and probably know a good bit about the requirement before the RFQ is issued so many will just walk away.

Even though FedBizOpp notices go out promptly, most companies have one person monitoring the response. By the time it reaches the appropriate person, many days have gone by. If the company wants more information, it takes a while to get in touch with the CO. If the comapny wants a copy of the RFQ, it's often too late to do anything with it.

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The OMB memo provides "initial" guidance on implementing the stimulus law. It is 66 pages long. Pages 38 - 48 address contracting. Here is the section about FBO notices:

.

Items (3) through (5) address reporting, not FBO announcements.

Gort, unless I've missed something, these requirements are not a big deal.

Vern, thanks for identifying the memo. Does anyone know where this publication requirement is in the Act? I have gone through what appear to be all the contracting provisions and cannot find it.

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Vern, thanks for identifying the memo. Does anyone know where this publication requirement is in the Act? I have gone through what appear to be all the contracting provisions and cannot find it.

Retreadfed:

The publication requirement isn't in the Act. OMB created this requirement in its Recovery Act guidance, and it is going to be incorporated into the FAR by an interim rule in the next week or so, I believe, under FAR Case 2009-010. The rules will be located in a new subpart of Part 5, Subpart 5.7.

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Retreadfed:

The publication requirement isn't in the Act. OMB created this requirement in its Recovery Act guidance, and it is going to be incorporated into the FAR by an interim rule in the next week or so, I believe, under FAR Case 2009-010. The rules will be located in a new subpart of Part 5, Subpart 5.7.

Thanks, Civ. From reading the OMB gjuidance, it indicates the publication requirement comes from the Act instead of an independent action on the part of OMB.

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