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Don Mansfield's Blog

Thinking Critically About Word Choice: Is "Tradecraft" the Right Word?

Posted by Don Mansfield, 16 October 2015 · 1,090 views

 “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty,...

FAR 52.212-1 Tailored for SAP (Final Version)

Posted by Don Mansfield, 19 August 2015 · 1,651 views

In a earlier blog entry , I posted a draft version of the provision at FAR 52.212-1 tailored for simplified acquisition procedures and requested comments.  First, I'd like to thank everyone who provided comments.  I believe the final version (below) is an improvement over the draft.  Second, Carl Culham suggested that I include instructions...

Did the SBA Invalidate FAR 19.000(b)?

Posted by Don Mansfield, 17 June 2015 · 2,163 views

In Latvian Connection General Trading and Construction LLC , B-408633, September 18, 2013, the Comptroller General denied a protest of a solicitation issued by an Air Force unit in Oman for armored cable to be used at Thumrait Air Base, Oman.  At issue was the Air Force’s decision to not automatically reserve the acquisition for small business...

FAR 52.212-1 Tailored for SAP

Posted by Don Mansfield, 19 May 2015 · 2,513 views

I recently gave a course on simplified acquisition procedures where I was again confronted with the use of the provision at FAR 52.212-1 Instructions to Offerors--Commercial Items in requests for quotations (RFQs) issued pursuant to FAR part 13.  (We discussed this issue in the Wifcon forum before here  and here ).  The problem is that...

Army Contracting Command Guilty of Noncompliance with a Nonexistent Rule

Posted by Don Mansfield, 01 December 2014 · 2,931 views

In a recent DoD IG report, the Army Contracting Command was cited for its failure to perform "component assessments" on 23 contracts subject to the Buy American Act (see DoD IG Report No. 2015-026 ).  The report states as follows:

Not having ever heard of such a requirement, I checked the reference to this requirement, which was allegedly locate...

Section 1331 Authorities: A Primer

Posted by Don Mansfield, 09 April 2014 · 1,626 views

     Section 1331 of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (Pub.L. 111-240) recognizes the significant opportunities that exist to increase small business participation on multiple award contracts and the ability of set-asides— the most powerful small business contracting tool—to unlock these opportun...

Do You Have an OMB Control Number for that Past Performance Questionnaire?

Posted by Don Mansfield, 04 March 2014 · 2,162 views

                In competitive acquisitions, it is common for solicitations to require offerors to conduct surveys of their past and present customers using standard questionnaires developed by the contracting office.  Offerors are typically instructed to send the questionnaires to their customers with instruct...

Myth-Information: A PWS is not a SOW

Posted by Don Mansfield, 19 December 2013 · 4,132 views

I have recently noticed an interesting phenomena regarding how the term "statement of work" is being used and understood in practice. If what many of my students are being taught in their contracting offices is any indication, "statement of work" (SOW) has come to mean a work statement that is not performance-based--the opposite, if you will, of a "perfor...

Should We Criticize GSA?

Posted by Don Mansfield, 21 May 2013 · 2,881 views

In a recent blog post, Steve Kelman took issue with GSA for the way they intend to evaluate past performance under the One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS) procurement (see “GSA is Saying What? ").  Specifically, the evaluation scheme in the draft request for proposals (RFP) shows that GSA intends to weigh past performance wi...

Are Government Personnel Much Different Than Contractor Personnel?

Posted by Don Mansfield, 15 February 2013 · 2,098 views

This morning I read two different threads in the Wifcon forum.  In the first thread, the discussion centered on late Government payments.  (See “Significant Delays in voucher review/approval ”).  Some of the participants shared stories of how the Government does not consistently respect contractual payment due dates.  Because some contractors...