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Don Mansfield's Blog

Magnetic Properties of Metals with Partially Filled 4f Electron Subshells

Posted by Don Mansfield, 20 August 2009 · 1,922 views

Did you ever wonder about the type of debate that goes on before an acquisition rule becomes final and is incorporated into the Federal Acquisition Regulation System? This information can be found in the Background section of the final rule when it appears in the Federal Register. I make a point of reading this section whenever a new rule comes out becaus...

Funding UCAs that Cross Fiscal Years

Posted by Don Mansfield, 04 August 2009 · 3,095 views

The end of the fiscal year is always a good time to start brush up on fiscal law?particularly the bona fide needs rule. Contracting offices may soon face questions of fiscal law that have already been answered in Volume I, Chapter 5, of Principles of Federal Appropriations Law (GAO Red Book).One interesting case of fiscal law, which you won't find in...

Myth-Information: Price Analysis is Always Required

Posted by Don Mansfield, 09 July 2009 · 5,104 views

There seems to be a closely held belief by some in the Federal contracting community that the FAR requires the contracting officer to perform a price analysis before awarding any contract. CON 111 used to contain the following statements:QUOTE You must use price analysis to ensure that the overall price is fair and reasonable. Even when an offeror is requ...

Small Business Order of Priority Table (HOLD THE PRESS!)

Posted by Don Mansfield, 24 June 2009 · 1,932 views

WARNING: OMB issued a memorandum on July 10 directing executive agencies to temporarily disregard the two GAO decisions discussed below until a full review can be conducted.  Until such a review is conducted, do not use the table. Depending on your point of view, two recent GAO decisions have either clarified or muddied our understanding of the rules pert...

Inconsistent Decisions?

Posted by Don Mansfield, 21 April 2009 · 1,791 views

In TYBRIN Corporation, B-298364.6; B-298364.7, March 13,2007, the GAO held that an offeror's cost estimate that indicated that it would not perform 51% of the contract work on a small business set-aside rendered the offer unacceptable, even though the offeror did not explicitly take exception to the solicitation's limitation on subcontracting clau...

GAO Issues Apology to DoD

Posted by Don Mansfield, 01 April 2009 · 1,115 views

In a remarkable statement issued today, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) apologized to the Department of Defense for what it called "decades of unwarranted and unsubstantiated criticism."  The admission came in the wake of the release of a March 2009 GAO report titled Defense Acquisitions: Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs that cla...

Myth-Information: Communication is 93% Nonverbal

Posted by Don Mansfield, 10 March 2009 · 21,707 views

The myth about communication being 93% nonverbal probably didn't start in the contracting field, but we are partly responsible for its spread.  This is especially true when it comes to the subject of contract negotiation.  The course manual for CON 100 used to state that communication was 90% nonverbal as a matter of fact.  A speaker at a recent confe...

Myth-Information: Proposal Rating

Posted by Don Mansfield, 04 March 2009 · 1,364 views

Myth-Information:QUOTE You have to rate proposals in a source selection.When discussing the evaluation of competitive proposals with my students, I make a point of asking the following two questions (in order):1. Are agencies required to evaluate proposals?2. Are agencies required to rate proposals?Usually, students respond affirmatively to question #1 an...

Myth-Information: Neutral Past Performance

Posted by Don Mansfield, 10 February 2009 · 2,558 views

Some of you were confused when I classified the following statement as myth-information in the Federal Contracting Myths thread:QUOTE Offerors with no record of past performance must be rated neutral.Let me explain where I was coming from.  In April of 1994, OFPP used a variation of the word neutral with the term "past performance" in a Federal Re...

Myth-Information: Obligating the Minimum in IDIQ Contracts

Posted by Don Mansfield, 29 January 2009 · 4,703 views

If the preconceived notions that our students are bringing to the classroom is any indication, there's a good deal of myth-information being spread regarding indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contracts.  The one belief that I want to focus on today deals with obligating the contract minimum upon award of an IDIQ contract.QUOTE You don...

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