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  2. Many Non-DOD agencies allow Contract Specialists to CO their own work. These agencies' contract actions tend to obligate amounts that pale in comparison to DOD. So relatively speaking the risk is low and hence there is less allocation of resources or regulatory requirements to provide oversight. That said, having worked DOD after first working non-DOD and at first resenting the DOD "bureaucracy" I get it. If I could go back to CO my own specialist work I would request informal peer reviews. That second set of eyes goes a long way. It's not a matter of competency. Rather, when you're so close to one tree you can easily miss other trees or the forest.
  3. Ninja, two months have passed. Have you awarded the contract yet? If so, was your award protested? If not, why do you think the risk of litigation or to be clear a post-award protest is low? An acquisition plan demonstrates the agency intentionally considered what it's buying, why it's buying it and how it intends to buy it. A source selection plan demonstrates the agency's intentional thought process to compete, evaluate and award the contract. If your award decision is protested and your file lacks both an acq plan, a source selection plan or both then the agency's credibility is undermined in the very least. If protested, to the extent that the agency didn't evaluate proposals the way it advertised it would, your Office of Counsel is likely to recommend you take corrective action. If this happens you might consider intentionally thinking through how you intend to evaluate proposals and then either decide to cancel the RFP and resolicit if you change your instructions, evaluation criteria or both, or do what you said you'd do to evaluate proposals and reevaluate. Protests are lost mostly due to poor documentation or because the government failed to evaluate the way it advertised it would in the RFP or both. Forgive me for preaching but in the end, be intentional with what you do. Know your why. Don't just check the boxes. If you don't have an acq plan or a source selection plan by now despite your agency requirements, don't just create one now for the optics of the file. Who cares about auditors?! What you really need to care about is passing the CNN test or being able to testify to a judge and have both the media and the courts decide the government acted legally and reasonably.
  4. The following is also not a defense : “(C) the contract was based on an agreement between the contractor and the United States about the total cost of the contract and there was no agreement about the cost of each item procured under such contract; “ I’m guessing that this would also apply to agreed total cost without agreement on individual cost elements.
  5. Good question. I am speculating here that the government could have relied on the identified cost of the bond in the proposal, which was based upon the incorrect data that they didn’t read. 10 USC 2306a e) Price Reductions for Defective or Pricing Data.— “...(3)It is not a defense to an adjustment of the price of a contract under a contract provision required by paragraph (1) that— ...B. ) the contracting officer should have known that the cost and pricing data in issue were defective even though the contractor or subcontractor took no affirmative action to bring the character of the data to the attention of the contracting officer;” Im speculating here that the government didn’t know what the bond should cost,. Thus, they may have simply accepted at face value what the contractor indicated the cost would be. From the above Statutory language, I don’t think government ignorance of what a bond should cost would be a defense for a price reduction due to defective cost or pricing data. If the contractor mistakenly said the bond cost would be 4% of the marked up subtotal contract cost or if the contractor said it would cost 0.4% but the amount of the bond cost was mistakenly ten times that much in the cost proposal, it was defective cost or pricing data.
  6. Treat every need for refill as a new repetitive purchase and establish one of more BPAs under FAR Part 13.
  7. I would ask the program office for the details behind the 40K per year and include that estimate in the RFQ. I assume the details are based on so many tanks of a certain type gas. I would also list the names of all 50 gasses and for each, the type of delivery system (e.g., tanks/bottles and size) . I would ask each lab for past known usage details and include that in the RFQ. You should have a purchasing system that requires a requester provide a requisition with sufficient details to support a purchase.
  8. ji, you are correct. Of the contract clauses prescribed in FAR 36.5, the Permits and Responsibility clause at 52.236-7 is the only one that is prescribed for both FFP or CR construction contracts. See the prescription at 36.507. It then makes perfect sense that the cost for Builders Risk insurance policies is an allowable cost for both FFP and cost reimbursement contracts. You learn something almost every day here at WIFCON! EDIT: The clause at 52.236-5 Material and Workmanship (See prescription at 36.505) is also applicable to both FFP and cost reimbursement construction contracts.
  9. Yesterday
  10. How about contracting for "gas as a service"? Make the contractor responsible for ensuring there's always gas when it's needed. They can bill a fixed price for each tank used.
  11. Are you the contracting officer? If you believe the new work is not reached by the Changes clause, then you don’t cite the Changes clause. You have two choices: (1) Is the new work amount less than the SAT? Then maybe you write a sole source justification under FAR part 13 and say the incumbent contractor is the only source reasonably available. You add the work by bilateral modification citing the FAR citation for the sole-source procurement. (2) If the new work is over the SAT, then maybe you write a J&A under FAR part 6 and do the same thing. If you change your mind about the reach of your contract’s Changes clause to this effort, then you have two choices: (1) Issue the unilateral notice to order the change and settle up later with the contractor by bilateral modification citing the Changes clause. (2) Negotiate the change and the cost without ordering the work, and issue a bilateral modification citing the Changes clause to authorize the work and adjust the contract. If none of the above will work, you can do a new acquisition for the new work.
  12. I partly agree, but not completely. If a windstorm blew down some framing in a cost-reimbursement construction contract with the normal clauses, and the contractor wanted to direct charge the Government 100% of the cost for replacement labor and materials, wouldn’t a prudent contracting officer tell the contractor that it should have carried the customary insurance protections? Buying risk insurance is a customary practice in the construction industry.
  13. My builders risk argument covers FFP contracts. The government would normally assume the risk in a cost reimbursement contract or direct the contractor to purchase the appropriate insurance .
  14. There are consultants who specialize in this area. A google search might lead you to one in your local area. Suggest you pay a bit in return for peace of mind.
  15. Buying insurance is not contingency. The standard construction clauses make the contractor responsible for protecting the worksite and the property on the worksite from vandalism and so forth. Insurance is a lot cheaper than a night watchman. Of course, a prudent contractor might want both.
  16. How much is the insurance premium? Compare the cost to additional loss prevention costs, such as full time security (night watchmen, fire watch at night or overtime to make end of every day full site inspections), a standby fire truck and crew, etc. If it can’t be paid for the cost of Builders Risk Insurance, how would a contractor cover itself for the possibility of severe weather or other damage? Increase the profit factor by several percent?
  17. That’s Nonsense. Tell the source to Read FAR 28 under self insurance. The government is making the contractor assume the risk of any loss due to theft, fire, severe weather, etc. - things that are mostly beyond the contractor’s control. To me, a “contingency” would be where the contractor includes the cost to cover actual losses or damages for each possible risk in its proposal. If builders risk insurance is a “contingency”, why does the government require liability and automobile insurance if the government doesn’t cover ANY “contingency” at all? Why does the government require and pay for performance and payment bonds if the government doesn’t cover ANY “contingency” at all? The government estimates for a program that I worked on to build plants to deconstruct our nation’s stockpile of chemical weapons at numerous Arsenals included allowance for certain “risks”. The risks were identified with possible costs and severity and likelihood of occurrence in a Monte Carlo Simulation. The result was that some “risk” costs were added to the estimates. They did not total all risk costs but rather a percentage factor for the chance or likelihood of some of them occurring . The factor was applied to the labor productivity for various activities. They were also applied to the overall programmatic schedules and time related costs required to permit, design and build each plant. Government estimates and contractor cost proposals also include factors for such things as expected labor productivity adjustments for complexity of the job, material wastage, small tools loss/breakage, etc. Builders risk insurance is both necessary and reasonable when the government allocates to the contractor the risks of damage or loss to the materials and work prior to government acceptance of the work. Insurance premiums are based on risk shared over all policies and policy holders.
  18. I agree with that. Why add more to the deficit. The government didn’t say they would use it after your r&d efforts.
  19. Hello everyone, The program office is contemplating the addition of in-scope work to a non-severable R&D contract for services (cost-reimbursement). According to my understanding, the changes clause, under a cost-reimbursement contract can be used for unilateral changes, in designated areas, for work within scope. I have several questions: per FAR Part 52.243-2, Alternate I, " (a) The Contracting Officer may at any time, by written order, and without notice to the sureties, if any, make changes within the general scope of this contract in any one or more of the following: (1) Description of services to be performed." Would the addition of in-scope work to a contract, constitute changes to the description of services to be performed? To me the addition of work is not a change to the description, but an introduction of additional, new work and as such not covered by the authority of the changes clause. I therefore believe that this should not be issued as a unilateral mod under the changes clause. Could this mod still be issued under the authority of the changes clause, but be bi-lateral? Since the addition of new work will result in an equitable adjustment to the contract, could the mod be issued as a bi-lateral modification pursuant to 52.243-2, Alternate I? I'm a bit confused because per FAR 43.201(a), a change order is a unilateral change. Therefor a bilateral change order with an equitable adjustment is no longer a change order and rather a bilateral mod issued as a "supplemental agreement to work within scope" on the SF-30, is that correct? I have a hard time reconciling the perceived discrepancy in my mind between the FAR stating that a change order is by definition a unilateral mod and also that a change order can involve an equitable adjustment, which would need to be negotiated and is therefore bilateral. How would a bilateral change order (if even appropriate) with an equitable adjustment be addressed on the SF-30? Thanks in advance.
  20. Look at Carl’s second post at the start of this thread. EDWOSB is not through another government agency. The full exception language
  21. We don't. A cursory glance at FBO suggests nobody does. EDWOSB is a sub-set of WOSB. See FAR 19.15 FAR 6.302-5 -- Authorized or Required by Statute (b) (7) therefore includes EDWOSB. FAR 5.202 (a)(4) - Synopsis Exceptions - The proposed contract action is expressly authorized or required by a statute therefore includes EDWOSB. EDWOSB is exempt from synopsis.
  22. I work in Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The HHSAR covers Accessibility/Section 508 using language that I am increasingly convinced I don't understand. Two part question. HHSAR 339 (1) When conducting a procurement and employing the best value continuum, the solicitation shall include a separate technical evaluation factor developed by the contracting officer, requiring activity, and the Operating Division (OPDIV) Section 508 Official or designee. The word "continuum" occurs only once in the FAR, in 15.101. I take HHSAR 339 (1) to mean that for any IT procurement either If using FAR 15 procedures, there must be a separate Accessibility/508 evaluation factor or If using 'best value,' there must be a separate Accessibility/508 evaluation factor. And everything is 'best value.' So far as I know, nobody in HHS actually follows either of these interpretations (check FBO if you don't believe me). I've always considered this fact to be a case of ignoring an unreasonable regulation, but maybe I am misinterpreting the regs. What do you think here? (2) At a minimum, solicitations for supplies and services shall require the submission of a Section 508 Product Assessment Template (See http://www.hhs.gov/web/508 for the template). Solicitations for services shall include any other pertinent information that the contracting officer deems necessary to evaluate the offeror's ability to meet the applicable Section 508 accessibility standards. A colleague recently was purchasing a RAM upgrade for some of our servers. Along with the RAM itself, installation services and add-on warranty + maintenance. She has found herself in the absurd situation of being told she must have a section 508 Product Assessment Template (PAT) for this purchase. She has asked me: A PAT for what? I have no answer. For RAM, which is an expensive hunk of metal and plastic? For installation services? For warranty and maintenance - of RAM? The warranty and maintenance is for the whole server, not some sub-component of it. The server (and indeed the whole server farm) already has a comprehensive maintenance contract that is indeed 508 compliant. Does the HHSAR requirement for a PAT even make sense here? If so, how?
  23. You are correct that I misread the complete post and focused on the *. Upon rereading the entire post, it raises the issue of reliance which TheLaw should think about. If the government did not notice the erroneous bond data, how did the government rely on that supposed defective data?
  24. Joel, I'm being told by another source that the we (the government) do not pay for "any contingency at all," and that is how he views builder's risk. Why aren't these things more black and white?
  25. No. Schedule 70 is Best in Class for Hardware and Software not Services. BIC IT Services: 8(a) STARS Alliant NITAAC CIO-SP3 VETS 2 There are many scenarios where none of these BIC are appropriate for IT Services. There is a lower-tier but better 'solution' (contract vehicle) Requirement out of scope of all of these Pool of Vendors Not Appropriate or Sufficient Indefinite Contract or BPA Non-Commercial
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