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bob7947

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Posts posted by bob7947

  1. Did you see some contracting effort that was well done?  Tell us about it.

    Did you see some contracting effort that was done badly?  Tell us about it and tell us how you would make it better.

    Did you see some contracting effort that was done so ugly that you hope you never see it again?  Tell us about it and be a hero and improve it. 

    In the title of your Topic (post), state wheter it is Good, Bad, or Ugly so we can tell how you feel about it.

  2. 15 hours ago, formerfed said:

    The number of protests now exceed 350 and a dozen protests also filed with the Court of Federal Claims.  The judge recently consolidated the cases.  I hope somebody in the government takes a critical look at these kinds of large IDIQ contracts in the future. The costs to both government and industry needs examined as well as substantiating the alleged benefits.  Furthermore the costs and efforts involved with placing task orders need looked at as well. 

    Formerfed:

    GAO lists 360 "actions" against that solicitation.  I assume that those actions are protests and many of the protests were sustained (I seem to remember over 60 sustained protests.)  The solicitation was a GWAC which requires OMB approval.

    I can think of two ways for GAO to deal with all these protests.

    1.  Where a number of dismissed or withdrawn protests complain about a similar issue, GAO (if the courts are eliminated) could consider whether a potester or  protesters actions undermine the integrity and effectiveness of our process and suspend the protesters from submitting protests in the future.

    2.  Since this is a GWAC approved by OMB and there are so many sustained protests GAO may wish to recommend that OMB withdraw its GWAC approval from the issuer of the solicitation.

  3. 1.  The Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 authorized Government-wide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) through section 5112(e) of the act, which is 40 U.S.C. 11302(e). GWACs are contracts for information technology (IT) that are established by one agency for use across the government. They are pre-competed, multiple-award, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts that agencies can use to buy IT products and services.

    • Once we had 3 central suppliers:  GSA, DLA, and VA.  Now it's a free for all.  Of course, OMB must give GWACs its blessing and they've given out many blessings.

    2.  On that GWAC, the COFC is now hearing claims.  In the past week, a COFC opinion was being held up by a District Court.  Recently, I seem to remember a case involving other transactions.  I've always considered protests and disputes as adminstrative actions.  It's time for Congress to take action and ban federal courts from hearing anything that deals with a procurement contract or something that looks like a procurement contract.  I agree with Vern. 

    3.  From a GAO decision:

    Quote

    However, our Office necessarily reserves an inherent right to dismiss any protest, and to impose sanctions against a protester, where a protester’s actions undermine the integrity and effectiveness of our process.  PWC Logistics Servs. Co. KSC(c), B‑310559, Jan 11, 2008, 2008 CPD ¶ 25 at 12.  The inherent right of dispute forums to levy sanctions in response to abusive litigation practices is widely recognized and has been characterized by the Supreme Court as “ancient in origin,” and governed not by rule or statute, but by the control necessarily vested in a forum to manage its own affairs.  Roadway Express, Inc. v. Piper et al., 447 U.S. 752, 765 (1980). 

    It's time for GAO to meet with it's Congressional bosses, explain this procurement, and show some guts. 

    PS:  Please do not name the protest that the above quote comes from.  I left it blank intentionally.

     

     

  4. The online notification is what I was trying to find.  It should work because it ends up with GSA.  

    When I notified GSA of a mistake in the FAR for correction, it was done by the next FAC. I did that in the 1980s.  I suspect it would be corrected in the same way in the Technical Amendments area.

  5. In February, Ralph asked what purpose the protest process served. See The Protest Process: What Purpose Does It Serve?, 38 NCRNL ¶ 10. In this Postscript, I ask what damage it does. My answer is that it is a drag on an essential activity of our Government, the procurement of goods and services.

    Our Government relies on contracts and contractors and the goods and services they provide, and the protest system is an impediment. It impedes procurement in three ways. First, protests are expensive from the standpoint of total system cost. Second, protests delay procurements, which affects agency operations. Third, fear of protests and attention to protest “case law” stupefies the procurement workforce and encourages them to adopt inefficient procurement practices.

    Please Read - Postscript: The Protest Process.

  6. Quote

    "(d) The functions of the Administrator shall include—

    • "(1) reviewing the recommendations of the Commission on Government Procurement to determine those recommendations that should be completed, amended, or rejected, and to propose the priority and schedules for completing the remaining recommendations;
    • "(2) developing a system of simplified and uniform procurement policies, regulations, procedures, and forms;
    • "(3) establishing criteria and procedures for an effective and timely method of soliciting the viewpoints of interested parties in the development of procurement policies, regulations, procedures, and forms;
    • "(4) promoting and conducting research in procurement policies, regulations, procedures, and forms, through the Federal Acquisition Institute, which shall be located within the Office and directed by the Administrator;

    Vern:

    I did a search for the word acquisition in Public Law 96-83 and found the above.  Apparently, Congress decided to move FAI to OFPP and directed by the Administrator, OFPP.

  7. Quote

    Bob, by “consolidate the FAR, are you referring to development of a “Federal Acquisition Regulation” that would consolidate the numerous individual agency procurement regulations?  

    Joel:

    No.  It was an effort to fuse the Defense Acquisition Regulation (DAR) with the Federal Procurement Regulation (FPR).  I remember checking similar parts of the 2 regulations and commenting on how OFPP had put the two together.  Today, the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) may be larger than the FAR. 

  8. Vern:

    I happened upon a hearing from May 1979 on H. R. 3763, to amend the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act.  I assume the Bill went nowhere but it gave Congressman Jack Brooks, one of the Major Players in government contracting, a chance to sound off.  

    At the time of the Hearing, OFPP was trying to consolidate the FAR.  That was a mess but it was finally done.   OFPP also was trying to follow up on the Commission on Government Procurement's many recommendations.  GAO issued several reports following up on whether OFPP was following up on them.  Those efforts finally died a quiet death.

    I copied an excerpt from that hearing showing one low prority issue and how it was handled.    For those who don't know, Elmer Staats was the Comptroller General of the United States.

     

    Quote

    Mr. Jack Brooks:  There are times when Congress does not wait for reports from the executive branch to act on correcting deficiencies in agency programs. Such was the case when the conference report covering OFPP’s fiscal year 1979 budget directive that the Federal Acquisition Institute, created by OFPP under the management of DOD, be moved from the Defense Department back to the OMB. The basis of this direction was the belief, the conviction, that the location of the Institute in the DOD had greatly reduced its effectiveness as a Government-wide institution. As you know, General, this congressional directive is being ignored by the executive agencies. The Defense Department continues to be the Federal Acquisition Institutes’ executive agent.

    What is your assessment of the effectiveness of this Institute in terms of its primary functions of procurement, research, and education?

    Mr. Elmer Staats:  I think that Congressman Horton would support me in the view of the Commission. We had very extensive discussions on the need for a strong training program. One of the ways that you get better performance, lower cost in the goods and materials, and systems that the Government procures is by having better trained people. There is a lot that can be learned from the private sector on how to buy and how to manage materials and equipment purchased. We have been disappointed with what we consider to be a fairly low priority which has been established for the Federal Acquisition Institute. It is located down at Cameron Station, which is not a very good location. It is unclear as to whether it is going to have funds from year to year.

    It is very difficult to recruit good staff. The tendency has been to bring staff in almost entirely out of the Defense Department.  We would like to see its status elevated. We would like to see it much more involved with the educational community. There have been some recent efforts along those lines. I do not want to be completely negative. But, thus far, it has had a too low priority. Perhaps one thing that could be done would be to—instead of having the Defense Department as the executive agent, it might be done in conjunction with an educational institution that has a strong background in the field of public management and business management. That is a possibility that might have some promise. It needs to be given a Government-wide status rather than, apparently, a status which is more identified with the Defense Department.

     

  9. The Federal Government primarily categorizes its acquisitions as supplies, services (other than research and development), research and development (R&D), and construction. The Government acquires services because it has chosen to rely on contractors to do much of the work it must do for the American people. According to the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS), services accounted for the largest categorical share of the Government’s contract obligations in Fiscal Year 2023, and professional services other than research and development accounted for the largest single share of service obligations ($108.6 billion).1 But while the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) provides general definitions of supplies, construction, applied research, and development,2 it does not provide a general definition of services.

    See Contracting For Services: Part I—Conceptual Definition And Model by Vernon J. Edwards

  10. Years ago, I spotted an error in the FAR and reported it to the Regulatory Secretariat.  They quietly corrected the error in the next FAC.

    The Claims Division maybe the Transportation and Claims Division sat on the 5th floor of the GAO Building which was a wretched and ugly space--more wretched and ugly than the other parts of GAO.  GAO was able to get Congress to ship Claims to the Executive Branch.  

    When I was in Huntsville in 1974, I worked with a fellow from the Transportation part of the Claims Division.  He was a true expert in his field.

    --------------------------------------

    Addendum:

    Look at this correction form.  From before the electronic age.  submit via mail or facsimile  Oh C'mon.  Make it east Secretariat.  Make it a fillable online form that you can click and send the corrction to you.  Geeesh!

  11. 1 hour ago, here_2_help said:

    Poll would be better with a "no clue" voting option. As for me, I have no clue.

    OK, I revised the poll and added I have no clue.  Now you have to vote.

  12. Global K9 Protection Group LLC, vs. U. S. and American K-9 Detection Services, Nos. 23-210, 23-311, April 11, 2024.

    The Long and Winding Road

    Now, after four years, two remands with related remand extensions,1 two formal re-solicitations,2 two injunctions,3 three re-awards splitting the contract into two procurements,4 and approximately 34 total dog years,5 this case has finally reached its end.

    Judge Ryan T. Holte

    Quote

    1) All remands related to this string of cases occurred in case No. 20-1614. See Am. K-9 Detection Servs., LLC v. United States, No. 20-1614 (Fed. Cl.). The following orders in case No. 20-1614 discuss the various instances of remand: 19 Mar. 2021 Unreported Order, ECF No. 55 (first formal remand “to USPS for complete OCI investigation”); 16 Aug. 2021 Reported Order, ECF No. 112 (second formal remand to “reopen the OCI investigation into MSA . . . according to the guidelines provided by the SP&Ps and reassess a complete and documented review of the OCI in light of the Court’s” findings); 30 Aug. 2021 Order, ECF No. 117 (order granting motion for extension of time (EOT) to file USPS CO remand results); 13 Oct. 2021 Order, ECF No. 124 (order granting motion for EOT to file USPS Co remand results).

    2) The Solicitation in this case was first issued 22 September 2020. See Am. K-9 Detection Servs., LLC v. United States, 155 Fed. Cl. 248, 257 (Aug. 2021). In February 2022, USPS took corrective action and “issued two new solicitations—one for Third-Party Canine Mail Screening (‘Canine Screening’) services and one for Mail Screening Alarm Resolution (‘Alarm Resolution’) services (collectively, ‘2022 resolicitation’).” See Michael Stapleton Assocs., Ltd v. United States, 163 Fed. Cl. 297, 312 (Nov. 2022) (discussing USPS taking corrective action, resulting in the issuance of two new solicitations, to mitigate the organizational conflict of interest (OCI) by shortening MSA’s contract by one year and cancelling all renewal options for the contract).

    3) On 26 October 2022, in light of CO Franklin’s October 2021 report finding “MSA had an OCI involving unequal access to information and possibly biased ground rules” due to “a member of the [USPS] technical evaluation committee [sending] an [internal] presentation to . . . MSA,” the Court issued an order “to seek USPS guidance on several reevaluation or resolicitation factors to craft an equitable remedy . . . in [a] forthcoming, more detailed order.” 26 Oct. 2022 Sealed Order, Michael Stapleton Assocs., Ltd v. United States, No. 22-573 (Fed. Cl. 26 Oct. 2022), ECF No. 69; see also 31 Oct. 2022 Public Order, Michael Stapleton Assocs., Ltd v. United States, No. 22-573 (Fed. Cl. 31 Oct. 2022), ECF No. 72. On 23 November 2022, the Court, in a more detailed order, enjoined MSA from performance in light of the CO’s October 2021 OCI directions being violated amid the 2022 contract award processes. 23 Nov. 2022 Order, Michael Stapleton Assocs., Ltd v. United States, No. 22-573 (Fed. Cl. 23 Nov. 2022), ECF No. 85 (citing 2020 AR at 3665–84 (CO Franklin’s 22 October 2021 Decision Following Second Remand), ECF No. 125-5); see also 30 Nov. 2022 Public Reported Order, Michael Stapleton Assocs., Ltd v. United States, No. 22-573 (Fed. Cl. 30 Nov. 2022), ECF No. 89; Michael Stapleton Assocs., Ltd v. United States, 163 Fed. Cl. 297 (30 Nov. 2022). On 22 December 2023, in a related case, the Court enjoined USPS’ award of the contract to K2 based on a finding of material misrepresentation in K2’s proposal. Specifically, the Court had “ample reason . . . [to] find[] . . . falsity in K2’s proposal related to past performance.” Glob. K9 Prot. Grp., LLC v. United States, 169 Fed. Cl. 116, 142 (2023).

    There is a companion opinion on the Home Page.

  13. 11 minutes ago, C Culham said:

    Combined they are in my view the biggest problem by my experience so I am not sure "committes" will be the fix.   Why not let the career field itself guide the fix?

    Executive Orders. Usually not significat but all the same in the mix too.

    The only way that laws can be streamlined and abolished is by Congress itself.  That is why you need committees assigned to propose it and to stop new bad laws from getting out of committee.  The first competition rule was passed in 1792 so the committees will take years finding all the nonsense.  Of course, they would still have to go through the full Congress to get their recommendations passed.

    In the end, Congress should state in law what is best for government contracting.  It's their responsibility.  They shouldn't end up writing unnecessary "design" laws.  They should state the goals they want achieved.  The "FAR" councils should write regulations to achieve those goals and accomplish the goals through the efforts of the "career filed."  Congress, through the committees, would maintain oversight of the work of the "FAR" councils and the "career field" in achieving the goals it sets."

    Executive Orders are a different thing.  However, they are more general and the future "FAR Councils" will write the regulations for them.  The Councils can work within the Executive branch to work out the regulatory details.

  14. Quote

    The Federal Acquisition Regulations System is established for the codification and publication of uniform policies and procedures for acquisition by all executive agencies. The Federal Acquisition Regulations System consists of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), which is the primary document, and agency acquisition regulations that implement or supplement the FAR. 

    The item above is from Subpart 1.1 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) in case anyone is new to Federal Contracting.  

    This week The Coalition for Government Procurement has a blog entry called Happy 40th Birthday to the FAR, but has it Gone too FAR?   I think it is important to read it and see the mess you are given that directs much of your work.

    In the article the Coalition talks about appointing a FAR champion to fix it.  That won't work because that would be treating the symptom and not the disease.  The DISEASE is the United States Congress and its committees that have jurisdiction over each and every one of the government agencies.  If they have jurisdiction over a goverment agency they have juridiction over the agency's contracting even if they have no idea about government contracting.  That's ridiculous.  

    Here's my opening salvo to the contracting mess of laws, GAO decisions, and court opinions.  When you look at the FAR, remember, it is based on laws, GAO decisions, court opinions and who knows what else. 

    1. Create one Senate and one House committee that have complete jurisdiction of all government contracting laws and regulations.  And that is all they do.  
    2. Each of those two committees creates a subcommittee dedicated to reviewing ALL contracting laws for the purpose of streamlining or abolishing them.
    3. Each of those two committees creates a subcommittee with total jurisdiction over defense contracting and a subcommittee with total jurisdiction over civilian agency contracting.

    After the laws have been dealt with the FAR system can be overhauled.  There no longer will be title VIII 8s of the National Defense Authorization Acts since the Armed Services Committees will not have jurisdiction over any contracting.

  15. This topic is subject to Rule 17.  The OP needs to respond to others' questions by Friday or it will be locked.

    Quote

    17.  Original posters must not disappear after they post a question.  Disappearing makes it impossible to provide clarifications of the original post so that others may respond intelligently.  It is normal for the original poster to be asked for clarification.  The Orginal Poster has 5 calendar days after the original post to answer any questions.  After that, the Topic will be locked.

     

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