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bob7947

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  1. I am writing a series of blog entries on my 3 Months in Huntsville, Alabama helping to review the source selection for the Space Shuttle's Solid Rocket Motors.  I have finished Part 3 entitled Lockheed Propulsion Company, Thiokol Corporation, B-173677, June 24, 1974 - Part 3: Selling the ProgramI should be done Part 4 in a week or two -- depending on how much anger I can hold back while I write Part 4.  When you read the excerpt I took from the RFP, you should have an idea of where I am going with it.  That requirement will be a highlight of Part 4.

    I'm not asking you to read the article so it gets views.  I'm asking you to read Part 3 and then Part 4 - when its done -- to get you angry and try to prevent it from ever happening again.  

  2. Thes are all sustained protests.

    Systems Plus, Inc.; CANN Softtech, Inc.; Dfuse Technologies, Inc.; Red Oak Solutions, LLC; White Oak Solutions, LLC; ShorePoint, Inc; JSSA, Inc.; Knowledge Management, Inc.; 2050 Technology, LLC; JarWare, LLC; iDoxSolutions, Inc.; cFocus Software, Inc.; SOFITC JV, LLC; Spatial Front, Inc.; ImpactOne JV, LLC; Technology Solutions Provider, Inc.; A1FedImpact, LLC; Saliense Consulting, LLC; Xfinion, Inc.; Hendall, Inc.; Syneren Technologies Corp.; iVision, Inc., d/b/a iVision Consulting, Inc.; CWS FMTI JV, LLC; Astor & Sanders Corporation; Computer World Services Corporation; DevTech Systems, Inc.; Criterion Systems, LLC; Cyquent, Inc.; Audacious Inquiry; ICS-TSPi, LLC; SRG-TSPi, LLC; Horizon Industries, Ltd.; MASAI Technologies Corporation; CTIS, Inc.; JCS Solutions, LLC; TSC-ITG JV, LLC; Karsun Solutions, LLC; Neev-KS Technologies, LLC; ASSYST, Inc.; Platinum Business Services, LLC; IS CIO JV; Inserso Corporation; Credence Dynamo Solutions, LLC; Sky Solutions, LLC; Blue Grove Solutions, LLC; Ennoble First-Macro Solutions, LLC; OCT Consulting, LLC; Swain Online, Inc., d/b/a Swain Techs; Katmai Management Services, LLC; Capital Data Partners JV, LLC; Network Management Resources, Inc., d/b/a NMR Consulting; mPower, Inc.; ADG Tech Consulting, LLC; USmax Corporation; Rip Ripple Effect Communications, Inc., d/b/a Ripple Effect; MicroTechnologies, LLC; A Square Group, LLC; eKuber Ventures, Inc.; The Electric On-Ramp, Inc.; MiamiTSPi, LLC; Decision Point Corporation; AgilisTEK, LLC; OM Partners JV 2, LLC; A-Tek, Inc. B-419956.184, B-419956.185, B-419956.186, B-419956.187, B-419956.188, B-419956.189, B-419956.190, B-419956.191, B-419956.192, B-419956.193, B-419956.194, B-419956.195, B-419956.196, B-419956.197, B-419956.198, B-419956.199, B-419956.201, B-419956.202, B-419956.203,et al, Jun 29, 2023.  (July 11, 2023)

  3. For FY 2022, the Congressional Budget Office said that the U. S. spent:  

    Quote

    "In fiscal year (FY) 2022, the government spent $6.27 trillion . . ."

    Iif we project the same amount in FY 2023, then NIH's annual contract amounts of $2 trillion under that procurement would cover 32 percent of the amount that the U. S. spent for everything and more than the discretionary money for FY 2023.   CBO defines discretionary funding as 

    Quote

    Discretionary spending is determined by the President and Congress each year in the budget and appropriations process and includes spending for most defense, education, and transportation programs.

    With those contracts NIH could cover the entire discretionay funding for FY 2023.  "An electronic chcken in every pot."  That makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

  4. Quote

    The solicitation states that the agency will award approximately 305 to 510 IDIQ contracts

    Why 305 to 510 awarded contracts?  I haven't checked any previous procurement but I expect a lot less than that number of contractors ever getting work to do. 

    Quote

    Each awarded contract will have a maximum ordering value of $50 billion. Id. at 50.

    I admit my math could be better.  However, 305 to 510 contracts with orders of $50 billion could exceed $20 trillion.  Who's kidding who?

    Now, for a true story.  A contracting agency had about 6 IDIQ contracts with maximum order limits of $50 million each.  One contractor was going to exceed the $50 million limit because it received most of the awards.  The other 5 contractors received next to nothing.  The contracting agency believed that increasing the maximum order limit for the one contractor would be improper and get the other contractors to take legal action.  What to do?  All 6 contractors had their original contracts maximum increased to $50 million even those who never received any business.  That reminded me of the $50 billion number.

  5. Quote

    The RFP anticipates the award of multiple contracts, each of which will have a base period of performance of 5 years and one 5-year option. RFP at 38. The solicitation states that the agency will award approximately 305 to 510 IDIQ contracts, including as relevant here, 20 to 40 contracts to 8(a) small businesses. Id. at 143. Each awarded contract will have a maximum ordering value of $50 billion. Id. at 50.

    400 contracts x $50,000,000,000 (billion) = $20,000,000,000,000 (trillion)  

    I've never been great at math but I estimated the number of contracts at 400 with a maximum of $50 billion.  Possible 10 years = $2 trillion a year.  Is my math correct?  Does the solicitation state that all contracts awarded could be worth $20 trillion?

  6. Keeping the GAO Protest Unit busy with 311 protests under Solicitation 75N98121R00001  Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health Chief Information Officer-Solutions and Partners (CIO-SP4).

    Notice the GAO's protest number under Infotrend Inc., B-419956.301, May 11, 2023.

    Quote

    NIH issued the solicitation on May 25, 2021, seeking proposals to provide IT solutions and services in the areas of health, biomedical, scientific, administrative, operational, managerial, and information systems requirements. Req. for Dismissal (RFD) at 2; RFD, exh. 1, RFP at 7. 2 The purpose of the CIO-SP4 contracts is to “provide government agencies a mechanism for quick ordering of IT solutions and services at fair and reasonable prices, to give qualified small businesses a greater opportunity to participate in these requirements, and give government agencies a mechanism to help meet their socio-economic contracting goals.” Id. at 7.

    The RFP anticipates the award of multiple contracts, each of which will have a base period of performance of 5 years and one 5-year option. RFP at 38. The solicitation states that the agency will award approximately 305 to 510 IDIQ contracts, including as relevant here, 20 to 40 contracts to 8(a) small businesses. Id. at 143. Each awarded contract will have a maximum ordering value of $50 billion. Id. at 50.

     

  7. By Dan Chenok

    Last week, I had the honor of speaking at the retirement celebration for Steve Kelman, longtime Kennedy School Professor and globally leading government management expert, who I’ve been fortunate to know for over three decades.

    The event was a remarkable tribute to Steve, who:   

    * * * * *

    • changed the face of government procurement for the better, as outllined by Kennedy School Professor and event moderator Jeff Liebman;

    * * * * *

    See the article from  IBM Center for The Business of Government

  8. On 5/5/23, Wifcon.com's Discussion Board was finally fixed after years.  Then on 5/5/23, its SSL Certificate expired.  Because it expired, I was warned every time I tried to use this site and had to fight with google to see it.

    To renew the SSL certificate, I had to renew it with Network Solutions around 11 PM on 5/5/23.  After it was renewed by Network Solutions, they gave me a lengthy registration number to take to my Web Host which is Inmotion.  I took it to Inmotion and they didn't know what to do with it, at first.  Finally, Inmotion's Advanced chat figured it out and added the registration number to my DNS server--yes, we all get numbers.  Then, I had to go back to Network Solutions to check with them.  It was now after midnight whn I got the all clear from Network Solutions that everything is correct and all I had to do is wait 24 hours to ave the SSL Certificate take effect.

    The 24 hours will end late Saturday, 5/6/23 but I still see the little red https. 

    If you have experienced any problems seeing Wifcon.com, don't worry because soon the SSL Certificate will take effect if Network Solutions and Inmotion know what they are doing.

    Maybe, by the end of the weekend I will get a break from Wifcon.com.

  9. Few, if any of us, have been impressed with the current nominee for Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition.  I decided to look at the acting (of course) Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition.  I found several blurbs on her background:

    Quote

    Ms. Tanya M. Skeen, a career member of the Senior Executive Service, is currently performing the duties of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition (ASD(A)). In this position, she advises the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (USD(A&S)), the Deputy Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Defense on matters relating to the Department of Defense (DoD) Acquisition System, acquisition program management, and the development of strategic, space, intelligence, tactical warfare, command and control, and business systems.

    Ms. Skeen most recently served as Executive Director for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office. She was responsible for acquiring and delivering DoD’s affordable and sustainable fifth-generation strike aircraft, as well as the F-35 Global Sustainment Strategy for three U.S. Services and seven partner countries.

    Prior to that position, she served as the Program Executive Officer of the Army Rapid Capabilities Office. In this position, Ms. Skeen was responsible for expediting the fielding of critical combat capabilities to the warfighter and enhancing materiel responses to meet Combatant Commanders’ needs. She led the mission to rapidly develop, acquire, integrate and equip selected capabilities; implement streamlined acquisition methods, processes and techniques; and act as an agent of change by challenging traditional approaches.

    In earlier assignments, Ms. Skeen served as Deputy Director of Test and Evaluation, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, where she was responsible for policy, resources and oversight of developmental and operational testing, and the Air Force head of foreign materiel acquisition and exploitation. She assisted the Director in overseeing a $4 billion Air Force test infrastructure and the programming and execution of the Air Force test portfolio with an annual budget of $1.9 billion.

    She also served as the Program Executive Officer Chief Engineer at the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office where her responsibilities included technical oversight and approval of a multi-billion dollar portfolio. Ms. Skeen has also served as the Program Director for multiple ACAT-1 equivalent programs, including the Unmanned Aerospace System Command and Control Open Architecture Standards Initiative and the Air Force Common Mission Control Center for multiple domain weapons system command and control.

    A native of Kent, Ohio, Ms. Skeen was commissioned in the U.S. Navy in 1990 following graduation from Purdue University where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering. In the Navy, she served as a Technical Instructor and Assistant Director at the Nuclear Power Training Command and also received her Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Central Florida. After leaving the Navy, Ms. Skeen held numerous private sector positions in engineering and flight test of air, space, and ground weapons systems.

    Ms. Skeen is the recipient of the David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award, the Purdue University Distinguished Engineering Alumnae Award, the Purdue University Outstanding Aerospace Engineering Award, the Joint Civilian Service Achievement Award, the Exemplary Civilian Service Award, the Department of Defense Value Engineering Award, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force Annual Award for Acquisition Process Improvement, and the Navy Achievement Medal.

               and here is the second blurb from an earlier position

    Quote

    Tanya M. Skeen, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is Deputy Director of Test and Evaluation, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. She is responsible for policy, resources and oversight of developmental and operational testing, and is a focal point for foreign materiel acquisition and exploitation. She assists the Director in overseeing a $4 billion Air Force test infrastructure and the programming and execution of the Air Force test portfolio, with an annual budget of $1.9 billion.

    Ms. Skeen is from Kent, Ohio, and was commissioned in the U.S. Navy in 1990 following graduation with highest distinction from Purdue University in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering. In the Navy, she served as a Technical Instructor and Assistant Director at the Nuclear Power Training Command and also received her Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Central Florida in 1994. After leaving the Navy, she joined the private sector developing the next generation X-35 Joint Strike Fighter followed by several positions in flight test where she was responsible for test planning, execution and data analysis for nearly every aircraft in the current Air Force inventory including B-2, F-117, F-15, F-16 and F-22. Additionally, Ms. Skeen was responsible for significant test range infrastructure upgrades for Red Flag testing as well as multiple programs that directly improved test range productivity. Following her private sector positions in flight test and other development programs, she returned to federal service in 2009 as the Program Executive Officer Chief Engineer at the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C. Her responsibilities at the AFRCO included technical oversight of a multi-billion dollar portfolio and serving as the Program Director for programs including the Common Mission Control Center for multiple simultaneous mixed aircraft command and control.

    EDUCATION
    1990 Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical And Astronautical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.
    1994 Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Fla.

    CAREER CHRONOLOGY
    1. December 1990 – November 1993, Naval Nuclear Power Instructor, Naval Nuclear Power Training Command, Orlando, Fla.
    2. November 1993 – February 1995, Assistant Director of the Officer Department, Naval Nuclear Power Training Command, Orlando, Fla.
    3. August 1995 – April 1996, B-2 Environmental Systems Design and Test Engineer, Northrop-Grumman, Palmdale, Calif.
    4. April 1996 – February 2000, X-35B Flight Controls, Aerodynamics, Propulsion Design Engineer, Lockheed Martin Skunkworks, Palmdale, Calif.
    6. July 2000 – December 2001, Senior Flight Test Engineer, EG&G Special Projects, Las Vegas, Nev.
    7. December 2001 – July 2003, Senior Flight Test Analyst, Modern Technology Solutions Inc., Las Vegas, Nev.
    8. July 2003 – August 2004, Flight Test Software Development Engineer, Modern Technology Solutions Inc., Montgomery, Ala. 
    9. August 2004 – July 2009, Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance Subject Matter Expert, Modern Technology Solutions Inc., Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C. 
    10. July 2009 – November 2014, Program Executive Officer Chief Engineer, Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C. 
    11. November 2014 – present, Deputy Director of Test and Evaluation, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
     

    She appears to have more acquisition experience in industry and government than the current nominee.  If you read her experience, you will have some of the same thought as I have.

    I'll add one more blurb when she was named to her current position.

    Quote

    The Department of Defense (DoD) has named Tanya Skeen acting assistant secretary of defense for acquisition at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition [ASD(A)].

    Skeen comes to ASD(A) from the DoD’s F-35 Joint Program Office, where she served as the executive director of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program, also called the Lightning II Program.

    “What a bittersweet moment for me! F-35 is the most amazing and impactful program in the world delivered by the best team I have ever had the honor to work beside,” Skeen said on LinkedIn. “The F-35 warfighters and our U.S. and allied teammates owe a debt of gratitude to this incredible group of professionals at the Joint Program Office.”

    Previously, Skeen served as a program executive officer of the Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office; deputy director of test and evaluation, Headquarters U.S. Air Force; and program manager and chief engineer at the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office.

    “Huge thanks to my departing Executive Director, Tanya Skeen, as she leaves the F-35 Joint Program Office after an exceptionally successful 3.5 year tour,” Lt. Gen. Eric Fick, program executive officer and program director at the F-35 Joint Program Office, said in a farewell post for Skeen on LinkedIn. “You drove change for our people and for our program…and we’re in a better place today thanks to your efforts.”  (italics added)

    Maybe experience is a detriment.  What do you think?

  10. Quote

    Cara L. Abercrombie currently serves as Deputy Assistant to the President and Coordinator for Defense Policy and Arms Control at the National Security Council. Prior to this, Abercrombie served as the Acting Deputy Director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency and the first President of the Defense Security Cooperation University. A career member of the Senior Executive Service, Abercrombie has held numerous positions in the Office of the Secretary of Defense since 2003, including Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia, Principal Director for East Asia, and Special Assistant to Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel. She is a 2022 recipient of the Presidential Rank Award of Distinguished Executive. At the outset of her career, she managed Eurasia programs for the National Democratic Institute of International Affairs. Abercrombie received her B.A. from Dartmouth College and her M.P.A. from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs. A native of Peekskill, New York, she resides in Arlington, Virginia.

     

  11. From a Court of Federal Claims Protest entitled:  Defense Integrated Solutions, LLC v. U. S. and Strategic Alliance Solutions LLC, No. 23-64C, April 5, 2023.

     

    Quote

    This case involves the litigation version of Freaky Friday — all of the parties have essentially switched positions, in one way or another, from the last time they were before this Court. The Small Business Administration (“SBA”) Office of Hearing and Appeals (“OHA”) previously concluded that Strategic Alliance Solutions LLC (“SAS”) — a joint venture competing for a service-disabled veteran-owned small business (“SDVOSB”) setaside procurement — was ineligible for contract award because SAS’s joint venture agreement did not comply with a relatively new SBA regulation, 13 C.F.R. § 125.18(b)(2)(ii)(A). SAS challenged that SBA OHA decision before this Court, and the parties — including both the government and the then-Defendant-Intervenor, Defense Integrated Solutions, LLC (“DIS”) — agreed to the terms of a remand order for SBA OHA to reconsider its decision. SBA OHA reversed itself. Unhappy with that result, DIS is now the Plaintiff challenging SBA OHA’s new decision on the grounds that the agency got it right the first time, while SAS has intervened to defend, rather than challenge, OHA’s new decision.

     

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