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joel hoffman

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Status Updates posted by joel hoffman

  1. In my profile pic,  I'm sitting on the covered but open hotel restaurant at Saba Rock Island, Virgin Gorda, in the BVI's. My wife and I have both long said that "If you find (me) missing, search for me at 18.5030° N, 64.3578° W".  It is one of our favorite places on the Earth. Behind me is a view of the Bitter End Yacht Club Resort.  Hurricane Irma essentially destroyed the Bitter End and heavily damaged the Saba Rock Hotel and Restaurant. Richard Branson's Necker Island is just North of Saba Rock Island. It is widely believed (but not substantiated) in the BVI's that GOOGLE co-founder, Larry Page, owns or leases Eustatia Island, which is another Island adjacent to Saba Rock.  We saw both of their super Yacht sailboats at the Bitter End over the years. Drool...

  2. Deaner, below is the info I provided in response to your quest for info.  I spent a significant amount of my time trying to help you.  I really didn't appreciate that you appeared to ignore my efforts. .

    "I’m not really looking to solve any problem but more out of curiosity. Whether actually applied or thought up off the top of your head, what are others using for evaluation factors for LPTA (construction or other) solicitations set-aside for small businesses? I did briefly look at a few solicitations posted to FBO and it makes me believe evaluation factors that amount to matters of responsibility are widely used. "

    I explained "why" I wanted the information:

    2nd post : " in response to your quest for possible evaluation factors for construction LPTA,  DoD had an SDB set-aside program in the 1990's. We would focus on evaluating experience,  past performance of the prime or its proposed sub(s) for the key technical aspects of a particular project, management and organization and key construction personnel.  

    Due to the fact that competition for the prime contracts at various installations were restricted to a class of small businesses, the other large and small businesses that typically competed for prime contracts at those installations still wanted the work. Thus they would typically team with the SDB's in one way or another.  Having experience negotiating sole source and conducted other competive set-asides, we had seen many different ways that the majority owned businesses would set up the other various categories of small businesses as "fronts", that is primes only in name. 

    So, we evaluated the proposer's management and organization of the work, including the key construction managers, including their experience and qualifications.  When the key sub proposed to "loan" their regular employees to the prime, that was essentially a phony set-up.  We also reviewed JV agreements to ensure that, at least on paper, it would appear that the prime was the controlling partner.  Most of the "schemes" were apparent.  We eliminated the obvious ones.

     In one instance, it was clear that the lowest priced offeror's key sub's personnel, "on loan",  were going to manage the project.  The JV agreement had similar problems and the bid bond was also defective. We rated the proposal as unacceptable and awarded to the next low proposer, who was legit. The lowest priced proposer submitted an agency level protest but not on the basis that we didn't refer the matter to the SBA for a certificate of competency determination. Our agency upheld the elimination.  

    We had used the SBA's JV standards plus found that the employees would still be in the sub's retirement and other benefit plans during the project.  Those employees were also managing the project, thus were effectively still employed by the sub. 

    Those source selections were usually conducted as LPTA. However, if I were to repeat that experience today, I would use the trade-off method with price as more important than the non-price factors. Why - our client installations had Rolls Royce scope and technical expectations on Yugo budgets.  We were lying to industry when we led them to believe that our client could afford to pay any more than the LPTA. The trade-off provides some more flexibility, allows for comparative ratings and, in this case notifies industry to sharpen their pencils for pricing purposes. "


    1st post.  "We had a small disadvantaged business set-aside for an airfield paving project once. Of course, the most critical aspect of the project was the paving operation. We required the prime or the paving sub, if subcontracted, to have a specified amount of previous concrete paving experience to qualify. I don't remember what other factors we used other than telling us what features they would self perform and how they would manage the construction project to meet their limitations on subcontracting." 

    1. Deaner



      Apologizes for the late reply, I've been transitioning to a new agency and haven't spent much time on WIFCON. 

      Just so you know, I did not intentionally ignore your efforts, I believe I just wasn't connecting what I was asking with what you were saying. I do appreciate the time and effort you spent on this discussion.  


  3. Fara, is your question related to a specific solicitation or a question in general? If specific, I'd recommend that you ask the government contracting office for clarification. I haven't found any specific official clarification or definition but a "system", such as a telecommunications system or telephone system or building electrical system, generally incorporates the wiring  and conduit that connect the switches,  devices, distribution boxes, etc. 

    i do know a couple of friends that own or work for fire protection installation and maintenance companies. I can ask them how this has been interpreted. You could also ask your contacts at those type firms. 

    1. Fara Fasat

      Fara Fasat


      Thanks for the response. This is not for a specific contract. We are trying to prepare training for a large network of system designers and installers (several hundred) and this is a common question.

      I would appreciate your checking with some of your contracts. It's an important issue, but as you already know, there is no answer in the FAR, and I have been unable to find any cases or other guidance. I don't want to wait until an inspector finds a system noncompliant.

    2. joel hoffman

      joel hoffman

      Fara, I will try to check with my Construction contact tomorrow. 

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