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C Culham

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  1. "in his role as a contracting officer." In other press accounts "contracting officer representative" is used. Makes me wonder if DOJ applied the definition of "contracting officer" as found at FAR 2.101 - "The term includes certain authorized representatives of the contracting officer acting within the limits of their authority as delegated by the contracting officer."
  2. It is confusing. So you have a GSA FSS or even a GWAC with defined labor catagories and prices and you can use those for pricing a solution. What is wrong with using a standing quotation to price a solution in the same manner? In the world of BPA's competition is required unless the establishment of the BPA or BPA's has been publicized then you can use some process for an actual call with only the one or those that were issued a BPA. Why not the same for some or even one standing quotation? Nothing in the FAR says you must have multiple standing quotations. I will not research but I wonder how many task orders for the NIH GWAC will exceed $7.5 million? Interesting side not is this from a dated GAO decision - "Southeast asserts that MGC's quotation should not have been considered because it was not submitted in response to the RFQ. However, there is no requirement that agencies consider only quotations in response to an RFQ; under FAR Sec. 13.103, a standing quotation properly may be considered in a simplified acquisition if it is current." https://www.gao.gov/products/b-289065 In the end just thoughts regarding your noted potential pitfalls with no intent to imply a standing quotation is the only solution. I just wonder why BPA's, GWACs, MATOCs etc when there is yet one more solution?
  3. Yes. If I were to re-write my comment I would change it to "intention is to create wham bam procurements" through the MATOCs, BPAs, etc. As an aside there are such vehicles that have been created that did not generate massive protests, if protested at all. Why not this? I will just guess that the market place does it for IT as I know it is done otherwise (I buy hay this way). Standing Quotation (FAR 13.103). IT commercial item, allowance to use SAP up to $7.5 million per instant need. Forget a MATOC, or even a BPA veiled as a "contract", just give me a "standing quote", per my solicitation make it last for XX time period, now I need some IT what further discount will you give me and here is your award.
  4. Waxing philosophical or simple anecdotal my thoughts are these. I agree every procurment is different and would be a block to determining quality and price of parent MATOCs, GWACs, even BPAs. I would further agree each are useful tools. Yet to the points on which I responded, quality and price, I beleive the pendulm has swung to far due to legislative action and, borrowing from Vern, supposed innovation. Simplified acquisiton has been turned upside down when it comes to multiple award BPA's as they are now being used. IDIQs as instruments of GWACS and MATOCs, specifcially for services, combined with the mulitple award preference now require at least two competitions and I would bet that within the Federal government and their use maybe at least three in some cases. Time and resources compared to other actions might be less but even trying to demonstrate this supposed "saving" would be extremely challenging. And I would futher offer that quality and prices has suffered. The monster tools foster wham bam procurements to just get the job done. People are less concened about quality and more about just getting a contractor. Fair and reasonable price therefore becomes a ghost as well as the competition after the initial establishment of a pool for whatever instrument becomes much smaller, by example the NIH effort 450 or some number less than that. Same with GSA FSS per FAR subpart 8.4. The ideal of multiple award has become an accordian. A grand tune could be played with simple and short expansions of the bellows, the bellows are now put to a fractured limit by trying to get all the air one can into a GWAC, MATOC, BPA instument. Anecodotal yes but I believe quality has suffered and at what price and extended cost will never be known and that is a problem.
  5. Yes! No intent to one up you. It is just interesting to me when one starts looking. Here - https://www.gao.gov/products/b-421221%2Cb-421221.3 One year six months to evaluate and award with 6 amendments to the GSA FSS RFQ. And then one year and three months after award the protest decision! So much for a simplified acquisition strategy by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.
  6. Pure factual evidence would be as hard to compile as finding evidence with regard to the success or not of performance based acquisition. Here is my minimalist attempt. I visited this website https://www.fws.gov/program/contracting/matoc-information which contains an Excel spreadsheet of awards. Catagorzied by contractors and states the tabs on the spreadsheet has a combined 4201 lines. I randomly picked two contractors and searched on their names at the USAspending.com website. In both cases I found no task order awards (using a "F" per FAR subpart 4.16) against either contractors parent IDIQ. In both cases I did find that each contractor had DoD IDIQ parent awards where task order awards were made against the parent IDIQ. So what! I agree! What I found does nothing to provide any information what so ever regarding quality or price of services. However it did show me that the time and effort to award a least the two parent contracts has yielded no actual procurement for an instant need. Based on this simple fact the effort to award the parent IDIQs was a waste of time. Next up the new in vogue mulitple issuance (dare I say award) BPA's both within the GSA FSS program and independent efforts of some agencies ( I can point to two quick examples - USDOL and USDA-FS). I would suggest that evolution to the BPA and away from MATOCs would suggest that the MATOCs were for some reason felt not to be successful. But I will never prove that either.
  7. Did I miss it or did some ask, and it was answered - Is this a commercial product? I am wondering because "supplier".
  8. No intent to exaggerate or even use the thought as a premise to damn the idea. Just thoughts that I think should be addressed. The question might be was the decision either way precedent setting? I played around just a little and looked at GAO's website and WIFCONs protest by FAR site. I looked at 15 protests. By looks but by no means statistically supportable 3 appeared to be in general to be protests by mom and pop. My discriminating factor was in the 3 only one name was listed as representing the protester and that name did not have an Esq. following it. Agrees with the numbers in my post. For everyone I got the numbers from this source which I suspect we are both using. https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-24-900538#:~:text=During the 2023 fiscal year,and 31 requests for reconsideration. Yes but as it goes would it be better spent or just spent away on something less? I do not have confidence that the saving would be used wisely. By no means statiscal supportable but by my simple math in the big picture it is $13.07 for every $100,000 spent in total Federal procurements. Thank you for catching my omission. Yes the "not" was intended. I hope you understand that my thoughts are intended to help narrow the true benefits of revamping how entities can challenge the rules of the game. And who needs to be best served by the revamp. Again from probably even higher than 30,000 feet the intent of the Federal procurment process is giving the opportunity for everyone to play, so the question might be should everyone be able to challenge as well? Both articles have been thought provoking for me, thanks for sharing them with the WIFCON community.
  9. "We have not seen any accounting or estimate of the total costs incurred due to bid protests and we have few facts, but we guesstimate that the total annual cost of the protest system—including litigation cost, the immediate and collateral effects on agency mission operation costs, and the associated executive and judicial branch administrative costs, and the direct and indirect costs to industry—comes to more than $100 million a year." I am not completely sold on the idea, yet I cannot quantify my personal reassurance that GAO protest system is good thing but it is something more than 0. Why? Having been a CO for several land use agencies (my terminology) I am not completely sold that protests are all filed by a "lawyered-up, entitled, corporate entity". My experience suggests that some are by the mom and pop that were frustrated by a system that finally drove them to an attempt use an independent body to voice their concerns about the rules of the game. The 30,000 foot view suggests that "thousands" of protests (2025 in FY 2023) is a subtle exageration. By example using 2023 there were the instances where a single case was filed but represented multiple docket numbers to reach the 2025 number. Likewise only 1,957 were protests with the remaining being cost claims or claims for reconsideration. And then there is the guesstimate of $100 million as compared to the $765 billion in procurements in 2023. With these two thoughts money alone does seem like a good justification to do away with a system where mom and pop for the cost of a stamp and time to jot their concerns down on a some paper can actually take on the mammoth procurement machine of the Federal government.
  10. I do not think the software would be capable of handling the magnitude of candidates submitted. Case in point...5 minutes on SAM.gov! 60100PR240000309 Now is a site visit required or not...."Site visit time date stamp must be present on the quote and site visit will be required to see the layout of the job. " But then again...."Bidders are encouraged to visit the site to become familiar with existing conditions" Quote, bid or negotiated procurement - "Bidders", "Submission of a quote" or "The Government intends to select for award the one responsible quote which conforms to the Bidding Requirements proposing a price that is fair and reasonable, and provides the Lowest Priced, Technically Acceptable (LPTA) quote." This will be my only submission I have other stuff to do!
  11. @ConTraCula I have not dug in yet. This comment is based on a quick view, your post and a different Forum discussion. It appears USAID does acquisitions through the SBA 8(a) program. If so has the the "training" included 13 CFR 124 along with USAIDs 8(a) Partnership Agreement? If not you might want to consider. Possibly even 13 CFR 121, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, and 129 as well. Basis for my suggestion is many times issues related to 8(a) and other small business programs leads the acquisition workforce to utilizing the CFR (and the partnership agreement) for guidance.
  12. Joel - In a nutshell this is my concern - that then extend to the questions you have posed and much, much more.
  13. As I followed this discussion thread lots of things ran through my mind. Consider them as you wish. I would voice concern that the agency has put you at risk by not operating within the regulatory conditions of the 8(a) program. As a 8(a) participant have you reached out to your designated servicing SBA office to discuss this situation especially in consideration of the regulations at 13 CFR 124 and most specifically .... 13 CFR 124.404 13 CFR 124.505(a)(4) 13 CFR 124.510(b) 13 CFR 124.514 - Think about priced and unpriced options. Seems like the latter to me just based on the basic information provided. 13 CFR 124.704
  14. With regard to your citation of regulations regarding JV's I believe those regulations deal with evaluating a JV, and the parties to that JV, that is an offeror on a solicitation. As I read your question yours is a different situation where you, now as individual contractor, want to utilize past performance information when you were once part of a JV. If I am reading correctly my view is if the solicitation is silent on what may or may not constitute acceptable citations of past performance I as the offeror would provide the past performance evaluation citations that best represented a direct connection to the future work being proposed on and then leave to the agency evaluation to determine if relevent.
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