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Everything posted by Mike_wolff

  1. I'm definitely concerned about the appearance of potential issues that arises by opening before the closing - which is why I generally say except in rare cases don't open until the closing date. And I also agree with ji20874, I wouldn't have any exchanges until after the closing.
  2. While in most cases (maybe all) I don't think it is good practice to open before closing (and as I noted it's office practice not to do so), and I agree with all the reasons Joel lists above. So I'm not saying it's something we SHOULD do, I'm just trying to determine if we MAY do it. In some cases one reason as noted above would be to get a jump start on past performance or other labor intensive evaluation process issues on urgent projects. So, I'm really looking for specific regs, laws, cases, etc., that says we can't do it, because as we know, unless prohibited in some way we can do
  3. Maybe I'm just missing it, but I can't find in the FAR or any case law that says when a Contracting Officer can open a proposal submitted in response to an RFP. Our office practice has always been that you don't open proposals until after the closing date, but is there a specific policy/case-law that dictates that a proposal can't be opened before the closing date? Thanks for any input you can provide! Mike
  4. Thanks - our conclusion too was that we can't waive the requirement. Thanks for everyone's time in responding.
  5. I question if you can remove it - without researching further, I would say you can't, because the prescription states that clause is to be inserted when the contract is EXPECTED to exceed $150,000. See 28.102-3(a) below. The fact the bid came in under $150K doesn't change the expected cost, and since some form of payment protection is still required, how much money would be saved? It might not be worth the work to modify and negotiate the change. However, interesting the clause already addresses contracts coming in under at $150K or less. 52.228-15 However, it doesn't say wh
  6. First there will have to be a huge investment in the IT budget. We still don't even have an electronic offer system in my service - to go to full AI it will take that and a LOT more. The biggest hurdle would be on best value tradeoff decisions, but there's ways (some for better, some for worse) you could automate that as well.
  7. Right, just some some form of payment protection. I was hoping to find a waiver to ANY form of payment protection for work between $35-150K.
  8. I'm looking for a way to waive the payment protection requirement required in 28.102-1(b), for work at a domestic, government-owned property. We have emergency repairs needed and don't want to delay the work waiting for a contractor to get payment protection (although I know in many cases a payment bond might take only 1-3 days to get, we want to streamline this as much as possible). Since I've posted the above, my legal counsel has said they have found no way to waive this requirement. I'm hoping someone might be able to say otherwise.
  9. Does anyone know if there is a waiver process to the payment protection requirements in 28.102-1(b) (please see below). 28.102-1(a) references a waiver option, but (b) doesn't appear to, but given the small dollar amount I find it hard to believe there isn't one. I'm still researching this and my legal office is my next stop, but was hoping someone here might have a quick answer - thanks!!! Mike 28.102-1 General. (a) 40 U.S.C. chapter 31, subchapter III, Bonds (formerly known as the Miller Act), requires performance and payment bonds for any construction contract exceeding $
  10. Bob - I missed this post last year, so Happy 16th to Wifcon! Thank you VERY much for running this site - I echo what has been said above, this site is invaluable to the federal contracting community.
  11. We are having a similar discussion in my agency right now, and I find that a common point of confusion is the difference between SOLICITING without funds being currently available, and AWARDING without funds being currently available. 52.232-18 applies to contracts awarded without funds being available, not a solicitation being issued without funds being available. I'm not aware of anything that prohibits issuing a solicitation without funds being available. I know it is not preferred, but as long as you put potential offerors on notice that funds are not currently available, and the solicit
  12. More Guns, Less Crime by John Lott, Jr. (3rd Edition) An excellent statistical analysis of various gun laws, both restrictive and permissive, and their resultant impact on crime.
  13. One of the areas you should consider is "whether the change could have been anticipated by offerors." ("Administration of Government Contracts," 4th Ed, page 386.)
  14. I was at the Nash & Cibinic Report Roundtable a couple of weeks ago and one of the presenters (I believe it was Marcia Madsen, but it may have been someone else) mentioned that there was a recent surprising court decision regarding conflict of interest with a major defense contractor, and that the decision was surprising because the contractor was speaking to the Government as an industry rep, but apparently that was the only contractor the Gov did market research with and the court concluded that the contractor was prohibited from competing on the procurement they gave comments on. I ma
  15. Just so you know, in the opinion of many GAO is off-base on their "BPA is not a contract" when that BPA is done against a GSA Schedule. See this discussion here: http://www.wifcon.com/discussion/index.php...pic=258&hl=
  16. "Never wrestle with a pig - you'll both get dirty but only the pig will love it." That being said, in a case where you may have not already done so, I think it's important to explain why you are doing what you are doing, and in the vast majority of cases I've been involved with where someone wanted us to buy something the wrong way, I've been able to find a correct way to accomplish the same - or even better - result.
  17. Joel, I'm not sure if you're are speaking to a general audience with the above post, or if you think I'm trying to be one of the people fitting square pegs into round holes, but let me assure you that I definitely am not. Sadly, COs usually do have to follow (although not blindly - often our eyes are bulging at the stupidity) "dumb" rules - because they are usually based in law. No one has given any CO the right to ignore laws or regs they think are dumb. There are a lot of "dumb" rules Contracting Officers have to follow. We can - and do - work to change them, but just like one man's pork
  18. Vern and Joel, Thanks much for the renewed discussion on this issue. I believe it has confirmed my understanding that we do need to have binding unit prices established in the base contract that are used in the competition of future task orders. That always seemed relatively clear to me except that the proliferation of contracts that do not comply with that that started to make me doubt my understanding. I do also agree that it may not make sense in many ways to have such a requirement (although in other ways it does), since when does federal procurement laws and regs have to make sense in
  19. Thanks Vern. My N&CR subscription lapsed for a few months I believe (either that or our mail room lost them because I've started receiving them again) and I didn't get the April 2011 issue. Is there any way to get that article?
  20. I suggest you start with Vol. 1 of the Principles of Federal Appropriations Law (the GAO Redbook) here: http://www.gao.gov/special.pubs/d04261sp.pdf and then search for the phrase "multiple year." This should be a good starting point to focus your research. "Multiple year" comes up 31 times in this volume, so it's not a ton to read, but regardless, I think you need to read the document regardless of length because appropriation law can get very messy, so I think it's best to go straight to the source documents and not rely on someone else's summation.
  21. Joel, Thanks very much for the detailed response you gave above. Due to the issues discussed, I don't understand how you can comply with CICA without getting binding prices for the task orders at the time you award the base IDIQ. And given the problems you discussed (which I appreciate because I've been considering structuring an IDIQ based on RS Means coefficients or something similar) is it really possible to structure a good IDIQ for construction and comply with CICA. I know you have a lot of examples of what has been done, and I've seen many myself, but that all being said, what argume
  22. Vern, yes, that is my question. My understanding is that in order to comply with CICA for a fixed price IDIQ contract that the prices established in the base contract must be binding for the task orders. If not, all the base contract does is establish a pre-qualified list that awards a seed contract (if one is used) and limits competition on future procurements for the task orders without ever actually competing those prices on a full-and-open basis.
  23. I know this was debated a while ago, but I'm having discussions about this same topic now - specifically for construction contracts. The problem I see with the cited GAO decisions about seed or sample projects is that they are discussing whether they are valid price evaluation techniques for the BASE contract, but do not address whether not having binding pricing for the subsequent task orders is valid. While I do think that getting pricing from multiple award IDIQ contractors helps ensure price competition, I don't see how it complies with CICA. I'm very aware how pre-pricing construction
  24. Just an update. I have found two GAO cases that I think support the position that a change in performance period is within the scope of the original competition and within the scope of the contract. Following below are links to those two of those cases with excerpts from each. If anyone has any thoughts or other cases on point re: this issue I'd love to hear them. Thanks again. Mike http://redbook.gao.gov/12/fl0056789.php Phase III of the contract was originally scheduled to be completed by January 1, 1988. After numerous modifications, the contract currently extends until November 16, 199
  25. I've been consulted on an issue where a Contracting Officer in another region is administering a contract for work to be performed in my region. A service contract was awarded with a performance period of one-year, with a one-year option. Due to a miscommunication of contract requirements the performance period put in the contract was not the period needed by the program office and they need to revise the performance period. The CO claims that they are not allowed to change the performance period, only extend it using 52.217-8 Option to Extend Services. I believe you could negotiation a n
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