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Everything posted by MustangBob

  1. Thank you H2H! Your interpretation of my question was spot on and the answer provided was very helpful!
  2. Hello All, I was just wondering if it is going too far when the KO requests a copy of the DCAA audit report with proposal submission on a cost type contract. Shouldn't the letter from DCAA/DCMA stating that the cost accounting system/purchasing system is acceptable enough? What happens if the vendor has the DCAA/DCMA letter, but does not have the audit report itself?
  3. To add to this - The estimate is in fact a range that of course is less than the budget by a percentage. A lot of IGCEs are based on historical information and current labor rates with a percentage for inflation..... In saying that, If I post a range of $10 - $20mil and lets say the award is $12 mil. My thought this could eventually mess up the IGCE and go against posting the range because that award price goes into the "historical information" for formulating the IGCE for the next award 3 - 5 years down the road.
  4. Thanks for the responses all! There are some definitely good points here, my thoughts is that it could tie your hands when negotiating. I look at it in the terms of buying a car or a house, usually the first question asked by the salesman/Realtor is what's your budget...... If you say $30k for the car, they show you all the cars as close to the $30k range, no? what's the likely hood your going to be able to negotiate when you just told the sales man your budget is $30k. He's goal is to leave as little money on the table for his commission! So, if you post a range for a requirement, say it's 10% below your budget and the range is between "$10 - $20 mil", what's the likely hood of a offeror leaving money on the table if you post the range? especially in this environment. What's the likely hood that the offeror offering an innovative approach and come in at a cost savings of lets say $6 mil? To add some more info for this healthy debate, more detail to the circumstances: FAR Subpart 8.4 buy- commercial services/labor contract. nothing out of the ordinary. At my previous employer, I awarded a contract where there were two technically acceptable offerors, but we couldn't justify for coming to work in the Ferrari vs the Toyota. If I would have posted the range, based on the IGCE, it would have been a Toyota wrapped in a BWM body.. Not to toot my own horn, but in that requirement, I saved the government over $30mil..... If I would have posted the range, what's the possibility that I would have been able to save well over 30% of the IGCE value?
  5. Hello, I wanted to see what others thought about posting the total estimated value, in the form of a range, for a requirement. Without giving away too much information, it's a common practice at my employer to give the total estimated value, in the form of a range, for only the T&M, labor hour, and cost type CLINS at time of the solicitation. The value does not include any material, Firm Fixed Price, ODCs, or travel CLINS. I am having a hard time being comfortable with showing a portion of my cards to potential offerors as 1) I fear it could potentially limit the government in receiving the best value for these types of services, 2) The only time I thought we could really give ranges was for construction type contracts, and 3) my experience with government IGCEs being accurate is worse than the odds in Vegas... What do you think?
  6. I agree with a lot of things said in the past two pages, however, I think better training might be more effective than more people. You can throw as many people and great training into the workforce, but if you can't eliminated the dead weight at the top of the flagpole, then what is the point? I came into the 1102 world via an intern program- rotated throughout DoD and Civilian agencies. I took tons of training and even took Vern's FAR boot camp. The problem that I faced was the resistance/lack of training from the dead weight at the top of the flag pole when I tried to bring my training back and implement it into what I was doing. While at DoD I had a supervisor, whom worked DoD all 20+ years of their 1102 career, tell me that we don't need to follow the DFARs, or place any DFARs clauses into our DoD contracts.......... Now what do you think happened to all that training for someone fresh to the 1102 career field with a supervisor like that? I will say that I put up a good fight on that particular issue, but at the end of the day, he was my supervisor and he was signing the contracts. The sad thing, there were 4 other interns he supervised. While still being relatively an infant in this career, even though I'm now a KO, this is something that I face every day. The "dead weight" is what is killing this career field and any training improvements thrown at it. Of all the DAU/MCI/FAI etc acquisition classes I have taken, several times the folks that were the most out of touch with the what was being taught was the 14s/15s KOs and 1102 Supervisors. In the private industry, these people would be fired on the spot. So to answer one of Vern's questions - "If we need more or better training, and if we need more people, do we need more people because the current workforce is not sufficiently well trained?" In my own opinion, I think the fresh workforce, between 3-5 years of experience, has had good training (Not Great). DAU has come a long way in improving it's training and make it more meaningful. I went and took CON 090 (After taking FAR Bootcamp) and thought the revamped training was out of this world. As an 1102, I believe it's pertinent for all 1102s to go back and take Acq specific training even if it means taking 4 weeks for CON 090. I was worth it's weight in gold. How do we get more meaningful training? Further separate the training into specific areas that 1102s deal with...e Get away from training on large weapon systems (Go Fire Fox!), the majority of us 1102s deal with- SAP buys, Services buys, IT buys, etc. Not once I have purchased or done any R&D contracting on a attack drone. I also think it's time to readdress how training is implemented throughout the entire workforce. I think 1102s should have to take a test every couple years to maintain their certification, simply taking continuing learning courses to stay certified is a joke especially since I can go take a class on cutting grass and apply it to my CLCs. - This would be one way to cut the dead weight. Just my two cents.......
  7. Dakrtgrl, I agree with a lot of the information above. The only thing I would add is that you might want to consider trying to obtain some kind of warrant and spending a few (5 years +) utilizing the warrant. I cannot tell you how many doors were open when I was able to put "warranted contracting officer" on my resume. I will also go on further to say that you would be more marketable if you can walk the walk and talk the talk. I have met many 1102s that talk a lot, but when it comes to doing the deal, they are no where to be found. I will admit that I have seen offers between the $150k - $170k mark in D.C. but they didn't include great benefits and nothing really towards retirement. Another thing to note, a lot of my CTR friends are trying to come back to the government because they had some periods (6 months) not employed. Someone has to pay the bills and making....... Furthermore and coming from a financial background, make sure you have enough money in savings if you do plan on making the jump for those potential periods of no employment. Also and if possible, try to max out your government TSP ..... you will not find anything as good as the Gov't TSP in the private sector unless you make it to the top of the company.
  8. ^Thanks Vern.... Sounds like another potential blog topic? or is this not exciting enough?!? Fortunately, I passed this action back to the contracting officer that awarded the sole source contract. So essentially I washed my hands of this matter, but have provided my opinion and it appears that he has provided compelling argument to OGC to afford us the ability to do another J&A for the 6 month -8 extension. Coming from DoD, we evaluated -8 along with the option years covered in -9 up front so I never had the issues I was facing with this sole source contract. This is something I plan to implement with my new employer......
  9. Sorry for not clarifying in enough detail, but Culham you're assumption is correct. The 6 month base period and two 3 month options have all been exercised. I shouldn't have cut corners by saying 1 yr PoP. Sorry about that, but you guys do realize that it's hard to go into a lot of detail on this forum without spilling the full can of beans on an active issue/procurement, right? At my previous agency that I worked for, if -8 wasn't evaluated at time of award and it was needed due to specific reasons, we did the J&A and handled it as a supplemental agreement. That's what I would like to do, but my new agency isn't familiar with Sole source contracts or the use of the -8 clause. Thus my issue while trying to avoid a huge break in services.
  10. That's the problem, they said "no", but didn't suggest anything to avoid a lapse. They provided no rationale or any agency policy to support their opinion. I am used to an opinion from GC to include some kind of reference to GAO cases/agency policies etc. so that I can see/learn where/how they formed their opinion. I'm waiting their response to their rationale..... We'll see what they have to say.
  11. The contract was never extended. we've used up the 1 yr PoP and only have the -8 to potentially extend. So it sounds like I am reading the GAO case incorrectly then. Because we didn't evaluate -8, we can't use it even though it was included in the RFQ and on the contract?
  12. I'm trying not to copy and paste their entire response, but no, Legal is stating that since the -8 clause wasn't mentioned in the originating J&A for the sole source contract, that we can't use the clause even though the contract has both -8 and -9 clauses included and they are appropriate as there are options on the contract. No "ifs, ands, or buts." It's almost as if they are saying, "because you didn't have the changes clause specifically addressed in the originating J&A" , you cannot make any changes to the sole source contract regardless of what they are. That was my interpretation of their response. I'm not implying that the -8 was automatic, but based on the circumstance surrounding the contract and how hot the environment is for protests, including this clause is a given (even though not required). No? I know that I would need to do a J&A for the exercising of -8 since it was not originally evaluated at time of award. My assumption is the same as Joel's in regards to: I didn't interpret the GAO case to state that I needed to do an entirely new contract.
  13. I agree with Vern's Post #17. I have sat in many of these meetings that are suppose to be "how do I do business with the government" and turn into " what information can you give me to get your business." My response has always been- To do business with the government, look for an RFQ/RFP etc etc on GPEs and respond to them the best you can...
  14. Thanks for the responses! I am 100% on board that another J&A would need to be written to exercise the -8 clause since it wasn't evaluated at time of award (based on GAO)..... Roger that! Legal is saying that there is nothing to prohibit the use of the -8 clause so long 1) it was considered at time of award, and 2) was included in the originating Sole Source Contract J&A, prior to award of that contract. Further states that the J&A for a sole source award are typically based on the sole source award lasting for limited period of time and the 6 months allowed under the -8 clause is not discussed. They go on to further state that it sounds like the clause wasn't properly considered..... My argument right now is that the J&A states that there will be options used... if options will be used in the contract, shouldn't the applicable clauses be incorporated? I have done tons of Sole Source contracts and never had to specify that the -8 clause is incorporated etc etc. I have never seen a prescription say, don't use clause in a sole source contract. Prior to submitting this topic, I did ask for a rational (GAO case/ or agency policy). Still waiting for a response. I did send several GAO cases and some WIFCON posts
  15. Hello All, After being a member of WIFCON for some time and spending tons of time reading the blogs and posts on the forum, it's time for my first post. I have inherited a situation...... I have a Sole Source contract that was originally awarded for a 6 month base and two 3 month options. The contract was put in place because of a GAO Protest, of which, my agency had to take corrective action. The sole source contract included the 52.217-8 clause since the inclusion of options was appropriate. The J&A for the sole source contract didn't specify the inclusion of the -8 clause and -8 was not evaluated at time of award. More time is needed to award the new contract and exercising the -8 clause was my plan (Of course justifying the use with a J&A)..... The main issue- our legal office is stating that since the J&A was silent of the -8 clause, we can't use it. Furthermore, they are stating that the -8 clause shouldn't be used in sole source contracts. This is the first time I have heard this. I am more than aware of all the GAO cases in regards to using 52.217-8 etc etc and Vern's Blog "Exercising Options: There is more to it than just the FAR", but I am at loss of words in providing a response back our legal office. A break in service is not an option. Any advice?
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