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Posts posted by apsofacto

  1. On ‎2‎/‎2‎/‎2020 at 11:37 AM, Unauthorized commitment said:

    From a career perspective, I am eyeing to eventually transition to a role which offers project management opportunities on the program side. 

    Sometimes I wish there was a WIFPROJ.com.

    If you are serious about becoming a project manager I don't think you could avoid the PMP if you wanted to.  It seems like many of them have it.  I'm a procurement person though, so take with a dose of salt.

  2. 13 hours ago, Ibn Battuta said:

    The issue is that contractual enforcement of specifications and clauses would be limited to the work done up until the point at which the contractor reached the ceiling. That's because any work beyond that point would be gratuitous and thus, presumably, not subject to the contract terms.

    I was trying to tackle the problem you described in this quote.  If I keep going down this road, though, it may become a de facto conversion to a firm fixed price. 

  3. Another possible challenge: We have regulations which are easy to find, but there are other influences on what we do, for example audit reports and GAO decisions.  They may not always perfectly line up.  For example organizational conflict of interest in the FAR is addressed slightly differently than how the GAO addresses it.

    FAR 9.905:


    The two underlying principles are-

          (a) Preventing the existence of conflicting roles that might bias a contractor’s judgment; and

          (b) Preventing unfair competitive advantage. In addition to the other situations described in this subpart, an unfair competitive advantage exists where a contractor competing for award of any Federal contract possesses-

               (1) Proprietary information that was obtained from a Government official without proper authorization; or

               (2) Source selection information (as defined in 2.101) that is relevant to the contract but is not available to all competitors, and such information would assist that contractor in obtaining the contract.

    The GAO often writes something like this:


    Subpart 9.5 of the FAR, and decisions of our Office, broadly identify three categories of OCIs: biased ground rules, unequal access to information, and impaired objectivity. McConnell Jones Lanier & Murphy, LLP, B-409681.3, B-409681.4, Oct. 21, 2015, 2015 CPD ¶ 341 at 13.

    The GAO splits the two principles into three categories.  They don't conflict or anything, but may cause your computer a headache. 

    I don't know how ambitious your project is, but I find the audits very frustrating.  They may be your highest, sourest fruit to pick.  I wish you the best of luck!

  4. 14 hours ago, formerfed said:

    Fortunately my boss was in charge of agency facilities and understood procurement.  Just about everyone got a private office after the renovation.

    It probably helped his case that cubicles are expensive and the vendors kill you on relocations  and reconfigurations for years afterward too.  I think they were invented to reduce the possibility of heavy petting (ahem!) at work.  Only a theory!

  5. 2 hours ago, Gonzo said:

    My current work situation is a more or less "open" office plan, which I am not a fan of. I am lucky insofar as the folks that sit around me are pretty quiet, but there is no way to have a discussion, in person or on the phone, without disturbing those around you. Needless to say, conference rooms are in high demand around here. 

    I hope we can all agree that open offices and cubicles are bad.  I've never had a proper office at work, it just struck me that I'd actually be able to concentrate here if I had a door I could actually close.

  6. Quote

    Those senior leaders interviewed suggested the best way to address this “need for speed” will be to shift the role of the contracting professional from “process-centered rule-enforcer” to “mission centered solution maker.” (page 5)

    I think my therapist calls this "projection".  The Contracting professional is not the person who convinces Congress to change rules, the "senior leaders" are.  If the existing rules are harmful in some way then persuade Congress to change them. 

  7. I've done it for a few years now.  If you have to actually write something, or deeply focus on something, then you can't beat teleworking.  Huge benefit is that I'm sick and contagious, I can get some things done without infecting the whole office.  Can also get a few things done here and there if a kiddo is sick and you have to stay home to care for them.

    It works fine for day-to-day work.

    It stinks for work that required a lot of collaboration.  Overall a mixed bag, which is why I only do it once every two weeks.

    I don't cheat, but I'm sure some people do.  Folks cheat when they are in the building too, though.

  8. 7 hours ago, PD216ohio said:

    If it matters, the only two bidders were the other company and myself.  Both our bids were under the government estimated magnitude for this construction project.

    Full disclosure I was assuming IFB because of this verbiage.  Please disregard if it was in fact an RFP.  Thank you Carl!

  9. 6 hours ago, PD216ohio said:

    but the NPS insisted they wanted to resolicit with the exact same solicitation package. Nothing has changed but the dates.


    4 hours ago, ji20874 said:

    There was no solicitation cancellation. 

    It sounded a little like it had been cancelled and resolicited (emphasis added).  You could be right of course, but the OP knows for sure.

    2 hours ago, Jacques said:

    @apsofacto, a reprocurement contract represents a government purchase against the account of a defaulted contractor.  As such, reprocurement contracts are not subject to statutory and regulatory rules governing competition.

    This is true, but I don't think we know if a termination for default actually occurred.  If it had the agency could move on to the second bidder and charge the price delta to the defaulted contractor. 

    BTW, when I had to dig into this, I found these things to ponder when going through a reprocurement after default:

    1. The time elapsed since the original competition          

    2. Whether liquidated damages are being charged   

    3. Whether METRO intends to charge reprocurement costs 

    4. The urgency of the defaulted work.

    If there are more I'd love to hear it.  I very well may have missed a few. Below is the source material . . .

    Maersk Line, Limited, B-410445, B-410445.2: Dec 29, 2014

    Aerosonic Corporation, B-232730: Jan 18, 1989

    Central Air Services, Inc. , B-208449: Dec 14, 1982

  10. I know that it is a little more difficult to cancel an IFB than an RFP because folks' prices are revealed publicly.  However, I don't think this is a productive line of attack- you are welcome to peruse Bob's curated list of failed IFB cancellation protests here:


    The Government may have a good reason to have cancelled, there could have been issues with the funding, for example, or perhaps they needed to get some regulatory approval that they did not yet have.  

    It is irksome it was reissued without changes, and your price is just hanging out in the open.  Maybe if you call them on the phone and ask for an explanation, they can give you some peace of mind?

  11. 1 hour ago, ji20874 said:

    Doesn't the cardinal change doctrine apply only post-award?  I think this thread is pre-award, and I would prefer not to think of cardinal changes in pre-award settings.

    Yes it does.  Is there any value in this follow up question though:

              'If this change were occurring during contract performance (rather than prior to award and after receipt of proposals), would it be a cardinal change?'

    Folks seem to have a pretty good feel for what constitutes a cardinal change, and there is a lot of ink spilled on that subject, so I was trying to leverage some of that in answering the OP's question if possible.  If these concepts are totally unrelated, I'm relying on the group to send me back to my corner.

  12. A PR is when someone hands you an envelope of money and says 'Can you go get ________________ for me?  It's cool with everyone if we get _______.' 

    Except on paper instead of in person.  Then I launch into the particulars.

    I found this explanation is good for new folks.  If your audience is more sophisticated please disregard.

  13. 3 minutes ago, ji20874 said:

    The exchange does not have to be "equal" in any sense.


    16 minutes ago, Retreadfed said:

    The issue here is consideration for the change to the contract.  Consideration only needs to be adequate, i.e., more than nominal.

    I think these are the takeaways, then.  The dollarizing may just be a symptom of many of us not realizing this.  Thanks both. 

  14. 20 hours ago, Deaner said:

    My guess would be if you assigned a cost per day during the solicitation, that would be the cost per day for liquidated damages. I don’t know enough about road user costs, but it appears to be a cost to the public and not a damage to the government, so I don’t know that the part B multiple would be appropriate for liquidated damages.

    That's what I thought too.  That passage states also:


    A disincentive provision, that assesses road user costs, is incorporated into the contract to discourage the contractor from overrunning the time "bid" for the project. In addition, an incentive provision should be included to reward the contractor if the work is completed earlier than the time "bid."

    I'm actually in Texas.  So deep in Texas the BBQ place near my house gives you a discount if you open carry.  I didn't think we were allowed to apply a penalty in that fashion.  That's why I was assuming the multiplier and the LD amount would be the same.

    Thanks for sharing all that- it was interesting!

  15. 2 hours ago, Deaner said:

    I saw a state solicitation for construction recently where price was evaluated using a cost and time method. The contractor would propose their cost for the project and then the number of days from NTP to completion. The number of days was multiplied by $X and added to the cost for the total evaluated price. The awarded price was the cost portion but the evaluated price included time also as a price related factor. 

    That's interesting!  Do you remember if there was a liquidated damages clause?  If so, was it the same amount as the multiplier?  Seems like that would be internally consistent . . .

    Also, which state?  I'm working under state code now and it doesn't seem very flexible about that kind of thing, but maybe it's just Texas . . .

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