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Everything posted by elf949

  1. Velhammer -- yes, the SBA is telling us that unless the SB is certified in SAM under the manufacturing NAICS code for the acquisition, we cannot claim the award in our SB goals. We can buy from them, but they would have to be coded in our system as a "large" business for that procurement. We were told to have our vendors enter as many manufacturing NAICS codes as possible in SAM. We were also told that in our next SBA audit, they will be looking specifically for NAICS codes printed on the RFPs/ITQs and on the POs, and they will be matching them to SAM to ensure that the vendor is indeed certified to that code. If they are not listed in SAM for the NAICS code we are buying, we have to get a separate signed certification from the vendor that they are "small" under the size standards for that NAICS code. It's quite the administrative nightmare right now. And part of the problem is that we are having to do this with ALL of our procurements -- whether $5 or $5,000,000. If we want to claim the SB dollars in our goals, we have to ensure that EVERY solicitation/order to a small business includes the NAICS code and the SB is certified in SAM as meeting the SB size standard for that NAICS code. It's creating a lot of extra paperwork and time that we did not previously have to contend with. Just wondering if any of the other primes out there are having to deal with this and how they are handling it. (Brian: love your reasoning!)
  2. I found this old thread and felt I should provide an update to it based on my recent experience with a bit of NAICS Code turmoil in the Prime Contractor arena. I work for a NASA prime contractor and we have our Small Business (SB) goals to meet, and we usually do a pretty good job of meeting those goals using small distributors around the country. These SBs supply the parts we need to support the Engineering & Technical services we provide. By procuring from distributors, we can claim the SB dollars associated with those buys. We have recently had to come up with new processes to accommodate changes in policy from our local SBA office. We have been instructed that NAICS codes 423xxx, 424xxx, 425xxx, 44xxxx or 45xxxx can no longer be used to classify our prime contract acquisitions; therefore, our SB vendors must enter actual manufacturing codes for all items they can supply to us. This has resulted in our vendors entering hundreds of NAICS codes in SAM (System for Award Management), because if they are not listed in SAM as a SB for the particular NAICS code of the item we are buying, then we can not claim the procurement dollars against our SB goals. I'm uneasy with telling our SBs to enter manufacturing codes, when they are clearly not manufacturers. Yet that is our new policy. A lot of our normal competition has gone out the window as a result of not being able to find more than one SB listed for the NAICS code of the item being bought. It's extremely time-consuming for the SBs to spend hours on the SAM website entering code after code to their profile -- one of my SBs spent over 5 hours listing over 250 NAICS codes to his profile! Have any of you other prime contractors run into this issue? How did your company work out a resolution? I'd be interested in knowing if any of you are struggling with this.
  3. FAR says that hourly rates in a T&M contract are fixed. FAR 16.601(c )(2). ?The contract shall specify separate fixed hourly rates that include wages, overhead, general and administrative expenses, and profit for each category of labor.? (emphasis added) This is further confirmed in the T&M payment clauses in FAR 52.232-7 and Alt I of 52.212-4 Alt I. They provide for calculating payment for labor by multiplying the hourly rate by the numbers of hours. But, as Vern points out, FAR is direction to Government contracting officers, not to a prime contractor.* A prime contractor must follow FAR only to the extent required by its prime contract. So, if your prime contract doesn?t prohibit ceilings on hourly rates, you can use same in a subcontract - but that wouldn?t be a T&M contract as described by FAR. I don?t know why one would want to create such a contract - or what to call it. If you simply set a ceiling (maximum) hourly rate for a T&M labor category, how would you determine any unspecified lower rates for the same labor category? Why would you expect to get billed for anything lower than the ceiling rate? You could fix the lower rates, but in so doing the so-called ceiling rate would become the highest of several rates, not a ceiling. This would conform to the FAR description of T&Ms. Maybe you could set up some method or establish standards for determining any rates lower than the ceiling. Ceilings on cost elements is a cost-reimbursement concept. Maybe your folks are thinking of advance agreements on cost elements, as described in FAR 31.109. *[One place where FAR seems to speak directly to prime contractors is 15.404-3 and [c]. There may be others.]
  4. In my 30 years of working for a prime contractor, the requirement for consent has never been cumulative, but is based on the individual procurement transaction amount (& type). Also, with my company, change orders stand alone as separate transactions for consent consideration. So if the change amount does not exceed the consent threshold, the change does not require consent. In your example, there are 2 separate subcontracts issued, each of which is below the consent threshold, therefore, neither of them would require consent.
  5. A few things to ponder on this subject: The EO does not cover managerial or supervisory positions, and does not require job offers at the same level as the incumbent contractor. No indication in the EO that new contractor must keep predecessor employees "whole" -- same rate, same benefits, etc. So in order to remain competitive, you must bid minimum hours, bid minimum SCA rates and employees (new or old) may have to accept cuts in pay to support your proposal price. Perhaps not many predecessor employees would want to stay with the new contractor at a reduced rate. Guess that depends on whether or not they have a job at all when incumbent leaves and new contractor takes over. What happens to your existing employees when you win the contract but are forced to offer positions to the predecessor contractor to comply with this EO?? Do you lay off your own people because you had to hire your predecessor's employees? That's sad. What does this do regarding Organizational Conflicts of Interest and non-hire clauses? There is some "wiggle room" in the fact that the new contractor does not have to offer jobs to predecessor employees that did not "perform suitably" -- but since new contractor will not have access to employee records of the predecessor contractor, how will that determination be made as to who was or was not "suitable"? And how many lawsuits will result before that is resolved? Is the fact that you were on the proposal team that lost the follow-on contract going to make you "not suitable"? Exercising an option to extend will be an exemption to this EO, so I guess we'd better be sure to include lots of options in any contracts we issue before the FAR is updated. Check the NCMA website -- they may have a transcript or information posted regarding their recent Webinar on 2-10-09 entitled "New Executive Order for Employment Under Federal Service Contracts" Just a thought....
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