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  1. You highlight some great points. This has all been very helpful. Industry does have the answers, not the government. I see your point.
  2. I see your point, and I agree. 1. Yes. 2. The results would probably be worse if the government relied only on its own processes to solve the problem. I see your point. 3. I have been through course through 280 for the Level II cert in Contracting. I felt the courses' content was good but the time allotted to do them was far too long. The courses could all have been reduced in time by at least 50%. I have always thought the DAU courses could be improved. I see your point. 4. Industry is almost always better at finding solutions to problems. I see your point.
  3. So the FAI (and DAU?) course content is created by contractors? Instructors are contractors at FAI? Perhaps a better approach would be for the FAI or DAU to create a new course?
  4. An interesting draft SOW came across my desk the other day. A customer (high level office in the Pentagon) is seeking to hire contractors to help its own contracting officers/specialists and other agencies' specialists learn how to write effective SOWs... The goal would be to create a training program that teaches contract specialists how to write effectively. This appears to be completely backwards (circular Excel reference error comes to mind), and quite honestly, very embarrassing for this agency as well as government as a whole. Their apparent solution to the problem: If the DAU can't create a course to accomplish this or an agency lacks competent leadership to teach its employees to write effective SOWs, just throw money at the problem (ironically with a bad SOW probably) and see what sticks? Any comments, thoughts?
  5. In case anyone was wondering what happened to this, the Defense AT&L magazine has stated that it intends to publish my final article on this subject in its March 1st 2017 issue. I hope you all like it!
  6. My plan is to start with where I am - the Navy Secretariat. I will contact the Chief of Staff at the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Acquisition and Procurement (DASN AP) and if no traction occurs I'll move through some NAVSUP channels outside my sphere of influence. If NAVSUP balks at the idea I will move onto the CNO's "Rapid Innovation Cell" and see where it goes from there. I could also try to talk to someone at the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research Development and Acquisition (ASN RD&A) or possibly even the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition Technology and Logistics (USD AT&L). My main problem of course, is lack of rapport or any concrete solution. It will be a challenge to gain traction, no doubt.
  7. Boof, Regarding your comment about how this will place an undue burden on small businesses...I disagree. I see this as an opportunity for a commercial software product to be developed and purchased by small businesses that will write the contracts for them. I can't predict what the price of said software would be but I would expect the price would be driven to a "competitive level" given it will be in high demand (because it's required they write the contracts now) and many competitors will write competing software programs to answer the need.
  8. Well said PepeTheFrog; that's a very strong argument.
  9. My opinion regarding the "fox guarding the hen house" is that no more protection is offered if the KO were to originate the clauses in the contract and make a mistake than if the contractor were to make a mistake. Perhaps it will create a more proactive acquisition force that understands clauses better. Solicitations can be created through options like Fedbid, fedbizopps, GSA eBuy, etc. The SOW/PWS would be created by the Government, of course, and solicited through the above. Of course there are countless other hurdles because I have a primitive understanding of the complexities at stake - but like you said - it's an interesting discussion.
  10. I'm sure there is a very easy explanation to this but I'm starting to wonder why SPS/PD2 even exists (I know PD2 is being replaced soon and this applies to any future contract writing software too). It was made a long time ago (early 90's I think?) and perhaps these days its more efficient to have the contractors actually write the contracts. In short, it seems the Government should be able to efficiently motivate each awardee to write the contract and any modifications for the Government and just have KOs review them thus eliminating our need for our own contract writing software system. (We would still need to upload data into FPDS and WAWF of course). Here's my long thought process for anyone who wants to read it: In 2010, then Under Secretary of Defense (AT&L) Ashton Carter established the Better Buying Power initiative. The initiative challenged acquisition officials in DoD to seek savings first through eliminating excessive costs and unproductive overhead and second by getting industry involved. One area where both of these objectives can be achieved is through the reduction and ultimate elimination our reliance on Procurement Desktop Defense (PD2) by placing the responsibility of writing the actual contracts on Industry. Contracting Officers would still maintain the responsibility to award the contract via approval of the contact provided by Industry and they would still need to upload all necessary information in Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS). The overall goal would be the complete elimination of PD2 but that is not appropriate in the short run. An appropriate area to test this would be in the procurement of commonly used software products. DFARS 208.7402 directs contracting activities to use DoD ESI when the required software or hardware is available. In my current position I serve as a warranted Ordering Officer at the Department of the Navy, Assistant for Administration (DON/AA) and I am frequently tasked with ordering software licenses. Let’s consider only Microsoft products. The contract for Microsoft licenses has already been competitively awarded to one specific contractor thus there is no solicitation for quotes or evaluation of quotes needed but rather there is an ordering process that must be followed. This process requires the Ordering Officer to create the Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) call in PD2. The main area for improvement lies is the creation of the contract itself. PD2 is part of the larger Standard Procurement System (SPS) that actually writes DoD contracts. PD2 also uploads contract data into the Wide Area Workflow (WAWF) which allows for proper invoicing, payment, document retrieval, etc. As many PD2 users know the system frequently experiences latency issues and sometimes it is down all together. The interface is dated and cumbersome and could use significant modernization. This article is not about how to improve PD2 but rather how to reduce and eliminate DoD’s dependency on the system. This is where efficiency can be achieved. Can the Government properly incentivize industry to create the physical contract document, without PD2, after an Ordering Officer places the order? Why can’t the Government require the contractor to create the physical contract in the required uniform contract format and return it to the Ordering Officer for review and signature? Think about the last time you signed a contract for work to be done on your home or your car. Did you write the contract or did the contractor write the contract? Imagine going to the contractor’s website and placing an order for the desired Microsoft software – just like you would if it were a personal purchase. The Ordering Officer fills out all the necessary fields and the contractor returns a contract to the Ordering Officer in the correct format for a bilateral signature. What are the advantages to this? 1. The Government will receive a contract more quickly because the contractor will be motivated to create an efficient process to get the contract completed. This will result in the Government receiving the software quickly. 2. The Government will not need to use its own labor to create a PD2 document. I can personally attest that sometimes it can take an entire day to build 1 contract depending on the number of contract line items (CLINs) and the latency of PD2. 3. The contractor will improve their cash flow by receiving orders more quickly. It is possible, that literally the day the Contracting Officer places the order on the industry’s website the contract can be returned for bilateral signature. 4. If the labor associated with procuring software can be burdened by industry this can possibly expand to other areas in contracting and possibly eliminating the need for PD2 altogether. What are the disadvantages? 1. A process will need to be created to allow the Contracting or Ordering Officer to input the contract into WAWF for proper invoicing and payment for non GPC transactions. 2. A process will need to be created to allow the Contracting or Ordering Officer to input the necessary contract data into FPDS without PD2. 3. Part of the evaluation criteria will rest on the contractor’s ability to demonstrate the capability to make the contract in the correct format. This added service will raise the cost of the products but theoretically these added costs would be much smaller than the savings previously mentioned. In the short term I think it is possible to test this but getting the contract data into FPDS will be the major hurdle. Overall, the potential of savings and efficiency is high eliminating PD2 is possible (a contract awarded in 2006 to CACI International indicated that over $70,000,000 was spent to maintain SPS/PD2 for five years (search for it you'll find it online)). Contracting and Ordering Officers only need to focus on the accuracy of each contract and then use that contract to input data into FPDS and WAWF outside of PD2. I believe the removal of PD2 aligns with the Better Buying Power initiative goals of eliminating excessive costs/unproductive overhead and getting industry involved. Let’s start the conversation and find out if Industry has a solution that can save the tax payers millions while continuing to achieve our goals as acquisition professionals.
  11. Wow, interesting read! Just for the record, it is commercial software without any software development. The GSA contract is GS-35F-0598S. Here is the price list, see IS-15. ACES GSA pricelist IdeaScale April 21 2015.pdf
  12. If anyone is curious this is the software...it's called "Ideascale" and it's one of SECNAV's projects. It's a user based, crowd sourcing platform. The Navy can only guess as to how many users will be signed up in the coming years so it's difficult to estimate the price. The current product is offered by Alamo City Engineering Services, Inc. They are on GSA. https://doninnovation.ideascale.com/a/index
  13. I currently have an active F type contract for a term software license. No period of performance was establish in section F; only a delivery date was established. However, in section B the item description describes a period of performance for 12 months from date of delivery. I am working on a procurement package for the follow-on competition and I have run into a question I can't find the answer to. What is the right way to identify term software licenses? Should PSC 7030 be used or is there a specific service code that should be used? https://psctool.us/search?pscsearchkeyword=7030&requesturi=https%3A%2F%2Fpsctool.us%2Fsearch%3F Thanks for the help everyone.
  14. I admit my incorrectness. Without referencing the Constitution, it is my opinion that the WOSB program is at risk of losing its intended purpose without a firm definition of a woman. That is all I am trying to say.
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