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Constricting Officer

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    "Be patient. It is about progress, not perfection."

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  1. Part 16 - Types of Contracts | Acquisition.GOV - FAR 16.202-1 - "A firm-fixed-price contract provides for a price that is not subject to any adjustment on the basis of the contractor’s cost experience in performing the contract." There are situations where I would entertain it as a CO (AE contract, in CPS 6 years after award), but there is no precedent to support doing such widely. The questions is where do you get the authority? Suspension, delay, changes or economic price adjustment (maybe)?
  2. I've have 9 more but it won't let me upload them. I give up.
  3. Don - Thank you for the update. Vern - Thank you for all you have done over the years. Sharing knowledge, info and keeping conversations on the right track. I am still fairly new to the career field and have benefitted greatly from your insight. You will be greatly missed and of course you have my best wishes for towards health. Take care. One more thing - I have saved down some of your comments over the years, that I found to be very insightful or down right hilarious (mostly this one). I have attached in your honor sir.
  4. This is actually a 23 comment conversation/answer? Amendment to Solicitation (RFQ/IFB/RFP/Whatever they call things under 16.505) Modification to Contract (Stand Alone/Purchase Order/Task Order/Delivery Order) Do we need to go further than this?
  5. Did the RFQ allow for submission of "equal" or "alternate" products to begin with?
  6. I am also a millennial, but feel I am also the exception to the normal way my peers were raised. I was taught the world I come into was only present because of those who come before. I would have to choose to maintain or to make it better. If I choose neither, it could only become worse. There were no trophies for all, “your perfect the way you are” speeches or “you can be anything you want to be” lines used. More along the lines of “you deserve nothing” and “you can sometimes earn things you will never receive.” I have refined the thoughts as I got older, but those are how they were meant no matter the words used. A person who walks out the door each morning thinking they deserve something is unhappy, unproductive and bitter each night. Sadly, that describes most I was raised around. “A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.” – Benjamin Franklin
  7. Just to a simple thought - "FAR 17.204(e) - Unless otherwise approved in accordance with agency procedures, . . . " It sounds like your agency doesn't know, which is also sad, that it makes this decision.
  8. It does not. The situations outlined above show how there is not a constant answer to all questions in the contracting realm. Stop looking for them.
  9. Isn't there always (the answer is "not always")? Part 13 - Simplified Acquisition Procedures | Acquisition.GOV FAR 13.106-1(b) - Soliciting from a single source. (1) For purchases not exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold. (i) Contracting officers may solicit from one source if the contracting officer determines that the circumstances of the contract action deem only one source reasonably available (e.g., urgency, exclusive licensing agreements, brand-name or industrial mobilization). Single source in FAR 13 below the SAT. Sole source (FAR 6) applies above the SAT. - Additionally, if there isn't a reason to go around a set aside requirement (one source/urgency/no expectation of fair and reasonable pricing/competition/etc.) you don't.
  10. I like the idea of passing an exam very much: "Passing the contracting professional certification exam is required to obtain the FAC-C (Professional). An optional exam prep class is available to assist in preparation for the exam. More information on the certification exam is available at CON 3990V – Contract Certification Exam – Defense Acquisition University (dau.edu)." Never have liked being around for a year and not getting fired making someone eligible for any certification.
  11. I left that out. I always follow up with an email. It'll provide PO number if a one-off or a summary of work and cost agreed to, if under a current contract (MOD). Exactly. I was explaining this to a CS the other day. In some situations it is the best option, but >95% it is not. The line "we'll do the paperwork next week" being used too often would almost certainty lead to a lack of documentation. Whether timely or not at all.
  12. We can't answer every question in our profession in black and white. I have issued oral orders in the past, normally for emergency situations. Doesn't matter to me if it is a standalone action or a MOD to an existing contracting vehicle. Example: A construction contract is in place to remove and replace the main sewer line to a large government medical facility. As often, the design did not accurately show where the main water line that supplied the facility was. The water line is hit, damaged and shuts off water to the facility. It is Saturday afternoon, before a government holiday on Monday. The contract writing software this agency uses is down for updates over the long weekend. The facility gets ahold of the CO of the existing contract. They advise the construction contractor has proposed a price to repair the line, it appears fair and reasonable, and the funding is available for the work. What is a CO to do? 1. Tell the facility the contract writing system is down and it will have to wait until Tuesday. 2. Confirm the price is fair and reasonable, issue a verbal "go ahead" for the work and handle the paperwork next week. Seems like an easy answer to me. I was once that CO getting a PO signed at 1:00 in the morning for an emergency requirement. Not anymore.
  13. Depends on the situation. If a CO is working with an engineer on an electrical project and has an electrical engineering degree, then yes. The answer 98% of the time would be no. Having a "degree" these days means nothing to our and many other fields. I have never been asked by a client if I have a degree. Nor do I force such information on them, via my email signature block, as so many do. If I never see another GS-9 accounting tech with B.S. behind their name, it'll be too soon.
  14. Are we not, under U.S.C, already defined as professionals (5 USC 7103: Definitions; application (house.gov))(a)(15)? Are we not paid well as professionals are? There is no requirement for a degree. Only one for so many hours of business credits (24 I think), unless you want to become a supervisor, then any degree will work. If someone has a degree in the Chinese language or Asia Studies, does that make them more capable leaders? Is the alone factor that a person, from the age 18 through 22, managed to live in a dorm, completed three/four classes each semester and made it through six one-hour-long lectors per week for four years is now more capable? I am not saying that going to college or requiring a degree for certain professions is bad. I prefer my doctor to have some pretty extensive training. I feel the same for the pilot flying the plane I am on, but he doesn't have to go to Harvard for four years to obtain that skill. Industry is picking up on the disconnect - Companies eliminate college degree requirement to draw needed workers (cnbc.com) "A growing number of companies, including many in tech, are dropping the requirement for a bachelor’s degree for many middle-skill and even higher-skill roles, according to a recent study from Harvard Business Review and Emsi Burning Glass, a leading labor market data company. More than 51 million jobs posted between 2017 and 2020 were analyzed for the study. This reverses the so-called “degree inflation” trend that picked up steam after the Great Recession where many employers began adding degree requirements to job descriptions that hadn’t previously needed them — even though the actual jobs hadn’t changed. In place of four-year-degree requirements, many companies are instead focusing on skills-based hiring to widen the talent pool." That hasn't changed. Degree or not. I trained one person with a BA, MBA and JD. This individual was sharp, but not to the point that I can definitively say that the kid that works behind the counter at my gym couldn't do the same thing, minus three papers hanging on the wall. What he is saying is true, but doesn't apply to all situations. Those who go and plan to obtain a skill do well. I am not going to cite a list of those fields because we know what they are. But what about the kids who pay the same price as the engineers, but receive a degree in Jewish Studies, Medieval Studies or Race and Ethic Studies (there in the PSU list I posted). I am not saying those things are bad. I love history. I am saying that if we framing those degrees as a must have to get on the road to being wealthy, we are lying to our youth. No one commented my "completely false/didn't happen" story above. Do we ignore those in that situation? I ask because I meet and speak with a lot of current students. It will be a majority of them when they are done.
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