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Witty_Username

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  1. This may be an oversimplification of a key stakeholder interest (or my explanation may be an overcomplification of something really simple 😜). But this could point to the need for a leadership discussion among key stakeholders (contracting, fiscal, requiring activity, etc.) to settle on a contract structure that balances the competing interests of all parties. Contracting may want simple administration and compliance, fiscal may want a particular funding commitment/obligation profile, the requiring activity may want flexibility (i.e. to move money around); and everyone will probably be happier with the outcome in the long run if you take all these things into account in creating the contract structure...
  2. So, a requirements contract? Otherwise we'll end up in a discussion of consideration for what could be a credit card buy...
  3. This sounds like either a requirement for a definitive contract awarded now with clearly defined availability and response timelines (if market research indicates buses may be scarce), or a pre-planned GPC buy/oral solicitation (e.g. have a market research report with local vendors, etc.) if you are confident there will be busses available from someone. The single BPA seems to risk unavailability of a bus when you need it, but will give people misplaced confidence that there is a solution in place.
  4. I think we're talking about "price analysis techniques and procedures to ensure a fair and reasonable price" as described in FAR 15.404-1(b)(2)(i), which says "Comparison of proposed prices received in response to the solicitation. Normally, adequate price competition establishes a fair and reasonable price (see 15.403-1(c)(1))." FAR 15.403-1(c)(1)) has two main components, (A) "Two or more responsible offerors, competing independently, submit priced offers that satisfy the Government’s expressed requirement" and (B) "Award will be made to the offeror whose proposal represents the best value (see 2.101) where price is a substantial factor in source selection." So the first question, regarding whether you can include a marginally-rated offeror in your "adequate price competition" would seem to depend on whether they "satisfy the Government's expressed requirement." Since the concept of Marginal could differ across solicitations there is probably no single answer to the question of whether a Marginally-rated offer satisfies the Government's expressed requirement. It depends on what marginal means in your situation. The second part, "Award will be made to the offeror whose proposal represents the best value" is a little less clear, some people seem to take this to mean that the very existence of a best value competition automatically makes all acceptable offers F&R, but I think if you think a bit more about how a best value tradeoff is made, e.g. The difference in price is/is not worth the difference in quality, then you find yourself much closer to the meaning of fair & reasonable, a price that is "worth it" for whatever you're getting. So I take this to mean that if you don't include the non-price details in your comparison (e.g. whatever likely brought you to a marginal rating) then a simple comparison of proposed prices received won't get you to F&R. The next question would be whether you can still use the price proposed by a marginal or even unacceptable offeror who clearly does not satisfy the Government's expressed requirement in some other form of non-FAR 15.404-1(b)(2)(i) price analysis. I would argue that you still may be able to, but you would need to know and explain how the marginal/unacceptable stuff affected the price, and again, you couldn't do a direct trade-off comparison.
  5. My impression is that someone discovered that FAR 1.603-3(b) says that "Agency heads are encouraged to delegate micro-purchase authority [and] Individuals delegated this authority are not required to be appointed on an SF 1402" and that per FAR 13.201 micro-purchases must be made using Part 13/Simplified Acquisition and so cannot be made using Part 8, or 16.5 for that matter. So basically the standard micro-purchase authority delegated to cardholders only enables them to make purchases using Part 13, and they would need separate authorization (either using something like that special designation you reference, or even requiring an SF 1402 depending on the card-issuing authority's interpretation) to order via GSA or any IDIQs. The only loophole I found (to my agency's interpretation, which was that an SF 1402 was required for a cardholder to place any order at any value via GSA or a GWAC/MAC/other IDIQ) was to establish non-GSA BPAs (or BOAs or BAs) for cardholders to order against under Part 13.
  6. There are certifications like NCMA Certified Professional Contract Manager or Certified Federal Contract Manager, but they are not FAC-C or DAWIA equivalent. Depending on the hiring manager they may or may not get your resume a closer look. But most Federal contracting jobs will have an experience requirement at the time you are hired but you'll have a reasonable grace period to meet any contracting certification requirements, giving you time to take the required FAC-C or DAWIA classes once you're in the position.
  7. I thought it would be a good idea to negotiate basic agreements to facilitate GCPC (credit card) ordering where the vendors' standard commercial terms and conditions contain things we can't agree to. Unfortunately most vendors have not been willing to negotiate their T&Cs for low-value transactions, but maybe if the agreement covered a large enough number of cardholding activities to have a high volume of low value transactions it would be worth their while.
  8. The other question, though, is whether the quantity of fixed unit price items to be provided is at the discretion of the contractor (e.g. T&M, variations in quantity), of the government (e.g. BPA call, IDIQ order), or of some third party/random event (I can't think of a good example but I'm sure this happens). My office often ends up jumping through approval hoops to use T&M, a contract type apparently intended to allow the contractor to vary the FUP items (e.g. labor hours), when in reality the government is "ordering" the specific quantity of hours to be provided by approving the use of already-obligated funds on the T&M line item, we just don't have the days or weeks necessary to get a funding document through the complex approval process and onto a call or order written by a warranted contracting officer (or even a micropurchase GCPC cardholder) with the obligation recorded back through the complex financial system.
  9. If this is really a FFP order then the management costs are irrelevant, the contractor can use the funds they receive under the FFP order however they want. If you're trying to move funding from one CLIN to another via contract modification (e.g. partial termination of the base year and reuse of the deobligated funds for the option year) you may be able to find a way to do it, but it's going to be an appropriations law question dependent on the type of funds, base/option period of performance relative to the fiscal year, availability of exceptions to the bona fide needs rule applicable to your agency and situation, etc.
  10. You lose flexibility if you create a line item with a specific period of performance (in terms of both start date and duration). With just the "-8" clause and no specific line item if you decide not to exercise all available "-7" or "-9" options, or if you just need an additional month or two of service for transition to a new contract, you can unilaterally use as much of the "-8" as you need to at any point.
  11. Yes, both of those options seem appropriate, particularly if you explain exactly what you are going to do in the solicitation.
  12. How about creating a BPA for micropurchase calls, and then placing the calls via GCPC as the method of purchase, vice the method of payment? Then you should avoid any of the complications of loading a contract in the US Bank system, since to them the calls will look exactly like stand-alone GCPC purchases. You may be able to do the same thing with an IDIQ and GCPC ordering, but my higher headquarters has decided that anything outside of FAR Subpart 13 requires a warrant in addition to the GCPC appointment letter, even below the micropurchase threshold, so the BPA thing is easier for us. Our customers still don't like it because GCPC purchase request generation/approval/transaction matching, etc. has become so burdensome they would rather use WAWF, but we're trying to comply with DFARS 213.270 as often as possible.
  13. I think the point CBCA gets wrong in that sentence is that there should be no "work" to be terminated under the IDIQ, which only requires that the Government order the guaranteed minimum and the contractor accept properly-placed orders. Any "terminated work" would be on a task/delivery order which would have established new legal obligations above and beyond those in the IDIQ.
  14. I think even a really great advice Bot will suffer from the same problem as DAU's Ask a Professor: A simple authoritative statement, even if all the references/logic/justification are included, doesn't contribute to understanding an issue in the same what that the back-and-forth discussion in this forum does (for participants or even just readers). I read about a study recently that showed users gained a better understanding of an issue via traditional Google search, where they have to review and determine the validity of the search results themselves, than via an AI search which simply provided them "the answer" to their question without requiring any thinking on their part.
  15. Saw an interesting interaction with fargpt.com from a colleague. After giving a decent enough answer to one question, on the next question: "Can I award on a sole source basis if my requirement is under $250k without competing the requirement? What about FAR 13.104", FARGPT gave an answer that included "This is in accordance with FAR 13.104 which states: 'The dollar threshold is not a prohibition against publicizing an award of a smaller amount when publicizing would be advantageous to industry or to the Government' (FAR 13.104(a)(1), page 197)" which appears to be an entirely fabricated reference (since FAR 13.104 says nothing of the sort, and the quoted language is actually in FAR 5.301). I had read about chatGPT doing something similar, making up plausible sounding, but incorrect, references. Since we can't see under the hood of AIs we'll have to learn to trust them through experience. Not there yet...
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