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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Yes, both of those options seem appropriate, particularly if you explain exactly what you are going to do in the solicitation.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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...
  10. The Agile Contracts Primer referenced in this thread explores multiple contract pricing arrangements (and is a great read in any case). It seems like T&M may be the basic starting point for a Government agile contract, but it has some other ideas. As for FAR authorities which would allow you to use a quasi design-build concept outside the construction arena I'd recommend considering a single-award IDIQ that describes the general scope of services to be acquired under the contract (FAR 16.504(a)(4)(iii)) as a starting point.
  11. Hmmm, I think what makes performance-based contracting performance-based contracting is including the required results in clear, specific and objective terms with measurable outcomes in the contract at the time of award (solicitation really); and I don't think you can generally do this for service quality, timeliness, responsiveness, creativity, and the other outcomes you actually want from a professional support service contractor in most cases. So I actually was thinking trying to apply relational contracting principles including output or outcome-based models (although not necessarily defined in advance and objectively measurable as required by PBSA); a more collaborative relationship; and an emphasis on relationship management rather than just contract performance surveillance. For example I think meeting regularly to discuss the intangible aspects of performance and providing draft CPARS assessments with constructive feedback on how to get from the satisfactory to very good or exceptional CPARS rather than simply surprising the contractor with a final rating at the end of each year is a more collaborative approach than we often take. I guess on reflection it is really cherry picking some aspects of performance-based contracting and some aspects of relational contracting and adding them to an otherwise LOE contract; I'm just generally more suspicious of calling anything "performance-based" because the vast majority of so-called performance-based contracts are absolutely not performance-based and we probably haven't hit the point where we're overusing relational and calling everything a relational contract (yet!).
  12. Even 52.246-4 relies on inspection of whether or not services "conform with contract requirements" so the contract still needs to contain some enforceable contract requirements to measure conformance against, which loops right back to the original issue that it is difficult or impossible in many cases, particularly long-term professional support services, to create measurable service output requirements that will remain useful for the life of the contract. But since we still have to write contracts, I might add a third possibility, which is to use input-based level of effort requirements (e.g. FTEs) to establish a contractually enforceable baseline, and then apply relational contracting practices regarding the output (service quality, timeliness, responsiveness, creativity, etc. whatever the undefinable, subjectively measurable actual things we want to achieve are) with encouragement via CPARS. Not saying it is a perfect solution, but I think it is an improvement over the typical pretend performance-based contracts with a "PWS" but no defined or definable measurable outputs or inputs at all.
  13. Not that we've found. Best we can do is track changes in total numbers of CPARS on the status report in Contract Status "Due" or "Overdue" and Evaluation Status not "Completed". That at least lets us see overall trends in overdue/incomplete CPARS and when the numbers start to rise we dig into the details manually using the Status Report and the To Do List reports. You could probably use Excel or Access to compare one Status Report spreadsheet to the next and see what is new and what has moved a step down the evaluation status line, but even if you have that you're still just going to have to ensure everything is assigned to someone to work and then encourage them to work it to get it done. We've made the most progress by graphing the overall overdue numbers on a control chart weekly to see when CPARS in general needs management attention. When the numbers start to climb we ensure everything overdue on the Status Report is actually on someone's To Do list (and not languishing waiting for action by a role without someone assigned) and then contact that person and encourage them to move it along.
  14. I was specifically referring to how the price would be established for the order as something an acquisition plan reviewer might be interested in knowing. Since 16.505(b)(3) (I believe, that is a difficult citation to figure out) says If the contract did not establish the price for the supply or service, the contracting officer must establish prices for each order using the policies and methods in subpart 15.4 I thought it was reasonable to summarize the 15.404-1(b)(2(i) method of Comparison of proposed prices received in response to the solicitation as "competition." But now I do see that 16.505(b)(1)(iii)(A) actually says Each order exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold shall be placed on a competitive basis so it seems like it would be ok to refer to the fair opportunity process as a competition.
  15. One additional piece of information related to contract type that might be necessary to explain to approvers/reviewers is whether firm-fixed task orders will be based on unit prices established in the base contract or will be competitively established under fair opportunity (multiple award) or negotiated (single award). That piece of information has a significant impact on the actual future operation of the contract. So maybe “a [multiple][single] award IDIQ with firm fixed-price task orders [issued under fair opportunity/issued based on fixed unit prices/negotiated at the task order level]."
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