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  1. Fortunately, the prime contractor has an approved purchasing and accounting system, which provides some assurance of their processes. The concerning subs are all proposed for time and materials contracts. To conduct my cost analysis, I compiled hundreds of data points from invoiced rates across over 30 comparable contracts. This provided me with a solid baseline to evaluate the proposed subcontractor rates. Despite my in-depth analysis indicating excessive rates, I'm struggling to firmly determine fair and reasonable pricing with the limited data the subs have provided. The prime contractor provided cost and price analysis on the subcontractors via a salary.com. All rates are in the above 99% percentile and the KTR attempted negotiations before proposal submissions with no luck.
  2. I understand that. Doing research via DAU, it stated multiple times that our contract is with the prime, not the subs. While the government can leverage its buying power in negotiations, we don't have privity of contract with subs and need to be careful not to overstep. The prime is responsible for managing subs. This is my issue. You negotiated directly?
  3. As a young contract specialist, I recently had the opportunity to take the lead on negotiating my first major contract. With my contracting officer (CO) on extended leave, I knew this was my chance to really make an impression. The contract was a FAR Part 15 cost-plus-fixed-fee term contract to continue services a contractor had been providing to our agency for over 15 years. In hopes of encouraging competition, my tech code loosened some of the requirements. Despite this, we still only received one bid from the incumbent contractor. I dove into negotiations with the prime contractor and was able to get them to reduce some of their proposed rates, which will result in decent cost savings. We also had about 10 proposed subcontractors to review. The prime contractor was receptive and negotiated most of the subs down as well. However, there were still 3 subcontractors proposing extremely high fully burdened rates that I couldn't confidently determine fair and reasonable. My tech code agreed the rates seemed excessive. Despite pushing back, the prime contractor insisted the subs would not negotiate down further. To complicate matters, the subs fell under the cost and pricing data threshold. When I requested invoices to support the high rates, the subs had no relevant invoices to provide. I'm now facing a dilemma on how to proceed. Should the government try to negotiate directly with the subs even though the prime was unsuccessful? Or do I just move forward since the overall contract price came down considerably?
  4. In response to the question of how many key personnel are needed, I appreciate the input, and I agree that having around 2-3 key personnel might be sufficient for this particular CPFF LOE contract. A Program Manager to oversee operations and ensure seamless communication with the Government, along with 1 or 2 Senior Engineers well-versed in the systems, could cover the essential aspects of the contract. On a broader note, I share a common concern with many in the community about the potential administrative burden and unnecessary costs associated with a high number of key personnel. It begs the question: where can we find guidance on advocating for a reduction in key personnel in the Request for Proposal (RFP)? I've been searching for resources such as DOD memos, DAU (Defense Acquisition University) classes, or GAO (Government Accountability Office) case studies that address strategies for streamlining key personnel. It would be immensely valuable for me to give a training or guidance on this matter for our department. If anyone has come across relevant references or training opportunities, I would greatly appreciate any insights or recommendations
  5. I made a small edit due to a typo. Obviously it depends on the requirement but in my case its truly a CPFF LOE Engineering contract. The Tech Code is very old school and like maintaining a sense of familiarity. I have scrutinize the necessity of mandating a higher number of key personnel, especially in the context of a straightforward CPFF LOE contract. The nature of the contract, focusing on providing scientific, engineering, and technical services in support of a specific systems, doesn't inherently warrant a high ratio of key personnel. There is NO contractual requirement for a specific number of key personnel or supervision required on this requirement. The Tech code approach seems to lean towards a more traditional mindset, favoring familiarity over the potential benefits of a leaner and more flexible workforce. With a competitive procurement valued at around $40M, it's worth considering whether this requirement might unintentionally restrict competition and disproportionately favor the incumbent. They have asked for DOD memos or guidance that supports reducing key personnel. Im just curios if there is any goof reference docs or readings on this. I can’t seem to find it anywhere.
  6. I wanted to open up a discussion on the appropriate ratio of key personnel to non-key personnel on contracts. Recently, I've been debating this issue with our Tech Code office. They want to require approximately 15 key personnel, which works out to be around 50% of the total contract staff. However, in my experience, the general rule of thumb is to have 3-4 key personnel, or around 10% of total contract staff. Contract Type is CPFF LOE I've argued that specifying too many key personnel creates an administrative burden and unnecessary costs for Govt. Having fewer key allows contractors more flexibility to optimize resources, workloads, and respond to changing needs over long contracts. It also encourages contractors to innovate solutions requiring less management oversight, as opposed to just assigning more managers. Additionally, with fewer siloed key positions, expertise and knowledge can be more widely shared throughout the contract company. Of course, each contract and situation is different regarding how many key personnel are truly essential. But in general, I've found that limiting key personnel to ~10% of staff strikes the right balance between ensuring proper oversight while still allowing flexibility and innovation. I'm curious to hear others' perspectives on appropriate key personnel ratios. Do those percentages seem reasonable? What ratios have you seen successfully work on contracts? I welcome any thoughts or experiences!
  7. I have a Seaport NxG Task order Level-Of-Effort that is out of cost and fee, however I have about 1,000 remaining labor hours. When reviewing the Seaport CONOPS and Section H, I found: H-216-H002 LEVEL OF EFFORT--ALTERNATE I (NAVSEA) (NOV 2022) (j) Notwithstanding any of the provisions in the above paragraphs and subject to the Limitation of Funds or Limitation of Cost clauses, as applicable, the period of performance may be extended at the discretion of the Contracting Officer, and the estimated cost may be increased in order to permit the Contractor to provide all of the man-hours listed in Section B. The contractor shall continue to be paid fee for each man-hour performed in accordance with the terms of the contract. SEAPORT CONOPS PAGE 24- In Cost-Type Task Orders, the ceiling cannot be increased except in the following instances: • Where the increase is required for wage determinations under Task Orders subject to the Service Contract Act of 1965, as amended. • In order to obtain the contracted level of effort, i.e. as an overrun. • In the case of a Request for Equitable Adjustment (REA) or claim, the ceiling can be increased. The modification in which the ceiling is increased must state the increase was for an REA/Claim adjustment and documentation supporting the REA/Claim must be maintained in the portal 1102 files. Based on the 2 above Paragraphs it seems like I can increase cost and fee without a J/A. I can also extend the POP past the 5 years... Does everyone agree or this considered out of scope?
  8. What are the main differences between SBIRs and OTAs?
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