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Mike Twardoski

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    America - my kind of place.
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    Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable as often as possible.

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  1. Yes! Exactly! That it was my original question - can I have a copy of it? The response was, essentially, "We have a new policy on place, and we're no longer allowed to provide conformed copies to the contractor." My follow up was the "why?"
  2. Convenience. Anecdotally, having a conformed copy of the contract significantly reduces confusion on our side, especially when 50+ mods have been issued since the original award. It's not a huge deal for me to track; ask an engineer, a field technician, or an auditor, and they might give you a different answer. I've been told by a Government counterpart that generating a conformed copy literally just takes the push of a button. Anyway, I don't want to belabor this issue. I appreciate the questions to my question. I suppose my question has been answered. Thank you, all.
  3. We have a copy of the original contract (circa 2 years ago) and copies of all the mods. However, having a copy of the contract through the latest mod that includes exercised options, latest FAR clauses (and deleting ones that were removed or superseded), current Govt staff (if the original PCO and/or COR have transitioned off) is extremely helpful for the team to have. I've asked for and received these "latest & greatest" copies of the contract from other contracting offices in the past without any pushback whatsoever. I'm just curious why a contracting office would have a problem providing one.
  4. Is there some new DoD policy or guidance for why a Government contracting office will not provide a conformed copy of a contract to the contractor? I reached out to an office recently for a conformed copy of the contract, and was told they received guidance they cannot provide them to contractors anymore. I asked for the rationale behind the guidance about a week ago...and am still waiting for a response.
  5. A long-standing Government customer of ours recently shared a draft SOW (we're in a sole-source environment) for a forthcoming large and lengthy production contract, and I could not help but think of that SOW as I read these sentences. Some things never change. Thank you for sharing this story, Bob!
  6. Is there anything in the contract with the prime that allows you to charge for storage costs? If so, send them an invoice. That may get at least one more person's attention.
  7. Great post, Bob! After reading your Lockheed/Thoikol posts, I went back and re-read some of your earlier posts, including this one. It's amazing how powerful groupthink is in a workplace setting. I myself have caved to it more times than I care to admit, especially earlier in my career. This is a great reminder of the old adage - stand for something, or fall for anything.
  8. Thank you, Vern, for all the insights you shared not only with me in response to some of my many questions, but the wisdom and experience you've shared with the larger group on other discussions as well. For background, I switched careers about 3.5 years ago, and entered the Government Contracting weeks before the pandemic sent many of us on a one-way ticket to remote work world. So it became incumbent upon me to learn as a much as I could wherever I could, and fortunately, I found Wifcon. Because of you, Carl, Don, Bob, Joel, and others here, I'm a smarter contracting professional. I still check the Recommended Reading thread for reading suggestions (sidenote, just finished A History of Government Contracting). I've also shared your articles with colleagues. On more than one occasion, I've referred to you as a GovCon guru. All the best in your recovery!
  9. Without understanding the whole situation, the answers I've received from a couple of different contracting offices when it comes to seeking additional costs on FFP CLINs due to COVID impacts can be summed up in two words: "Tough noogies." Their rationale is when we (the contractor) submitted a proposal for work under FFP, we accepted all the risk. Yes, COVID wasn't a thing when we were awarded the contract back 2016. And yes, we have the Excusable Delays clause in the contract. But no, no the PCO does not want to hear our sad song about COVID impacts. I believe there was a memo issued last year wherein DoD that reinforced that view as well. So if it's a DoD contract, you might be SOL.
  10. Thanks, @joel hoffman! I appreciate the insight here as well as the feedback you provided in that other thread I'll have to do some googling to see what other DoD branches have similar playbooks.
  11. Bob, it would not be hyperbole to say I'd be lost without this board. I started in the GovCon field weeks before the world shut down in March 2020, and scrambled to find resources to help me learn the trade. This site was - and still is - my go-to for advice on thorny issues. So THANK YOU and all the other contributors who make this site so valuable. Additionally, I will take your call to action and do more to contribute to keep discussions going.
  12. I truly appreciate these insights, @KeithB18. My fear - and maybe it's unfounded - is that my proactiveness comes across as bothersome. While every contracting office is different, I do feel like sometimes my communications fall into the ether, even when they're actionable. I try not to overdo it because I don't want to be THAT GUY who emails, calls, and texts everyday. Because I get it. But, you know, maybe once a week? A weekly call? A weekly high level email of what I'm tracking? Maybe it's time to recalibrate...
  13. At the risk of sidetracking the discussion - which has been really insightful - thank you all for your insights. I really do appreciate it. I like this idea, @C Culham. It's something I'd like to adopt in a forthcoming multi-year, sole-source RFP (we're the incumbent seller). Along those lines, I do understand @Voyager's comments about motives. I don't have nearly the amount of experience as many here have, but the overall vibe I've gotten from Government contracting offices - with maybe one exception - is one of suspicion. Maybe I'm asking the wrong questions, but many of the PCO's/contracts specialists I've worked with seem to get really cagey whenever I use the word "collaboration," whether it's pre- or post-award. I understand it more pre-award, but post-award? It kinda baffles me. Therein lies the struggle for me. I want to show good faith by saying "let's collaborate." Perhaps some of the reluctance is due to lack of face to face time, especially post-COVID. One of my favorite PCO's - someone with nearly 30+ experience - was all about relationship building, and I've tried to take a page from his book. @joel hoffman I'd welcome the opportunity to play some softball with my Government counterparts! I love that story. @Vern Edwards your insights are always helpful, and I appreciate your posts here. If I may ask another question, would you all suggest finding a mentor on the Government side to get a better handle of the Government's perspective? Is that frowned upon? I've harbored this idea for the past few weeks - finding a former PCO - to bounce ideas off of or just chat with on a semi-regular basis. I've tried this on the NCMA boards and through their Mentor portal, but alas, no takers.
  14. The latest episode of The Contracting Officer Podcast was devoted to the 3 Doers, and how the contractor becomes a member of the acquisition team post-award. The discussion on the pod sparked a question for me as a contracts manager on the industry side: How can industry contracts strengthen the Government/contractor relationship post-award? ? I'm interested in hearing insights and/or anecdotes from the Government's perspective. Any best practices or stories about what makes a good industry contracts manager? Is there someone (no names needed) you, as a Government employee, worked with in which you thought to yourself, "Company X's contracts manager was the best because he/she did this, this, and this..."?
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