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Voyager

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  1. Once you talk about training you introduce bureaucracy. I am trying to butt that out and emphasize personal initiative! Professional study! The road to where we are now was paved with training materials.
  2. These are insightful quotes that truly get to the heart of the problem at low dollar thresholds (the two recent posts on this thread about bureaucracy are more applicable to high-dollar acquisitions). In my experience we must always take a grassroots approach to change in government. It will never begin at a level higher than a Chief of Contracting Office/ Procurement Director. Start with one acquisition in your office. Give the job to somebody that has been buying the stuff your office buys for half a career. Make sure no personality problems will get in the way (see above). Pay this person for the time it takes to study the Federal Register comments, the Section 809 Panel's report, as well as the Nash & Cibinic Reports on this subject matter. Then follow formerfed's advice: I will add that you should pick a contractor known by your office to cooperate, that will be willing to take the hits from SBA, DOL, or others along with the CO, and that will be willing to laugh off any beginner's mistakes by the CO. If enough COCO/PDs do this, things will change.
  3. Wow, Vern’s vs. Maj Gen Holt’s reformation ideas. It’s like a redux Luther v. Erasmus.
  4. Ah but I suspect the agency's soliciting a FFP for undefined travel requirements was a function of FAR 16.504(c)(1)(ii)(D)(1)(ii) requirements under a SATOC. CR is likely off the table. Either that or it’s a commercial service.
  5. I don't know about the OP's negotiations, but you could set the unit price firm and only use an estimated quantity at award. You'd have to write a clause then, of course. @joel hoffman, I certainly wouldn't write the clause to carte-blanche pay actual costs, because the OP says, "My contract has 2 CLINS, both are FFP." See FAR Subpart 16.2, "Fixed-Price Contracts": As you can see, the clause must be consistent with FAR 16.202-1. That's why you write it to only allow the quantity to vary. This is consistent with Vern's quoted guidance C Culham provided above. For further reading, see also:
  6. You have a SATOC, what use is it if you cannot freely negotiate using actual data, both before and after Task Order awards? The principled CO will pay for what the government receives and that will be that. This CO is not constrained by the scope of the competition.
  7. Reminder: See FAR 15.404-1(a). Being "Based on a FFP contract" is irrelevant. The award being based on the agency's obtainment of cost data, as required by TINA or as requested by the CO (if the proposal is excepted from TINA), is what drives the decision to use cost vs. price analysis.
  8. Did they perform a price realism analysis in the tanker source selection? Per FAR 15.404-1(d)(3): Even if so, I just find it unreasonable to stray from commonsense logic that development and production must be iterative, separate contracts.
  9. Just reading the FAR prima facie, what about these three factors? When you go from Development to LRIP in the same contract, isn't that a complex requirement with no cost history that is highly risky for faulty proposal assumptions if priced concurrently? To me, that's three weighty factors leaning heavily towards cost-type.
  10. ...which says: Yes, speaking from experience, the Better Buying Power initiative that led to many of these decisions certainly had gravitas and momentum. I am not blaming the COs in my opening question. The pendulum swings on.
  11. Here is some wisdom on selecting contract types, according to Professor Ralph Nash in the attached publication "Selecting the Right Type of Contract" (The Professor's Forum, April 30, 2020): Here is the newest practice, proposed in a rule that will update the DFARS. It is a new check and balance on COs that took an Act of Congress. The quote is from CODSIA. Can anyone tell me which of the 12 factors in selecting a contract type available for review in the attached and at FAR 16.104 were not being properly analyzed by contracting officers that utilized FPIF for these contracts? Ralph Nash on Selecting Contract Type.pdf
  12. See the table included in this Report to Congress: B-158766, GAO Bid Protest Annual Report to Congress for Fiscal Year 2022. I wonder if GAO's successful ADR people could be provided for agency use IAW FAR 33.103(c)?
  13. The persuader may leverage the following information. See pages 30-32 of the GAO Performance and Accountability Report for 2020, and pages 22-24 of the GAO Performance and Accountability Report for 2023. GAO’s Scorecard—How we saved the federal government $77.6 billion this year | U.S. GAO GAO’s Scorecard—How We Saved the Federal Government $70.4 Billion This Year | U.S. GAO Strategic Goal 3 ("OGC") appears to be the place to look for any contributing statistics from bid protests. Based on the examples given, GAO's self-reported savings appear to be from its functions other than protests.
  14. Vern, you and I both know that moral hazard will doom most cost arguments in Congress. It's how we got here. Speak instead to mission detriment and mission failures. Be specific. Research - as intensively as you have ever researched - the actual occurrences, agency-by-agency, DOD component-by-component. Report exactly what the opportunity cost was for every sustained protest in terms of decreased effectiveness or lethality. As for the denied protests, shine a light of truth on what exactly happened in the sole-source negotiations of each POP extension required due to a protest period delay. Based on the introduction I read to the Foreign Affairs article (below), recommend you begin with DTRA and NNSA acquisitions. Surely a boondoggle or two will come up if you survey the right people. Retirees of these agencies can speak to anything unclassified. Congressional decisions live and die by public opinion, and it is sad but true that public opinion now operates on emotion rather than reason. As you are an expert writer, I recommend you know your audience. They're not frugal.
  15. Is there an echo in here? The OP is not the experienced CO - you are. Why let them dictate the direction of the discussion? If the question arrives in insufficient form and substance, we must vector check them to the proper line of thinking for our career field. When judging compliance with law, statute, regulation, or executive order, correctness is usually what matters. When judging an innovation, though, the line of thinking is: Is the business decision sound? Black’s Law Dictionary provides a definition of “sound” as, “To be free from defect, strong, competent and secure.” An example in context would be, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Correctness implies there is ultimately only one solution, but soundness entails dynamic solutions. I think ji seems to get that. He just needs to make ArrieS work harder for his approval. 🧐
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