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  1. @Vern Edwards Hi Vern- Pretty much asking if a line item is necessary to be established at time of award in order to use -8. I presented the logic I employ to meet the requirements of an option exercise in a -8 scenario, and wanted to test the strength of that logic in an environment that could inform me if I was missing something. Thanks.
  2. Yes. A J&A would have avoided their particular issue. However, the protest was upheld because the Government did not evaluate this option at the time of competition which created the "new scope". If they had, there would not be a case. The decision appears to be based on the Government not meeting the FAR requirements for exercising an option. From the MCS case: The option to extend the contract here under FAR clause 52.217-8 was not eva as part of the initial competition, so that the exercise of this option amounts to a contract extension beyond the scope of the contract, and therefore effectively constitutes a new procurement. Laidlaw Envtl. Servs. (GS), Inc.; International Tech. Corp.--Claim for Costs, B-249452, B-250377.2, Nov. 23, 1992, 92-2 CPD ¶ 366 at 4; see Techno-Scis., Inc., B-257686, B-257686.2, Oct. 31, 1994, 94-2 CPD ¶ 164 at 8 n.3. Thus, the agency could not have met the FAR Part 6 standards for full and open competition by simply exercising the option under FAR clause 52.217-8. F
  3. Recently, the topic of utilizing / exercising 52.217-8 came up in my office. I reviewed WIFCON for discussions and I have read the GAO decision for MCS, https://www.gao.gov/assets/b-401472.pdf, and see that the basis for it being sustained was that the agency failed to evaluate the 6-month option as part of the initial competition. FAR 17.207(f) requires that a contracting officer, before exercising an option, make a written determination that the exercise of the option is in accordance with the terms of the option and the requirements of FAR sect. 17.207 and FAR Part 6, and further specifies that in order to meet the requirements of FAR Part 6 regarding full and open competition, the option must have been evaluated as part of the initial competition and be exercisable at an amount specified in or reasonably determinable from the terms of the basic contract. FAR 52.217-8 states: …The Government may require continued performance of any services within the limits and at the rates specified in the contract. These rates may be adjusted only as a result of revisions to prevailing labor rates provided by the Secretary of Labor. The option provision may be exercised more than once, but the total extension of performance hereunder shall not exceed 6 months. I believe that 52.217-8 is intended to be used when a new requirement for the services has not been awarded and that the current services need to be continued. This is something that is not necessarily anticipated to be needed at time of initial contract award and if done IAW with FAR requirements allows for a relatively painless extension when needed. To that end, I believe that the specific establishment and pricing of a -8 6-month line item as part of the initial contract award is not necessary if: 1. The initial solicitation includes the -8 clause and states that the 6-month option will be evaluated by taking one-half the cost of the final year of performance and including that amount in the total evaluated price. 2. The assumption I use, and I know that there are multiple interpretations, is when -8 states “within the limits and at the rates specified in the contract” it means the rates that are in effect at the time of exercising -8 clause. At that point, the monthly cost could be reasonably determined by dividing the total cost for the final year by 12. The -8 allows for increases the rates only if there a DOL wage determination that directly impacts the rates for the 6 months, so that could be reasonably determinable from the terms of the basic contract. I read on WIFCON that the “FAR Councils had opened FAR Case 2010-003 in order to revise the requirements of FAR Subpart 17.2, “Options,” as they apply to extensions of services contracts solely for the purpose of bridging to prevent a break in service. The team charged with writing a proposed rule is under its second deadline extension. A number of solutions are possible, and we presume that sooner or later the Councils will settle on one or more of them.” And that, “ a 2012 post in this Forum, a member reported that FAR Case 2010-003 was closed without action because the DAR Council and the CAA Council could not reach an agreement.” This informs me that there are multiple ways to address the usage of -8. Considering all of the above, is my interpretation and method of using 52.217-8 contradicting the FAR or the GAO decision? I appreciate the feedback. Thanks.
  4. A lot of it has to do with the work, severable vs. non-severable, in addition to the type of funding that is used (annual appropriations vs no year / multiple year funding). It would be nice to be able to use up all the funding as obligated before digging into the next pot, however, appropriation law seems to get in the way.
  5. Question: When there is a table of contents in a contract, wouldn't that need updating if the contract is modified? That may be easy if there is a systematic way to generate solicitations and contracts. I don't see why folks are not following the guidance in the FAR when it comes to setting up contracts (UCF vs commercial); one would not really need a ToC in those cases.
  6. Question: Is anyone hearing that their agency wants to incorporate the clause into actions valued at less than the SAT or in actions that are not included as part of the EO? If so, what are your opinions on this idea?
  7. A suggestion is to establish ALTs (Acquisition Lead Times) for your various types of actions. Your SLA will be a % of the established ALTs that were met. You do not want your program office to dictate how long it should take to complete an acquisition. Example: An ALT for a Unilateral Modification is 30 days. The SLA would be meeting the ALT 90% of the time. Also, ALTs also includes the times for program to perform their responsibilities of the acquisition process; there should be the ability to document excess time taken by program (or other situations outside of the COs control) so as not jeopardize the contracting office from missing the ALT and negatively impacting the SLA.
  8. 6.302-1, Only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements, and, we are not using Part 8.
  9. I am looking for clear directions as to what category a notice should be placed under when posting on Beta.SAM.gov (FBO). I have searched the FBO site and found only a brief description as to the categories and the types of notices that should be placed under each one https://www.fsd.gov/gsafsd_sp?id=gsafsd_kb_articles&sys_id=80e5f8211b5e601005f9a93ce54bcba4 I found the Air Force FAR (Part 5) Supplement that has the details I need; however, my organization is not under the AF or even DoD. In particular, I am looking for guidance / supporting documentation that talks to the placement of "Notice of Intent to Sole-Source". I know that these types of notices do not belong under "Special Notices". While I can logically show, based on the two documents, that the notice does not belong under "Special Notices", I prefer to be able to provide clear and convincing information to support my assertions. Sadly, reasoning and logic these days tend to be countered with "the FAR doesn't say you cannot do that" or "Contracting Officer's discretion" and I would rather not deal with my head exploding. IIRC, I want to say that an instructor in one of my classes mentioned there was a sustained protest in which the notice of intent to sole source was placed under "special notices" or some other incorrect category, and a company protested that by placing the notice under the incorrect category, they did not see it and did not have an opportunity respond. I searched the Google and the GAO site with many combinations of key words and came up empty. Perhaps someone here knows the case to which I am referring. Thanks in advance for any enlightenment one can share.
  10. Our COs have full workloads in addition to reviewing and signing for junior folks. (HHS)
  11. We use options on our BPA orders all the time. If the work is the same, and it's a known need, and the work can be priced out as an option, then why not take advantage of that instead of going through a longer process (and more expense) to request a quote/proposal, evaluate, document, and award? What is your concern about the options? That the vendor will not perform? How would issuing a separate order to the same vendor for the same work overcome your concerns?
  12. Forgoing the FAR research for now, questions such as is your company a small business, and was the competition a small business set-aside would be helpful? If so, there may limitation of subcontracting issues. What type of contract is it? What type of service is the contract providing? The fact that the CO is directing you to subcontract out positions, could be indicative of a personal services type arrangement that the federal agency may or may not have the authority to pursue. You are responsible, as the Prime, to perform the work as you see fit. There should not be a Government person directing you to hire from a subcontractor, unless whatever work the subcontractor is doing is specifically called out for the subcontractor to perform. That's my stream of consciousness for now.
  13. It is refreshing to hear someone interested in learning their craft as opposed to wanting to run up the grade pole as fast as possible. My suggestion is to take the DoD position, learn and experience all you can, and get your Level 3 certification. Once you feel you have reached a level of experience you are comfortable with, and if there are no promotion opportunities where you are, then consider moving to a civilian agency to finish the climb. My experience with DoD (I left 12 years ago, after 20+ years in) is that the grades were about 1 grade lower than what one can get in the civilian world (I'm in the DC area) for comparable work and responsibility. Good luck!
  14. "Mine can't do any of that. I never thought I'd long for PD2" Word! Been saying that since I left DoD over 12 years ago.
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