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Everything posted by here_2_help

  1. Just to pile on this hypothetical ... walk me through how, after market research, somebody reached the conclusion that these services were NOT commercial services to be acquired using Part 12 procedures. We doing lawn care to MIL-SPEC these days?
  2. Over here in private industry, one of our standard practices for each new hire is a 60-day action plan. My team doesn't let new hires sit idle. Period. There is training--both mandatory and discretionary (based on an individual skills assessment) and immediate immersion into new and/or ongoing projects. I'm not claiming this is a best practice; it seems to be an obvious practice. Why did you hire the person if there is not work for them to do?
  3. Jumping in here to remind PATRICK3 of the clause 52.215-23 ("Limitations on Pass-Through Charges") which is prescribed by 15.408(n)(2). If the past performance info and the workers are all coming from the subK, then what value does the prime add to the equation?
  4. FAR-flung 1102 -- thanks for the link. Here's a quote from the story you linked to: I've met Rob before; he's an informed and erudite man. But this quote? Not his best thinking, in my opinion.
  5. Why has the CAS Board failed to fill vacant seats as required by statute?
  6. I don't know, Don. I feel as if that's been every job I've ever had in a very long career. Finding a mentor who can guide you through the Kafkaesque maze is always a challenge. The good news--and it's been very good news for me--is that once you've devoted hours to reading policy, procedure, and other command media, then YOU become the mentor. People reach out to you, asking for advice and assistance. It's job security. Being able to navigate between organizational silos is a value-added skill. I come to WIFCON in the hopes of adding to my knowledge and skills re: contracting. I read and I try to learn. Now, at my place of work, contracts people come to me for advice and assistance. They come to me--a back-office beancounter--because I often know more about their own subject matter than they do. Why? Because I sought to learn. So ... I don't know. I feel the person's frustration. But it doesn't feel to me like a challenge that can't be overcome with perseverance and a willingness to work at learning stupid bureaucratic rules.
  7. Not in government. My old boss, Bill, believed that everybody who worked for him needed to be skilled in everything. Commodity procurement, low-dollar buys, catalog buys, prime contract management, cost-type, FFP, T&M, subcontract management. Everything. He believed that specialization was for insects. My thought is that one can be the world's greatest bread-maker, but might not be sufficient to get a job in a diner that required the ability to make multiple dishes.
  8. I've already experienced OTA recidivism. The phenomenon is just ... depressing. The entire situation is depressing.
  9. In addition to this rather damning fact, I would add that the CASB Disclosure Statement (DS-1) was last revised and reissued in February, 1996. Literally more than twenty-five years ago. I wonder if any aspects of Federal acquisition have changed in the past 25 years? (Sarcasm.) The current DS-1 reflects government experience buying supplies. The focus is on manufacturing. There is but short shrift given to labor. I have a services provider preparing its first DS-1 right now, and I'm spending a fair amount of time translating the ancient language and concepts into their language. So much is not addressed, and so much that is addressed in simply N/A to a services provider. I tell them it's a government form and they have to complete it as written, notwithstanding that most of the questions are N/A or require detailed explanations on the continuation pages. In my view, its shameful how little attention has been paid (by those who are paid to pay attention) to bringing the Federal acquisition environment into the 21st century. The CAS Board is the poster child for negligence in this area.
  10. Why do you believe that your subcontract type has to match your TO contract type? Can you point me to the regulation or instruction that requires that?
  11. I'm not a government employee, so likely my opinion is irrelevant. That said, I've always mistrusted skills testing. It's hard to identify exactly which skills are critical to job success, and then creating a fair and consistent test is difficult. Sure, you can have somebody create Excel pivot tables in front of you, but how do you evaluate analysis of the information thus provided? As I typed, it's difficult. I think I posted a few days ago that when I started hiring for character attributes, such as curiosity, things changed in my department. I can teach to those willing to learn, and I can let those willing to read and think teach themselves. Those are the people I'm hiring for. So this approach doesn't strike me as the great innovation that's going to fix the government acquisition workforce.
  12. I read a good part of that particular decision, and found it to be depressing.
  13. You have several options available to you. Off the top of my head, you can -- 1. Call the possible subcontractors and see if they are interested in submitting a proposal in response to your RFP. If yes, obtain a point of contact. Send the RFP to that PoC. 2. Send an email to the CEO or President or whatever PoC you have for each potential subcontractor, inviting a show of interest in bidding. Upon receipt of a show of interest, send the RFP. Reminder: you're not the government. You don't need to solicit all sources - you only need to solicit more than one. But the better practice is to solicit as many potentially responsive bidders as you can.
  14. I don't understand how receipts for expenses in excess of $75 relate to the application of G&A on travel expenses. Receipts are support for claimed expenses, while G&A is an indirect rate that is billed on invoices. Can you please help me to understand how the two things are connected in your mind?
  15. It's hard to hire people with the specialized knowledge I need (contracts + accounting + FAR + CAS, essentially). A couple of years ago, we stopped worrying about specialized knowledge and started hiring for certain mental attributes--foremost among them: curiosity. One candidate, while walking to the office for her interview, noticed the unusual carpeting in the hallway (it was truly unusual and there's an interesting story behind it). She asked, "What's the deal with this carpeting? Was is specially ordered? Why?" After a brief interview to confirm her experience and that she was willing to read in order to fill her knowledge gaps, she received a job offer that same day. Since we started the practice of hiring curious people, we have been astounded at how the department has changed!
  16. I've always found that the best approach is to make my work product as close to perfect as I can get it, prior to review by another. Do I always meet expectations in that regard? No. But I strive for it.
  17. Luke, I don't especially want to pick a fight with you. But you have at least two errors in your post, quoted above. 1. Billing rates are defined in the FAR at 52.216-7, as others have already pointed out. The clause does not permit contractors to bill at a single rate. If you're thinking T&M contract type, then maybe. But never cost-type contracts. You can also use a wrap rate for ROM estimates, but not for FAR 15 proposals where cost analysis will be performed. 2. In manufacturing, it has been traditional to use a DL $ base. But in the 21st century, automation is taking over and the percentage of touch labor in the average factory is declining. Thus, the connection between touch labor hours/dollars and indirect factory expenses is becoming more tenuous by the year. At this point, it makes as much sense (if not more sense) to use a machine usage hour base. Continuing to use a DL $ base tends to result in Manufacturing Overhead rates that are well north of 100%; I saw a 400% rate once. It's not wrong, but it's not right either. A decent Activity Cost analysis should be performed to figure out what costs are driving factory activity. At many places it is no longer touch labor costs.
  18. I saw this! Lesson to be Learned: When low-balling FFP or FPI contracts, don't misestimate the amount of your investment in the program.
  19. Don't know the agency but the following pertains to DOD. Normally, when the DCAA does not perform an audit because it deems the contractor's final billing rate proposal to be low risk, it generates a Memo which is sent to the Contracting Officer and retained in DCAA files. At that point, it is up to the CO to establish final billing rates, which may be done either by accepting the contractor's proposed rates as submitted, or by negotiating with the contractor. (Typically, it's the former.) If the contractor submitted its proposed final billing rates timely and -- for whatever reason -- no audit was performed and no Memo to File generated by DCAA then, as Neil pointed out, there is an opportunity to negotiate final billing rates. If the amount of "unsettled" indirect dollars is judged to be low (either within FAR limits or within limits established by the DCMA Class Deviation to those FAR limits), then the CO can close out the contract at either provisional billing rates or the contractor's submitted/certified final billing rates. Edited to add that recent NDAA language requires DCAA to issue its audit report within one year of the contractor's submission. If that doesn't happen, the contractor's rates should be accepted as proposed.
  20. LuketheNuke -- per the OP, provisional [billing] rates have already been established. That's not what the OP wants to know.
  21. Vern pulls no punches. One of the problems is that the "system" rewards adherence to the sub-optimal status quo, while at the same time punishing those few creative thinkers who seek to break the paradigm. There are few, if any, consequences for incompetence ... except those consequences felt by the citizens. Thanks for writing this and giving Bob permission to post it here, Vern.
  22. I honestly believe you have just described most of what is wrong with government acquisition in one post.
  23. Yes to all your points. So ... initiating Information Collection to assess the industry burden (at least with respect to CAS) is just creating one more burden for industry. That was kind of my original point. It's a pointless task that creates work but does not lead to any significant work reductions. Somehow I'm not sure that was the original intent.
  24. Thanks! So if industry responds that weapon system prices are increased by x% because of the burden of Cost Accounting Standards administration, OIRA will recommend that the statute and implementing regulations be revised or eliminated? Because if not, what's the point?
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