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Posts posted by napolik

  1. On 10/10/2018 at 8:27 AM, joel hoffman said:

    I'd say that the overall level of qualifications of the 1102 acquisition workforce has vastly improved since 1990, when the acquisition corps was established. 

    Does this mean you believe the current 1102 workforce is implementing statute and regulation and supporting their clients better than the old workforce (i.e. procurement clerks, procurement agents, contract specialists and contracting officers) that was hired prior to the introduction of the college degree requirement?

  2. 4 hours ago, Mr_Batesville said:

    Everyone, thank you for your responses. I was able to get approval for three. I totally understand and see your point Vern on the statement above.  As you know, in certain venues we work with the same contractor base. The main reason of my support of 3 was to avoid bias on the TEP.  Also, when you are dealing with almost 40 proposal submissions, I believe three persons brought the appropriate contracting/technical and other expertise needed to the table and will result in a comprehensive evaluation. Thanks again for all the input. Greatly appreciated. 

    I infer that you're using a tradeoff or HI-ter-ferp approach. The greater the number of evaluators, the more likely the report will contain errors or confusion. This is particularly true in this era of "Cut and Paste" vice a bygone era of "Think and Write".

    If you were using LPTA, one person could do the evaluation. Depending upon the evaluation criterion/a, that person could be the CO.

  3. 1 hour ago, Mr_Batesville said:

    Question: Does anyone have any FAR specific/DOD/USACE or other guidance on the specific number of person that should be used. Also, general support information to back my determination would be helpful as well. 

    What is the estimated $ value of the procurement?

    Under which FAR part/ subpart will you conduct the procurement - 8.4, 13, 14, 15, 16.5?

    Are you using the tradeoff, LPTA, or HTRFRP process?

  4. 9 hours ago, Vern Edwards said:
    1. The CO did not receive your questions (for any of a number of reasons).
    2. Your questions were late.
    3. The CO did not understand your questions.
    4. The CO thought your questions were stupid, impertinent, or reflected profound cluelessness.
    5. The CO already has enough competition to meet legal requirements and didn't want to be bothered with you.
    6. The CO knows who you are and dislikes you or your company based on past experience with you. Maybe hates you.
    7. You are thought to be a gadfly and considered to be something of a nut and a pest.
    8. Some combination of the above or some reason I didn't think of.

    Frankly, I take your "questions" to be more of an expression of your irritation or your hope for sympathy than a genuine quest for information.

    Tell us, did you call the CO(s) who didn't answer your questions and ask them why they didn't answer?

    Sacre bleu! On ne badine pas avec le CO!!

  5. 1 minute ago, Vern Edwards said:

    So please explain how the composition of the population of the profession explain the number of emails.

    The millennials let their fingers do the talking and the walking on and off the job.

  6. On 8/3/2018 at 12:30 AM, Vern Edwards said:

    A FAR text's "meaning" can be changed for an agency by the agency's supp. That's one of the reasons for issuing a supp, to deviate from the FAR.

    201.301 Policy.

    (a)(1) DoD implementation and supplementation of the FAR is issued in the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) under authorization and subject to the authority, direction, and control of the Secretary of Defense. The DFARS contains—

    (i) Requirements of law;

    (ii) DoD-wide policies;

    (iii) Delegations of FAR authorities;

    (iv) Deviations from FAR requirements; and

    (v) Policies/procedures that have a significant effect beyond the internal operating procedures of DoD or a significant cost or administrative impact on contractors or offerors.

  7. 34 minutes ago, ji20874 said:

    FAR 13.303-2( c )( 3 ) authorizes BPAs with schedule contractors.  As Joel mentioned, FAR 8.404( a ) points to 13.303-2 ( c )( 3 ).  FAR 13.303-5( b )( 1 ) mentions a general limitation on purchases against BPAs and provides an exception for BPAs with schedule contractors.   But yes, while Part 13 provides the general background for all BPAs, the particular procedures for BPAs with schedule contractors are in FAR Subpart 8.4.


    The term BPA was created over 50 years ago for a Small Purchase instrument. For whatever reason, GSA chose to name as a BPA the Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) instrument described in FAR 8.405-3. They are different instruments subject to the different rules. The Simplified Acquisition BPA is subject to the rules set out in FAR 13.303; the FSS BPA is subject to the rules set out in FAR 8.405-3. 

  8. 1 hour ago, TGLJ said:

    Does anybody have information that specifically states we have to follow the same rules provided for under FAR 13 when issuing BPAs/calls under FAR 8?

    The term BPA was created over 50 years ago for a Small Purchase instrument. For whatever reason, GSA chose to name as a BPA the Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) instrument described in FAR 8.405-3. They are different instruments subject to the different rules. The Simplified Acquisition BPA is subject to the rules set out in FAR 13.303; the FSS BPA is subject to the rules set out in FAR 8.405-3. 

  9. 22 minutes ago, Vern Edwards said:

    The CO should consider the effort and time that will be required for the incumbent to demobilize, including, for example:

    • Completion, termination, or transfer of ongoing work.
    • Disposition of government records in the contractor's possession.
    • Disposition of GFP.
    • Departure from government facilities.
    • Identification and disposition of employees that will be retained or released.
    • Notification and/or termination of suppliers and subcontractors and disposition of shipments in transit or work in progress.

    Et cetera.

    Security clearances and associated procedures.

  10. 8 minutes ago, FrankJon said:

    @napolik When is it "necessary to include" #s 1 - 3 in a contract? If those are at the CO's discretion, then the clause is optional.

    Your fear I share.


    17.204 -- Contracts.

    (a) The contract shall specify limits on the purchase of additional supplies or services, or the overall duration of the term of the contract, including any extension.

    (b) The contract shall state the period within which the option may be exercised.

    (c) The period shall be set so as to provide the contractor adequate lead time to ensure continuous production.


    17.205 -- Documentation.

    (a) The contracting officer shall justify in writing the quantities or the term under option, the notification period for exercising the option, and any limitation on option price under 17.203(g); and shall include the justification document in the contract file.


    (g) Insert a clause substantially the same as the clause at 52.217-9, Option to Extend the Term of the Contract, in solicitations and contracts when the inclusion of an option is appropriate (see 17.200 and 17.202) and it is necessary to include in the contract any or all of the following:

    I believe the FAR is clear that there must be an option clause and that its substance must mirror 52.217-9.

  11. The FAR requires the use of an option clause:


    (g) Insert a clause substantially the same as the clause at 52.217-9, Option to Extend the Term of the Contract, in solicitations and contracts when the inclusion of an option is appropriate (see 17.200 and 17.202) and it is necessary to include in the contract any or all of the following:

    (1) A requirement that the Government must give the contractor a preliminary written notice of its intent to extend the contract.

    (2) A statement that an extension of the contract includes an extension of the option.

    (3) A specified limitation on the total duration of the contract.

    52.217-9 is brief, simple and clear. I fear the results if each CO creates his or her own clause.

    Keep using 52.217-9.

  12. On 5/10/2018 at 10:17 AM, Vern Edwards said:

    If a CO cites the unusual and compelling urgency exception, FAR 6.302-2, the CO must request offers from as many sources as "practicable." FAR 6.302-2(c)(2). Unusual and compelling urgency is not, in and of itself, justification for a sole source bridge contract. It's authority to limit the number of sources solicited. It exempts a procurement from full and open competition, but not all competition.

    The GAO's decisions about the award of a sole source contract under the unusual and compelling urgency exception are a little obscure and confusing, at least to me, but it's clear that you cannot cite that exception if a lack of advanced planning created the sole source situation. An interesting discussion of this can be found in WorldWide Language Resources, Inc.; SOS International Ltd., B- 296993, 2005 CPD P 206. It's a long decision, but well worth the time if you want to better understand the unusual and compelling urgency exception. The GAO sustained the protest even though the procurement was for the Deputy Secretary of Defense.

    Well, the GAO has just issued a new decision involving an allegation of lack of advance planning: Trailboss Enterprises, Inc., B-415812.2,B-415970,B-415970.2, May 7, 2018. https://www.gao.gov/products/B-415812.2,B-415970,B-415970.2


    As discussed above, the incumbent contract was due to expire on March 31, 2018.  The agency issued the competitive solicitation for these services on November 6, 2017.  Trailboss’ initial protest of the terms of the solicitation (B-415812) was filed on December 20, 2017.  On January 18, 2018, the Air Force posted a synopsis of the sole-source award on the FBO website.  Our Office dismissed the pending protest (B‑415812) on January 25, 2018, based on the agency’s notice of corrective action.  On January 29, Trailboss filed its protest (B-415970) challenging the synopsis of the sole-source contract to PKL.


    Trailboss argues that the sole-source award was improper because it reflects a lack of advance planning by the agency.  In this regard, the FAR states that an award based on other than full and open competition shall not be justified on the basis of “[a] lack of advance planning by the requiring activity.”  FAR § 6.301(c)(1).  The protester contends that the agency has known of its requirements since 2008, the date of the award of the first of two sole-source contracts for these requirements, and therefore any short-term need arising from the expiration of the incumbent contract must reflect a lack of advance planning.

    As our Office has explained, however, an agency’s procurement planning need not be error-free or successful, and the fact that an agency encounters delays or exigencies does not demonstrate that the agency failed to meet its obligation for advance planning.  eAlliant, LLC, B-407332.4, B-407332.7, Dec. 23, 2014, 2015 CPD ¶ 58 at 5.  Specifically, an immediate need for services that arises as a result of an agency’s implementation of corrective action in response to a protest does not constitute a lack of advance planning.  Systems Integration & Mgmt., Inc., B-402785.2, Aug. 10, 2010, 2010 CPD ¶ 207 at 3; Chapman Law Firm Co., LPAsupra.

    Here, the record shows that the agency anticipated award of the competitive contract prior to the time for the expiration of the incumbent sole-source contract, and that the protest filed by Trailboss (B-415812) and the agency’s corrective action in response to that protest created the need for a sole-source contract.  Under these circumstances, we do not conclude that the agency’s sole-source award to PKL reflects a lack of advance planning.


  13. 2 hours ago, C Culham said:

    Maybe some did, maybe some did not, see this GAO Decision posted to WIFCON just the other day................

    Bridge contract.  See Global Dynamics, LLC v. United States and GiaCare and MedTrust JV, LLC and MedTrust LLC, No. 17-1875C May 1, 2018 (May 3, 2018)

    The decision recognizes the contracting office's obligation to track its contracts and their expiration dates and to take appropriate actions to award a competitive follow on contract:

    "Defendant’s subtraction skills notwithstanding, in the court’s view, the fact that three officers retired is not enough to excuse the agency’s failure to ensure it was properly staffed. As plaintiff notes in its supplemental brief, the GAO has sustained a protest in which the agency sought to justify a sole-source award on the basis of similar personnel issues. See ECF No. 74 at 13 (citing Service Contractors, B-243236, 91-2 CPD ¶ 49, 1991 WL 135563 (Comp. Gen. July 12, 1991). Service Contractors involved a sole-source contract award for grounds maintenance at properties for which the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was responsible. In the protest action, in which the protestor alleged that a non-competitive award was improper, the agency alleged that “personnel turnover and inexperience” sufficiently explained the need for a sole-source award. Service Contractors, 1991 WL 135563, at *1. The GAO disagreed, and held that the agency’s defenses related to inadequate personnel “essentially recognize the lack of advance planning and merely provide an excuse based on the limitations of the agency procurement personnel.” Id. at *3. The court agrees with this reasoning, and concludes based on the evidence in the record, that the agency’s inadequate staffing was due to its failure to plan for staffing needs in the relevant department."

  14. On 4/20/2018 at 12:55 PM, FAR-flung 1102 said:

    I am curious...By asking “Why” five times or  by any other favorite method, what is your analysis of the root cause(s) 

    Question 1) What is the real problem (the root cause) of too many bridge contracts?

    Question 2) What is the real solution(s) to the root cause you cited? 

    Going back a few decades, contracting officer used to keep track of contracts' performance periods, including option periods. This was done via a pencil and a hard copy spreadsheet. Well before contract expiration, COs asked their customers about needs for follow on contracts.

    As time passed and IT entered the scene, keeping a list of existing contracts was facilitated, but the COs became unwilling or unable to perform these fundamental tasks. And contracting office managers did not hold COs accountable.

    COs that cannot track their inventory of procurement actions and that cannot correspond with their customers need to be stripped of their warrants and removed from supervisory positions. 


  15. 20 hours ago, here_2_help said:

    I don't mean to be coy but I won't identify the specific topic in a public forum. Don already knows it (if he recalls our discussion). The point is, many in the government acquisition team know their knowledge gaps and they are trying to fill them ... any solution to the knowledge gap needs to include the means of providing individual learning that is tailored to individual need, rather than focusing on a one-size-fits-all approach.

    While DAU courses are important to reducing the lack of knowledge among contract personnel, I believe OJT is equally, or more, important. One can learn concepts in DAU courses offered in classrooms or on line, but the true meaning of the concepts and their application can be learned only on-the-job. The actual application of concepts, policies and procedures via the conduct of a procurement creates knowledge, not the viewing of Power Point slides in a classroom or on a computer screen.

    From my experience, very few, if any, contracting offices have an OJT program.

  16. 5 hours ago, Corduroy Frog said:

    Question:  Is this situation so stark that the company is left with no alternative except to absorb the B&P cost, and effectively perform the contract for nothing?

    Either absorb the cost, or refuse to submit a quote/ proposal. Or, call the contracting officer, explain your concerns and hope for an amendment to the solicitation that reduces your burdens.

  17. 2 hours ago, Vern Edwards said:

    I don't think so. Those processes, often constructed on the basis of the FAR Part 15 Process Model, have been effected in the same way.

    Well, don't construct them like the 15.3 process. Try other approaches that are more efficient and , more importantly, more effective.


    Since FAR 15 does not apply, how does this approach strike readers?


    The agency will assess the résumés, experience, past performance, and the price of quotes in accordance with FAR Subpart 8.4. Non-price factors, when combined, are significantly more important than price. After this assessment, the contracting officer may award a contract to the contractor he or she determines to represent the best value, or may obtain additional information from and negotiate with that contractor to improve the terms of the deal reflected in its quote. If the contracting officer is unable to negotiate a favorable deal with the contractor, he or she reserves the right to negotiate and reach agreement with another firm submitting a quote that was not assessed initially to be the best. This process will continue until a contract has been reached or until all those firms submitting a quote have been considered. If agreement on a deal cannot be reached with any of the firms, negotiations may be reopened with all firms or the solicitation may be canceled.



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