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Posts posted by napolik

  1. Call order is still in GAO's dictionary:


    [1]  A "call order" is an order placed against a BPA pursuant to the authority in Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) § 8.405-3(c)(2)(iii).

    [2] The agency's independent government cost estimate (IGCE) of $46,000,000 and 341 total call orders encompassed the base period and all option years.  The agency's estimates were based on actual obligations from the recently-expired incumbent BPA held by FedResults, adjusted for anticipated program growth, additional BPA requirements and inflation.  Contracting Officer Statement (COS) at 4; AR, Tab 36, Award Summary, at 17.  At 341 call orders and an IGCE of $46 million, the scenario call order pricing is $134,898.  FedResults did not challenge either the basis for the agency's IGCE nor its estimate of the scenario pricing.

    See B-414641, FedResults, Inc., August 8, 2017 at http://www.gao.gov/products/B-414641


  2. 1 hour ago, Boof said:

    OK so I post my requirement to Alliant SB  and if I do not get two acceptable proposals, I repost it to Alliant LB.  

    I am not speaking about orders under the MACs. I am speaking of the award of the MACs.

    How could GSA award Alliant 2 without setting it aside given the close similarity of its Section C and labor categories to those seen in Alliant 2 SB?

    What exception to the Rule of Two applies?

  3. 1 hour ago, formerfed said:

    My thought is since both Alliant and Alliant SB are very large IDIQ contracts, the scope is relatively open.  Individual needs are met at the task order basis.  So ordering agencies decide which vehicle to use based on the specifics of their work.  The work is the same for both (same section c and labor categories); it's the magnitude of the jobs that differentiate. 

    Yes, but FAR 19.502-2(b) says the Rule of Two applies to any acquisition over $150k. It doesn’t exempt MACs.

  4. 47 minutes ago, formerfed said:


    Back to your original question, it seems to me GSA did exactly that with Alliant.  They determined that a total set-aside is not feasible so they did a partial.  The partial is Alliant SB.


    The Section Cs are virtually identical. So are the labor categories.

    Since GSA asks for the same work from the same labor categories and since GSA issued an Alliant 2 SB set aside, how can a set aside not be feasible?


  5. 1 hour ago, contractor100 said:

    Okay, Napolik, it does not.  Because it is an RFQ.  

    I have submitted at least 350 responses to GSA RFQs.  I have never, not once, had any post submission discussions or whatever they are called on GSA procurements.

    Has anyone else?

    I've had plenty post award!  Where we actually determined what work we would do.   

    So, the contractor's submission isn't incorporated into the order.

    In your opinion, what is the purpose of the very carefully coiffed 10 page submission?

    Typically, does the contracting officer have any discussions with you affecting the quality or price of the effort reflected in your quote?

  6. 2 hours ago, contractor100 said:

     But there are solicitations where ten pages just isn't enough and we really fail to see how the government can get the information it needs to compare offers or to enter into a contract ...

    Does that 10 page "technical approach"  represent an "offer"  to be accepted and incorporated into the contract?

  7. 2 hours ago, policyguy said:

    I'm not a fan of page limitations in offers but I understand the argument for using them.  

    Does that 10 page "technical approach"  represent an "offer"  to be accepted and incorporated into the contract?

    Given a 50+ page SOW, why do you need 5, 10 or 50 pages of blather cut and pasted from the contractor's last proposal?

  8. 1 hour ago, contractor100 said:

    Anyone care to share opinions on why such RFPs are released?  

    Unfortunately, contract specialists, today, focus much more on administrative and clerical details - such as page limits, fonts size and spacing, and inputs to procurement management systems - than on the substance of the buy - conducting one-on-one negotiations on quality and pricing, and making sensible tradeoffs.

  9. I found a 25 minute video during which 3 GSA officials discuss the Alliant 2 and Alliant 2 SB solicitations: http://governmentcio.com/node/897.

    If one goes to the 14:25 minute mark, one will hear the PCO state that the two contracts are "almost identical". The 2 differences are the subcontracts clause and some proposal evaluation thresholds.

    I remain puzzled about the interpretation of the FAR and the SB regs that permits the issuance of a set aside and an unrestricted solicitation for the same work. I and Wiley Rein ESQ must not be reading the regs correctly.


    I wonder if anyone reads the regs differently.

  10. On 9/7/2017 at 11:54 PM, JAG said:

    Additional thoughts?

    How do the NAICS Codes affect Federal Procurement and Regulatory Activities, such as those carried out by the EPA, OSHA, the DoD, and the GSA?

    NAICS was developed specifically for the collection and publication of statistical data to show the economic status of the United States.

    The NAICS categories and definitions were not developed to meet the needs of procurement and/or regulatory applications.


    If local, state or federal laws require the firm to possess a license, tell the contracting officer that the firm will not be able to perform the contract. Don't bother mentioning the NAICS code unless the procurement was set aside for small businesses and the firm does not meet the $11 million standard. 

  11. 6 hours ago, JAG said:

    Contracting officer awarded a contract under NAICS 541110 (office of Lawyers) to company that is not a law firm.  

    This company did list 541110 in their SAM profile, however do not hold a professional license in any jurisdiction where they are located.

    Can I file a status protest with GAO, or a Size appeal with SBA?



    The NAICS Code 541110 does not obligate a firm to possess a professional license. The code simply establishes the small business size standard of $11 million. If you go to the SBA, the SBA will not investigate the firm's possession of a license. It will determine only if the firm meets the $11 million standard.

    Did the solicitation require the firm to have a professional license? If it did contain the requirement, you can protest  to the contracting officer or to the GAO.

  12. On 8/31/2017 at 11:54 AM, Don Mansfield said:

    1. Reserves for more than one small business are for less than the whole requirement. A reserve for one small business is for the whole requirement. See the discussion of reserves here.

    Thank you, Don. However, I looked at the Section Cs of the Alliant 2 and the Alliant 2 SB solicitations. With the exception of a few words, they are identical.

    I also compared the lists of labor categories showing Max and Min rates. They are identical.

    How can GSA present the same requirement to the LBs and the SBs? What happened to the Rule of Two?


  13. When competing a multiple-award contract, FAR 19.502-4(a) authorizes contracting officers to “ … reserve one or more contract awards for any of the small business concerns identified in 19.000(a)(3).”

    This is a practice I used while I was in government. However, today I read an opinion from a law firm in Dec 16 that raises a number of questions in my mind for which I have been unable to find answers:


    “The proposed rule provides separate guidance for reserving multiple-award contracts for small businesses, partial-side asides, and setting aside individual task/delivery orders. Under the proposed rule, contracting officers will first be required to conduct market research to determine if a total contract set-aside is appropriate under the Rule of Two. If two or more responsible small business concerns are not expected to submit an offer on the entire requirement at a fair price, then the contracting officer must consider whether the requirement can be divided into distinct portions for a partial set-aside, and whether the Rule of Two would be satisfied for those portions. The contracting officer can also reserve awards for small businesses if a total set aside would not be appropriate and a partial set-aside is not feasible.”


    Question 1: How can one conclude that the Rule of Two is not met if “ … one or more contract awards …” are reserved for small businesses?

    Questions 2, 3 and 4: How can GSA award an Alliant GWAC and an Alliant Small Business GWAC? Doesn’t the SB GWAC demonstrate that the Rule of Two is met? How can GSA issue the Alliant GWAC when it also issues an Alliant SB GWAC?

  14. 1 hour ago, ji20874 said:

    The contracting officer doesn't have to make any decision -- he or she simply sends the timely size protest to the SBA.

    I think the answer is going to be the date of the original offer, not the date of the final proposal revision.

    It appears that you are correct. See SIZE APPEAL OF: Ramcor Services Group, Inc., SBA No. SIZ-5510 (2013).



    On August 23, 2013, Appellant filed the instant appeal. Appellant argues that, under 13 C.F.R. § 121.404(a), the Area Office should have determined Appellant's size as of March 18, 2013, the date of Appellant's revised final proposal, because the revised final proposal is a “formal response” to the solicitation.


     Appellant's argument would mean that any formal response to the solicitation should establish a date to determine size. The problem with Appellant's position is that it sets no definite date for determining size for a procurement. Every procurement has an initial offer, but many will have final proposal revisions and some will have several rounds of offers submitted. All of these are formal responses to the proposal. Appellant's argument provides no basis for determining which of these formal responses to the solicitation should be used as the date for determining size. Appellant's argument would leave area offices with no clear basis for selecting a date on which to determine size. By contrast, the rule that an initial offer including price must be used, except in certain definite cases enumerated in the regulation or where the initial response did not include price provides the area office with a clear rule to apply in selecting the date to determine size. Appellant's argument, if adopted would leave too much uncertainty in the size determination process.

    Accordingly, I conclude that the Area Office did not err when it used the date of Appellant's initial offer, including price, to determine Appellant's size status. I therefore affirm the size determination and deny the appeal.

    Also, the GAO buys into this SBA OHA decision. See Software Engineering Services Corporation, B-411739, Oct. 8, 2015.



    Furthermore, an offeror’s size status is determined at the time that it submitted its proposal, not at the time that it is issued a task order.  See Research & Dev. Solutions, Inc., B-410581, B410581.2, Jan. 14, 2015, 2015 CPD ¶ 38 at 6.[6]  While OBXtek’s size status changed after it submitted its initial proposal, the record shows--and SES does not disagree--that OBXtek was listed as small on the date that its proposal was submitted.

    [6] See also Size Appeal of Ramcor Services Group, Inc., SBA No. SIZ-5510, Nov. 1, 2013, at 4 (small business size status determined as of date of initial proposal submission, not date of final proposal revision).

  15. 4 minutes ago, Don Mansfield said:

    De nada.

    Since you were so kind to respond to my response, let me pick your brain some more.

    The contractor makes its certs in March of 2016, submits an offer in January of 2017 against a FAR 15 small business set aside, and updates the SAM certs in March of 2017. The new SAM certs make the contractor an LB for the size standard identified in the set aside solicitation that closed in January 2017.

    The CO conducts discussions, requests and receives FPRs on 10 April prepares to make award on 15 April to the contractor who was a small biz in January 2017 but who is a LB in April 2017.

    The CO sends the preaward notice required by FAR 15.503. After checking SAM for the proposed awardee's SB status, an unsuccessful offeror challenges the offeror's size status.

    Could things get a bit confusing? 

  16. For purposes of determining size status against a solicitation for a new contract – not a task order under a MAC, is the determinative date the date of the initial offer in response to the solicitation?

    13 CFR 121.404 (g):


    A concern that represents itself as a small business and qualifies as small at the time of its initial offer (or other formal response to a solicitation), which includes price, is considered to be a small business throughout the life of that contract. This means that if a business concern is small at the time of initial offer for a Multiple Award Contract (see § 121.1042(c) for designation of NAICS codes on a Multiple Award Contract), then it will be considered small for each order issued against the contract with the same NAICS code and size standard, unless a contracting officer requests a new size certification in connection with a specific order. Where a concern grows to be other than small, the procuring agency may exercise options and still count the award as an award to a small business.


  17. Read this GAO decision: Menendez-Donnell & Associates, B-286599, Jan. 16, 2001: http://www.gao.gov/assets/340/332405.pdfSee if the facts align with your circumstances.


    To the extent MDA contends that GSA was required to assign a neutral rating to its proposal based on the absence of information relating to its key subcontractors, we disagree. Although FAR §15.305(a)(2)(iv) requires an agency to assign a neutral rating where past performance information is not “available,” here, the protester’s proposal represented that its proposed subcontractors are engaged in projects that would illustrate their performance capability. The information thus was available, but MDA chose not to present the information in its proposal, in direct contravention of the terms of the RFP. In our view, an offeror cannot simply choose to withhold past performance information--and thereby obtain a neutral rating--where the solicitation expressly requires that the information be furnished, and where the information is readily available to the offeror.

    Also, include Experience as a separate evaluation factor. Take a look at Vern’s first post on 26 April 2016:



  18. 6 hours ago, jonmjohnson said:

    Depends on whether FAR 8 or FAR 16 makes is easier to execute for you.  FAR 8 is typically easier and gives wide berth to the CO so long as you understand what is and is not required.  Pricing is likely to be comparable.  Agencies pay a fee to use NITAAC but they don't under Schedules.  That comes from industry.  Same structure under SEWP.

    Neither 8.4 nor 16.5 impose the procedural burdens seen in 15.3. Both give one the chance to focus on getting the best deal for the customer vice on competitive ranges, the content of exchanges and final proposal revisions.

    I believe that NITAAC's fee is .65% with a max of $150,000 and that the contractors' schedule prices are increased by an Industrial Funding Fee of .75%. The contractors pay the fee quarterly to GSA.


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