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About metteec

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  1. This could have the reverse effect, where the agency employees groan anytime they see your name because their CO forced them to review a proposal that was an obvious waste of their time.
  2. Ask the inventor to team up with an 8(a) socioeconomically disadvantaged small business for the development of a prototype, and to acquire limited rights to the patent. Award a contract directly to the 8(a) contractor. With patent rights and prototype in hand, hold a competition for mass production.
  3. One thing that has always baffled me is the ambiguity in FAR Section 15.503(a)(1) vis-à-vis FOIA Exemption 4 (Trade Secrets): The courts have consistently applied the "National Parks" test under Exemption 4 of the FOIA to determine if information is releasable to the public: Most Contractors claim Exemption 4 to prohibit releasing their unit prices, including labor rates. There have been a few cases regarding this conflict, namely McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. NASA, 180 F.3d 303 (D.C. Cir. 1999), then later Essex Electro Eng'rs, Inc. v. U.S. Secretary of the Army, No. 09-372 (D.D
  4. Jason, nice summary in your previous post. Concerning the Home Use Program, to my knowledge, DOD started that practice with its Enterprise Software Initiative (ESI) in 2002. ESI consolidated the procurement of thousands of software products under a single software umbrella with multiple software providers. It offered home use licenses for several of those products to DOD employees. Again, to my point, offering government employees discounts or benefits is routine, a standard commercial practice, and widely accepted. We should not throw those DOD contracting officers in jail.
  5. Matt, paragraph (b)(4) of paragraph 4 excludes opportunities and benefits to an entire class of government employees. Therefore, a discount to all federal employees is NOT a gift, and does not violate paragraph 4. Regarding paragraph 7, it depends on how you interpret “private gain.” I was unable to find any legal definition for private gain. The dictionary definition of private gain is an increase of wealth for only one particular person or group of people. While you could argue that based upon the definition, a benefit to only government employees falls under a benefit to only a “g
  6. Vern, as Matthew stated, the citation is 5 CFR §§ 2635.201-2635.205 (b)(4): I dare not speak for the thoughts of all my fellow Americans, yet it is a common commercial practice to offer discounts any one that is a Federal Employee. In fact, GovExec offers a webpage dedicated to such discounts: http://www.govexec.com/federal-news/2013/10/gimme-my-discount/29165/. One of the best kept secrets is that hotels, including some outside of the United States, will extend to government workers and military personnel the government rate for personal travel. Commercial firms like to target gov
  7. I would ask the Contractor to offer that same discount to all Federal Government employees. If they agree, then an ethics issue does not exist. It is customary for companies offer all federal employees discounts. A certain insurance company represented by Pepe's archnemisis comes to mind.
  8. The Contractor is hesitant to provide fully loaded FFP labor rates because it must guess what its costs are up to five years after award. As a thought experiment, try to guess what your hourly rate is in five years, and be willing to stick with that rate regardless of changing circumstances. Difficult indeed. I am not sure I agree that negotiating these rates is "deeply stupid." There are some industries where this is common practice, particularly those where prices are not expected to change significantly or there is sufficient historical trends to justify the pricing arrangement.
  9. If the Government plans to complete the contract, it should issue a supplemental agreement to extend the contract, including consideration for the Government-caused delays. Otherwise, if the Government does not plan to complete the contract, it should terminate the contract for its convenience and the Contractor should follow the instructions in the termination notice.
  10. I could not disagree more. The small business preference programs incentivize job creation and provide a major source of income to the American economy. You want a study? Take a look at this... In 2014, small businesses in Maryland had a marginal tax rate of 49.1-percent. No state in the union had less than a 40-percent average marginal tax rate for small businesses. You may be interested in this chart from the Tax Foundation on the tax burden on small businesses: http://taxfoundation.org/blog/small-businesses-and-their-income-tax-burden Now, compare that to the tax burden of ot
  11. Similar to what Bob Antonio was saying, there is controversy about the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause and small business preference programs (particularly gender and race-based classifications in government contracts). The key Supreme Court case is United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515 (1996), also known as the VMI case.
  12. What's good: - The contract has everything and the kitchen sink on it. In December 2003, the Combined Joint Task Force 7 got into hot water for using the GSA FSS to purchase interrogation services. They should have used OASIS (sarcasm). - With the number of large and small businesses, you should never have a hard time getting a quotation. - Variation in businesses. There are lots of different small businesses and variation in small businesses to meet your agency's small business goals. - The tiered fee schedule makes it great for agency's that place large orders. 0.75-
  13. I am reading the paragraph differently: Your options are to display: 1) in a public place; or 2) by an appropriate electronic means, an unclassified notice of the solicitation or a copy of the solicitation satisfying the requirements of 5.207(c). You are correct. There is no definition of "an an appropriate electronic." Per the dictionary definition of those words, use your computer or similar device to display the notice somewhere public in a method that makes sense. Does your our agency have a forecast on its website? You could put the information
  14. Under a fixed price contract, the review of a Contractor's technical understanding through review of proposed price(s) is normally called a "price realism analysis." They are allowable, but not mandatory, for fixed price contracts. Per Unisys Corp., B‑400340.5, B-400340.6, Jan. 20, 2010, 2010 CPD ¶ 45 at 9: In order to conduct a price realism analysis, however, the Solicitation must clearly state that the agency will conduct one. Source: Arctic Slope Mission Services, LLC B-412851, B-412851.2: Jun 21, 2016, [amongst about a million other cases] When comparing a price re
  15. From your supervisor's perspective, a five-year contract offers stability and consistency to your customer and his management, and less work for his staff. He likely does not want you to have to recompete this requirement each year because that is time consuming. Further, he probably wants you to issue a five-year 8(a) contract because it is 1) less time consuming to award that a competitive contract; 2) provides small business credit; and 3) less risky to receive a protest. I do not know your unit's workload this Fiscal Year, or what your supervisor is thinking, but sometimes managers need
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