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Crazy KO

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Posts posted by Crazy KO

  1. Crazy KO, is it really that obvious that you don't want to provide anything to support your conclusion? Within DoD, "Costs of laboratory personnel, either in-house or contractor operated, would be assigned to appropriate projects or as a line item in the Basic Research, Applied Research, or ATD program areas, as appropriate." DoDFMR, Vol. 2B, par. 050201.G.S ee also, the model Exhibit R-3 for RDT&E Projects, at page 5-18 of Vol. 2B, which states, "Typical Cost Categories [for Management] are: Contractor Engineering Support, Government Engineering Support, Program Management Support, Program Management Personnel, Travel, Labor (Research Personnel), and Overhead."

    Perhaps my methodology would lead the requestor to do some research on his/her own. In that respect he/she may learn even more than what you have lended.

  2. I am working on a 8a contract and the Program office wants to appy RDT&E funding to this contract because the entire program is in the the development stage. The Contractor shall provide all necessary professional acquisition services (from pre-award to post-award) required to support the program office in awarding a contract to get this development program up and running. My question is since this contractor is not doing any RDT&E functions does this qualify for RDT&E Funding?

    Absolutely Not.

  3. Appreciate the valuable comments/information/case data. Yes Vern, you got it right; didn't miss a thing. These questions come up all the time and when reference is made to FAR Subparts and policy, etc., that are not always black and white, it's nice to know there's a place to go. And just so you know...we will award the contract with all 4 options on the schedule and operate accordingly.

  4. OK, let me try this again but this time, let's forget all about the circumstances. I think it muddied the water.

    I'll restate the question: 52.215-1(f)(5) which states "The Government reserves the right to make an award on any item for a quantity less than the quantity offered, at the unit cost or prices offered, unless the offeror specifies otherwise in the proposal." Can it be interpreted that "any item for a quantity less than the quantity offered" can be applied to "an option"? If the term "ANY ITEM" includes "OPTION #" like a CLIN, then I'm completely confident I know the answer. I believe this boils down to "intent" vs. reality. There are people in my office who feel differently.

    This is not a debate on whether we evaluate the options. It's also not about awarding the options. I'm simply soliciting the opinions from this specialized community on the subject of 52.215-1(f)(5)...that's it.

  5. I don't understand what benefit there could be in not including options in the base award, if that is what was solicited and offered on. They are only options. Awarding the base does not award the options.

    If you have 52.217-5 in the solicitation, the options must be evaluated in determining the award. It is possible that evaluating all options could have a different result in the award decision than in evaluating for some of the options.

    I suppose you could amend the solicitation and remove the options, and provide an opportunity for offerors to provide a revised proposal without options.

    But why not leave the options there, and if the government does not need them, simply not exercise them?

    Or might you be asking if you must award all options after the base is awarded? The answer to that question is, no.

    OK, all areas you've covered in your reply have been considered. We get all that and we're fully aware of the government's rights on options. The RFP has closed and we are inches away from making an award, however, our management believes they have valid reasons for only awarding the base and allowing for only 2 of the options to be placed on the schedule rather than the 4 that were advertised. FAR 52.217-5 was included in the solicitation. If you read 17.206( b ), you'll see that government does not have to evaluate options. FYI we are an R&D type agency and we are not subject to the provisions at 17.2, however we do, as a standard practice use options on our contracts.

    My question deals with FAR 52.215-1(f)(5). Under the circumstances stated above and in my original post, perhaps someone can offer an interpretation of 52.215-1(f)(5) which states "The Government reserves the right to make an award on any item for a quantity less than the quantity offered, at the unit cost or prices offered, unless the offeror specifies otherwise in the proposal." Can it be interpreted that "any item for a quantity less than the quantity offered" can be applied to "an option"? Some in our office say yes, some say no.

  6. My interpretation of FAR 52.215-1(f)(5) is applicable to this situation:

    If the RFP is issued for a base year with 4 one year options can the Government award a contract for a base and less than the 4 options periods? All things considered, knowing that the options are at the Government's discretion, is it OK to award for less than advertised?

    Has anyone ever dealt with this? Any thoughts?

  7. Situation 1: My agency is allowing the block 16 signatory to be the person with this title "Head, Information Security/Assistant Security Manager" which is fine. However, the agency is allowing this person to use the title "Contracting Officer for Security" in Block 16b. I found this be a little odd and inquired about it to the person. The response was that our higher command appointed this person as a contracting officer for the purposes of signing the 254. This person does not fit the FAR 1.6 criteria or the DAWIA standards to have a warrant. This person does not ever award contracts, obligate funds, etc, etc. This person does not work in the contracts division and has no valid reason to be a contracting officer. Please tell me if I'm crazy (no reference or puns to my handle here, please).

    Situation 2: The above person has suddenly changed course to a well established and long held ANGENCY procedure that a vendor can be granted a facility clearance after award to the opposite "... that a facility clearance cannot be granted until a contract has been awarded." When we solicit for a new action that requires a DD 254 (and is clearly stated in the RFP) we usually get several proposals from companies that do not have a facility clearance. We always state in Section M of the RFP that all interested parties should have the ability to fulfill this requirement in XX number of months before being allowed to begin work in any classified part of the resultant contract. Now the Head, Information Security/Assistant Security Manager will not allow a contract to be awarded until the facility clearance is granted. It is my opinion that this is going to restrict competition...are we to state that ONLY vendors with approved facility clearance will be evaluated for award? Please render your thoughts.

  8. I went back and re-read the post. I actually weighed in on that thread. My question however, is, "Is it OK to allow the subcontractor's costs to go "unevaluated" while the Prime's are given a full scale costs analysis?"

    I looked at FAR 44.202-2 "Considerations" to find that the Prime must perform "...adequate cost or price analysis or price comparisons and obtained accurate, complete, and current cost or pricing data, including any required certifications."

    So I found the answer and will interpret that a "full-scale cost analysis" would include certification that this was performed. Thanks for responding.

  9. Situation: Multiple award IDIQs awarded as T&M contracts. All task orders that require recurring services are being converted to CPFF upon original POP end. RFPs have been prepared stating change to CPFF. Proposals coming in from IDIQ holders using unburdened rates but the subcontractors rates are loaded. KO has determined that the cost realism analysis will be done for the prime contractor's costs but not the sub's.

    Question: Is this OK?

  10. Trying to get some information on the use of an FFRDC. I received a FFP quote from an FFRDC that included a list of materials. The costs for the materials was extended out and then inflated with a 14.25% markup. We hold commercial companies to a very small fee for purchasing. I have very little experience with FFRDCs and I'd like to know if anyone out there has ever come across this type situation.

    The FAR at 35.017-1(d)(2) states: "The sponsoring agreement or sponsoring agencies? policies and procedures may also contain, as appropriate, other provisions, such as identification of?

    (2) Considerations which will affect negotiation of fees where payment of fees is determined by the sponsor(s) to be appropriate.

    My interpretation is that sponsors who write these agreements should be including rates. If the agreement states the FFRDC may accept work from a non-sponsor (another government agency), then the FFRDC would be submitting quotes/proposals that honor the agreement with the sponsor. If true, shouldn't the other government agency be allowed to review the agreement between the sponsor and the FFRDC.

    Am I going in the right direction here or am I out in left field?

    Any feedback would be great!

  11. Hi guys, I am the original poster and surprised to come back to the WIFCON forum and see so many responses! It is great to see that we have a mix of all kinds of individuals - visionaries, veteran experts, hungry up-and-comers, etc. It is great to have a forum where people can have a civil discourse and agree to disagree without it devolving into name calling like so many industry forums tend to.

    I did not mean to upset or disparage any contracting folks. I think the problem is with the Customer and myself (Vendor) in that we don't know who to contact. The GSA is vast and different regions/departments *seem* to be specialize in IT acquisition and others specialize in XYZ. I really have no idea what I am talking about, that is why I use the word seem. I am a computer programmer/business owner. Because of my experience I consider it a miracle that we've made it to this point and have some large contracts.

    Could anybody begin to nudge me in the right direction? Who is the kind of person/consultant I should hire? What would the terms I should google for? 80% of what has been stated in this thread goes straight over my head. Am I on the wrong forum? B)

    To reiterate, what I am looking for is an expert who can talk with me and our End Customers in plain English. I will tell them "Hey, we have identified some IT products/services that our end user at GSA is interested in acquiring from us. We have an 8a SDB designation but they need about $50m in services and products and that is over the $3.5m threshold that our current contracts with them are. Blah blah". The expert will reply "Ok, from everything you told me so far, I suggest we meet together with the end user at GSA and we can show them two options on how to approach the contracting folks and get this awarded. For example, we could try to get a BPA setup, or maybe a Limited Sources competition. Blah blah. I recommend use GSA Region X office for this."

    My end goal is to reduce the lengthy discussions that go on between end users and the contracting staff as they try to figure out this and that. If we can arm our End User with valuable information then it helps everybody out!

    I know that many of my peers rely on their Federal Sales people to try to help the End Users navigate these treacherous waters. I would rather find a specialized expert to help us out.

    We have a potentially $50m project at DHS on our long term horizon that we also need help with.

    Please send me a Private Message if you know of anybody who we can hire for this.

    Thank You!

    There are many many many firms out there looking for you! I know of several that would gladly take you by the hand and get you through these processes. I'm not sure that if I mention any here in this forum that it would be appropriate. Can anyone out there give me guidance on that issue first?

  12. thomas.rutherford, that's a very sad story. But it is exactly that kind of CO to learn "how not to be" when you do become a CO yourself. And vice versa for the good ones. I am a strong advocate of getting to know your customer. The customer generates the need, you support them by producing the right instrument on which to achieve their need. I always tell my people that there are two top priorities and they take on equal weight...no matter what. Support the customer and produce a product that you're proud of because it goes out the door for the world to see. And oh yea...don't be afraid to ask questions. Keep up the good work!

  13. ji20874,

    You have no idea that it will be helpful or not. You're making an assumption that it will likely not be. I gave original poster an avenue of approach. She is relatively new to contracts, as she stated. Any information that would help him/her in their quest to learn more, as in this case what I provided would be helpful information, is good for the learner.

    Please don't be so quick to "correct."

  14. Well those are all great ideas but none of them are mentioned in the DAR Interim Report (3-4-2010) Part III, http://armedservices.house.gov/pdfs/DARPan...terim030410.pdf. There is some suggestion that the re-certification process be more stringent, but no mention of KO warrant levels congruent with education, experience, etc. Why is that since 1990 and the DAWIA legislation, all this talk of improving and reforming the acquisition workforce, have we only gotten to this point? Which is nowhere close to where it should be.

  15. OK, suppose there were some "Procurement/Acquisition/Contracting" schools at some prestigious universities around the country, like "Law School" or "Med school", and high schools around the country were pushing the best and brightest business students to apply. Now let's add to this scenario that the Government takes it's existing warranted 1102 workforce and imposes new standards, much like the ones you suggest, and the result is that 75% of them (just to give it a number) become disqualified. Now what? Until we get the first wave of graduates from our new school, the remaining 25% who do possess the ability to pass the rigorous standards become overworked, (are not paid well, unless of course the field itself becomes recognized as worthy of its own elevated pay scale) how do you deal with that? Phase in each rigorous standard? How much time would this Utopian environment take to build? We are already dealing with a large gap in the workforce population.

    While I agree that a lot of 1102s are handed their warrants on a silver platter, I believe that most of them really take their jobs seriously. There isn't a single contract written that doesn't have a mistake in it, I don't care who wrote it. There isn't a single 1102 out there who hasn't made a error in judgment. There isn't a single lawyer out there who hasn't made a mistake either, or a CPA, or a doctor, or a scientist, or a truck driver, or a janitor.

    Perhaps the government would be better served if the 1102 series could be broken up into more defined specialties. Given the ever growing heap of responsibilities that an 1102 is tasked with, it may make a lot of sense to accept the fact that a cradle to grave work description is just too much for one person.

    Another thought: If we finally came to this new and improved contracting officer with some nice title before or after their name, would that cut down the gigantic amount of procurement oversight we deal with? I would think that since we have such low standards for the warranting process that it correlates to the massive amount of errors creating the oversight. So, wouldn't we be reversing then the whole game? I mean, if we had this new and improved KO, we surely could trust that they would then do the overseeing in a way that could eliminate some of it. No?

  16. I might say that I'm sorry I brought the CO/KO warrant issue into the picture, but I guess it did stimulate some valid arguments about how we get warranted, how we stay warranted, etc., but my intent was to emphasize the originial poster's comment about the GSA IT Managers not knowing acquisition. I should have said this:

    "I believe that the poster just offended the GSA IT CORs."

    I wonder what that statement will bring.

    BTW, I got my warrant the hard way. I cut my teeth at the bottom, serving as a procurement technician, then a buyer, then as a contract specialist, procurement analyst, cost/price expert, and finally, after a good many years of study and training, and experience, I was elevated to the ranks of the warranted few (at that time). And while I agree that some agencies will hang a warrant on you if your "qualified", sometimes it's done by design. I actually worked for an unnamed agency that did so on some "older" folks just to make them work harder. And when they didn't, the supervisor was were able to give them a less than stellar appraisal and out the door they went! Pretty risky if you ask me.

  17. The Feds can't just obligate a "bucket of money" and then decide what it's for later. There has to be a requirement for actual work, not anticipated work in order for an obligation to exist. This is required by the Recording Statute. So, unless the GSA IT staff has the authority to obligate funds, someone will have to "bother the contracting officer for every little task order."

    If it were an easy way to cut the contracting officer out of the process, don't you think everybody would be doing it?

    Good answer Don Acquisition. But I would add that stating things like, "the GSA IT staff who are managing us do not understand acquisition" is just a tad offensive. I know we're not all brilliant but we darn sure didn't get our warrants for having a pulse either. B)

  18. Any argument would depend on the kind of R&D you're doing -- Basic Research, Applied Research. Advanced Technology Development, Advanced Component Development and Prototypes, or System Development and Demonstration, and RDT&E Management Support. Generally, basic and applied research do not not lend themselves to measurable performance standards, because you don't know what you are going to be able to find out. But, in theory, work in some of the more advanced categories and management support might be susceptible of performance-basing.

    Any argument to the effect that generic "R&D" is not susceptible to a performance-based approach won't go over well with fanatical performance-based true-believers.

    I agree. There are different stages of R&D and different forms that would be easy to write metrics for but for DoD to come out with this final rule is puzzling to me, given the preceding data collected on this subject. What has changed since 2003 when the Interagency Task Force on Performance Based Acquisition completed their report?

  19. Well, OFPP acknowledges that R&D may not lend itself to outcome-oriented requirements in this policy memo.


    I pulled the report that the letter is referring to and got a lot of great stuff. I appreciate the response. I wonder why then, if the study clearly shows that some types of contracting cannot lend themselves to PBSA, that they would come out with this final ruling. What has changed?

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