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Does Christian Doctrine apply to micro-purchase? How T4D a micro-purchase?


govt2310

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4 hours ago, govt2310 said:

When I click your link, it brings me to the GSA link that I posted, and there is no SF 44 form to click on there.

Hmmm.  Do you have Adobe installed?  Strange.  When I click, the form pops up.  If you are using a government computer, maybe it’s blocking things

Edit:  I see what you mean.  When I use Google, the link doesn’t work.  Odd that GSA doesn’t fix that. 

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17 hours ago, govt2310 said:

FAR 13.201(b) says the GPC "shall be the preferred method to purchase and to pay for micro-purchases," it also says at FAR 13.201(c) says purchases below the MPT "may be conducted using any of the methods described in subpart 13.3."

Do what the FAR says -- for a micropurchase, take your pick among FAR 13.301 (preferred, and your selection for the case in this thread), 302, 303, 305, or 306.

If you choose 13.302 for a micropurchase, then YES, you will use appropriate clauses for a purchase order because you're in 13.302, and 13.302 prescribes clauses for purchase orders. 

But for the case in this thread, are you ready to drop the idea of imposing T4D clauses?  And maybe use GPC dispute procedures instead?

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Hey, just curious.  Did they flub the two course sessions presented?

Wishing Good luck for you. 

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17 hours ago, govt2310 said:

When I click your link, it brings me to the GSA link that I posted, and there is no SF 44 form to click on there.

I asked a friend what’s going on.  He replied a decision was made several years ago to phase out the SF 44 because the Debt Collection Improvement Act requires maximum use of EFT.  But he couldn’t remember how that decision was communicated.  He thinks it was something saying let’s not continue any longer but the FAR hasn’t been changed.  I searched FAR 53 forms and the SF 44 isn’t listed.  Really odd.

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On 9/30/2023 at 10:47 AM, govt2310 said:

I'm trying to find Form SF 44.  The only link I found is https://www.gsa.gov/reference/forms/us-government-purchase-order-invoice-voucher.  But the form is not there.  What happened to SF 44?

Aside from the other discussion concerning the SF44, the form is or was only usable for situations with a single delivery and a single payment. It isn’t  intended for up front payment for future services.

The GPC shouldn’t be used for upfront payment of future services, either in my opinion.

I wouldnt make a single payment up front for ten classroom courses….

https://www.acquisition.gov/node/29498/printable/pdf

pdf

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23 hours ago, govt2310 said:

Looks like GPC dispute procedures is what needs to be done in the case I presented for this thread.  Thanks everyone!  Much appreciated!

Just for everyone’s information, I found this about the Disputes process for services not provided, when using the Citibank GPC:
 

https://www.citigroup.com/tts/solutions/commercial-cards/assets/docs/govt/Transaction-Dispute-Office-Guide.pdf

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9 hours ago, govt2310 said:

Sort of.

As I continue to read this discussion thread I get the feeling there is the here and now with a specific situation and how you might address for the future.  I say this per the mention of the SF-44.  Here is a thought moving forward, the government purchase card by some references is called the Government Commercial Purchase Card (GCPC), reference FAR 13.301.  Implication is therefore it is used to purchase commercial products and services.   Usually, at least based on my understanding, purchase of the needs just in time or now.  As a previous commenter provided purchasing future services might be questionable yet I could see the need sometimes.   So if there is a need, along with the need, as demonstrated in this thread, for some clauses to protect the delivery of future services, why not, as allowed by FAR 13.301(c)(3) have a simple order using say a SF-1449 or something like it (reference FAR 12.204), include a clause or two and provide that payment will be made by GCPC.  There might be argument about inclusion of FAR clause 52.212-4 in total yet consider both FAR 12.102 and tailoring of 52.212-4 as allowed by FAR 12.302.

Of course you would have to have a willing vendor to do so, therefore just a thought on my part for consideration.

Sample of extending this thought -

This order provides for both the purchase of and payment of the following services via the Government Commercial Purchase Card.

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Well, even under a TFD situation where there was partial performance, a contractor would be paid for what it did accomplish, unless the partial performance was unacceptable.

However, there would have to be a mutually understood (meeting of the minds) as to what constitutes an “acceptable” performance standard.

If the government decided that it is disappointed with the training provided and wants to cancel the remaining sessions, my guess is that any credit card refund would be limited to the cost of the 8 unperformed training sessions.

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I recently heard a presentation from a senior acquisition official from the Army Contracting Command.  The gist, and I think the title was contracting is not rocket science.  Her key point is we all too often make things more complicated than necessary.

This thread is a good example.  A prudent first step is talking with the training provider explaining that the first two courses weren’t good and the government doesn’t want anymore.  Then ask what is a fair settlement.  Instead we got into the Cristian Doctrine, looking at possible clauses that might or should have been used, the SF 44, and the P-Card and associated dispute of the charge.  All this for something under the micro purchase threshold.

I’m not being critical of gov2310 because I know he’s relatively new to our field, I know the office he works in and their working atmosphere, and his steps aren’t that much different than many others would do.  We tend to look for legal answers, clauses, and court decisions to back up every action we plan to take.  But in this case, the solution is just plain common sense.  Now maybe that was tried and we aren’t aware of it.  Even so, it doesn’t make sense to incur a large amount of time and administrative expense attempting to remedy a minor problem.  I’ve seen many similar situations where an agency simply got the vendor to extend the performance period and made the offerings available to the entire agency.

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Reminds me of another current thread about “what authority to direct” a supplier not to try to deliver some products/items in the event that there would have been a govt shutdown (for a few days).

Common sense would have led me to call the supplier and ask if they could delay shipment for a few days in the event of a shutdown. I’ll bet that they would have been willing to do that. I’ve successfully done that with personal orders when we were going to be gone for a few days to avoid leaving it outside on the front steps.

Of course, calling and actually speaking to a human contractor rep may be terrifying to some (many?)  government employees.

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2 hours ago, joel hoffman said:

 

Of course, calling and actually speaking to a human contractor rep may be terrifying to some (many?)  government employees.

True.  The 1102 workforce negatively suffers from two forces.  One is they are risk adverse and afraid to take actions on their own.  Everything must be in writing and concurred in by superiors and legal counsel.  The second is they are afraid of oral communications.  That’s why there are very few negotiated procurements any longer.  In the rare instances where it happens, negotiations are written.  Companies will also say government contracting people rarely call to discuss items.  Communications are more likely to be via email and days late.

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3 hours ago, formerfed said:

True.  The 1102 workforce negatively suffers from two forces.  One is they are risk adverse and afraid to take actions on their own.  Everything must be in writing and concurred in by superiors and legal counsel.  The second is they are afraid of oral communications.  That’s why there are very few negotiated procurements any longer.  In the rare instances where it happens, negotiations are written.  Companies will also say government contracting people rarely call to discuss items.  Communications are more likely to be via email and days late.

 A very sad state of affairs. Such a waste of opportunity!!

It isn’t limited to the 1102 workforce but they sometimes stood out in my experiences.

As a long time negotiator for contracts, mods and claims, I noted much of that reluctance across the Army Corps of Engineers when teaching various contract admin classes, such as mods and claims and teaching design-build and construction source selection processes up until 2016.  This wasn’t limited to COE. Our classes included students from many other agencies and career fields. 

It was evident when making project and program review team visits to different Districts while on the MILCON Transformation Program Leadership Team (PLT) in the 2005-2013 period.

It has recently been extremely difficult to get many people to answer a live call!  They seem to prefer text messages…

Edited by joel hoffman
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16 hours ago, joel hoffman said:

It has recently been extremely difficult to get many people to answer a live call!  They seem to prefer text messages…

This may be a symptom of a change in society as a whole.  Texting seems to be the preferred method of communication among younger people today.  

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18 minutes ago, Retreadfed said:

This may be a symptom of a change in society as a whole.  Texting seems to be the preferred method of communication among younger people today.  

Text first to see if the person is available. Then call. That is proper etiquette.

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2 hours ago, here_2_help said:

Text first to see if the person is available. Then call. That is proper etiquette.

Ah, the new etiquette.  How does one text first on a land line? 

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5 hours ago, joel hoffman said:

Ah, the new etiquette.  How does one text first on a land line? 

Nobody has land lines anymore. If you work in an office that has land lines, move on. It's a sign of regression

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On 9/29/2023 at 9:50 AM, C Culham said:

With regard to the Christian Doctrine remember it is a legal doctrine applied by courts.

Exactly. Has nothing really to do with the FAR per se.  A good CO would certainly consider it as part of a risk assessment associated with a decision, but it's not something the CO can invoke as an authority to direct a contractor.  Unless the application of Christian is crystal clear with some relevant precedent, as a CO I wouldn't even go there at all unless there was a sound legal opinion to back it up (because it's a legal issue as CC points out).  The Christian Doctrine is very narrowly applied for good reason.

How about down-scoping the contract to match what has been delivered, de-obligate excess funds, and Bob's Your Uncle?

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30 minutes ago, REA'n Maker said:

How about down-scoping the contract to match what has been delivered, de-obligate excess funds, and Bob's Your Uncle?

As I understand from this thread, there is no contract that obligates funds for later disbursement -- there is a GPC purchase.

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57 minutes ago, REA'n Maker said:

How about down-scoping the contract to match what has been delivered, de-obligate excess funds, and Bob's Your Uncle?

 

26 minutes ago, ji20874 said:

As I understand from this thread, there is no contract that obligates funds for later disbursement -- there is a GPC purchase.

Plus it may not be simple to down-scope or submit a dispute for a defined amount.  The OP hasn’t provided details but many training companies sell training in a packaged bundle.  That may be the situation here.  The government makes a GPC purchase, the credit card company provides a consolidated invoice for all the agency purchases over the month, and they get paid.

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Most of this is speculation. We don’t know enough facts about the whole situation, e.g.,

•whether or not the partial performance met a defined requirement (“sort of”), if any was defined?

•if performance of the first session met requirements(?) or expectations(?)

• if no, was there feedback to provider before the second session?, etc.

•WHY they want all(?) or part(?) of their money back?

…in order to  provide appropriate advice.

I find it hard to believe that the OP can’t get appropriate legal advice from his/her agency or lower level legal office.

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21 hours ago, ji20874 said:

As I understand from this thread, there is no contract that obligates funds for later disbursement -- there is a GPC purchase

So the issue is how to claw back funds?  

Based on my recent experience obtaining my FAC-C Level III (after obtaining my DAWIA Level III in the late 90's) I'm shocked anyone could do a bad enough job providing training to get themselves effectively terminated.  The FAC-C training providers weren't even presenting the correct subject matter and could have cared less when informed of that fact (e.g., teaching and testing DFARS/DoD PGI and the proper use of WPN funding to an audience of DHS employees, among other patent absurdities).

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