The PCI Network – Three Keys to a Winning Proposal

The next episode of The PCI Network is all about putting together a winning proposal. Lou Chiarella, Director and Faculty at PCI, shares three tips to help you craft a winning proposal. Mr. Chiarella is an attorney in the Washington, D.C. area with 20 years of experience specializing in all aspects of Government contracting.  In addition to his current position, his previous experiences include: Professor of Contract and Fiscal Law, U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s School, Charlottesville, Virginia; Chief of Administrative and Civil Law, Fort Carson, Colorado; and Trial Attorney, U.S. Army Contract Appeals Division, Arlington, Virginia.

The PCI Network – Character Traits for a Great Government Contracts Professional

In this episode of The PCI Network, the head of our FUN with the FAR series, Stephen Daoust, discusses the four traits of a great government contracts professional. Throughout his 25-year career, Steve has worked as a Chief Government Contracts Counsel, Director of Contracts, and Chief Compliance Officer for both publicly traded companies like Iridium and Affiliated Computer Services and large accounting firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he was asked on a daily basis to provide expert advice and counsel on the negotiation and administration of contracts with federal, state, and local Governments. Check out what he has to say below!

Using Focused Interviews to Streamline the Proposal Development Process

When it comes to collecting and building meaningful, on-target content for Federal Government proposal responses, focused interviews stand head and shoulders above traditional methods. Among small, mid-tier, and tier-one corporations, proposal development most frequently involves requesting various people from within your company and across your team to write sections or sub-sections of text. And that’s where problems often begin. In many business situations that I’ve experienced during the past 27 years, technical subject matter experts (SMEs), program and project managers or task leaders, and infrastructure support professionals are not comfortable with the process, or prepared to write narrative, much less conceptualize accompanying graphics. In addition, with technical SMEs and programmatic experts who are on direct charge on one or more Federal contracts, their #1 priority … Continue reading

FAR 52.217-3, 52.217-4 & FAR 52.217-5 Evaluation of Options

Applicability:  As stated at FAR 17.208(a) thru (c), the provisions at FAR 52.217-3, 52.217-4, and 52.217-5 are included in solicitations as follows: (a) Insert FAR 52.217-3 when the solicitation includes an option clause and does not include one of the provisions prescribed in paragraph (b) or (c) below. (b) Insert FAR 52.217-4 when the solicitation includes an option clause, the contracting officer has determined that there is a reasonable likelihood that the option will be exercised, and the option may be exercised at the time of contract award. (c) Insert FAR 52.217-5 when: (1) The solicitation contains an option clause; (2) An option is not to be exercised at the time of contract award; (3) A firm-fixed-price contract, a fixed-price contract with economic price adjustment, or other type of contract approved … Continue reading

FAR 52.216-30 Time-and-Materials/Labor-Hour Proposal Requirements (Part 2)

Non-Commercial Item Acquisition with Adequate Price Competition NOTE: This is the second in a three-part series on Time-and-Materials/Labor-Hour Proposal Requirements.  Part 1 addressed non-commercial item acquisition with adequate price competition. This Part 2 addresses non-commercial item acquisitions where there is not adequate price competition (FAR 52.216-30).  Part 3 will address commercial item acquisitions at FAR 52.216-31 (which must, by law, be awarded based on adequate price competition).    Applicability: As stated at FAR 16.601(f)(2), the solicitation provision at FAR 52.216 30 applies to Time-and-Materials/Labor Hour (T&M./LH) solicitations for non-commercial item acquisitions, where the price is not expected to be based on adequate price competition.   Key Requirements: T&M/LH contracts provide for reimbursement to the contractor based on a fixed hourly rate for each labor category listed in the … Continue reading

FAR 52.216-29, Time-and-Materials/Labor-Hour Proposal Requirements

Non-Commercial Item Acquisition with Adequate Price Competition NOTE: This is the first in a three-part series on Time-and-Materials/Labor-Hour Proposal Requirements.  This Part 1 addresses non-commercial item acquisition with adequate price competition.  Part 2 will address non-commercial item acquisitions where there is not adequate price competition (FAR 52.216-30).  Part 3 will address commercial item acquisitions at FAR 52.216-31 (which must, by law, be awarded based on adequate price competition).    Applicability: As stated at FAR 16.601(f)(1), the solicitation provision at FAR 52.216 29 applies to Time-and-Materials/Labor Hour (T&M./LH) solicitations for non-commercial item acquisitions, where the price is expected to be based on adequate price competition.   Key Requirements: T&M/LH contracts provide for reimbursement to the contractor based on a fixed hourly rate for each labor category listed in the … Continue reading

FAR 52.215-22 and FAR 52.215-23: Limitations on Pass-Through Charges

Applicability: These two FAR provisions work together to enforce the FAR limitations on pass-through charges.  Both the solicitation provision (FAR 52.215-22) and the contract clause (FAR 52.215-22) are included in civilian and DoD contracts when the estimated contract value or order value exceeds the simplified acquisition threshold and the contemplated contract type is expected to be a cost-reimbursement type.  In addition, for DoD contracts, they are included when the total estimated contract or order value exceeds the threshold for obtaining certified cost or pricing data unless (a) the contract is fixed price (firm fixed price, fixed-price with economic price adjustment, or fixed-price incentive) awarded on the basis of adequate price competition, or (b) the contract is fixed price for the acquisition of commercial items.   … Continue reading

Should the Kimono be Opened? – Organizational Conflicts of Interest (OCI) Best Practices

FAR Part 9.504 requires contracting officers (CO’s) to identify and evaluate potential OCI’s early in the process, but puts no time pressure (other than the award deadline) on the need to resolve (i.e., avoid, neutralize, or mitigate) significant organizational conflicts.   Following this timeline, CO’s will often require that proposals include relevant OCI-related information, including mitigation plans, and then defer consideration and resolution of an offeror’s potential OCI until (and unless) the offeror’s proposal is found to offer the “best value.” There are understandable reasons for this procrastination.  First, the facts may not be known initially (and may evolve, especially if the statement of work is amended).  Second, a CO’s plate is always full; where will they find the time to address potential OCI’s that won’t … Continue reading