Government Connections - Fall 2015 - (Page 27)

SUPPLIER STRATEGY DEALING WITH COMMON CONTRACTING SCENARIOS BY TED MILLER, CHME, CHSP, CGTP, CGMP MILLER HOTEL GROUP Question: We received a notice for a blanket purchase agreement that has many qualifications that must be met to pursue this opportunity. Much of the criteria seem consistent with government purchasing requirements, but I am concerned some information goes beyond what has been previously requested. How do you suggest we approach this? Answer: If you are not knowledgeable with the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), you might not understand why the language is present and the intent for which it was added. First, be aware that the FAR has been amended several times and many revisions have conflicting information. Until the FAR is properly rewritten, you and the contracting officer are stuck with the regulations as written. For each section of the bid that you must address, what I normally suggest is to use common business and contract law knowledge and answer accordingly. While many of the questions asked may not apply to you, they will require a response. Keep answers as short as possible; be direct. If the contracting officer does not understand an answer you have given, he or she can request clarification or additional information. Insist that you have verbal communication versus electronic so you can determine what they are requesting and why it applies to the bid. Question: Some recent contract awards we pursued were awarded to bidders who did not have the lowest bid. How can this happen? Answer: First, review the evaluation section of the bid on how the award is to be made. Many times, there is a section that indicates the award will be based on "best value to the government," which allows for subjective versus objective reasoning. In some cases, the decision can be made based on past experience or a concern as to whether a bidder will be able to meet all the criteria. You do have the option of requesting why your bid was not successful, but you may not always receive a response. Question: Recently, we were awarded a contract for a conference, and the primary contact person, who is not the contracting officer, requested additional equipment that is not covered under the items originally specified. How do we handle such a situation? Answer: It is not unusual for the designated conference planner not to be on the same page as the contracting officer. Most contracting officers have little - if any - knowledge of conference planning, so he or she may have left off information in the pricing section. It is also not unusual for the individual who is now planning the event not to have been involved with the contracting process. The simplest way to approach this can be done in two different ways. The first option is to compile the list of additional equipment requested and request that the contracting officer make an amendment to the contract award to now cover the new equipment requested. This is not always possible; depending on the total amount of the new equipment, it could require that you recompete for the bid. The alternatives range from asking the planner to bring equipment they have available to be used at the conference site and determine how you can rearrange the equipment to be rented. In other words, if the planner can bring all the projectors required, you may be able to use those previously dedicated funds to pay for other equipment. The last option, of course, is obvious. 27

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Government Connections - Fall 2015

President’s Letter
Editor’s Letter
Going Places
It’s Legal. You’re Honest. But Are You Ethical?
Just Because It’s Legal Doesn’t Make It Right
The Ins and Outs of Setting Per Diem
Three Chapters Celebrate 30 Years in 2015
2015 SGMP National Education Conference & Expo
Supplier Strategy
Finances & Budgeting
Meet a Member
CGMP Corner
National Updates
SGMP Nation
Advertisers’ Index

Government Connections - Fall 2015