443 – What is Pre-Acquisition? (part 1)

Kevin and Paul have covered a LOT of topics on this podcast. In each of the episodes, they map out where a particular topic fits within the Acquisition and/or Execution Time Zones®. (NOTE: For more…

442 – What are Foreign Military Sales?

The United States government buys a wide variety of things in a variety of ways. In this episode, we cover one of those unique ways: through Foreign Military Sales (FMS). Under FMS, the US government…

441 – Why is this Inherently Governmental?

We talked in episode 440 about how the government awards contracts for lots of services – unless those services are “inherently governmental activities”. We outlined the definition of that in episode 195. What makes these…

440 – Hiring from the Same Labor Pool

The US government decided a long time ago to contract out as many services as possible, except for the ones that are “inherently governmental services” (see episode 195 for those). However, the hiring of all…

438 – GovCon Conventions

Chess is one of my favorite games. It’s simple, yet maddeningly complex. Chess is a game in which it’s easy to get the basics: there are only 6 types of pieces. However, the game gets…

437 – Finding Contract Awards w/Shelley

There are several places in the FAR that direct contracting officers to award products and services against existing contracts BEFORE establishing new ones. There is even a specific provision that acquisition planning include consideration for…

436 – What is Acquisition Planning?

Wanting to award a contract and having a path to make award are two different things.  The government needs to acquire goods and services. Even when the government customer clearly knows what they need, just…

435 – Sole Source Awards

A Sole Source contract award is when the government awards a contract without competition. The standard procedure in GovCon is to use competition to compete requirements, therefore awarding a sole source contract is a “non-standard”…

434 – Agency Protest with Shelley Hall

The Agency Protest is yet another communication tool available to industry to engage with the government team. It’s one of the ways – and it has it’s place. First though, we recommend straight up, “open…

433 – Contract Length

How long can a government contract be? Most contracts are awarded to meet ongoing requirements. Therefore, it makes sense to have a contract in place to cover that requirement at all times. However, is there…

432 – Protestor Types

A protest is the formal process for offerors to challenge the way the government awards a contract. It’s like having check and balances built into the contracting “system”. However,  protests tend to be sideways activity…

430 – Advisory Multi-Step Process

Government and industry are “encouraged to communicate” in the FAR…that’s nice…but how do they do that? How can the government and industry teams actually execute that “encouragement”? What exactly do the regulations say that government…

428 – Thresholds

The federal acquisition regulation (FAR) is chockablock with “thresholds” – a threshold is the term for a specific numbers (usually dollar a specific dollar amount) that requires specific action. Threshold types include: Review thresholds Approval…

427 – Consent to Subcontract (Part 2 of 2)

Sometimes, the government gets a vote on who contractors subcontract to. It’s called “consent to subcontract”.. Part 1 was about the process to get consent (as a contractor) Part 2 is about the process to…

426 – Oral Proposals Part 2

Back in Episode 422, Vicky Strycharske and Kevin Jans outlined how Oral Proposals work. They dug into what they are, and why they tend to be a valuable option for acquisition teams…especially when buying services….

424 – Problem Solved

To meet its mission, the government needs to buy things.  To meet their mission, contractors need to sell things. Easy, right? Well, no. The difficulty comes when neither side is targeting. When the government is…

423 *Full Free Episode* What’s the Problem?

Communication matters. Communication between Government and Industry (between buyer and seller) is a key factor in the effectiveness of GovCon. Without effective communication, both government and industry can be very busy sending information back and…

422 – Oral Proposals

Oral proposals are back… though maybe they never left. Either way, the government teams are using more oral proposals more often as part of their acquisition process. Kevin invited Vicky Strycharke from the Skyway team…

421 – Pre vs Post Award Protest

Protests are rarely the best course of action. Nonetheless, they are part of the GovCon landscape so it’s important to understand them. Kevin and Paul cover the basics of protests back in Episode 066. In…

420 – What is OASIS+?

In this episode, we dig into the OASIS+ contract. OASIS stands for One Acquisition Source for Integrated Services and the + is that this is the second version of the contract. In OASIS+, the contract…

419 – What is SETA support?

In this episode, Kevin and Paul explain the concept of SETA Support or Systems Engineering and Technical Assistance Support. This is a specific type of professional services the government hires to provide direct support  on…

418 – SMBs in GovCon (or Not)

SMB or Small to Mid-sized Businesses is a marketing term often used in the private sector to describe businesses that are larger than a sole proprietorship but smaller than a large corporation. In government contracting,…

417 – Notice of Intent to Bid

One of the most frustrating variables of the source selection is not knowing how many proposals the government will get.  One of the ways to solve this problem is to require a notice of intent…

415 – Consent to Subcontract

Sometimes the government gets a vote on who contractors subcontract to. In some specific cases, mostly when using cost type contracts, the government has the right to give consent to subcontract. This means that the…

414 – AI and GovCon

In this episode, Kevin welcomes John Ferry to talk about artificial intelligence, which is the buzzword of the day it seems and its potential impact on government contracting.  Specifically, we’re going to talk about how AI and…

413 – What is PPQ?

In this episode, Kevin and Paul, explain how a past performance questionnaire or a PPQ works in government contracts. While there are many ways to evaluate the past performance of contractors, a PPQ is specific…

412 – What is PALT?

Procurement Action Lead Time or PALT is how long it takes from requirement to contract.  For years this has been the standard for how the Government decides how quickly contracts are awarded, or how quickly…

411 – What is HTRO?

In this episode, Kevin and Paul explain a relatively new source selection process, the Highest Rated Technical Offer at reasonable price or HTRO.  This source selection process is a mirror image of LTPA, however there are…

410 – What is a Bridge Contract?

Sometimes the Government’s acquisition plan doesn’t line up with the schedule for a requirement.  While there are lots of ways to meet a short term requirement,  the Contracting Officer may use a bridge contract as…

409 – Post-Award Pitfalls

Winning the contact is step one, managing and administrating it afterward is just as important. In this episode, Kevin and Paul describe key factors that could create pitfalls in your post-award contract management and also…

407 – What is an IDIQ Off-Ramp?

The Government awards multiple award contracts in order to have more contractors to pick from after award.  However, to avoid being “stuck with” the list of contractors they have, the Government may also include on-ramps…

406 – What is Best Value?

In this episode we describe the best value continuum.  We explain how the Government is always looking for “best value” through every acquisition.  The question becomes where on the continuum does a specific acquisition lie?…

405 – The Written Debrief

Contracting Officers are often required to do provide a debriefing to contractors when they are unsuccessful.  However, the means to how that debriefing happens is open for the Government to choose.  In this episode we…

404 – What is a Stop Work Order?

If you work in the Government acquisition world, this podcast is for you!  It’s not just for Contracting Officers. In this episode we discuss the why, how and what of a Stop Work Order.  We…

403 – What is My Contract Worth?

If you work in the Government acquisition world, this podcast is for you!  It’s not just for Contracting Officers. Contract value should be clear. However; the funded value, the face value, the potential value and…

402 – What is an Agreements Officer?

If you work in the Government acquisition world, this podcast is for you!  It’s not just for Contracting Officers. Contracts are awarded by Contracting Officers other agreements are awarded by Agreement Officers. In this episode,…

400 – The Quatercentenary (400th Episode!)

If you work in the Government acquisition world, this podcast is for you. (not just for Contracting Officers!) This is the 400th episode of the Contracting Officer Podcast. Thank you to all the listeners who…

396 – What is a Red Team Review?

If you work in the Government acquisition world, this podcast is for you. (not just for Contracting Officers!) Kevin and Paul discuss the process that industry uses to review proposals prior to final submittal. Listen…

395 – OTAs and Consortia (with Mica Dolan

If you work in the Government acquisition world, this podcast is for you. (not just for Contracting Officers!) Kevin talks Other Transactions and consortia with Mica Dolan, Chief Operating Officer at Advanced Technology International (ATI)….

394 – Three sides of the GovCon Triangle

If you work in the Government acquisition world, this podcast is for you. (not just for Contracting Officers!) We spend a lot of time on the podcast talking about the Acquisition Time Zones and the…

392 – Thresholds and Objectives

If you work in the Government acquisition world, this podcast is for you. (not just for Contracting Officers!) Kevin and Paul talk government source selection evaluation criteria. Listen and learn how using threshold requirements and…

390 – Amend vs Modify

If you work in the Government acquisition world, this podcast is for you. (not just for Contracting Officers!) Kevin and Paul describe the process of amending a government solicitation. Listen and learn why (as always)…

380 – What is an OTA?

If you work in the Government acquisition world, this podcast is for you. (not just for Contracting Officers!) Kevin and Paul discuss OTAs – Other Transaction Authority, a non FAR/DFARS based, legally binding instrument –…

378 – What is Contract Scope?

If you work in the Government acquisition world, this podcast is for you. (not just for Contracting Officers!) Kevin and Paul describe the Contracting Officer’s scope determination and how it impacts the government’s ability to…

377 – How are MAC IDIQs used?

If you work in the Government acquisition world, this podcast is for you. (not just for Contracting Officers!) Starting off the new year with acronym soup. MAC (multi-agency contracts or multi-award contracts) IDIQ (Indefinite Delivery…