Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
18 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Everything Else » Religion, Sex, and Politics

Subject: Government Contracting Muckup rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Bitter and Acerbic Harridan
Avatar
Another interesting article from back in June. My FB page has had some better posts lately.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-alexander/a-tale-of-gover...

This one revolves around a contract for shipping (due to transfers) and storage of vehicles owned privately by military service members. Apparently, the new contract was awarded to International Auto Logistics (IAL), with a whopping 10 employees and an annual revenue of less than half a million dollars AND no expertise in the area. In fact, the company was founded for the sole purpose of obtaining this contract. Lowest bid contracting at its worst. You'd think basic expertise would be a criteria for bidding on it. It's apparently not gone well since then.

The blog piece also goes into some detail about the parent company of IAL - International Auto Processing, also in Brunswick, whose chairman is Park Sang-Kwon. He was the former chairman of Pyeonghwa Motors. Park apparently has some close ties to North Korea, having visited 200 times and been awarded an honorary citizenship. The blog questions whether this is a security risk.

The piece criticizes the Obama administration, but also observes that the congressman of the district in which IAL is headquartered was "highly complimentary". Seems like a bipartisan muckup to me. Government bureaucracy at its finest.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Boaty McBoatface
England
County of Essex
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I recall in this country a similar situation over a number of private enterprise bids for government contracts.

Sometimes cheap does not mean better.

As to a security risk, not sure there is that much of a risk, how much is he told? But it is extraordinarily incompetent to have awarded the contract to someone who is a citizen of a hostile state.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
There is no Dana, only Zuul
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It reads like there weren't milestones and performance expectations tied to payments. Am I reading correctly that they awarded millions of dollars without those things or some kind of risk management plan to protect the government and its interests in case the business proves incompetent and otherwise incapable of delivering?
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave G
United States
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
El Chupacabratwurst
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
xilan wrote:
It reads like there weren't milestones and performance expectations tied to payments. Am I reading correctly that they awarded millions of dollars without those things or some kind of risk management plan to protect the government and its interests in case the business proves incompetent and otherwise incapable of delivering?


That sounds about right based on my limited experience with government work.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Xander Fulton
United States
Astoria
Oregon
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
djgutierrez77 wrote:
xilan wrote:
It reads like there weren't milestones and performance expectations tied to payments. Am I reading correctly that they awarded millions of dollars without those things or some kind of risk management plan to protect the government and its interests in case the business proves incompetent and otherwise incapable of delivering?


That sounds about right based on my limited experience with government work.


Curious, I've had exactly the opposite experience with government work.

Fanatical about defined milestones, payment schedule, and specifically defined deliverables.

Even on trivial, what amounts to 'single step' projects, breaking them up into sections.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
There is no Dana, only Zuul
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
XanderF wrote:
djgutierrez77 wrote:
xilan wrote:
It reads like there weren't milestones and performance expectations tied to payments. Am I reading correctly that they awarded millions of dollars without those things or some kind of risk management plan to protect the government and its interests in case the business proves incompetent and otherwise incapable of delivering?


That sounds about right based on my limited experience with government work.


Curious, I've had exactly the opposite experience with government work.

Fanatical about defined milestones, payment schedule, and specifically defined deliverables.

Even on trivial, what amounts to 'single step' projects, breaking them up into sections.


It probably depends on your sector. Scientific research contracts are more like you describe, and what I hear of some certain federal construction contracting is more like what Dave describes.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave G
United States
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
El Chupacabratwurst
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
xilan wrote:
XanderF wrote:
djgutierrez77 wrote:
xilan wrote:
It reads like there weren't milestones and performance expectations tied to payments. Am I reading correctly that they awarded millions of dollars without those things or some kind of risk management plan to protect the government and its interests in case the business proves incompetent and otherwise incapable of delivering?


That sounds about right based on my limited experience with government work.


Curious, I've had exactly the opposite experience with government work.

Fanatical about defined milestones, payment schedule, and specifically defined deliverables.

Even on trivial, what amounts to 'single step' projects, breaking them up into sections.


It probably depends on your sector. Scientific research contracts are more like you describe, and what I hear of some certain federal construction contracting is more like what Dave describes.


Yeah, I should have prefaced that by saying my exposure to this was via FEMA in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, so probably government at its worst.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J
United States
Lexington
Kentucky
flag msg tools
admin
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
xilan wrote:
XanderF wrote:
djgutierrez77 wrote:
xilan wrote:
It reads like there weren't milestones and performance expectations tied to payments. Am I reading correctly that they awarded millions of dollars without those things or some kind of risk management plan to protect the government and its interests in case the business proves incompetent and otherwise incapable of delivering?


That sounds about right based on my limited experience with government work.


Curious, I've had exactly the opposite experience with government work.

Fanatical about defined milestones, payment schedule, and specifically defined deliverables.

Even on trivial, what amounts to 'single step' projects, breaking them up into sections.


It probably depends on your sector. Scientific research contracts are more like you describe, and what I hear of some certain federal construction contracting is more like what Dave describes.

My experience is more like Xander's. I contract for the DoD.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave W
United States
Springfield
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
she2 wrote:
Lowest bid contracting at its worst. You'd think basic expertise would be a criteria for bidding on it.


Basic expertise is sometimes a criterion for being allowed to bid, but it should definitely be a factor in the technical evaluation.

As far the lowest bid -- What we learned in our contracting classes is that the contract should go to the bid that represents the best value to the government. That is pretty grey and open to interpretation, and in my experience, that interpretation can very much be driven by personality. About a year or two ago we started working with a new set of contracting officers, along with that came a new set of personalities. They have interpreted best value to mean the lowest bid of any proposal that was rated acceptable or better, so in this case, it does go to the lowest (acceptable) bidder.


she2 wrote:
The blog questions whether this is a security risk.


Maybe, maybe not. Transporting POVs around the US or back and forth from Europe when families PCS shouldn't be much of a security risk. What is the concern?

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave W
United States
Springfield
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
she2 wrote:

Apparently, the new contract was awarded to International Auto Logistics (IAL), with a whopping 10 employees and an annual revenue of less than half a million dollars AND no expertise in the area. In fact, the company was founded for the sole purpose of obtaining this contract.


One other thing I forgot - This is not that unusual. There are a lot of set-asides for various small and disadvantaged businesses. It's not uncommon for a small, woman-owned company to bid on a contract, with the idea that if they win, they will sub to a major company, such as a Boeing or Lockheed-Martin. Sometimes there are stipulations in the contract to preclude this, such as the prime will have to do a certain percentage of the work in-house.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Bitter and Acerbic Harridan
Avatar
va_trailrunner wrote:
she2 wrote:


[q="she2"]The blog questions whether this is a security risk.


Maybe, maybe not. Transporting POVs around the US or back and forth from Europe when families PCS shouldn't be much of a security risk. What is the concern?



I don't know. It's one of the thing I questioned about the article when reading it. But surely you realize that an increased number of orders for transfer might signal some shift by the US in allocation of military personel? Yes, it's probably well after any intelligence that they already received, so probably a low security risk, but companies (and presumably the military) do longer range planning where patterns could be discerned. I'm not an expert here, so while I view this blog criticism with a huge grain of salt, I'm not prepared to just blow it off as a concern.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
There is no Dana, only Zuul
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
djgutierrez77 wrote:
xilan wrote:
It probably depends on your sector. Scientific research contracts are more like you describe, and what I hear of some certain federal construction contracting is more like what Dave describes.


Yeah, I should have prefaced that by saying my exposure to this was via FEMA in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, so probably government at its worst.


I'm not sure that's an equal comparison given how incident management works. When it comes to addressing disasters (contracting and management)...the lead is the respective state. Federal agencies like FEMA support what the states are asking for, primarily by providing resources, but the burden and responsibility for incident management is ultimately at the local government(s) - states - level. Still government, yes, but NIMS is also kind of a unique thing in how resources are managed.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J
United States
Hawaii
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
djgutierrez77 wrote:
xilan wrote:
XanderF wrote:
djgutierrez77 wrote:
xilan wrote:
It reads like there weren't milestones and performance expectations tied to payments. Am I reading correctly that they awarded millions of dollars without those things or some kind of risk management plan to protect the government and its interests in case the business proves incompetent and otherwise incapable of delivering?


That sounds about right based on my limited experience with government work.


Curious, I've had exactly the opposite experience with government work.

Fanatical about defined milestones, payment schedule, and specifically defined deliverables.

Even on trivial, what amounts to 'single step' projects, breaking them up into sections.


It probably depends on your sector. Scientific research contracts are more like you describe, and what I hear of some certain federal construction contracting is more like what Dave describes.


Yeah, I should have prefaced that by saying my exposure to this was via FEMA in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, so probably government at its worst.

In a declared contingency operation the rules get a lot more lax.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J
United States
Hawaii
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
va_trailrunner wrote:
she2 wrote:
Lowest bid contracting at its worst. You'd think basic expertise would be a criteria for bidding on it.


Basic expertise is sometimes a criterion for being allowed to bid, but it should definitely be a factor in the technical evaluation.

As far the lowest bid -- What we learned in our contracting classes is that the contract should go to the bid that represents the best value to the government. That is pretty grey and open to interpretation, and in my experience, that interpretation can very much be driven by personality. About a year or two ago we started working with a new set of contracting officers, along with that came a new set of personalities. They have interpreted best value to mean the lowest bid of any proposal that was rated acceptable or better, so in this case, it does go to the lowest (acceptable) bidder.

Best Value tradeoff and Lowest Price Technically Acceptable are two distinctly different contract types and which type will be used is determined before the release of the request for proposals.

http://www.integritymc.com/blog/2013/02/best-value-or-lpta-o...
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Hathorn
United States
San Antonio
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jmilum wrote:
xilan wrote:
XanderF wrote:
djgutierrez77 wrote:
xilan wrote:
It reads like there weren't milestones and performance expectations tied to payments. Am I reading correctly that they awarded millions of dollars without those things or some kind of risk management plan to protect the government and its interests in case the business proves incompetent and otherwise incapable of delivering?


That sounds about right based on my limited experience with government work.


Curious, I've had exactly the opposite experience with government work.

Fanatical about defined milestones, payment schedule, and specifically defined deliverables.

Even on trivial, what amounts to 'single step' projects, breaking them up into sections.


It probably depends on your sector. Scientific research contracts are more like you describe, and what I hear of some certain federal construction contracting is more like what Dave describes.

My experience is more like Xander's. I contract for the DoD.

I also contract with the DoD. We've had 3 CORs in the 4 years I've been here. One was lax, one was mid-range, and the 3rd is fanatical.

The first company I was with was on a lowest price technically acceptable contract. We got decent benefits from the company, bonuses and, I felt, were treated well. The contract was up for a re-bid two years ago and the contract terms were changed to lowest bid.

A different company won that bid. They tried to hire all the employees from the previous contract, but only got about half of them because they had to reduce salaries. My salary didn't get cut, but this company offers much worse benefits, no bonuses, and treats us like crap.

I'm looking for another job. Lowest bid loses good employees and replaces them with poorly trained, cut-rate workers.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.