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67/23/2018 7:37 AM

​Since 2014 the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has increased the price of background investigations by 40 percent while wait times have tripled. In January, the Government Accountability Office added the Government-wide Personnel Security Clearance Process to its list of high-risk government programs and questioned whether NBIB (see  had an adequate plan to reduce the current backlog.  Under a 21 June 2018 White House reorganization plan, the NBIB could be absorbed into the DoD.  The Defense Security Service (DSS) is primed to take on responsibility for DoD personnel later this year and DSS is a logical DoD organization for the transfer of NBIB (yet to be approved by Congress).

ADAM STROUP6/13/2019 9:16 AMNo
23/27/2019 7:58 AM
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimates that about 26 percent of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) contracts and orders valued $5 million and above in fiscal year 2017 were competitively awarded using the lowest price technically acceptable (LPTA) process. DOD used the LPTA process to buy such things as equipment, fuel, information technology services and construction services.  Section 813 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, as amended, mandated that DOD revise its regulations to require that eight criteria be considered when using the LPTA process. As of September 2018, DOD had not yet done so. Accordingly, a DOD acquisition policy official stated that contracting officers are not yet required to consider these criteria. Nevertheless, GAO found that contracting officials generally considered five of the eight criteria for the 14 contracts and orders GAO reviewed (see GAO 19-54).  A DOD official stated that the updated regulations will reflect these eight criteria, including that justifications be documented. 

GAO recommends that DOD address, as regulations are updated, how contracting officials should apply two Section 813 criteria that were generally not considered. DOD concurred with the recommendations and plans to revise its regulations and issue additional guidance by the end of fiscal year 2019.

ADAM STROUP5/17/2019 1:50 PMNo
02/11/2019 3:43 PM

ACQ 256, Services Acquisition Management Tools deployed today, 11 Feb 2019.  This is a revised course based on ACQ255 that has been shortened to approximately 16 hours by moving the Cost Estimating module to CLM 006, Independent Government Cost Estimate for Services Acquisition.

Please be advised that you may still complete your current enrollment in the predecessor course (ACQ255) to satisfy training/certification requirements.  However, it's recommended that you take ACQ 256 as the content relies heavily on the Service Acquisition Mall which recently moved.  For ACQ 255, all required content must be completed prior to close of business on April 30, 2019. 

If ACQ 255 remains incomplete on your transcript, your enrollment will be dropped with an attrition code of "Z" for "Other."  You may register for the new ACQ 256 at your convenience.  You may access the content of the new course from DAU's training center.  Look for "Publically available course material."

To access the online learning environment, please login here:

2/11/2019 3:43 PMNo
01/9/2019 4:02 PM

CLM 006 is a three hour on line training course to help services acquisition team members to understand, develop and review an IGCE. 

Cost estimates are necessary for many reasons:  to support decisions about funding one program over another, to develop annual budget requests, to evaluate resource requirements at key decision points, and to develop performance measurement baselines.  Do you need an Independent Government Cost Estimate?  An IGCE is required for every services acquisition in excess of the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT).  You’ll need that IGCE to help defend your requirement at the Services Requirements Review Board (SRRB).  Topics covered in CLM 006 include the current cost estimating and budgeting environment, cost estimating methods, the Acquisition Requirements Roadmap Tool—Cost Estimation (ARRT-CE), and an introduction to cost accounting.

The DoD Handbook for the Training and Development of the Services Acquisition Workforce recommends CLM 006 for the Functional Services Manager at Level I.  More information is available on ARRT-CE as well as the Independent Government Cost Estimate (IGCE) Handbook for Services Acquisition on the Service Acquisition Mall

1/9/2019 4:02 PMNo
211/29/2018 9:03 AM

​Annually GAO reports to Congress data concerning potest filings.  This is Summarized in the table at the botom of this post. (Note:  you can find the reports with a search of Bid Protests on the ACE for Services Community).

I find GAO's report of the most prevalent grounds for sustaining protests very useful.  Of the protests resolved on the merits during fiscal year 2018, GAO sustained 15 percent of those protests.

GAO found that the most prevalent reasons for sustaining protests during the 2018 fiscal year were: (1) unreasonable technical evaluation; (2) unreasonable cost or price evaluation; (3) flawed selection decision.

In FY17, GAO reported as most prevalent reasons for sustaining a protest as: (1) unreasonable technical evaluation; (2) unreasonable past performance evaluation; (3) unreasonable cost or price evaluation; (4) inadequate documentation of the record; and (5) flawed selection decision.

So, #1, 2 and 3 in FY 18 were #1, #3 and #5 in FY17.  Did we get better at documentation and past performance evaluations?  How can we get better at avoiding protests due to those recurring top reasons?


ADAM STROUP12/4/2018 6:25 AMYes

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