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About

Darren CharestDarren Charest is a former repo agent and skip tracer who started a niche marketed telephony company called US Tracers in 1993. Nowadays he's focused on developing highly vertical data products like RepoBOOST and CollectBOOST. As their names imply, they deliver highly distilled industry-specific data for an intended purpose. For example, RepoBOOST analyzes an Order of Repo i.e. similar to a loan application and returns results optimized to be the most actionable for lenders and their agents. This includes industry firsts such as automatically identifying third-party drivers (a major pain point), Place of Employment, and other vehicles a subject is known to drive -- a far cry from legacy data products.

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DOE RFP Subcontractor Changes Aspiring PCAs Should be Aware Of - Part 2

3/1/2016 3/1/2016 by Darren Charest Comments 0 Comments

In Part 1 of this series about ED-FSA-16-R-0009, we discussed the DOE's changes in policy surrounding the use of subcontractors -- the central point being subcontractors must be directly vetted by DOE and registered in SAM.

In Part 2 we will focus on Section D, specifically the Subcontracting Plan (Attachment 2) and the Small Business Participation Plan (Attachment 5) – both are due February 29, 2016 at 5PM EST.

Since most, if not all PCAs will utilize subcontractors for Place of Employment (POE) data [to fuel their Administrative Wage Garnishments (AWG) efforts], and other mission-critical tasks there are far-reaching implications to responding correctly to the DOE's RFP ED-FSA-16-R-0009.

Naming an unqualified subcontractor in Section D or using one not registered in SAM can be catastrophic to your company's chances at submitting a successful proposal. In fact, it's considered a material breach by the DOE and subjects PCAs to liquidated damages*

" 8.1.  As stated in 15 U.S.C.637(d)(8), any contractor or subcontractor failing to comply in good faith with the requirements of the subcontracting plan is in material breach of its contract. Further, 15 U.S.C.637(d)(4)(F)directs that a contractor’s failure to make a good faith effort to comply with the requirements of the subcontracting plan shall result in the imposition of liquidated damages."

*Above two U.S.C. hyperlinks in official RFP were invalid, we corrected above. 

Subcontracting Plan (Attachment 2)

Each PCA is asked to achieve the following subcontracting goals in their Subcontracting Plan:  

  

"Prime Subcontracting Total Dollars

Subcontract Total Dollars

SB Subcontracts 

31%

31%

SDB Subcontracts 

5.0%

5.0%

WOSB Subcontracts 

5.0%

5.0%

HUBZone Subcontracts

3.0%

3.0%

SDVOSB Subcontracts

3.0%

3.0%"

Types of Subcontracting Plans

There are three types of plans with important term implications:

  • Individual Plan - covers the entire contract period including options periods -- this means 10 years!
  • Master Plan - covers three year period.
  • Commercial Plan - PCA's fiscal period.

Task Orders are set at a one year period of performance, meaning a PCA may not complete the entire term depending on their performance.

Description of Supplies and Services to be Subcontracted 

This is where PCAs list the types of products/services provided by their subcontractors. For example, a Place of Employment (POE) vendor, mail service provider, etc. PCA must also state how they will achieve their subcontracting goals, methods to identify subcontractors and the importance of SAM including:

"A firm may rely on the information contained in SAM as an accurate representation of a concern’s size and ownership characteristics for the purposes of maintaining a small, veteran-owned small, service-disabled veteran-owned small, HUBZone small, small disadvantaged, and women-owned small business source list."

Subcontracting Plan Administration Information

Names the Subcontracting Plan Administrator, describes their duties, etc. This is an important point of contact and the scope of their duties is better defined by 11 (shown as A-K) Yes or No questions.

Equitable Opportunity

This is based in part on FAR 19.704(a)(8) that covers internal and external efforts that will be taken to place business within the designated categories: small, HUBZone small, small disadvantaged, women-owned small, veteran-owned small, and service disabled veteran-owned small business concerns.

Reporting and Cooperation

Recordkeeping

Timely Payments to Subcontractors

Good Faith Effort 

These 4 sections are beyond the scope of this article but suffice to say they cover the extensive controls, policies, procedures, rules, and regulations in place for the DOE and PCA to track and measure performance and to treat subcontractors fairly. The DOE is now requiring PCAs in writing to pay subcontractors in a timely manner and even police subcontractors for misrepresenting their business status:

"(v) Provide notice to subcontractors concerning penalties and remedies for misrepresentations of business status as small, veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small, small disadvantaged, or women-owned small business for the purpose of obtaining a subcontract that is to be included as part or all of a goal contained in the Contractor’s subcontracting plan."

Attachment 5 - Small Business Participation Plan

This is closely tied to the aforementioned Attachment 2 where PCA is asked to state their own business status as well as percentage and dollar amounts allocated to subcontractors broken down by business status. 

Conclusions

The DOE has put numerous policies and procedures in place to earmark business to those with a "business status" of: small, HUBZone small, small disadvantaged, women-owned small, veteran-owned small, and service disabled veteran-owned small business concerns. By using SAM, a PCA eliminates the possibility of subcontractors misrepresenting their business status--in other words, SAM is authoritative.

We specialize in Place of Employment (POE) data, in SAM we can be found under CAGE Code 7K2C7.

Connect with US Tracers and me on LinkedIn.

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