Friday, February 03, 2012

Somebody ... please translate this for me ...

I'm not drinking my breakfast ... yet ... but I've read this twice and all I can think of is a need to say, "BINGO!"
Booz Allen Hamilton, Norfolk, Va., is being awarded a not-to-exceed $20,000,000 modification to previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price pricing provisions contract (N00189-08-D-0022) to increase funded amount. The total contract value inclusive of all modifications is estimated at $184,103,663. The contract will provide leadership teams, providing expertise in change management, barrier identification and removal, and key enterprise performance metrics. The contractor will focus efforts on applying the key tenets of a structured, process-focused, metrics-driven enterprise approach to determine required output, identify and remove barriers, develop and analyze measures of performance, and manage the cultural changes necessary to reach enterprise objectives. It is the primary role of the contractor to work with naval personnel, active, reserve, civilian, and other government contractors, to accomplish the goals of the enterprise. Work will performed on-site at government sites (72 percent) and off-site contractors sites (28 percent). Work will be completed by Sept. 30, 2012. Funding will be operations and maintenance, Navy provided by the individual Fleet Readiness Enterprises and will be placed on individual task orders. Contract funds in the amount of $20,000,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The requirement was issued on a sole-source basis utilizing other than full and open competition procedures. NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (N00189-08-D-0022).

57 comments:

Former 3364 said...

Sooo... What the frack do you do here, exactly?  

I still need "synergy" go get my BINGO   :(

Captain Joe said...

Sounds like someone is making provisions for a quick, little war that we are not ready for...Syria??

Navy Grade 36 Bureaucrat said...

"<span>The requirement was issued on a sole-source basis utilizing other than full and open competition procedures."</span>

Other than full and open competition => scamming the government.

maogwai cat said...

When I see "Cost Plus Fixed Fee", I see a company that has no incentive to actually try reduce costs of services or at least try to bring good value for money spent.

Like when an undertalented mechanic at the local garage can't seem to fix your car and you are $1200 bucks in the hole.

Byron said...

I've read that bull$hit twice and still can't see the goods or services it provides. If it's just to come up with a plan, then why can't the Navy do their own plan. Are they that forked up? And for that kind of money, we could have SLEP'd every damn Fig in the fleet and still have money left over to put an 8 cell VLS on the foc'sl, plus all that radar and date links for it.

Hey, you Pentagon ass kissers, please tell this taxpayer why you continously prove to the nation that you are totally clueless and full of thieving assholes who want to have a golden parachute wihen they get tired of forking the Navy up and have a nice little job lined up.

Acquisition Mark said...

Byron and Others,
If you don't know about contracting, you should not reveal your ignorance.  This is MOD #4 to an existing Cost Plus FIXED Fee (CPFF) contract that was awarded in 2009 to increase the ceiling.  This is the third year of a base plus four year option contract.  If the Navy was not thrilled with the work, they would not have exercised the option this year and they are under no obligation to exercise the final option year next January.

Mods are not normally competed.  The initial contract had three offers and FISC Norfolk, VA used source selection to award the contract to the bidder with the best value to the government.  This vague contract language and the CPFF contract type are typical when the work design is unclear or the government wants to later add to the scope without exceeding the description of the work.  In fact, this contract covers wargaming, fleet battle exercises, SOP analysis, and enterprise management.

Top level processes in enterprise management include, for example, current readiness, supply chain management; future capability, acquisition and procurement; both current and future total force requirements; and enterprise financial management and metrics. 
The Navy is a little bit busy right now so they hire specialists with advanced degrees and depth in their fields to solve the problems quicker than the Navy could do it by themselves.
Many of the employees at this company are former warfighters like you.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

One has to wonder if that $20 million going to Booz-Allen could have fixed the problem on Essex...

Likely.

kmadams85 said...

Simplifying what Aquisition Mark just said -- this is a "cheeks in seats" contract where the organization wants full time staff to help them run the organization.  At $20 million a year, it's probably somewhere between 100 and 250 people.  Odds are they've done it this way because it was easier than getting the BA and NMP to have actual sailors do the work.  
The buzzword bingo sentence was probably inserted because it sounded nice, and you won't get any idea of what they really do without the task orders.  Anyone feel like running a FOIA on that?

Andy said...

Hilarious; somebody at BAH has a sense of the surreal. Translation: "We just conned NAVLOGCEN out of a butt-load of taxpayer money to tell them they're not doing things the way we think they should them. Which they already know, if they listened to their Chiefs. Which they don't, until we hire them after they retire." :-D

JimmyMac said...

Easy Everybody....Your Congress (and Democracy) at work - BAH conributes a mere million or so to various congressional candidates, they get elected and reward BAH by directing Navy to give them a $20 million contract...

Salty Gator said...

Acquisition Mark, snort.   Who do you think that you are fooling?  I know plenty of folks on the Booz Cruise.  It is a frickin racket.  And, eventually, like other racket firms--Strategic Insight, WB&B, Kratos Contractor Support, Stargates, Mantech--they will slowly but surely start to lose business as their old boys network fades and new companies will spring up.

Just because you get rehired doesn't mean you are doing a good job.  It means that you made a good pitch and had a good list of references. Sigh.  I wish people knew how O-6's in acquisition were running their shops.  There is so much nepotism and throwing of money around.  Entire offices are full of college graduates who do nothing but make binders and copies, yet they are listed as "engineering support" and paid accordingly.

Wake up.

goatmaster89 said...

Acquisition Mark - I may not be reading the release correctly.  Was the ORIGINAL contract competed?  I understand a cotract mod is not normally competitively awarded, but the phrease  "The requirement was issues on a sole sorese basis" makes me think the orignal contract was sole source.

As for the rest, CPFF is not a terrible way to hire people from industry to do work you need them to do.  The larger problem is we hire industry to do work becuase we waste so much of our own folks' time.

The narrative description of the contract is awful, and the FLTLOGCEN PAO (who would have worked with the Contracting Officer to write the release) should learn to speak English.

Byron said...

Thanks for exposing my vast ignorance...so tell me, Mr. Aquisitions, what the hell does this contracto provide to the Navy? Because I look at the money spent, and then think of all the work that COULD have gone towards making the pointy end of the Navy more ready to carry the fight the enemy. Since I see jobs on ships going un-done or done with a band aid because the budget wasn't there, I get a little ticky when I see crap like this.

Does it help Supply Corps become more efficient? If so, then we have the wrong people in charge and worse promoting ass kissers who don't know how to do their job efficiently. Now, illuminate me, Mr. Aquisitions...

One of the Support guys said...

The honest truth is that the government work force is no longer capable of doing the work they are charged with doing.  This is for a variety of reasons:  inadequate training, nepotism, poor work ethic, attrition, previous BRAC, etc.  There are a number of good government employees, but not enough.

So I am one of those support contractors.  If it was not for us, the mission of the office where I work would not be accomplished.  I would love to get one of the government jobs, but new govvie opportunities are set aside for buddies and cousins. 

And . . . when a govvie is hired, you are stuck with him for life.  The contractor work force is the only truly flexible workforce where service providers can be let go at any time for any arbitrary reason.  

I won't even go into the topic of the hundreds of hours of uncompensated overtime for salaried contractors.

Acquisition Mark said...

Not that it requires a reply, there is just too much here to resist.  You know people - good.  Booz Allen has been in business since 1914 and began to help support the Navy with management consulting in 1940 in the buildup to World War II.  I don't think their "network fades" any time soon. 

This is not a rehire, this is a contract ceiling increase.  The government initiated a modification to the contract to increase the ceiling, probably because the cost of the work is prematurely approaching the ceiling; the goal is to have the contract funded until the end of the period of performance (PoP).  The key is cost, Booz Allen passes the Task Order costs on to the government with a fixed fee to pay overhead and profit.  The fee is likely between 5-10% and that probably falls in line with DCMA rules.  If there is no Task Order there is no work, nobody is holding a gun to the Navy's Contracting Officers (Not O-6's) to start "throwing money around."  No FOIA required, just log onto www.fbo.gov and enter the solicitation number: "N00189-08-D-0022". 

Where do you think the young engineers get their government experience?  Are they born with it, no.  Booz Allen will hire the best and brightest and let them prove themselves.  If they don't add value, they can move on.

If you are NOT doing a good job, you DON'T get rehired.  This does not get much press because the contractors don't want the bad PR and the Gov't doesn't want to burn any bridges.  Incumbents get pushed out all the time.  With the DoD budget axe falling, don't you think the Navy would only fund the more important contracts, use a bit of common sense. 

This would not help the ESSEX; because the Navy decided to reduce manning and everyone (probably including Booz Allen) told them this would be the outcome.  The ESSEX is not the only ship in this condition.

If you could prove that there were political contributions or someone got "conned" then it would be very easy for a competitor to allege that charge and that would be enough to protest the award, which did not happen.  So, no.

Acquisition Mark said...

I'll give you an example because you asked. LM was building an "airplane" and it had an in-flight data link (IFDL).  LM thought that it would be cool if the IFDL was encrypted so the bad guys could not receive it.  It relays onboard stores, engine health, and other data and targeting things...  Everyone agreed this was a good idea.  Plans were made, production began to ramp up.

Enter the consultants...  Called in to provide "enterprise management support" (code for "whatever it takes to help the government make things right"

One of the former F-14 drivers remarked to a young engineer that we are now flying in joint sorties and that the F-14's (and others) IFDL would not be able to decode the IFDL from the "airplane" and this would be a problem because the planes talk to each other now.  The report went to the client and the client took LM to task when no one else had caught the error.  LM added a pilot-selectable switch to select encrypt or non-encrypt for joint missions just prior to production and saved the vendor and government about $2M in rework for the first order of "airplanes."  Of course, LM took credit for the "backwards compatible feature."

The contractor brings in a variety of disparate perspectives that the vendor and the government do not typically possess.  This kind of scenario happens everyday.

kmadams85 said...

Uncompensated overtime is the law under Fair Labor Standards Act - "Executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees: (as defined in Department of Labor regulations) and who are paid on a salary basis are exempt from both the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the FLSA."
"For the FLSA section 13(a)(1) exemptions to apply, an employee generally <span>must be paid on a salary basis of no less than $455 per week </span>and perform certain types of work that:
is directly related to the management of his or her employer's business, or<span>is directly related to the general business operations of his or her employer or the employer's clients</span>, or<span>requires specialized academic training for entry into a professional field</span>, oris in the computer field, oris making sales away from his or her employer's place of business, oris in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor."

I can't think of a support contractor in government who fails to meet this exemption definition.
But of course I could be wrong.

cdrsalamander said...

BTW - nice work on that article. URR, we have been warning of this problem at CDRS' front porch for over half a decade, haven't we? 

Man, people owe us more beer.

Beta Blocker said...

I've been in the same situation as a subcontracted body at other government agencies, doing fully productive work within a week or less of walking in off the street.

Unless you have veteran status, it is impossible for someone who isn't a member of a targeted affirmative action minority to be hired as a Federal employee, regardless of your resume. 

Highly selective affirmative action hiring quotas sharply limit the pool of prospective Federal employees with the right background and education. And training people on the job for some of the most demanding positions is a process which can take a decade or more.   

Yes, there are a number of good government employees out there, but not nearly enough to handle the demands now being made of them, especially in positions requiring a broad combination of both technical and administrative experience. 

This situation is more or less permanent, I think.

Acquisition Mark said...

Original contract was a competitive bid indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract.  To the layman this means anyone can bid on it, and the Government will/may issue multiple Task Orders or Delivery Orders during the life of the contract.  It is basically a vehicle to contract work from.

There were three bidders.  The selection process happened behind closed doors, one winner was selected.  Losers can request some of the details like who the other bidders were but not much is released.  The mods are then issued as required such as to change the location of work or extend the ceiling value.  These are sole source determinations because there is only one vendor.  In a multiple award, there may be a competitive process depending on the mod.

LT B said...

Does that mean a bunch of sailors and marines are NOT going to Thailand?!  Oh the humanity!!!

Mike M. said...

That's odd...the organization I work for just hired four non-vet, non-minority men.  Of course, things are different in outfits doing engineering.

Mike M. said...

The short form:  it's a vehicle for getting semi-temporary labor.

John said...

Okay, okay, but just what the heck are they actually doing (in plain English) for the additional $20 mil?

Is this going to put ordnance on target or shuffle papers amongst Diversity shops or some other PC non-warfighting waste?

andrewdb said...

The contractor's normal response to this is "if you didn't keep changing the specs we could do a flat fee bid, but with constant change orders we can't"

andrewdb said...

Mark -

I'm not sure the value added by the contractor in your example, as I have two friends working as in-house, full-time DoN employees at SPAWAR on this exact issue.  And yes, both spent many years in uniform.

cdrsalamander said...

Vet status is not all it is trumped up to be in CIV or GS ... even with a high disability rating. 

Aubrey said...

I just have this picture of Sal and Mrs Phib drinking their morning coffee and chatting while Sal reads up on his research for the day, and then all of a sudden he jumps up and screams at the top of his lungs "BINGO!!".

Mrs Phib and the poor little mini-Phibs were probably scared to death!

Marine6 said...

A short, but accurate, translation might be "Senior Navy Leadership" is an oxymoron.

Instead of doing things to accomplish the basic mission (to fight and win our Nation's wars at sea) senior Navy leadership fritters away billions of scarce dollars on "Bull$hit Bingo" to provide leadership (isn't that what officers and chiefs are supposed to provide?) and to enhance "diversity" (which is just a way of making some pigs more equal than others based on their real, or claimed, ethnicity.)

But when you have a Navy with far more admirals than ships I guess you have to find "something" for all those flags and staff wienies to obsess over.

Dan P. Taylor said...

What, you'd rather spend that money on 1/30th of an LCS?

GunBoss said...

<span>Chief of Naval Operations </span>OPNAV (N09X<span>) Chief of Staff, Navy Enterprise</span>

Byron said...

Nah...my bet is that she's used to him jumping up and screaming, "Sierra Hotel" all the time 8-)

Byron said...

So you're saying the Navy isn't smart enough to fiure out it's own problems and needs help doing that? Really sucks for the Navy, especially with all those admirals and their staffs just hanging around with no real reason for being.

Or it could be the pain meds for my ankle doing the talking today :)

Interested Party said...

What I see is a contract that was let for 5 years and 120 mil became 184 mil because the contractor spent the money so quickly (due to issues by gov and ctr) and the American taxpayer had to spend another 64 mil to reward that bad behavior...sound about right Mark?

mike said...

And if I remember the part about VET preference employment during my TAP class, it only applies to 0-4 and below veterans.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

<span>"The honest truth is that the government work force is no longer capable of doing the work they are charged with doing."</span>

<span>Baloney.  Delete "capable of" and insert " Authorized, required, disciplined, motivated or permitted to".</span>

<span>That is the REAL honest truth.</span>

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Grazie, Sal.  Dunno if USNVO is trying to convince himself or me with his comments (on mine and Nate's posts) that this way of doing business actually is GOOD.

Keep him and everyone like him away from my equipment!

And yes, many beers.

GIMP said...

Please, allow me.
This $20M is to teach Navy senior leaders how to use spreadsheets to bullshit themselves and everyone else into believing they're saving money and accomplishing the mission in a cost-wise, efficient manner.

The result will continue to be that we will have fewer parts, fewer people, lower readines, crappier ships, worse ship designs, and bigger staffs to waste time with spreadsheets to prove "scientifically" that what is clear to everyone sailing the Navy's ships and subs. or flying its planes is actually not true.

This could be done the old fashioned way "lying" for free, but since we've evolved into a computerized, data driven, modern Navy, now we lie with spreadsheets, and that takes training. Our "enterprise" will continue to save supply chain costs by buying fewer parts, personnel costs by having fewer people, operational costs by steaming and flying less, and maintenance costs by deferring and neglecting it. Thus, the transformational enterprise cost savings of the future will actually be realized by old fashined short sighted, cheapskate stupidity.

That done, all the senior leaders who are responsible for these overwhelming transformational enterprise successes will be promoted and blame their subordinates and successors for f-ing it away. When they retire, they'll go to work for Booz Allen Hamilton.

There, I think that about does it.

Chick CDR said...

Eyes glaze over instantly and I wonder...why am I not smart enough/ethically challenged enough to start a small biz and pull crap like this on the taxpayers...? I sent it to my Mom, a senior contracts and acquisitions chick, not USG though, or anything mil-related...and she just laughed. I'm depressed for the follow-on generations.

On a not-too-far-removed tangent, read BG Smedley D. Butler's "War Is A Racket" - you can probably find it online. 66 quick pages outlining the military industrial war machine, the screw-over the soldiers got, where all the money goes, all set back post WWI. Not much changes...except now they use these Harvard Biz School terms that mean nothing, as they remove the barriers of the shifting paradigms in order to reach enterprise objectives.

Salty Gator said...

"This would not help the ESSEX......everyone (probably including Booz Allen) told them this would be the outcome."

WRONG.

Booz hired LaFleur, shortly after he left.  LaFleur, as you may recall, authored RIT-1.

Dan P. Taylor said...

I think that deserves a standing-O.

Surfcaster said...

"<span>So you're saying the Navy isn't smart enough to fiure out it's own problems and needs help doing that? Really sucks for the Navy, especially with all those admirals and their staffs just hanging around with no real reason for being" </span>

<span>Haven't been seeing an exactly bang up job from Navy, Defense Contractors, and retired Flags for the past 15 or so years, have you? Everyone blames the other but look at the end product. </span>

<span>Too much money, not enough hardware.
</span>

Byron said...

Surfcaster, I'll try real hard to be polite since I'm a bit irritable right now. I'm a contractor who makes a living repairing Navy ships. All three companies I've worked for over the years and especially the company I have worked for the past ten years have made it a priority to make sure the Navy is not only getting value recieved for work performed, but to also respect the customer and the customers home. (crew and ship). I can't tell you the number of assess I've chewed out for not having that respect. The contractors you're talking about are the big construction yards, L-M, NG and GD and their associated minions that have suckeled up to the big grey teat. I get it: there are ship repair and construction companies that screw the Navy out of money as often and as much as they can. But they could NEVER have done it without the elite of Navy (read flags) as co-conspirators in grand larceny. NEVER happen without it. So please be careful when you pull that big paint brush out that you don't paint the good guys while you're at it.

MR T's Haircut said...

I LOVE Blazing Saddle!

Mike M. said...

Emphasis on "permitted".

Surfcaster said...

"<span>The contractors you're talking about are the big construction yards, L-M, NG and GD and their associated minions that have suckeled up to the big grey teat." That is who I meant - not guys like you that clean up the mess (and provide entertainment) afterward - kinda surprised you assumed that I was including you.
</span>

Surfcaster said...

Oh and I'll pull a Sid and add another comment under my comment. You can add Congress to the list of theives as they are theiveing for others to benefit while lining pockets as well.

mike said...

Meanwhile Batann ARG completes an 11 month deployment. And I thought seven months was bad enough.

http://www.navytimes.com/news/2012/02/navy-bataan-arg-returning-after-11-months-020112/

One of the Support guys said...

I work around a lot of BAH support folks.  On the military site where I am, BAH is famous for hiring young cheap eye candy fresh out of the state university and none of them are engineers.  It is referred to as the Booz Allen puppy mill.  Cute and cuddly when you get them, but you never know if they are going to be any good until after years of training on a contract  . . . . 

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

Was that even English?

SWON6RET said...

What are they fixing?

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Their bank accounts, mostly.

Guest said...

There is a lot of history to this contract--most of it not good.  The predecessor to this was a sole source award to The Thomas Group, and they provided "Resultants" who applied the spurs to the junior flags and O-6's for a handsome fee.  Booz won the follow-on, and this new contract should have been put up for competition.  As most suspect, there is more here than meets the eye.

Adversus Omnes Dissident said...

which of course begs the question, why hire contractors at all if they are not fully functional "straight out of the box?"

When you hire contractors, you are supposed to be hiring personnel who know exactly what they are doing and are "plug and play" pieces.  You aren't supposed to be hiring someone who has a 4 year learning curve plus has to take "Navy 101" because they never spent an effing day in uniform.

Adversus Omnes Dissident said...

For the love of God stop drinking the Kool Aid.  Disparate perspectives that the vendor and the government do not typically possess?  DUDE, the government and contractor firms draw from the same bodies of people:  retired has-beens, non retired could have beens, and green never was.

the only reason why government types are more expensive than contractors is that the government has so much crappy HR wrapped around every single person that they have to carry (overhead).  Contractors don't have that.  1 person handles all HR, security, and billing in many smaller firms.

mike said...

wow, so much hate in this ... "retired has-beens, non retired could have beens,..." 

Way to generalize.

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