I spent most of my career working with government agencies or prime contractors. The corps stood out.

Posted By: pangloss
Date: Friday 11 January 2019, at 01:39 pm
Recommended by 3 user(s)

I worked with the major prime contractors (Boeing, Lock-Mart, GD, etc) and the Army, Navy and Air Force. I also worked with the UK Ministry of Defense and BAE. There were similarities between all of them.

On two projects I worked a proposal and a program with the Army Corps of Engineers. They were different. The following will probably not make sense to most of you.

On one occasion we did a proposal to the COE to demilitarize obsolete nerve gas on Johnston Atoll. The COE's RFP was awful. Thankfully it was a 45 day sprint so the pain didn't last long. We assembled a team of experienced proposal folks and a team-mate contractor to prepare the books. Reflecting the RFP, our response was awful. Thankfully we lost.

During the fact finding phase, the COE asked where our forward pricing rates originated. At that time our Administrative Contracting Officer (gov.t official with the warrant/authority to commit the Govt.) and the company had agreement on our forward pricing rates - an unusual circumstance that meant every Govt. contracting officer could officially rely on those rates (a big deal that saved them a lot of work). The Army COE CO refused to recognize that agreement and refused to rely on our ACO or our local DCAA (Defence Contract Audit Agency) for any support or working agreements. During one meeting in Huntsville the uniformed COE officer asked why he should trust the words of our ACO and resident DCAA. That's like a president asking why he should trust the FBI.

I know this doesn't mean much to most folks, but it was Twilight Zone-ish. It was stupid.

My prediction if the COE does it:
It will not be a technically simple, big dumb wall. The COE will not be able to select a wall design, or a contractor, or sign a final contract within a year. The administrative cost will be about 30% to 100% higher than needed. The wall's route will be undefined when the contract is signed. The contractor will use change orders to increase the cost by 50% to 200% and emerge as the only party that's happy.

I'm not positive, but I think this yacht is owned by a COE contractor.

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