Sunday, March 27, 2016

Local Contracting: Army V Air Force

While I'm on the subject of contracting:

Why is it that the only time I see a US Air Force solicitation published on FedBizOpps is when they are looking for sponsorship for social activities?

Strong Man Contest Request for Sponsorship

There have been some pretty big contracts out there and WHO determines who the RFPs are e-mailed to?  For as long as I've been doing contracting in Kuwait (20 years now), this is the "system".

The Army used to have the same system. (They actually had the hard copy 10-page  Heavy Lift I RFP on their bulletin board outside Camp Doha.) That type of request for quotes didn't work for them.   You don't want the perception of impropriety on million-dollar-plus contracts.  The Army has a very strict system and they adhere to it - which is commendable.  All their RFPs are listed and published on FedBizOpps.  They hold "Contracting with the US Army" seminars.  They have handouts.  Not "Industry Days" but proper local contracting conferences.  (And I've never had a contracting officer from the ARMY contact me at night on my cell phone asking for reduced pricing... just sayin....)

I attended a contracting conference (held by the Army) with an Air Force contracting official on the panel.  There was a very passionate American contractor in the crowd asking my same question:  "Why doesn't the Air Force publish local solicitations so that we can all take advantage of fair market practices in contracting?"  BAM.

I have nothing against the Air Force.  I was very tempted to join them back-in-the-day and I wish I had.  But dudes - please.  Help us all out.  E-mailing RFPs to a few vendors isn't helping any of us.


Reggie A Pauly said...

Army and Air Force are alike and different at the same time. Yes, the Air Force has a better style of life and the Army has the lowest standards. Do not fall for that though. The Air Force is not weak and the Army is not dumb. Nice blog . Keep up the good work.

Desert Girl said...

Thanks for your comment, Reggie. But this is my perspective after doing contracting work with both in Kuwait for well over a decade. Personally, I think the Army's standards in contracting are much higher than Air Force (again, in Kuwait). But - that's me.