doctorow at March 19th, 2014 18:03 — #1
old at March 19th, 2014 18:20 — #2
No dicking-around-on-the-internet-all-day contracts.
ncook at March 19th, 2014 20:40 — #3
So what exactly is the problem? That all of this information is available for anyone to see? Or that the US government pays companies to build defense-related products for them?
It's really that awful that someone makes Star Wars references in a powerpoint presentation?
Would you prefer that this is all secret, and only companies that know the secret handshake are allowed to place bids? Or that there is no bid process at all, and the government selects the winner in their wisdom?
You can do better than this. Stick to the Snowden stories, keep a vigilant eye out for those who don't have the understanding or intelligence or information access to comprehend how our own governments are treating us as enemies, in many cases. This type of article helps no-one, and damages your credibility.
garyprob at March 19th, 2014 21:00 — #4
You can read better than this. This post does not criticize the fact that this database is publicly accessible. In fact, its pointing out how odd and interesting that it IS public, and how by reading between the lines, you can deduce a lot of things that the government usually likes to keep secret. Your response helps no one, and damages your credibility.
stanneral at March 19th, 2014 21:13 — #5
Fedbizops has been around for years. For years before that, it was a paper copy anyone could subscribe to. It is public and meant for ANYONE to use. It actually levels the playing field quite a bit.
It's not just about military and intelligence community efforts. It's (mostly) ALL contracted work for EVERY government agency, from buying paper clips to building the Space Station.. It's a great resource for anyone to use. Search for small business set asides, look for contracts aimed at HBCUs, look for R&D studies in areas you are particularly interested in.
When things need to actually be hidden, they will be included under larger task order or IDIQ contracts.
nickyg at March 19th, 2014 21:25 — #6
The post makes it sound like FedBizOpps is like, 100% oriented around securing contracts to STEAL OUR FREEDOM! The reality is, most of what is purchased is office supplies, toilet paper, that kind of stuff. It's THE site where ALL public Federal RFIs, RFPs, and RFQs get posted to.
jardine at March 19th, 2014 21:58 — #7
Star Trek, not Star Wars.
hungryjoe at March 19th, 2014 23:06 — #8
FBO is a good thing. It's a really fascinating place to poke around, and it does a very good job keeping federal contracts from going through the good old boy network.
Yes, it's true that weapons are procured through this site, but so are groundskeeping services and lots and lots and lots of life-saving technology. Almost everything the government spends more than $2500 on goes through this site.
jeremy_sweeney at March 20th, 2014 01:05 — #9
FBO is neither weird nor revealing. It's the Gov't's way of "competitively sourcing" the goods and services they need. Requests for everything from clerical services to DaVinci surgical robots are pretty common on that site. Most of the listings are mundane at best. None of the listings are classified, so I doubt there's anything on here about "arms."
Sigh. It's like telling someone you work for a robotics company and they start yammering at you about how drones are unethical. Sling your moralizing lectures elsewhere.
joetheuser at March 20th, 2014 04:19 — #10
I spend my days reading FBO. It's my job to hunt for opportunities and write bids. I can tell you, there's a lot of information there, but it's not easy to know how to read it. There are also some great opportunities out there, if you take some time to learn how to bid, and hunt around, write good bids, and do some intelligent sales work. Almost everyone I have worked with in the fedgovt is friendly and intelligent. I'll try to read through this thread and answer some questions if I can.
joetheuser at March 20th, 2014 04:24 — #11
HungryJoe, FBO does nothing to prevent contracts from going to their old boy network. I'm a federal contractor. I know about how it works. They have many methods of using their old boy network. One of the best is to use a "bid front", which is a company with a highly privileged status, like an Alaska native corporation, to be the prime contractor, and then sub it out to whoever is doing the real work, which is often one of the large established contractors.
Many bids on FBO are "wired bids", meaning someone has done enough pre-sales and has an existing relationship, and no one else is going to win.
If you are smart, you can identify the few that are not wired, that you can bid strongly on, and where you can establish a good relationship with an end user, and if you do all those things, you certainly can win them.
joetheuser at March 20th, 2014 04:26 — #12
cowicide at March 20th, 2014 04:50 — #13
Meanwhile, in The Land of the Free, Inc.
Federal judge orders FBI to explain why they're hiding records of an alleged plot to assassinate OCCUPY leaders.
Yes, that's the Wall Street Journal.
hungryjoe at March 20th, 2014 07:54 — #14
I should clarify my point. FBO and publicly searchable bids are the best way to mitigate the effects of the good old boy network. I've certainly lost projects to hard-wired solicitations, but more often than not I've encountered ethical, conscientious contract officers who strive for a level playing field.
In my experience, pass-through companies are not an obstacle on a bid. Everyone has a set of SDVOSB or HUBZONE (or what have you) contractors that they can work with when a bid is a set-aside. It's an extra hassle and and a little less profit, but it need not be an obstacle to winning a bid.
All that said, my experience is entirely in the furniture world, and I can't speak knowledgeably about what goes on beyond that world (or beyond projects with a dollar value in the six figures). The playing field is probably very different at the Haliburton or Lockheed level.
doctorow at March 24th, 2014 18:03 — #15
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