World War II vet penned poems to put experiences in perspective

Two decades ago, World War II Army veteran Don Weimer began writing poems about the war. Such verse, the bard says, helped him put his military service in perspective and better understand the trials of his fellow soldiers.

One of his poems about a vet who received a “Dear John” letter, Weimer said, represents what sometimes happened when soldiers went off to war: The girlfriend or wife they loved back home ditched them. However, in this poem, “Ken Goes to War,” Weimer provides an ending of practicality and hope.

But first one needs to know a little about Weimer and what he experienced to provide the foundation for his later-in-life poetry.

He arrived in Italy in February 1945 and was assigned to the 313th Combat Engineers. The first thing he says he noticed was how the war had ripped apart a country that was supposed to be known as sunny and romantic.

“The artillery and the bombs had destroyed practically all the bridges and anything in the path of our infantry, as it had moved north through all the little towns and villages where the Germans had dug in and made defensive fortifications,” Weimer said.

His duties included security patrols for the 15th Army Air Force in Foggia, in the southern part of the Italian peninsula.

*******

Don Weimer, 91

Hometown: Buffalo

Residence: Williamsville

Branch: Army

Rank: private 1st class

War zone: World War II, European Theater

Years of service: January 1944 – December 1946

Most prominent honors: European Theater Medal, World War II Victory Medal and Army of Occupation Medal

Specialty: combat engineer

*******

“We were establishing a POW camp and I got to speak with a number of Germans. A lot of them spoke English and I heard their perspective on the war. They all said we should be fighting the Russians and that they would join us. They said Communism was the real enemy,” Weimer recalled.

To be in the midst of history was not lost on the young man. A little more than a year earlier, Weimer had been at the old Williamsville High School learning about the world from textbooks. Now he was experiencing real-time history lessons. And while he witnessed the anguish of other GIs who learned in letters that their gal back home had broken off the relationship, Weimer unexpectedly found love in Italy.

It happened during a chance meeting toward the end of the war. He met a young woman by the name of Nicolina Napolitano, who was from the Naples area.

“I was on patrol driving a Jeep and it was raining cats and dogs. So I pulled into a large garage where there were about a dozen women gathered. They were in that area getting olive oil and they ended up in the garage when it started raining.”

Before long, Weimer said he spotted “this raven-haired beauty.” The rest is history. They married here on July 26, 1947, and raised three children. Weimer’s management position at Bell Aerospace Textron provided them with a comfortable living.

Twenty years ago, he discovered satisfaction in penning poems, though he always had a flare for writing, having served in Italy for a time as the editor-in-chief of the battalion newspaper.

Sadly, four years ago, his marriage of 67 years ended when Nicolina passed away.

But what about Ken, the fictional GI whose experiences represent what sometimes really happened to those overseas in the trenches? Read on:

“It was nineteen-forty-two and the news quite blue,

For Japan had just declared war.

The bombs that fell created a hell that promised there’d only be more.

For all the the young men and a guy named Ken,

The war would become a way of life.

He packed his grip for the dreaded trip,

And bid farewell to his wife.

He was sent to camp, it was hot and damp,

The mosquitoes were larger than flies.

The captain was mean if things weren’t clean,

And the cook made the awfullest pies.

Each morning at five the barracks came alive,

As reveille played over the speaker.

It was shower and shave like some poor knave

Whose life couldn’t be any bleaker.

To the mess hall Ken marched, his throat was parched,

From the heat of the night before.

A breakfast of grits and prunes to fill the pits,

With powdered eggs and spam by the score.

It was drill, drill, drill and men became ill,

the day seemed it would never end.

By the time Ken was done there was no time for fun,

Even a letter Ken could not send.

As the weeks went by, Ken felt he would die

From the food, the marching and drills.

But a furlough at home was one small bone,

That helped to make up for his ills.

He returned to his base which is usually the case,

For soon he’d be off to the war.

His orders came through and before long he knew,

The horrors that would be in store.

He was assigned a division by a Colonel’s decision,

To a company of Combat Engineers.

Building bridges under fire, laying concertina wire,

soon filled him with doubts and fears.

All seemed to go well though it seemed like hell,

With shells that kept bursting quite near.

One day a shell came, it was marked with his name,

And gave proof for his reason to fear.

His sergeant was struck and with a stroke of luck,

Ken was just dazed and covered with grime.

A buddy turned about and soon dug him out,

And it seemed that all would be fine.

Ken remained in a daze, his arm wouldn’t raise,

It just limply hung by his side.

He was checked for a wound, none could be found,

It seemed all that got hurt was his pride.

Ken asked about Sarge whose wound was quite large,

And was told he probably would die.

Ken let out a moan along with a groan,

And said it could have been I.

Soon a letter came from his wife named Jane,

That she now was expecting a babe.

He said it’s not mine, I’ve been gone over nine.

It must be from some Four-F knave.

The war soon did end, home they did send Poor Ken to look after his wife.

But the babe was so fine and Ken changed his mind,

And said it’s all part of life.

So the story will end with wife Jane and Ken,

Both resolved to be a good father and mother.

Ken regained his pride and felt good inside,

And they had children one after another.

 

———

© 2018 The Buffalo News (Buffalo, N.Y.)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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SOTG Approved Night Fision Sights Launched at NRA Annual Meeting in Dallas

Night Fision Student Of The Gun Accur8 GLOCK Sights
Night Fision Student Of The Gun Accur8 GLOCK Sights

Saratoga, Wyoming – -(Ammoland.com)- On Saturday, May 5th, 2018, Night Fision and Student of the Gun announced the release of the Accur8 Tritium sights at the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits held in Dallas, Texas.

The Accur8 Tritium sights are a collaborative effort between Paul Markel of Student of the Gun and Night Fision. These Tritium sights are precision machined from high-quality steel, built in the USA with Swiss Tritium, and are brighter than ever before. The front sight is surrounded by a brightly colored polymer to enhance sight visibility in all light conditions.

Initially released for the GLOCK 17 sight cut, the Accur8 Tritium sights were made to offer Point of Aim/Point of Impact at 50 feet using 124 grain 9x19mm ammunition. Sight offerings for other handgun models are coming soon.

“A great deal of thought and testing went into the development of these sights,” said Paul Markel veteran trainer and firearms instructor. “I am pleased to have the Student of the Gun name associated with Night Fision and these sights.”

“ We are very excited to be working with Paul on this exciting project,” said Jacob Herman, Director of Sales, Night Fision,” As Night Fision is the countries foremost expert in precision tritium we felt that we had to bring a sight like the Accur8 to market.

Accur8 sights are available for immediate purchase at the Night Fision website.

Get Yours Today

Night FisionAbout Night Fision

Based in Metro Detroit, Night Fision brings a rich background in automotive engineering, lead manufacturing, and expertise in tritium illumination to the firearms industry. Its sister company, Cammenga, is the official manufacturer of the U.S. Army’s Tritium Lensatic Compass and provides them to national militaries around the world. As a result, Night Fision utilizes over 25 years of tritium insertion and military-grade manufacturing expertise to provide the best tritium night sights in the market today. The company’s proprietary Perfect Dot, combined with CNC precision machined bodies and a higher concentration of tritium gas, allows for the creation of the highest quality firearm night sights with enhanced brightness at a lower price than the leading competitor.

StudentoftheGun.com is your 24/7 source for all manner of on-demand firearm and outdoor related topics.

SOTG offers education, enlightenment, enjoyment, and entertainment through on-demand video material, online articles, books, DVDs, live-training events, and online training courses.

Student of the Gun; a beginner once, a #StudentForLife

Being a Student of the Gun is not about being a novice or beginner. Student of the Gun represents a life’s journey of education, enlightenment, and the enjoyment of firearms.

Student of the Gun is proud to announce the recent releases of Student of the Gun Radio on iHeartRadio and TuneIn as well as increasing Student of the Gun TV’s distribution to include Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast and more!

Student of the Gun offers education, enlightenment, enjoyment, and entertainment through on-demand television, radio, and articles as well as; books, DVDs, live-training events, and online training courses.

Get Student of the Gun on-demand in the palm of your hand by downloading their mobile app on iTunes or Google Play.

ABOUT THE HOST

Paul G. Markel Takes Aim
Paul G. Markel

Paul G. Markel has worn many hats during his lifetime. He has been a U.S. Marine, Police Officer, Professional Bodyguard, and Small Arms and Tactics Instructor.

Mr. Markel has been writing professionally for law enforcement and firearms periodicals for more than two decades, with hundreds of articles in print and several #1 Amazon Bestselling books.

Paul is a regular guest on nationally syndicated radio talk shows and subject matter expert in firearms training and use of force.

Mr. Markel has been teaching safe and effective firearms handling to students young and old for decades and has worked actively with the 4-H Shooting Sports program.

Paul holds numerous instructor certifications in multiple disciplines and a Bachelor’s degree in conflict resolution; nonetheless, he is and will remain a dedicated Student of the Gun.

The post SOTG Approved Night Fision Sights Launched at NRA Annual Meeting in Dallas appeared first on AmmoLand.com.

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NC lawmaker says teachers attending rally are ‘inconvenience’ to parents

A Union County lawmaker is calling teachers planning to attend a march on Raleigh for better school funding an inconvenience to thousands of parents and says that “teacher union thugs” want to control education. Republican Representative Mark Brody, who represents Union and Anson counties, posted the remarks Friday afternoon on his Facebook page.

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What is Elizabeth Warren up to with the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe?

Here’s a bit of legislative mystery which has mostly flown under the radar. It involves a piece of legislation introduced in the Senate in March which would clear the way for the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe in Massachusettes to restart construction on a massive casino complex located south of Boston. Nothing too unusual about the bill, really, since native tribes have been pushing to develop casinos and generate tribal revenue for decades. But this bill was sponsored by Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Since Warren represents Massachusetts (and the bill was co-sponsored by the state’s junior senator as well) that might not sound controversial either. But when you look a bit closer into Warren’s legislative history and the legal troubles the tribe has encountered, it all gets a bit strange. (Washington Times)

She’s never been a gambling fan, but Sen. Elizabeth Warren is pushing federal legislation to help deliver a casino to a tribe with a checkered past as she struggles to neutralize her “Pocahontas” problem.

Her bill, introduced in March with fellow Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Edward Markey, would allow the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe to build a $1 billion gaming resort about halfway between Boston and Cape Cod even though a federal court blocked the project in 2016.

The Senate bill and its House companion have drawn cheers from tribal leaders eager to resume construction on the lavish complex while stirring resentment among locals irritated at the prospect of Congress big-footing the ongoing Interior Department review.

As the linked article reminds us, Warren is an unusual choice to sponsor a bill supporting a new casino. She opposed a 2011 state measure which expanded casino gambling in the state and supported a failed attempt to repeal the law in 2014. She’s also been an activist seeking to help people with gambling addictions. In that light, this new effort seems like a total flip-flop on the question of casino gambling.

So is this just an effort to make nice with Native Americans after her “cultural appropriation” problems? (She still refuses to take a DNA test to settle the matter.) Perhaps, but this particular tribe might not be the best one to hitch her wagon to, if you’ll pardon the phrase. This casino project has been in trouble from day one. Many of the locals opposed the project and went to court to try to stop it. Also, the required federal stewardship of the tribal lands where it’s being constructed was challenged when a federal court rejected the Interior Departments decision to take the land into trust, saying that they could only do so for lands owned by tribes which were recognized prior to the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. That wound up shutting down construction on the casino complex three years ago.

Further, the Mashpee Wampanoag were one of the tribes caught up in the Jack Abramoff scandals more than a decade ago. Their leadership got into hot water over charges ranging from embezzlement and illegal lobbying to campaign finance law violations. So why is Warren so interested in making nice with this particular tribe? Perhaps she’s just trying to send a signal to Native Americans across the country to convince them that she’s got their backs. But that’s not exactly a driving voting block for national elections and every time she generates another headline having anything to do with Native Americans it brings up her past issues with claiming that heritage to gain advantages in her younger days.

It almost seems as if there has to be more to this story than what we’re hearing. But at least thus far it looks like nothing more than a tone-deaf political maneuver.

The post What is Elizabeth Warren up to with the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe? appeared first on Hot Air.

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Government procurement in the United States From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Redirected from Government…

Government procurement in the United States
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Government contract)

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Government procurement in the United States is the process by which the federal government acquires goods, services (notably construction), and interests in real property. Contracts for government procurement usually involve appropriated funds spent on supplies, services, and interests in real property by and for the use of the federal government through purchase or lease, whether the supplies, services, or interests are already in existence or must be created, developed, demonstrated, and evaluated. See 48 C.F.R. § 2.101 ("Acquisition" defined, as to goods and services only). Federal government contracting has the same legal elements as contracting between private parties: a lawful purpose, competent contracting parties, an offer, an acceptance that complies with the terms of the offer, mutuality of obligation, and consideration. However, federal contracts are much more heavily regulated, subject to volumes of statutes dealing with federal contracts and the federal contracting process, mostly in Titles 10, 31, 40, and 41 of the United States Code.
Private parties entering into a contract with one another (i.e., commercial contracts) are much freer to establish a broad range of contract terms by mutual consent than a private party entering into a contract with the federal government. Each private party represents its own interests and can obligate itself in any lawful manner. Federal government contracts allow for the creation of contract terms by mutual consent of the parties, but many areas addressed by mutual consent in commercial contracts are controlled by law in federal contracts and legally require use of prescribed provisions and clauses. In commercial contracting, where one or both parties may be represented by agents whose authority is controlled by the law of agency, the agent is usually allowed to form a contract only with reference to accepted notions of commercial reasonableness and perhaps a few unique statutes that apply. In federal government contracting, specific regulatory authority is required for the government's agent to enter into the contract, and that agent's bargaining authority is strictly controlled by statutes and regulations reflecting national policy choices and prudential limitations on the right of federal employees to obligate Federal funds. By contrast, in commercial contracting, the law allows each side to rely on the other's authority to make a binding contract on mutually agreeable terms. Of course, there are many nuances to commercial contracting, but, generally speaking, the law favors the creation of commercial contracts by a variety of agents in order to facilitate business.
The authority of a Contracting Officer (the government's agent) to contract on behalf of the government is set forth in public documents (a warrant) that a person dealing with the Contracting Officer can review. The Contracting Officer has no authority to act outside of his or her warrant or to deviate from the laws and regulations controlling federal government contracts. The private contracting party is held to know the limitations of the Contracting Officer's authority, even if the Contracting Officer does not. This makes contracting with the United States a very structured and restricted process. As a result, unlike in the commercial arena, where the parties have great freedom, a contract with the U.S. government must comply with the laws and regulations that permit it, and must be made by a Contracting Officer with actual authority to execute the contract.
Contents  [hide] 
1 Scope
2 Law
2.1 United States Constitution
2.2 Statutes and Regulations
2.2.1 Anti-Deficiency Act
2.2.2 Federal Acquisition Regulation
2.2.2.1 Deviations
2.2.2.2 Ratifications
2.2.2.3 Contractor damage
2.2.2.4 Commercial items
2.2.2.5 Service Contracts
2.2.2.5.1 Personal Services Contracts
2.2.2.6 Health Care
2.2.2.7 Intellectual Property (IP) / Data Rights / Technical Data Rights
2.2.2.7.1 Brand names
2.2.2.8 Clauses for government contracts
2.2.3 Notes regarding FASA
3 Acquisition Process
3.1 Preparing a proposal
3.2 Planning
3.2.1 Stripped Down Components
3.2.2 Risk
3.2.2.1 Requirement Overbundling
3.3 Contract Line Item Numbers
3.4 Statement of Work
3.5 Source Selection
3.5.1 Source Selection Criteria
3.6 Metrics/Performance Measures
3.7 Trade-In or Sales Authority
4 Contract Administration
4.1 Contracting Officer
4.2 Requests for Equitable Adjustments
4.3 Modifications
4.4 Claims
4.4.1 Release of a Claim
4.4.2 Contract Disputes Act
4.5 Cancellation of Contract
4.6 Terminations
5 Real options analysis
6 See also
7 References
8 Further reading
9 External links
Scope[edit]
Federal Procurement Reports provide contract data that may be used for geographical, market, and socio-economic analysis, as well as for measuring and assessing the impact of acquisition policy and management improvements.[1]
In Fiscal Year 2010, the top five departments by dollars obligated were:[2]
Department of Defense ($365.9 bn)
Department of Energy ($25.7 bn)
Health and Human Services ($19.0 bn)
General Services Administration ($17.6 bn)
NASA ($16.0 bn).
The Top 100 Contractors Report for Fiscal Year 2009 lists contracts totalling $294.6 billion, the top five comprising aerospace and defense contractors:[3]
Lockheed Martin ($38.5 bn)
Boeing ($22.0 bn)
Northrop Grumman ($19.7 bn)
General Dynamics ($16.4 bn)
Raytheon ($16.1 bn)
In the same period, small business contracts totalled $96.8 billion.[4]
Law[edit]
The federal government's authority to enter into contracts derives from the U.S. Constitution, which defines its powers. The federal government acts through legislation, treaties, implementing regulations, and the exercise of those authorities. The federal government's power to contract is not set forth expressly and specifically in the U.S. Constitution. However, the U.S. Constitution appears to assume the continued vitality "Engagements" entered into under the Articles of Confederation. U.S. Const., Art. VI. Moreover, the power to contract was and is regarded at law as necessarily incidental to the federal government's execution of its other powers. An early Supreme Court case, United States v. Tingey, 30 U.S. 5 Pet. 115 (1831), recognized that the United States government has a right to enter into a contract. It is an incident to the general right of sovereignty, and the United States, may, within the sphere of the constitutional powers confided to it and through the instrumentality of the proper department to which those powers are confided, enter into contracts not prohibited by law and appropriate to the just exercise of those powers. Scores of statutes now also expressly authorize departments and agencies to enter into contracts. The U.S. Congress passes legislation that defines the process and additional legislation that provides the funds. Executive branch agencies enter into the contracts and expend the funds to achieve their Congressionally defined missions. When disputes arise, administrative processes within the agencies may resolve them, or the contractor can appeal to the courts.
The procurement process for executive branch agencies (as distinguished from legislative or judicial bodies) is governed primarily by the Armed Services Procurement Act and the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act. To address the many rules imposed by Congress and the courts, a body of administrative law has been developed through the Federal Acquisition Regulation. This 53-part regulation defines the procurement process including special preference programs, and includes the specific language of many clauses in government contracts.[5] Most agencies also have supplemental regulatory coverage contained in what are known as FAR Supplements. These supplements appear within the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) volumes of the respective agencies. For example, the Department of Defense (DOD) FAR Supplement can be found at 10 CFR.
Government contracts are governed by federal common law, a body of law which is separate and distinct from the bodies of law applying to most businesses—the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and the general law of contracts. The UCC applies to contracts for the purchase and sale of goods, and to contracts granting a security interest in property other than land. The UCC is a body of law passed by the U.S. state legislatures and is generally uniform among the states. The general law of contracts, which applies when the UCC does not, is mostly common law, and is also similar across the states, whose courts look to each other's decisions when there is no in-state precedent.
Contracts directly between the government and its contractors ("prime contracts") are governed by the federal common law. Contracts between the prime contractor and its subcontractors are governed by the contract law of the respective states. Differences between those legal frameworks can put pressure on a prime contractor.[citation needed]
United States Constitution[edit]
The authority to purchase is not one of the explicitly enumerated powers given to the federal government by Section 8 of Article One of the United States Constitution, but courts found that power implicit in the Constitutional power to make laws that are necessary and proper for executing its specifically granted powers, such as the powers to establish post offices, post roads, banks, an army, a navy, or militias.
Statutes and Regulations[edit]

Model of the Acquisition Process
Behind any federal government acquisition is legislation that permits it and provided money for it. These are normally covered in authorization and appropriation legislation. Generally, this legislation does not affect the acquisition process itself, although the appropriation process has been used to amend procurement laws, notably with the Federal Acquisition Reform Act (FARA) and the Federal Acquisitions Streamlining Act (FASA). Other relevant laws include the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, the Armed Services Procurement Act (ASPA) and the Anti-Deficiency Act.
Anti-Deficiency Act[edit]
Main article: Antideficiency Act
U.S. federal fiscal law is about Congressional oversight of the Executive Branch, not principally toward getting the mission accomplished nor getting a good deal for the government. Fiscal law frequently prevents government agencies from signing agreements that commercial entities would sign. Therefore, fiscal law can constrain a federal agency from the quickest, easiest, or cheapest way to accomplish its mission. This Constitutionally mandated oversight of the use of public funds is associated with the principle of checks and balances. A good working relationship and robust communication between the Executive and Legislative branches is the key to avoiding problems in this area[why?].
The teeth for fiscal law comes from the Anti-Deficiency Act (ADA). The Anti Deficiency Act provides that no one can obligate the Government to make payments for which money has not already been authorized. The ADA also prohibits the government from receiving gratuitous services without explicit statutory authority. In particular, an ADA violation occurs when a federal agency uses appropriated funds for a different purpose than is specified in the appropriations act which provided the funds to the agency. The ADA is directly connected to several other fiscal laws, namely the Purpose Act and the Bona Fide Needs Rule.
Money appropriated for one purpose cannot be used for a different purpose, according to the Purpose Act (31 U.S.C. § 1301).[6] The annual DoD appropriations acts include approximately 100 different appropriations (known as "colors of money"), and by this rule operations and maintenance (O&M) funds may not be used to buy weapons. Even an expenditure within the apparent scope of one appropriation may not be permissible if there is a more specific appropriation or the agency has made a previous funds election contrary to the proposed use of funds. For example, O&M fund can be used for purchasing repair parts, but if the parts are required to effect a major service life extension that is no longer repair but replacement – procurement funds must be used if the total cost is more than $250,000 (otherwise known as the Other Procurement threshold, for example, Other Procurement Army (OPA) threshold) or another procurement appropriation is available such as the armored vehicle or weapons appropriation.
An Anti-Deficiency Act violation can also occur when a contract uses funds in a period that falls outside of the time period the funds are authorized for use under what is known as the Bona Fide Needs rule (31 USC 1502), which provides: "The balance of a fixed-term appropriation is available only for payment of expenses properly incurred during the period of availability or to complete contracts properly made within that period."
The Bona Fide Need Rule is a fundamental principle of appropriations law addressing the availability as to time of an agency's appropriation. 73 Comp. Gen. 77, 79 (1994); 64 Comp. Gen. 410, 414-15 (1985). The rule establishes that an appropriation is available for obligation only to fulfill a genuine or bona fide need of the period of availability for which it was made. 73 Comp. Gen. 77, 79 (1994). It applies to all federal government activities carried out with appropriated funds, including contract, grant, and cooperative agreement transactions. 73 Comp. Gen. 77, 78-79 (1994). An agency's compliance with the bona fide need rule is measured at the time the agency incurs an obligation, and depends on the purpose of the transaction and the nature of the obligation being entered into. 61 Comp. Gen. 184, 186 (1981) (bona fide need determination depends upon the facts and circumstances of the particular case). In the grant context, the obligation occurs at the time of award. 31 Comp. Gen. 608 (1952). See also 31 U.S.C. Sec. 1501(a)(5)(B). Simply put, this rule states that the Executive Branch may only use current funds for current needs – they cannot buy items which benefit future year appropriation periods (i.e., 1 October through 30 September) without a specific exemption. The net result of this rule is funds expire after the end date for which Congress has specified their availability. For example, a single year fund expires on 1 October of the year following their appropriation (i.e., FY07 appropriations. (for example, 1 October 2006 through 30 September 2007) expire on 1 October 2007).
For example, operations and maintenance funds generally cannot be used to purchase supplies after 30 September of the year they are appropriated within with several exceptions – 1) the severable services exemption under 10 USC 2410 and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-34, Instructions on Budget Execution, 2) Authorized stockage level exceptions and 3) long lead time exception. (see https://www.safaq.hq.af.mil/contracting/affars/fiscal-law/bona-fide-need.doc ) The Government Accounting Office Principles of Federal Appropriations Law (otherwise known as the GAO Redbook at http://www.gao.gov/legal.htm ) has a detailed discussion of these fiscal law rules which directly impact on the ability of a federal agency to contract with the private sector.
Federal Acquisition Regulation[edit]
Main article: Federal Acquisition Regulation
The procurement process is subject to legislation and regulation separate from the authorization and appropriation process. These regulations are included in the Code of Federal Regulations ("CFR"), the omnibus listing of Government regulations, as Title 48. Chapter 1 of Title 48 is commonly called the Federal Acquisition Regulation ("FAR"). The remaining chapters of Title 48 are supplements to the FAR for specific agencies.
The process for promulgating regulations including the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) includes publication of proposed rules in the Federal Register and receipt of comments from the public before issuing the regulation. Courts treat the FAR as having the "force and effect of law", and Contracting Officers do not have the authority to deviate from it. Supplements to the FAR have been issued following the same process, and have the same force and effect.
The FAR and its supplements permit a substantial variation from the purchases of paperclips to battleships. The Contracting Officer and the contractor must seek to achieve their sometimes conflicting goals while following the requirements of the regulations. As with any complex document (in book form, Title 48 of the CFR requires several shelves), the FAR and its supplements can be interpreted differently by different people.
Deviations[edit]
FAR Subpart 1.4, Deviations from the FAR, provides the steps needed to document deviations from the mandatory FAR or agency FAR supplement. Deviation documentation is needed if there is a precise FAR clause or provision for the issue.
Commercial Items contracts can be tailored to a great extent, therefore deviating in many particulars from the mandatory clause language. See:
12.401—General. This subpart provides —
(a) Guidance regarding tailoring of the paragraphs in the clause at 52.212-4, Contract Terms and Conditions—Commercial Items, when the paragraphs do not reflect the customary practice for a particular market; and
(b) Guidance on the administration of contracts for commercial items in those areas where the terms and conditions in 52.212-4 differ substantially from those contained elsewhere in the FAR.
See also FAR 12.211, Technical Data; FAR 12.212, Computer Software; FAR 12.213, Other Commercial Practices for additional authority to deviate or "tailor" FAR clauses and provisions in the context of commercial items/services.
Ratifications[edit]
A ratification is the proper authorization by a contracting officer of an earlier procurement by a government employee who was not authorized to do it. A ratification package has a legal memo that says an unauthorized commitment was made, that the commitment could properly have been done by contracting officers, and that funds were and are available for it. Other regulations and agency rules apply too, such as those from the Army discussed below.
Ratifications are governed by FAR 1.602-3 (Ratification of Unauthorized Commitment) which defines a ratification as the act of approving an unauthorized commitment by an official who has the authority to do so.[7] Unauthorized commitment means an agreement that is not binding solely because the Government representative who made it lacked the authority to enter into that agreement on behalf of the Government. A ratifying official may ratify only when: (1) The government has received the goods or services; (2) The ratifying official has authority to obligate the United States, and had that authority at the time of the unauthorized commitment; (3) The resulting contract would otherwise be proper, i.e., adequate funds are available, the contract is not prohibited by law, the ratification is in accordance with agency procedures, etc.; (4) The contracting officer determines that the price paid was fair and reasonable and recommends payment, and legal counsel concurs.[8]
There are dollar limits to the authority to ratify unauthorized commitments. A Chief of Contracting Office can approve up to $10,000. A Principal Assistant Responsible for Contracting can approve up to $100,000. A Head of Contracting Authority can approve higher amounts.[9]
Ratifications in the U.S. Army call for a signed statement describing the unauthorized commitment, the value of the procurement, and other documentation. Then a contracting officer is to study the case and recommend action. If the procurement is not ratified, the matter may be handled under FAR Part 50 and DFARS Part 250 (Public Law 85-804) as a GAO claim or some other way.[10]
Contractor damage[edit]
FAR Part 45 provides rules on the Contractor’s obligations and the Government’s remedies in these cases. Specific clauses should be in the contract to deal with Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) situations and bring your own device (BYOD) situations.
Commercial items[edit]
The authority under FAR Part 12, Commercial Items (and services), must be used thoughtfully and carefully. It is very tempting for a contracting officer to use FAR Part 12 and hence FAR Part 13 in situations where such use is clearly not appropriate in view of the basic reasons commercial item acquisition authority was created by Congress.
FAR 2.101 provides that
“a commercial item means – (6) services of a type offered and sold competitively in substantial quantities in the commercial marketplace based on established catalog or market prices for specific tasks performed or specific outcomes to be achieved and under standard commercial terms and conditions. This does not include services that are sold based on hourly rates without an established catalog or market price for a specific service performed or specific outcomes to be achieved. For purposes of these services – (i)catalog price means a price included in a catalog, price list, schedule or other form that is regularly maintained by the manufacturer or vendor, is either published or otherwise available for inspection by customers and states prices at which sales are currently, or were last, made to a significant number of buyers constituting the general public; and (ii) Market prices means current prices that are established in the course of ordinary trade between buyers and sellers free to bargain and that can be substantiated through competition or from sources independent of the offerors."
Note the emphasis in the FAR 2.101 definition for commercial items on established market prices. The reason why simplified acquisition is permitted for items above the $100,000 simplified acquisition procedure threshold for commercial items is there is an efficient market pricing mechanism which pressures market participants to provide goods and services at a fair and reasonable price which represents very efficient / non-wasteful pricing mechanisms. Generally, the more efficient and well developed markets have a large number of participating vendors and information is freely available to consumers in that market on the relative merits of each vendor's products and pricing which permits easy comparison of each vendor's products to each other. FAR Part 12 commercial items acquisition authority was intended to take advantage of the WalMart's (R) and Microsoft's (R) of the world where there is no need to go through the extensive, formalistic and resource/time consuming process of a fully negotiated procurement, which requires vendors provide cost and pricing information, to verify a fair and reasonable price. In other words, FAR Part 12 was intended to increase the number of competitors available to the US Government by jettisoning all of the unique requirements, including cost accounting systems, which are forced upon federal contractors by acquisition processes such as FAR Parts 14, 15, 36 etc.; instead, the federal government could act more like a normal buyer in a fully functioning commercial market where the government was but one of a large number of consumers seeking the same or highly similar products or services. However, FAR Part 12 was never intended to apply where the US Government was the only or one of a very few buyers for an item or service not in demand by the commercial market place.

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Congressman representing Parkland talks challenges of gaining gun control legislation

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State House leaders move to suspend lawmaker’s chairmanship after allegations

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington state Democratic House leaders are moving to suspend a state lawmaker from his legislative committee chairmanship following accusations of inappropriate behavior.

House Democratic leaders said in a news release Friday evening that an independent investigator has found evidence supporting some allegations made against Democratic Rep. David Sawyer.

Sawyer represents the 29th Legislative District, which includes most of Tacoma.

The Seattle Times reports leaders didn’t give specifics about which allegations were supported but leaders said they discussed the preliminary findings and decided that the caucus needs to take initial formal action.

They are recommending a suspension of Sawyer’s chairmanship of the House Commerce and Gaming Committee.

Lawmakers will consider that recommendation May 9.

Sawyer, of Parkland, has denied acting inappropriately.

He wrote in a text message to the newspaper Friday that the Legislature needs to set an example and not politicize the process and let the investigator finish her job.

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