052 What Kevin & Paul Wish They Knew…

Listen and Learn… One Year of the Contracting Officer Podcast! In this special episode Kevin and Paul look back at the beginning of the CO Podcast and answer the most common question received from listeners:…

050 Teaming w/Special Guest Garth Arevalo

Listen and Learn… This is Part 2 of Kevin’s interview with Garth Arevalo, CEO of Lukos, LLC. In Part 1 they discussed the perspectives they gained after moving from the Government Contracting Officer role to…

048 What are Discussions?

Did you know that the Government can negotiate with Industry right in the middle of a competition? It’s true! In the Government world negotiations during the source selection process are called “discussions”. Kevin and Paul…

047 The Power of Do

There are endless calls to “fix Government acquisition” and “reduce bureaucracy” and “change or reduce Federal Procurement Policies”. Ready to scale that mountain? We aren’t either. In this episode Kevin and Paul discuss the impact…

046 What is a Letter Contract?

This episode is brought to you by PROPRICERTM, the Gold Standard for Cost Proposal and Government Evaluation Software.  Learn how they can help you here. Letter contracts are a special type of contract that allow…

045 What is an Indefinite Contract?

Listen and Learn… Indefinite Contract? How can a contract be indefinite? Indefinite contracts can be used when the Government knows exactly what it wants to buy, but not how much they’ll need or when they’ll…

044 What are Incentive Contracts?

Incentive contracts are designed to help the Government acquire goods and services at a lower cost or with improved delivery or technical performance. These contracts provide the opportunity for creativity in crafting incentives and also…

043 Encore – What Are The Colors of Money?

Listen and Learn… What does “Color of Money” mean? In this special encore presentation of an important topic you’ll learn about different types of appropriations and how they impact acquisitions and the Government’s behavior. Kevin…

041 What is the Uniform Contract Format (UCF)?

Almost every Federal Government contract follows the same general format. Ever wonder why? (or wonder why anyone would have a podcast about it?) Kevin and Paul explain the FAR’s framework for contract format and how…

038 What is a Follow-On Contract?

Ever heard of a logical follow-on?  Kevin and Paul explain why logic is just one of the many factors that can influence the decision to award a non-competitive contract to an incumbent contractor.In addition, learn…

037 What is a COTR? What is a COR?

What does a COTR do? What can a COR direct a contractor to do? What is outside the scope of their authority? Learn the answers to these questions and more as Kevin and Paul discuss…

036 What is an Option?

What does it mean if your contract has “options”? Kevin and Paul explain the reasons why options are used in Government contracts and how they impact proposals and source selections.Learn how the execution and administration…

035 What is a CLIN?

Join Over 5,000 People Who Get Our Content Every Month! * indicates required Email Address * First Name Last Name Kevin and Paul explain Contract Line Item Numbers (CLINs) and help listeners understand why they…

034 ENCORE What is a Contracting Officer?

In this special rebroadcast of one of the most popular early episodes, Kevin and Paul explain what Contracting Officers do.  They define the role of the CO and provide detail on how they are appointed….

Special Episode: What is the Skyway Connection?

In this special episode, Kevin and Paul explain the “connection” between the Contracting Officer Podcast, The Skyway Connection Community, and Skyway Acquisition Solutions. If you’re wondering what we’re talking about when we mention the Connection…

033 How Do Sole Source Contracts Work?

Are Sole Source Awards Easier?  In this episode Kevin and Paul debate this listener question. A Contracting Officer (and listener!) took issue with a comment from a previous episode regarding sole source contracts and provided…

030 What is a Competitive Range Determination?

In this episode Kevin and Paul describe one step of the Government’s source selection process, Competitive Range Determinations. They explain the purpose of competitive range determinations, when the determination takes place, and why the Government…

027 Special Guest – Michael Fischetti (NCMA) Part 2

Part 2 of our interview with Michael Fischetti, Executive Director of the National Contract Management Association (NCMA).Part 1 focused on the training and education that contracts professionals receive, including questions of “depth or breadth” in…

026 Special Guest – Michael Fischetti (NCMA) Part 1

A big welcome to our first guest on the Contracting Officer Podcast.   Michael Fischetti, Executive Director of the National Contract Management Association (NCMA), stopped by the official CO Podcast studio to discuss professionalism in contracting. …

024 Listener Q and A #2

In this episode Kevin and Paul answer listeners’ questions. Specific topics are: What is an Award Fee Contract? What does “incremental funding” mean? What is “Certified Cost and Pricing Data? What is meant by the…

023 What is a Protest?

What is a Protest?  When Should I Protest?  What Can I Protest?  How Do I Submit a Protest? In this episode Kevin and Paul provide answers to these questions and more.   The discussion goes far…

022 What are Weighted Guidelines?

What are weighted guidelines? In this episode Kevin and Paul discuss the Government’s use of a structured approach to determine fair and reasonable profit during sole source negotiations. They explain what weighted guidelines are and…

021 PreRFP Communication

How much communication between the Government and Industry is necessary prior to release of the RFP?   In this episode Paul and Kevin the reasons why increased communications are critical to the Government acquisition process, leading…

019 What are the Colors of Money?

What does “Color of Money” mean?   This episode explains different types of appropriations and how they impact acquisitions and the Government’s behavior.  Kevin and Paul give examples of why the color of money matters and…

016 The Importance of Targeting

Targeting is a critical element of winning in the federal market. Poor targeting creates many of the problems we discuss on the Contracting Officer Podcast – from miscommunication between buyer and seller, to adversarial debriefs,…

014 The RFP Zone (Zone 3)

The third in a 4 part series describing the Acquisition Time Zones in greater detail.  (see Episode 003 for an overview of the  Time Zones) In this episode Kevin and Paul describe what information must…

011 What are Section L&M Part 2

What is Section L?  What is Section M?  In this 2 part episode, Paul and Kevin explain how the Government provides proposal preparation and content instructions in Section L and provides the evaluation criteria that…

010 What are Sections L & M? (Part 1)

What is Section L?  What is Section M?  In this 2 part episode, Paul and Kevin explain how the Government provides proposal preparation and content instructions in Section L and provides the evaluation criteria that…

009 Contract Types

What is the difference between a Firm Fixed Price contract and a Cost Reimbursable contract?  If you’ve ever asked this question, this podcast is for you.  We provide an overview of the 2 basic contract…

007 What is a Contracting Officer?

In this cast, we explain the basics of what Contracting Officers do. We define the role of the CO, along with some detail on how they are appointed. We also describe the different types of…

006 Debriefing Part 2

One of the many unique elements of federal contracting is the Debriefing. In this cast, we continue our discussion on the nuances and lessons learned on the enigmatic debriefing. During Part 2, we cover some…

005 Debriefing Part 1

Zone:Zone 4 Listen and Learn…   One of the many unique elements of federal contracting is the Debriefing. In this cast, we explain what a debriefing is (and what it isn’t). We also describe the…

002 The 80/20 Rule

Listen and Learn… One often-overlooked difference between the federal market and the commercial market is that federal market sales are won more by process than by relationships. Contracting Officers (COs) cannot buy based on relationships alone. Relationships matter (see FAR Parts 3 and 9), but relationships are usually not the most important factor. The relationship is 20% of the decision. The other 80% is the competitive process.

001 Why We Created the CO Podcast

Contracting officers need help. They are awash in information (and data), but are starving for insights on the contractors’ perspective. Since leaving our contracting officers positions, we see how some of our actions as COs, while well-intended, impacted companies in ways we did not know. We wish we knew then what we know now. We also created this podcast to offer COs some insights on the contractors’ perspective.