Reader comment roundup: Contracting, RetireEZ, Bluetooth-based boarding passes

Regarding "Buzz of the Week: McCain and cost-plus contracting": Part of the confusion seems to result from the recent tendency to assume that "cost plus" contracts are "cost plus award fee" (CPAF) contracts.  Not all are. 

I tend to use cost plus fixed fee (CPFF) quite often, but CPAF only rarely & reluctantly.  Cost plus incentive fee (CPIF), some sort of fixed price arrangement — not necessarily firm fixed price (FFP) — or (horrors! in most federal thinking) Time & Materials may be best for a given acquisition. Part of a contracting officer's job is to figure out what offers the highest likelihood of the best outcome.


Regarding "OPM pulls plug on $290 million RetireEZ contract": I have a 1989 DOS program for CSRS retirement calculation that works pretty well for planning purposes. I suspect the author, if alive, would bring it up to date for maybe $10,000,000.  That is less than half of what OPM has paid already.


Regarding "TSA tests electronic boarding passes": Now if they would just develop a Bluetooth-based system of encrypted boarding passes with two-point biometric verification of the traveler. [Referring to two-point, I mean a fingerprint and iris scan pair or iris scan and voice print pair or some other pair of biometric identity measures to reduce the chance that someone who is not the person depicted by the boarding pass can pass.] Such automation would help with the flow of passengers onto the plane providing they have enough scanners for "parallel processing" of passengers. [They do that already with the X-ray baggage scanners.]


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