Contracting Meeting in St. Petersburg, FL
Marinna Martini, Joe Newell, Janet Paquette, Ellen Mecray from Woods Hole and Pat Mullan from
St. Petersburg attended "Contracting Basics for Contracting Officers' Representatives (COTRs)."
Although the finer points of Government purchasing are not as exciting as scientific research,
purchasing within Government rules and regulations is a daily chore for many of us.
This particular course was a great introduction to Government purchasing, and I personally
wished I had taken it 6 years ago. The instructor, Gregory Hardy (Graduate School, U.S.
Department of Agriculture), was excellent, able to answer our questions with specific examples
from his 15 years of contracting experience. Although the curriculum covered some dry subjects
such as the mechanics and paperwork of the purchasing process, it was not all about how much
paperwork we have to do. The course also provided tools for situations when the Government
has not been treated fairly by a vendor or contractor, outlined the roles and responsibilities of
the Contracting Officer, and introduced some basics of contract law.
Most importantly, the course outlined recent reforms in Government purchasing, many of which
actually make our lives as Government purchasers easier. For example, did you know that the
new buzzword is "best value" rather than "lowest cost," and that we do not have to go with
the lowest bidder? Did you know that Contracting Officers are there to help us? If you make
purchases greater than $2,500, make sole-source purchases, or write statements of work, I
highly recommend making time for this course. It will save you time and aggravation in the
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), St. Petersburg, Florida
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
in this issue:
African Sahel Dust
Radio Interview Explores African Dust
Florida Coastal Storm Defenses
Oceans Day 2002
Black History Month
Environmental Academy Web Site
Regional Science Fair
Congressional BriefingSea Otter Research
Law of the Sea
Bill Dillon Retires
John Hughes Clarke"Imaging Water Mass Variability"
March Publications List