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Wanna know where you tax money is going?
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Wanna know where you tax money is going? - April 6, 2007, 11:35 PM

probably into some douche bag writing up shit like this, clipped it from the post today.



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April 7, 2007, 09:18 AM

Heh, I work on Capitol Hill and actually have to interface with AoC (Architect of the Capitol) on design issues on an almost daily basis. Yes they can be ridiculous.

But on this point, I agree with them on being so specific on the paper towels, and the reason is very simple.

Capitol Hill buildings use those in-wall metal dispensers, which is basially an upside down kleenex box, that you pull on on the paper towel, it comes out, and another one is sticking out for the next guy to grab. lately, they've been providing paper towels that are too small for the dispenser, so when you grab one, like 50 of them come out or fall into the trash can which is brilliantly located right under the dispenser, so when you grab one towel, you end up wasting like 50 of them, so the dispenser is empty in like half the day, then you just have to walk around with wet hands.

For a while they tried just leaving stacks of the towels by the sink, ignoring the dispensers, but then the whole stack gets wet as peopel drip water ont hem as they grab them, and who wants to use a pre-wet paper towel? This all sets off my borderline OCD, so just this week I was wondering why they couldnt provide a damn paper towel to fit int he damn dispenser... I'm actually glad and releived to see that article, at least someone is doing something right.

As for all the color and absorption specifications, well it's capitol hill.. Have you ever had a bad boss who gets soem dumb idea in his head, and no matter how impractical, they just have to make sure it happens? Well, imagin having 524 bosses like that, all thinking they're more important than the next guy, all having "great ideas" that need to be implemented immediately. Most of dumb requests and requirements come from the yahoos that YOU vote for.


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April 9, 2007, 09:27 AM

So if it's so difficult to order paper towels, how do the tens of thousands of private businesses manage to get it right? I'm pretty sure Joe the Janitor has enough grey matter to figure out what paper towels fit the dispensors.
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April 9, 2007, 09:34 AM

If you work in or around government contracting you understand this.

Govt has to be specific in what they order, else crap gets delivered. Govt has to be specific in what the evaluation criteria is, else the contract is open to protest, in which the delivery gets delayed and money is wasted on lawyers defending why the Govt chose vendor x over vendor y.


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April 9, 2007, 09:46 AM

Oh and if you think this is dumb cause paper towels are cheep, then think of this, 640,000 towels every two weeks. Contracts for items like this are going to be a year minimum, usually with 4+ option years.

http://www.officedepot.com/ddSKU.do?level=SK&id=508415

Office depot sells paper towels in cartons containing 4000 towels, at a cost of $42 (before shipping mind you) at 640,000 every two weeks thatís $6,720. Thatís $174,720 a year. Total contract value if its 1 base plus 4 options is $873,600.

Now these are just example figures and donít take in to account Govt pricing or quantity discounts, but you get the idea.

How happy would you be if the Govt got the wrong item, spend 100 grand on lawyers fighting it, only to lose because although the items delivered would not work, they were technically acceptable according to the contract. Now another order would have to be placed to provide the correct item. 174K original order wasted, 100k lawyers wasted, 174k replacement order. 448K of our tax funds. Or we could have 1 guy write up a very detailed item description and specs.


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Last edited by zx6rfool; April 9, 2007 at 09:54 AM..
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April 9, 2007, 10:40 AM

^exactly...

When contracting w/ government, the contractor's always looking to make money, hence provide the cheapest service/ product he can supply and charge as much as govt will pay. Mix this with the rule that if there is any unclarity or vagueness in a govt contract, and there is a dispute, the contractor will always win. This causes the govt to need to have airtight scopes of work and requirements for products...

I usually have to write scopes of work that read as if they're for a trained monkey, mount this here, mount that 2" above, connect them like this, turn screwdriver clockwise 7 times, etc. If you let contractors try to figure stuff out on their own, they will invariably do something different than you intended, and you can't complain unless you told them otherwise.

...and i'd argue that joe the private janitor doesn't get it right either, becasue I've been to plenty of bathrooms in private buildings that they have the same problem)...


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April 9, 2007, 10:47 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by zx6rfool
If you work in or around government contracting you understand this.

Govt has to be specific in what they order, else crap gets delivered.
+1 it sucks, but that's how it has to be.


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