Collecting waste paper

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December 9th, 2013 at 9:00:10 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9992
Yet another trip out of town to pay for rules and requirements. Now with a scary landing. read all about it here; http://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/off-topic/1776-scary-landings/2/#post297135
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
December 28th, 2013 at 4:50:59 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9992
What a couple of days...

This customer needs samples. At first blush it seems simple enough, as there are only 27 products. But the samples are to be sent to a lab for analysis, so they require several samples of each product. In addition we can offer up to three different brands per product. Long story short(er) we had to individually label 820 items.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
December 30th, 2013 at 6:58:35 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9992
I'll get back to the requirements soon. In the meantime I thought I'd explain how the procedure goes.

After publilching the open invitation with the rules and requirements, there is a questions meeting. This is a public meeting (but that needs to be qualified) where the agency answers questions posed by prospective participants, concerning solely the content of the rules and requirements. In theory one can ask only for clarification, but in practice this is where one petitions for changes as well. The asnwers become an integral part of the rules and requirements.

The problem here is, or can be, the timing. For Federal procedures the law prescribes a minimum of six days between the date when the invitation si published and the meeting. However, all questiosn must be submitted no later than 24 hours in advance of the meeting. Questions submitted afterwards cannot be answered, except if the agency deems a second meeting necessary. There's also a provision for "shortened times" if the agency is in a hurry. Then the time is reduced to three days.

This means if the invitation comes out on monday the meeting cannot take place until Thursday, but the question must be submitted Wednesday. Doesn't seem so bad, right? Well, it depends. The "date" for publishing means the whoel day. So if BLOAT publishes an invitation at 23:59:59 on Monday, it counts as having been published on Monday. In such cases one won't see it till Tuesday morning, and then the questions are due the next day. This has happened to us a few times.

Next, if the procedure is "electronic," then everything is handled remotely over the BUYNET site. Questiosn get answered and posted there on the appointed day (most times), and then time is given for participants to submit questions concerning only the answers given. The minimum interval for this is six hours, the max 48 hours. The reason for this is that the law compels the agency to clearly answer all questions, and the aprticipants determine that (this isn't as big a deal as you might think, though we once overturned a result based on a non-answer to a question; techinicalities at work).

The other kinds of procedure are "prescencial" and "mixed." I've no idea how to translate the first term, but it means participants must be present with their offers at a time and palce of the agency's choosing. Mixed means one can either be presnet or send an electronic offer. In these cases, the meeting is an actual meeting, though attendance by the participants is voluntary. One can argue the answers right there and then, so no interval is given for new questions concerning such answers.

More to come.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
February 1st, 2014 at 4:50:11 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
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After the questions meeting comes the opening of the proposals. These are contained in sealed "envelopes," though this last means any sealed container. We typically send ours in cardboard boxes as the typical proposal takes up 4 five-inch binders.

In federal law there have to be six days between the questions and the opening, no exceptions. In state and local procedures, times vary wildly. In Mexico City procedures set by the City government can take place the day after the meeting. Most often it's between three and six days, though it can be more.

I have to interject an example of extreme idiocy, and I'm being charitable here. A federal agency recently published an invitation with shortened times. It appeared on Tuesday Jan. 28th , with the meeting slated for Friday Jan 31st. But the proposals don't get opened until February 17th!! Now, if you're giving that much time, why use shortened times? I think it's something worse than idiocy.

At an opening the "envelopes" are opened (duh!) and there is a quantitative check of each participant's proposal. This means they check the photocopies against the original documents and check all the requirements are in. They keep the copies and return the originals (except for a few letters, statements and the offers themselves which are printed on the participant's letterhead and signed by the legal rep; "originals" of easily reproduced documents, like a company's curriculum, may also be kept).

Next the committee overseeing the procedure signs every last copy, and so does a representative from the participants, chosen rather informally. The prices on the offers are read, or the total estimate. And lastly minutes of the act are printed, signed by all involved, and copies are given out. The copies, or the original Word document of the minutes, are published in BUYNET.

Now, if the procedure is "electronic" as mentioned in the previous post, then everything is sent scanned, right? The government is promoting these types of procedures a great deal. one justification is that they use up less resources. Well, want to know what happens when everything was sent over the internet? The very first thing that happens is everything gets printed, put in binders in the order it was downloaded, and then signed by the committee involved. I kid you not.

Less resources are used up, though. After all, people don't need to travel all over town for the various meetings, or to other towns sometimes. But they could easily just download each proposal into multiple thumb drives and/or burn them to a DVD, and/or put them in "the cloud."

Over the next few days, however the proposals are presented, there is a qualitative analysis of the documents. More on this later. And more on the resources thing, too.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
February 1st, 2014 at 7:08:41 PM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 47
Posts: 3963
Quote: Nareed
we had to individually label 820 items.
So did the lab because all forensic laboratories automatically affix their own labels and report to their client as to labels submitted.
February 3rd, 2014 at 5:42:20 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9992
A small interjection: If samples are required, typically they are presented a day or two before the proposals. But there can be exceptions. Sometimes they are presented the same day, sometimes along with the proposal. I'll have more to say about samples later on.

So, once the proposals are presented, in whatever way, the agency now can examine every paper and check that it complies with what was asked for. For example, if it required analyses of all meats offered, they will check 1) they're all there and 2) they meet the applicable norms. If your chicken shows salmonella contamination, for example, you'll be disqualified.

This seems eminently sensible and it may be (you can argue about the purpose of lab analyses), but some things are not. For example, if one of your letters or statements misses the procedure's number, you're out (really!) IN some states they take this too far with things that don't make a difference. In Michoacan you will be disqualified if the envelope containing the proposal is not signed by the legal rep. In Mexico state you will be disqualified if a statement or letter differs in any way from the one in the rules document.

After the evaluation is done, a last meeting is held to announce the ruling and results. The decisions are final but one can file an appeal to the agency's, and this is a literal translation because I don't know what it's supposed to mean "Internal Control Organ" (I know what it is, it's where one files such appeals; see the problem with an accurate translation?)

Appeals can work, but can also take too much time. The best result one can have is either that one's disqualification wasn't valid, or that the winning company's proposal should have been disqualified. In that case, a new ruling and results are issued. This doens't necessarily mean you win, though.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
February 3rd, 2014 at 11:09:47 PM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 47
Posts: 3963
Did it ever occur to you that this is the kind of system Mexicans thrive on and therefore it is the kind of system Mexicans deserve. Illogical, full of useless and time consuming work, full of bribe opportunities, etc.
March 7th, 2014 at 8:28:56 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9992
Rather than continue, I want to vent on something that happened over the past week.

Each state in the country, and Mexico City, has its own laws for acquiring goods and services, as I think I've said already. These vary in some respects between themselves and the federal law, naturally (otherwise why have different laws?) One thing some states do, not all, is to direct some procedures to local suppliers. For example, state A may restrict participation to businesses or individuals residing within the state. how you go about proving this varies. Some accept a branch of your bsuiness, some don't.

So last week I came accoss one such. it tended towards extreme locality. that is, for a business the requirement was the main business activity had to be located in the state, the business had to be registered for tax purposes in the state, and such registration ahd to be at least one year old. This merely to be able to submit a proposal. And this was stated in the state law, as well as in the rules and requirements. As we have not even a branch there, we couldn't take part. My boss agreed, but hsi boss said to go anyway.

Now, that generates a great deal of stress because the uber-boss believed the state law to be different than what we reported. So even if we were to submit a proposal and ahve it rejected, the assumption would be we'd screwed up. Plus I had to come up with some creative way to cply with requirements we couldn't meet. I spent Tuesday and Wednesday on the phone, neglecting my other work, looking for an out.

Finally sanity prevailed. But now I'll ahve to come in Saturday to finish off some tasks which went undone.

I hate this job more every day.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
March 15th, 2014 at 8:45:47 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9992
Between Thursday and Friday, we were hit with 6 (six) major projects.

One of them requires collecting seals and signatures in 44 (forty four) delivery points, allegedly to "demonstrate" our ability to deliver to all points. This is beyond ridiculous, as the customer already asks for proof of enough delivery vehicles, and none of the places where they require delivery are in a parallel universe or alternate dimension.

Besides that, we have to prepare a bunch of receipts for hits, each one requiring to have the name of the place, its address and phone number. I proceeded to make them, and kept them in a folder labelled "Pointless Waste of Time."

I got some words about that from the boss, too. He admitted it is pointless and a waste of time, but that it's the work we have to do, yadda, yadda, yadda. All this took about 25 minutes, which of course further wasted time.

That's all we do, really: pointlessly waste time.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
April 5th, 2014 at 12:40:42 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9992
Quote: Nareed
Between Thursday and Friday, we were hit with 6 (six) major projects.


And the rest of March didn't get any better. The past three weeks we've been going at it non-stop. It's a wonder we dind't need to work every weekend.

Worse yet this past Monday we had to finish one project to hand it in on tuesday. Around 10:30 PM we were about an hour away from the end, when the idiot agency decides to cancel the procedure. If they'd cancelled it earlier in the day, or better yet on Friday, we could have advanced a great deal on all the other crap we have to work on.

The good thing is we're at the end now, of everything, and we don't expect more than a handful of major projects we absolutely have to present from now til September.

I really need a vacation now. I'm so glad I'll be leaving on the 20th come what may.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
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