Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Deadline extended for taxpayer-financed spoofs

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Attention all comic geniuses, you still have time to submit your plan for 10 comedy sketches aimed at lampooning the Castro brothers and other Cuban VIPs. (See "U.S. tax dollars for parodies of Cuban politicians").
The Broadcasting Board of Governors, which runs Radio & TV Martí, extended the deadline for proposals to 3 p.m. Sept. 18.
While some anti-Castro activists like the idea of spending tax dollars to make fun of Cuban officials, some supporters of rapprochement with Cuba object.
In an opinion piece published today in the New York Times, Ernesto Londoño wrote:
The American government is looking for a comedy troupe to produce a “uniquely funny” variety show lampooning Cuban politicians and other public figures.
Why on earth would the Obama administration want to spend taxpayer dollars ridiculing Cuban politicians as the two countries are starting to normalize relations?
It turns out that even as a new era of engagement dawns, Congress continues to fund efforts that were centerpieces of a decades-long policy of sabotage and confrontation.
Here’s an idea: Kill it. The American government shouldn’t be in the business of commissioning political parody. Our policy toward Cuba has been a joke long enough.
Sarah Stephens
More criticism came from Sarah Stephens, director of the Center for Democracy in the Americas. In a piece published today by the Huffington Post, she writes:
Under the memorable title "OCBSatire," the Office of Cuba Broadcasting announced that it has "a requirement for exclusive, non-transferrable rights for a Cuban satirical variety and comedy sketch show for inclusion in its programming..."

While OCB welcomed submissions from Cuba and elsewhere, they were clearly not looking for just any kind of comedy to entertain its Cuban audience.
"These skits must be able to parody public figures, politicians, government officials, entertainers, as well as recognizable members of Cuban civil society groups who are active in the political and civil sphere and widely known throughout the Island."
And when they used the word "requirement," this solicitation was about as specific in detailing how Cuba's leaders will be mocked as the EPA is in writing rules to control air pollution.
Ten scripts for ten shows. Scripts no longer than thirty minutes in length. "Each skit should ideally be comprised of 3 segments with accompanying commercial breaks followed by a formal close."
But, here's the best requirement. "These parodies must be uniquely funny, ironic, satirical and entertaining to a wide cross-section of the Cuban population."
Who in the U.S. government is going to decide that? My organization wrote the contracting officers at the BBG and asked "who will determine which proposal is selected?" We never heard back.
Prospective contractors asked two questions about the proposal. Here are the questions and the BBG's answers:
Q: How was the solicitation prepared?
A: This solicitation announcement, BBG50-Q-15-826-OCBSatire is prepared and posted in accordance with Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2005-83, Effective 03 Aug 2015. (FAR) Subpart 5.1 to notify potential Offerors for a competitive request for quote solicitation, issued by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, International Broadcasting Bureau (BBG/IBB). (i) This is a combined synopsis/solicitation for commercial items prepared in accordance with FAR Subpart 12.6 and Subpart 13 as supplemented with additional information included in this notice.
Q: Who will determine which proposal is selected?
A: The BBG Office of Contracts will make the award based on the evaluation criteria outlined in the Request for Quotes: The Government will award a Commercial Items, Firm-Fixed-Price, Non-Personal services Purchase Order with Option for increased quantity (subject to the availability of funds) resulting from this RFQ to the responsible Offeror whose offer conforming to the RFQ will be most advantageous to the Government, based on :The evaluation factors that will be used to determine award will be (1) technical capability, to include a resume that meets the qualifications listed in the Statement of Work (SOW) Requirements paragraph with experience producing scripted satire, and preferably reflecting a demonstrated ability to engage and entertain audiences in Cuba, and with a popular following inside the Island; and a DVD or video link with samples of comedy sketches/shows. (2) Past performance, and (3) price. For past performance Vendors shall provide information demonstrating their experience providing the same or similar relevant services within the past three years. The Government reserves the right to obtain and use past performance information from sources other than those listed in the quote, to include prior dealing with the government and personal knowledge of the company. All evaluation factors other than price, when combined, will be evaluated as significantly more important than price. Basis for Award: The procurement is being conducted under FAR Subpart 13. Best value is defined as the expected outcome of an acquisition that, in the Government's estimation, provides the greatest overall benefit in response to the requirement, in accordance with FAR 2.101.

1 comment:

Project Director said...

So the marionets of the ruling class want to use comedy now?!

I suggest we send this hyperlink to USAID, et al: