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20 min read

David v. Goliath Podcast Series Part 2

David v. Goliath Podcast Series Part 2

Evaluation Criteria and LPTA vs. Best Value

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Joe:

Okay. I expect there will be some folks that will be joining us, you know, throughout, um, the course of the webinar today. Uh, my name is Joe Whitcomb. I am the founder of Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC.

Joe:

Um, to my, I want to introduce, make some introductions first. To my far right is, uh, Dani Tarolli. Uh, she's an associate with, with the law firm. She will be moderating today.

Joe:

Uh, to my immediate right is Joel Hamner. Um, he's one of our in house, um, certified experts, uh, in the universe of government contracting.

Joe:

Um, again, I'm the founder. Um, we, Whitcomb, Selinsky, has, uh, been in the government contracting space, um, pretty heavily since at least 2013. And our focus since that time has been on socioeconomic clients, primarily in the service disabled veteran owned small business space.

Joe:

Um, and what we've done since 2013, uh, is helping with those, helping those veteran owned businesses and those women owned and small businesses, um, go, go from, you know, their very first day of getting a DUNS number, uh, all the way through, um, uh, filing contract claims and litigating contract claims for the purpose of getting paid, uh, for the, for the contracts they've already performed.

Joe:

So we, we, we really are, in the universe of government contracting, we're a full service firm. But our focus is in that socioeconomic space, and where we've learned a lot of lessons is in the SDVOSB, or service disabled veteran owned small business, uh, community. Um, many of you, I think you are in reach of our, of our emails and, and, uh, advertising are probably in that service disabled space, so that should apply to many.

Joe:

Uh, but again, a lot of the lessons that we've learned and everything we talk about today will t- will apply government contracting wide. Whether you're a small business or a large business, uh, it won't matter, because today, what we're going to be covering, um, is the second few topics of, of 10, uh, total.

Joe:

And today, we'll be talking first about the evaluation criteria i- in a request for proposals and, you know, specifically, where to look for those, what, what do they mean, um, and, and why d- and we're going to speak today about their importance.

Joe:

And then, the second piece we'll be talking about is, is the distinction between, uh, the two basic, um, big lanes of, of government contracting competition, which is either going to be the lowest price technically acceptable, known by many of you as the LPTA, um, and the second is the best value contract. Um, and we'll talk about, we'll get into the weeds on what those two mean.

Joe:

Um, again, Dani's going to be moderating. The format today will be Dani will present a question that we hope applies, that we will answer questions that apply to many of you. Um, Joel, Joel or I will pick up the answer to one of those questions. We're going to do that for approximately the first 20 minutes.

Joe:

Um, we'll try to cut off around 11:20, uh, Mountain Time, 11:22 Mountain Time. And then, we'll open up that last 10 minutes to any questions, um, that participants, you the attendees, might have.

Joe:

Uh, in addition, uh, we've got, uh, AJ in the background that's helping monitor this. If you guys have any questions or concerns, you're not able to hear us, you're not able to see us, something happens, drop a comment in the chat box, and AJ will get it over to us, and Dani will be monitoring that and sh- we'll be able to, um, you know, to get that, we'll be able to respond to that in real time.

Joe:

The last 10 minutes is where we will reserve, um, where we will answer any questions you submitted, um, along that time, as it relates to the topics we're talking about. And without, without any, um, without dragging it out [inaudible 00:03:41] any longer, I'll hand it over to Dani to present the first question.

Daniela:

Thank you, Joe. So I guess the first question will be, when you use the term evaluation criteria, what do you mean?

Joel:

Yeah. So I'll, I'll go ahead and jump on that one. So the evaluation criteria is, uh, basically, it's a list of the factors that the government states in the solicitation that it's going to use, uh, when it makes its award decision.

Joel:

Uh, usually, these are broken out in a distinct section in the solicitation, but oftentimes, we've, we've seen that actually sprinkled throughout, uh, the solicitation documentation. Uh, sometimes, uh, in the section that you often will find the evaluation criteria, it may even reference other parts of the solicitation or even the statement of work.

Joe:

And the most common way I've seen that broken down, uh, it depen- and it doesn't seem to matter very much about the [inaudible 00:04:37] that they're competing is that they'll have a technical evaluation. They'll have a price evaluation. And they'll have a past performance evaluation.

Joe:

But that, again, to Joel's point, is a 30,000 foot view. And the point of today's conversation will be getting, as you as a prospective, um, offer on one of these contracts, what exact, what kind of language you're looking for and how you want to respond.

Daniela:

So with those factors that you say that are used, what are the most common ones found in, uh, evaluation criteria?

Joe:

So I got a little ahead of myself on that question.

Joel:

(laughs)

Joe:

Um, yeah. Again, typically, and I say, you know, it's hard in the universe of government contracting to, to present a rule that applies across the board, but what you see most commonly, and understanding that we're talking specifically about responses to RFPs or res- or requests for proposals. That's [inaudible 00:05:26] request for quotes or an RFP, which you see regularly in, in construction contract, which is simply the government requesting bids.

Joe:

We're talking about, um, stuff that applies, it, it applies across the board. You may see an RFP in construction. And, and today we'll be t- and, uh, t- to answer Dani's question, you will most re- often see a technical component in which the government will want, from you, things like your approach, your technical approach. How are you going to address the contract? What are the names and qualifications of key personnel? Um, what is your management plan?

Joe:

And it is important, uh, and almost every RFP we'll read will have a, have a disclaimer in it that says, "Simply copying and pa-" This is a Joe Whitcomb paraphrase, but simply copying and pasting the requirements in your response will not do the job. So if the government says, "You need to present a management plan," it will not be sufficient for you to respond with, uh, "Our company intends to present a manag- or pretends, intends to manage this contract."

Joe:

You will need to get more specific than that, um, to, to be able to, to satisfy the government's, um, request, because understand that the people that are publishing this, the contracting officers that are typically publishing this request for proposals, will not regularly be the individuals evaluating the criteria. That will go to a source selection authority.

Joe:

And again, so that I don't run in danger of getting ahead of myself, the three areas with a technical proposal o- most often, which has those subcategories or sub backers, your pricing, which will normally be done by unit as a CLIN or, or, uh, we call it a CLIN, but a, a line item. All right? And then, the last thing will be your past performance. And again, what we'll talk about today is that every solicitation will place a different emphasis on each of those three areas.

Joel:

Yeah. Um, I would add, too, that too, Joe, oftentimes, depending on, uh, the, the services that are being purchased, you'll see various, uh, licensure or certification requirements, um, that may be listed out either as a subcomponent to your technical requirements, or it could be, uh, it, it could appear as its own separate section.

Joel:

Um, I think that the, the big takeaway for that, um, y- uh, Joe, you appropriately, I think, said, uh, "Hey, you need to usually provide more than an affirmative statement of, 'Yes. We will comply with this particular criteria.'"

Joel:

However, uh, I think on the other side, too, I mean, th- th- the number one thing, uh, that contractors need to keep in mind when responding to these is to address every element in the evaluation criteria.

Joe:

Right.

Joel:

And so to the extent that, um, you want to go line by line through those evaluation criteria that are listed out, um, that, that's a phenomenal way to make sure you address everything. Um, oftentimes, though, uh, yeah, it just requires, uh, more than an affirmative statement, uh, to that point.

Joel:

Uh, and again, I'll, I'll, I guess I'll underscore that with an example. Um, and, and Joe, you're f- you're familiar with this particular case. We recently had, um, we handled a protest for an incumbent contractor. Uh, relatively straightforward service contract.

Joel:

Uh, one of the requirements that was listed, uh, and this was a, a single requirement under a subcomponent of, I believe it was their technical, uh, s- category, uh, i- is that they needed to not only list each of the k- key personnel, but they needed to include a chart.

Joel:

And so, uh, you know, our, our client included a chart, and they made that chart, and they listed everyone by name. Well, one of these individuals ch- was dual hatted, right? They filled two different roles, uh, related to this contract. And they listed in their chart only one of the titles, right, instead of both titles.

Joel:

And, uh, I will say that, uh, that issue, um, w- we ultimately were able to secure a successful outcome in the protest. However, um, we were unable to, uh, to, to receive our fees related to that protest because of, uh, that particular issue.

Joel:

And so when it comes to being so detail specific as make sure that every title of every person is listed on your chart, um, you know, uh, to me, that, that really just kind of underscores this idea that, that when you are working your way through, uh, developing a, a comprehensive response to a solicitation, um, you really do need to be careful to, to address every single element. Uh, but of course, yeah, to your point earlier, Joe, that doesn't necessarily mean, uh, a simple affirmative statement will do.

Joe:

A- And I always like to caution clients that we're working with, you know, keep an eye out for that foot stomping, right, where the government will, will have regularly, and the, um, the example that I'm thinking about, one I read recently that said that the government put a s- a, a specific disclaimer in there as it related to past performance that said short or, you know, inefficient a- insufficient answers, and I'm paraphrasing again, just, just won't do.

Joe:

When you see language like that, when you see language about shall or must, obviously, pay super close attention to that, uh, language, because that, there, there, sometimes the solicitation will include language that says, "If to, if offers don't speak to this point, they won't be considered. They won't make it to the next round." So pay close attention to that.

Joe:

The other thing is, if it, and Joel might have gotten to this eventually, but, um, th- there will b- regularly be a page limit. So you have to both be thorough and concise. But if the page limit is 30 pages, um, remember that you're not going to get any pa- [inaudible 00:11:22] for coming in at 25. If it's 30 pages and you have something to say for 30 pages, use that. Use that page limit.

Joel:

Yeah. And, and maybe part of the way... I mean, uh, that sounds like very kind of generic advice, right? (laughs) Be, be thorough and, and hit your page limit. Uh, okay. Great. Thanks.

Joel:

Um, I, I think that one of the ways that, that you can help to narrow your focus, uh, when you are working through your actual proposal material is through, uh, um, liberal use of the Q and A process. Right?

Joel:

And so if there are ambiguities, certainly as it relates to the evaluation criteria, uh, seek to clarify those. Seek to, to, um, ask questions that would really refine, uh, your understanding of what the government is asking for.

Daniela:

So understanding that you need to be thorough in your proposal process, how would you say that the government goes about treating and evaluating technical and past performances?

Joe:

So I'll, I'll, I'll pick up the, the technical piece, and then Joel, if you want to [inaudible 00:12:27] past performance. The, the technical piece, what the, what the f- FAR essentially requires happens is th- is that the contracting office put together a source selection authority, um, that their job is to then evaluate all the proposals.

Joe:

A perfect RFP, which I have not seen, um, w- is it would include a rubric, which would mean the government would announce to you as the offers the amount of emphasis it intended to place on which portion. The one that I was studying to prepare for this, uh, webinar, it stated that all three would be treated equally, right? If it's technical, it would be treated the same as past performance, and which would be treated the same as price.

Joe:

Um, you will read other, um, solicitations that will say that price is the primary driver, or technical is the primary driver, and that past performance is neutral. So it'll be super important for you to look at that.

Joe:

But understand that there should be a source selection authority that are s- either self described or the agency has described them as subject matter experts, that are supposed to be evaluating, for example, your technical approach. Um, it may be engineers or architects in the universe of, of, of, uh, construction or, or design build, or it could be manufac- you know, folks who have that background are supposed to be determining whether your technical approach is the right approach or the approach the government wants to see you take.

Joe:

Um, again, you will... a- and I want to emphasize this. The government, this is one area where the government has a great deal of discretion. So you, your best effort may still fall short, but it is y- it will... We will tell you in advance, um, you know, don't assume anything. Take nothing for granted. Get everything in there that you think applies. Um, don't assume the contracting office will read into anything.

Joel:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Joe:

Uh, they, you know, y- they might make a logical inference. They might not. Uh, just understand that the source selection authority that is removed from the contracting office will regularly be the ones making an evaluation and recommendation, and then the contracting officer has the final authority.

Joe:

Uh, as it relates to past performance, I'll leave that to Joel.

Joel:

Sure. Yeah. I, I would say I think that normally, there, there are two components for most, um, m- most evaluation teams as it relates to past performance, uh, the first being the contractors' inputs in their own, uh, uh, proposal material. Right?

Joel:

You will have, normally, there will be certain requirements that are set forth, um, where you need to provide evidence of past performance of two or three or however many, um, uh, previously completed contracts. Uh, but that's really only a part of it.

Joel:

Of course, you know, any, any contractor who's been doing this for, for some amount of time is familiar with their CPAR and CPAR rating. Uh, that is a government run, uh, system in which after you complete any prior contract, uh, the contracting officer will go into the system and provide their own comments, uh, related to the performance of that prior contract.

Joel:

Uh, and so that will normally provide, uh, the contractor an additional data point, if you will, uh, related to, uh, your, your past performance. Um, one point on that is, is normally, past performance, uh, it often operates as kind, on, on kind of a pass fail basis.

Joel:

Um, and, uh, I, I will, I will make a brief note, uh, for any small businesses or, or other, uh, uh, businesses that may qualify for certain set-aside requirements, um, or opportunities, rather. If, uh, you are a small business under one of these programs, and if the procuring agency is going to, uh, ultimately preclude you from competition based on the basis of past performance, uh, that is really a determination. They are required by regulation to engage the SBA in making that decision, making that determination.

Joel:

Uh, and then, the SBA, uh, will go through, uh, the relevant paperwork in making a determination whether you as a small business have the ability to perform that particular contract.

Joe:

Right. And that's referred to, the, the term [inaudible 00:16:46] for that is a responsibility determination. So, uh, what you should know is the co- what Joel is saying is the contracting officer makes that determination without more, it is not sufficient. They need to go to the SBA. You have a right of appeal through the SBA on a respo- on an adverse responsibility determination, which would include past performance.

Joel:

And if you find yourself in that situation, that is certainly a conversation that you should be having, uh, in your, um, in your post award decision conversation with the agency.

Joe:

Right. And a lot of these, a lot of these con- contracts will be competing on the FAR Part 15. That's a little, that's a little more nuanced than we have time to get into today, but that FAR Part 15 also requires a debriefing.

Joe:

So if the [inaudible 00:17:32] you know, piggybacking on what Joel is saying, is if the only reason the agency gave for not selecting you was an, the inadequacy of your past performance, that is a responsibility determination. You should have a right of appeal through the SBA.

Joe:

And you want to preserve your rights, and you will always be limited to 10 days on that, from the date of the announcement. So, so be, be careful and, and look for that. Request your debriefing right away and, and get, find out from the agency what it is they, what the reason for, for not awarding.

Joe:

Um, I want to be conscious of everyone's time. It's about 11:20. I know Dani has some more questions.

Daniela:

I was going to say just l- looking at time right now, I'm going to switch gears just slightly. So I wanted to ask you guys about the difference between the best value and the LPTA type of procurement.

Joe:

All right. So why don't I start that one? So th- they're just, they're two major lanes in which contracts are competed. Um, there's a lot of case law in our universe, the LPTA, the lowest price technically acceptable, is probably the most used, and the small business universe that we've added just means that there's a technical bar over which you have to, you have to exceed that technical bar. But then, once e- w- whoever exceeds that technical bar, whoever has the lowest price for those, exceed that technical bar, wins the contract.

Joe:

Um, that, that's the, the LPTA, in its, um, in its short form. That does not mean that you can turn in the technical proposal or that the technical proposal is unimportant. It's eminently important. You have to be technically acceptable.

Joe:

But after that, once you get over that technically acceptable threshold, there are... It's pass fail. You either pass for technically acceptable, and then you go onto price consideration, or you fail the technical proposal, technical side of it, and you're, and they never review your price. Um, so that's super important.

Joe:

Under the best value... actually, why don't I just let you describe, uh, w- what the best value looks like?

Joel:

Yeah. It's y- you know, i- it's best to understand these, I guess, just in, in opposition to each other. Um, and the question is, what drives the award decision? Under an LPTA, price drives the award decision. And, yeah, you have to clear the, the technical hurdle. Once you're found technically acceptable, then price drives that decision.

Joel:

Under best value, factors other than price may drive that decision. No, won't necessarily always, but they may. Uh, and the FAR uses the term trade offs. It refers to, to, it allows the agency to make what they call trade offs.

Joel:

And so that just means, then, if you have, uh, a unique solution, right, a unique technical solution, um, then an agency, uh, is allowed, under best value determination, uh, to pay a price premium for that unique solution. Or simply, if you have better management structure or, or, or whatever the various trade offs may be, uh, the agency is allowed, under best value determination, uh, to consider those things.

Joel:

Importantly, uh, the agency is not allowed to cons- to make those trade offs under an LPTA. It is just a pass fail determination based upon, uh, your technical acceptability, um, and based upon these other factors, every factor other than price, uh, where, uh, I'm sorry, the, uh, the agency can make a pass fail determination. And then, they must award to the lowest price after that point.

Daniela:

So I'm going to try and get one more question in before we [inaudible 00:20:53].

Joe:

Sure. Yeah.

Daniela:

So with that being said, what, uh, do these solicitations look the same? And how can a contractor use these type of evaluations to their advantage?

Joe:

Um, yeah, I'll pick up. So I'll pick up [crosstalk 00:21:06].

Joel:

Sure.

Joe:

Do, do they look the same? Um, you're looking for specific language. So what I'm do- if I pick up a solicitation from a client, uh, who's asking me to review it, I'm going to look for language specific to the issue of best value, or I'm going to look for language specific to lowest price.

Joe:

Um, you may read lowest price in a best value solicitation, but it might say something like, "All factors being equal." Right? If everybody gets the same score. So you might see a scoring rubric in a best value contract that reads, "You can either be rated, uh, you know, no weaknesses, some weaknesses, right, or, or weak." Or you could see excellent, good, fair.

Joe:

Or you could see some, I've seen 'em where they have a scoring system where you, you can be assigned a certain amount of points, zero through 10, for each factor. And whoever has the highest number of points wins.

Joe:

And you might read something in a best value that says if you had two, if two offers tied in whatever rubric, then the tiebreaker would be price, and that was what, um, Joel was talking about as far as these trade offs. And that's allowed.

Joe:

Um, the, the government can assign, allowed a lot of discretion in what points it assigns. Um, and if it pays more, the government, uh, the best, the, the advantage to the government in a best value is it allows the government to pay more for a higher, what it perceives to be a higher quality service or, or a more unique solution or a better technical approach.

Joe:

So Joel, what Joel said earlier is succinct. An LPTA deprives the government of that opportunity, which is why the case law suggests that LPTAs are not favored. But you see many of them, because they're just easier to write, honestly. I think that's why, Joe Whitcomb's theory on why LPTAs are more commonly used. It's just, it's just easier, so a more streamlined process.

Joel:

Yeah. And I would, I would probably tack onto that, they may be more easier to, to mess up as well.

Joe:

Right. (laughs) Yes.

Joel:

Um, (laughs) because you will often find, right, language, uh, from the technical evaluation team, again, right, once, once all of the, uh, the proposals come in, uh, that is normally the, the, the re- the job of parsing through all of those proposals and comparing that, uh, line by line to the requirements and, of the solicitation. That is pushed off to an evaluation team.

Joel:

And so you will often find language, right, from the evaluation team that essentially is, is going through the thought process of a trade off, right, despite it being an LPTA, uh, type procurement.

Joel:

Um, to, to answer the second part of your question, though, Dani, about how you can use the type of procurement, uh, to your advantage as a contractor, um, I mean, your advantage, that's kind of a broad term. Uh, uh, s- certainly, there is the, the likelihood of winning the award. But then also, you know, your advantage could be construed as y- y- the margin that you actually realize, assuming that you win the award.

Joel:

And so, uh, the answer to that question very much depends, uh, on the type of, uh, uh, contract on which you're bidding, but also on what your strengths are specific to your own business. Right?

Joel:

Again, I'll go back to the example where you may have a unique solution, a unique technical solution, uh, that you know that competitors may not share. Um, in that case, uh, you can, uh, certainly you want to be price competitive.

Joel:

However, in the event that you are in a, a best value determination, uh, you may be able, then, to talk up your strengths, right, and your unique solution, and you may be then able to realize, uh, a little bit better margin, uh, for the competitive advantage that you have in the marketplace.

Joel:

Uh, conversely, if you find yourself in that situation and, uh, a- and you're in an LPTA type context, well, now you know, right, all I need to do is clear the bar. I just need to clear the technical bar. And in that case, then, it's a price shootout. Right? And, uh, you need to be ready and willing to make, um, whatever moves you need to make in order to win that price shootout.

Joel:

Uh, you will often find, uh, contractors who just bid the exact same way for every type of contract. However, being flexible and responsive to, uh, the, the method of, uh, the, that the government will employ in making its award determination, will give you a distinct advantage, usually both in terms of your likelihood of award, but also in terms of potentially realizing, uh, healthier margins, uh, when appropriate.

Joe:

Um, we're nearing the end of our time, so I want to put, I want to try to address, um, any type of, uh, an- anticipation that folks may be having. Um, if the question pops into your head, and there's a couple of questions I'll address, but, uh, if the question pops into your head, "What if the government gets this wrong?" Rest assured, they will.

Joe:

Um, and, and there a- there is legal recourse for you. Right? If you believe you were technically acceptable, you believe you satisfied all that criteria, and the government ruled you out because you weren't, um, that's a good, that's a good reason to reach out to a, a government contract attorney who knows what they're doing and can handle your post award bid protest.

Joe:

And that's your w- but our firm will be, in the course of our upcoming webinars, will be covering, uh, post, pre and post award bid protests over three different webinars, because that's a pretty dense, uh, topic.

Joe:

I want to go over the ones that are on here. W- The first question I think we addressed, what if I don't have past performance, uh, Joel addressed that as being, uh, an issue with relation, uh, that's a responsibility determination. You have a right to appeal that decision, uh, up to the SBA, uh, for, for a responsibility determination.

Joe:

The second piece, how can I team with a company that's covered under nine, uh, FAR Part nine point, I think it's point six. Um, teaming agreements, uh, are legal. They're recognized. Um, the government is, is supposed to look at those, uh, with favor. We will be unpacking teaming agreements in future webinars. Um, that'll be something we're going to cover in more detail than we have time today. Um.

Joel:

They're pretty complex.

Joe:

The, the next question is about unsolicited proposals. I would just qualify that and say that is another, at least a half an hour long, uh, webinar on unsolicited proposals. We have some content on our website that you guys can find on our resource page that deals with unsolicited proposals, but we will be... That could be the topic for, for its own separate webinar on how to get that done. And there's more than one lane on how to get that done.

Joe:

The, the last one is, uh, uh, from [inaudible 00:28:02] if you chimed in, if you got in late, and we don't want anyone to be nervous. Um, there were over 300 registrants for this. All of this, this webinar will go out, um, in an easily digestible, you know, easily viewable format to all of the registrants, and it will be warehoused in our resource page online.

Joe:

So that, we're, we're d- we're doing this so that folks, um, can view this in perpetuity, uh, have this as a resource, and then ultim- for our benefit, if ultimately, you guys run into a snag or have additional questions, then hopefully, our hope is that you'll reach out to us and, you know, and ultimately, use our legal services.

Joe:

Um, but we, we als- w- what Joel and I and o- our other attorneys in this firm have found, one of the motivations for us to do this, is if you as the offer, as a contractor is, are armed with this, is armed with this information, then you know the right time to call on us.

Joe:

Very often, the most heartbreaking instances is when people wait too long, when there's, as we talked about last week, when there, uh, or last month, when there is ambiguous language in a solicitation, and you wait until after the offer. Then our, our, the sad advice we have to offer is you waited too long.

Joe:

If you get a bad outcome on a bid, uh, for a bid you think you should have won, and you didn't, you wait longer than 10 days, um, then that, our, we won't be able to help you. Uh, if you believe that the awardee should not have been eligible because of the si- their size or because of their status, you have five business days to deal with that. And if you wait too long, we won't be able to help you.

Joe:

So we want to educate those who might be coming to us so that they know exactly, you know, one, they know how to help themselves, and two, they know when to call on us if they need our help. So again, to the gr- to, to the degree that any of you have additional questions, you all received this invitation from my real email, joe@whitcomblawpc.com. So if you have any additional questions, shoot those questions over. We will be responsive. We will get back. And we will use the questions that you offer us for the purpose of future webinars.

Joe:

Um, but also, if you guys got my email, emails from me, um, you're able to, to, to directly l- uh, click right into my calendar and get yourselves on my calendar in either 15 or 30 minute increments. Um, and that's always, that first one is always, um, on the cuff, you know, and then we can figure out whether or not there's a, we're a good fit and whether we can help you, uh, as [inaudible 00:30:38].

Joe:

Um, I want to, I want to thank everyone who joined us today, um, and again, know that we will be doing this again in October, possibly two in November, again in December. We'll announce well in advance what those, what those topics are.

Joe:

And with that, uh, we're about three minutes over. I hope everyone will forgive us for going long. Um, I don't see any other questions that we didn't address. Again, if you do have any other questions, use the email that sent you this, you know, sent you the invite, and I'll get to your questions, and we can schedule time to speak if the questions are longer than I can answer in an email.

Joe:

With that, I thank you on behalf of our firm and on behalf of, uh, Dani and Joel for, for joi- joining in.

Joel:

Thank you.