The federal contracting news you need to know for April!
Click the links below to learn more about each topic.
Small Business Enterprise Applications Solutions IDIQ (SBEAS)
The Department of the Air Force, Air Force Materiel Command, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Business and Enterprise Systems Directorate (AFLCMC/HI) has a requirement for a Small Business Enterprise Applications Solutions IDIQ. Below are details on the contract and why we think it should be on your radar:
Expected Release Date: July 2017
Value ($K): $13,368,000
Competition Type: Small Business Set-Aside
Summary of Requirements: Procured services include, the comprehensive suite of IT services and IT solutions to support IT systems and software development in a variety of environments and infrastructures. Additional IT services include, but are not limited to:
- Configuration management
- Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) product management and utilization
- Technology refresh
- Data and information services
- Information display services
- Business analysis for IT programs
Red Team’s Take: Be sure to consider this contract if you are a Small Business providing IT services. With a 15 year projected Period of Performance, this contract is worth consideration. Offerors must be CCMI-Dev Level 2 certified. The Draft is already out, but it is not to late! Review the requirements in detail to consider this opportunity. JV’s are allowable.
Fed Biz Ops
DTIC Information Analysis Centers Multiple Award Conference (IAC MAC)
The Department of Defense (DoD), Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC), has a requirement for the DoD Information Analysis Centers (IAC) Multiple Award Contract (MAC). Below are details on the contract and why we think it should be on your radar:
Expected Release Date: June 2017
Value ($K): $28,000,000
Competition Type: Small Bus Set-Aside; Full and Open / Unrestricted
Summary of Requirements: The IAC TAT task orders may include Research & Development (R&D) and/or advisory and other services for complex, scientific and technical requirements. The IAC TAT IDIQ contracts will include requirements spanning the focus areas of:
- Software Analysis
- Information Assurance
- Knowledge Management and Information Sharing
- Modeling and Simulation
- Reliability, Maintainability, Quality, Supportability, and Interoperability (RMQSI)
- Military Sensing; Advanced Materials
- Weapon Systems
- Autonomous Systems
- Directed Energy
- Non-lethal Weapons
- Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense
- Weapons of Mass Destruction
- Critical Infrastructure Protection
- Homeland Defense and Security
- Cultural Studies
- Alternative Energy
Red Team’s Take: This IAC MAC Contract supports DoD’s Better Buying Initiative and was designated by Mr. Ginman (DPAP) and Mr. Shaffer as the “vehicles of first choice” for DoD Research & Development efforts. Expect TATs that solicit technical analysis to identify trends and provide recommendations for the DoD research communities.
Fed Biz Ops
NCMA DC Networking Happy Hour
When: April 27, 5:30pm – 8:00pm
Where: Dirty Habit Restaurant in Hotel Monaco, Penn Quarter, DC
Enjoy appetizers and cocktails while networking with fellow industry professionals. A great way to reconnect with old friends and colleagues and make new connections.
NOVA Chamber of Commerce: Women at the Top of Government Contracting
When: May 4, 7:30am – 9:30am
Where: Hilton McLean, Tysons Corner, VA
Catch this morning program that highlights the area’s top women in government contracting. These high-level executives will provide their unique perspectives on the outlooks for some of the top government contractors in the DC Area, the nation, and the sector as a whole.
Deltek Teaming Event: DTIC IAC MAC Acquisition
When: May 10, 7:00am – 11:00am
Where: Hyatt Regency, Tysons Corner, VA
Thinking of going after DoD DTIC IAC MAC? Deltek’s teaming event is a great opportunity to learn more about the contract and see who else is bidding. It includes a presentation by Thomas Gillespie, Director of the DoD IAC, followed by “speed dating ” rounds for large and small contractors.
Key Protest Decisions
Contracting teams are built for a multitude of reasons, but primarily it is the past performance and experience they bring to a particular program. Prime contractors prefer team members who bring successful, relevant past experience to demonstrate the collective capabilities of the team. But how does the government evaluate the past performance of team members during its source selection process? A recent GAO’s decision in response to IT Enterprise Solutions JV (ITES) protest to the Department of the Air Force Integrated Air Force Network Operations Services (IAFNOS) contract provides some insights and considerations when using team members’ past performance.ITES contends that the Air Force misevaluated its past performance and that the Air Force did not conduct a proper best value trade off.
Offerors were required to submit past performance that was relevant across mission areas. Offerors were advised that past performance from either party within a Joint Venture (JV) is allowable, but consideration would be given to “the effort, or portion of the effort, being proposed by the offeror, teaming partner, or subcontractor whose contract is being reviewed and evaluated.” But when does this consideration come in to play? In this instance, the Air Force gave ITES, and the winning bidder Valdez International Corporation (Valdez) the highest past performance rating, but considered relevancy and which team member provided the relevant past performance as part of its best-value tradeoff. This opens the door for subjective interpretation from agencies as part of their selection process. But is that wrong? The Air Force gave favorable consideration to those members who demonstrated relevant past performance to those areas of IAFNOS where they were expected to perform. “Performance confidence is [evaluated by] depth in terms of relevant experience demonstrated directly in each mission area by the teaming partner proposed to accomplish the work.” In this case, Telos, a member of the ITES JV, demonstrated relevant experience across all mission areas, but that did not mean that ITES, as the prime, also had relevant experience in that mission areas. While Telos did provide relevant experience, that experience was not enough to demonstrate that ITES was able to provide support in those contract areas.
ITES argued that past performance from each of its team members should have been equivalent to past performance from ITES alone. GAO disagreed. The biggest take away is to consider contract performance when including relevant past performance from team members. Agencies are going to want to see relevant experience from the company that intends to perform on the contract. Relevancy is not just limited to what you have done in the past, but also when you intend to do in the future.
Past performance is often a critical factor in the evaluation process. Click HERE for additional insights and lessons learned based on recent GAO decisions involving past performance evaluations
Click HERE for legal updates from Berenzweig Leonard.
Words of Wisdom
Arm Yourself with These Tools Before Building Your Capture and Proposal Plans
One of the biggest challenges in federal procurement is understanding how the government’s proposal evaluation and award process works. Over the years, it has become increasingly more difficult to understand agency acquisition strategy and the source selection process. There are a number of factors that contribute to this such as, regular updates to regulation and policies, budgets impacting the competition and evaluation process, and government personnel transitioning from agency to agency. To help navigate this process, we encourage companies pursuing a federal contract to utilize the publicly available resources to educate themselves on the decision process behind developing an acquisition, conducting source selections, and awarding contracts. With variations across each agency, companies should scour these documents and use this information to build their capture and proposal plans. A few of our favorites are highlighted below.
Department and agency level acquisition plans, like the Department of Health and Human Services acquisition plan, as well as source selection guides, such as those from the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security, are updated periodically and include information that will withstand the test of time. When it comes to award decisions, that information is more difficult to obtain unless a debrief is extremely detailed – which is rare – and source selection documents that are available are often redacted. Admittedly, there is a general mindset in the government that sharing the rationale behind an award decision opens the door for more questions and likely a protest. However, over the years, one agency has acted the most transparent in their approach to sharing their sources selection, and that is the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA). For years, they have focused on writing their source selection documents to stand on their own regardless of protest. Three notable source selection statements were released by NASA for the following contracts: (1) the Information Management and Communications Support Contract , (2) JSC Environmental Services, and (3) Enterprise Applications Services Technologies 2. These documents detail how and why award decisions were made and provide insights in to the evaluation and award process. Red Team encourages agencies to follow NASA’s footsteps and share their source documents as they provide increased insight into the final award decisions and demystify the overall selection process.
Meghan Slipka is the Director of Consulting Services for Red Team Consulting. Jeff Shen is the Vice President for Red Team Consulting. For more information, please contact Red Team Consulting at 703-787-9009.