On Friday, June 4, 2021, NITAAC released Amendment 2 to the Final RFP for CIO-SP4. This amendment has implications to some of the guidance that Red Team has provided to attendees of our symposium with G2Xchange on the final RFP.
To be very clear, the advice Red Team is providing is only based on the language of Amendment 2 and our interpretation of what the RFP says.
Amendment 2 has provided the following clarification for Row 8 Corporate Experience:
From: All corporate experience must be from the last three years from the date the proposals are due for this solicitation. The examples may come from affiliates or members of an offeror’s CTA/JV, provided the examples establish a clear relationship between the offeror, their affiliates/CTA/JV members, the project and the resources that were expended by each in accomplishing the project.
To: All corporate experience examples must be from the last three years prior to the date the proposals are due for this solicitation. The examples may come from affiliates or members of an offeror’s CTA/JV. If examples come from affiliates, a clear relationship must be established between the Offeror, their affiliates and the resource each expended in accomplishing the project. Each offeror’s example shall convey the offeror’s specific role in their experience example.
There is a lot to unpack in that small change. First, in the original language, the government clearly establishes a difference between affiliates and CTA/JV members by using the word “or.” Additionally, Section L.3.7, which defines CTA’s, only refers to the entities involved as either the lead or as members.
The CFR defines Affiliates as:
162.2 Definitions. (a) Affiliate. The term “affiliate” for the purposes of this part means any person that is related by common ownership or common corporate control with a covered affiliate.
I read this as Affiliates have to have common ownership through a parent corporation. For example, Company A, which was purchased by Company B and becomes a wholly owned subsidiary is an affiliate of Company B. The exception to this is if Company A is merged with Company B and their contracts are novated is not considered an affiliate of Company B.
The 2 definitions above show that there is a clear difference between CTA/JVs and Affiliates.
Now, the new/revised language. The term “a clear relationship must be established between the offeror, their affiliates and the resource each expended in accomplishing the project” now ONLY refers to Affiliates. CTA’s (both FAR 9.601(1) and FAR 9.601(2)) no longer are bound by this instruction in reference to CORPORATE EXPERIENCE. Please note that the language did not change for any other scoring element (Leading Edge Technology, Multiple Award Schedules, and Executive Order).
Additionally, L.3.7.1 clearly states the following: “Although the experience and abilities of the prime’s subcontractors may be used in the offeror’s proposal, only the prime contractor will receive an award.”
So, with this change, the tables that we provided in our briefing to G2Xchange will change to the following:
* NITAAC may have a different interpretation of the SB regulations which stipulate, “…. if the capabilities, past performance, and experience of the small business prime does not independently demonstrate capabilities and past performance necessary for award.”
Now, for the new sentence: Each offeror’s example shall convey the offeror’s specific role in their experience example.
We view this as having to show the Government the offering party’s (be it the prime, sub or CTA Member) role in the experience example. This could be simply defined as the prime or sub or further defined as the percentage of work performed or the specific tasks performed. Jeff Shen used the example of a large piece of work performed by Company A with multiple subcontractors and showing Company A’s role on the contract.
Please be aware and advised that this guidance only pertains to the language released on Amendment 2. All guidance could be further changed with future amendments and answers to questions that provided by NITAAC.