On Monday, July 19th at 9:00 PM EDT, NITAAC released Amendment 7 of the CIO-SP4 RFP. This amendment extends the due date for proposals to Tuesday, August 3rd at 2:00 PM and includes several changes with impacts on teaming. We’ll break down the RFP changes by how they impact each offeror type/teaming structure.

But first, a look at two proposal clarification changes that impact all bidders:

  1. Award Type Identification – Per Section L.5.1 (xii), offerors must identify “the award type(s) as listed in L.3.2 that the offeror is proposing.” Offerors must identify in Volume I the category(ies) in which they are bidding (e.g., OTSB, ELB, small business socioeconomic category)
  2. SF 30 Amendment Acknowledgement – Per Section L.5.1(xiii) “Offerors must acknowledge receipt of all amendments by submitted [sic] a copy of the SF 30 for each amendment to this solicitation. Each SF 30 requires the completion of items 8 and 15.”

As we all know by now, NITAAC is defining offeror team construct in terms of FAR 9.601(1) and 9.601(2). Here’s what changed in Amendment 7 for each bidder type:

FAR 9.601(1) Small Business Offerors
  • Small Business FAR 9.601(1) bidders who have formed a Joint Venture of all small businesses, a Mentor Protégé Joint Venture or a non-JV CTA composed of all small businesses (i.e., not using FAR 9.601(2) OTSB/ELB subcontractors) are not impacted by this amendment (other than the two clarifications above).
FAR 9.601(2) Small Business Teams (traditional prime/sub SB teams)
  • Per M.1.1 Contractor Teaming Arrangements, “For a small business award the Government will only consider the members of a CTA defined under FAR 9.601(2) for evaluation purposes if the Offeror includes a proposed team of small business subcontractors as defined in provision 52.207-6(a).”
    • This means that a small business prime can only have small business subcontractors; OTSB/ELB subs will not count in any way in the proposal evaluation.
  • Per L.3.7.1, “9.601(2): A potential prime contractor agrees with one or more other companies to have them act as its first-tier subcontractors under a specified government contract or acquisition program.”
    • Subcontractors on a 9.601(2) team must be declared to be “first-tier” subs
  • Per L.3.7.3, “Offerors that are seeking a Small Business Award must establish a Small Business Teaming Arrangement as defined in 52.207-6(a) and submit a copy of the written agreement required per FAR provision 52.207-6(a)(1)(ii).”
    • To be compliant with 52.207-6 your proposal must state that it is “Small Business Teaming Arrangement” and the teaming agreements you submit must, “set forth the different responsibilities, roles, and percentages (or other allocations) of work as it relates to the acquisition.”
FAR 9.601(1) Other Than Small Business (OTSB) and Emerging Large Business (ELB) Offerors
  • Per Section L.5.2, “For Other Than Small Business and Emerging Large Business awards, the experience, business systems, and certifications from partners or members of the contractor teaming agreement (CTA) defined under L.3.7 (FAR 9.601(1)) may be provided.”
    • This allows for OTSB/ELB entities to use all FAR 9.601(1) CTA member experience, capabilities, certifications, and business systems for scoring elements in Phases 1-3 of their submission.
FAR 9.601(2) OTSB/ELB Offerors (traditional prime/sub OTSB/ELB teams)
  • For the Phase 1 evaluations (Self Score Sheet in Volume I) only, Per Section L.5.2, “for Other Than Small Business and Emerging Large Business Awards, the capabilities and experience from partners or members of the contractor teaming arrangement under FAR 9.601(2) may only be provided for L.5.2.1 through L.5.2.4 and L.5.2.12.”
    • This is a significant change. For OTSB/ELB offerors using FAR 9.601(2) Prime/Sub teaming, while the prime can rely on its subs for Corporate Experience, Leading Edge Technology, Multiple Award Contract, EO 13773 and Facility Clearance elements, the prime must provide the following itself:
      • Row 12 CMMI Level 2
      • Row 13 Earned Value Management System
      • Row 14 Acceptable Estimating System
      • Row 15 ISO 9001 Certification
      • Row 16 ISO 2000 Certification
      • Row 17 ISO 270001 Certification
      • Row 18 Approved Purchasing System
    • If an OTSB/ELB prime does not have all these scoring elements, they can choose to change from a 9.601(2) prime/sub construct to a 9.601(1) non-JV CTA.
  • For the Phase 3 evaluation of the narratives only (Volumes III-VI), Per Section M.4, “The government will only consider information provided for CTA members under FAR 9.601(2) for Factor 2 Subfactor 2 (Resources), Factor 3 (Past Performance), and Factor 4 – Price. This applies only to offerors that are not competing for a small business award.”
    • OTSB/ELB offerors bidding as 9.601(2) prime/sub teams cannot include their subs in the narratives for Volume III Health IT Capability, Volume IV Management Subfactor 1 Program Management, and Volume IV Management Subfactor 3 Corporate Commitment. Importantly, in this teaming construct you can still include Past Performance examples (Volume V) from your subs.
Final Thoughts

One final point: we’re sure you’re wondering if these changes to allowable teaming will change the likely target point score to make the cut in the Phase 1 evaluation. While we are clearly in crystal-ball territory, we believe that the total number of proposals NITAAC will receive continues to increase. While small businesses that were relying on OTSB/ELB subs are adversely impacted by this amendment, they can still add other SBs to their team to increase their points. OTSB/ELB offerors that will now switch from FAR 9.601(2) to FAR 9.601(1) will still retain most of their points. We continue to believe that point cut-offs will be in the mid-9000s across the board for all bidder types, plus or minus 100-200 points.

Best of luck with the two weeks remaining!