Uncovering SEWP VI Draft RFP Q&A: Part 3 Category A

NASA has just answered a LOT of questions regarding the SEWP VI Draft RFP that was released in September 2023. The final RFP is expected to be released by the end of winter 2024 (March 21). Answers to all 1,655 questions have not yet been provide, but NASA has responded to a great deal of questions and their answers provide more clarity on how bidders should respond to Categories A, B, or C.

We don’t see this draft changing much outside of the clarifications provided in these answers. Bidders should be heads-down working to complete these requirements and prepare their responses to this near-term RFP release. Remember, this is NOT a point scoring RFP! If you need help, Red Team is here for you with proposal management, capture management, writing, editing, graphics and desktop publishing.

Red Team has compiled some of the more compelling questions regarding Category A in this third post with a bit of analysis for each answer:

Question 16: Under (b) Mandatory Experience, Category A: “A provider [OEM] and their corresponding CLINs may only be used for one technical mandatory Sub-area and cannot be duplicated within a given sub-area.” How does this affect OEMs that have products that align to all of the mandatory sub-areas, as well as most additional sub-areas? For example, an OEM might manufacture laptops, network-attached storage, servers, and thin clients. I believe the current verbiage prevents the ability to list that OEMs’ items under all applicable sub-areas.

Answer: Offerings from one OEM can be provided in all appropriate technical areas. However, the OEM can only be cited as the mandatory offering for one of those technical areas. The final RFP will be revised to reflect this update.

💡 Red Team’s Take: This is a further clarification on what is being allowed for mandatory offerings that will need to be taken into account when bidding Category A. OEMs cannot be re-used for different Sub-Areas for Mandatory Offerings. Additionally, remember that offerors are being evaluated on breadth and depth of your offering. A single OEM for a technical sub-area does not create “depth and breadth.”

Question 31:  As per the solicitation for Category A – The contractors are required to have average annual sales of $500,000.00 to be considered as a “moderate rating” How do we provide the proof when only up to 3 past performance is allowed? For instance, the contractor has 20 contracts with average of $100,000.00 value and they are only able to provide 3 Past performance which has total of $300,000.00 ($100,000 X 3 PP). Looking forward to your response on this.

Answer: Thank you for your feedback. The Past performance language is being updated for further clarity, but the average annual value is not for all sales combined, but the average annual value of each provided reference.

💡 Red Team’s Take: Please note that Relevant Experience values are total contract (see above), but Past Performance values are average annual values.

Question 632: This section states a proposed offeror shall provide an excel document reflecting at minimum 2,000 different CLINs with solutions for each sub-area which would add up to 12,000 CLINs in total. It is recommended that a smaller number of CLINs, suggestion 50 or under total. Also is there a time frame that the CLINs need to be performed?

Answer: This will be clarified in the final RFP, however, please note that the current SEWP catalog is almost 4 million unique line items.

💡 Red Team’s Take: This is for Category A bidders but has value for all offerors. The requirement for your product list is between a minimum of 1,000 and 2,000 products per Technical Sub Area of the contract depending on the size of your company when bidding. The answer to this question is a clue to all bidders.

If you only provide 12,000 products, you are considered compliant, but NASA just shared how many UNIQUE products there are on contract – around 4,000,000!

A bid of 12,000 products provides SEWP with 0.3% of their overall catalog. Will NASA have a high confidence that a bidder who provides less than half of a percent of the products offered currently on SEWP will be successful?

This is a 4-part blog series. In Part 1, Joe provides his thoughts on answers related to Relevant Experience. In Part 2, Joe discusses the use of NAICS Code 541512 and some related questions regarding reserved awards. In the final installment, Part 4, Joe provides his analysis on everything else that is compelling in the Q&A.