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I've worked at a couple of different agencies that appear to have opposing standards regarding SOW/PWS content. One school of thought is that 'everything' goes into the SOW/PWS - including key personnel clauses, Section 508 compliance, inspection/acceptance criteria, etc. The other school tends to put the content in the respective solicitation sections. I am from this school - believing the SOW/PWS - ostensibly a program office document - should focus on the work requirements and the other sections of the RFP, or RFQ (essentially following the UCF) belong to the KO and should capture requirements ancillary to the work described. I bring this up in the context of a FAR 8.405 effort requiring a SOW/PWS. This is a relatively straightforward service effort anticipating ~5 FTEs providing on-site tech services. I was surprised to see a 4-pg work statement, less QASP, mushroom into 15 pages - including 3-pgs of 508 compliance - based on KO driven inclusions! I'm all for including necessary content - but this content makes for a very cumbersome work statement - not to mention that I think most of it means nothing to the technical evaluation panel. I don't know that there is a bright line separation but I'm curious if others have a preference, or have run into problems with 'catch all' work statements.

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Guest Vern Edwards

There is no universally accepted rule about what does and does not belong in a statement of work. Personally, I think that the only thing that belongs is a description of the work that the contractor must do. In my opinion, key personnel clauses, payment terms, etc., do not belong in a statement of work, but there are many who would disagree. Keep in mind, too, that the Uniform Contract Format does not apply to orders issued against existing contracts.

The best guidance for the preparation of a statement of work that I know of is in MIL-HDBK 245D, Handbook for Preparation of Statement of Work, available at https://www.acquisition.gov/sevensteps/libr...DODhandbook.pdf. Paragraph 6 of the Foreward says:

The tendency of SOW writers is to include requirements which belong in other parts of a government contract. Contract requirements should be specified in Sections A - M and should not be restated in other parts of the contract. Quantitative technical requirements should be specified in the specification and not be restated in other parts of the contract. Work requirements should be specified in the SOW, and all data requirements for delivery, format, and content should be in the Contract Data Requirements List (CDRL) in conjunction with the appropriate Data Item Description (DID) respectively, with none of the requirements restated in other parts of the contract. Redundancy invites conflict.

There is other guidance: NASA, http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/procurement/newreq1.htm and Federal Aviation Administration, https://sowgen.faa.gov/docs/SOWguide.doc (which is very similar to MIL-HDBK-245D). A company called RFP Solutions has published a guide for the private sector, http://www.rfpsolutions.ca/files/SOW_Writing_Guide2.pdf, which contains the following:

There is tremendous potential within a SOW for overlap, duplication, and/or contradiction with the Terms and Conditions (T?s & C?s) of the resulting Contract. Remember ? the contents of the SOW are variable to define the requirement(s) at hand vs. the T?s & C?s which contain the standard terms and conditions of the resulting contract. If it?s covered-off in the T?s & C?s, you generally don?t need to worry about it in the SOW.

I agree with you about the content of SOWs and I think that practical good sense and most published guidance are on our side, but good luck getting a consensus among acquisition practitioners. The key thing is not to duplicate coverage. Addressing the same topic in different places is a good way to create problems.

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Guest carl r culham

Marine1 ? To add -

As already noted GSA Multiple Award Schedule are contracts. The contract already has significant terms and conditions in it that may not need to be duplicated in the SOW or the special requirements an agency might add to an order. You can find the specific FSS contract terms and conditions on GSA?s website but it takes a little digging. To help in reinforcing your view on content of a SOW, which I also agree with, you may want to refer to the terms and conditions of a specific Schedule contract to assist. I would have provided an example web link but again tracking to the exact document takes moving through several web pages on the GSA website.

Also here are some other references you may or may not have discovered on GSA?s website regarding SOWs.

http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/199205 - A quote by GSA regard SOW?s.

?A Statement of Work.

? To the maximum extent practicable, agency requirements shall be performance-based statements.

? All SOWs shall include the work to be performed, the location of the work, the period of performance, the deliverable schedule, the applicable performance standards, and any special requirements (e.g., security clearances, travel, and special knowledge).?

http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/195713 - Several suggested formats for SOW?s favored by GSA for Schedule purchases.

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Vern / Carl - Thanks for the feedback. You've both cited issues that are at the core of the matter. Far too often we are releasing solicitations that have not gone through a complete editorial review; attributed to some shortcomings in our quality processes. It's never good when your solicitation generates 50 questions back from industry with half pointing out conflicts between solicitation sections. This is likely something we'll have to address through training and some measure of standardization. I appreciate the reference links, as well.

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Marine_1 - Your KO may have decided to be overly inclusive because he's writing off of a GSA Schedule. The clauses in the schedule solicitations are meant to cover every scenario that anyone could think of coming up under that schedule. And some of them are pretty broad in what they cover (the schedules themselves).

I know around here there was great debate a few years ago about if certain clauses - such as 52.217-8 and 52.217-9, applied to orders written under a contract if they were not in the order themselves.

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