Jump to content
The Wifcon Forums and Blogs

Recommended Posts

We have received an RFP that requests that we provide information that satisfies FAR 9.104. A reading of 9.104-1 (which lists various items) states the following:

9.104-1 General standards.

To be determined responsible, a prospective contractor must?

(a) Have adequate financial resources to perform the contract, or the ability to obtain them (see 9.104-3(a));

(B) Be able to comply with the required or proposed delivery or performance schedule, taking into consideration all existing commercial and governmental business commitments;

( c) Have a satisfactory performance record (see 9.104-3(B) and Subpart 42.15). A prospective contractor shall not be determined responsible or nonresponsible solely on the basis of a lack of relevant performance history, except as provided in 9.104-2;

(d) Have a satisfactory record of integrity and business ethics (for example, see Subpart 42.15).

(e) Have the necessary organization, experience, accounting and operational controls, and technical skills, or the ability to obtain them (including, as appropriate, such elements as production control procedures, property control systems, quality assurance measures, and safety programs applicable to materials to be produced or services to be performed by the prospective contractor and subcontractors). (See 9.104-3(a).)

(f) Have the necessary production, construction, and technical equipment and facilities, or the ability to obtain them (see 9.104-3(a)); and

(g) Be otherwise qualified and eligible to receive an award under applicable laws and regulations (see also inverted domestic corporation prohibition at FAR 9.108).

The list does not include any examples of what would satisfy these standards. Does anyone have any idea what kind of information the government is looking for under these items or have you had experience having to provide data to satisfy these elements in a proposal effort? If so, what type of data was submitted. Are they actually looking for financial statements or lines of credit for Item (a) above?

What type of objective evidence have anyone used to satisfy (B), etc...?

Thanks for any guidance or help.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mary D,

I was hoping somebody better informed than I am would have replied to you. I'll give it a shot anyway.

In order to obtain a government contract, your company needs to be determined to be a "responsible" contractor, and the FAR criteria you posted are the standards that the C.O. needs to satisfy in order to make that determination. Apparently, the RFP you received is telling you to provide sufficent information and evidence to permit the C.O. to document the file to show that your company is, indeed, "responsible".

As to how to do that, there are many upon many consultants who specialize in helping potential contractors (of all sizes) write proposals that comply with RFP instructions and FAR requirements. I would be most reluctant to give you any recommendations (nor do I think the site Administrator would appreciate me doing so). I will simply suggest you search the internet using such keywords as "proposal writer", "proposal preparation", "proposal consultant" -- and etc.

Hope this helps.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would just give the CO what you think is sufficient to meet the requirement.

Certainly do not ask a question to the CO that you do not already know the answer or know the answer that you want. Anyway I doubt the CO knows more than you do. You might be told to complete SF 1403, 1404, 1405, 1406 1407.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I would just give the CO what you think is sufficient to meet the requirement.

Certainly do not ask a question to the CO that you do not already know the answer or know the answer that you want. Anyway I doubt the CO knows more than you do. You might be told to complete SF 1403, 1404, 1405, 1406 1407.

OK, admittedly, I have only been on the government side of this process, but I am afraid I don't understand what you are saying. From the government's perspective, if an offeror really doesn't understand a requirement, I want him to ask--not just give us what he "thinks" we want. In this case, I can see that the CO may not have a lot of information on this, but that doesn't mean the offeror shouldn't ask. Comp. Gen. case law is replete with rulings that the burden of submitting a properly prepared, complete proposal is on the contractor. Any questions that could have been asked but aren't before proposal/bid submission are usually waived as a protest ground or other basis for questioning award. Plus, from the government's perspective, that's an inefficient way to run an acquisition because it reduces the likelihood that we will get truly responsive proposals. I have never heard industry representatives advise never asking a question to which you don't know the answer. If something is truly ambiguous, then probably nobody knows the answer. While sometimes contractors' questions annoy me (because they're just fishing) and we have responded that they should just comply with the proposal, other times they have pointed out actual issues with the RFP and given us the chance to correct them.

So help me understand your answer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In industry you are in competition. The only question that helps is a question that results in an answer that gives you a competitive advantage or puts your competition at a disadvantage. So when you thought you were making your RFP better through the helpful vendor questions you probably were in reality unknowingly giving an advantage to one over the other.

That said most government answers to vendor questions are more confusing than the original requirement ? or worse. Or you get the pat answer, as referenced in your post, ?we have responded that they should just comply with the proposal?. Illuminating. They are not worth the effort of asking.

I sometimes look at this situation (when I am not sure of the exact requirement) in this way (albeit for a more meaningful requirement): picture yourself as a high jumper in a competition with another high jumper. However, in this competition, you and the other jumper are blind folded. Neither of you know how high the bar is set. What is your strategy? Do you strive to jump as high as you possibly can, risking injury, in the hope that you clear the bar? Or, do you run straight into the bar knocking it over with your body and feeling exactly how high it is set. Then with your second jump, you expend just enough effort to easily clear the bar.

Just having some fun ? please don?t take me seriously. I withdraw my earlier post. Yours is a kinder less cynical world.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mary D: I agree with Don, ask. In this case, there really isn't too much competitive risk. You and your competitors will be determined to be either responsible or non-responsible; there is no "responsibler"

I will say that I've seen good contractors, as a general practice, provide letters of credit from their financial institution(s). Typically such letters give a general size of their checking and the size of any lines of credit (i.e. mid six-figures). I've also seen offerors submit their D&B profiles and/or D&B Open Ratings, both of which contain information that satisfies a few of the the various items.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Vern Edwards

Whynot wrote:

I would just give the CO what you think is sufficient to meet the requirement. Certainly do not ask a question to the CO that you do not already know the answer or know the answer that you want.

In all my time in contracting, I never read worse advice.

He also wrote:

The only question that helps is a question that results in an answer that gives you a competitive advantage or puts your competition at a disadvantage. So when you thought you were making your RFP better through the helpful vendor questions you probably were in reality unknowingly giving an advantage to one over the other.

The first sentence is false. The second may be true, but I think that process is called competition. If someone asks a question and gets an answer that enables them to prepare a better proposal, and if that helps them win, then both the government and the offeror benefit, which is the whole idea.

All in all, whynot's remarks are absurd. I'm glad he said that he was joking.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...