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Vern Edwards

A Competition Revolution

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On 1/17/2017 at 10:55 AM, Vern Edwards said:

The key to understanding what GSA did and what the GAO decided is to think in terms of the best value continuum mentioned in FAR 15.101. Remember that "An agency can obtain best value in negotiated acquisitions by using any one or a combination of source selection approaches."

        "One of the big challenges now will be to develop appropriate adaptations of the "highest technically rated offerors with a fair and reasonable price" for single award non-IDIQ contracts."

Agree this is a big challenge and am excited by it.  It will be interesting to see how the GAO handles a protest to a task or delivery order that attempts to utilize the  HTROFRP methodology; perhaps noteworthy that such orders typically are not considered "negotiated acquisitions" like the Alliant 2 acquisition subject of the Sevatec decision.

Looking forward to thinking more critically about the strategy laid out in Vern's post from Friday 12:43pm in this thread and ways that we can make that or something like it work; thank you for that post Vern.  Part of the challenge is not only to develop an adaptation that is consistent with GAO's positions in Sevatec, but further convincing the budget-conscious program manager with the requirement and the funding that traditionally favors LPTA that in a single-award environment it is in the Government's best interests to use HTROFRP and award to the HTRO whose fair and reasonable price may be much higher than the other two offerors that were also highly rated (but not highest rated) and who also quoted fair and reasonable prices...of course such decisions regarding what value to assign non-price and price have always been and always will be a part of acquisition strategy.  

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I was wondering if a FP LOE acquisition would be appropriate for this method. If you imagine a requirement to perform a study for a fixed budget, you could embed a trade off evaluation under a highest rated technical approach by using e a combination of skills and number of hours (technical evaluation) and fair and reasonable price. Say you get four offers for a $200,000 FPLOE study:

Most Skilled for 100 hours at $200/hour

2nd Most Skilled for 160 hours at $125/hour

3rd Most Skilled for 250 Hours at $80/hour

Least Skilled for 200 hours at $100/hour

All rates are determined to be fair and reasonable. Who wins?

If your highest rated technical evaluation looked only at skill level then the Most Skilled Offer should win. If your highest rated technical evaluation looked at both skill level and hours then you could conceivably award to anyone. It seems that a tradeoff methodology could still exist even in a highest rated technical approach, and probably could never be completely eliminated.

As another observation, all prices need to be fair and reasonable in all situations, even those in a LPTA award to those in a best value award

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3 hours ago, SchruteBeets said:
It will be interesting to see how the GAO handles a protest to a task or delivery order that attempts to utilize the  HTROFRP methodology; perhaps noteworthy that such orders typically are not considered "negotiated acquisitions" like the Alliant 2 acquisition subject of the Sevatec decision. 

For task orders/delivery orders under 16.505, we are using a different standard of competition ("fair opportunity"). Although the contracting officer "may exercise broad discretion in developing appropriate order placement procedures," one must be cautioned not to structure such selections like a FAR Part 15 source selection. Why make life harder than it has to be?! Innovation in the area of order submission requirements is a wide open field that few seem inclined to tackle... I've seen far too often FAR Part 15 Section L & M's copy and pasted into order RFPs. I guess those 1102s don't already have enough work to do...

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2 hours ago, Whynot said:

If your highest rated technical evaluation looked only at skill level then the Most Skilled Offer should win. If your highest rated technical evaluation looked at both skill level and hours then you could conceivably award to anyone. It seems that a tradeoff methodology could still exist even in a highest rated technical approach, and probably could never be completely eliminated.

If it's not clear how one would be determined the highest rated technical approach, wouldn't your evaluation criteria be flawed?

2 hours ago, Whynot said:

As another observation, all prices need to be fair and reasonable in all situations, even those in a LPTA award to those in a best value award

Under LPTA, the government is still obtaining "best value."

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I am obviously quite late to this thread but I wasn't turned on to this approach until I was lucky enough to have Mr. Nash teach a portion of a class I attended in April. (He was really enthusiastic about it.)  I am planning on using it for a rather large IT services procurement (~$300M over five years)*, but predictably enough, I'm encountering significant bureaucratic pushback up to the SPE level. I provided the Sevatac to the relevant people and have described the benefits of the approach. But I'm getting a lot of  "we've never done this before" and "what do the lawyers think" and "this sounds risky." Has anyone at the working level used this yet? And if so, how did you convince the bureaucracy to go along? I certainly haven't given up the fight, but experience from others would be helpful!

 

* Some additional details: Planning on using 8.4 and issuing 2 BPAs.  Previous contract used 8.4 and tradeoff process for a single award service contract.

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