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thecontractingguy

Part 15 evaluation section L items

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If the government listed a bunch of questions in section L that the offeror shall address, should a proposal address each of the questions or does each question not have to be called out so long as the offeror covers the subject in the proposal?

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Is it not traditional to have a one-page matrix showing how the proposal answers each Section L instruction? In other words, if you answer in the proposal, your matrix should show the evaluators where the answers are.

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Regardless of whether or not there is a matrix, as H2H mentioned (which is great), my question to the OP, would be this. 

Do you think the the government evaluators are likely to rate a proposal favorably if they have to hunt through it to find the information that the submission requirements specifically asked proposers to address, then have to interpret whether or not you are specifically addressing each question?  

It might not be a deficiency but could lead to a less than stellar rating. 

That’s a reflection on the proposer, who would be remiss in organizing the proposal to clearly correlate the  provided information in response to the specific question or requirement being evaluated.

It’s also a reflection on many government evaluators.  In my experience, they need to be able to easily find the specific response to specific questions to be evaluated. If they can’t or don’t, they may have an ambivalent or negative impression of the proposal. They don’t like their time, which is being expended on an extra duty, wasted in an effort to match up the proposal to the submission requirement.  I don’t blame them for being irked.

I learned early on to require proposers to clearly organize their proposals, using tabs, and/or matrices, standardized forms, etc. It promotes consistency, efficiency, helps reduce/avoid wasting evaluation time and confusion and improves the quality of the resulting evaluation.

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To echo what Joel stated with a different take.

In many ways, this is a game, and if you want to win this game you have you play by the rules.  Ok, that can be done by hiding the information someone within your proposal, but do you think that's the best way to make sure the evaluators see that you have answered their questions?  Depending on page limitations, I would recommend one of the following 2 approaches (I have seen both as an 1102 and have found both to be effective).

1) Simply answer the question.  In your proposal, repeat the question and then answer it.  This is the easiest way to ensure the evaluators see your response.  

2) Repeat the question and then state the page/paragraph number where the answer can be found.  This can be a little annoying for the evaluator but they will still appreciate being able to find the answers easily.

If you want to risk losing the game, just put your answers somewhere in the proposal and hope the evaluators find it.  It's sad that an offeror has to resort to these techniques but as Joel stated, for many of the evaluators (if not all), this is an additional duty for them.  They are not professional proposal readers. They are technical experts being tasked to read proposals and determine which is best for their requirement. You have to make it as easy as possible for them to do.  Imagine someone pulling you from your job, giving you some instructions, and then asking you to perform surgery.  Although an extreme example, for many on the SSEB, that is what this feels like. 

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Do the "Instructions to Offerors" mention how to set up the proposal?  (I know, if they did you probably would not be asking. If there is a concern, sounds like a question to the Contracting Officer should be sent.)

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My sense was that the Instructions weren’t clearly written concerning how to structure the proposal and thecontracting guy is trying to “feel out”  how well it would be received and the impact upon the proposal rating if the info is covered in general,  without directly addressing each question. 

Poorly written instructions to offerors can provide an opportunity for a smart proposer to impress the evaluators and stand out with a well organized, clear and easy to review proposal. A well written proposal generally  produced more favorable treatment from those on my boards. The Board’s evaluation documentation was of higher quality and easier  for the  source selection authority to work with. 

At any rate, the OP appears to have checked out of the discussion or got “his” answer. 

 

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