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Hello Contracting World,

 

Background: Agency is recommending using only two persons for a Technical Evaluation Panel(TEP). That would consist of a Chair as an evaluator and an additional evaluator. I see this as a problem and limiting a fair outcome. I believe the rule is to always use an odd number no more than 5 persons. I have traditionally used/recommended 3 as a contracting officer. In addition, I may have had other non-voting persons on the panel as well. I am fully aware that all agencies have their own preference as to how they comprise there boards and how rigid or loose their guidance is on the composition. 

Question: Does anyone have any FAR specific/DOD/USACE or other guidance on the specific number of person that should be used. Also, general support information to back my determination would be helpful as well. 

 

Thanks :) 

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This is what FAR 15.303 has to say on this topic:

The source selection authority shall—

(1) Establish an evaluation team, tailored for the particular acquisition, that includes appropriate contracting, legal, logistics, technical, and other expertise to ensure a comprehensive evaluation of offers.

To me, the key words from this excerpt are "tailored" and "appropriate."

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1 hour ago, Mr_Batesville said:

Question: Does anyone have any FAR specific/DOD/USACE or other guidance on the specific number of person that should be used. Also, general support information to back my determination would be helpful as well. 

What is the estimated $ value of the procurement?

Under which FAR part/ subpart will you conduct the procurement - 8.4, 13, 14, 15, 16.5?

Are you using the tradeoff, LPTA, or HTRFRP process?

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For LTPA, I would often use two. Myself and someone to keep me honest. If we neededspecific  technical experts, we had them review and brief us.  The SSP called for the evaluators to develop a consensus rating. 

For tradeoff, same thing, with more members.  We developed consensus ratings. It wasn’t really difficult because we used that method to record comments before assigning the “rating”.  Strengths, weaknesses, deficiencies, questions, unclear-need for clarification , etc. The rating assigned usually was self evident, based upon the agreed upon comments. 

We didnt “vote”, thus it didn’t matter whether even or odd numbers. 

On the rare occasion that someone disagreed, we had to record the minority opinion. 

For trade-off, I was usually either the Chairman or the non-voting, professional advisor - moderator and lead negotiator. 

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Guest Vern Edwards
4 hours ago, Mr_Batesville said:

Question: Does anyone have any FAR specific/DOD/USACE or other guidance on the specific number of person that should be used. Also, general support information to back my determination would be helpful as well. 

No. There is no rule, although there may be "guidance" of some kind out there. See Symtech Corp., B-285358, 2000 CPD ¶ 143, Aug. 21, 2000, footnote 2:

Quote

To the extent that the protester argues that not all buying team members evaluated Symtech's proposal, there is no requirement that a minimum number of evaluators be on an evaluation team. 

The ideal source selection team is two persons: one from the requiring activity and the contracting officer, with the contracting officer making the final decision. Voting is not a sound method of proposal evaluation. Discussion and consensus is the best method. You don't need odd numbers for that. If I were your boss and you told me that you need an odd number for voting purposes I would reject that out of hand. If you told me you need more than two I would insist that you give me logical reasons. Such reasons might include office politics, demands to placate important persons, and the need for specialty expertise.

The best way to screw up any undertaking is to involve more people than are needed to get the job done.

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Everyone, thank you for your responses. I was able to get approval for three. I totally understand and see your point Vern on the statement above.  As you know, in certain venues we work with the same contractor base. The main reason of my support of 3 was to avoid bias on the TEP.  Also, when you are dealing with almost 40 proposal submissions, I believe three persons brought the appropriate contracting/technical and other expertise needed to the table and will result in a comprehensive evaluation. Thanks again for all the input. Greatly appreciated. 

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1 hour ago, Don Mansfield said:

When you refer to HTRFRP in speech, do you have do sound out each letter? Or can you say something like "HIT-ferp" or "HI-ter-ferp"?

It's an initialism rather than an acronym…gotta spell it out when saying it: H.T.R.F.R.P

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4 hours ago, Mr_Batesville said:

Everyone, thank you for your responses. I was able to get approval for three. I totally understand and see your point Vern on the statement above.  As you know, in certain venues we work with the same contractor base. The main reason of my support of 3 was to avoid bias on the TEP.  Also, when you are dealing with almost 40 proposal submissions, I believe three persons brought the appropriate contracting/technical and other expertise needed to the table and will result in a comprehensive evaluation. Thanks again for all the input. Greatly appreciated. 

I infer that you're using a tradeoff or HI-ter-ferp approach. The greater the number of evaluators, the more likely the report will contain errors or confusion. This is particularly true in this era of "Cut and Paste" vice a bygone era of "Think and Write".

If you were using LPTA, one person could do the evaluation. Depending upon the evaluation criterion/a, that person could be the CO.

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3 hours ago, Don Mansfield said:

That's too long. I think we should make an acronym out of it while there's still time.

I looking to the Navy as the leaders in acronyms 😉

Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT)

Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron (NAVFLIGHTDEMRON)

Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWARSYSCEN)

Fleet Intelligence Center Europe & Atlantic (FICEURLANT)

**HITECHRATEFARP** (Highest Technically Rated Fair & Reasonable Price) or **HIRATEFARP** (Highest Rated Fair & Reasonable Price)

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  • 1 month later...
On 9/27/2018 at 2:38 PM, Matthew Fleharty said:

I've used HTRRP (Highest Technically Rated, Reasonable Price)...it flows a bit better than HTRFRP and still gets the "reasonable price" component in there (whereas HTR, by itself, does not).

We've been calling it Hit-Rip (HTRRP). Not sure it is better than anything else, but it is something.

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