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Found 20 results

  1. In my agency, standard practice for past performance (PP) evaluation involves first determining the relevancy of past performance information to the proposed scope of work. We do this by evaluating the size of the PP contract, it's scope (by reviewing proposal information or finding the PWS), and the PP contract's "complexity". Size and scope have their own definitions, but I want to focus on complexity. Complexity is generally defined in the RFP as "performance challenges", which vary from RFP to RFP and could include subcontractor management, management of large complex contracts in highly regulated industries, cost efficiencies, etc. This results in separate documentation in our evaluation report speaking specifically to how the scope may or may not be relevant, and then how the complexity may or may not be relevant. Background: My agency requests that offerors provide a few pages of information on two or three selected past performance (or "reference") contracts to aid in evaluation. This includes discussion of scope relevance and complexity relevance, which are separate entries on the provided form. We then evaluate other past performance information that is available to us. My question to the forum is whether other agencies regularly evaluate the complexity of past performance contracts separate from scope (from my readings of GAO and COFC decisions, it seems to be a fairly standard practice), and whether or not evaluating complexity adds value. In my experience: Lesson learned: Complexity is generally not a discriminator in relevancy determinations Root Cause: The RFP definition of complexity as “performance challenges” nearly always comes in the context of scope, making it difficult to distinguish between the two. Offerors can struggle with the concept and implementation of complexity into reference contract information forms, when separated from a discussion on how a given contract is relevant to the scope of the proposed PWS. Complexity is difficult and time-consuming to evaluate when reviewing non-reference contracts. The acquisition community has used the phrase "size, scope, and complexity" for decades without carefully considering what they mean and how they each aid evaluation. Recommendation: Study the potential effects of removing complexity as an independently evaluated item in the past performance relevancy evaluation. SEB’s can still include complexity as a part of the scope relevancy evaluation. For example: “Contract relevance will be determined based on size and scope, including complexity.” Conclusion: SEB’s can safely rely solely on size and scope to determine relevancy. RFP’s can still solicit examples performance challenges in the scope description. Eliminating separate complexity determinations would streamline the relevancy evaluation process. Is "size, scope, and complexity" standard language in your RFPs? How do you approach complexity? Do you agree or disagree with my points and why? Thank you in advance for your thoughts. Note that I am not an 1102, but can pick my way around the FAR when I need to. Please be gentle. :)
  2. We our a contractor to USAID and our project is doing some construction work. When evaluating, the COP (Chief of Party) wants to assign points to cost and what he is proposing is the following: Issue the RFP/RFQ using Tradeoff method and the evaluation criteria is and at that stage, no points are assigned to cost, the technical is evaluated based on past performance, personnel, etc. Then when the TEC determines the firms that are the most technically qualified, those firms move to the next stage and their cost is evaluated. Because this is construction, it is each line item, each material cost that is the most important part of determining cost reasonableness, not the total amount. So the evaluation committee, in order to determine price reasonableness, assigns points in order to determine cost reasonableness of each line item. Any thoughts if this can be done?
  3. My agency currently evaluates resumes during a source selection for personnel/SETA contracts, however when it is time to award, those personnel may no longer be available. We are looking at other avenues to evaluate proposal without reviewing resumes. In your opinion, what is the best way to evaluate personnel/SETAs in a source selection without reviewing and evaluating resumes?
  4. Has anyone recently used FAR 15.102 oral presentations in any source selections? If so, what were your experiences? The good, bad, and the ugly. How did you use them? As a substitute for written information? Just to augment written information? If you have used them (or are simply just aware of any) do you know of any prior/sample RFP's you could direct me? Thanks
  5. FAR 13.106-2(b)(4) is an area of interest for me because it seems almost too easy. The problem is, not many people have done it that I'm aware of, and there's not a lot of guidance I can find online. I'm curious to know the execution method. (4) For acquisitions conducted using a method that permits electronic response to the solicitation, the contracting officer may— (i) After preliminary consideration of all quotations or offers, identify from all quotations or offers received one that is suitable to the user, such as the lowest priced brand name product, and quickly screen all lower priced quotations or offers based on readily discernible value indicators, such as past performance, warranty conditions, and maintenance availability Assuming you are using 52.212-2 and leaving the provision as-is (filling in price & technical/quality as the factors), and you're looking at standard product data readily available from vendors, do you basically show quotes to the user and ask "Which one do you want?" and make the award? I'm guessing when it speaks about "lowest priced brand name product" does this assume a brand name or equal requirement? Or can they simply select the brand they think best meets the governments needs? This is interesting to me because it reads as though the Government can just request a brand name "or equal" and at the end of the day, just select the brand name product anyways without having to deal with the nuances of brand name justifications. In summary -- I have two questions. 1. Has anyone selected a product based off the lowest priced brand name when other products were submitted? 2. We all have had users that like a product simply because they like it and have worked with it before. If a user said "I've worked with this brand before, and it's most suitable to me because I know the quality will meet my needs," is that sufficient documentation?
  6. I'm not new to federal contracting but I thought this would be a good place to ask this question, and hope that in some eyes, I'm not overcomplicating things. I've often ascribed the borrowing of FAR Part procedures as the borrowing of a section of a FAR but I've been asked whether that's accurate and didn't have a good enough answer. For example someone in my office wants to borrow 1 line from part 15 in a FAR Part 13 acquisition. My answer was that they're borrowing the evaluation procedure, not the evaluation sentence under FAR Part 15 yada yada. But then I'm asked what the definition of a procedure is and I didn't have an answer. It's not defined under FAR Part 2. So my question is, what is a procedure in the context of using a "combination of procedures" from any parts of the FAR to craft an acquisition?
  7. I am seeking some a better understanding of "Special Standards of Responsibility" as mentioned in FAR 9.104-2. I especially want to understand the relationship between "Special Standards of Responsibility" and evaluation factors. Can both be applied in the same requirements? If yes, how are they different and not the same? If not, how does one tell if they should be using one versus the other? Are "Special Standards of Responsibility" included in the solicitation and the award? I would greatly appreciate examples.
  8. Wifcon Community - I am seeking critical feedback for my planned evaluation approach. I want to ensure that I have my ducks in a row before approaching Legal with this. This method is based upon a mix of Vern's past posts and the Sevatec holding. Thank you in advance for your assistance. OBJECTIVE: To utilize an evaluation scheme that is more streamlined, intuitive, and flexible than trade-offs, without increasing protest risk. If this works as intended, I would apply it (or some variation) to most of my future service procurements competed under FAR 8.4, 13, or 16.5. CONTEXT: Competitive BPA call pursuant to 8.4. Four FTEs to provide consulting and management support services. Utilizes PWS and exceeds SAT. EVALUATION METHOD: Factor 1: Quote acceptability (compliance w/ T&Cs, in-scope, etc.). (Pass/Fail) Factor 2: Personnel qualifications. (Pass/Fail) Factor 3: Risk - Combination of personnel experience and contractor past performance. (I advised against including PP being that this is a BPA call, but my customer insisted.) Factor three will be evaluated through direct comparisons of quotes. Quotes will be ordered from lowest to highest performance risk. Price will not be a factor, since the Government is willing to pay up to the ceiling rates. Award will be made to the contractor that passes Factors 1 and 2, presents the least amount of performance risk, and quotes a F&R price.
  9. My company proposed on a job with 10 CLIN's, 0001 through 0010, each with a monthly price for a year of services. It's FFP, LPTA, and no doubt there are several competitors. We received what I'll call a negotiation letter (you may have a different name), citing as a deficiency in the proposal the lack of a table of labor categories, rates, hours, and price per labor category. This puzzles me, since the RFP called for a price for each CLIN, not a price for each labor category. Just to be sure I checked the RFP and there was no call for such a table of labor categories, rates, hours, and price per labor category. I'm wondering where this came from? My first thought is to consider it an irrelevant negotiation tactic to be ignored or called out as irrelevant, but seek the wisdom of the crowd. Why would this have been put into the negotiation letter?
  10. I would appreciate any opinions regarding the members of a proposal review team (we call them the "Buying Team"). This would be specific to best value source selection (BVSS) solicitations. Do you feel it is appropriate for a manager and their direct report to be members of the same Buying Team? Do you think there are conflict of interest concerns? Coercion or undue influence? I look forward to your opinions. Thank you.
  11. Given a scenario where the Government asks for proposals to be valid for 120 days, how would the Government evaluate a the price of a proposal with this term? The proposal is valid for 365 days. If the proposal is accepted within 120 days, the price is $1,000,000. If the proposal is accepted from 121 days to 365 days, the price is $1,000,000 plus $1000 for each day beyond 120 days.
  12. I am a contracting officer assisting in the planning of a source selection for an ACAT system. As part of the source selection process, the customer is adamant about including significant field testing as part of the evaluation process. The system is highly sensitive in that just about everything could affect its performance including weather, time of day, harsh language, etc. As to be expected, everyone on my end, especially legal, is worried about risk of a protest from the losing offeror. Any ideas, useful guidance, prior examples... anything would be helpful and appreciated.
  13. I had a brainstorming function the other day where we discussed what evaluation factors we would want to use in a few construction requirements. The usual evaluation factors that seem to be universally used came up such as Résumés, Experience, Past Performance, Bonding etc. The RFP will be set-aside for small businesses and the evaluation method is going to be LPTA. What’s noticeable about the evaluation factors we came up with is that all but one of them could be tied to one of the general standards of responsibility at 9.104-1, which would require the referral of any lowest priced offeror rated technically unacceptable to the SBA for a certificate of competency. I don’t take issue referring matters to the SBA, but at the same time I also don’t really like the idea the SBA gets the final say or force me to go through a different process if I disagree. I’m not really looking to solve any problem but more out of curiosity. Whether actually applied or thought up off the top of your head, what are others using for evaluation factors for LPTA (construction or other) solicitations set-aside for small businesses? I did briefly look at a few solicitations posted to FBO and it makes me believe evaluation factors that amount to matters of responsibility are widely used.
  14. Good Day All: For procurements performed under FAR Part 8 and FAR PART 13, is there a requirement to have past performance as an evaluation factor? FAR Part 15.3 states the conditions under which is a requirement to have past performance as an evaluation factor. However, FAR Part 13 and 8 do not require compliance with FAR part 15. Can someone provide an explanation of how they handle these procurements? I would not require past performance as an evaluation factor, however past performance is supposed to be evaluated in every procurement?
  15. I have read the discussions on this site concerning using contractors to evaluate proposals - both as voting members and advisory members. However, I was wondering if I can use State Government employees on an evaluation panel? The reason I would want State Government Personnel involved is because the contract is for the benefit of a State Government and they have knowledge specific to the subject matter. FAR 7.302(a)(1) does say that inherently governmental functions should be performed by Government personnel and I would assume that "Government Personal" means Federal Government Personnel. However, FAR 7.3 is applicable to Contractor versus Government performance and, while State Government personnel might not be "Government Personnel", they are not Contractors either. Likewise, FAR 7.5 Inherently Governmental Functions discusses the use of contractors, so it doesn't quite seem to apply. FAR 37.203 is for advisory and assistance contracts and 37.204 only addresses using other Federal Agencies. Maybe the answer is that I can use State Government employees as advisors only and not as evaluators? Maybe the evaluation could be conducted by the CO with several advisors or the CO, one or two other Federal employees, and several advisors? I would like to allow the State Government as much input as possible since the contract is to their benefit. Maybe I've already answered my question in this paragraph, but I would be interested in reading the input of other Contracting Professionals on this subject.
  16. I'm looking through course material from Source Selection taught by Management Concepts and they have the following definitions for "Marginal" and "Unacceptable." Marginal - Fails to meet minimum evaluation standards; low probability of satisfying the requirement; has significant deficiencies, but they are correctable. Unacceptable - Fails to meet a minimum requirement; deficiency requires a major revision to the proposal to make it correct. This goes against everything I thought I knew. Has anyone ever rated a proposal that had "significant deficiencies" anything other than unacceptable?
  17. I'm convinced the government's past performance process needs a major overhaul. In theory, it's a good concept. In practice, it's often useless. Just looks at CPARS reports and it's rare to find a bad rating. I've heard many COs say they and program managers don't tell the complete truth because it's too difficult dealing with repercussions. Now here's some refreshing way to address poor contract performance. This is a Steve Kelman commentary on GSA's lease of the Old Post Office Building in Washington DC. http://fcw.com/blogs/lectern/2014/06/trump-develops-old-post-office.aspx This is one key part of his blog It would be interesting to hear the government tell a contractor at the start of a project that delays and other performance problems will be severly critiqued and extensive detailed in the report. So bad performance will be widely published and not dismissed in a brief paragraph with a satisfactory rating. What do you think?
  18. Hypothetical situation: Say an agency sends out a solicitation containing a lengthy Section C, SOW with a voluminous number of requirements listed. The Section M evaluation criteria states this is a Trade-off/Best Value, Non-Price Eval Factors are more significant than Price. Note, the Technical Approach Eval Factor DOES NOT say anything along the lines of "we will evaluate to the degree to which the proposal meets or exceeds the requirements set forth in the Section C, SOW." Rather, assume the Technical Approach Eval Factor only stated that the agency would evaluate for only certain things mentioned in the SOW. Does the agency still have an obligation to evaluate for ALL of the requirements set forth in the SOW? Can an agency consider the remaining things in the SOW that were not evaluated, just matters of "contract administration" after award?
  19. Does anyone have any experience with providing the overall budget profile for a given procurement as part of the RFP? We typically give "plug numbers" for things such as ODCs, but this would be a "plug number" for the overall yearly budget profile for the effort. Offerors could deviate from it so long as it is supported in their proposal (e.g., they could propose lower). Please let me know.
  20. Is it standard procedure within anyone's agency to rank all proposals when accomplishing a source selection utilizing an evaluation rating method other than numerical? For example, if you utilize the new DOD Source Selection Procedures and you evaluate Past Performance, Technical Approach and Price, assigning a performance confidence assessment rating to past performance and a combined color code and risk rating to each technical approach factor (or subfactor, if used), does the Source Selection Authority make a tradeoff decision amongst all offerors to determine who wins, who is ranked second, who is ranked third, etc? If so, what are the benefits/advantages of doing so? What are the disadvantages?
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