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42 minutes ago, Vern Edwards said:

dumb it down

How dare you!!!!   It is quite honestly a sad state of affairs when you will not accept peer review of your posts but we all have to swallow yours with caustic and implied innuendo!

 

46 minutes ago, Vern Edwards said:

Alexander on another horse, or Bucephalus under another rider, would not have been as great.

  Really and what proof do you have?  History proved the one the other would have only been proved if either fact was change!  Your anecdotal evidence has limited value when establishing a premise.

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Thank you all for all the responses, to slightly deviate from the original question, how would an unsuccessful offeror know after a debrief to protest on the ground that the government evaluated the awardee's proposal improperly (like if the government didn't ignore the corporate experience and self-proclaimed past performance in the awardee's technical approach as stated they would in the RFP)? Because the FAR says at 15.506(d)(2) "The overall evaluated cost or price (including unit prices) and technical rating" of the successful offeror, it doesn't say to address every strength that the government found in the awardee's proposal, so why do I see GAO cases where the protester is protesting on the grounds that the government evaluated the awardee's proposal improperly? How do they even know how the government evaluated the awardee's proposal other than the overall ratings? For example in the debrief I just say this about the awardee:

1) The awardee's technical approach was rated Good, their Corporate Experience was rated Good, and their Past Performance was rated satisfactory.

2) The summary for the rational for award is that the awardee is the best value because they rated better than you on the non-price factors and their price was reasonable.

And that is all the unsuccessful (i.e. debriefed) offeror hears about the awardee and the rest of the time I'm just talking about the debriefed offeror's weaknesses.

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5 hours ago, joel hoffman said:

Not according to your proposal submission instructions.

 

Well, yes, I guess saying "see corporate experience #1" in the middle of the technical approach would violate the terms of the RFP's section L just like explicitly writing about the corporate experience would. 

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13 hours ago, Sam101 said:

L.2 Factor 1 - Technical Approach: Offeror shall describe how they will perform the SOW's requirements.

 

42 minutes ago, Don Mansfield said:

You are communicating what you want, but it seems some offerors aren't reading this.

Or maybe he's not communicating what he wants.

What does "how" mean? What does he want to know? Process? Procedure? Method? Technique? Means? Something else? Everything?

"How" is a vague word. Without some specifics, offerors can't be sure what he wants.

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13 hours ago, Sam101 said:

Any requested information placed outside of the designated location shall not be considered or evaluated under that evaluation factor regardless of whether it is located somewhere else in the proposal. As an example, the offeror shall not refer to any key personnel qualifications, the staffing plan, corporate experience, or past performance in the Technical Approach factor section of its proposal

@Vern Edwards This was what I was referring to☝🏽️

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38 minutes ago, Sam101 said:

how would an unsuccessful offeror know after a debrief to protest on the ground that the government evaluated the awardee's proposal improperly

They probably wouldn't know.

But they might protest the evaluation of their own proposal and then, after getting a protective order and the awardee's proposal and the record of the evaluation of the awardee's proposal, amend their protest to add a complaint that the awardee's proposal was evaluated improperly.

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Posted (edited)
54 minutes ago, Vern Edwards said:

What does "how" mean? What does he want to know? Process? Procedure? Method? Technique? Means? Something else? Everything?

L.2 Factor 1 - Technical Approach: The offeror shall describe the processes, procedures, methods, and techniques that they intend to implement to accomplish the requirements of the SOW.

M.2 Factor 1 - Technical Approach: The government will evaluate the offeror's technical approach to determine the extent to which the offeror proposes sound and feasible processes, procedures, methods, and techniques to accomplish the requirements of the SOW.

Offeror A's Response:

Technical Approach: We will drive to the store and buy Brand A steak, we will not freeze it and we will take it out of the packaging carefully and wash it. Then we will tenderize it with a new tenderizer for each steak and never reuse a tenderizer. We then will season the steak and then proceed to marinate it for 3 hours. After that we will sear it on both sides for 3 minutes each side. After that we will put it in the oven for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. We will take the steak out carefully to make sure not to drop it on the floor as we are taking it out of the oven, if we do we will start over at no additional cost to the government. We will then serve the steak with A1 sauce.

Key Personnel and Staffing Plan: See Resumes, and we will cross train employees to be able to perform all tasks and we will have our staffing full at all times. Bob Smith (see Project Manager resume) will be the one taking the steaks out of the oven.

Corporate Experience: Description of three similar projects.

Past Performance: PPQs sent to CO.

Offeror B's Response:

Technical Approach: We will drive to the store and buy Brand A steak, we will not freeze it and we will take it out of the packaging carefully and wash it. Then we will tenderize it with a new tenderizer for each steak and never reuse a tenderizer. We then will season the steak and then proceed to marinate it for 3 hours. After that we will sear it on both sides for 3 minutes each side. After that we will put it in the oven for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. We will take the steak out carefully to make sure not to drop it on the floor as we are taking it out of the oven, if we do we will start over at no additional cost to the government. We will then serve the steak with A1 sauce.

We have been driving to the store for years and know how to do that, we haven't been freezing steaks for 5 years now, past customers liked that we marinated the steaks for 3 hours instead of for 2 hours.

CO's response to Offeror B during debrief: Your blurb about "We have been driving to the store for years and know how to do that, we haven't been freezing steaks for 5 years now, past customers liked that we marinated the steaks for 3 hours instead of for 2 hours" was a waste of space and was ignored during the evaluation of your technical approach because the RFP instructed you not to do that and why would you even want to do that when you have the Corporate Experience section for that? We simply asked you to describe your processes, procedures, methods, and techniques that you intend to implement to accomplish the requirements of the SOW for the technical approach factor.

Edited by Sam101
Change "they" to "you" in last sentence of last paragraph.
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26 minutes ago, Sam101 said:

why do I see GAO cases where the protester is protesting on the grounds that the government evaluated the awardee's proposal improperly?

Because the incumbent will protest anything to profit from the CICA stay.  The additional revenue from the bridge/extension more than pays for the 20 minutes it takes for a staff attorney to file a protest.  Note how GAO almost never sustains on grounds of  'improper evaluation' alone.

30 minutes ago, Sam101 said:

How do they even know how the government evaluated the awardee's proposal other than the overall ratings?

They don't.  They guess.  Some protests even invoke evaluation factors that never actually existed:

Quote

The RFP did not require consideration of optician licensing or staffing level for a determination of technical acceptability. Id. As such, the protester’s argument that the VA failed to adequately evaluate the awardee’s optician licensing and staffing level fails to reasonably establish that a violation of statute or regulation has occurred

B-419300, PDS Consultants, Inc.

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52 minutes ago, Vern Edwards said:

😆 How dare I? How could I not? You didn't give a coherent peer review. It was close to nonsense.

And to think I devoted precious time trying to clear things up for you!

Hmph!

 

 

Yep you.   

A little self control.   

And your example of horse with attributes solely and rider with "other" was coherent?   Not so if it has to be proven by additional facts for context of ranch, team, and a flimsy anecdote..   I am sure glad I did not try to evaluate based of your very first offering - attributes of one thing and oh well "something else" for another.  I guess you can deny that everything has attributes then so be it.  Yet I sure the heck know that you have at least one!!!!!!

You devote time always so it should not be too much of an effort or issue for your practice! 

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42 minutes ago, Sam101 said:

L.2 Factor 1 - Technical Approach: The offeror shall describe the processes, procedures, methods, and techniques that they intend to implement to accomplish the requirements of the SOW.

M.2 Factor 1 - Technical Approach: The government will evaluate the offeror's technical approach to determine the extent to which the offeror proposes sound and feasible processes, procedures, methods, and techniques to accomplish the requirements of the SOW.

Offeror A's Response:

Technical Approach: We will drive to the store and buy Brand A steak, we will not freeze it and we will take it out of the packaging carefully and wash it. Then we will tenderize it with a new tenderizer for each steak and never reuse a tenderizer. We then will season the steak and then proceed to marinate it for 3 hours. After that we will sear it on both sides for 3 minutes each side. After that we will put it in the oven for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. We will take the steak out carefully to make sure not to drop it on the floor as we are taking it out of the oven, if we do we will start over at no additional cost to the government. We will then serve the steak with A1 sauce.

Key Personnel and Staffing Plan: See Resumes, and we will cross train employees to be able to perform all tasks and we will have our staffing full at all times. Bob Smith (see Project Manager resume) will be the one taking the steaks out of the oven.

Corporate Experience: Description of three similar projects.

Past Performance: PPQs sent to CO.

Offeror B's Response:

Technical Approach: We will drive to the store and buy Brand A steak, we will not freeze it and we will take it out of the packaging carefully and wash it. Then we will tenderize it with a new tenderizer for each steak and never reuse a tenderizer. We then will season the steak and then proceed to marinate it for 3 hours. After that we will sear it on both sides for 3 minutes each side. After that we will put it in the oven for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. We will take the steak out carefully to make sure not to drop it on the floor as we are taking it out of the oven, if we do we will start over at no additional cost to the government. We will then serve the steak with A1 sauce.

We have been driving to the store for years and know how to do that, we haven't been freezing steaks for 5 years now, past customers liked that we marinated the steaks for 3 hours instead of for 2 hours.

CO's response to Offeror B during debrief: Your blurb about "We have been driving to the store for years and know how to do that, we haven't been freezing steaks for 5 years now, past customers liked that we marinated the steaks for 3 hours instead of for 2 hours" was a waste of space and was ignored during the evaluation of your technical approach because the RFP instructed you not to do that and why would you even want to do that when you have the Corporate Experience section for that? We simply asked you to describe your processes, procedures, methods, and techniques that they intend to implement to accomplish the requirements of the SOW for the technical approach factor.

Your description of submission requirements and evaluation criteria above don’t match what you responded to my specific question earlier.

Regardless, neither version seems to be meaningful in terms of either determining acceptability or compliance with the requirements or to serve as a discriminator between proposers.

Other than Offeror B telling you that they are experienced - which you said in the RFP that you would ignore - there are no differences between offeror A and Offeror B.

And even if you don’t ignore it, it’s still no discriminator because the lack of such information in A’s proposal doesn’t mean that they don’t have any experience. You didn’t ask for it under that factor.

Thus, the sub factor or factor itself is really meaningless, lacks  being a discriminator and is unnecessary.

Evaluation factors usually serve one and/or more purposes. For example:
1. Determine the Offeror’s  capability to perform the requirement and/or

2. Determine if the proposed solution to a performance requirement is acceptable, and/or

3. Determine if it offers an advantage or disadvantage to the government in comparison to the minimum acceptable requirements. And/or

4. Determine if it offers an advantage or disadvantage to the government versus other offer(s).

It may be more or less complicated than this but I see no useful purpose or discriminator in what you described. 

 

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3 hours ago, Sam101 said:

Corporate Experience: Description of three similar projects

I think the issue might be with your definition of "corporate experience", which typically refers to an offeror's corporate capabilities, not merely past projects.  In my opinion, when viewed properly, corporate experience doesn't cross over any of your other factors.  "Past customers liked that we marinated the steaks for 3 hours instead of for 2 hours..." isn't a corporate capability, it's a statement supporting an approach. Which you are free to ignore when evaluating corporate experience for all the reasons you mention.  In fact, based on your examples, it's not a matter of "cross-over", it's a matter of "past customers liked..." isn't speaking to corporate experience OR technical approach.  Maybe their past customers are a bunch of rubes.

Besides; unless you said you were going to evaluate corporate experience as part of the evaluation of the technical approach, what's the problem?  There's no requirement to enumerate what you're NOT going to evaluate.  (Cue the scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail where Brother Maynard* ceremoniously recites the procedure for how - and how not to - count to three).

[My hypothetical is less opinion-based, such as this one from my past: "Based on our past experience, loading the solid rocket booster propellant  under vacuum prevents voids from forming in the cured propellant which would cause hot-spots when ignited, resulting in total system failure".  That's a fact-based assertion derived from specialized experience which supports an approach and is intended to increase the government's confidence in that approach, not 'corporate experience' in the typical context.]

* Patron Saint of Contracting

Edited by REA'n Maker
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On 4/23/2021 at 9:15 AM, C Culham said:

And your example of horse with attributes solely and rider with "other" was coherent?   Not so if it has to be proven by additional facts for context of ranch, team, and a flimsy anecdote..   I am sure glad I did not try to evaluate based of your very first offering - attributes of one thing and oh well "something else" for another.  I guess you can deny that everything has attributes then so be it.  Yet I sure the heck know that you have at least one!!!!!!

@C Culham I don't know what you're talking about. Please quote the passage that I wrote to which you referred. I'll take "corrective action" if I can understand your criticism.

And Carl, I would not deny that everything has attributes (aka, "properties"). Everything that exists has at least one attribute.

Quote

At least since Aristotle, the essential properties of an object have been contrasted with its accidental properties; the object could not exist without the former, whereas it could fail to have the latter (see entry on essential vs. accidental properties).

https://leibniz.stanford.edu/friends/members/view/properties/sc/

Just quote whatever it is that I wrote about horse and rider that troubles you, and I'll respond promptly.

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Secretariat was a great horse and my all time favorite race horse.

Bucephalus is the most famous horse in Western history. According to historian Peter Green, in Alexander of Macedon, 356 - 323 B.C., Bucephalus was from Thessaly, where great horses were bred. King Philip of Macedon bought him, paying the highest price on record for a horse, but no one could mount him. Alexander—who was either 8, 9 or 12, depending on which account you read—bet his father in front of a crowd that he could mount him, and Philip took the bet. Alexander did it, and rode the horse to the cheers of the crowd. Philip was proud and told him that he would not be able to stay in Macedonia, because it would not be big enough for him. (That does not do justice to Green's account, which is in pages 41-44.)

Bucephalus bore Alexander into every battle, from Greece, through Persia and Afghanistan, to India. He carried Alexander into the breach in the Persian line at Gaugamela, routing the bigger army and ending the Persian Empire. He died of wounds, old age, and heat stroke in India in 326 B.C. at the age of 30. Alexander gave him a state funeral and named a city after him.

According to Arrian: "Enormous in stature and noble in spirit, Boukephalos had been mounted only by Alexander, since the horse had refused to carry any other riders."

Secretariat and Bucephalus.

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On 4/22/2021 at 11:54 AM, Sam101 said:

I typically don't allow an offeror to mention anything about corporate experience in their technical approach narrative however I seen many responses to solicitations where the offeror inserts a short blurb in their technical approach narrative basically validating their proposed approach by saying that they have done this in the past and it worked out well for their clients, but then what is the corporate experience section for?

 

On 4/22/2021 at 3:18 PM, Vern Edwards said:

I have a different take on this than the others who have responded to you. 

If you think there is value in requiring each offeror to describe its proposed "approach" to doing the work (whatever that is—process, procedure, method, technique) then the attributes of the approach itself are what matter and what you should measure or assess, based on appropriate standards.

***

The merits of a horse are determined by the horse's attributes. The merits of the rider are something else.

 I have attached a detailed explanation. Comments, criticisms, and questions are welcome.

Explanation to Sam101 from Vern Edwards.docx

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On 4/24/2021 at 8:11 PM, C Culham said:

The greatest is an emotional thing - Magic!

Actually, the greatest 3-year old is a fact, not emotion.  Secretariat holds the current record times--made in 1973--for a 3-year old in the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and The Belmont.  (The official timer at Pimlico incorrectly timed the Preakness in 1973 and it wan't until 2012 that the Maryland Racing Commission acknowledged that error.)

For anyone watching the video I posted, they will see a horse ahead by nearly a football field at the finish line.  The Belmont is a mile and a half and Secretariat won that race at the mile point.  For the final mile, it ran on its own.  It realized it had no competition and it just felt like running.  For those few minutes, we watched the greatest 3-year old of all time.  And that's the truth!

Since I violated the forum rules by taking this off topic, I will now close it.

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