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Rules of Engagement - February 20. 2013

As we get closer to the release of the draft Request for Proposals (RFP), I thought it would be a good time to discuss GSA’s “Rules of Engagement” for interaction with our Industry Partners.

Below is an overview of how we plan to communicate during the period between the release of the draft RFP and the release of the final RFP. At this moment, I cannot give you a good date for the release of the draft RFP.  As with the business case, we are working with a very engaged stakeholder community, all working hard to ensure the we produce best possible contract vehicle.

I will post an update giving you time frames very soon. For now, let me address the communication ground rules:

1.    We will continue to use Interact as our primary means of communication. That will include regular blog updates and responses to questions and comments posted here in addition to the things described below.

2.    In lieu of a traditional pre-solicitation conference, we will conduct one or more webinars to walk through the draft solicitation, and to accept feedback, questions, comments, and suggestions. Recorded versions of these webinars will be posted to or linked from Interact as soon as practicable after each event.

3.    We will accept written comments and questions on the draft RFP at this blog site.  In responding, we may edit questions for brevity or clarity.  We anticipate multiple variations of some questions. Our intent is to organize questions by broad topic area, in responding.  For example, “multiple questions were received regarding the reporting requirements… The intention of this requirement is…”  

4.    In the draft RFP we will designate a due date for questions. While the communication window will remain open until the final RFP is issued, this is a key date, as some of the questions serve as an important beacon in finalizing the solicitation.  

5.    After release of the draft RFP, we will designate a brief time period during which we will again entertain one-on-one meetings with interested Industry Partners. Rather than a white paper, however, the price of admission will be a list of formal questions, comments, or suggestions in response to the draft RFP. This will focus the discussion.  As before, we will not entertain capabilities briefings or other generic marketing calls.  We will consolidate all questions asked during these meetings and post them (without attribution), along with our responses, to Interact as part of the formal Q&A process. More details on this will follow the release of the draft RFP.

6.    We will meet in person with any industry association or similar organization (ex. Tech America, ACT/IAC, the Coalition for Government Procurement, etc.) which expresses an interest.  We will announce our attendance on Interact well in advance of such meetings and post any slides we present along with an overview of the topics discussed, questions and answers, etc. within a day or two of the event.

Our goal, as always, is to maintain an atmosphere of transparency and fairness throughout this process while maximizing the amount of information we share with our stakeholders.  Hopefully, we have been and will continue to succeed in these areas.  Please share with us your comments, questions, and suggestions about our communications.

In closing, as promised, attached to this blog are the notes and slides from our participation in the Strategic Sourcing event on Jan 31.

Jim

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Comments

bobfritz
<p>Please continue to set the pace for a new way of dealing with Industry for major solicitations. Many other agencies are stuck in the 90s, electing to host events that require travel to and from, parking, hours, expenses, and other logistics considerations, not to mention what it costs the government. Doing more things on a blog, webinar, etc. is much more efficient and effective. Keep teaching the others!</p>
OASIS Blogger
<p><span id="internal-source-marker_0.03516950487032244" style="font-size:13px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:#ffffff;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;">Thank you for your feedback, Robert. We really appreciate it. </span></p>
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