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Exploring OASIS: Input Requested on Pool Qualification

We’ve been receiving feedback on the revised OASIS draft solicitations and we want to thank everyone for their diligence in helping us make the solicitations clearer, better, and stronger.  We feel, and we have heard your feedback, that releasing the draft solicitations and collaborating on ideas has been beneficial to everyone involved in the process.

Included in the revised draft solicitations, based on feedback received from both Industry and customers, we required that one of your Relevant Experience projects come from work done in each pool in which you are bidding.  This was done to ensure that Offerors actually performed on requirements where the predominance of work was appropriate for the Pools being applied for.  This approach meets that goal, but we’ve received feedback that there might be unintended consequences as a result of this approach.  Basically, that the approach forced Offerors to either submit the projects that create the highest possible overall score OR submit projects that result in a lower overall score in order to apply for more Pools.  The feedback suggested that this could result in the Government not getting the best contractors in all Pools.  We see merit in this point, and feel that we may have developed a solution that still meets the goal of ensuring that we get experienced contractors in each Pool while not forcing an Offeror to sacrifice their best projects for scoring purposes.

Fundamentally, we plan to “decouple” the Pool application projects from the Relevant Experience projects.  Similar to how we are treating Mission Space projects and MA/IDIQ projects, we intend to make the projects associated with Pool application separate from the Relevant Experience projects.  For the Pools based upon exceptions, (Pools 3, 5, and 6) we would require demonstration of work applicable to that specific pool.  For example, if applying for Pool 6, you would have to provide examples of work done for Aircraft R&D.  Of course, if your Relevant Experience projects already cover the Pools you wish to apply for, that’s fine.  The requirements in this new approach would look like this:

Pass/Fail:

Relevant Experience Projects (5 for both SB and OASIS)

  • Meet the dollar values ($750K/year each on SB – Cumulative $25M/year on OASIS)
     
  • Meet the core discipline integration requirements (3 disciplines on SB – 4 disciplines on OASIS)
     
  • Completed within the past 5 years or ongoing
     
  • Can be any type of project so long as the core disciplines are present (Federal, Commercial, State, etc)

Pool Application Projects (2 per Pool for SB – 3 per Pool for OASIS)

  • Each project reported in FPDS under a NAICS code associated with the Pool being applied for
     
  • Each project must have a Past Performance score of 3.5 or better
     
  • Completed with the past 5 years or ongoing
     
  • No dollar minimum
     
  • No core discipline requirement

Scoring System – Unchanged.

Another change that we are considering doing (based upon customer input) is establishing subpools for Pool 5.  Because the exceptions are for distinct sets of work and focused in the type of work to be performed compared to most of the Pools, we are thinking of establishing Pool 5A for Aircraft Part R&D companies and Pool 5B for Space Systems R&D companies.  Each subpool would have 20 awards.

We feel this approach would tie the predominance of scoring to the scope of the OASIS contracts (core disciplines) through the Relevant Experience Projects and their associated Past Performance while simultaneously ensuring that Offerors have successfully performed within the Pools they are applying for without having to “game” the scoring system or make decisions (based on point value) of what Pools they wish to apply for.  As always, however, we want your feedback on this approach.  Do you think this is a better approach?  Let us know.

We are in the final stages of getting the draft solicitations ready for the review process that will turn them into final solicitations.  Accordingly, your input and feedback over the next week or two is very important to us.  Again, I want to sincerely thank you all for your input and ideas.  Please continue to monitor us here on Interact as we approach the final stretch.

Jim

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Comments

thague
<p>Hi Jim,</p><p>Can you please provide clarification on two items:</p><ul><li>H.6.10 - Security Clearance Requirements- states that individual task order proposal will include a provision to reimburse the Government for background investigations.&nbsp; (As&nbsp;a contractor with cleared personnel, I have never heard of a contractor reimbursing the Government, nor being required to do so, when the requirement is specifically for work on a Government contract.&nbsp; Can you please advise how this is done and why this is becoming a requirement under OASIS?)</li><li>L.5.3.3.2 - Multiple Award Contracts/Task Orders - Regarding extra awarded points in scoring, we understand the requirement for the MAC to be at least 1 year in performance, however, will credit be provided for Task Orders that are less than 1 year in performance under the MAC?</li></ul><p>Thank you very much.</p>
OASIS Blogger
<p>Hi and thanks for the questions.&nbsp; Responses follow:</p><p>1.&nbsp; H.6.10 does not state that task orders will include said provision, the section states that task orders may include said provision.&nbsp; These types of requirements are handled very differently by different agencies.&nbsp; The contract requirement is to be aware of task order requirements and be flexible in responding to them.</p><p>2.&nbsp; Multiple Award Contracts:&nbsp; will credit be provided for Task Orders that are less than 1 year in performance under the MAC?</p><p>Response:&nbsp; Yes.</p>
mabel
<p>Hi Jim,&nbsp; I submitted a comment/clarification on July 17 but have not seen a response; I wanted to make sure you recieved the comment and had a chance to respond.&nbsp; You can email me at <a href="mailto:mabel@castlemar.com">mabel@castlemar.com</a> or reply directly to the comment on this system.&nbsp; Thanks&nbsp; Mark Abel&nbsp;------------------&nbsp;&nbsp; Jim,&nbsp; Appreciate your collaboration and wanted to clarify acceptability of relevant experience projects under the small business competition.&nbsp; Section L.5.3.1 states that &quot;A relevant experience &#39;project&#39; is deined as a...single task order placed under an IDIQ, &#39;Task-Order&#39; contract (FAR 16.505-1).&quot;&nbsp; In a hypothetical scenario with a small business that has a large, prime single award IDIQ, task-order contract, please confirm that each individual task order issued that meets the $750K annual revenue requirement (and other requirements), could be used as&nbsp;a separate &quot;project&quot; to meet the mimimum experience requirements.&nbsp; Thank you.</p>
OASIS Blogger
<p>So long as each order meets the requirements identified in the solicitation, that is correct.&nbsp; Jim</p>
dwalz
<p>Jim,</p><p>The latest DRAFT RFP (OASIS SB) and the blog post,&nbsp;Exploring OASIS: Input Requested on Pool Qualification, appears to be inconsistent in the requirement for pool qualification. &nbsp;The draft RFP says that vendors can bid into Pool 3 if they can demonstrate work beneath 541330, regardless of the Exceptions. On the other hand the blog post appears to say that a vendor must have performed a project that is an exact match to the code (which would include an Exception). Please confirm that the wording in the draft RFP is correct, and that a vendor that has performed under 541330 meets the pass/fail requirement for Pool 3.</p><p>Thank you very much.</p>
OASIS Blogger
<p>The blog was issued in response to feedback based on the revised draft RFP and thus represents the next stage in the evolution of our thinking.&nbsp; The final RFPs will clearly state the requirements to qualify for a particular pool. - Jim</p>
Brandon Smith
<p>Can a company with less than 1500 (more than 1000) employees but no projects reported in FPDS under a NAICS code associated with the pool (NAICS 541712) meet the qualification for relevant experience and pool application projects assuming the company has projects that meet the core disciplines and mission areas outlined in the draft RFP reported in FDPS under other NAICS?&nbsp;</p>
OASIS Blogger
<p>No.&nbsp; If you have no projects associated with a Pool, then you may not apply for that Pool.&nbsp; Jim</p>
psahady
<p>On your 07/03/2013 2:27 PM blog post you mentioned that &ldquo;The Pool Application Projects can be ANY project an Offeror has performed on within the past 5 years.&rdquo; Since an emphasis was placed on the word &ldquo;ANY&rdquo;, please confirm that a contractor can utilize a subcontract project where the prime contract was classified within a NAICS code for that pool as a Pool Application Project.</p>
OASIS Blogger
<p>Hi and thanks for the question.&nbsp; Subcontracting work will not be allowed or considered for any proposal submission on the OASIS contracts.&nbsp; This will not change.&nbsp; Jim</p>
David Zivich
<p>Jim,&nbsp; For qualifying Relevant Experience projects awarded&nbsp;prior to&nbsp;2007, NAICS 541710 was used, as NAICS 541711/541712 were not yet defined.&nbsp; Will NAICS 541710 be mapped into OASIS SB Pools 4, 5 and 6, and be acceptable for both the award of technical points under L.5.3.2.2&nbsp; Relevant Experience under an OASIS NAICS Code, as well as, Pool qualification?&nbsp; Thanks.</p>
OASIS Blogger
<p>Yes, NAICS 541710 is acceptable for those pools.</p>
psahady
<p>We appreciate that GSA is providing changes and feedback on the OASIS draft RFP. We were curious why GSA is&nbsp;requiring contractors to submit Pool Application Projects based upon the NAICS code, which is a size standard classification system? GSA is trying to utilize NAICS codes to determine the type of work performed on a contract, but the PSC codes actually define the &ldquo;type of service provided&rdquo; on contracts. Additionally, under GSA&#39;s revised approach, GSA is allowing contractors to utilize projects that are not related to the OASIS core disciplines to &ldquo;qualify&rdquo; a company to bid on OASIS within a particular pool. GSA is making this solicitation and eligibility requirements very convoluted. The solution is simple and straight forward:</p><ol><li>Require the scope of all Relevant Experiences to be within at least 3 of the OASIS core disciplines</li><li>Utilize the organization&rsquo;s size standard within SAM.gov as the Pool application confirmation of size and eligibility.</li></ol><p>Almost any other approach will result in unintended consequences and will prohibit GSA from obtaining competition from the best contractors within each Pool. Utilizing NAICS codes to determine the type of work being performed is in direct conflict with what GSA states within the OASIS solicitation. Section H.4.2. Predominant Task Order NAICS Determination states; &ldquo;Section C (Statement of Work) defines the scope of work under which task orders can be solicited under OASIS SB. NAICS codes only define the small business size standard for an individual task order solicitation.&rdquo; If GSA is looking to determine the type of work performed on a past contract, they should utilize the PSC Codes.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
OASIS Blogger
<p>Thanks for the feedback.&nbsp; This is an example that would apply to every single Pool, but we&rsquo;ll use Pool 6 for simplicity.&nbsp; Basically, if we followed your proposed solution, we could potentially end up with 40 vendors in Pool 6 who have never done Research and Development work on Aircraft.&nbsp; The preponderance of work to be performed on every single task order issued in Pool 6 shall be Research and Development for Aircraft.&nbsp; Accordingly, this is an unacceptable risk for our clients.&nbsp;</p><p>Regarding PSC codes, they can just as easily be miscoded as NAICS codes.&nbsp; Furthermore, we would have to map every single PSC code to OASIS Pools and these codes overlap as well.&nbsp; The revised system is not convoluted in our opinion.&nbsp; Actually, we now feel it is very straightforward.&nbsp; The 5 Relevant Experience projects represent the Scope of the contracts and are scored.&nbsp; The Pool Application Projects can be ANY project an Offeror has performed on within the past 5 years.&nbsp; They are not scored and really only have a requirement that they were performed successfully.&nbsp; While we understand and acknowledge that some project NAICS codes may be reported incorrectly, nobody can claim that EVERY project NAICS code is reported incorrectly. By decoupling the Pool Application projects, we allow Offerors to get their max score as well as pull from their entire history of work performance to meet Pool Application requirements.&nbsp; Given the flexibility to pull projects from any project performed, if an Offeror still cannot qualify for a Pool, we can&rsquo;t help but feel that the Offeror probably shouldn&rsquo;t be in that Pool.&nbsp; Jim</p>
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