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Interact Question #8 – Acceptable Baseline for Achieving Competition

The GWAC Program believes that competition under the Alliant Program is beneficial for clients for several reasons:

1.             Provides increased innovative solutions

2.             Supports strategic sourcing initiatives

3.             Reduces labor rates consistently

Based on contract data on the Alliant GWAC, the average number of Offers submitted is 3.20, but trending downward contract year over year. The GWAC Program believes this average number of Offers submitted for Alliant could be more competitive if many more of the 58 Alliant Contractors fully participated in the RFP process.

Additionally, there is the expectation from our federal clients that the GWAC Program awarded to premier GWAC Contractors possessing the breadth and depth of IT capabilities; and those Contractors can meet the widely diverse IT requirements encompassing the FEA model.  Contractors awarded the GWAC are not characterized as newly established Contractors testing the government contracting environment. 

Managing our client’s expectations requires us to ensure effective competition; and Contractors to continuously grow their corporate IT capabilities, either internally or through subcontracting. When Contractors do not participate, the average number of Offers diminishes, resulting in clients looking elsewhere or worse creating their own contract vehicles to achieve competition.

The GWAC Program is proposing for a new GWAC that establishes an acceptable minimum baseline for participation and Task Order value achieved. Based on historical data from the current GWAC Contractors, the proposed baseline are attainable while still maintaining a competitive pool of GWAC Contractors:

  • Requirement to submit proposals on 3 task order requests per contract year
  • Requirement to be awarded one or more Task Order totaling $50M within the base term of the Master Contract

The GWAC Program is soliciting feedback to the above approach to insure potential Contractors are committed to participating on a future GWAC. Thank you.

 

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Comments

zsionakides
<p>While having a minimum number of task order responses is an admirable goal, it may be worth looking at common proposal requirements that discourage participation by well qualified vendors.&nbsp; E.g.</p><ul><li>Key personnel resume requirements that are onerous on non-incumbents to fill, when in reality most of those key personnnel who aren&#39;t line managers would simply transfer to a new contractor in the case of a change of contractor.&nbsp; A better evaluation criteria is salary and benefit reasonableness for those key positions.</li><li>Requirements of detailed technical proposals about a system most non-incumbents would have little familiarity with unless they are working directly on it.&nbsp; Plenty of non-incumbents have strong IT leadership that understands the fundamentals of systems and services, but would simply need a familiarization period to transition in to a service contract.&nbsp; Asking for highly detailed 50 page technical proposals about a little known system is costly for a bidder to get information about and write a strong proposal to.</li></ul><p>The minimum award requirement is a really good idea if it could be tied in with on-ramping/off-ramping.&nbsp; It would be sort of a &quot;win or go home approach&quot; and would definitely increase the competition level.&nbsp; Alternatively if a minimum threshold fluctuates too much, simply drop out say the bottom 20% (or other determined amount) of awardees and replace them with fresh faces.</p>
Alliant 2 Blogger (not verified)
<p><span id="docs-internal-guid-94493ff6-d790-df93-9b87-5ec97ed48644"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(76, 76, 76); vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">@zsionakides: Thank you for your feedback. Careful consideration will be given as we continue to move forward with our research.</span></span></p>
annahogan
<p><span style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span></p><p>In response to your request for input on the acceptable minimum baselines on Alliant 2, SRA agrees that Contract Holders need to demonstrate a level of participation to not only ensure competition, but to not burden the Alliant 2 Contract Office with managing contracts that have little to no activity.&nbsp; Specifically, to your two points:</p><ul><li><strong>Requirement to submit proposals on 3 task orders requests per contract year:</strong>&nbsp; We agree that this is a reasonable requirement <em>unless</em> there is significant downturn in the volume of TO RFPs on the Alliant 2 vehicle.&nbsp; You may want to consider a minimum threshold of 60 (TBD) TO RFPs released per contract year, and potentially pro-rate the number of TO proposals required if the number falls below that threshold.&nbsp; You would also need to define the &ldquo;penalty&rdquo; for not meeting the threshold in a given year.&nbsp; For example, do you get a probationary period that allows you an additional year before off-ramping?<ul><li>We also caution that this could give rise to more &ldquo;junk&rdquo; proposals.&nbsp; Industry judiciously uses Bid and Proposal resources on opportunities it believes it can win.&nbsp; Increasing participation requirement may lead to more &ldquo;junk&rdquo; proposals which will also lead to increased evaluation expenses by the Government.&nbsp; However, your second point below (award threshold) is believed to be a counter-balance to that behavior.</li></ul></li><li><strong>Requirement to be awarded one or more TO&rsquo;s totaling $50M with the base term of the Master contract:</strong>&nbsp; To confirm, we assume the base term is the initial 5 year PoP of the contract.&nbsp; Given that assumption, we believe this is reasonable.&nbsp;&nbsp; However, if there is a significant downturn in size of TO&rsquo;s, consideration may need to be given.&nbsp; For example, if a company wins 8 TO&rsquo;s in the base term, but they are only $5M each, they would fall short of the $50M target, but they have clearly demonstrated that they are submitting quality proposals with 8 TO awards.</li></ul>
Alliant 2 Blogger (not verified)
<p><b id="docs-internal-guid-94493ff6-ccd4-a251-3fb0-b5f8d0ccb963" style="font-weight: normal"><span style="background-color: transparent; font-variant: normal; font-style: normal; font-family: Arial; white-space: pre-wrap; color: #4c4c4c; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none">@annahogan: Thank you for your feedback. Careful consideration will be given as we continue to move forward with our research.</span></b></p>
chashina
<p>While we agree that adding minimum RFP responses and dollar thresholds will encourage the primes&rsquo; active participation, we suggest a lower dollar threshold of $30M over the base period. Our suggestion is based on an analysis of the current task order awards.&nbsp; GSA&rsquo;s proposed dollar threshold of $50M would eliminate 65% of the current F&amp;O awardees, and 79% of the SB awardees, which seems to go against the stated objective of increasing competition. With our proposed threshold of $30M, almost 50% of the large primes, and approximately 30% of the small businesses, would have met the minimum. This, combined with a minimum number of RFP responses per year, will ensure effective competition for GSA&rsquo;s clients.</p>
Alliant 2 Blogger (not verified)
<p><span id="docs-internal-guid-925ce97a-a422-2819-47f4-ede2fee4b101"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(76, 76, 76); vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">@chashina: Thank you for your feedback. Careful consideration will be given as we continue to move forward with our research.</span></span></p>
Geoffrey.Vance
<p>Question #8 Responses:</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>We have reviewed the question # 8 &ldquo;Acceptable Baseline for Achieving Competition&rdquo; and have the provided following comments</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Proposed Baseline #1</strong>. We believe that the baseline to establish a minimum submission of three (3) proposal submissions per contract year is acceptable. One qualification you may consider is the size of the RFP submission in terms of dollar volume / complexity. The resources and cost involved for a large scale proposal is very different from that of a small sized proposal effort. We do agree the basis for the above baseline is to allow for increased competition on the contract vehicle and to ensure minimum participation of all ALLIANT 2 awardees.&nbsp;</p><p>What if you cannot submit 3 proposals in a calendar year? Are you deramped or are put on some sort probation until a remediation plan is submitted and accepted?&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Proposed Baseline #2.</strong> We need to have additional clarification on this baseline. Is the base term anticipated to be a 5 year base? If that is the case, then $30M to $50M in contract/s awards in the base period might seem to be a reasonable request. We do believe that exceptions should be made. A company winning six (6) 2-3 Million contract awards should not be deramped/ put on probation for not meeting the baseline. We know that under the current ALLIANT contract that the majority of the large contract awards go to the top ten (10) large business contractors. If the number of expected awardee mirrors the current ALLIANT contract, we might expect to see the same results. This baseline needs to be flexible enough to encourage maximum participation but not onerous to penalize the smaller LB on the contract.</p>
Alliant 2 Blogger (not verified)
<p><span id="docs-internal-guid-a7664a74-a409-7d10-b0e0-39d1c4108219"><span style="font-size: 13px; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(76, 76, 76); vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">@Geoffrey.Vance: Thank you for your feedback. Careful consideration will be given as we continue to move forward with our research.</span></span></p>
ggreening
This appears to be an achievable approach and would ensure that companies are indeed committed to pursuing new work once awarded the contract. While the overall number seems low based on historical volume of RFPs on Alliant I and to attain $50M in contract work. However, before terminating a company for failure to reach the minimum $50M, the company should be evaluated for the number of proposals submitted and whether technical capability or cost is the sole driver for failure to secure an award or total $50M. If technical capability is the issue, then the contract should be terminated. An alternative approach may be to require a percentage of responses to released RFPs. Twenty-five percent seems reasonable based on the projected number of RFPs and would show commitment to utilize the contract and attain a $50M baseline. Again, if the sole reason for not being awarded a contract or achieving the $50M target is cost, a company should not be off ramped if submitting technically compliant responses. Thanks
Alliant 2 Blogger (not verified)
<p><span id="docs-internal-guid-a7664a74-a409-7d10-b0e0-39d1c4108219"><span style="font-size: 13px; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(76, 76, 76); vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">@ggreening: Thank you for your feedback. Careful consideration will be given as we continue to move forward with our research.</span></span></p>
amyersburton
To support this goal we would recommend that GSA establishes explicit evaluation criteria in the score card that recognizes companies that have effective dedicated GWAC program offices and have therefore both bid on and successfully won business under a GWAC such as Alliant I.
Alliant 2 Blogger (not verified)
<p><span id="docs-internal-guid-a7664a74-6682-7deb-3de8-d2c4094986e7"><span style="font-size: 13px; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(76, 76, 76); vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">@amyersburton: Thank you for your feedback. Careful consideration will be given as we continue to move forward with our research.</span></span></p>
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