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    Requirement contains 28 generally defined tasks and to be considered for award offerors must be capable of performing all 28 tasks. What is the best way to draft the RFQ and evaluation criteria so offerors, in their technical proposals, may demonstrate their ability to perform all 28 tasks?


    Answer

    1. The FAR references quoted below in pertinent part are applicable to this response.

    FAR 8.405 – Ordering Procedures for Federal Supply Schedules
    FAR 8.405-3 – Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs)
    (b) Competitive procedures for establishing a BPA
    (2) For services requiring a statement of work. This applies when establishing a BPA that requires services priced at hourly rates, as provided by the schedule contract. The applicable services will be identified in the Federal Supply Schedule publications and the contractor’s pricelists.
      (i) Statements of Work (SOWs). The ordering activity shall develop a statement of work. All Statements of Work shall include a description of work to be performed; location of work; period of performance; deliverable schedule; applicable performance standards; and any special requirements (e.g., security clearances, travel, and special knowledge). To the maximum extent practicable, agency requirements shall be performance-based statement (see subpart 37.6).

      (iii) Request for Quotation procedures. The ordering activity must provide a RFQ, which includes the statement of work and evaluation criteria (e.g., experience and past performance), to schedule contractors that offer services that will meet the agency’s needs.

      (vi) The ordering activity contracting officer shall ensure all quotes received are fairly considered and award is made in accordance with the basis for selection in the RFQ. The ordering activity is responsible for considering the level of effort and the mix of labor proposed to perform, and for determining that the proposed price is reasonable.

    2. The following reference is also applicable to this response.
    OSD/AT&L Memorandum, Subject: Department of Defense Source Selection Procedures, dated March 4, 2011; Appendix A – Lowest Price Technically Acceptable Source Selection Process
    http://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/policy/policyvault/USA007183-10-DPAP.pdf

    3. Based on the information provided in this inquiry, this response assumes that this LPTA (Low Price Technically Acceptable) FSS acquisition will use the procedures set forth in FAR 8.405-3(b)(2) as described above. First, in accordance with FAR 8.405-3(b)(2)(i), before developing any LPTA evaluation criteria, the statement of work to be provided to the schedule contractors should separately and clearly define each one of the “28 tasks”, preferably written as performance work statements (PWS). These PWS tasks should specify their applicable performance standards, and any associated special requirements, that can be evaluated on an “acceptable” or “unacceptable” basis.

    4. While primarily applicable to source selections conducted under FAR Part 15, we believe that the OSD/AT&L memorandum referenced above provides very useful guidance for drafting the RFQ and LPTA evaluation criteria for this FSS acquisition.  As indicated in this memorandum, once the minimum requirements for each task have been established, then technical evaluation criteria can be developed that would be used to determine whether an offeror’s technical approach for each of the 28 tasks is “acceptable” (i.e., proposal clearly satisfies the minimum performance standards established in the PWS for that task) or is “unacceptable” (i.e., proposal does not clearly satisfy these minimum requirements).

    5. As contemplated by FAR 8.405-3(b)(2)(iii), past performance may also be included in the evaluation criteria. As indicated in the OSD/AT&L memorandum, past performance is rated on an “acceptable” basis (i.e., based on the offeror’s performance record, the Government has a reasonable expectation that the offeror will successfully perform the required effort) or on an “unacceptable” basis (i.e., based on the offeror’s performance record, the Government has no reasonable expectation that the offeror will be able to successfully perform the required effort).  This assessment would be based on the offeror’s record of relevant and recent past performance information that pertains to the “28 tasks” described in the RFQ requirements.

    6. There are two aspects to the past performance evaluation. The first is to evaluate whether the offeror’s recent past performance is relevant or not relevant to the effort to be acquired. Therefore, the RFQ must establish what constitutes recent and relevant past performance in relation to the “28 tasks” being procured. In establishing what is relevant for the acquisition, consideration should be given to what aspects of an offeror’s contract history would give the most confidence that the offeror will satisfy the current procurement.  The second aspect of the past performance evaluation is to determine how well the contractor performed on the contracts. The past performance evaluation performed in support of a current source selection gathers information from customers on how well the offeror performed on past contracts.

    7. Finally, as specified in FAR 8.405-3(b)(2)(vi), the Contracting Officer is responsible for considering the level of effort and the mix of labor proposed to perform, and for determining that the proposed price is reasonable. Therefore, with regards to this LPTA procurement, given that the services to be provided will be priced using hourly rates established in each offeror’s schedule contract, the RFQ should also establish a price evaluation model by which the Government will determine which offerors are, in fact, offering the lowest prices. For example, simply calculating the “average” of all rates set forth in each schedule contract and then comparing these “average rates” may not accurately determine which firms are actually offering the lowest overall prices for the actual work to be performed. Instead, we believe that, in order to obtain more accurate pricing, the RFQ should specify a nominal labor mix model for each of the 28 tasks and require the offeror to price each task model using the hourly rates set forth in their schedule contract.

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