On October 10th, NASA awarded 41 contracts under its Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SWEP) Group C. For those of you in the D.C. metro area, you’ll be pleased to hear that 12 companies on the vehicle are headquartered in Virginia, and 9 are based in Maryland. The companies on the vehicle will all be providing server support as well as multi-functional devices to agencies, with the minimum amount of supplies/services that may be ordered starting at $25.00 and maxing out at $20 billion per contract. Each contract will have an effective ordering period of 10 years, consisting of a five-year base period from Nov. 1 to Oct. 31, 2019, and one five-year option periods to extend the period of performance through Oct. 31, 2024.
SEWP is a highly sought after acquisition contract and competition was fierce as only a small fraction of the SEWP proposals NASA received were ultimately chosen. This announcement of the awardees was scheduled for back in August of this year, but NASA had to delay the awards until September (which as we know ended up being pushed back again to October 10th). The delay stemmed from a surge of proposals and a bid protests by IMPRES Technology Solutions Inc., Metis Intellisystems LLC, Futron Inc., Patriot Comm and Ideal System Solutions Inc. that were filed to overturn a NASA’s decision to throw out the companies’ proposals after they exceeded prescribed page limits.
These five companies claimed that NASA had unreasonably determined that their SEWP V proposals exceeded the page limits by counting letters of support included in the proposals toward the page counts. The agency determined that after excluding the extra pages, the proposals were still unacceptable.
The GAO denied the companies’ protests, ruling that NASA had reasonably determined that the letters of support should be counted toward the page limit and that the agency didn’t have to let the companies revise their proposals after submission. This teaches a valuable lesson that the cardinal feature of any federal proposal is first and foremost COMPLIANCE.
It appears other federal acquisition shops may benefit from using the SEWP V playbook, especially in the area of having a very complex solicitation statement of work effectively written. I believe this area of federal acquisition needs more attention and is critical to overall success of a particular procurement. Centre’s upcoming course on Effective Writing for Acquisition delivers a framework attendees can use to improve their writing style, plus strategies to implement the requirements of the 2010 Plain Writing Act and the Federal Plain Language Guidelines in each stage of the procurement.
For more information on the awards, visit this page.
To see a full list of awardees, click here.
Click here for more information on Centre’s upcoming training courses.