Example Instructions to Offerors

INSTRUCTIONS TO OFFERORS

Date

To:            CIO-SP3 Qualified Offerors 

From:       ENTER CLIENT AGENCY

Subject:   Request for Proposal (RFP) – ENTER PROJECT TITLE

The enclosed RFP is to provide support for the ENTER CLIENT FULL AGENCY NAME.  The Government is issuing a competitive solicitation under the NITAAC GWAC program to qualified contract holders for the purpose of entering into a Task Order under the CIO-SP3 GWAC.  The Government will conduct this acquisition in accordance with FAR 16.505.  Interested parties should submit their proposal in accordance with the following instructions. 

Offerors are required to submit both a written Technical Proposal and Business Proposal to Government officials for the purposes of acquiring supplies and/or services from the Contractor(s) that is fully cognizant of the scope of this requirement and has the capability to complete all requirements described in the solicitation.  Proposals which merely offer to conduct a program in accordance with the requirements of the Government’s scope of work will not be eligible for award.

FAR 52.216-1 TYPE OF CONTRACT (APR 1984)

The Government contemplates award of a CONTRACT TYPE (FFP, T&M, or Cost) contract resulting from this solicitation.  Only ENTER # of Awards (one (1)) award will be made as a result of this notice.  The Government intends to evaluate proposals and award a contract without discussions with offerors.  However, the Government reserves the right to conduct discussions if later determined by the Contracting Officer to be necessary. 

PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE

The resulting award period of performance is a based period of 12 months with four (4) 12 months option periods, unless the period is extended by modification to this task order.  Option periods are subject to availability of funds and may be unilaterally exercised by the Government.  (Dates subject to changes based on award)

Base Period:

ENTER START DATE through ENTER END DATE

Option Period 1:

September 18, 2013 through September 17, 2014

Option Period 2:

September 18, 2014 through September 17, 2015

Option  Period 3:

September 18, 2015 through September 17, 2016

Option Period 4:

September 18, 2016 through September 17, 2017

SOLICITATION TECHNICAL INQUIRIES AND QUESTIONS

All questions regarding the solicitation, of a contractual nature or technical nature, must be submitted in writing via e-GOS no later than DATE, TIME Eastern Standard Time.  Questions with the Government’s responses will be posted to e-GOS.  Please be advised that the Government reserves the right to transmit those questions and answers of a common interest to all prospective Offerors. 

PROPOSAL SUBMISSION

Proposals must be submitted electronically via e-GOS on or before the RFP closing date of DATE, TIME Eastern Standard Time.  Offeror’s proposal MUST state their CIO-SP3 Contract Number in the proposal submission.

FORMATTING

Page size 8.5 by 11 inches with 1 inch margins.  Paragraphs single spaced.  Minimum font size/style 10 point Times New Roman font for Text, 9 point font in the Arial family for Tables, and 8 point font in the Arial family for Graphics. Tables and graphics may be landscape; all other text must be portrait.

If the offeror uses a different format (font size, margin, etc.), the government reserves the right to adjust the proposal to fit the parameters of the format as stated in the RFP, and if this results in the proposal exceeding the page limitations in any one area, the government will not consider those excess pages.

The below table shows the page limits to which offerors’ submissions must adhere. 

 

Volume

Section

Page limit

1

Transmittal/Cover Letter

2

Section 1:

Executive Summary

1

Section 2:

Management Approach and Technical Capabilities

10

Personnel Qualifications

N/A

Organizational Experience

10

Section 3:

Past Performance

N/A

2

Business Proposal

N/A

TRANSMITTAL AND COVER LETTER

The offeror’s transmittal and cover letter for the proposal must contain the name, phone number, and e-mail address of the person to be contacted concerning any matter related to the solicitation.  ENTER CLIENT AGENCY may, for example, contact that individual to schedule and make arrangements for the offeror’s discussion meetings, if necessary.

Include the following information in your proposal

  1. DUNS number and TIN;
  2. Company Name mailing address, and website address;
  3. Date submitted and proposal expiration date;
  4. All of the above-cited information for each entity on the proposed team, if a team is proposed;
  5. Current NITAAC Contract Number appropriate to this Solicitation;
  6. Do you have a Government approved accounting system?  If so, please identify the agency that approved the system;
  7. Type of Company (i.e., small business, 8(a), woman owned, veteran owned, etc.) as validated via the System for Award Management (SAM).  All offerors must register in SAM located at https://www.sam.gov/;
  8. Company Point of Contact, Phone and Email address.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY (Volume 1, Section 1)

The offeror should provide an executive summary for the technical proposal.  In the executive summary, the offeror should highlight the significant factors of its technical proposal.  The executive summary for the technical approach should be no more than 1 page long.

In the event that the offeror is planning to propose a teaming, mentor/protégée, or a subcontracting relationship, narrative statements must also be included for the additional organizations, as well as a clear delineation of tasks that they will be expected to support.

TECHNICAL PROPOSAL (Volume 1, Section 2)

Offerors shall provide a Technical Proposal that addresses the following three evaluation criteria:

  1. Management Approach and Technical Capabilities,
  2. Personnel Qualifications, and
  3. Organizational Experience

At a minimum, the offeror’s Technical Proposal must discuss:

  1. The background, objectives, and work requirements of the statement of work as analyzed by the offeror,
  2. The proposed methods and techniques for completing each task,
  3. How each task will be evaluated for full performance and acceptability of work from the offeror's viewpoint; with support,  
  4. Any anticipated major difficulties and problem areas, along with potential recommended approaches for their resolution, and
  5. Major logistical considerations.

The Offeror must define their management and technical approach that satisfies the requirements defined in this document.  Please include a (1) staffing plan and (2) resumes for key personnel and (3) a description of your current personnel resources for this, which addresses their capabilities and experience relating to the attached Statement of Work.  At a minimum, this section of the quote must include:

  • Organizational Structure (Org chart and resource headcount required to support the requirement)
  • Identification of roles and specify responsibilities for each role
  • Definition of the primary skill set required for each role
  • Description of resource planning processes and procedures to support the changing needs of the environment
  • Description and definition of management methods and processes for all types of support activities
  • Description of resource training, skills development and certification approach
  • Description of management and status reporting approaches
  • Resumes and letters of commitment are required for all proposed staff.  Resumes should be limited to three pages and must include the proposed labor category for the individual.

PAST PERFORMANCE (Volume 1, Section 3)

Note: The evaluation of Past Performance is optional. (Delete this statement for your Instruction to Offerors)  

The Offeror shall identify three (3) contracts/task orders with the Federal Government and/or commercial customers that demonstrate recent and relevant past performance.  Recent is defined as within the last three years.  Relevant is defined as work similar in complexity and magnitude of the work described in this Statement of Work.

Include the following information:

  • Project title
  • Description of the project
  • Contract number
  • Contract amount
  • Government Agency/Organization
  • COTR’s name, address, and phone number
  • Contracting Officer’s name, address, and phone number
  • Contract and, if applicable, task order number
  • Current status, e.g., completed and/or if in progress, start and estimated completion dates
  • Dollar value and type of contract
  • Name of company being referenced
  • SOW paragraphs that the reference applies to
  • Key personnel (please highlight those individuals who worked on the relevant project(s) and are also being proposed for this effort.)
  • A brief narrative of why you deem the reference to be relevant to this effort

The Government may also consider information obtained through other sources.  Past performance information will be utilized to determine the quality of the contractor’s past performance as it relates to the probability of success of the required effort.

BUSINESS PROPOSAL (Volume 2)

The Offeror’s Business Proposal shall be a separate volume from the Technical Proposal.  Pricing shall include all anticipated costs to fully perform all objectives as stated in the solicitation including option year pricing.

For FFP or T&M Type Orders use the following language (for hybrid orders, use both and split out by the specific task/CLIN order type): 

The Offeror’s Business Proposal shall be based on their CIO-SP3 Labor Rates, utilizing any and all discounts.  The Offeror must identify the labor category(s) to be utilized for this effort, a description of the skills and experience per category, and the fixed loaded hourly rate(s) proposed, and any other proposed associated costs, for calculating the proposed cost for this effort.  Subcontractor rate information shall also be included, if applicable.  List all Other Direct Costs necessary for the performance of this task order.

Business Proposals shall include the following:

  1. An estimated price for each task (per year of effort), tasks organized into the proposed organization structure.
  2. All other costs and the reductions or rebates offered.
  3. The NITAAC Contract Access Fee identified as a separate contract line item number (CLIN).

For Cost Type Orders use the following language:

Offerors must demonstrate that they have an accounting system that is adequate for determining costs at the time of time the task order is award.  This is an accounting system that the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA), or any federal civilian audit agency of an accounting system has audited and determined adequate for determining costs applicable to this contract in accordance with FAR 16.301-3(a)(1).

The Offeror’s Business Proposal shall include the offeror most recent Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA)-approved provisional indirect billing and actual rates for both direct and indirect costs, or if a your firm does not have DCAA-approved rates, indirect rates shall be derived in accordance with FAR Part 31.

If your proposal includes subcontractor support, rate information from the subcontractor will also be required. 

{NOTE:  The fee will be negotiated for each task order consistent with statutory limitations. If the task order type is to be CPAF or CPIF, the fixed portion of fee and the award portion will be clearly differentiated.  Also, CPAF is typically used only if the value of the task order is more than $2 million dollars. Such task orders will be subject to the additional clauses under FAR 16.307.  The Ordering Contract Officer must determine fair and reasonable pricing, analyze and negotiate fee for all cost-reimbursement task orders as required under FAR 15.4, Pricing, and FAR 16.3, Cost-Reimbursement Contracts.  The government will reimburse the contractor for all reasonable, allowable, and allocable costs detailed in FAR 31, Contract Cost Principles and Procedures.

Further note, where a Prime is utilizing a Subcontractor(s), the Subcontractors cost information is generally proprietary.  Instruct the Prime to either have the Subcontract password protect the document for eGOS upload and the Subcontractor then gives the password directly to the CO, or instruct the Prime to have Subcontractors e-mail the document directly to the CO.

Business Proposals shall include the following:

  1. A cost buildup by proposed labor category: 

Unburdened Rate + Fringe Rate + Overhead Rate + G&A Rate = Burdened Rate + Fee = Fully Burdened Rate

  1. An estimated price for each task (per year of effort), tasks organized into the proposed organization structure.

3)All other costs and the reductions or rebates offered.

  1. The NITAAC Contract Access Fee identified as a separate contract line item number (CLIN).

ESTIMATED LEVEL OF EFFORT (optional, include if desired):  The following is a level of effort estimate. This is only an estimate. Offerors are advised to carefully review the requirement in deriving the level of effort they believe necessary in providing their best value proposal. You are not bound to propose these labor categories or quantities, rather you are expected to provide your best solution citing the labor mix and quantity required to accomplish the tasks.

Labor Category (examples; customize for your requirement)

Base Period

Option 1 - (12 Months)

Option 2 - (12 Months)

Option 3 - (12 Months)

Option 4 - (12 Months)

Project Manager

1,920

1,920

1,920

1,920

1,920

Web Software Developer

6,000

6,000

6,000

6,000

6,000

Business Analyst

1,500

1,500

1,500

1,500

1,500

Computer Systems Analyst

6,600

6,600

6,600

6,600

6,600

Computer Security Specialist

3,840

3,840

3,840

3,840

3,840

Communications Network Manager

3,840

3,840

3,840

3,840

3,840

Help Desk Manager/Specialist

3,840

3,840

3,840

3,840

3,840

Database Management/Specialist

3,840

3,840

3,840

3,840

3,840

Subject Matter Expert

1,920

1,920

1,920

1,920

1,920

Total Estimated Labor

33,300

33,300

33,300

33,300

33,300

The estimated hours and total estimated cost per category are for budgeting purposes only.  The number of hours actually used for each category may exceed or be less than the estimate by category, as long as the total ceiling price is not exceeded.  The Contractor will not be reimbursed for any work performed in excess of the ceiling.

EVALUATION

Note: If Past Performance is not evaluated, delete it from this section. (Delete this statement for your Instruction to Offerors)

Proposals will be reviewed and evaluated in accordance with the evaluation criteria identified below: 

The first three technical factors: A. Management Approach and Technical Capabilities, B. Personnel Qualifications, and C. Organizational Experience are in descending order of importance / of equal importance and when combined are more important than Past Performance.  Past Performance is as important as Price.  Sub-factors listed under each factor are of equal importance to each other.

TECHNICAL PROPOSAL (Volume 1, Section 2)

A.Management Approach and Technical Capabilities
  1. Understanding of the work, including creativity and thoroughness shown in understanding the objectives of the SOW and specific tasks, and planned execution of the project.
  2. Evidence of specific methods and techniques for completing each discrete task, to include such items as quality assurance, and customer-service as detailed in the Quality Assurance Plan.
  3. Ability to address anticipated potential problem areas, and creativity and feasibility of solutions to problems and future integration of new processes and technology enhancements.
  4. Degree to which the offerors quote demonstrates an understanding of logistics, schedule, and any other miscellaneous issues in which the Government should be aware.
  5. Quality and effectiveness of the allocation of personnel and resources.
B.Personnel Qualifications
  1. The currency, quality and depth of experience of individual personnel in working on similar projects.  Similar projects must convey similarity in topic, dollar value, workload, duration, and complexity.
  2. Quality and depth of education and experience on other projects which may not be similar enough to include in response to B.1. (Immediately above) but may be relevant.
  3. The currency, quality and depth of how the Project Director will supervise and coordinate the workforce.
C.Organizational Experience
  1. Evidence that the organization has current capabilities; and for assuring performance of this requirement.  Evidence of supporting subcontractors, consultants and business partners will be considered.
  2. Appropriate mix and balance of education and training of team members.
D.Past Performance (Optional)
  1. The organizations history of successful completion of projects; history of producing high-quality reports and other deliverables; history of staying on schedule and within budget.
  2. The quality of cooperation (with each other) of key individuals within your organization, and quality of cooperation and performance between your organization and its clients.
  3. The organization’s specific past performance on prior similar efforts specified within this SOW.

BUSINESS PROPOSAL (Volume 2)

  1. Cost/Price

Technical Factors are more important than cost or price.  Selection of the firm to perform this task order will be based on the Government’s assessment of the best overall value. 

Offerors will be evaluated based upon cost/price completeness and accuracy to determine the validity of the price, cost/price realism, cost/price reasonableness, and cost/price risk.  Total estimated ceiling price to accomplish the requirement and all of its options will be utilized as a basis for evaluating price.  The factors below will be used to assess whether the Offerors' proposal is complete, accurate, and realistic to minimize cost or performance risk.

Cost/Price Completeness and Accuracy:  The Government will review the cost/ price schedules for completeness and accuracy.  A determination will be made as to whether the offeror has properly understood the business proposal instructions and properly completed the cost/price schedules.  Changes to the evaluation quantities, blanks or zeros in the pricing columns, and/or mathematical mistakes are subject to clarification for confirmation of the offeror’s intent.  The offeror's proposal will be checked for mathematical correctness to include the following:

  1. Checking arithmetic in all computations.
  2. Making sure that all prices/costs are summarized correctly.
  3. Comparing electronic submittals with hard copies; if applicable.

A determination will be made regarding whether the cost/price appears unbalanced, either for the total cost/price of the proposal or separately priced line items.  An analysis will be made by item, quantity, and year to identify any irregular or unusual pricing patterns.  An unbalanced proposal is one that incorporates prices that are less than cost for some items and/or prices that are overstated for other items.

Cost/Price Realism:  The Offerors are placed on notice that any proposals that are unrealistic in terms of technical commitment or unrealistically low in cost(s) and/or price will be deemed reflective of an inherent lack of technical competence or indicative of failure to comprehend the complexity and risk of contract requirements, and may be grounds for rejection of the proposal.

Cost/Price Reasonableness:  The Offerors are expected to establish a reasonable price relationship between all cost/price elements.  An evaluation of the Offerors’ price proposals will be made to determine if they are realistic for the work to be performed, reflect a clear understanding of the requirements, and are consistent with the Technical Proposal.  Reasonableness determinations will be made by determining if competition exists, by comparing proposed cost/price with established commercial prices, other contract vehicles, and/or by comparing proposed cost/price with the Independent Government Cost Estimate (IGCE).  The IGCE is not releasable to the public.

Cost/Price Risk:  Risk refers to any aspect of the Offerors’ proposals that could have significant negative cost consequences for the Government.  Proposals will be assessed to identify potential risks.  Where cost/price risk is assessed, it may be described in quantitative terms or used as a best-value discriminator.

CONTRACT AWARD

Contract award shall be made to the responsible Offeror whose offer, in conforming to this RFP, provides an overall best value to the Government, technical evaluation factors, and cost considered.  The Government's objective is to obtain the highest technical quality considered necessary to achieve the project objectives, with a realistic and reasonable cost.  Technical evaluation factors are more important than cost.  In the event quotes are evaluated as technically equal in quality, price or cost will become a major consideration in selecting the successful Offeror.

Sincerely,

NAME

               TITLE