The Federal Procurement Process • Planning and Identifying the Need • Requisitioning the Requirement • Set Aside Decision or Purchase From Other Government Sources • Determining the Solicitation Methodology • Public Notification and Preparation of the Solicitation • Issuance of the Solicitation • Bid/Proposal Preparation • Receipt of Offers • Evaluation of Offers • Notice of Exclusion From Competitive Range • Preaward Debriefings (For Firms Not Within the Competitive Range) • Exchanges With Offerors/Negotiations • Proposal Revisions • Source Selection Decision • Award • Postaward Debriefings • Protests
Some Basic Principles • There is much to learn about the federal • procurement process and you cannot expect to • learn everything about it in one day. • Because public funds are used to finance federal • contracts, awards are subject to serious and • continuous scrutiny. • Some of the rules and regulations that govern the • federal procurement process come from political • and social issues.
Basic Principles - 2 • Federal, state, local, and foreign governments all • have different legislative issues that impact on • their methods of purchasing goods and services. • The process involves complex procedures and • practices; even the lingo must be learned. • This different business culture is not for everyone.
Basic Principles - 3 • If you decide to pursue it, you will need multiple • certifications and registrations with different • agencies. • Consider being a subcontractor to an experienced • prime contractor. • America is at war, with special procedures for • national security and for emergencies.
How to Get Started • Decide which market to pursue and focus on it. • Get some smaller orders to develop a track record • and learn the prequalification process. Earn some • money while you are filling out the forms. • Get registered and/or certified for your chosen • market first, and let other certifications wait. • Learn the language – start your own dictionary of • acronyms and terminology.
How to Get Started - 2 • Be an established business with a good past • performance history and good references. • Have established sound pricing practices. • Have a detailed Business Plan and keep it up to • date.
How to Get Started - 3 • Setup your bank account to accept Electronic • Funds Transfer (EFT). • Have adequate working capital to finance the job • (It is unlikely that the government will authorize • advance payments). • Have adequate insurance (and bonds if required) • with a good risk record. • Be able to accept VISA and other government • purchase cards.
Multiple Award Schedules • U.S. government agencies rely on GSA FSS MAS • contracts to save time and resources. • Other agencies have separate but similar IDIQ • contracting programs. • Complex and difficult method of contracting. • If you are patient and learn how, you can get • orders from federal agencies not published for • open competition, especially emergency orders.
How to Get a GSA Number • What is a Contract Number resulting from • submitting a time-consuming proposal in • response to a complex solicitation that takes 6 • months or more. • Different version for each commodity or service • group, in different formats by different GSA • offices. Select one to start with, add others later.
Checklist of Federal Registrations & Certifications • Know your SIC, NAICS, and PSC codes. • Get a Federal Employer Identification Number • from the IRS. • Set up EFT and VISA with your bank. • Get a DUNS number. • Register in the CCR, and update it at least once a • year. Remember the CAGE code and PINs.
Checklist - 2 • Fill in the Dynamic Small Business addendum to • CCR (formerly ProNet) • Determine HUBZone status, and if applicable, • submit a certification application. • Update all of these whenever any of the details • on the applications change. Keep copies. • Start getting orders; don’t wait for the • certifications.
Checklist - 3 • Participants in the 8(a) Business Development • Program are SDB-certified. • Self-certify if woman-owned, veteran-owned, • disabled-owned, minority-owned. • Formal application and certification required for • “small disadvantaged” status. • Some state and local certs available. • Maintain compliance with all state requirements.
The Federal Procurement Process • Planning and Identifying the need. • Requisitioning the Requirement • Set Aside Decision or Purchase From Other Government Sources • Determining the Solicitation Methodology • Public Notification and Preparation of the Solicitation • Issuance of the Solicitation • Bid/Proposal Preparation • Receipt of Offers • Evaluation of Offers • Notice of Exclusion From Competitive Range • Preaward Debriefings (For Firms Not Within the Competitive Range) • Exchanges With Offerors/Negotiations • Proposal Revisions • Source Selection Decision • Award • Postaward Debriefings • Protests
Planning and Identifying the Need • Identify the Product or Service • Prepare the Work Statement or Specifications • Develop the Technical Evaluation Criteria • Prepare the Independent Cost Estimate • Identify Known Sources of Supply
Requisitioning the Requirement • Preparation of the Requisition • Preparation of any Required Justifications • Commitment of Funds • Submittal to the Contracting Office and • the OSDBU
Set Aside Decision or Purchase From Other Government Sources • Review of the Requisition by the Contracting • Office and the OSDBU • Clarifications and Corrections • Other Than Full and Open Competition • Set Aside • Full and Open Competition
Determining the Solicitation Methodology • Appropriate Contract Type • Request for Information (RFI) • Sources Sought • Request for Quotes (RFQ) • Sealed Bids (IFB) • Request for Proposals (RFP)
Public Notification and Preparation of the Solicitation • Formation of the Technical Evaluation Panel • Synopsis on Fed Biz Opps • Preparation of the Solicitation
Issuance of the Solicitation • Electronic • Hard Copy • Will There be a Pre-proposal Conference?
Bid/Proposal Preparation • Technical Issues • Pricing Issues • Responding to Solicitation Amendments • Meeting the Deadline
Receipt of Offers • Public Opening of Bids • Preparation of Abstract of Bids • Proposals in Response to RFPs are Kept • Confidential • Separation of Technical and Price Proposals • Convening the Technical Evaluation Panel
Evaluation of Offers • Responsiveness (Sealed Bids) • Lowest Responsive, Responsible Bidder • Technical Evaluation of Proposals • Cost/Price Analysis (Evaluation) • Technical and Price Evaluation Reports • Determination of Competitive Range
Notice of Exclusion From Competitive Range • Requirement for Prompt Written Notification • Basis for Exclusion • Proposal Revisions Will Not Be Considered
Preaward Debriefings • Evaluation of Significant Elements in Proposal • Summary of Rationale for Elimination • Answers to Questions About Selection Procedures
Exchanges With Offerors • Technical Issues • Cost/Price Issues • Profit/Fee
Proposal Revisions • Impact of Elimination From Competitive Range • To Clarify and Document Understandings • Final Proposal Revisions
Source Selection Decision • Basis • Must Represent Independent Judgment • Must be Documented
Award • Responsibility Determination/Pre-award Survey • Verification of the Commitment of Funds • Must be Based on Criteria in Solicitation
Financial Resources • Have Adequate Working Capital • Establish a Relationship with a Bank • Consider Retaining a Factor • Maintain a Good Credit Record with Vendors • Establish & Maintain a Good Risk Rating • Have a Budget and Cash Flow Forecast • Include a Financial Plan in the Business Plan
Performance/Delivery Schedule • Know What You Can and Can’t Do Under • Various Circumstances • Keep Records of Required and Actual Delivery • and Completion Dates • Establish a method of Scheduling Multiple Orders • Know How to Prioritize Conflicting Delivery • Commitments • Be Prepared to Add Resources When Necessary • Invest in Project Management/Schedule Software
Past Performance • One of the Most Important Evaluation Factors • References Will be Checked – Valuable Asset • Get Customer’s Permission to List as Reference • Maintain List of All Contracts, Required Date, • Actual Date • Report Delays Immediately, Request a Mod • Get Permission to Ship or Perform Early • On-time Delivery Must Not Jeopardize Quality
Integrity and Business Ethics • Do Not Get on the “Ineligible” List • Establish a Company Code of Ethics and • Standards of Conduct, and Teach It to All • Employees • Maintain a Culture of Avoiding the Appearance of • Impropriety
Management and Controls • Organization – Structure, Reporting Relationships, • Controls • Experience – How Long You Have Performed • Accounting – Adequate Financial Management • System Controls • Operations – How You Control the Process • Technical Skills, or Ability to Obtain Them • Train All Employees to Comply With P&Ps • Monitor How Company Lives Up to Them
Equipment and Facilities • Have a System for Acquiring & Maintaining E&F • How You Get What You Need (Inventory) • Consider Teaming to Acquire E&F • Insurance on E&F (Avoid Business Interruptions) • Adequate Security Measures • Be Prepared for Pre-award Audit
Otherwise Qualified and Eligible • Professional Licenses and Credentials • Personnel With Training and Supervision • Socio-economic Status and EEO Compliance • Security Clearances • Assurance that COC from SBA Will be There
Postaward Debriefings • Disclosure of Information on Significant • Weaknesses or Deficiencies • Overall Evaluated Price and Technical Rating • Impact of Past Performance Evaluation/Report • Overall Ranking of Proposals • Summary of Rationale for Award
Protests • Filing a Protest • With the Contracting Officer • At the Agency Level • With the General Accountability Office
Have You Met the PTAP Staff? • Mary Lee Kolich, • Program Director • Arthenia Johnson LeFlore, • Procurement Specialist • Ralph Blakeney, • Technology Manager • Melissa Simpson, • Coordinator/Administration