I have written extensively about the General Service Administration (GSA)’s evaluation approach for GSA One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS), Alliant/Alliant Small Business 2, Veterans Technology Services (VETS) 2, and the new Human Capital and Training Solutions (HCaTS). The advantage for GSA is objectivity since bidders self score, thus supposedly reducing the risk of protest. The advantage for bidders is that they know in advance if they have a good probability of securing a spot on these critical Government-Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs).
A recent article on the HCaTS procurement pointed to some major risks for bidders who fail to achieve compliance. Apparently, GSA did not award the maximum number of slots available and instead disqualified a number of bidders, possibly for compliance issues. The bidders who focused only on their bottom-line scores and did not carefully check the compliance of their proposal and associated documentation lost out. Now 26 bidders have filed protests.
This latest development was on my mind as I reviewed draft VETS 2 submissions. Careful review identified both compliance issues and scorecard errors, all easily correctable when bidders schedule sufficient time for an independent review and proposal recovery. Bidders both incorrectly scored and underscored their submission.
This independent review process is critical to your VETS 2 and Alliant 2 bids. Don’t rely on your internal team members who are probably getting blurry vision assembling the extensive documentation required and completing the scoresheet. Plan ahead to seek a second opinion in order to produce a compliant bid with the maximum possible score.
By Lisa Pafe, Managing Director at Lohfeld Consulting Group. Lisa is a CPP APMP Fellow, PMI PMP, speaker, LinkedIn Publisher, and ISO Internal Auditor with more than 25 years of capture and proposal experience for small to large companies serving civilian and defense agencies. She is the President of the APMP-NCA Chapter and was the Chapter’s Vice President and Speaker Series Chair for 2 years each. Prior experience includes: VP of Corporate Development at Ace Info Solutions, Inc.; President of Vision Consulting, Inc.; VP of Business Development for GovConnect, Inc.; and Director of Marketing for MAXIMUS, Inc. She holds a BA from Yale University, MPP from Harvard University, and MIS from The George Washington University.