Bidders were surprised on September 7 by the second GSA Alliant 2 extension for both the Unrestricted and Small Business tracks. Most companies were already in the White Glove phase and were getting ready to throw a submission party or take a vacation after months of hard work.
The extension to September 23 took us all by surprise, and many companies are asking the simple question: Why? Here are some possible reasons.
Obtaining signatures on forms. GSA received a lot of complaints about timing. Trying to track down Contracting Officers or Contracting Officer’s Representatives to obtain signatures in August when many are either on vacation or dealing with year-end paperwork is very difficult.
Pre-award protest. The first pre-award protest was filed by Enterprise Information Services, Inc. on August 10, 2016. GSA may be preparing for GAO’s protest decision by ensuring they are fully documenting the evaluation process to counter this and future protests.
More competition. As I wrote in Washington Technology, additional protests may center around a perceived lack of competition. According to the FAR, an agency may extend a proposal due date simply to promote more competition.
Given the extra time, bidders should focus on two areas: compliance and points. Check and double check your proposal submission, and take care of any compliance nits, no matter how trivial they may appear. Also, use the extra days to determine if you can find more or better Product Service Code (PSC) or Leading Edge Technology (LET) projects to achieve a better score.
The extension is indeed unwanted for some bidders, but use the extra time wisely to build the best submission possible.
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.