After the Department of Homeland Security cancelled the $1.5 billion Flexible Agile Support for the Homeland (FLASH) procurement May 26, the vendor community was irritated, and rightfully so. This Small Business (SB) set-aside, procured through the DHS Procurement Innovation Lab (PIL), required time, money, and expertise to undertake a technical challenge. Bidders had to demonstrate specialized skills in the incremental Agile software development methodology with rapid prototyping and better user interfaces. Numerous protests and a cancelled procurement After 111 companies applied for a spot on this IDIQ through a process that included limited written proposals, a three-minute initial video, and a four-hour live technology demonstration, DHS made 11 awards that were quickly the subject of 35 separate protests by 10 bidders. Protests centered around numerous mistakes made in the evaluation process. When DHS subsequently cancelled the procurement after six months, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) dismissed the protests. Industry outcry … Continue reading DHS FLASH 2.0: Should you invest in this procurement?
Proposal professionals use the term wired to refer to a request for proposal (RFP) they believe is rigged to ensure one company wins. Customers rig an RFP by using specific requirements and evaluation criteria that favor one company versus the competition. Although there are many ways to wire an RFP, here are 10 common methods: Customers select an acquisition vehicle that severely limits the competitive field Resumes are required for all or most positions, even non-management positions Resume requirements reflect obscure or hard-to-find skills, education, or certifications Evaluation criteria (usually >60%) is weighted in favor of resumes and past performance Threshold for using a past performance reference limits the competition Technical requirements are so specific only an incumbent could respond to them Customer’s objectives and technical requirements are so vague they are hard to interpret RFP asks the offeror to respond to multiple sample task orders that are specific Turnaround … Continue reading A 360 degree view of wired RFPs