As a government contractor, you may be wondering what takes the government so long to award a contract. You did your part by identifying and capturing an opportunity for your organization and writing and submitting a proposal, but what happens next? How do you go about preparing for the source selection and evaluation phase of the pre-award procurement process?
According to Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 15.3, the objective of the source selection and evaluation process is to determine and select the competing proposal that represents the best value for the agency’s needs in regards to a Request for Proposal (RFP). Although lengthy, the process is necessary to communicate the agency’s requirements and objectives as stated in the Source Selection Plan (SSP), aligned with the Acquisition Strategy.
Why is the Award Process Taking So Long?
When solicitations are posted, agencies often receive upwards of 20 to 30 proposal or quote submissions to review. From there, the agency must establish an evaluation process, which occurs once the Source Selection Authority (SSA), Source Selection Evaluation Board (SSEB), Source Selection Advisory Council (SSAC), and any other necessary team members are brought together by the agency to execute the source selection mission of a particular acquisition.
Once the team is put together, they must go through all of the submitted proposals to make sure they meet the requirements under FAR Section L/M, to determine a competitive range for the award, and then finally, deliver Best and Final Offers (BAFO) request to the selected proposal submission offerors determined by the competitive range. This tedious process can take the agency months to work through, so it’s important to make sure your organization is ready to receive the BAFO request and award if given.
You Won the Contract! Now What?
Once you finally reach the step of winning the contract – assuming there are no protests or change amendments – the work really begins. Now, your organization has to fulfill the requirements and obligations stated in the contract, including execution of any transition plans. How do you stay organized during this process?
- Reread the contract. It’s important to reread the contract once you win an award in order to know exactly what deliverables your organization is responsible for providing to the agency.
- Build out your team. Assign internal responsibilities and make sure everyone is comfortable with their roles, validating and completing all teaming, hiring and other sourcing agreements – including facilities.
- Connect with the Contracting Officer. Schedule a meeting with the Contracting Officer to go over expectations of the project and the scope of work required.
- Validate your solution. Your accepted offer may include products and services, as purchased or built, implemented and operated over time. Validate both with the Contracting Officer and with the program or project leadership, as possible, that your solution meets the scope of work, budget and time-sensitive requirements.
- Finalize your Program Management procedures. Complete your plans – as proposed and/or directed by the government – for providing your product or service and create a detailed timeline. Be sure to put reviews in place to ensure that you’re meeting all the agency’s guidelines.
In order to help influence the capture, evaluation and award process for mission opportunities specifically targeted to your company, the Capture2Proposal platform provides essential industry-specific features not offered by other CRMs such as Probability of Win, Teaming, and Decision Gate Reviews. This is in addition to very unique CRM features including managing Government contacts (e.g., Agency Small Business Advocates, Contracting Officers), teammates and other contacts in one location. Capture2’s CRM allows you to assign roles, permissions and invite people to collaborate.
If you’d like more information on how to set your organization up for success in the Federal acquisition lifecycle, watch our “Ask a Contracting Officer” webinar, or contact us today to find out more about the industry-leading GovCon platform we offer to help.