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									Prepare, Propose, Prevail!

   Enhancing Our Small Businesses’
       Competitive Proposals

            May 27, 2009
             Safety and Administrative Information

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      Welcome Message

  Welcome Message

   Jeffrey M. Cullen
Deputy Director JSC Procurement

  Prepare, Propose, Prevail!

Questions & Answers

                       Topics Covered
• Pre-Solicitation – Monica Craft
• RFP – Bradley Niese
• Proposal
   –   Common Issues with Proposals – Cody Corley
   –   SBA Ostensible Contractor Information – Roberta Beckman
   –   Key Personnel – Kelly Rubio
   –   Past Performance Evaluations – Sheela Logan
   –   Total Compensation – Jannette Bolden
   –   Cost & Price – Jannette Bolden
   –   Proposal Delivery – Rod Etchberger
• SEB Process – Rod Etchberger
• Safety & Health Requirements - Sergio Leal                     5
                       Prepare, Propose, Prevail!

                               ―Pre - RFP‖

NASA – Johnson Space Center
                Pre-RFP Activities

•   Obtain eligibility for federal government contracts
•   Position your company to compete
•   Identify potential opportunities
•   Help JSC create opportunities for small
•   Create a bid/no-bid strategy

         Obtain Eligibility for Federal Contracts
• Identify your product or service—your company’s
  core capabilities
• Know the North American Industry Classification
  System (NAICS) codes for your products/services
  – NAICS codes are used by government agencies to do their
    market research & identify firms that are capable of meeting
    their requirements
  – LESSON LEARNED: Some agencies rely on certain NAICS codes, in
    preference to others, for doing their market surveys. E.g., some
    Department of Defense & Veterans Administration procurement
    offices use the NAICS code for medical/hospital services, not the
    code for temporary services, for short-term medical personnel
    requirements. If you list the “wrong” NAICS code instead of the
    desired one, you won’t be identified as a potential source! Talk to
    the Small Business Offices of your potential customers to discover 8
    these “rules of thumb”!
      Obtain Eligibility for Federal Contracts, cont’d.

• Request a Data Universal Number System (DUNS)
  Number for your company
  – In order to do business with JSC, your company MUST have
    a DUNS number
  – It’s an important identifier, used for many purposes—
    including invoice payments—by government agencies
  – Contact Dun & Bradstreet ( to obtain a DUNS
    number (free service)
     Obtain Eligibility for Federal Contracts, cont’d.

• Request a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
  – In order to do business with JSC, your company MUST have
    a TIN
  – Used by companies to report income tax and for other related
  – TIN is provided by the IRS (
       Obtain Eligibility for Federal Contracts, cont’d.

• Register your business in the Central Contractor
  Registry (CCR)
  – In order to do business with JSC, your company MUST be
    registered in CCR
  – Register at

  – LESSON LEARNED: Keep your profile current! Government
    agencies use CCR capability descriptions, references, etc. for
    their market research, to verify bonding capacity, and to
    identify potential sources!
     Obtain Eligibility for Federal Contracts, cont’d.

• Complete the On-Line Representations and
  Certifications Application (ORCA)
  – In order to do business with JSC, your company MUST have
    completed its ORCA statements
  – This replaces the paper ―reps & certs‖ that were required with
    the submission of bids and proposals
  – Access ORCA at
          Position Your Company to Compete

You should be doing a number of things now!

• Develop a company Safety & Health Plan (details later in this
• Consider pursuing certifications, such as ISO, LEED, CMMI,
  etc.—make your company eligible and/or stand out from the
• Consider SBA certifications—WOSB, SDVOSB, 8(a), etc.
• Develop a relationship with the local SBA and SBDC/PTAC
  offices (Small Business Development Center/Procurement
  Technical Assistance Center—the local office is a joint venture
  with the SBA and the University of Houston—it offers free,
  knowledgeable advice, low-cost or no-cost training, help with
  company business issues and procurement strategies, etc.)
              Things to Be Doing Now, cont’d.

• Know the customer’s priorities, needs, & decision
  making factors
  – Surf JSC’s websites, read our management policies and
    directives, review our contracts and Statements of Work, ask
    for and read our Source Selection Statements to see what we
    look for in successful proposals, examine our buying trends
              Things to Be Doing Now, cont’d.

• Become familiar with the JSC aerospace community
  – Get involved with professional organizations like NCMA,
    IEEE, AIAA, SCE, NMA, JSC Small Business Roundtable

• MARKETING OPPORTUNITY: Offer to do a free
  lunchtime presentation or workshop on a hot topic or a
  technical subject. It shouldn’t be an ―infomercial‖, but
  it’s a chance to show yourself as a source of expertise.
             Things to Be Doing Now - cont’d.
• Participate in JSC procurement events—attend the
  Industry Day, Pre-Proposal Conferences, and One-on-
  One Meetings, even for procurements you don’t plan to
  bid on
  – Learn the rules and the players
  – Chance to give feedback to us on how helpful these events
    are, so we can improve them for the procurements you are
    interested in!

  – LESSON LEARNED: Send the right people to represent your
    company at JSC procurement events—to ask & answer the
    right questions, recognize teaming opportunities
  – LESSON LEARNED: Submit questions! Use the specified
    format (written or oral), but don’t be afraid to ask!
                Identify Potential Opportunities

Sources of Information
•   The JSC Procurement website
•   JSC Acquisition Forecast
•   GSA’s Federal Supply Schedules
•   Other Sources

           Identify Potential Opportunities, cont’d.

• JSC’s Procurement Website direct link is at
  – Also accessible via the main NASA website, select ―JSC‖,
    then select ―Doing Business with JSC‖
  – Extensive information on how to do business with JSC, small
    business information, information and status regarding on-
    going competitive procurements, and links to helpful websites
Access JSC Procurement from the NASA Website

Direct Link to JSC Procurement

          Identify Potential Opportunities, cont’d

• The NASA Acquisition Internet Service (NAIS)
   – Delivers acquisition documents over the Internet to slash
     lead-times, paperwork, and to save money
   – Provides competitive RFPs over $25,000 and a host of other
     procurement-related information
   – In addition to synopses and RFPs, NAIS provides award
     notices, acquisition forecasts, regulations, small business
     assistance and links to other Federal procurement sites on
     the Internet
• Other federal agencies use the and FedBizOpps
  ( systems to
  post procurement information
       Identify Potential Opportunities, cont’d
                        NAIS (cont’d)
• Browsing on-line, companies can quickly identify
  acquisitions of interest. For fast and easy access place
  a bookmark on your favorite pages.

        Identify Potential Opportunities, cont’d.

          NAIS E-Mail Notification System

• The NAIS E-mail Notification System (NENS) allows
  you to receive notifications on NASA acquisition
  opportunities of interest to you
• Register to receive E-mail notifications of new
  acquisitions and updates
• Track acquisition postings by product / service class /
  NAICS Code, NASA center, a combination of the two,
  by specific acquisition number, or by Recovery Act
Sign up for NENS
        Identify Potential Opportunities, cont’d

JSC’s Acquisition Forecast
• Lists procurement opportunities over $100,000 that we
  anticipate releasing during the current fiscal year
• For planning purposes only; the procurements are
  subject to revision or cancellation
• Published twice a year (October & April)
• For planned procurements your company might be
  interested in, you can call the listed point of contact for
  more information

Acquisition Forecast – cont’d

         Identify Potential Opportunities, cont’d.

• Investigate Federal Supply Schedule (FSS)
• Contact the General Services Administration (GSA) for
  information on how to obtain a Federal Supply
  Schedule (FSS) contract. Many NASA purchases are
  orders on FSS contracts.
        Identify Potential Opportunities, cont’d

There are costs to holding a FSS contract—
• Preparing & submitting an offer
• Managing the contract
• Producing GSA Advantage files, & updating them with
  each modification
• Tracking ―Most Favored Customer‖ discounts
• Submitting an EEO plan, complying with various labor
• Accepting credit card payments
• Participating in E-Buy

Despite these costs—an FSS contract can be worthwhile
             More Potential Opportunities

• Other possibilities:
  – Large Business Prime Contractors and Major Sub-
     • For lots of small businesses, the fastest & easiest route to
       joining the JSC Team is as a subcontractor under one of
       our ongoing or new contracts
  – Teaming Arrangements with other small business
  – Investigate what JSC buys on an ongoing basis

             How to Find Out What JSC Buys
• All federal contracts over $25,000 are listed in the
  Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation
   – Access them at
• NASA contracts are also listed in the NASA
  Procurement Data View (see the NAICS website, the
  NPDV tab)
• OR—ask the JSC Industry Assistance Office for a
  download in an Excel spreadsheet. Free, of course!
                Find Out What JSC Buys

HOW-TO TIP: JSC has on-going needs for supplies &
 services. Typically our contracts are let for 3-5 year
 periods of time.
  – Take our list of contracts, do a keyword search on the
    contract description for work you’re interested in, & sort by
    contract completion date.
  – Focus on the contracts that will come to an end 12-18 months
    from now—those are your targets of opportunity!
  – Request copies of the contract, source selection information
    from the contract award, what companies submitted
    proposals the last time, the JSC technical organization that
    manages the contract & what its mission and goals are, etc.
  – Position your company to plan for the follow-on procurement
    before we even start our acquisition planning!
     Help JSC Create Small Business Opportunities
• Respond to RFI’s—supply the information requested—
  even if you can’t perform the entire contract
  Lesson Learned: We use the industry responses to decide 2
    important things: whether or not we can set aside a contract
    for small business, and if not, what the small business
    subcontracting goals should be. If there’s significant small
    business interest/capability, based on the RFI responses, we
    can insist on high small business participation goals. Help us
    help you!
• Review & comment on Draft RFP’s—tell us if the
  technical specs or the terms are too restrictive
• Market your company (judiciously!) to the technical
  points of contact in the Acquisition Forecast—
  especially for the procurements that list ―TBD‖ on a
  small business set-aside decision.
                          Propose or Not
         Lots of factors go into a bid/no-bid decision
              Bid                            No-Bid
• You’ve pre-sold the customer        • It’s a blind bid—you don’t know
• You know the procurement history      anything but what’s in the RFP
  & have a good feel for your         • You have to stretch your
  chances of success, based on what     capabilities & qualification to meet
  you know about how prior              the requirements
  selections were decided             • A strongly-positioned low cost
• You’ve got the people, skills,        bidder is competing for the work
  management to handle the work—      • The contract terms aren’t
  or a solid plan on getting them       acceptable to your company
• You’ve got the budget and time to   • You don’t think your company
  prepare a high-quality proposal       would make a reasonable profit on
• The contract would give you           the contract
  important experience and an edge
  in winning future work
                Propose or Not, cont’d.

• The amount of lead-time, information gathering, and
  prep work you put in to a procurement can push the
  win probability from a low of ~5% for a blind bid on a
  new market for your company, to 75% (according to
  some proposal advisors) on a re-competition with a
  satisfied client
• See NCMA’s Contract Management Magazine,
  ―Bid/No-Bid Decision-Making: Tools & Techniques‖,
  April 2007, for an opportunity/risk assessment grid that
  can help you make the decision
                       Prepare, Propose, Prevail!

                              ―Request for Proposal‖

NASA – Johnson Space Center

•   CCR
•   Draft Request for Proposal (DRFP)
•   Final RFP or Request for Proposal (RFP)
•   Compliance matrix
            Central Contractor Registry (CCR)

  – CCR is the primary registrant database of businesses that
    desire to obtain government contracts for the U.S. Federal
  – CCR collects, validates, stores and disseminates contractor
    data in support of agency acquisition missions

             Draft Request for Proposal (DRFP)

• The purpose of the DRFP is to solicit your input and
   – This is your opportunity to:
      •   Raise questions on the requirement
      •   Raise questions on terms and conditions
      •   Clarify proposal instructions
      •   Suggest improvement to the RFP
• Start outlining your initial proposal
• Use all available resources
             Technical Reference Library

• Take advantage of all resources that are made
  available to Industry by the government
  – In addition to the interchanges listed above, often times a
    ―Technical Reference Library (TRL)‖ is available that provides
    a wealth of pertinent information related to the procurement,
    such as technical specifications, historical procurement plans
    and processes, etc.
• Lesson Learned
  – NASA has looked at why some offerors fail to understand our
    requirements and found that offerors who submit poor
    proposals often fail to access the ―TRL‖

                    When in Doubt - Ask Questions!

                             I’d love to ask a question -
                               but I’m afraid it would
                                   sink our chances!

                                    Cost Form Instructions?
Page Limits?

                                            Conflicting Requirements?

 Draft RFP?

                                     Ambiguous Requirements?
                  DRFP vs. RFP

• Changes will be made between the DRFP and
  the RFP
  – Thoroughly read the entire RFP to ensure all
    requirements are understood
  – If any part of the RFP is not understood,
    ambiguous, conflicts with another section of the
    RFP, etc., ask questions
  – Questions may also be asked anonymously

                   Compliance Matrix

• Create a ―compliance matrix‖ to ensure all RFP
  requirements are adequately addressed in your
  – A compliance matrix is a cross-reference table that traces all
    RFP requirements to the offeror’s proposal section that
    addresses the requirement
  – Can include the compliance matrix with your proposal
    submission to provide the government evaluators with insight
    where to quickly find your responses to specific RFP
  – An example is provided on the following page
Compliance Matrix


• Lesson Learned Continued
  – Offerors should not allow communication outside of the
    SEB/C to influence their proposal strategy
  – Strictly adhere to the RFP in development of their proposal

               Section L - Instructions

• Instructs offerors how to respond to the
• Structures information requested of
  offerors and thereby expedites the
  • Establishes proposal page limits
  • Provides a proposal outline

• Correlates with Section M (Evaluation Factors)

             Section M - Evaluation Factors

• Sets forth evaluation factors/subfactors
• Describes how evaluation factors/subfactors will be
• Establishes:
  – Relative importance of Mission Suitability, Cost/Price and
    Past Performance
  – Identifies the importance of Cost/Price as specifically related
    to the other two factors
  – Provides ―point weightings‖ for each of the Mission Suitability

Follow the Proposal Preparation Instructions!

                 Count the Pages Correctly!
                Don’t Put Technical Information
                      in the Cost Volume!
                        14 + 7 = 20

       We Count the Pages - Anything over the
             limit, we send it BACK!
  Prepare, Propose, Prevail!

Common Issues with

        Writing the Proposal...

                     The Five C’s
              Conforming to RFP
            Common Issues with Proposals

•   Ensuring your offer is complete
•   Statement of Work (SOW)
•   Basis of Estimate (BOE)
•   Associate Contractor Agreements (ACAs)
•   Management Plans
•   Staffing Plans
•   Representations and Certifications
          Common Issues with Proposals

• Ensure your proposal addresses all RFP requirements
  and instructions
• Lesson Learned
  – Failing to include all RFP requirements has resulted in
    proposals being determined unacceptable in accordance with
    NASA FAR Sup. 1815.305-70
                Statement of Work (SOW)
Uniform Contract Format:
  Section                                   Title
     A      RFP/Contract Form
     B      Supplies or Services and Prices/Cost
     C      Descriptions/Specifications/Work Statement
     D      Packaging and Marking
     E      Inspection and Acceptance
     F      Deliveries or Performance
     G      Contract Administration Data
     H      Special Contract Requirements
     I      Contract Clauses
     J      List of Attachments
     K      Representations, Certifications and other statements of Offerors
     L      Instruction, conditions and notices to Offerors
     M      Evaluation Factors for Awards                                    52
            Statement of Work (SOW)

Purpose of SOW:
• To describe the Government’s need and associated
  requirements for the resultant contract
• In the Technical Approach in Section L, the Offeror will
  be requested to describe its technical approach, with
  rationale, for accomplishing the SOW. Specifically, the
  Offeror will be required to demonstrate their technical
  understanding of the work.

                Basis of Estimate (BOE)
Purpose of BOE:
• The purpose of the Basis of Estimate is to provide the offeror’s
  rationale for the skill mix, number of employees, and hours
  proposed. Offeror should demonstrate how the effort will be
  successfully accomplished using the proposed estimate
• In the Technical Approach in Section L, the Offeror will be
  requested to state how they plan to staff and allocate resources
  to accomplish the SOW. The BOE in the technical volume must
  match the narrative technical approach as well as the resources
  proposed in the cost volume.

       Illustration: RFP for Building a Home

Government’s needs:
• 2 Story home with 4 bedrooms, 2 ½ baths
• Site currently uncleared
• Must protect inhabitants from elements
• Cooling and heating provided
• Will be located on Gulf Coast

Offeror’s response must address technical requirements and the
   basis of estimate for the work being performed

                             Good Technical Approach
                                                               Clearing the Land
                                                               • Research on location shows it is a former rice field
                                                               • Land needs to be leveled with sand and packed down
                                                               • BOE: Estimate 5 truckloads of sand,
                                                                 bulldozing/packing down of sand for 3 days, settling
                                                                 requirement for sand 1 week

Foundation / Cement Pour
•   Forms placed, trenches dug, plastic and rebar installed
•   BOE: Estimate 3 days with 4 workers for forms, trenches,
    plastic and rebar – subcontractor to perform work
•   Requires inspection of work by city
•   Permit approved within 3 days of inspection request
•   Based upon foundation and garage dimensions size, 5
    truckloads of concrete will be required
•   BOE: Estimated resources for cement work - 7 workers to
    coordinate pour and smooth the surface for 1 full day
                            Good Technical Approach
                                                                   •    Wood ordered for framing upon initial approval of
                                                                   •    Reinforced walls and first floor ceiling required due
                                                                        to load of second floor.
                                                                   •    Fireplace located on first floor
                                                                   •    Hurricane straps and other protective measures to
                                                                        be used to ensure it will withstand Gulf Coast
                                                                   •    BOE: 2 weeks with crew of five to complete the
                                                                   •    Inspection required by city – additional 2 days

•   Concurrent with final framing activity plumbing will be underway
•   Per SOW – 2 ½ baths are required – per approved plan – 1 ½ downstairs, 1
•   Plumbing for kitchen and laundry room will be accommodated on first floor
•   Subcontractor estimates 3 weeks from initial installation to completion with some
    additional refitting anticipated as water is activated
•   BOE: Two workers, 3 days a week for the three week period
                            Good Technical Approach
                                                         Roofing / Windows
                                                         • Due to Gulf Coast location double paned windows will
                                                           be necessary – ordered upon initial design approval
                                                         • BOE 4 workmen, one day to install windows with one
                                                           day for windstorm certification inspection
                                                         • Roof will be a shingle composite with a 20 year
                                                         • BOE: 5 workmen for three days to complete

Bricking / Exterior
•   Final stage includes bricking and painting of
•   Home is two stories, scaffolding will be necessary
    to ensure safety of workers while bricking
•   BOE: three workmen over one week to complete
    the bricking
•   Painting will be the final step after bricking is
•   BOE: 3 workmen will take 2 days to complete
            Insufficient Technical Approach

• Technical Response:
   – We have reviewed the SOW and we are capable of
     supporting your requirements
   – We have done this type of work before and will ensure that
     the home meets all of the requirements of the SOW
   – There will be four exterior walls which will protect inhabitants
     from the elements
   – There will be sufficient bedrooms and baths to meet the SOW
   – Heating and cooling will be provided
   – Our personnel have built homes over the past 20 years in the
     Gulf coast area and will more than satisfy your needs
   – Trust us, we will do a great job for you
               Insufficient Technical Approach

• Basis of Estimate:
  – We will use the estimate provided by the Government in the
    RFP (No other explanation provided)
  – We will use 3 people (a supervisor and 2 builders) to build the
    house (No rationale as to how only 3 people can complete
    the work on time and fulfill all roles – plumbing, electrical,
Insufficient Technical Approach

    Is this what we are getting?
       Associate Contractor Agreements (ACAs)
  – The success of JSC is dependent on all contractors and civil
    servants working together for a common purpose.
    Contractors must be able to demonstrate how they will
    interact, engage, and partner with other NASA Contractors in
    order to accomplish the mission
  – RFP’s will often discuss Associate Contractor Agreements
    (ACAs) in Section C, Statement of Work and in Section H,
    Special Contract Requirements. Section L will instruct the
    offerors what specifically is required to be submitted relative
    to ACA’s

 Illustration: RFP for Building a Home: Assume the city building
                inspector is a separate prime contractor
               Good Response for ACA

• Our goal is to develop ACAs which will allow for
  effective working relationships with the other
  contractors at the center
• We have initiated contact with the other contractor(s)
  and have begun documenting the interfaces necessary
  with the other contract(s)
  -   City building inspector will be required throughout the
  -   Has been contacted and notified of our intent to pursue an
      ACA documenting roles and responsibilities of the inspector
      in our home build

               Good Response for ACA

• Our schedule, as follows, for ACA implementation
  shows that we will be able to have ACAs approved at
  or shortly after contract start
• The below shows the elements deemed to be critical
  to implement under the ACAs by contract
  -   City Building inspector - need inspection and approval of
      various phases to continue and complete project
• We expect significant benefits by implementing the
  ACAs with the other contractor
  -   Improved communication throughout phases of project
  -   Improved quality / cost control
  -   Increased speed of completion                               64
           Insufficient Response for ACA

• We will diligently work with all contractors listed in
  Clause H.#, Associate Contractor Agreement to
  ensure that requirements are met and schedules are

• Specifically, we will work with the city inspector to
  make sure an ACA is developed

                 Management Plan
• The purpose of the Management Plan is to provide an
  overall description of how the contractor will manage
  and implement the SOW and ensure acceptable
• Items such as organization structure, key positions and
  lines of authority may be requested in the RFP

                   Management Plan
• RFP’s may request a Management Plan be submitted
  with the Offeror’s proposal
• Often the Management Plan will become a part of the
  contract upon award
• Section L/Section J DRD’s will instruct the Offeror what
  to specifically address in their management plan

 Management plans may be proprietary if marked as such in your
         Good Response for Management Plan
• Our organization structure will allow direct
  communication with the JSC organization we are
  supporting. Responsibility for managing specific
  portions of the effort has been pushed down to the
  lowest levels which tie directly to the JSC organization.
  (can include an organization chart mapped to the
  Government organization chart)

• Our Program Manager has full authority for activity on
  the contract and also has a direct line of communication
  to our corporate CEO and VP ensuring that any
  corporate help/interaction necessary will be sent to the
  highest levels. (additional details follow)
        Good Response for Management Plan

• Our team understands the importance of performance
  monitoring and ensuring contract deliverables,
  including DRD’s, are met. Pursuant to that goal, the
  following internal reviews are planned. (can write or
  present table with review such as weekly staff meeting,
  contract status meeting, etc)

• Our accounting system allows us to track our
  employees time in accordance with DCAA
  requirements. Sufficient controls are in place to ensure
  unauthorized changes to time and resources are not
  able to be authorized by a single user.
        Good Response for Management Plan

• We have reviewed the SOW and determined the
  following to be key positions for this contract. (The
  Program Manager will have a minimum of 10 years of
  technical and supervisory experience in residential

      Insufficient Response for Management Plan
• We will manage the work and ensure that our
  customer’s needs are addressed and the lines of
  communication kept up
• We will utilize the plan of the current contractor as it
  has already been approved by the Government and is
  working well
• We will structure our organization to meet the
  requirements of this contract
  – No org chart or additional details provided
• We are using MS Excel to keep track of employees
  time, accounts receivable and all other financial
  requirements                                           71
                      Staffing Plan

• The purpose of the Staffing Plan is to provide an
  overall description of how the contractor will fill the key
  personnel positions; hire, maintain, and retain qualified
  employees; and manage workload fluctuations
• RFP’s may request a staffing plan. Key personnel
  resumes and commitment level may be requested

                    Staffing Plan

Good Example of a Staffing Plan Response:
• Key Personnel Resume demonstrates the proposed
  personnel’s experience in similar efforts and
  commitment to this effort
• Our crew builders are contract employees. We use a
  construction hiring service to find qualified employees
  in a timely manner
• We work multiple projects, so we are able to move
  employees from one site to another as workload shifts
  thus insuring the critical path of construction is
                     Staffing Plan

• Our electrician and plumbers are subcontractors we
  work with on a regular basis and have standing
  contracts allowing mobilization within two business
Insufficient Example of a Staffing Plan Response:
• We will hire qualified employees once we receive
  notification of contract award. Their names and
  experience will be provided to you at a later date
• Once the contract is underway we will begin searching
  for suitable subcontractors to augment our skills
  (electrical, plumbing)

        Representations and Certifications

• The purpose of the Representations and Certifications
  is for the offeror to provide information required by
  federal regulations on its business.

• RFP’s will request that all offeror’s complete and
  submit the representations and certifications

         Representations and Certifications
 Online Representations and Certifications Application
 (ORCA) may be required to be filled out by the offeror if
   FAR 52.204-7, Central Contractor Registration, is in
                       the RFP

Pay attention to the NAICS code as this will determine if
 you are considered a large business or small business
 for the procurement and impact your ORCA/Section K

Be Old Fashioned - Proofread!

                   This is a Proposal to
                the Air Force…not NASA!

                                  Are these folks
                                   proposing to
                                 Subcontract with
                                XYZ Corporation?

  Prepare, Propose, Prevail!

10 Minute Break
            Prepare, Propose, Prevail!

         “SBA Ostensible Subcontractor Rule”

                               Criteria (new)

   What is the ―Ostensible Subcontractor‖ Rule?

The Ostensible Subcontractor Rule makes a
small business ineligible for award of a contract if:
      they are proposing a subcontractor that is a large
     business or proposing a teaming arrangement with a
     large business and
      this large business will perform the primary and vital
     requirements of the contract
(i.e., a large subcontractor or team member will perform the majority of the main work that a contract requires)

                                                                      (13 C.F.R. § 121.103(h))

The SB prime must perform the primary/vital requirements
  Does the ―Ostensible Subcontractor‖ Rule Apply to Me?

 If you, as an offeror, are not proposing a subcontracting or
 teaming arrangement, it does not.
  If you, as an offeror, are proposing a subcontracting or
 teaming arrangement with a small business, it does not.
  If you, as an offeror, are proposing a subcontracting or
 teaming arrangement with a large business and you will be
 performing the primary and vital requirements of the
 contract, it does not.
  If you, as an offeror, would be subject to the Ostensible
 Subcontractor Rule*, reconsider how or if you’re proposing.

*Refer to the SBA’s Ostensible Subcontractor Factors.
                Prepare, Propose, Prevail!
 SBA OSC Factors :
1.   Who will manage the contract?
2.   Which party possesses the background and expertise
     necessary for contract performance?
3.   Which party pursued the contract?
4.   The degree of collaboration employed in preparation and
     submission of the competitive proposal?
5.   The discrete tasks to be performed by each of the teaming
     partners, or whether there is commingling of personnel and
                 Prepare, Propose, Prevail!
7.   The relative amount of work to be performed by each teaming
8.   Which party will perform the more complex and costly contract
9.   The business size of the other parties?
10. Which of the parties possess the qualifications relevant to the
    contract requirements?
11. Describe how the Offeror will ensure compliance with FAR
    52.219-14, Limitations on Subcontracting?
12. Is an 8(a) joint venture being proposed?

             Consider these factors when building your proposal.
         Prepare, Propose, Prevail!

             “Key Personnel”

                         Criteria (new)

                  Key Personnel (KP)

•   The Key Personnel clause varies from one RFP to
•   In general an RFP with the Key Personnel
    clause will:

    –   Identify the key positions
    –   Require resumes of the proposed key persons
    –   Require letters of commitment from the key personnel

•   Do not misrepresent the status of the key persons
    proposed to work on the project

                     Key Personnel

• Ensure Key Personnel have current & relevant
  licenses/certifications (if required)
• Ensure Key Personnel have updated resumes and
  references (verify telephone numbers, and all contact
• Key Personnel experience should closely match and
  tie to the contractual requirements and job descriptions
  in the RFP
  – If not, show how experience can supplement apparent
• Non-current information, non-available information, and
  inaccuracies may have a negative impact on your
                Key Personnel

   Don’t Leave us Guessing!
• Provide Commitment Letters
• Provide Rationale for Why “Key”
• Provide rationale supporting why each
  Individual is appropriate for the proposed

    Prepare, Propose, Prevail!

Past Performance Evaluations
           Past Performance Evaluations

• The past performance evaluation is an assessment of
  the Government’s confidence in the offeror’s ability to
  perform the RFP requirements, based on relevant past
• Past performance evaluation shall be in accordance
  with FAR 15.305(a)(2) and NFS 1815.305(a)(2)

                   Overview of Changes
• New Past Performance ratings

  –   Very High Level of Confidence
  –   High Level of Confidence
  –   Moderate Level of Confidence
  –   Low Level of Confidence
  –   Very Low Level of Confidence
  –   Neutral

               Past Performance Evaluations

• Emphasis on relevant, previously-awarded contracts
  – Relevance includes dollar value, contract type, complexity,
    and technical content, and within a recent timeframe
• Demonstrate how each past performance experience
  cited in your past performance volume is germane to
  the RFP’s requirements.
• Quality is better than Quantity: A few relevant contracts
  with favorable past performance evaluations is better
  than many irrelevant contracts with equivalent or better
  past performance evaluations

Prepare, Propose, Prevail!

   ―Total Compensation”
         Total Compensation Templates

In order for the Government to do a fair and consistent
evaluation of each contractor’s compensation plan,
each contractor proposing on a competitive
procurement is required to submit Total Compensation
templates which will aid the Government in the
evaluation and provide visibility into the following:
   – Salaries and Wages for exempt and non-exempt
   – Each offeror’s compensation package for exempt, non-
     exempt nonunion, and non-exempt union.
   – Personnel policies and fringe benefits which shall be in
     effect at the time of contract award.
   – Any incumbency assumption proposed by each offeror
     pertaining to incumbency labor rates and seniority rights
     for fringe benefit purposes.                                93
                   Total Compensation

• During evaluation, there has been a great deal of
  inconsistency between the offeror’s narrative
  (Management and Staffing Plans) and their Total
  Compensation Templates
  – Salaries
  – Paid-time off policy/accruals (normally provide general
  – Number of proposed personnel

                 Total Compensation

• Some offerors tend to group their vacation and sick
  leave cost. Vacation and sick leave cost should be
  broken out on separate lines as indicated on the
• Pay close attention to the fringe benefit requirements
  listed in the Department of Labor wage determination
• Some offerors include taxes and workers
  compensation cost on their Total Compensation
  Template. Taxes and workers compensation cost
  should be shown on the Overhead Template and not
  the Total Compensation Template
―Overhead‖ Template

                       Prepare, Propose, Prevail!

                              ―Cost & Pricing”

NASA – Johnson Space Center
                    Cost & Pricing
• Pricing Instruction are tailored for each RFP and
  contract type
  – Maximize the benefit of Pre-proposal meeting Pricing Break-
    out Sessions
     • Bring the person responsible for the touch labor to the
       Pricing Break-out session
     • Ask questions
• Your pricing narrative for Fixed Price Competitions
  should address why your prices are reasonable
Tell a Consistent Story!

               For Example…Compensation Plan
              • Basis of Proposed Salary Levels
              • Fringe Benefit Contents
                  • Health Benefits
                  • Sick/Annual Leave Policies
                  • 401K

                      Cost Volume

Test the Electronic Cost Proposal
   Disk Before you Submit It!



                       Prepare, Propose, Prevail!


NASA – Johnson Space Center
Recognize Today’s Security Environment at JSC

                    Expect Delays at
                       the Gate!

Delivery of Proposal

Delivery of Proposal

Delivery of Proposal

Delivery of Proposal

Delivery of Proposal

Delivery of Proposal

Delivery of Proposal

Delivery of Proposal

                       Prepare, Propose, Prevail!

                          ―Source Evaluation Board‖

NASA – Johnson Space Center
           Objectives of the Evaluation Process
•    Fairness
    - Ensures level playing field
•    Comprehensiveness
    - If we ask for it, we evaluate it
•    Consistency
    - Evaluate against Evaluation Factors – Same depth &
•    Confidentiality
    - Debriefings only time findings are mentioned outside the
      SEB area

             SEB Organization

                    SEB                          Ex-Officio
                     Chair                           &
             Other Voting Members                Advisors

Management                          Technical
 Committee                          Committee

Evaluators                          Evaluators

                     SEB - Flow of Major Events

                          Initial SEB               SOW
                                                                   RFP finalized,
                      official meeting;       finalized. SEB
  SEB appointed                                                   concentrating on
                        Milestones &           develops Risk
                                                                   Sections L & M
                      staffing plans set        Assessment.

Draft RFP Reviewed
  and Issued for      Comments to Draft      RFP reviewed and
                                                                     RFP Issued
Comment. Industry     RFP Dispositioned.        approved.
   briefing held.

Proposals received     Initial evaluations   Competitive range
                                                                 Discussions letters
  & processed in           conducted;         determination
                                                                 drafted, reviewed
 accordance with      any unacceptable        briefing to the
                                                                     & issued.
  Sections L & M     proposals eliminated          SSA*

                                   See Next Chart                * If applicable
              SEB - Flow of Major Events (Continued)

 Discussions held
with all offerors in
                       concluded & FPRs    FPR’s received*       FPRs evaluated*
competitive range*

                                              SSA makes
  SEB Final SSA                                                       External
                         SSA briefed      decision; provides
 Briefing prepared                                              notifications made
                                          selection rationale

                                                                 SEB transfers or
Selection statement
                                             Debriefings          safeguards all
     signed &          Contract awarded
                                             Conducted           documentation &
 offerors notified

                                                                * If applicable   115
                   Source Selection Decision

• SSA considers:                    Evaluation Information Pyramid

  – SEB findings
  – Advice of staff, line
    management & ex-officio
                                          Selection Statement

• SSA decision based on:
                                         SEB Briefing Charts
  – Evaluation factors
  – Evaluation adjectival ratings
                                             SEB Ratings
    and point scores
  – Independent judgment                  Consensus Findings

                   116                     Individual Findings
              Section M - Evaluation Factors

• Sets forth evaluation factors/subfactors
• Describes how evaluation factors/subfactors will be
• Establishes:
  – Relative importance of Mission Suitability, Cost/Price and
    Past Performance
  – Identifies the importance of Cost/Price as specifically related
    to the other two factors
  – Provides ―point weightings‖ for each of the Mission Suitability

                    RATINGS / SCORING
RATING      EQUIVALENT (%)                      DEFINITION

Excellent       91-100       A comprehensive and thorough proposal of exceptional merit
                             with one or more significant strengths. No deficiency or
                             significant weakness exists.

Very Good        71-90       A proposal having no deficiency and which demonstrates
                             overall competence. One or more significant strengths have
                             been found, and strengths outbalance any weaknesses
                             that exist.

Good            51-70        A proposal having no deficiency and which shows a
                             reasonably sound response. There may be strengths or
                             weaknesses, or both. As a whole, weaknesses not offset by
                             strengths do not significantly detract from the Offeror’s

Fair            31-50        A proposal having no deficiency and which has one or more
                             weaknesses. Weaknesses outbalance any strength.

                             A proposal that has one or more deficiencies or significant
Poor            0-30         weaknesses that demonstrate a lack of overall competence
                             or would require a major proposal revision to correct.
     Prepare, Propose, Prevail!

“Safety & Health Requirements”
Guidelines for responding to Safety Requirements


•   Overview of the NASA Safety Program
•   Purpose of your safety and health plan
•   What will be expected of you at JSC
•   The Safety & Health Plan – Dos and Don’ts
• References

      Overview of the NASA Safety Program
• NASA safety objective is
  – To avoid loss of life, personal injury and illness
  – To avoid property loss or damage
  – To avoid environmental harm resulting from any of its
  – To ensure safety and healthful conditions for persons
    working at or visiting NASA facilities
• NASA complies with all applicable regulations
  – NASA safety and health requirements
  – Other:
     • Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)
     • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
     • Department of Transportation (DoT)                   121
       Overview of the NASA Safety Program

• NASA requires every employee to report workplace
  – NASA ensures that there is no reprisal to personnel for
    reporting unsafe or unhealthy conditions
• JSC safety and health program is an integrated system
  of NASA and contractor safety and health programs
      Overview of the NASA Safety Program

• NASA Safety Policy stresses:
  – Individual responsibility of each employee for their own
    safety and that of co-workers
  – Management of hazards for effective compliance/risk
    reduction and continuously improved workplace
• Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  (OSHA) recognized JSC as a leader in health and
  safety by awarding it the ―Star‖ designation in its
  Voluntary Protection Program (VPP)

        Overview of the NASA Safety Program

• As a VPP Star Site, JSC:
  – Has a comprehensive and successful safety and health
  – Is below the national average for the industry in injury/illness
  – Has demonstrated good faith in dealing with OSHA, and
  – Serves as a safety & health mentor to regional industry
       Purpose of your Safety & Health Plan
• To put a system in place to protect your workers
  and assets
   – Every onsite contractor shall have and conform
     to a written safety and health plan
     • Plan your work, work your plan
     • Includes subcontractors
     • Contractual tasks which may be hazardous to anyone
       on and off contract
     • Nearby operations which may be hazardous to your
       workforce and contractual operations

       What will be expected of you at JSC
• Starts dialogue that allows NASA and other
  contractors to protect themselves from hazards you
  will introduce into workplace as you perform your
  contractual tasks
• All contractors performing work at JSC shall comply
  with all applicable safety and health requirements
  – OSHA regulations
  – JPR 1700.1, JSC Safety and Health Handbook
  – NASA 14100, Contractor Safety and Health Program
    (Construction applicable)
  – Your company’s safety and health requirements

         What will be expected of you at JSC

• JSC does not assume the responsibility of the
  ―employer‖ for contractor employees
  – Contractor employer is responsible for the safety of its own
• Failure to comply with safety and health requirements
  may result in contract termination, lower award fee,
  and exclusion from future contract awards
      Your Safety & Health Plan – Dos and Don’ts

  • Tailor your Safety & Health plan according to the
    work you will be performing
  • Read and comprehend the requirements (JPR
    1700.1) and let us know how you will implement
    the requirements
  • Show us how you will perform the work, not what
    you will do
  • Describe how your approach will be more
    efficient and effective
      – Compliance is expected, improvement is a plus
    Your Safety & Health Plan – Dos and Don’ts
Do NOT respond by:
  • Saying you will comply with JPR 1700.1 requirements (be
    specific – give us the how)
  • Saying you will (quote the requirements)
  • Omitting any sub-elements without explanation
      • If you do not explain, leaves us wondering whether
        you missed it or deliberately omitted it for cause
  • Including hazards and controls that are not related to the
  • Including inconsistent approaches, methods in different
    sections of the plan
  • Sending us your safety handbook without correlating it to
    the DRD sub elements
      – Provide a correlation matrix

            Your Safety & Health Experience
• Demonstrated safety and health capability (or past
  – OSHA logs for last three years at establishments you
    identified as evidence of past performance
     • Includes OSHA Form 300 and 300A (or equivalent data if not
       required to maintain log – tabular format ok)
  – Experience Modifier Rate (EMR) history for last three
    years on all policies related to your examples –
    preferably as a letter from your workers’ compensation
    carrier (broker or underwriter)
      • To be accompanied by loss runs from underwriter or
        broker for same periods and policies
  – If exempt from OSHA logs, give rationale and provide
    equivalent data (table form ok)                                 130
          Your Safety & Health Experience
• Your workers compensation information needs to
  include both loss runs and experience modifier rates
  and must cover the sites you identify as examples
  – A letter from your insurance carrier or broker summarizing
    your modifier rate performance is preferred
• OSHA and EPA violations – list them, where
  occurred, date of the violation, and status
• You will be compared to your peers as published by
  the BLS for the NAICS code identified on your 300A
  and checked against public OSHA and EPA records
    Construction – S & H Plan Requirements
• Specified in NASA 01411
  – Requires the following S&H Plan submittals :
     • Contractor's General Safety and Health Plan -
       describes the Contractor’s overall Safety and Health
        – This Plan shall be submitted with the proposal and approved
          prior to contract award.
     • Contract (Site) Specific Safety and Health Plan -
       describes how the Contractor’s General Safety and
       Health Program will be tailored to the activities on this
        – This Plan shall be submitted and approved prior to work being

     Construction – Subcontractor S & H Plan

• Specified in NASA 01411 - The Contractor shall submit
  detailed, written Subcontractor Safety and Health Plans
  to the Contracting Officer. Requirements are in NASA
  FAR Supplement
  – Subcontractor plans shall be approved prior to subcontractor
    work being started
  – Minimum contents of each of the safety and health plans are
    listed in NASA 01411
• NASA Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplements (NFS)
      NFS 1852.223-70 - Safety and Health
      NFS1852.223-73 - Safety and Health Plan
      NFS 1852.223-75 - Major Breach of Safety or Security
• NASA General Safety Requirements
• General NASA information
• Occupational Safety & Health Administration
• Department of Labor-OSHA (VPP website)
• JSC Safety and Health handbook (JPR 1700.1)
          Prepare, Propose, Prevail!

    Questions & Answers

 Questions may be submitted to
     Answers will be posted @

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