Archive for Federal Contracting

OASIS Amended and Extended

It’s back to the drawing board for both large and small businesses. GSA has amended the OASIS RFP for the third time.

The newest update to the OASIS solicitation includes 11 updated forms and changes to the instructions for 5 out of 6 volumes, including file naming convention changes. The government has reduced the number of required relevant experience projects and the minimum values. This may enable some small businesses to participate in the OASIS opportunity who thought they were excluded due to a lack of projects.

OASIS is a complicated solicitation, and after 3 amendments, each with numerous updates, many proposal writers are lost in the quagmire. Save yourself the trouble of trying to decipher – not only the solicitation itself, but the modifications to the RFP you begin working with. Fedmarket offers updates to customers who purchase our OASIS Model Proposal product. We are currently up-to-date with the most recent amendment issued on September 11, 2013.

OASIS: More Amendments and an Extension, Yes or No?

Currently it appears that GSA is not going to amend the OASIS Small and Large Business Solicitations again or extend the due date of 9/17/13.

Multi-disciplined professional services companies cannot afford to pass up the large revenue potential of OASIS. OASIS is one of a kind and offers great flexibility for federal contracting officers. Historically contracting officers have experienced trouble procuring multi-disciplined professional services through a multiple award contract and have been forced to use expensive and time consuming public bids.

Small businesses are questioning their project experience qualifications because the experience criteria in the solicitation is stringent. Small businesses on the edge should consider bidding because:

  • GSA may have trouble qualifying enough small businesses to be politically correct with Congress and the small business community.
  • The solicitation scoring scheme encourages bidders to submit qualifications that partially meet the solicitation criteria.
  • Proposal writing is largely mechanical using Fedmarket’s OASIS model proposal template with its compliant file structure, file names, and required forms. Technical content is not required and the bulk of the proposal effort involves assembling proof of project experience. Project experience criteria in the solicitation require the bidder to show contract size, work scope, the NAICS code(s) for the contract and proof of performance from (1) contractual documents, (2) federal performance databases, or (3) a questionnaire completed by the federal customer.

It’s all about your score across a wide range of criteria and the number of bidders that qualify for each of the seven pools.

Questions about OASIS call 888 661 4094, Ext.2.

OASIS: More Amendments and an Extension, Yes or No?

OASIS Model Saves Days of Proposal Writing Time

Fedmarket’s OASIS Model Proposal can save days of proposal writing time. Not to mention the proposal writer migraines’ caused by an overly complex solicitation.

Fedmarket’s proposal writer spent about 15 hours preparing each OASIS Model (large and small business versions). The model consists of six volumes with over 50 files formatted according to the solicitation file formatting requirements and proposal submittal instructions. The files contain file completions instructions and model text whenever possible. Instructions are written by deciphering GSA’s overly complex and poorly written criteria for required corporate experience evidence, pool certification requirements, and required contractor certifications for administrative and financial systems.

To exasperate proposal writing requirements GSA has now issued amendments as a result of vendor protests that require Fedmarket to update the OASIS Models for model owners, both large and small. The time required to write the models and update the models based on amendments is longer than would appear on the surface because of the need to meet overdone volume and file format compliance requirements.

Fedmarket is anticipating further amendments and proposal due date extensions requiring more updates to the models.  Each time a amendment is issued, it takes considerable time to update the models for our customers. We are recommending to our customers to wait until the dust settles around protests and amendments before filling out templates completely. In the interim customers should gather the basic data required for corporate experience and pricing in order to eliminate last minute proposal writing crises.

The number of amendments and proposal due date extensions is anybody’s guess.

Welcome to the world of OASIS.

Fedmarket offers a variety of proposal templates, click here, to view.

OASIS Protest Sustained

OASIS protest has been sustained temporarily with a decision by end of September.

Agency-level protest of GSA’s OASIS contract moves forward.

Although most protests lose, Fedmarket believes:

  • There is a good chance the small business qualification requirements will be relaxed because it is the “politically expedient thing to do”.
  • An extension of the proposal due date from 9/17 to somewhere between 10/15 – 11/15 is highly likely.

OASIS Final RFP, a Lesson in Forms Completion

The final GSA OASIS large and small RFPs have arrived at Responses to the RFP are essentially a forms completion effort once a company has determined that it qualifies for a large or small business award.
Is OASIS too complex?
Fedmarket offers an OASIS Model Proposal template for both the large and small business RFPs. Our models save time in completing an extensive forms completion exercised and are designed to ensure compliance to the RFPs.

Can Small Businesses Win Multiple Award Contracts (MACS)?

Yes, but in the following limited circumstances.

Huge professional services and information technology MACs have a small portion of the budget set-aside for small businesses. Small businesses experienced in the market have the best chance of winning a MAC but newcomers can win them with the right qualifications and experience.

GSA schedules are ideal MACs for small business because:

  • Schedules are open to small businesses and large commercial companies without government experience.
  • Schedules are government-wide MACS covering almost all products and services and any agency can place an order with any company holding a GSA schedule.
  • Most importantly, GSA schedules are always open for a proposal as opposed to all other MACS which open and close for a set bidding period. The door slams shut at the closing date for proposals for non-GSA schedule MACs and only the winners can participate in fulfilling orders for billions over 5 years or more.

OASIS Update

OASIS final RFPs are due out in several weeks. On June 24 GSA posted another draft RFP for both the large and small business procurements. The draft solicitation at now says: “The Final Solicitation and complete attachments are anticipated to be released in the mid July time-frame.”

OASIS proposal writing is a complex file manipulation effort requiring great care to ensure full compliance. Our experience is that GSA will use any small non-compliance reason to reject your proposal to reduce the enormity of evaluating hundreds of proposal.

Fedmarket’s OASIS Model Proposals:

  • Reduce proposal writing costs
  • Ensure compliance
  • Simplify task of deciding to submit a bid (by reading the simplified template formats)

The model proposals costs are valuable and worth the savings in staff time in making a bid/no bid decision.

The final OASIS RFPs will not change significantly from the current draft RFPs.

Purchasers of the draft OASIS Model Proposals will receive an updated version of the models within 2 days of the issuance of the final RFP.

OASIS Model Proposal Text  – Get a head start on your OASIS bid with a model proposal.
Read more

Call 888-661-4094, Ext. 2 for more information or to purchase by telephone.

Strategic Sourcing May Favor Newcomers

Federal agencies are awarding contracts to low price bidders more often because of budget constraints. Low price awards are particularly prevalent if the bidder is offering a product that meets the solicitation specifications. Inherently, low price awards are made for purchases that have well defined specifications (products) and nearly equal evaluation scores for services.

Entrenched and incumbent contractors are crying foul because a low price approach encourages awards to newcomers in general or an experienced contractor that is new to an agency.

A Model Proposal Will Work for OASIS

Proposals requirements for an OASIS award include 6 volumes of red tape, experience, references, certifications, and prices. No technical approach or management plan is required.

No original writing is required; just insertion of company information in many, many forms and formats. As a result, a model proposal is comprised of formats, forms, and instructions.

Most importantly, a model approach ensures compliance across 6 complex volumes, and keeps  the proposal from being thrown out due to a technicality.

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