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Government Contractors

It’s About Time: GSA Finally Releases Alliant 2 Request for Proposals

On June 24, 2016, the General Services Administration (“GSA”) released its Request for Proposal (“RFP”) for the long-awaited Alliant 2 Small Business (“A2SB”) Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (“GWAC”). The government estimates that a maximum of 80 awards will be made for A2SB, which has a $15 billion ceiling over 10 years. A2SB will be an  contract that provides IT solutions through a broad range of services. For contractors deciding or preparing to bid on A2SB, it is imperative to gain sufficient information about the RFP and its scoring methodology. GSA officials are adamant that respondents read the entire 174 page RFP, which also includes 11 pages of supporting documents.

The self-scoring methodology includes sections for:

  • Relevant Experience
  • Past Performance
  • Systems, Certifications and Clearances
  • Organizational Risk Assessment
  • Cost/Price
  • Responsibility

These parts total for a potential 75,600 points. While the Alliant 2 team has stressed there will be no requirement for a minimal passing grade, they will order the offers from highest score to lowest score to establish the preliminary top 80. The top 80 will next need to pass the Acceptability Review, which requires the offerors’ SF 33, proposal checklist, document verification/self-scoring worksheet, meaningful relationship commitment letters (if applicable), existing joint venture/partnership (if applicable), professional employee compensation plan, and uncompensated overtime policy.

Contractors now have less than two months to read through the A2SB RFP and prepare proposals to meet the August 29 deadline. If your company is responding to the A2SB, Cherry Bekaert can aide in the process. We provide third-party assessment reports that are capable of complying with Federal government cost accounting requirements. Contractors can have an assessment performed by a third-party CPA firm to provide assurance the accounting system is capable of receiving flexibly priced contracts.

Of all the systems requirements in the RFP, the accounting system survey is worth a total of 5,500 points and the purchasing system review is worth a total of 1,500 points. Approved billing rates (and forward pricing rate agreements/forward pricing rate recommendations as applicable), an acceptable estimating system, and an acceptable Earned Value Management System are only worth 600 points in aggregate.

As we previously discussed relative to the draft RFP, the wording surrounding reviews of both systems is interesting. If the offeror has a Defense Contract Audit Agency (“DCAA”) audit report that is older than five years, the offeror may obtain a third-party review of the accounting system and still earn the points.

For the purchasing system, there is no reference to the ability of a company to work with a third-party CPA firm. Since the likelihood of Defense Contract Management Agency (“DCMA”) performing a purchasing system review on most companies are slim, it is possible for the offeror to work with their Cognizant Federal Agency (“CFA”) and have the CFA request a third-party purchasing system review to satisfy the RFP requirements.

During the first competition, GSA had similar language that ultimately led to protests. While the language has been revised, it seems that there is still room for protests. It is likely that some bidders will not receive points even though their business systems are fully compliant and potentially even better than those that do receive the points. The fact that the government (in some cases even though they had been required) has not performed the survey, is penalizing the contractor for the acts of the government.

For questions regarding accounting system requirements or the A2SB, please contact Cherry Bekaert’s Government Contractor Services Group.

 

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