Questions Asked During “Developing the Technical and Past Performance Volumes” Workshop

A few questions from a recent workshop

If the RFP is a HubZone set-aside, is it required that 51% of work is done by the Prime that must be a HubZone or that 51% of the work be done by HubZones across the team?

      Answer:  51% or more of the work must be done by HubZones that can be cumulative effort of Prime and Subcontractors – for services contracts.  Guidance can be found in 13 CFR 125.6 (Limitations on Subcontracting).  The below is excerpted:

 (c) A qualified HUBZone SBC prime contractor can subcontract part of a HUBZone contract (as defined in § 126.600 of this chapter) provided:

(1) In the case of a contract for services (except construction), the qualified HUBZone SBC spends at least 50% of the cost of the contract performance incurred for personnel on the concern’s employees or on the employees of other qualified HUBZone SBCs;

By what date prior to proposal deadline can they make RFP changes?

      Answer:  Changes to the RFP can occur at any time prior to the proposal submission deadline.  If the change is substantial or the government believes it will drive changes to offeror’s proposals, they will extend the response date.

 On average how long to get a final answer?

      Answer:  After submission of proposals, the time required for the government’s evaluation varies based on a number of factors:  size, complexity, number of offers, urgency of the requirement, etc.  Many solicitations will indicate the date the government intends to make an award.  As a general rule, if you have not heard anything within 30 days of submission, you should query the Contracting Officer as to the status.

 We wish you success in your business endeavors and hope to see you at future classes.

A Small Business Quiz. How Well Do You Know the Basics?


Here’s a quick quiz regarding small business relationships with the Federal Government :

  1.  True/False?  Marketing business capabilities to a program/project manager is not allowable by the FAR.
  2.  True/False?  A great idea coupled with great execution is a formula for success.
  3.  True/False?  Who you know matters more than what you know.
  4.  True/False?  In government business financial models aren’t relevant
  5.  True/False?  I submitted a proposal response to an RFP.  I noticed some inconsistencies  with how the Governments procurement team was handling the Source Selection.  Am I allowed to protest before award?

Our response:

  1.  False.  A small business is allowed to market its capabilities to an agency prior to release of a solicitation.  The agencies purposely release RFI’s and Sources Sought Synopsis to identify qualified small businesses to address its requirements.  See FAR
  2. False.  You need more than a great idea to be successful.  You will want to consider the following during your journey to small business success.  A. Who is the customer and what does he/she need.  Addressing a potential clients needs may or may not be relevant to your great idea. B. What differentiates your product/service from the masses and why will the client buy it?  You sell a quality product or service at a fair/reasonable price and it meets the client’s needs.
  3. True.  In many ways conducting business with Uncle Sam is similar to commercial business.  Building a relationship with either the program office or contracts shop will help in developing trust and mitigating risk.  The relationships yield recommendations and follow on business.  Don’t sell yourself short in this.
  4. False.  Financial model s are tools that provide insight into “what if” scenarios that aid a business in determining what it takes to reduce risk, gain trust and  “make a buck”.
  5. True.  FAR 33.1 identifies scenarios where a Protest may be filed before contract award.

Hopefully you did well and scored “correctly” on all 5 questions.  The quiz is designed to aid the small business to recognize some of the things that often trip up small contractors on the way to becoming a better, smarter more profitable vendor.

Job Order Contracting and the Use of Pricing Coefficients

This Blog topic has been developed in response to a question about Coefficients in Cost Estimating.

What is Job Order Contracting? Job Order Contracting (JOC) is a tailored contract type used in construction for renovation, remodel and repair projects. Job Order Contracting is authorized by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (See AFARS 5152.237-9000 Economic Price Adjustment (Job Order Contracts)). It is often a multi year (Base +) contract using established and documented unit pricing at its base. It is similar to an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) scenario that allows for a contractor to be assigned tasks (work orders) IAW the negotiated book (IDIQ) price. Once a Job Order Contract is in place, individual work orders are issued that can be priced and executed in an efficient and timely manner. The negotiated book price is determined ( “marked up or down”) by the coefficient applied by the contractor to the base to achieve the contractor’s price.

Job Order Contracting is used broadly by the Federal Government, state governments, universities and community colleges, hospital systems, K-12 school districts, city, county and municipal governments and clients who have significant facilities infrastructure needs. A successful Job Order Contracting program exhibits a process to select qualified competitive contractors and the use of pre-agreed pricing that combines industry standard price information (e.g., a price book) and a contractor’s pricing coefficient.

What is a Coefficient? The coefficient, also referred to as the “multiplier “or “factor”, is the markup or markdown (discount) applied to the base IDIQ price to arrive at the contractor’s price. Examples: 1). A coefficient of 1.08 means the contractor will perform line items in the unit price book for an 8% markup. 2). A coefficient of .97 means the contractor will perform line items for a 3% discount. The coefficient is considered “fully loaded” and includes all costs including general conditions, overhead and profit.

Information excerpted from DAU, the AFARS, and Wikipedia.

–Frank Lane