Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT April-June 2011 Contents ARMY AL&T
CONTRACTING COMMUNITY HIGHLIGHTS
selected to proceed to the next phase in the competitive process
can request a debriefing to learn where their proposals could
have used improvement, then quickly turn their attention to
another business opportunity.
Generally, for a stand-alone Request for Proposal (RFP), the best
three to four proposals will make the cut for Phase 2 evaluation.
For a MATOC, eight to 10 proposals will make the cut for Phase
2, from which three to seven contract awards will be made.
In Phase 2 of the selection process, experts evaluate the design
technical capability, remaining performance capability, and
price. This evaluation takes a deeper look at what's offered
against the expressed needs of the government and the price.
The Phase 2 evaluation determines the best-value offeror(s),
depending on whether the acquisition involves a stand-alone
contract or MATOC.
Pioneers in Savannah
While the two-phase selection process is not new under Federal
Acquisition Regulation Part 36, the Savannah District, GA,
pioneered this approach for USACE, releasing a design-build
construction solicitation employing its first two-phase selection
in FY00, for a $70 million aviation brigade barracks complex at
Fort Stewart, GA.
In the first two-phase solicitation, the contract for which took
approximately 10 months to award with three offerors, Phase 2
contained 11 primary factors and 14 subfactors, compared with
the current process involving up to five factors and no subfactors.
"Increasing transparency has been our primary goal, and a
key lesson we have learned is that giving more information to
industry about how we will evaluate offers is a good thing,"
said Rita Miles, Chief of the Execution Branch (Contracting)
at Savannah District. RFPs issued at Savannah District now
include very specific information regarding the government's
source selection plan, such as the adjectival rating descriptors,
their definitions, and relative importance. More detail is also
given about the evaluation process relative to the steps and how
final ratings are determined by the source selection board.
Savannah District receives relatively few protests under the two-
phase selection process. Offerors sometimes protest to obtain
information; however, as a result of the openness of this process,
generally they already have useful information on the results
of their evaluation. They receive feedback about how they can
improve future submissions and walk away confident that they
are being treated fairly.
Current processes will be continually refined and streamlined
to meet the challenge, as existing stand-alone "C" contracts,
SATOCs, and MATOCs expire and are replaced, and a greater
number of proposals from industry are received for evaluation.
The two-phase best-value selection process has proven itself
a vital tool in fulfilling the historically unparalleled USACE
construction mission. It takes an average of eight months from
release of solicitation to award base contracts and an average of
75 days from release of RFP letter to award task orders. Time
frames will always be affected by the complexity of the projects.
Having standardized facility types is essential to meeting the
construction demand. Child development centers (CDCs)
are a top priority for the Army, USACE, and the U.S. Army
Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville. Recently, the first
CDC completed under the CoS, a large facility for children
6-10 years old, opened at Fort Lewis, WA. The centers provide
much-needed, affordable day care for Soldiers' children. In all,
more than 20 CDCs are in various stages of construction at such
installations as Fort Bliss, TX; Fort Hood, TX; Fort Lewis; and
Fort Stewart. The majority of projects were awarded under the
southern region 8(a) MATOC.
Funding of the CoS program has been unique. In addition to
the yearly MILCON appropriation from Congress, a number of
CoS projects have also been funded with American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act funds, the most recent being a small CDC at Fort
Polk, LA, for which a contract was awarded in September 2010.
Virginia E. Mitchell was formerly the Principal Adviser for Policy
and Compliance, Business Operations Division at the U.S. Army
Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville. She currently is a
Procurement Analyst in the Contracting Operations Division, U.S.
Army Contracting Command Headquarters, Redstone Arsenal,
AL. She holds a B.S. in social science from Bowling Green State
University and is pursuing an M.A. in acquisition and contract
management from the Florida Institute of Technology. Mitchell
is Level III certified in contracting and is a member of the U.S.
Army Acquisition Corps, Defense Acquisition University Alumni
Association, and National Contract Management Association.
Roofing work progresses on the new child development center at Fort Bliss, TX,
Dec. 9, 2010. USACE has expanded construction at the installation for the past
five years as units of the 1st Armored Division relocate there from Germany.
(Photo courtesy of USACE.)
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