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March 14, 2019

CoE's New RFQ Reflects Industry Feedback

The Centers of Excellence (CoE)’s latest acquisition reflects recent vendor feedback and lessons learned from the first two agency partners.

Last month’s Request for Information (RFI) yielded 121 unique responses from our industry partners and gave the CoE team many perspectives to consider. We incorporated that feedback into our RFQ, which was issued as a Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) for Phase One Discovery and Assessment efforts (Discovery BPA). The Discovery BPA incorporated the following key changes into the RFQ (which can be viewed on our Discovery BPA GitHub repository)

  • A challenge question, specific to a functional area, to test a contractor’s technical capabilities, with responses due within 48 hours of posting
  • A scenario question, specific to the way the CoE operates, to test a contractor’s ability to work with other contractors and government employees in a cross-functional team
  • The ability for a contractor to submit a response to just one functional area rather than a minimum of three

These changes allow the CoE to provide a much quicker acquisition process for agency partners, and hone in on their exact needs by using a pool of multiple awardees for each functional area. The changes also allow more contractors, including small businesses and contractors who specialize in one functional area, to bid on the work.

We have also established the ability of a contractor, who can provide an acceptable organizational conflict of interest mitigation plan, to compete for Phase Two work at a CoE agency partner where they have been awarded Phase One work. Additionally, we want to make it clear that simply being on the BPA will not create a conflict for a contractor who wants to compete for Phase Two work at a CoE agency partner where they have not been awarded Phase One work. Phase One: Discovery & Assessment Phase One work is intended to last about six months. Through the establishment of the Discovery BPA, the CoE aims to have the flexibility necessary should we have multiple Phase One efforts run concurrently or come across an agency partner with unique needs.

During Phase One, the CoE, in partnership with the agency and awardee, examines the areas previously identified for holistic transformation. Phase One concludes with prototypes and implementation recommendations for Phase Two work.

The CoE team will evaluate responses to the Discovery BPA based on a multi-phased approach, focusing on the technical skills of the contractors and their ability to apply those skills to the work at our agency partners. How to Respond

The RFQ is open for questions until Tuesday, March 19, 2019, and open for responses until Monday, April 1, 2019. Interested contractors can view the RFQ on eBuy by searching RFQ ID number RFQ1354052 with a title of “Technology Transformation Services Centers of Excellence Blanket Purchase Agreement.”

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