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TIPSS-4 Small Business (SB) Ordering Procedure - 3. Process Descriptions:

-  Standard Ordering Process:

After determining if the Fair Opportunity Exception applies to a requirement, the prime contractors will be provided the opportunity to submit full technical and cost/price proposals when utilizing the standard ordering process.  If the TO request is complex and requires extensive technical proposals from contractors, the requiring activity shall allocate the proper resources and incorporate a schedule to accommodate the technical evaluation for the proposals according to the technical evaluation plan.  The following key steps provide guidance for the regular ordering process:

• CO issues an RTCP or RTPP, with required attachments such as SOO/PWS/SOW, to the TIPSS contractors.  The request should typically place a limit of no more than 10 pages for the technical proposal, subject to adjustment at the discretion of the CO and customer based on the size, scope and complexity of the TO.  A complete cost/price proposal must be submitted within the page limit identified in the RTCP or RTPP.  The amount of time typically allowed for an RTCP or RTPP response is 15 business days; however, days may change due to the discretion of the CO and the complexity of the requirement. 

• CO will receive proposals no later than stated due date in the RTCP or RTPP and will be distributed to the technical evaluation team to evaluate in accordance with the technical evaluation plan.  If, necessary final revised proposal may be issued and re-evaluated.

• CO will determine competitive range and prepare appropriate documents for internal review boards, and legal and policy reviews.

• CO issues the task order to the contractor selected for award.

• CO issues notification to the unsuccessful offerors.  If requested by the offerors, the CO shall conduct a debrief to discuss the reason(s) for their non-selection.

-  Down-Select Ordering Process:

While it is anticipated that the regular ordering process will be used for the majority of requirements under TIPSS-4, a down-select approach is available for use when appropriate.  This approach may also be used in conducting fair opportunity competitions.  It consists of a Phase 1 request for a brief technical task order proposal and cost estimate, followed by a down-select, and request for full technical and cost task order proposals from the remaining competitors.  The multi-phased process provides three major benefits.  First, it allows the Government to focus the TO selection on the most qualified contractors.  Second, it saves the Government significant time and expenditures associated with evaluating a potentially large number of proposals.  Third, it saves less qualified contractors significant time and expenditure in proposal preparation costs.  The following key steps provide guidance for the down-select process:

• CO issues an RTCP or RTPP, identifying the down-select procedure, with attachments of SOO/PWS/SOW, to the TIPSS contractors.  Phase 1: Request a proposed technical solution, along with management and past performance information within a 5 pages response, which includes a preliminary estimate for cost or not-to-exceed (NTE) estimate.  The amount of time typically allowed for a Phase 1 response is five business days, which may be adjusted based on the scope/complexity of the requirement and the needs of the customer.  Phase 2: CO requests a complete, comprehensive technical and cost proposal. The page limits will be set at the discretion of the CO. Recognizing each requirement is unique, the CO shall procure services that meet the expectation of the requiring activity offices.

• CO will receive proposals and distribute to the technical team to evaluate in accordance with the technical evaluation plan.

• Evaluation of Phase 1 proposals and estimates are conducted by the technical team designated in the written technical evaluation plan.

• Based on the evaluation results, the CO performs a down-select that identifies the contractors that are eligible to compete for the TO.

• CO only invites offeror(s) that are eligible to participate in the down-select process to submit a Phase 2 RTCP.

• Evaluation of the Phase 2 proposals and estimates are conducted by the technical evaluation team designated in the written technical evaluation plan. If, necessary final revised proposal may be issued and re-evaluated.

• CO will determine competitive range and prepare appropriate documents for internal review boards, and legal and policy reviews.

• CO issues task order to the contractor selected for award.

• CO issues notification to the unsuccessful offerors.  If requested by the offerors, the CO shall conduct a debrief to discuss the reason(s) for non-selection.

-   Fair Opportunity Ordering Process:

The TIPSS Office announces task order competitions via email to all eligible contract holders, unless one of the exceptions at FAR Sub Part 16.505(b)(2) applies. This announcement satisfies the requirement for a fair opportunity to be considered. It is the contractor’s responsibility to ensure that the TIPSS Office has the current e-mail address(es) for company points of contact and the e-mail accounts are able to receive solicitation documents. Contractors must reply within one business day via e-mail when in receipt of the solicitation.

In accordance with FAR Sub Part 16.505(b)(1)(iv), to assist in streamlining efforts of the Fair Opportunity Process, the CO will review and monitor the contractor’s performance, quality, timeliness and cost control under each task order.  If the contractor is in default of any of these areas, they shall not be invited to participate in the next request for requirement.  It is the responsibility of the contractor to thoroughly review the solicitation and determine whether or not to submit a proposal. If a contractor decides not to submit a proposal, the contractor is required to submit an e-mail specifying its decision to propose or not.

The announcement will include, at a minimum, the following information:

(a) Solicitation Number;
(b) Date of Announcement;
(c) Customer Organization/Agency;
(d) Statement of Objectives (SOO) or Performance Work Statement (PWS) or Statement of Work (SOW);
(e) Instructions for submission of technical and cost/price proposals;
(f) Evaluation criteria and relative order of importance (if applicable);
(g) Anticipated Contract Type;
(h) Incumbent Contractor, if any;
(i) Contracting Officer/Specialist and Lead COTR assigned: name, phone number, e-mail address and fax;
(j) Due date for all questions; and
(k) Proposal Due Date.


Fair Opportunity Ordering Exceptions:

In accordance with the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (FASA) and FAR Subpart 16.505(b)(2), the CO will provide all awardees a “fair opportunity” to be considered for each order in excess of $3,000, unless one of the conditions below applies:

      (1)  the agency need for the particular services is of such urgency that providing all contract awardees an opportunity to be considered would result in unacceptable delays; or

      (2)  only one contract awardee is capable of providing the services at the level of quality required because the services to be ordered are unique or highly specialized; or

      (3)  the task order is to be issued on a sole source basis in the interest of economy and efficiency as a logical follow-on to an order already issued under the contract, if all awardees were given a fair opportunity to be considered for the original order; or

     (4) it is necessary to place an order to satisfy a minimum guarantee.

The CO will document the appropriate exception used to issue task orders under the Sole Source Methodology. Any order contemplated under one of the exceptions identified above shall be reviewed, with concurrence by the IRS Small Business Specialist, and approved by the TIPSS-4 Branch Chief and/or Assistant Chief in accordance with IRS Policy and Procedures.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 03-Feb-2014