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EIS In Scope Review Process and Best Practices

EIS In Scope Review Process and Best Practices

>>Welcome everybody. This is Cindy Still
with the Office of Telecommunication Services. We are hosting the EIS In-Scope
Review Process/Best Practices Training Course today. It will run approximately
to 3:00 p.m. this afternoon. The session will be
recorded, and what we’re going to be doing is holding the
questions until the end. We have created a pod, a Q&A
pod where you can post questions and if you would, if you’re
going to post a question, identify what slide that
question’s related to, if you would, and
we’ll make sure that we answer all
the questions. I know sometimes when you’re
attending these kind of sessions and there’s something that’s
just burning, just go ahead and document it if you
would or, you know, wait until the Q&A
session starts. We’re also– you’ll notice in the file section we have some
pdf’s, you can download those, that will be the session
documentation today, as well as the Solicitation
Guidance, Release One. I believe it’s been
sent out before. I’m not quite sure
if we have it posted but you can definitely
download it. If you, if you can’t
get access to that, then you can email
the TCC email address or let your telecommunications
agency manager know that you need some,
some information. Just from a logistical
perspective, if you could please remember, mute your computer,
mute your phone. And as always, and I’ll
probably end with this, you can always visit
our training page on the EIS child page,
and subscribe to it, because every time
we add something to it you get notified,
as well as the interact, the EIS Interact site where
we have been posting some of the sessions. So you can get access to any of our training sessions we’ve
recorded at some point in time. I think with that,
we’ve got Juanita Bor, I can never pronounce.>>Borba.>>Borba, from out Contracting
and Acquisitions Shop and we have Micah Goodwin who’s with our Solutions
Development Team. And we’ll get started
with Micah.>>Thank you Cindy. Again I’m, I’m Micah Goodwin. I work in the Price and
Technical Development Group in GSA’s Office of
Telecom Services. One of our responsibilities
is supporting the COs in the solicitation [inaudible],
specifically in the, in the tech and price area. And as Cindy mentioned,
Juanita’s going to join me in the, the briefing today, she’s one of the
principle CO’s for, for EIS. So I appreciate people’s
interest in the, in this topic during
this vacation season. I’ve noticed driving into work that the traffic has been
quite relatively light. And I travel in on 66 sometimes,
and the tolls there are based on congestion and I’ve seen it
go $40 or even $50 sometimes. And I’ve seen it at record
lows at $2.50 at times. So that’s all going to change
in, in several weeks though of course, as schools
come back in. So this is the, this
is the agenda. Juanita and I are going
to alternate on some of these topics so we,
as we go through this. So the focus, you know, will be on solicitation scope
review process, associated best practices,
and there will be a discussion of evaluation procedures also. So one of the fundamental
foundations for a successful scope review
is to have a solid solicitation. Next slide. So one way that you
can get assistance to develop a solid
solicitation is through your Transition
Ordering Assistance, or TOA representative
if, if you have one. So these are, this
is a GSA contract where contractors are provided
to agencies to assist with, with that, and if you
want to know more of that, about that you can speak with
your telecom agency manager. Also TOA can arrange to use
the solicitation assist tool which we’ll mention shortly. And also want to mention all
agencies should have available to them the AAI or
All Agency Inventory. So this is, this picks, this is
an inventory of your networks, your WITs, your OSA information
that is available, it’s November and it also provides a
crosswalk to the EIS clearance. So they do the best match up
possible by, by using that. In some cases you still have to, it may not be possible
to match up. But so that, I want
to mention that that, that resource is available. So we wanted to mention, I
mentioned this in the last slide about the Solicitation
Assist Tool. This was developed so that
we could provide assistance to the agencies to craft
their solicitation. This is where like a, a team
will come out to your location. They’ll spend a couple of hours
gathering their requirements. That is one of the
things you have to have is your requirements
together. They will record that in the
session, and then at the end of the session they will
provide a Word document. Where the solicitation
will be about 80% complete. So it will be in the
Uniform Contract Format, services will be
properly identified. It will be the proper
FAR references, there’s also a price template. So that, that’s all provided when you have a session
with them. And then any customization you
need to do to that document, you just do it in Word. So it also incorporates
best practices as we, as we learn about
things, we modify the tool to give enhancements, like
we’ve added some PWS language to make it FAR compliant and
we’re working on producing like statement of objective
type documents from that also. So as time goes on
we add things to it. So again, you can arrange
a session with your TOA rep or your, your account
manager, agency manager. There’s also some
self-help resources. This is where you can learn about the contract,
about best practices. And here we’re just
listing the, the two pricers that are available,
the public pricer which is publicly available,
no, no credentials required. And then there’s the
agency pricer which has, does require credentials. So I’ll just point out that both of these pricers
provide service guides. And what that is are concise
descriptions of the service with examples of pricing. It, instead of reading
a dense RFP or a contract language this puts
this in easily understood form. And then for the agency
pricer also, you have access to un-redacted contract files,
and something we’ll mention is that this is also
where you submit your, your solicitation
for in-scope review. Next. And then we
just want to mention that there’s other
resources available. The MOPS or Management
and Operations handbook, Fair Opportunity Ordering
Guides, and other topics on training is available
on these, these websites that
we provide here. So plenty of information to help
you write a solid solicitation. So that will start talking
about the, the review process. So GSA needs to review
solicitations that are above the Simplified
Acquisition Threshold. That was for proposed change has
been made moving that threshold from 150,000 to 250,000
has not been incorporated with the FAR yet, that change. But you may want to check with your agency’s policy
whether they recognize that, that change at this point, even though it’s not
incorporated into the FAR yet. Also, want to mention that
when you do the submission through the tool that
these are supposed to be final solicitations,
they should not be drafts. If, if it is a draft
it will be rejected. So GSA will review
the solicitation, determine whether it’s within
scope, and report back it’s, its findings with comments in the actual documents
that, that you provide. Also want to note that, you
know, there’s not going to be, we’re not going to
rewrite the solicitation. We sometimes provide
comments that speak to improving solicitations,
something beyond the scope. But that’s not going
to be extension, the, the main purpose is to review
it and tell you whether it’s in scope and there will be
helpful comments in there. But it’s certainly not
going to be a rewrite. So there are basically
three stages of a review of a solicitations,
there’s terms and conditions, T’s and C’s. There’s a technical review
and then a price review. So this slide shows the
depiction of that, that process. So essentially in
the upper left there, that’s where you can
submit your solicitation and anything related, important
documents related to that. So your requirements
documents, price template, any other important attachments. So those will be
submitted, and we’ll talk about the tools that’s
submitted by. And then as we said, in
the boxes shown there, it goes through the CO first
reviews it with the terms and conditions, then it goes
into a technical review, followed by a price review,
and then the CO wraps up, looks at all the comments and determines whether the
solicitation is in scope. Now it’s shown here that this
is like a serial process, but it’s really a, a combination
of serial and parallel. So the, the resources permit
when it first comes in, the CO does the first review, but we often start the
price in tech in parallel. And but for us to formally
finish out the, each review, the one prior to it
needs to be finished. So, so here’s a combination of parallel and, and
series processes. And then as, as mentioned,
there will be an output where your documents are sent
back with our, our comments and a determination
of whether it’s, whether it’s in scope or not. And you know and this is a sort of a simplified description
of the process. Of course there’s discussions
that happen between the groups as reviews are, are done and as
we get comments from the CO’s, we can [inaudible] that as
review the, the technical and those are passed
on to the price, and there might be feedback
going, going the other way too. So again the, the focus is
on, on doing the scope review. We’re not going to
have, you know, extensive comments,
as mentioned. But we will provide,
we do highly recommend that you do review the comments. They’re there to help you have
a, a better solicitation and, and there might be things
that you need to correct. You might be refer, having incorrect references
and things like that. So it’s important
to, to review that. So as mentioned, the
solicitations are submitted through the scope review tool. So and yeah this is a, a
screenshot of that where you go into the agency pricer,
and here you, you can see the dropdown
for tools. You click that and
you can see third from the bottom it
says scope review. And you click in that and
it’s a fairly simple process to make the submission. It’s basically upload
it, your documents, you give some information such
as point of contact and the name of the solicitation and, can
you go back, back one slide? I just want to make the point that the requestor is
really whoever puts this in is the point of contact. So any communications regarding
what stage the solicitation is in will go back to
the, the requestor. So it’s important. There are other people
that need to be informed that the requestor
notifies them, because they, they will get, currently they
will get all the correspondence. We are adding more fields there so that other people can get
information back on the status of the, of the solicitation. So once it’s submitted you’ll
get a receipt that says, that shows it’s been submitted
as it goes from each stage from the initial review to price
detect, you’ll receive updates, emails on that, and then the
final submission you’ll get a notice of, or the final review
you will get a notice of that and you’ll simply need to
log back into the tool, and you can download your
documents from there. So that is the, that
is the tool. And it provides a, a record of
all the, all the steps that went through and again you can
get your, your documents back with all comments embedded. If you have any trouble
using the tool, anything of that nature, there,
there’s of course a help desk. Some agencies also ask
your agency manager to all, also submit for them,
which can be done. So yeah of course when agencies
submit they’re interested in, you know, how long is the review
time, is it going to take. And our goal is to process
these as, as fast as we can. It should be no surprise though
that the, the time is variable. It relies on a number of
factors, such as the, the length and complexity of
the solicitation. We have solicitations that are
up to 500 pages, for example, that’s going to be different than an 80 page solicitation
to review. The quality of the solicitation,
does matter if it’s, there are a lot of
ambiguities, it’s just going to take a lot longer
to, to review it. One of the big factors also
are, are whether how much, how many do we have
in simultaneously? We have a, a number of folks
devoted to this, these reviews. However, they’re, you know,
resources are not unlimited and you know currently
there’s, we have a forecast of 200 solicitations, we’ve
received about 16 so far. So at some point there is
going to be a deluge of these and there will be longer review
times if, if they come in, many come in simultaneously. So our advice is to get
them in as soon as possible. Right now it’s a
relatively light load. And that will change because
not only do we do the reviews of the initial ones, sometimes
they get re, rejected and, and then multiple reviews, or
another review has to be done. So it’s going to be
well over 200 reviews that we’re going to have to do. And I would say you
know, it could, it could take up
to several weeks. Don’t, I would not expect, for
example, it would not be common for solicitation,
solicitation to come into us and be reviewed that,
that same week. So build that in, into your
schedule, you know, it, it could take up
to several weeks. Right now it’s a little,
maybe averaging a little over two weeks for,
for a, a review. But as I said, workload,
how many are in cue could easily change
those, those figures. So again, we recommend
highly that you get them in as soon as possible. And just want to reiterate if
you’re, if you ever want status on your review, one way
is to go into the tools, look at what stage it’s in. Or you can contact your AM and
we can coordinate with them to, to provide any updates. So, so we’ve given an overview
and now we’re going to go into sort of more detail of
each stage of the review. So Juanita is going to speak to
the, the first step regarding that terms and conditions.>>Thank you Micha. This Juanita, I’m one of the
contractor officers under EIS as Micha had already introduced. This is a disclaimer, the following represents
GSA’s guidance on solicitation best practices,
and it’s based on our reviewing, or reviews of past solicitations and also establishing task order
evaluation procedures that’s based on FAR 16.505. And Micha has, has already
presented the primary purpose of the solicitation
review is to ensure that services being
procured are within the scope of the EIS contract and we
do provide comments at times that may improve the
quality of your RFP, but if an agency chooses
not to amend their RFP based on our comments, this
is solely your decision, and we’re not an
enforcement agency. Next slide please. The following recommended
scope considerations have been developed, again based on
reviewing terms and conditions of previous solicitations, and this is from a
contract chain standpoint. So the first item here,
your solicitation needs to include clear, well
defined, concise requirements. So just like any other
acquisition the vendors need to know your forecast of the
requirements that you intend to transition and/or purchase. And what they’re
going to be awarded. So we, I refer to these
as mandatory requirements or required requirements. However you guys would
like to state that. So for anything that’s
not included in these mandatory requirements
but you may wish to purchase in the future, such as things
like additional quantities, additional services,
increased bandwidth just to name a few examples, these
would be considered your options to buy requirements,
or price options. And I will go over that in
more detail further along in this presentation. But these option to buy
requirements need to be included in your solicitation,
vendors need to price them, they need to be evaluated
and included as part of your total evaluated price. So if you include mandatory
and optional requirements in your solicitation you need
to correctly list them and label in sections B, C, and the
price models solicitation. You need to distinguish which
ones are mandatory verse, versus which ones
are optional to buy. Also you need to ensure all
applicable sections are included in the agency solicitation. It’s not mandatory for you to
use the UCS format, however, in order to facilitate a
quicker review, it’s recommended that you use, you
do use the UCS. Ensure the solicitation does
not include redundant clauses. So there’s a lot of EIS contract
clauses already included [inaudible] your task order. So you do not need to
reiterate the same clauses into your task order. Ensure solicitation does
not include any clauses that contradict the EIS clauses. For example, if you add
cost reimbursement clauses, that’s not allowable under EIS. Next slide please. This is a continuation. So also you want to ensure the
solicitation does not include restrictive or unrealistic
evaluation criteria. You want to ensure the
solicitation does not request a small business subcontracting
plan. So agencies are actually
prohibited from requesting a small
business subcontracting plan in their solicitation, because
one was already requested on, at the contract level. So FAR 19.705.2(e)
clearly states that a contract may not
have more than one plan. However you are able to include
and monitor subcontracting goals at the order level as long as those goals do not contradict
the goals established for EIS. So also you want to ensure the
solicitation does not include, it includes a period
of performance, that’s consistent with,
consistent with the period of performance of EIS. EIS ends July 30, 2032. Ensure the task order
is either fixed price or time and materials. Ensure the task order
solicitation does not appear to be an IDIQ under and IDIQ. You cannot have a menu or
a BPA or a letter contract, those are not permissible. Ensure the OCO listed
has a DPA, a Delegation of Procurement Authority, and include that letter
in your solicitation. Next slide please. So GSA further recommends
the following solicitation considerations and
best practices. Again do not include
evaluation criteria that restrict competition. An example would be criteria
that is based on vendors that have passed BSS Functional
Testing and/or receive an ATO, or based on CBSA’s vendors
already have on contract. These vendors may take an
exception to those terms if you do include that in
your evaluation criteria. So we recommend that you
do not include those. Do not include any Part
12 commercial clauses. EIS is not a commercial
contract. Let’s see. Do not include any
liquidated damages that duplicate the SLA
credit’s already included in the EIS contract. Also proposal versus
quote versus bid. Agencies should be
requesting proposals or offers. Do not use the words proposal,
quotes and bids interchangeably because they don’t mean the same
thing in federal contracting. Clearly state what
prices are included in your total evaluated price,
and how it is calculated. Also don’t refer to the
task order as a contract, they are two different
contractual vehicles. This is a task order,
the contract is the IDIQ. Let’s see. And must include and evaluate
the entire requirement in the solicitation. So that includes any option year
and/or optional to buy CLINs, in order to be in compliance
with FAR 17.206 and 17.207. So in order to say within
the four corners of the FAR and exercise an option,
either option near or optional to buy CLIN you need to be
able to get prices for all the, all years and evaluate
them upfront. So no one can anticipate
everything, so taking an exception to figure out the community may
be required at times. Next slide. So you may consider
creating option to buy requirements
also referred to as price options
or optional CLINs. And this is to allow for things
like additional quantities, additional services, inside
moves, adds or changes. Optional to buy CLINs, they’re
mandatory for the vendors to propose but optional
for the agency to buy. They’re based on estimated
forecasted quantities using past actions, inventory. They must be priced as part
of the proposal and evaluated. You have to include
the prices as part of your total evaluated price. They’re only exercised as needed and therefore only
funded when exercised. And you would have to create a
homegrown clause in section H to allow for option to
increase quantities of services. Currently there is not a FAR
clause increase quantities of services. There is an option to increase
quantities of supplies. So 52.217.6 and 52.218.7
you can take some language out of those clauses,
but again you’d have to create your homegrown
clause and not refer to any of the FAR clauses
when you’re doing it. Some sample language can,
you can include a statement that says something like
the option provision allows. The optional to buy CLINs to
be exercised more than once, as needed, in whole or in part
during the [inaudible] the government reserves the right to
order anywhere from the minimum to maximum quantity
of the option. And that’s just some
sample language, you can create your own based on those two clauses you can
tweak it however your agency sees fit, and have your legal
department review your language. You also would like, need
to include instructions on what you would like the
offers to propose in regard to the option to
buy requirements in section L solicitation. Section M needs to include
instructions on how you plan to, not instructions but how
you, includes how you plan to evaluate those
optional CLINs, things like if the optional
CLINs will count towards your award, if it will have
different evaluation criteria than your mandatory requirement,
or if it will be evaluated based on pass or fail or some other
abject title rating system. Next slide please. Another consideration,
agencies may want to consider tying task
order option year pricing to the Economic Price
Adjustment clause under EIS, it’s in section H.19. So for example, this
is some sample language that you may choose
to incorporate. The agency may include a clause
in its task order solicitation that states that the task order
prices for years FY 23 and FY 32 which are the years that we
exercise our options under EIS, will be adjusted based on the
refreshed prices in the first and second option periods. The agency may also
include language such as the contract
prices have to be at or below the EIS
refreshed prices. That the contract, that your
task order prices cannot exceed the EIS refreshed prices. So if the task order prices
exceed the EIS refreshed prices then the [inaudible]
price will be adjusted to match the EIS refreshed
price by way of mod. So they would have to
modify your task order. And or you can add some language that the refreshed prices will
match the discounts provided in your original, in
their original proposal. Another alternative would
be agencies may choose to create its own unique
EPA clause similar to H19, for your [inaudible] ICB,
ICB print and catalog prices, that’s just another
alternative you could use. And now I had this
presentation back over to Micha who will be describing the
technical portion of the review.>>Thank you Juanita. Yeah so we’re going to go
over the technical now. So of the still considerations
there one thing we want to do is ensure that EIS
services are correctly identified in the solicitation. If we think you’re talking about
VPMS and you’ve identified it as IPS, or by mistake, that is
something where we can identify. So we want to be sure
requirements match up to the, to the EIS contract, to the
greatest extent possible. Also we’re going to identify
anything that we see new to the, that goes beyond the, what’s
in the contract requirements in the contract, or if like
a new service is trying to be added to the, to the solicitation
we’ll identify that. Normally new services
we’d want to add to our, our base contract. So that would be an example. We looked for language that,
that may limit competition. Like if you listed AT&T
net bonding to connect to the cloud services,
that could be restrictive, obviously to, to one vendor. So those are things
we would point out. I mean we’re looking for
things that, that are in scope. We’re looking for things that
can create risk for a protest. And we’re trying to assure that
there, there’s clarify there. You know identify ambiguities. So some of our best practices
and recommendations are actually to review the service guides. So I mentioned earlier,
so that services are, are thoroughly understood. And also if you want deeper
detail you can go into the, into the contract or the, the
RFP, sections B and C. So to, to fully understand that
services that you’re requesting. And the, the KPIs,
are they look, are they consistent
with the contract? Sometimes agencies want
something, something stricter which is fine but sometimes they
don’t realize what the KPIs are on the, on the contract,
and some, sometimes in a solicitation an
agency may list a weaker KPI than, than what’s
actually on the contract. So those are things that,
that we will point out. And also the, the more clarity
it provides the better responses you’re going to get back
from the vendors it’s going to save you time in the end. So continuing on. So one thing that we’ll
look at is if you’re, you’re bundling services
bundling at, has a place of course in, in
the task orders, but there’s a, a risk there that
things can be obfuscated when it’s bundled together. So it can be hard to
determine your, your inventory and you also want to think
about you, you make a bundle and you have a place
for it and then one of the components
changes in that bundle. Do you have a way of determining
the price for that bundle? So those are things to consider
for bundling, it has a place, but there are risks
to doing that. Also this goes along
with, with clarity, providing clarity
that’s illustrations of what you’re describing or, or important whether it’s
network layout or trying to obtain diversity
in your requirements, diagrams are extremely
helpful there. Again any clarity that,
that you can provide to be, to the solicitation it’s
going to be quite helpful. And if we do see a, you know
a solicitation that meet or are providing a lot of
comments on that we think that the agency’s having
trouble coming across with a, a solid solicitation, we may
recommend a, a tool session, where you go to the, the
solicitation assist tool, if you haven’t done
that already. And so you want to provide as
much information as you can that makes sense to the vendors. But if you have sensitive data
that’s not necessary to include in the solicitation
and we recommend that you not include that. And then on a, the
management and operations side. There’s a rich set of reporting and data requirement
already on the contract. And we’ve listed
them here and instead of creating your own we highly
recommend that you review these and these may satisfy all
or most of your needs. These have been well
thought out, you know there’s SLAs involved
here and how to measure them, so we highly recommend
that you review these and you know they come along
with your, with your task order and you may not need to
create your own on these. And then so that’s,
that’s the tech review. And then we move to
the, the price review.>>Give us one minute,
we’ve lost our connection. Can we do a sound check?>>Loud and clear.>>Yes we can hear you.>>I can hear you.>>Yes thank you.>>Can you see a screen now?>>Probably not.>>Got it.>>Oh?>>Mine’s weird, it was
on, still on the slides.>>We’re still on.>>Okay.>>Okay.>>Okay. So we’re on
in considerations. Next slide.>>On 21.>>Twenty one, you
want to go to 22?>>Yes.>>Twenty two, okay.>>Here’s the.>>Thank you.>>It’s the right slide.>>It’s up there, 21.>>Okay.>>Okay.>>So we’re on in-scope
considerations. So it’s, for price review. So we want to ensure that to
CLINs you’re listing are valid if you’re using the EIS CLINs. Of course we don’t want you
to redefine EIS CLINs either. So we will look for that. If specifying a requesting that offers proposed optional
CLIN quantities, or if, if there are proposed
optional CLINs then you’d want to include quantities. This is, you’ll notice
that there’s some overlap with what the, what the COs
review and what we review. So that Juanita went into
detail over that kind of review. So if you have optional
CLINs you know, all of them should not be
listed with the quantity of one. That should be real
quantities provided there for what your expectations are for using those in,
in the future. We’ll also look at the, the
pricing template for consistency with what you specified in, in section B. There
might be services listed in your section B but
you’ve got a price template and they aren’t listed there.>>One minute please. We’re not seeing, the slide that
we’re showing is, there we go. Okay.>>Oh.>>Yeah it’s fine here.>>It’s something that
we’re doing in the room. Okay.>>But.>>It’s filled in now.>>It just now.>>Yeah.>>So it’s filled in yeah.>>It might have been a phase.>>There we go.>>Okay.>>Okay.>>Good. And then let’s
see we’re on 22, yeah. So we’re also going to look
at the technical requirements and see how they match up
to the price requirements. Again, you know you’re
mentioning services in the technical requirements. You’re mentioned the
DPNS for example, in the technical requirements,
we should see that in section B with the appropriate CLINs. So we’re looking for those
types of consistencies. So next slide please. So we highly recommend that
you provide your inventory and your forecasts. You can do this in your price
template or with attachments. It’s very helpful for the
agencies to know what you, what you have and where you’re
going, where you want to go if, if you’ve determined that
in terms of forecasts. Another best practice is
providing a price template. We think that’s, that’s
highly important that, that it provides consistency
in what you receive back from the, the vendors. Remember you could have a, I
guess we’re up to nine vendors. So providing that are
quick simple will ensure that consistency back to you. Also we ask or we recommend
you use either the EIS CLINs or task order specific
pricing CLINs. This is where basically any plan on the contract you can
associate a, a task order number with it, and you can
get a, a different, you know hopefully lower price than what you have
on the contract. So that’s the most visible
way of getting lower prices on the contract and you can
do task order unique CLINs but there you need to specify
your own technical requirements and get your own pricing and
the CLINs themselves don’t have strong descriptions to them. So it’s easy to lose visibility
into your, your inventory and also compare those prices to
others when, when you use TUCs. TUCs do have they’re very
powerful and they have, they have a place especially
if you’re doing customized kind of requirements, but we
first would recommend looking at the base contract
CLINs and doing associated in your task order
number with it and attempting to
get lower prices. And to that end, in your
price, pricing sheet, you should have a column where a
task order number can be entered to associate with that
CLINs and a case number, like these are ICB
type or equipment. You need case numbers. So we recommend having those
columns available in the, in the price templates. Other best practices. Is the following. So we talked about TUCs,
minimize them, and, they have a place but as I said
task order specific pricing is probably your first option. And then you can link
your task order pricing to the base contract CLINs. You may want to link them
such that if there’s a, a price reduction on the
base contract that you, you have that, that carriers
over to your task order CLINs. We also recommend and
you can provide addresses of your locations, but what’s
even better is using network site codes. These are industry
standard codes that provide precise addresses. It’s unambiguous where when
you enter an address there’s multiple ways of spelling
street and other things and, you can introduce ambiguities. So if you want to get the
network site codes those are, we have those available
to the, the pricers, where you can enter addresses and it will give
you back site codes. And there’s also a bulk loader
tool where you can take a, a CSD file of your addresses and
load it up, you know hundreds of them if you have them, and it can provide the network
site codes for those locations. We also included
a statement here. I won’t read it but we
recommend having this in your solicitation, and
what it basically states is that you’re looking for
a complete solution, whatever they send back to you
is complete and that anything that they didn’t specify it’s
either included in the prices that they submitted back
to you or it’s going to be provided at no cost. So it’s to prevent them,
you know you making an award and then them coming back, the
vendor coming back and saying, well that wasn’t a complete
solution you actually need to buy these other items. So this, this avoids that,
that kind of situation. Next please. Okay. So we’ll talk about
some of our observations when we reviewed solicitations. Like I said we reviewed
about 14 and we got two in process, process now. So these are some of the things
that we think would be helpful. And that is providing
two the vendors and the solicitation sort of
a crosswalk of if you’re going to specify a particular
service, from the EIS contract, tell them where it is in the
solicit, in the solicitation. Where the technical portion is
and where the price portion is. Also we recommend if you
make any, if you deviate from what’s an EIS contract,
tell the, the vendor somewhere up front where you’re
making those deviations and like technical requirements. Because especially you know if you’ve got a 500 page
solicitation they could easily miss that, if it’s buried in,
in the contract somewhere. So providing cross
references and noting where maybe deviations. That’s going to ensure
that the vendors catch that and it’s going to save you time
when it comes to evaluating and not having to discuss
it, or someone had missed it and could it, could
jeopardize your evaluation if. So that’s one, that’s one
of the recommendations. Next slide please. These are some others. You know we do recommend
that you have, a some kind of strategy to
modernize and of course you want to transition strategy. It’s helpful that it, you
provide that upfront we find, and it should be clear
to the, to the vendors so that they understand
where you’re going with your, with our solicitation. You know to have to read the
whole solicitation and try and sort of infer what the
strategy is is not as good as being explicit about it. And telling them upfront,
maybe at the beginning of section C what,
what the strategy is. We also recommend structuring
the, the period of performance so that it aligns with
the, the physical years. That can help with coordinating
funding getting the appropriate funding for your base period
and also the subsequent options. And you know putting
the period performance, you know we’re recommending
sections F or H and specify it once. We see solicitations where
it’s listed multiple times and that can lead to confusion
and errors if it’s different in one section versus another. Also you know, sometimes
with some solicitations show that there’s a complete
understanding of the EIS services
and, and contracts. So that, there we’re of course
recommending that you go to the resources that
we mentioned up front. We’ve also seen cases where
there’s inconsistencies between sections, so a
service could be listed in section C that’s
not mentioned in B, want to be sure those are, you
have the correct correspondence. You’ve also seen, you know,
in the price template, there might be a, a technical
requirement that’s placed in there. So you, probably more
appropriate to have that in section C. So things, those are some things
to look for. We see cases where
inventory is not provided. And as we mentioned upfront, you can get your all
agency inventory at, and you know what I think
you want to provide that as, as a minimum and you can
get that by the total rep or contacting your, your AM. Yeah. So we talked a
little bit about SLAs. You know rely on
the contract SLAs and unless you really do need
something that’s different than that. And also we’ve seen cases where
critical service is listed in the solicitation,
it’s not clearly defined and so you [inaudible] in and you also could reference
the relevant CLINs, you know, such as access diversity
and avoidance CLINs. When we see, occasionally when we see a managed network
services it’s not clear what the requirements are for it
in some solicitations. And so that’s an area to look at and to it may not be clear
what services it’s applicable to either. So the more clarity you can
provide there the better. And then at the end we got
this sort of alphabet soup here but these are things
that can be overlooked, service related equipment
is the first one. Service related labor
is another. Cable wire, cable
and wire service. NS/EP or national security
emergency preparedness or telecom service priority. That is where you can
add basically a feature to your important circuit’s
so that when there’s like a natural disaster
for example, that your, your critical circuits are
restored before others are. So that’s something to consider when developing your
solicitation. And a, and identifying
those CLINs. Next please. Okay. So I said this many times. If, if it is founded scope you
will get a notice that says so. And then you can log into
your account on the agency, it’s on the agency pricer but the scope review tool
there on the agency pricer. And you can, if there are
some comments in there, you can be found in scope
and there’s some comments. You can make the changes. You don’t have to submit
it for another in-scope. You can then release
the solicitation. And we’re recommending
that you do it on e-buy under this SIN, EISCONTRACTS. There’s multiple
reasons for that. One is that it ensures that
the proper vendors receive the solicitation. And it also provides a record
that this went out to them. And GSA can actually track
that it, it has ben released. We do try to [inaudible]
do try to get that information
from the agency. But this is a, a backup to that. So that’s why we’re
recommending that. And again, please
review the comments. Even if it’s found in scope. Often times there’s things
that do need to be corrected and it’s going to
create confusion if those things are,
are not corrected. And we’ll give suggestions
on some best practices as my, but again we’re not doing a
rewrite solicitation it’s, it’s helpful comments and, and
telling you basically whether, whether it’s in scope or not. But the better solicitation
you have the better, more likelihood you’re going
to get quality proposals back and eventually get the
requirements you need when you make a, an award. Next. So if it is
rejected, don’t panic. You know in the, in
the solicitation, we will provide our comments as
to, as to why it may not have, we believed it’s not in scope. There will be a, a meeting
coordinated with the, the AAM and, and us to discuss
any of the, the issues there. This has happened before and, and in most cases pretty
quickly we’re able to get a, a solicitation back
where we do a review. Of course we reviewed it before,
so it’s going to go faster and, and things, we’ve had experience
where things are corrected and we found solicitations and
scope after they were rejected. So that’s pretty
much concludes the, the processes on
the scope reviews. I’m going to turn it back to
Juanita to, who is going to talk about evaluation criteria.>>Yes. An establishment of evaluation criteria
factors is solely up to your government agency. So under FAR part 16.505 you
may actually limit the number of evaluation criteria
factors that you create. And that’s depending on the
complexity of your requirements. The services under EIS have
already been favorably evaluated so it’s up to your
agency if you want to duplicate the efforts we
have already done on the IDIQ. But in the FAR 16.505 price
must be considered as one of your factors when
you do your selection, your [inaudible]
community decision. And these non-price factors
are only suggestions examples that you may wish to consider. You do not have to. You may wish to consider. So past performance, according to FAR 16.505 you should
consider it, it doesn’t mean that you must include that. It’s just something
that you must consider, or should consider is the
terminology in the FAR. And for example, for
past performance, GSA has already evaluated
past performance on the four mandatory
services of the EIS contract which are Voice, VPNS,
Ethernet transport and MNS. So it’s one of GSAs
recommendations that agencies consider
asking for past performance on only the eservices
outside of those four. I mean that’s up
to your agencies, just a recommendation you can
still include past performance and also receive if you’d like. And three other factors that GSA
suggests or that are examples. You may want to consider having
a technical approach factor. You may want to consider
asking the offer to explain with clarity the detail,
it’s technical solution and describe how that solution
meets or exceeds the goals and objectives of
your solicitation. Another example would
be transition approach. This would be a great
factor to ask for since it was not
evaluated under EIS. You may want to consider
asking the offer to describe it’s
processes and approach for transitioning your
current network services from the current networks with three [inaudible]
contracts to EIS. And you might wish to see
their solution on doing so. and the last suggested
criteria may be like a management
approach factor. And you may want to
consider asking the offer to submit a management plan
or resume for key personnel. Next slide please. All right. Under FAR Part 16.505,
FAR part 15.3 do not apply to the ordering process. And in fact if you
use FAR 15 terminology and you do get protested GIO
may even treat your solicitation as a FAR 15 procurement
rather than a FAR 16.505. That is something that
you should really note and try avoid using any FAR 15
language in your solicitation, especially in section
M. Item number two, formal evaluation
plans or scoring of offers are not required. That’s optional for you. FAR 16.505 also states that when
your order exceeds $5.5 million, you have to disclose
the significant factors and subfactors, including
price that the agency expects to consider when you
evaluate proposals and their relative importance. And then when your award
is made, on best value, you have to include a written
statement documented the basis for award and the
relevant, relevant importance of quality and price factors. Next slide. Your decision documentation for
your task orders has to be noted in your contract file. So you have to include the
rationale for how you determined that the order placement
and price of each order, including your basis for
award and the rationale for any tradeoffs
among cost or price and non-cost considerations
in making the award decision. This documentation does not
need to quantify the tradeoffs that led to the decision. Next slide please. Asa Micha has already
indicated that we have a wealth of resources that you
should access in order to get further guidance on EIS. Include, and including
you know websites, we have the EIS websites,
we have the pricer, we have the transition webpage. And we have account managers. So we have a wealth of
information for you. And actually that concludes
the presentation for today. So we will now open
it up for questions.>>How do you want questions?>>Do they have the
ability to raise their hand? [Inaudible]>>We’re going to
play some music. [Inaudible]>>Do you want to
place it in the pods?>>Is there a way
to see how many.>>It’s in the pods.>>Yeah it’s going up.>>Yeah we recommend you
post your question in the pod in case multiple questions
come in at the same time. We will just [inaudible]
in order, and address those individually.>>Either that or type
your name in the Q&A. If you don’t want to
type the whole question.>>As folks are thinking about
that at the end of discussion, we will be sending
a copy of the slides and a link to the recording.>>Do we have any questions?>>Oh we got a taker.>>Okay under scenario three of
the [inaudible] on task orders, what is task order project?>>Under scenario three. Did we have a, a slide,
do you recall what slide that might have been on?>>It’s not on the slides.>>We have a definition of
task order three in section G of the EIS contract of
task order projects. I don’t know of the
top of my head.>>Okay. So we’re suggesting
you go ahead and check the.>>Yeah.>>It’s, it’s in G, it’s task
order project is defined.>>Okay looking at a
multiple task order you can go [inaudible].>>Okay.>>And that’s in section G.>>I’m not familiar with
the white paper they’re referring to.>>It’s the case.>>Then are those the, the use
cases that you’re referencing?>>This is Rob, can you hear me?>>Yes.>>Yes, so it’s called
Enterprise Infrastructure Services contract task orders,
service orders and their uses. It, it goes through planning
solicitation, implementation. And it shows three scenarios. It shows the issue of fair
opportunity and a task order. And then place service orders. On the second scenario is you
can issue a fair opportunity as a task order and do
service orders directly as, as a task order. And the third one it shows
fair opportunity task order, and then it says task order
projects service orders. So I’m from a large complex
organization that’s going to have multiple
agencies soliciting under a fair opportunity, and I didn’t know what
task order projects are and how I would identify
that in a solicitation.>>Okay Rob this is Cindy. What we’re going to do is
because that was a totally, that’s an older presentation
that we had. Nat is your, your agency manager
along, I believe Andrew Lowe. So what we’ll do is
we’ll take that question. We’ll have them reach out
to you, how about that? And then what we’ll do is
we’ll post the question on the Q&A after.>>Okay. That will
work, thank you.>>Yeah I believe Nat is
on the call today anyway and I’ll see him before I leave.>>Okay we had another question
about addressing [inaudible]. After fair opportunity award
circuit [inaudible] special construction charges. And as I recall the
first time we did session that was a big topic,
special construction.>>So is, is the question
relative to making sure that in your solicitation
you include language such that there’s no surprises
about special construction? That’s what I seem to
recall the issue to be. Is that right Mr. Conwell? Okay so we, we explicitly talk
about special construction in section C.29.11 and B.29.18, C.29.19 for special
construction. If you don’t include
the language in your solicitation
they’re not going to price special construction. So you do have to
include some language in your solicitation
that specifies that. And maybe this is up to each
agency, maybe you might want to ask them to do
samples of sites or maybe get sites surveys. They’re not going
to be able to do that for every site before they
did if you have like hundreds of sites, but maybe they
could do a sample, or, these are just some ideas
also maybe Micha might have some more?>>Yes I do not to exceed?>>They could do
a not to exceed.>>So if a, so the
maximum price [inaudible].>>Yeah. But the, the key is to include special construction
language in their solicitation. Like they have to have that.>>Would that be a separate
line item in section B? Or in a price table?>>It could be, it could
be a CLINs, maybe up top.>>Okay.>>I’m not sure. I mean off, offhand I don’t know if there’s a special
construction CLINs, it might already be built
into EIS, I don’t recall.>>I’m pretty sure
there are, pretty sure.>>Maybe that would
be in B.29.18.>>Okay. We have another
question, is there a way to see the numbers
that the agency, that have significant
[inaudible]? This can be a [inaudible] of how an agency might be doing
compared to the [inaudible].>>Currently we are doing
some sort of reports for solicitations that [inaudible]
groups are providing. I think that’s quarterly
and that’s?>>That will be posted online. So this, all you have
to do is just subscribe to the EIS landing page, if
you go down to transition and subscribe there I
believe that it’s going to be posted there at
some point in time. Tom we can take that
one offline as well.>>That’s, as I said,
the current state is, we have [inaudible] been
reviewed [inaudible] have been found in scope and
there’s another two that are in process right now. So that’s the current
[inaudible].>>Can you say who
those 14 are Micha?>>Not right now John, that’s
internal information right now.>>Yeah until the agency
releases their solicitation we’re not at liberty
to say that.>>Okay another question
under terms and conditions, can we have multiple DPA COs?>>Yes.>>Okay. And then there was
a question, is there a way to let participants
see the questions that are being answered? And we collect all
of the questions and then collect the responses
as well and provide them at a later time after
the presentation and the URL recordings that
gives everyone an opportunity to review them and build on
them before we send them out. Okay another question,
explain again if my task order covers
all service name types in a service area. How do not appear to be an IDIQ and how do we make
sure it doesn’t appear to be an IDIQ within
a [inaudible].>>Okay and that just goes back to the mandatory verse
optional print theory. You first must specify based on your best forecast
what your requirements are and that’s considered more
mandatory requirements. And then you would ask
for things that you know that you may need in the future. Things meaning CLINs, optional
quantities, optional services that you may not need on
day one, but you will need and those also get priced,
and you would specify language in your solicitation
that you have an intent to exercise those options
it’s just not on day one. Again you create a clause in
H you have to add language in section B that say these
are the optional prints that you want priced. So there is a, you must have a
mandatory required requirement. You cannot have only optional
prints or you have to, or else you don’t have a
requirement, but you do need to specify clearly what are
your mandatory requirements. And then anything outside
of that would be optional.>>Okay that’s taken.>>I did want to just following
up on special construction. There is a special construction
in an ICB claim it’s in B.29.19. It’s called the special
access construction.>>Okay. Do we have
any other questions in the, for the Q&A pod?>>I do want to say also
that the task order project if they want to look
that up themselves, it’s in G and it’s got So four number threes.>>Could you say that again? Was that golf>>Dot three, there’s
four threes.>>Thank you.>>You’re welcome.>>Okay I don’t see any other
questions in the Q&A pod. Okay so wow we ended a little
bit earlier than we anticipated so want to thank everybody
for joining our call today. We’ll probably be slowing down
for the rest of the summer. I think we do have
one that’s coming, one last one that’s
coming up though.>>The host [inaudible].>>The host [inaudible] replay. So something many of you probably saw the
invitation to that one. Again if you subscribe to
our pages whether it be on our webpages or whether it be on interactive you’ll
be notified. Always feel free to reach out to your telecommunications
agency manager. And with any questions
that you might have. You know something might strike
your, your mind after an hour or so after maybe today’s
session or when you’re starting to breather through
some of the materials. The agency managers can
get you in touch with the, the right resources they
don’t have the answer. So with that Micha, Juanita. Go ahead.>>Will this presentation
be sent to everybody or will it be on interact?>>It’s right there where you
can download it in the files and also we will be
sending it out, right. We’ll be sending it out to
our participants, easy for you to say, your, the participants
for today’s session.>>With a link to the recording.>>With a link to the
recording as well. We’ll probably go through it and make sure everything
is you know, cleaned up and we’ll be ready to go. But I think do we
have another question?>>Thank you.>>Yes.>>One last question?>>It was mentioned that
we could include transition approach as part of the
evaluation criteria, would this not favor
the incumbents? This is just a GSA
recommendation, and it may or may not favor the incumbent
but you might want to know how that vendor plants to
transition to your circuit. So it depends on how you set up your criteria or
what you ask for. So if you’re asking them do
they have transition experience or are you just wanting to
know how they, you know, what’s their, their
plan, or their, how, you know what they intend
to do or you know how, how are they going to provide
a transition solution to you. So it depends on how you word
that evaluation criteria. And it’s up to the agency if
you even want to use that as one of your evaluation criteria
it’s just a sample of something that you can choose to consider
and it’s up to your agency.>>Okay. Well with
that, Juanita, Micha thank you very
much, the team, I thank you for your support
and everybody have a good day. Thank you very much.

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