Acquisition of Services

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Step 6: Execute Strategy

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Each page in this pathway presents a wealth of curated knowledge from acquisition policies, guides, templates, training, reports, websites, case studies, and other resources. It also provides a framework for functional experts and practitioners across DoD to contribute to the collective knowledge base. This site aggregates official DoD policies, guides, references, and more.

DoD and Service policy is indicated by a BLUE vertical line.

Directly quoted material is preceeded with a link to the Reference Source.

Reference Source: Guidance from A&S.  Based on DAG Chapter 10, Section 3.3.1 content, Jan 2020

After the team has completed the required planning in Steps Four and Five, the FSM reads over the pre-solicitation documentation one more time before presenting the required documents to the Contracting Officer for execution. The FSM ensures the requirement, the QASP, and the Incentives clearly demonstrate what the outcome should be and how the contractor’s performance will be measured. If the documents represent the services acquisition adequately, the documents are transferred, along with your funding document, to the Contracting Officer for contract execution. The MFT will review Step Six under the Service Acquisition Mall.

 

Prior to Posting Solicitation

The Contracting Officer, with assistance from the Contract Specialist, creates the solicitation, Request for Proposal (RFP), Request for Quote (RFQ), or Invitation for Bids (IFB). The look of the solicitation varies depending on whether the services procurement falls under FAR Part 12, Acquisition of Commercial Items, Part 13, Simplified Acquisition Procedures, Part 14, Sealed Bidding, or Part 15, Contracting by Negotiation. The Contracting Officer is responsible for ensuring the appropriate clauses and provisions are incorporated into the solicitation, along with the PWS or SOO, the QASP, Contract Data Requirements Lists and Other Attachments, and any special contract requirements, such as Contractor Manpower Reporting. Once the solicitation is complete, the Contracting Officer sends it for hierarchy review and also to the team to ensure everything discussed in Step Five was successfully captured in the RFP.

The Contracting Officer is also responsible for completing other documentation, such as the justification for other than full and open competition for sole source actions and/or determination and findings documents, such as the determination of the best procurement approach, use of option years, etc. and for starting the process of the Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) designation. The FSM nominates the COR within the COR Tracking (CORT) Tool before the Contracting Officer can issue the designation.

It is best practice for the Contracting Officer to post a draft solicitation on FedBizOpps or another GFE portal, such as GSA e-Buy, to give industry the opportunity to provide comments on the solicitation. The number and type of questions received from industry is used to determine whether the requirements are understood for the industry to submit a competitive proposal. Once the final solicitation is released and the proposals are received, the source selection evaluation team will start the evaluation process.  The FSM and the Contracting Officer determine the source selection evaluation team and ensure the team’s training prior to the solicitation’s release.  The evaluation team consists of:

  • Contracting Officer
  • FSM
  • Source Selection Official
  • End Users, who have the technical background and investment in the requirement
  • Cost/Price Analyst
  • Technical Specialty such as Security, Quality Assurance

The evaluation team needs to be committed through the entire evaluation process. The DoD Source Selection Procedures, along with your agency’s source selection procedures, help guide the source selection evaluation team. The Contracting Officer uses these procedures to complete Section L Instructions, conditions, and notices to offerors or respondents and M Evaluation factors for award, of the solicitation and develops the source selection plan.

After Receipt of Proposals/Responses

The Contracting Officer gives the evaluation team complete instructions regarding the evaluation process. The Contracting Officer finalizes the award documentation, including the contract, price negotiation memorandum, and any other documents required by the FAR, DFARS and agency policy. Once the award documentation is reviewed, approved, and signed by the interested parties, the Contracting Officer announces the award within the GFE portal that was used to post the solicitation, such as FedBizOpps.  After the award is announced, the Contracting Officer may receive debrief requests within the time limit set forth in FAR Subpart 15.506, and the countdown protest period begins based on the time lines in the FAR. If there is a protest, the Contracting Officer will work with Legal, but the FSM and Evaluation Chairpersons may be asked to assist.  Once the award has been made and the protest period is over, it is time to execute the management of the services acquisition.

6.1 Issue Request for Proposal (RFP) or Military Interdepartmental Purchase Request (MIPR)

Reference Source:  Guidance from A&S.  DAU Service Acquisition Mall, Step 6, Jan 2020 

The formal acquisition process starts with the issuance of the final RFP or if the acquisition team has determined to use another activity’s acquisition vehicle to complete their action the issuance of a MIPR.

FAR Part 15.201 states “After release of the solicitation, the contracting officer must be the focal point of any exchange with potential offerors.

When specific information about a proposed acquisition that would be necessary for the preparation of proposals is disclosed to one or more potential offerors, that information must be made available to the public as soon as practicable, but no later than the next general release of information, in order to avoid creating an unfair competitive advantage.”

 

6.2 Conduct Source Selection

Reference Source:  Guidance from A&S.  DAU Service Acquisition Mall, Step 6, Jan 2020 

The objective of source selection is to select the offeror, who’s proposal represents the best value in accordance with the criteria stated in the RFP.

The FAR gives the government wide latitude in setting the ground rules for how a contractor’s proposal will be evaluated and for setting the basis of award.

The RFP’s Section L Instructions to Offerors and Section M Evaluation Factors for Award provide industry information regarding how to submit their offer and how it will be evaluated. Both of these are critical for a successful acquisition.

 

6.3 Pre-Award Approval Documents

Reference Source:  Guidance from A&S.  DAU Service Acquisition Mall, Step 6, Jan 2020 

These actions vary depending on the dollar value of the acquisition and organization policy. They may include pre-award surveys, pre-negotiation business clearances and Congressional notification, depending on the amount of the award.

 

6.4 Contract Award

Reference Source:  Guidance from A&S.  DAU Service Acquisition Mall, Step 6, Jan 2020 

Upon receipt of all required pre-award approvals and completion of required notifications, the contracting officer executes the contract.

To give publicity to the award and recognize the team members, a formal contract signing ceremony often is conducted.

This particularly is desirable in large and/or complex acquisitions

 

6.5 Debrief Unsuccessful Offerors

Reference Source:  Guidance from A&S.  DAU Service Acquisition Mall, Step 6, Jan 2020 

The FAR 15.5 requires that all unsuccessful offerors be given an opportunity for a debriefing concerning their proposal and how they can improve their chances in future procurements.

Debriefings are conducted following contract award notification by the contracting officer and lead technical evaluator from the technical evaluation team.

 

6.6 Finalize Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan (QASP)

Reference Source:  Guidance from A&S.  DAU Service Acquisition Mall, Step 6, Jan 2020 

Once a contractor has been selected, the QASP needs to be updated and finalized. If any significant changes were made to the performance requirements during the competition, the QASP needs to be updated to reflect the final requirement.

Also now include the contractor’s information and the names and role of their key personnel. If a quality control (QC) plan was a required and evaluated as part of the contractors proposal package, the team may consider including the contractors compliance with their QC plan as an assessment area in the QASP. Make sure the COR has been appointed and completed all required training prior to contract award.

 

6.7 Post-Award Implementation/Transition

Reference Source:  Guidance from A&S.  DAU Service Acquisition Mall, Step 6, Jan 2020 

Following contract award, it’s advisable to conduct a “kick-off meeting” or more formally, a “post-award conference,” attended by those who will be involved in contract performance.

This meeting will help both agency and contractor personnel achieve a clear and mutual understanding of contract requirements and further establish the foundation for good communications and a win-win relationship.

It is very important that the contractor become part of the team, and that agency and contractor personnel work closely together to achieve the mission results embodied in the contract.