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GSA OASIS

Download GSA OASIS Source Selection Files @: http://teaming-exchange.com/pages/gsa-oasis-pia-violation-narrative-files

[NOTE] If you LOST on GSA OASIS, it may be as a result of GSA’s disclosure that you lost and many of the apparent awardees made the top 40 in the pool(s) that your firm sought to compete in. Indeed, had it not been for GSA’s disclosure, the current winners – and perhaps the entire ranking order in the competitive range – would have been different; and indeed, your firm very well may have been amongst the apparent awardees.

Should you decide to, you still have recourse to file a PIA claim at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and/or the Court of Federal Claims (CoFC). Alternatively, a Class Action filing is currently being formulated. If you lost on GSA OASIS and have interest in this Class Action, please email BizEvangelist@vsbaonline.com. You will have 10-days from the date this posting to file with the GSA KO in order to maintain standing as an interested party.

OVERVIEW

The Procurement Integrity Act (PIA) prohibits the release of source selection and contractor bid or proposal information and GAO precedent establishes that in order to prevail, a Protester must demonstrate that it was prejudiced by this release. However, in accord with rulings at both GAO and the Court of Federal Claims – proof of prejudice notwithstanding – [the act alone is a violation and the mere possibility that the integrity of the federal procurement apparatus may have been breached is in and of itself grounds for procurement termination.]

SUMMARY BACKGROUND AFFIDAVIT

AA-I & Co. assisted 13 companies for the purpose of their participation in the Teaming Exchange, and 6 ultimately became apparent awardees. Although there are numerous illustrations of the competitive value of this information that I am unfortunately not at liberty to disclose due to non-disclosure agreements; I can share one basic example of advantage that was provided in assistance to our client’s strategic choice of “Past Performance” submission on OASIS SB.

It is a well-known fact that GSA essentially uses businesses as a virtual “sales force” through all of its contract vehicles, and intends to do the same with OASIS SB. It was also quite obvious from some of the interview dialogue in the source selection material shared that GSA was indirectly seeking agency “first adopter buy-in” commitment for OASIS SB to justify its contracting approach.

Therefore, we advised our clients, where possible, to make it a priority to submit only those past performances from the agencies that had been noted from the interviews conducted and cited in the source selection material whom expressed an affinity for using the GSA OASIS contract vehicle in the interviews. We did not tell them, however, that the agency list we provided originated from source selection material; rather, we advised them to “prioritize” their submission based upon a list of agencies we provided.

Read the entire AFFIDAVIT and download the GSA OASIS Source Selection Documents @: http://teaming-exchange.com/pages/gsa-oasis-pia-violation-narrative-files

One Voice…

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

TIMELINESS

On September 21, 2013, Aljucar, Anvil-Incus & Co. (AA-I & Co.) filed a timely protest with U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO), which raised a number of arguments in our protest including that the solicitation did not allow newly-formed joint venture offerors to satisfy the experience requirements through the experience of the individual members of the joint venture; that the RFP improperly provided for an initial pass/fail evaluation of experience; that issuance of two OASIS solicitations would not provide meaningful opportunities for small businesses; and, that using two separate solicitations for set-aside versus unrestricted competitions was improper since the scope of work for the two solicitations was the same. Due to precedent at GAO, the Agency only addressed the argument regarding the RFP not allowing newly-formed joint ventures to satisfy the solicitation’s experience requirements through the experience of individual joint venture members, while the remaining arguments were considering abandoned without address. Thusly, on January 2, 2014, GAO denied the protest. The apparent awardees for GSA OASIS Unrestricted were released to FBO.gov on May 19, 2014 ref: https://www.fbo.gov/notices/9894b0308c12f4ede7ccb259264473e3 . Because this protest filing will be within 10 days of this public release; it will be timely.

INTERESTED PARTY

Summary

AA-I & Co. is a Protestor wishing to bring about a re-solicitation on which it intends to bid and therefore has the necessary status, even though it failed to bid in response to the original solicitation but did protest before the close of the proposal period for the original solicitation. Protester expected to bid prior to the close of the solicitation period, but was prevented from doing so on the basis of improper agency action. AA-I & Co. would be a prospective bidder on a re-solicitation and, therefore, is an interested party. See IHS Global, Inc. v. United States.

Prospective Offeror

The Federal Circuit’s long-standing and well-established interpretation of § 1491(b)(1) that an “interested party” under that provision may be either an “actual or prospective bidder” applies here. Moreover, “when the government’s actions wrongfully prevent a bidder from qualifying for or bidding on a solicitation, the government cannot use the contractor’s failure to qualify or bid on the solicitation as grounds for finding a lack of standing.” Reilly v. United States, 104 Fed. Cl. 69, 76 (Fed. Cl. 2012) (quoting KSD, Inc. v. United States, 72 Fed. Cl. 236, 247 (Fed. Cl. 2006)); see also, e.g., Infrastructure Defense Techs., LLC v. United States, 81 Fed. Cl. 375, 385 (Fed. Cl. 2008); accord Science Applications Int’l Corp. v. United States, 102 Fed. Cl. 644, 650 (Fed. Cl. 2011) (the prejudice component of standing requires only that a bidder “ha[ve] been prevented from bidding or proposing due to some infraction other than the terms of the solicitation itself … or [be an entity that] would be in contention absent the … violation of applicable procurement regulations”) (quoting Textron, Inc. v. United States, 74 Fed. Cl. 277, 285 (Fed. Cl. 2006)). Protester expected to bid prior to the close of the solicitation period, but was prevented from doing so on the basis of improper agency action.

AA-I & Co. would be a prospective bidder on a re-solicitation and, therefore, is an interested party. See IHS Global, Inc. v. United States.


Public input is welcome at http://www.boston-warwick.com/

Saturday, January 04, 2014

REF: B-408936 | Aljucar, Anvil-Incus & Co. @ www.gao.gov

We are in the process of filing a Request for Reconsideration with the GAO, but believe it will ultimately be necessary to file in the Court of Federal Claims (CoFC) – for which we are currently preparing. The risks of Joint Venturing is controlled by the free-market and by virtue of sound Operating Agreements, not by the government picking winners and losers… although it may be at their discretion, there is nothing reasonable about the GSA’s position and we believe the CoFC will indeed find that it does not pass the logical scrutiny test.

Besides subcontracting, Joint Venturing is the only way in which small and mid-tier firms can compete with Bigs in a free-market capacity – so we must press on.

The current GAO ruling seems contrary to certain executive guidance back to 2009 from the White House and OMB over standards to be considered in increasing competitiveness, in particular Public Law 111-240 (also known as the JOBS Act), SEC. 1312, which requires that all solicitations for multiple award contracts above an agency’s “substantial bundling threshold” (currently $5.5M for GSA, see FAR 7.104(d)(2)) include a provision “soliciting bids from any responsible source, including responsible small business concerns and teams or joint ventures of small business concerns.”

Neither I nor the attorneys we’ve engaged see that those standards were expressly applied by the agency or GAO in determining the adequacy of the market research cited. The ruling also seems to be directed to a non sequitur in regard to the proper scope of traditional competitiveness inquiry that the allowable “discretion” ought not cover. Nevertheless, we plan to vigorously pursue this matter on behalf of ourselves and those too big to be small and too small to be big.

Upon our filing with the Court of Federal Claims, the entire library of filings by both us and the government will be published to the Teaming X-change | www.teaming-exchange.com for public review once we receive the ruling on the request for reconsideration.

The post will include the actual business case and interviews conducted by GSA with agency personnel, Large and Small business owners. We are confident that the record made public will show that GSA, and particularly the GSA OASIS Deputy Director Todd Richards, fabricated the results in order insure that Bigs have a clear runway on the Unrestricted version without interference from Smalls or Mid-tiers.

One Voice…

R. Sutherland

http://lnkd.in/GcWHf6

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When we were kids, our Mothers told us we could be whatever we wanted to be. Well, while this may be true, there are some things that are out of our control. When you went to your Dad, and said, “I want to be a Center in the NBA”, he may have said something akin to – “the average height in our family is 6’ so, unless you experience a tremendous growth spurt; you’d better reassess your career prospects.” This same rationale applies to those of you who aspired to be Mick Jagger growing up, and while you now find yourself successful in commerce, you’re most certainly not living the life of a 60 year old rock star. The same sobriety must be applied to pursuit of GSA OASIS.

Sure, there are GSA Proposal companies; Capture Management companies; and everything in between that is willing to say anything in order to get your business. “You can win if you only…”; “we’ve got a $$$$%%%% client win-rate…”; and “we did DNA enhancements for Bill Walton….” Here’s the sober truth: at some point, you gotta grow up and recognize who you are, and start there.

Now, taking on the practicality of many of our Fathers (and a few Old Spice commercials); look carefully at that GSA OASIS evaluation checklist in the RFI; now look at your company; now look back at the checklist… you either are what it says you need to be or you’re not. There is simply not enough time for you to morph. So you realize now that your trying out on American Idol, while exciting, is probably not going to change your career path. You have 3 choices now:

  1. be a romantic and go after the impossible,
  2. develop an alternative strategy to still be part of the game, or
  3. quite. I am not much for quitters, so if chose option 3, you should stop reading now.

Now, this time; look carefully at that GSA OASIS RFI overall; now look at your company; now look back at the RFI… ahhh, yes, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King. You noticed that there is an embedded value proposition that you possess which you missed the first time around. It is one that is unique to each and every federal contractor – Relationships. You see, Rock Stars don’t make money without a fan base – they just as well might still be playing in their parents’ garage. What you know for certain is this: the folks that buy from you now do so because they like you. And, that is your ticket to getting backstage at the concert. Right now, you should be completing a response to the RFI – not for the purpose of competing, but for the purpose pre-selling GSA OASIS to your current clients and subsequently to the eventual Rock Stars to become a glorified Rodi.

But you have another problem… the Rock Stars don’t know who you are.

Well, we can help with that; the “Teaming Exchange” was incepted and formed for the practical purpose of meeting folks where they are, and helping as many Smalls to monetize this contract vehicle as possible – while mitigating risk for all involved. While we may not end up with every Rock Star on the planet; all we need is one U2, perhaps a Led Zepplin, and maybe a Foo Fighter; we won’t make all of the money – but we’ll certainly carve out a noticeable chunk.

To determine if our framework may work for you, forward your completed GSA OASIS RFI checklist for scoring; mailto: contracts@anvil-incus.com by May 10th for urgent consideration – after that, no guarantees on review prior to the final RFP.

If you don’t stand a chance, we’ll tell you; if you’re a Rodi, but not Rock Star material, we’ll tell you that too. But whatever you are, we will meet you “where you are” and help find a way to get you a job at the concert – being a Rodi, and making money, beats the hell out of being a Groupie, and getting pimped, any day.

For more information on the GSA OASIS Teaming Exchange Business Case, visit: http://bit.ly/gsa-oasis

Join OASIS Teaming Group on LinkedIn @ http://linkd.in/ZZMbk7

Now, this is a true story. Let me qualify what you are about to read by saying I personally have assisted many 8(a) firms in transition to full & open. However, there is one firm owned by a gentleman so unassuming that you could easily presume him inconsequential. But, when looked at from the lenses of true scalable operations, sound management, leadership – and did I say performance? This firm’s record can only be declared as phenomenal.

But why, you ask , do I wish to share this story? I share this story for those of you 8(a)’s who believe that if you are the best at what you do; if you do the right thing; if you bring value to the federal agency(s) that you work for while in the program, you will be able to leverage that performance on its merits. Although, it used to be that way in the not so distant past; its not anymore.

The 8(a) program, like SDVOSB, and HUBZone, has become a means negotiated proxy whose value is not measured by performance and value per tax-payer $$ spent; but by favor to firms’ ran by minorities committed to soon to be retired personnel. I write this, not to have you give up, or presume hopelessness – no, not by a long shot. I tell this story, so that those of you who are doing everything right and enjoying the results of your labor, nevertheless, don’t presume to relax and believe that a 50/50 portfolio upon graduation is a sufficient cushion to propel you into the full & open with sustained momentum – it’s not.

You now need to start competing for (and winning) small business set-asides (outside of 8(a)) in years 4 and 5… but back to the story. Once upon a time, an 8(a) started the program with a solid strategy, solid private-sector past performance, and strong agency relationships – or so they thought. As a result and expected, they hit the ground running. Built a portfolio of solid contract vehicles, set-aside and not; and enjoyed 9 years of 8(a) bliss. Management negotiated good faith contract transitions for program off-ramp in a fashion that would be on par with private sector risk management. Again, they did it right.

But, then the fears of post-career unknowns visited upon the relative contracting officer personnel office and Maslow’s Hierarchy was descended by these folks like it was Jacob’s Ladder and all bets were off. For you see, cloaked in the statement “gov’ts best interest” is many times some bureaucrat’s self-interest. Despite stellar past performance over 9 years, forged relationships, and commitments made between Men as men have done for decades in this space; we watched this “example of excellence” be thrown unapologetically under the bus asif it were a form of Cesar reincarnated.

So, I say to you -do not believe, despite past-performance is no longer prologue for positive leverage post graduation. Take all commitments, even those executed in writing, by bureaucrats as having a shelf-life not communicated. Establish a reserve beginning with the your 1st 8(a) win above the line of profit – and title it “fund for defense and claims on portfolio.” Soci-economic programs are now on par with Vegas; the house is not happy to see you leave with any winnings; you may have to fight if you plan on leaving of the front door…

As stated initially, it was never our intent to re-state the obvious where GSA OASIS is concerned; but to look at the “meta” picture for strategic advantage to our members on their submissions. Within this light, our meta-analysis justifies the following statement:

“The GSA (or should I say GSA Incorporated) is using the OASIS contract vehicle as an interview tool to create a virtual sales team for the vehicle. In essence, your firm is attempting to obtain one of 40 sales representative positions. When looked at from this perspective, it becomes much easier to anticipate and respond competitively to the RFP – as well as strategize on the context of the response.”

Remember, the GSA has a very unique business model within the federal gov’t, very akin to being a for-profit-organization. By virtue of the fees it collects and footprint of agency customers; the agency grades its success on revenue generation and profit just like a privately held firm. Thus, OASIS is essentially a means by which the GSA wishes to primarily win back market-share within DoD, which has eroded over the last 10 years or so.

Thus, if you think of the draft RFP in the context of a for-profit sales plan – it makes the utmost sense.

Now, as you are aware; a sales representative’s role is to contact customers and prospects, explain product benefits and features negotiate prices, and close the sale. After the sale, sales representatives aim to build relationships with customers so that they have the opportunity to secure future sales. In a small business, credibility in sales discussion is established primarily by virtue of industry recognized certifications and licenses.

The above definition being our baseline, the GSA is quite savvy in how it intends to mitigate the inherent risks while incentivizing the end-state sales pool.  No cold-calling here; the GSA will use your past performance (and the agencies within which they were performed) as prologue for future sales. The key here is emphasis on Prime vs. Subcontractor performance. The GSA knows very well that it is the Prime that owns the relationship and most likely closed the business in the first place; and thus gives greater weight to it as opposed to the latter.

These are only a few expansions on the key variable measurements employed by GSA, but what should your interpretation of these signals be relative to your ultimate response to the end-state RFP? This shouldn’t be too difficult to discern:  Focus on demonstrating your ability to bring categorically defined business to the contract vehicle by virtue of past successes, while highlighting revenue volumes, and service levels that say these agencies want you back.

Also, you will want to informally demonstrate your ability to see the importance of your role as a sales rep for the vehicle on par with winning these contracts for your own firm. Being good at what you do from a technical perspective does not come close to correlating you and your firm’s’ ability as a Sales Representatives – and the GSA knows this all too well from its experience with first generation “GSA Schedules.”

Regardless of what noise may be loudest right now, these guys are looking to increase their customer base and by extension greater revenue to justify investment in standing up this vehicle in the first place. Sounds like a for profit strategy to me; and you know what they say… if it walks like a duck…

Share your thoughts at: http://lnkd.in/9S6szA

One Voice…

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