MAY 1989






Far Part 15 - Contracting by Negotiation

Far Subpart 15.6 - Source Selection

Chapter One - Formal Source Selection Procedures

May 1989


Part I - Introduction

101 Purpose


102 Reference


103 Policy


104 Applicability


105 Exemptions


106 Effective Date


Part 2 - Source Evaluation Board: Establishment, Role, and Procedures

201 Background


202 Determination of Requirement


203 Source Selection Official


204 Description of Source Selection Official


205 Access to Source Selection Official


206 Source Evaluation Board


207 Conduct of Board Activity


208 Board Operations


209 Disclosure of Information


210 Security and Document Control


211 Conflicts of Interest


212 Management Responsibilities


213 Summary of Board Activities


Part 3 - Source Selection Plan Development

301 Selection Plan


302 Evaluation Factors


303 Scoring Techniques


304 Relative Importance of Factors


305 Evaluation Subfactors and Elements


306 Cost Realism


307 Cost Risk


Part 4 - Solicitation

401 Responsibility


402 Review of the RFP


403 Solicitation Language


404 Solicitation Instructions


405 Preproposal Conference


406 Training


Part 5 - Receipt of Proposals and Evaluation

501 Receipt of Proposals


502 Start of Evaluation Process


503 Preliminary Review


504 Initial Team Evaluation


505 Cost/Price Evaluation


506 Technical Evaluation


507 Team Reports


508 ADP/Telecommunications Evaluation


509 Contractor Responsibility


510 Board Evaluation


511 Competitive Range


512 Receipt of a Single Proposal


Part 6 - Negotiations

601 Prenegotiation Planning


602 Prenegotiation Planning for ADP/Telecommunications Acquisitions


603 Award Without Discussions


604 Written/Oral Discussions and Negotiations


605 Request For Best and Final Offers


606 Final Evaluation


607 Final Report


Part 7 - Source Selection

701 Oral Presentation to the SSO


702 Source Selection Decision


703 Source Selection Statement


704 ADP/Telecommunications Selection


705 Contract Award


706 Records Disposition


707 "Lessons Learned" Memorandum


Appendix A - Sample Documents

1. Sample Board Appointment Memorandum


2. Sample Confidentiality Statement


3. Sample Conflict of Interest Statement


Appendix B - Sample Scoring Systems

1. Adjective Ratings


2. Color Coding


3. Plus, Minus, Checks


4. "Consumer Reports" Ratings


Appendix C - RFP Review Questions

1. Statement of Work/Specifications


2. Evaluation Factors


3. Relative Importance of Factors


4. Proposal Preparation Instructions


Appendix D - ADP/Telecommunications Review Questions

1. General Questions


2. Specifications


3. Evaluation Factors


4. Costing Information


Appendix E - FIRMR References


Appendix F - Board Reports, Format and Outline

1. Initial Report


2. Final Report


3. Sample Report Cover Sheet


Appendix G - ADP/Telecommunications Award Questions



Part 1


101 Purpose:

The purpose of this chapter is to establish Department policy and procedures for selecting sources for large dollar competitive negotiated acquisitions. These procedures represent the Department's formal source selection procedures as permitted by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) subpart 15.612. In accordance with this FAR subpart, formal source selection procedures are those for which the source selection official is at a level above the Contracting Officer (CO).

102 Reference:

This chapter is issued under the authority of Department Administrative Order (DAO) 208-0 "Commerce Acquisition Manual" dated January 29, 1987.

103 Policy:

It is the policy of the Department that formal source selection procedures shall be used for all competitive negotiated acquisitions of $5,000,000 or more. As used in this Chapter, competitive negotiated acquisitions shall include full and open competitive actions, actions which are full and open after exclusion of sources, and actions which are other than full and open unless negotiations with only one source are justified, certified and approved. If the proposed acquisition will not use full and open procedures, the appropriate determination and findings or justification for other than full and open competition must be approved in accordance with FAR subparts 6.202(b)(1) and 6.304, unless the proposed acquisition is to be set-aside for small business and labor surplus area concerns (FAR subpart 6.203). The $5,000,000 threshold for these procedures includes the total value of the acquisition, including all option periods and systems life for ADPE acquisitions.

104 Applicability:

This Chapter applies to all competitive negotiated acquisitions which meet the threshold in Paragraph 103 except:

.01 Acquisitions for Architect-Engineer services (FAR subpart 36.6).

.02 Acquisitions with other Government agencies.

.03 Acquisitions specifically exempted in writing by the Procurement Executive in accordance with Paragraph 105.

.04 Acquisitions of commercial or industrial products and services subject to OMB Circular A-76.

The formal source selection procedures may be used for an acquisition under $5,000,000 with the advance written approval of the Head of the Contracting Activity. The Head of the Contracting Office may use these procedures in an abbreviated form for any acquisition for which the Contracting Officer is the Source Selection Official, provided the Policies adopted do not conflict with this Chapter.

105 Exemptions:

Competitive negotiated acquisitions of $5,000,000 or more may be exempted from the requirements of this chapter with the advance written approval of the Procurement Executive. Requests for exemption for an individual acquisition shall be made by the Head of the Contracting Activity, in writing, and must contain sufficient information to clearly explain the need for an exemption and why an exemption would be in the best interest of the Department.

106 Effective Date:

The provisions of this Chapter are applicable to all units of the Department and are effective immediately after issuance for all acquisitions where the solicitation has not been issued.

Part 2

Source Evaluation Board: Establishment, Role, and Procedures

201 Background:

For complex acquisitions there is a need to assemble skilled and expert individuals to give meaningful and useful advice to management in regard to selecting firms. Because of the importance of the selection decision, the official making this decision must be at a level considered fully accountable and knowledgeable of all the factors necessary to make a suitable choice. It is for these reasons that the concept of using source evaluation boards evolved.

202 Determination of Requirement:

It is the responsibility of the technical/program office to develop its requirements, consistent with its mission, giving appropriate consideration to budgetary and program constraints and the need to maximize competition. Prior to the designation of a Source Evaluation Board (Board), an acceptable requisition, including the proposed statement of work and suggested evaluation factors, must be submitted to the servicing procurement office. The program office and Contracting Officer (CO) shall jointly prepare both the acquisition and source selection plans required for this acquisition.

203 Source Selection Official:

The Source Selection Official (SSO) shall be the Head of the Operating Unit (See DAO 208-2 Section 2, Definitions). This responsibility may be redelegated to a Department manager at an organization level above the CO. It is the responsibility of the Head of the Operating Unit to ensure that the delegated individual has sufficient rank and professional experience to effectively carry out the functions of a SSO. It is the responsibility of the SSO to decide which of the offers provide the most advantages to the Government, all evaluation factors considered. The selection decision must reflect the SSO's judgement of the relative quality and suitability of each offer in view of the Government's stated requirements and the confidence level associated with the offer's ability to perform the work.

204 Designation of the Source Selection Official:

The written acquisition plan, required by FAR Part 7 shall contain the name or position of the individual who has been designated to be the SSO for the procurement. If the SSO is changed, at any time, after approval of the acquisition plan, the name of the new SSO must be provided, in writing, to the Procurement Executive.

205 Access to Source Selection Official:

The Board Chairperson and the CO either separately or together, along with necessary legal counsel, shall have direct access to the SSO when discussing Board matters.

206 Source Evaluation Board:

.01 Members: The Board membership will consist of voting members and non-voting members, as identified in the selection plan. All Board voting members shall be Federal employees.

.02 Size of the Board: Generally, the Board shall consist of no less than five and no more than seven voting members, including the Chairperson. The SSO may approve exceptions to the number of voting members when necessary. All voting members shall have equal status.

.03 Organization: The Board shall have a chairperson and an executive secretary, who may be appointed as a non-voting member. Each Board will include the following:

a. Voting members, including:

b. Non-voting members and advisors including:

207 Board Operations:

.01 Role of the Board: The Board's basic mission is to provide a sound basis for the SSO to make an informed and objective choice of the offeror(s) to receive the award(s). The Board is responsible for evaluating the proposals and presenting its findings to the SSO. Numerical and other scoring systems are useful; however, the findings of the Board should represent its best judgment as to the facts and special circumstances which indicate the superiority of one proposal over another. The findings of the Board are guides to aid the selection process. The findings must present sufficient information to permit the intelligent consideration of the facts and circumstance which guide in the selection of an offeror. The Board will not normally recommend the selection of a firm, but will report its findings, respond to all questions raised by the SSO, and assist with any special analyses or other requirements for clarifying matters related to the selection. At the request of the SSO, the Board may make specific recommendations.

.02 Role of the SSO: The Source Selection Official is responsible for the overall conduct of the selection process and has, subject to law and regulation, full responsibility to make the final source selection. The responsibilities of the SSO also include:

.03 Role of the Board Chairperson: The Chairperson is responsible for all procedural and administrative aspects of the Board. This includes:

.04 Role of the Contracting Officer: For all acquisitions subject to this Chapter, the CO's responsibilities shall include:

.05 Role of Teams and Advisors:

a. Teams: To the extent appropriate, teams of specialists shall be established in selected disciplines (e.g., technical, business management, quality assurance, and pricing) to assist the Board in the evaluation process. The chairperson of each evaluation team shall exercise the same responsibility with respect to procedural and administrative matters for each team as does the Board Chairperson for the Board. Each team will provide detailed facts to the Board and will provide a written report summarizing its evaluation.

b. Advisors: If necessary, individuals with a special expertise, not available on the Board or one of the established evaluation teams, but considered essential to the selection process, may be appointed by the Board Chairperson to serve as an advisor, subject to SSO approval and signing a conflict of interest statement.

c. Access to Information: Since team members and advisors are to be utilized in discrete areas, they should not be given access to information concerning overall Board activities. Team members and advisors shall not attend Board meetings unless they are voting members or are specifically requested by the Board Chairperson.

d. Use of Non-Government Personnel: To the extent feasible, team members and advisors shall be federal Government employees. If the services of non-Government personnel are required, the written approval of the SSO shall be obtained. Before granting such approval, the SSO shall follow the procedures in this Chapter to obtain, evaluate and act on information regarding potential or actual conflicts of interest for these individuals. Each offeror shall be notified that non-Government personnel may be used in the evaluation process. No offeror's proposal shall be released to non-Government personnel without the written approval of the offeror. Each of the non-government personnel shall be required to sign a non-disclosure statement as well as a statement that any and all information received shall not be used in any way for personal use or gain nor divulged to another party prior to, during or after award of the contract. Any and all information to be released shall be by Government personnel only.

208 Conduct of Board Activity:

Official Board activities shall commence with a letter of appointment by the SSO.

.01 The Board shall be convened as directed by the Chairperson.

.02 A quorum is required to conduct Board business. A simple majority of voting members constitutes a quorum.

.03 Board duties shall take priority over normal duty assignments. If any Board member's failure to attend meetings prejudices the evaluation, the Chairperson should request the SSO to require the member's attendance or to replace the member.

.04 Voting members shall not designate alternates to represent them when they are unable to participate in Board activities.

.05 Full discussion is encouraged on all matters considered by the Board. Differences of opinion shall be explored in order to reach a common understanding or statement of the issues. When a disagreement cannot be resolved, the minutes of the meetings shall reflect dissenting positions and reasons. Board decisions should be by consensus, and if that is not attainable, by majority vote.

209 Disclosure of Information:

.01 The Board acts as an autonomous body in reaching its findings and reporting to the SSO. Prior to source selection, Board members, team members, and advisors shall not discuss the source evaluation proceedings with anyone else, including their supervisors. In those exceptional instances where necessity and reasonableness dictate that procedural advice from non-Board sources be obtained, discussions should be limited in such a way as not to reveal specific cost data, evaluation information, or the number and identity of the offers received.

.02 Subparagraph .01 above does not prohibit Board members from disclosing to management officials, with a need-to-know, general information regarding the status of the Board's activities; however, names of offerors, number of offerors, costs, or technical evaluation information shall not be revealed without the written authorization of the SSO.

.03 Board members, team members, and advisors shall report to the Chairperson and CO any communication from any source outside the Board regarding the Board's activities, and shall comply with the nondisclosure statements which they were required to sign.

.04 All questions relating to the solicitation or source selection proceedings from sources outside the Board shall be referred to the CO. All questions, clarifications, visits, or contact with offerors must be authorized or conducted only by the CO.

.05 Any requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) shall be handled in accordance with agency FOIA procedures by the CO. No information which could provide an advantage to any offeror shall be released prior to award.

.06 Board members shall be individually responsible for safeguarding personal notes and copies of documents related to the Board's activities for the duration of the proceedings.

.07 Board members, team members, and advisors shall avoid all contact with representatives of the firms involved in the competition except as may be necessary in connection with Board proceedings, or in the conduct of other Department business relating to other duty assignments. Such contacts may not involve discussion of the acquisition which is in process.

210 Security and Document Control:

.01 Security: All personnel involved in the acquisition process are responsible for maintaining the security of information and documents in their possession. The CO shall inform the Board members and advisors, prior to the release of the solicitation; on the minimum standards of security to be followed. The following subjects should be covered:

.02 Document Control: Copies of all Board documents (reports, minutes, notes, evaluation sheets, etc.) shall have a limited distribution to those strictly on a need-to-know basis, shall be clearly marked "Official Use Only - SEB Material". Carbon copies of Board material will be limited and no general reading file copies, open to non-Board members, will be used. All Board documents shall be transmitted directly to the SSO from the Board, appropriately marked, without review by intervening organization levels. If Board material is to be transmitted by mail, the material must be sealed in two envelopes and the inside envelope marked with the following notation:

"SEB Material - To Be Opened Only By __________________"

.03 Copies of Proposals: All proposal copies will be numbered before distribution. During evaluation, a secure or isolated area should be used to minimize the risk of unauthorized persons gaining access to the proposals. Following final selection, all copies will be returned to the CO, who may authorize destruction of all copies not needed for the official files.

211 Conflicts of Interest:

The SSO, Board members, team members and advisors, who are participating in the evaluation process or individuals who have a substantive role in the process, are required to sign both a confidentiality statement and a conflict of interest statement (see paragraph 205.03). Samples of both statements are contained in Appendix A. These statements will be signed prior to the release of the solicitation and will be kept in the official file as permanent records. When there is a possibility of a conflict of interest, the Chairperson shall consult with the Office of General Counsel. If it is decided that there is an apparent or actual conflict of interest, then the procedures of DAO 202-735, as amended, shall be followed and the individual shall be replaced unless it is determined, in writing, that the conflict is not substantial so as to affect the individual's service on the Board. As the selection process continues, each member, evaluator, or advisor shall notify the Chairperson as soon as it becomes known that a potential conflict of interest may exist. If the potential conflict of interest involves the Board Chairperson, the SSO and CO shall be notified. The Board files shall clearly document the actions taken on all potential conflict of interest cases. It is important that all participants in the selection process understand the Government's standards of conduct. For example, at any time during the acquisition process, discussions about a job with any offeror, potential offeror, or proposed subcontractor constitutes a financial interest which must be disclosed.

212 Management Responsibility:

Department managers and supervisors shall ensure that other work assignments of Board members and evaluators do not interfere with Board assignments and activities.

213 Summary of Board Activities:

Board voting members will be expected to participate in the following activities:

Part 3

Source Selection Plan Development

301 Selection Plan:

The selection plan describes how the proposals will be solicited, how proposals will be evaluated and scored, who will evaluate, the composition of the Board, and the timetable for contract award. The acquisition plan, required by FAR 7.104, provided the basic ground rules for the selection process. The selection plan will fill in the details and serve as a written guide for the selection process. It must point out what is important in the selection process and provide the relative importance of the evaluation factors. It should include all essential elements but should be kept simple and concise. The plan must define the specific approach planned to solicit offers and evaluate these offers, must communicate this approach to all, and must provide guidance as to what to emphasize in the solicitation. Once approved by the SSO, the plan becomes the authorizing document and the charter for the Board.

.01 Responsibilities: The CO and the Board are responsible for jointly preparing the plan. The plan shall be approved by the SSO before the solicitation is issued.

.02 Content: The plan shall contain, as a minimum, the elements set forth below:

a. A description of the Board's organization and the composition of the evaluation teams.

b. A statement of the acquisition requirements (what is to be acquired) and the acquisition strategy (how it will be acquired).

c. A discussion of the technical, cost or performance schedule risks associated with the project and proposed methods to be used to relieve or minimize these risks.

d. A listing of the proposed evaluation factors and subfactors, a narrative statement of the relative importance of these factors and subfactors, and a statement as to how these factors will be used to select a contractor.

e. A discussion as to how full and open competition, or the maximum competition possible, will be obtained.

f. A discussion of the methods and techniques to be used in the evaluation process, including the composition of the evaluation teams.

g. A discussion of any special instructions to be provided to offerors for the preparation and submission of their proposals.

h. A milestone schedule which indicates significant events of the source selection process and the individual (or position) responsible for their accomplishment.

i. A discussion of the need for a preproposal conference or other proposed activities such as issuance of a RFI.

j. The date of approval of the acquisition plan prepared for this acquisition.

k. Sample scoring sheets for the evaluator's use during the evaluation process.

l. A signature page providing for the signatures of the SSO, the CO, and the Board Chairperson.

302 Evaluation Factors:

.01 General: The evaluation factors represent a key ingredient of the plan and must complement the statement of work and specifications developed for the acquisition. The evaluation factors and the statement of work must clearly identify the Government's requirements and the basis the Government will use to measure how well each offeror meets, these requirements. Once the evaluation factors have been developed and approved as part of the selection plan, they will be incorporated into the solicitation. The factors cannot be changed without the written approval of the SSO and the solicitation must be amended by the CO to incorporate these changes. The factors also tell the offerors the relative importance that the Government attaches to each part of the requirement. The evaluation factors and their relative importance must flow from the requirements of the statement of work. They may be broken down to subfactors and elements below those specified in the solicitation but must remain consistent with the larger evaluation factors. The specific number and types of factors will be tailored for each acquisition and must cover areas of performance which are important to the success of the acquisition. It is important that only significant factors be used. Key factors lose their importance if too many elements are included. The factors must also define the specific acquisition objectives so that offerors can judge the basis upon which the proposals will be evaluated and how they must prepare their proposals. Well written factors will address all of the significant areas which will form the basis for the final source selection.

.02 Criteria Categories: The evaluation factors depending upon the nature of the procurement are usually divided into three general categories: technical, cost, and business management. Separate evaluation teams will evaluate each category. If a business management factor is not used, the CO will include in the solicitation a requirement for each offeror to provide sufficient data to make a responsibility determination.

a. Technical Criteria: Used to evaluate the merit or excellence of the proposed technical approach and the work to be performed or item/service to be provided. Examples of technical criteria include: technical approach, understanding of the requirements, key personnel or facilities, identification of critical problem areas, organization/labor mix/work breakdown structure or task, and technical risks.

b. Cost Criteria: Used to evaluate what the proposed contract will cost the Government. Examples of cost criteria include price or estimated cost and fee, cost risk, realism, reasonableness, and life cycle cost.

c. Business Management Criteria: Used to evaluate the degree of confidence that the offeror will perform as proposed. Examples of business management criteria include: relevant experience, past performance, management plan, company resources, company attitude and response, labor- management relations, and extent of proposed small/small disadvantaged business/woman-owned small business subcontracting.

303 Scoring Techniques:

Each evaluation factor must have a worth assigned which indicates the importance the government attaches to this factor and will serve as the standard against which the proposal will be measured. The value can either be expressed as a number or adjective. There are no prescribed techniques for scoring. The Board may use any of the following rating systems: color coding; numerical; plus, minus or checks; or adjective. Appendix B provides samples of various scoring systems which may be used. Regardless of the system used, the scoring must be supported by a detailed narrative statement which indicates the strengths, weaknesses, the degree of worth and the significant risk associated with each proposal. If a numerical scoring system is used, before proposals are received, the Board will make a cross reference between the numerical score and an adjective rating. This will ensure uniformity in the scoring and will provide a balance between the numerical score and the narrative statements. Cost will not be scored in any way. Business Management will be scored by some means other than numerical. It is important to differentiate between the responsibility determination and the business management factors. The business evaluation factors must be designed to assess the offerors business and corporate ability to perform the proposed work and provide a basis to make a relative assessment of the merits of each offer. Although these factors are not numerically scored, cost, and the business management factors, must be considered in every source selection, and become part of the trade-off analysis made at the time of selection. The importance of cost and the business management factors must be related to the technical evaluation factors by priority or trade-off statements which are included in the RFP. The final worth of price or cost can only be assigned after the SSO has determined the relative technical merits of the competing proposals.

304 Relative Importance of Factors:

The plan and the solicitation must indicate the relative importance of each evaluation factor and subfactor used to make the selection decision. It is not sufficient to merely list the factors or even list them in their order of importance, especially if one or more of the factors have a predominant value. If a numerical scoring system is used it should be emphasized that the weights are to be used by the SSO as a guideline, and that the scores will not be used as a mathematical evaluation devoid of judgment.

305 Evaluation Subfactors and Elements:

Evaluation subfactors are weighted areas which define the main evaluation factor. Elements further define the content of each subfactor used. Subfactors and elements must be included in the solicitation if they are to be individually weighted and scored.

306 Cost Realism:

If other than a fixed priced contract is planned, the plan must discuss how the Government will determine that the prices offered are realistic. With these types of contracting arrangements, it is critical that each offer be evaluated to determine the ultimate cost to the Government if that offer is selected. Cost information must be requested which will permit a cost analysis of the offer to develop a realistic estimate of the costs of performance under the conditions that will prevail during the contract performance. Costs must be analyzed to isolate any proposed contingencies and to identify the amounts estimated to cover these contingencies. The purpose of this analysis is to negotiate a realistic cost and fee based on the most current, accurate and complete cost or pricing data available to both the contractor and the Government at the time of negotiations. The ultimate objective is to enter into a pricing arrangement most likely to result in the payment of a fair and reasonable price. The solicitation language and the evaluation must be consistent with this objective.

307 Cost Risk:

The plan must also be concerned with the identification and assessment of the cost risks of the acquisition. Each proposal must be analyzed to assess the cost risks associated with the schedule, performance, or technical aspects of each proposal. The cost risks inherent in each proposal by virtue of the current technological state-of-the-art, particular technical approach, manufacturing plan, selection of certain materials, processes, equipment, software, or as a result of the cost, schedule, and economic impacts associated with these approaches must be identified and analyzed as well as the offeror's past performance. In making a risk assessment the following definitions are suggested:


High Likely to cause a serious disruption of the schedule or performance, or result in increased costs even with special contractor emphasis and close government monitoring.
Moderate Some potential for a disruption of the schedule or increased costs even with contractor emphasis and contract monitoring.
Low Little potential for a schedule disruption or increased costs with normal contractor effort and normal monitoring should be able to overcome any anticipated difficulties.

Part 4


401 Responsibility:

There is a direct relationship between the quality of the solicitation prepared by the Department and the quality of offers received. Accordingly, the RFP must be carefully prepared in order to generate maximum competition and to draw industry's best efforts towards achieving mission objectives. While the contracting office has primary responsibility for the RFP, the contracting office and the technical office should work together in the development of a draft RFP.

402 Review of the RFP:

The draft RFP will be submitted to the Board prior to release by the CO. The Board will review the draft RFP and will send the CO any comments or suggested revisions for inclusion in the RFP. In reviewing the RFP, the Board is to make sure that the RFP requests all the information needed for evaluation of the proposals. In its review, the Board will concentrate on the following areas:

Appendix C provides a list of questions which can be used in the Board's review of the RFP.

In addition, for ADP/Telecommunications acquisitions the Board will review the additional following areas:

Appendix D provides questions for reviewing an ADP/Telecommunication Acquisition RFP. Appendix E contains Federal Information Resources Management Regulations (FIRMR) requirements which are unique to ADP Acquisitions.

In order to ensure that the specifications are clear and complete, and to encourage industry to offer the latest technology, proposed specifications may be provided to industry by an announcement in the Commerce Business Daily and release of a request for information (RFI) by the CO for comment prior to issuance of the RFP. A copy of the RFI should be furnished to all firms expected to receive the RFP. The firms should be given a minimum of thirty days to submit their written comments. All comments received and the actions taken shall be retained in the contract file.

The GSA centralized Bidders Mailing List (BML) for Federal Supply Classification (FSC) Group 70 may be used for competitive ADPE and software acquisition as well. See FIRMR 201-32.106 for further instructions.

403 Selection Language:

.01 Relative Importance: To ensure that offerors are fully informed of each factor's importance, the Board will include in the solicitation section M the evaluation factors and subfactors and a narrative which describes the importance the Government has assigned each factor (and subfactor). The board will include in Section L language which specifies what supporting information is to be included in the offer and the specific format to be used. The solicitation must request all information that will be needed to properly evaluate the proposals. In the solicitation, the relative importance of the technical factor may be expressed in terms of weights or percentages only if a numerical scoring system is used. The offerors must be also be notified if the system used will determine that a factor is unacceptable when any subfactor is given a zero. Although cost or price shall not be numerically scored, the offerors must be given an indication of the importance price or cost and the other evaluation factors will play in the selection process. Depending upon the importance assigned to each factor, the narrative statement, for example, will state: "The technical factor has greater value than either the cost or business management factors. Cost is more important than business management". In the event of a lower score then past performance may become a significant factor in selection. If only minor differences in the scores, then past performance may become an insignificant factor. The greater the differences in scores the more significant past performance becomes in the selection process.

.02 Selection Statement: The following are recommended samples of solicitation language to be used in section M to inform offerors of the importance of the evaluation factors in the selection process:


Proposals will be evaluated based upon the following factors (list factors, subfactors, and a narrative statement of each factor's relative importance). Award will be made to that offeror whose proposal contains the combination of those factors offering the best overall value to the Government. This will be determined by comparing differences in the value of technical and business management features with differences in cost to the Government. In making this comparison (here choose from among the following alternatives.)

Alternate No. 1 (Technical and Business Management Most Important):

…the Government is more concerned with obtaining superior technical or business management features than with making an award at the lowest overall cost to the Government. However, the Government will not make an award at a significantly higher overall cost to the Government to achieve slightly superior technical or management features."

Alternate No 2 (Technical, Business Management and Cost of Equal Importance):

...the Government is concerned with striking the most advantageous balance between technical and business management features and cost to the Government."

Alternate No. 3 (Cost Most Important):

...the Government is more concerned with making an award at the lowest overall cost to the Government than with obtaining superior technical or business management features. However, the Government will not make an award based on a proposal with significantly inferior technical or business management features in order to achieve a small savings in cost."

404 Solicitation Instructions:

The solicitation must be written to lay the ground rules for the competition, ensure that the proposals address the objectives of the acquisition, be compatible with the plan, contain all data necessary for the offerors to understand the requirement, and be clear, concise and complete. The evaluation structure of the plan must be reflected in the solicitation so that a ready comparison can be made with the proposals. Since the selection decision can be made only on the basis of the evaluation factors contained in the solicitation, it is important that the solicitation describe the requirements for proposal information in sufficient detail to enable the offerors to understand and to submit the amount and kind of information required; and to permit evaluation against the stated factors. In addition, the instructions should address the following:

.01 Cost and Pricing Data: The CO must include specific details as to the amount of cost data the offerors will be required to submit with their proposals. At a minimum, the cost breakdown should provide for the cost elements that the CO will need to properly analyze and evaluate the proposals. The offerors need to know the format for the proposed costs, how to identify the cost elements, how to explain the basis for proposing these costs, and what supporting details to provide. In addition, when acquiring services or studies, the government should provide an estimated level of effort to establish the parameters of the requirement. The CO must ask for certified cost or pricing data when a cost reimbursement type contract is planned and when a fixed price contract is planned but the CO does not expect adequate price competition. When a fixed price contract is planned and adequate price competition is expected, the CO will not request certified cost or pricing data. The offerors, however, should be informed that such data may will be required later in the selection process. The CO should make a determination that there is not adequate price competition and that certified cost or pricing data is required soon after receipt of offers. When certified cost or pricing data is not required, the solicitation must clearly state the amount and type of cost data the offerors must submit to permit adequate cost/price evaluation. The CO must request supporting cost data at any time in the acquisition process when it is determined that the offeror did not provide all of the information needed to evaluate the proposal.

.02 Unpriced Technical Proposals: The CO should request that the offerors include unpriced cost data in their technical proposals. This data should be at the same level of detail as contained in the cost proposal except all references to cost must be deleted. It is important that the technical evaluation include comments on the data that the offeror used to base its estimates of costs and other areas where the offeror used judgement to develop its estimates. Examples of unpriced cost data would be proposed categories of labor, labor hour estimates, equipment/facility purchases, and the frequency and destination of the proposed travel. By requiring this unpriced cost data in the technical proposal, the CO can obtain needed advice and comments in this area without releasing the proposed prices to the technical team before the technical evaluation is completed.

.03 Size of Proposal: Whenever possible the solicitation will provide guidance on the number of pages of the technical proposals preferred by the Government, including exhibits and attachments. The page limit will vary based upon the complexity of the acquisition. The solicitation must also discuss how the exhibits and attachments will be considered and evaluated.

.04 Proposal Format: The solicitation should contain specific instructions as to how the proposals should be organized and arranged to provide consistency with the evaluation factors to facilitate the evaluation process. This instruction should address the following:

.05 Other Instructions: Depending upon the nature of the acquisition, the following instructions are suggested to assist the potential offerors in the preparation of their proposals:

405 Preproposal Conference:

01. The CO shall decide if a preproposal conference is needed prior to the release of the solicitation. When a preproposal conference is to be held, the CO shall make the necessary arrangements (including provisions for recording or transcribing these proceedings) and shall conduct the conference with the assistance of the Chairperson. Other members of the Board may be present as either participants or observers. Sufficient time will be allowed to permit the prospective offerors to review the RFP and to submit questions in advance of the scheduled conference.

02. The CO and the Board shall meet prior to the preproposal conference to determine appropriate answers to written questions received prior to the conference. Any questions which cannot be readily answered at the conference, should be answered by the CO in writing as soon as possible to all offerors. Any oral answers given at the conference must be followed up in writing after the conference.

03. The CO shall provide each potential offeror with a copy of the questions and answers, meeting attendees and any other information given out at the conference or as result of the conference, in sufficient time to allow the potential offerors to use the information obtained at the conference.

04. The CO will amend the RFP, if necessary, after the conference, to include revisions to the solicitation discussed during the conference, or required as a result of the conference. If a question indicates that the solicitation language is ambiguous, an amendment must be made to the RFP. Clarifications to the statement of work or specifications, or changes to the RFP cannot be made by simply publishing Q & A's resulting from the conference.

406 Training:

Prior to the receipt of the proposals the CO will conduct training sessions with Board members and team members in the formal selection process and procedures.

Part 5

Receipt of Proposals and Evaluation

501 Receipt of Proposals:

Upon receipt of proposals, the CO shall log and number each proposal, and shall ensure that proper security procedures are followed by the Board and evaluators throughout the evaluation process. (See Paragraph 209 "Disclosure of Information").

502 Start of Evaluation Process:

As soon as possible after receipt of proposals, the following events should occur:

.01 The Board Chairperson shall give the evaluation teams the approved scoring systems and evaluation plans along with the proposal section to be evaluated.

.02 All Board members, team members, and advisors shall reassess potential conflicts of interest. In the event of a potential conflict of interest the procedures set forth in Paragraph 211 shall be followed.

503 Preliminary Review:

The Board, with the assistance of the teams, shall screen all proposals received. Proposals may be eliminated from further consideration before the detailed evaluation if the proposal does not represent a reasonable effort to address the essential requirements of the RFP, or the proposal otherwise clearly demonstrates that the offeror does not understand the requirements of the RFP. For a proposal to be eliminated at this phase, the CO, after legal review, must determine that the proposal is so grossly deficient as to require an extensive rewrite before it could be considered for evaluation. The reasons for the elimination of any proposal shall be recorded in detail in the official Board and contract files.

504 Initial Team Evaluation:

The Teams shall evaluate all proposals and report their findings to the Board in accordance with the approved scoring systems and evaluation plan. The technical evaluation teams shall not receive copies of proposals which contain costing information. The contents of cost proposals shall not be disclosed to anyone other than those concerned with performing the cost or price analysis, until the Board completes its detailed evaluation. The Board shall establish appropriate procedures to assure the analysis of proposed costs or prices without premature disclosure. The CO shall not accept any evaluation which is not thoroughly documented, and cross-referenced to the appropriate proposal sections.

505 Cost/Price Evaluation:

At the same time that the technical proposals are being reviewed, the cost proposals will be evaluated by the business evaluation team. Care must be taken to ensure that no cost information is divulged to the technical evaluation team at this stage of the process so that the technical findings and conclusions will not be influenced by knowledge of the costs offered. The techniques and procedures set out in FAR 15.805-2 and 3 will be followed in reviewing the cost proposals. After a preliminary review, the CO will decide if audits are required. If there are a large number of offers, the CO may elect to request audits only for those firms found to be in the competitive range. The business evaluation factors must be designed to assess the offerors business and corporate ability to perform the proposed work and provide a basis to make a relative assessment of the merits of each offer. Often the business management factors will include elements from the responsibility determination standards.

506 Technical Evaluation:

Team members will independently read and evaluate each proposal, using the criteria and methodology contained in the RFP. Proposals are evaluated using score sheets developed for the acquisition. The score sheets provide a means for a narrative description of the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal for each specific factor or subfactor. Each strength and weakness shall be presented in narrative form to clearly support the scores given for each factor, along with a proposal section or page reference. The sheets are also used to identify minor irregularities, informalities, omissions, or clerical mistakes which may need further clarification or require further information. Often the business management factors will be similar to the standards used by the CO in making the determination that the prospective contractor is responsible in accordance with FAR 9.105-2. It is important to differentiate between the responsibility determination and the business management factors. The business evaluation factors must be designed to assess the offerors business and corporate ability to perform the proposed work and provide a basis to make a relative assessment of the merits of each offer. The method of scoring the business management proposal must have been set forth in the solicitation for other than numerical scoring. The financial condition of the offeror is to be used only by the CO in the determination of responsibility. Each evaluator also will complete and sign a summary score sheet which contains a rating for each evaluation factor and an overall summary (combining all factors) for the proposal. The summary sheets, along with the supporting score sheets, are then submitted to the team chairperson.

507 Team Reports:

After reviewing the team members' score sheets, the team chairperson will convene a meeting of the team to discuss the evaluation and to develop a consensus for a composite rating and ranking of the proposals. The technical scoring must adequately reflect the written evaluation report comments. The team chairperson will then prepare a team evaluation report for submission to the Board and the CO. The report will be signed by the team members and will contain an overall summary of the team's ratings, findings, and conclusions for each proposal. The team report shall include:

508 ADP/Telecommunication Evaluation:

Each technical proposal will be evaluated to determine if the proposal meets the mandatory requirements and to validate the technical features of the proposal. Benchmark tests and/or operational capability demonstrations will then be scheduled with all offerors who meet the mandatory requirements. The results of the testing and demonstrations should result in recommendations as to the acceptance or nonacceptance of the offeror's performance. Comments on the evaluated optional features and the need for providing clarifying data shall be documented in the team report. At the same time, an economic analysis will be performed on the various alternative methods of acquisition being proposed. In ADP/Telecommunications acquisitions, it is in the best interest of the Government to provide suggestions for reducing the costs of the proposal, such as elimination of unnecessary hardware from the configurations.

509 Contractor Responsibility:

Prior to the selection decision, the CO will make a determination of the prospective contractors responsibility in accordance with FAR 9.105-2. The CO will incorporate the responsibility determinations into the report to the SSO.

510 Board Evaluation:

The evaluation team reports and findings will be reviewed by the Board and the CO. The Board then will meet to discuss the scoring and comments prepared by the evaluation teams and to evaluate each proposal using the evaluation factors and scoring system. Findings will be developed on the strengths and weaknesses, with an indication of whether the deficiencies are considered major or minor, and correctable or not. The strengths and weaknesses must be related to the evaluation factors and criteria. The Board report should reflect the essential findings made during the evaluation process. Experience and past performance of an offeror provides the Agency a means of determining the suitability and motivation of a contractor. The solicitation should explain that other program offices and project managers within the agency or other Government agencies may be contacted to determine the offeror's past performance. In the event there are significant differences among the offerors in this area, then past performance may become a significant factor in the evaluation. If there are only minor differences in past performance then the factor may become insignificant. The greater the differences, the more significant this past performance element will become.

511 Competitive Range:

.01 Competitive Range: The competitive range shall include all firms considered to have a reasonable chance of being selected for contract award. When there is doubt as to whether or not to include an offeror in the competitive range the offeror shall be included. Even when identified deficiencies are considered to be major, the competitive range must include all offerors who could be expected to have a reasonable chance of correcting the deficiencies and being awarded the contract.

.02 Predetermined Ranking or Scoring Systems: Decisions to exclude firms from the competitive range shall be based upon persuasive rationale and sufficient facts to support the conclusion that meaningful discussions could not improve the offeror's chances of being selected for award. Predetermined cutoff scores or rankings, designed for determining the threshold level of acceptability or inclusion in the competitive range, or rankings based solely on the total number of points amassed, shall not be used. All decisions regarding the competitive range shall be fully documented in writing.

.03 Report to the SSO: The Chairperson shall submit a written report of the Board's findings to the SSO. Unless specifically approved by the SSO and the CO, the report shall not be disclosed to anyone other than Board members, the Procurement Executive, and the Head of the Operating Unit. All Board voting members will sign the report to show that it represents their collective opinion. If a Board member has serious reservations concerning the evaluation itself, or the findings stated in the report, the Chairperson should first attempt to resolve the issues. If the difference of opinion cannot be resolved and the member considers the issue a significant matter, the Chairperson shall require a written report from the member. This report will be included as an annex to the Board report. The Chairperson shall allow a reasonable time to prepare this report.

.04 Content of the Report: The report shall provide detailed findings of the Board; and a composite rating for each proposal. The report shall cover the areas outlined in Appendix F, as appropriate.

.05 Oral Presentation to the SSO: The SSO may request an oral presentation from the Board. The Board Chairperson is responsible for conducting the presentation, with assistance by the Board members, as deemed necessary. The CO and the Chairperson of each evaluation team also should attend. As a minimum, the oral presentation should address the following:

.06 Determination: After considering the Board's findings, and obtaining legal review, the CO shall determine the competitive range for contract negotiations, and send the determination to the SSO for concurrence. All firms found not to be in the competitive range shall be promptly notified by the CO.

512 Receipt of a Single Proposal:

If only one proposal is received, the CO will attempt to learn why other offers were not received. Prior to releasing the proposal to the Board, the CO shall make a determination, including legal review, as to whether or not the solicitation was unduly restrictive or was otherwise flawed, and if the solicitation should be cancelled. If the decision is made to continue the procurement, the Board will conduct a limited evaluation to decide if the proposal received satisfies the requirements of the solicitation and is an acceptable offer. The Board will then present its findings and the CO's determination to the SSO. The SSO will review the information submitted and will notify the Board Chairperson and the CO whether:

a. the Board is to proceed with the procurement using the established Board procedures, or

b. the Board is to be disbanded and the CO is to proceed with the award without further Board involvement, or

c. the CO shall reject the proposal received and cancel the solicitation.

Part 6


601 Prenegotiation Planning:

The Chairperson shall give to the CO questions, issues, deficiencies, and weaknesses for discussions with the offerors in the competitive range. The CO will use this information to develop the prenegotiation position and objectives with the support of appropriate advisors (technical, cost analysts, auditors, legal, etc.) as needed. The Board shall review the prenegotiation positions and objectives prior to the start of negotiations. In addition, the CO is responsible for ensuring that all internal procurement prenegotiation documents are prepared and approvals obtained.

602 Prenegotiation Planning for ADP/Telecommunications Acquisitions:

In preparing for negotiations, the CO should be alert to the following:

.01 Anti-deficiency restraints must be considered when entering into a multi-year lease or installment plan contract. In installment purchase plans the offer may include Government assumption of some costs and obligations of ownership in order to get a lower price. These offers may include the Government's need to insure the equipment (assume the risk of loss or damage) or an obligation to pay taxes on the equipment: Such assumptions may constitute a contingent liability by the Government in violation of the Anti-Deficiency Act.

.02 Lease To Ownership Plan (LTOP)/Installment Purchase Plan (IPP) offers often contain terms and conditions not covered by the RFP. The Government cannot accept these terms and conditions without a formal amendment to the RFP advising all other offerors of the types of terms and conditions that the Government will consider.

.03 Offerors will sometimes limit the time period during which an option can be exercised. The CO should make sure that the Government will have a sufficient period of time to exercise the options.

.04 During negotiations the Government must try to retain accrued credits and/or equity under lease, LTOP and IPP plans. Accrued credits can be transferred to GSA in the event that the agency requirement ceases or funds are no longer available. At least a ninety day transfer plan for a takeover by GSA should be the prenegotiation goal.

603 Award Without Discussions:

An award can be made without discussions only when the CO can clearly demonstrate that acceptance of an initial proposal without discussions would result in the lowest overall cost to the government; and the FAR provision at 15.407(d) has been included in the RFP. When there is any uncertainty as to the technical or pricing aspects of the proposal, the award should not be made without further exploration and discussion prior to award.

604 Written or Oral Discussions:

It is important to distinguish between clarifications, deficiencies, and discussions at this point in the selection process. No discussions can be held with any offeror prior to the establishment of the competitive range.

.01 Clarifications: Prior to the establishment of the competitive range, an offeror may be asked, only by the CO, about clarifications to their proposal provided such communications are for the sole purpose of eliminating minor irregularities, informalities, or apparent clerical mistakes. No revisions to the proposal may be permitted except to the extent the revision may correct an apparent clerical mistake.

.02 Deficiencies: Deficiencies are faults or shortcomings found in a proposal, after evaluation, such as: failure to meet the specifications, failure to submit all the required information, or a questionable technical or management approach. Deficiencies must derive from the evaluation of each proposal against a specific standard or requirement established in the solicitation. They cannot be derived from a comparative evaluation of the relative strengths and weaknesses of competing proposals.

.03 Discussions: The selection process requires that the CO conduct meaningful discussions with each offeror in the competitive range. To be meaningful, the discussions must disclose all deficiencies, resolve any uncertainties or mistakes, and provide an opportunity for the offerors to revise their proposals. It is unlikely that a written list of questions will satisfy the requirement for conducting meaningful discussions. Therefore, oral discussions are encouraged for most major procurements. The CO is not required to point out deficiencies which are not correctable, nor is the CO obligated to point out problems if the proposal does not contain any deficiencies. Likewise, the CO is not required to discuss every factor where the offeror received less than a maximum score. Once the competitive range is established, discussions must be held with all offerors in the competitive range, if discussions are held with any in the competitive range. It is improper to allow one offeror the opportunity to revise its proposal without allowing all the offerors an equal opportunity to revise their proposals as well. Before conducting discussions, it is important to have a meeting to develop a written agenda for the discussions. At this meeting, the CO will define the role of each attendee and tell them when they will be allowed to enter into the discussions. The actual conduct of negotiations will at all times be under the control of the CO. During discussions the following rules must be followed:

605 Request for Best and Final Offers:

.01 At the conclusion of discussions with all the offerors each shall be afforded an opportunity to submit a revision to its proposal. All offerors shall be given a common time and date for the submission of best and final offers. They must also be notified that any revisions to their proposals must be received by that time and date. No offeror shall be required to submit a best and final offer, and may elect to be considered on the basis if its original offer. If an offer is received after the established common cutoff time or date, it shall be handled in accordance with FAR 15.412.

.02 Upon receipt of the best and final offers, the Board (and if necessary, the evaluation teams) shall conduct a final evaluation, focusing on a comparative analysis of the costs negotiated, the relative strengths and remaining weaknesses, prices and probable costs, and any other solicitation evaluation factors which might influence the selection decision. Full supporting details will be provided in writing to support any scoring changes.

.03 After receipt of best and final offers, care must be taken not to reopen negotiations, unless negotiations are formally reopened by the CO. Any discussion or action which allows any offeror to revise its proposal, after receipt of best and final offers, constitutes reopening of negotiations. When negotiations are reopened, all offerors in the competitive range must be given an opportunity to revise their proposals.

606 Final Evaluation:

The Board shall;

.01 Review the results of the negotiations and reevaluation, including final team reports, if required.

.02 Evaluate the comparative strengths, weaknesses and deficiencies for each offeror, the negotiated cost or price, business arrangements, and any other factors which might influence the selection. The Board is responsible for assuring that the advantages and disadvantages of the terms of each offer are identified for the SSO.

.03 Prepare the final report for submission to the SSO.

607 Final Report:

Upon completion of the evaluation process, the Board shall submit a final report to the SSO. Due to the importance of this report, the Board may send an advance copy for the SSO's review. At a minimum, the report should include the information outlined in Appendix F for the final report.

Part 7

Source Selection

701 Oral Presentation to the SSO:

The SSO may request an oral presentation from the Board. The presentation will be conducted in accordance with the procedures as shown in Paragraph 510.05.

702 Source Selection Decision:

In making a selection, the SSO must consider all factors pertinent to the decision and must make the necessary trade-off judgments between quality, schedule, risks, and cost. While the Board evaluated each proposal against the evaluation factors, the SSO in reaching a decision must rate each proposal against the others. The decision is to be made in light of the Government's requirements, the evaluation factors and their relative importance, the quality and suitability of the offer, the likelihood of the offer being successfully performed, and the estimated probable cost to the Government. The SSO shall then select the offer giving the most favorable terms to the Government, including technical, cost or price, business management and other factors, as established in the solicitation. The SSO may not alter the relative importance of the factors as stated in the RFP. However, given a rational basis, the SSO can make a selection which is inconsistent with the Board's scoring provided a complete justification is documented.

703 Source Selection Statement:

After the selection decision has been made, the Board will prepare the selection statement which records the rationale for the decision and which fully documents and supports the award. The selection statement will be coordinated with the SSO, the CO, and the Board's legal advisor prior to preparation of the final document. The statement shall be concise and will contain the following:

704 ADP/Telecommunications Selection:

Selection of an offer under an ADP/Telecommunication acquisition is to be made on the basis of the lowest overall cost to the Government, as defined in FIRMR 201-2.001. The lowest cost means the least expenditure of funds over the system/item life, price and other factor considered. The lowest overall cost includes the purchase price, lease or rental prices, the cost of services, and other identifiable and quantifiable costs that are directly related to the acquisition and use of the system/item. Appendix G contains sample questions to be applied in reaching a selection decision.

705 Contract Award:

Upon receipt of the signed selection statement, the CO will follow normal department procedures to execute a contract with the selected firm(s). This will include preparation of a post-negotiation memorandum and final business approvals.

706 Records Disposition:

After award, the Board Chairperson is responsible for disposing of all Board excess records and materials and transferring the official records to the CO. The CO shall retain one copy of each proposal for the official contract file. All other copies will be destroyed, unless additional copies of the successful proposal are needed for contract administration.

707 "Lessons Learned" Memorandum:

The Board Chairperson shall submit a "Lessons Learned" memorandum to the Procurement Executive within ninety days after contract award. The memorandum should contain information, considerations, and suggestions based on this acquisition which may be helpful in future source selection activities.

Appendix A

Sample Board Documents

The following documents may be used by the CO and the Board in establishing and conducting the formal source selection process.

1. Sample appointment memorandum.

2. Sample confidentiality statement.

3. Sample conflict of interest statement.


Board Appointment Memorandum

From: Source Selection Official
Subject: Source Evaluation Board

In accordance with the Department's formal source selection procedures, I have been designated as the source selection official (SSO) for (title of acquisition).

This memorandum establishes the Source Evaluation Board (Board) to evaluate proposals for this acquisition. The evaluation will be conducted in accordance with the selection plan which the Board will submit for my approval. The Board membership and organization shall be as follows:







Executive Secretary (voting/nonvoting member):

Other advisors, consultants, etc.:

The Board will conduct its business in accordance with the DOC formal source selection procedures and applicable policies of the Federal Acquisition Regulation, Commerce Acquisition Regulation, and applicable Departmental regulations. It will be the joint responsibility of the Chairperson and the CO to ensure that the Board members and other participants are fully conversant with, and adhere to, the applicable acquisition and Board procedures, especially those relating to safeguarding of information and conflicts of interest.

The Chairperson will be responsible for selecting the evaluation committees, for designating chairpersons for each committee, and for including this information in the selection plan. The CO will be responsible for the evaluation of the cost or pricing data.


The evaluation will be conducted in accordance with the selection plan. In order to meet the planned schedules, your active role on this Board is required. Therefore, your Board duties shall take precedence over other normal duties unless I authorize an exception.

You are reminded that the findings of the Board will only serve as a guide for the final selection of a contractor and must be presented in sufficient detail to permit an intelligent weighing of alternatives. The Board's written findings will give no consideration to data extraneous to the objectives of this acquisition

All information shall be kept privy to the Board and to properly designated persons on a need-to-know basis. The right to information normally shall not extend beyond the normal chain of supervision affecting any Board member. General progress reports of the Board's activities will be made by the Chairperson directly to me.


Confidentiality Certificate

To Board Chairperson

In anticipation of my participation on the source evaluation board formed to evaluate proposals for the (acquisition title), I have read and understand the requirements for safeguarding and disclosing information. I certify that I will not disclose any information concerning the evaluation, the number of offers received, the identity of the offerors, or the contents of the proposals to any party who is not authorized access to the Board's information by law, regulation, or pursuant to the order of a court of competent jurisdiction, and then only to the extent that such information is required in connection with such person's official responsibilities. Furthermore, I will report to you any communication concerning the acquisition or the Board's composition and activities, from any party outside of the Board. I will keep all copies of proposals, evaluation reports, scoring sheets, notes, and all other materials pertaining to the Board's operations in a locked cabinet or file drawer when not being used. I will also return all of the documents when instructed.








Conflict of Interest Certificate

To Board Chairperson

I certify that I am not aware of any matter which might limit my ability to participate in the (acquisition title) proceedings and activities in an objective and unbiased manner or which might place me in a position of a conflict, real or apparent, between my responsibilities as a member of the Board and other interests.

In making this certification, I have considered all my stocks, bonds, other financial interests, and employment arrangements (past, present, or under consideration) and, to the extent known by me, all the financial interests and employment arrangements of my spouse, my minor children, and other members of my immediate household.

If, after the date of this certification, any person, firm, or other organization with which, to my knowledge, I (including my spouse, minor children, and other members of my immediate household) have a financial interest, or with which I have (or had) an employment arrangement, submits a proposal or otherwise becomes involved in the acquisition, I will notify the Board Chairperson and the Contracting Officer of this apparent conflict of interest. Until advised to the contrary, I will not participate further in any way (by rendering advice, making recommendations, voting or otherwise) in the work of this Board.







Appendix B

Samples of Scoring Systems

The following are presented as illustrations of scoring systems which have been used in the past by various agencies: A suitable scoring system must be developed for each specific acquisition. In developing a scoring system, any combination of these examples, or other acceptable scoring system, consistent with this chapter, may be used. In developing the scoring system, a descriptive narrative must also be written. This narrative must support the evaluation findings and the score given.




1. Adjective Rating:
a. Three-Descriptor:




Not Acceptable






b. Four-Descriptor:










c. Five-Descriptor:


Above Normal


Below Normal








d. Six-descriptor:














e. Ten-Descriptor:




Very Good





Very Poor


Not acceptable













2. Color Coding:










3. Plus, Minus, Checks:





Exceeded Requirements

Meets Requirements

Does Not Meet Requirements

4. "Consumer Reports" Rating 




(Need to Add Graphics Below)






Appendix C

RFP Review Questions

In determining the RFP's acceptability for evaluation purposes, the Board will use the following questions in its review of the RFP. These questions will not apply to every procurement, but are offered as a guide for the Board's reviews.

1. Statement of Work/Specifications

a. Does it clearly and accurately describe the product or service to be acquired?

b. Is it consistent with the agency mission?

c. Are there adequate configuration controls in place?

d. Is it consistent with the requirements described in the approved acquisition and selection plans?

e. Are the deliverable items accurately described and are the delivery dates realistic?

f. Have the number of deliverable items been specified along with a delivery address?

g. Has a realistic level of effort been included when work/task orders are to be used?

h. Is the effort consistent with the Government estimate?

i. Have all option provisions been adequately described and has a reasonable time been allowed to exercise these options?

j. Have requirements for spare parts or reprocurement data been requested?

k. Has a requirement for first article testing (pre-production model) been included?

1. Have all Government furnished property or facilities, been described along with their estimated value?

m. Does the described requirement foster or restrict competition?

n. Is the information to be submitted by the offerors excessive?

2. Evaluation Factors

a. Are all significant areas which must be addressed in the offer and which will form the basis for source selection addressed?

b. Are the evaluation factors tailored to the requirements of this acquisition?

c. Do they represent the standard against which all offers can be evaluated?

d. Are they clear, concise and fair so that all offerors are fully aware of the basis for evaluation and are given an equal opportunity to compete?

e. Do they address the key program concerns which the offerors must be aware of in preparing the offer?

f. Do they emphasize only the significant areas considered to be critical in 'the selection of a source?

3. Relative Importance of Factors

a. Is the importance of each factor or subfactor shown, as well as the relative importance of each factor in comparison to the other factors?

b. Are all the factors of equal importance? If not, the importance of each must be shown and a mere listing of the factors in order of descending order of importance is not permitted.

c. If a factor has been divided into subparts, has the relative importance of each subpart been shown?

d. Has a statement been included to accurately reflect the importance of technical merit in comparison to cost or price?

e. If cost realism is a factor, is it clearly explained how this will be determined?

4. Proposal Preparation Instructions

a. Have all firms been provided with essential information needed in order to prepare a proposal?

b. Do the instructions describe the information and data needed to be provided?

c. Do the instructions tell the offerors how the project is expected to be organized, staffed and managed?

d. Do they contain all information needed so the offeror can address all key elements allowing each pertinent area to be easily evaluated?

e. Do they require the submission of information showing the qualifications and experience of the firm and all subcontractors?

f. Do they require the submission of the names and resumes of the technical personnel who are being proposed to work on the project, as well as the extent to which each individual will participate in the project?

g. Do they require submission of an organization chart of the firm's organizational elements as they will be assigned to the project along with lines of authority, and names and job title for each individual?

h. Do they require a detailed work plan indicating how each aspect of the work will be accomplished?

i. Is there a clear path from the requirements to the evaluation factors and to the evaluation methodology?

Appendix D

ADP/Telecommunication Acquisition Review Questions

1. General Questions

a. Are the objectives of the solicitation clearly stated?

b. Have the required standards been considered, specified, or waived?

c. Are the mandatory requirements clearly stated?

d. Are the evaluated option features clear and is their relative importance (dollar values) established?

e. Are the requirements for a benchmark test or operational capability demonstration clear? Are they adequate to demonstrate the required capability?

f. Are the evaluation factors clear?

g. Is the basis for award statement, including the basis for evaluated options, clear?

h. If there are unusual or limiting features in the RFP, are they clearly stated?

i. Is a systems life stated?

j. Are acceptable methods of acquisition (lease/option) stated?

k. If liquidated damages are proposed, are they clearly justified?

2. Specifications

a. Can it be evaluated in yes or no terms?

b. Can it be tested?

c. Have the minimum needs been clearly specified?

d. Is the requirement stated in terms of systems life?

e. Are all optional quantities and features included?

f. Does it allow for growth of requirements?

g. Are privacy and security requirements addressed?

h. Has a communications study been performed?

i. Are environmental conditions addressed?

j. Does it meet ADP & telecommunication standards (FIRMR 201-8)?

k. Is the period of rental stated?

l. Are the installation and delivery dates stated?

m. Will a Liquidated Damages Provision be required?

n. Are the standards of performance and acceptance included?

o. Are the contractor's responsibilities clearly stated?

3. Evaluation Factors

a. Are all factors clearly identified?

b. Are there mandatory requirements to be met?

c. Are there evaluation criteria included for evaluated optional features?

d. Are there other additional evaluation factors which must be included? These may include:

4. Costing Information

Does the solicitation require costing information:

a. In the form of unit price tables?

b. In the form of installation summary price tables?

c. Is a costing information questionnaire required?

d. Does the stated systems life begin with installation and end with termination of need? (Systems life is not synonymous with technological life.)

e. Does it require prices for hardware, software and maintenance?

f. Is a present value analysis included?

g. Does it solicit all forms of financing for the acquisition? These include:

h. Has the residual value of the purchased ADPE at the conclusion of the system life been considered?

i. Has the present value of money (discounted for the system life) been considered?

Appendix E

Federal Information Resources Management Regulations

(FIRMR) Requirements for ADP Acquisitions

1. Requirements analysis - FIRMR 201-30.007.

2. Analysis of alternatives - FIRMR 201-30.009.

3. Performance evaluation for currently installed ADP systems - FIRMR 201-30.007(d)(a) and 201-34.002.

4. Use of compatibility limited requirements - FIRMR 201-30.009-3.

5. Software conversion study - FIRMR 201-30.012-1.

6. Certified data to support a contemplated requirement available from only one responsive source - FIRMR 201-11.002(b).

7. Justifications to support a contemplated requirement using a specific make and model specification - FIRMR 201-30.013-2.

8. Planned actions necessary to foster competition for subsequent acquisitions - FIRMR 201-30.0 12.

Appendix F

Board Report Format and Outline

The Board report should be prepared with an emphasis on substance. Where possible, duplicative documentation, data or information, should be included by reference or as attachments to the report. Copies of the report and related evaluation material shall be serially numbered and controlled by the Board Chairperson. The content may be distributed or disclosed only to persons having responsibilities relating to the specific acquisition. The report should provide the following information to the SSO:

1. What did the RFP ask the offerors to do;

2. What are the technical and contractual objectives of the project;

3. What are the relative importance of the evaluation factors;

4. What sources were considered;

5. How were the proposals evaluated and rated.

A "Glossary of Terms" should be included in the report when appropriate to explain acronyms or alphabetic abbreviations used in the report.

1. Initial Report The initial report, at a minimum, should contain:

a. A brief narrative description of the property or services to be acquired.

b. A description of the source selection approach including:

i. The evaluation factors and their relative importance;

ii. Any special procurement considerations;

iii. A discussion of the planned contract type in relation to the mission of the acquisition.

c. A narrative on each offer evaluated including their strengths, weaknesses, deficiencies, and any reservations along with an estimate of the potential for the correction of any significant weaknesses, and an estimate of the impact on cost if the correctable weaknesses are eliminated.

d. The names, in descending order, of the firms recommended for inclusion in the competitive range.

e. Reasons, with supporting narrative, for any proposal not recommended for the competitive range.

f. Specific points, issues, and questions to be raised during discussions for each offeror in the competitive range.

g. Separate approvals required for this acquisition:

i. Date acquisition plan was approved.

ii. Date selection plan was approved.

iii. Dates any other required approvals were received or will be approved.

h. Funding

i. Estimated cost

a'. Current funding

b'. Availability of future funding, if applicable.

ii. Related follow-on acquisitions.

iii. Options.

i. The following will be included in the initial report as attachments:

i. List of all firms solicited.

ii. List of offers received.

iii. Roster of Board membership with a chronology of the Board's activities and meetings.

iv. Copies of team reports.

2. Final Report The final report should, at a minimum, contain the following:

a. The results of the negotiations with a narrative of how the evaluations and rankings were changed as a result of the discussions.

b. A listing of the proposals, in descending order, as follows:

i. Ranking

a'. Before written or oral discussions;

b'. After written or oral discussions;

ii. Strengths

a'. Before written or oral discussions;

b'. After written or oral discussions;

iii. Weaknesses

a'. Before written or oral discussions;

b'. After written or oral discussions;

iv. Relative differences between the proposals.

c. A summary cost analysis, for each proposal, including the adequacy and cost realism, and an analysis of the differences between the costs proposed.

d. A Brief analysis of each offeror's financial capabilities.

e. A brief analysis of any incentive arrangements negotiated and how the fees would be earned along with any disincentives negotiated.

f. A discussion of any issues that developed during the discussions.

g. A discussion as to how the SSO's instructions, if any, were carried out by the Board and CO.

h. The status of the negotiations of the Small Business and Small Disadvantaged Business Subcontracting Plan.

i. A brief discussion of any protests received and how these protests were resolved.

j. A discussion of any apparent conflicts of interest and how these have been or will be resolved.

k. The Board's initial report shall be included as an attachment to the final report.

3. Sample Report Cover Sheet The following format is for the initial and final reports:

Sample Board Report Cover Sheet


Title of Acquisition

Initial/Final Report Date

This report is submitted by;

Chairman                                                                                      Date

Chairman                                                                                      Date

Chairman                                                                                      Date

Chairman                                                                                      Date

Chairman                                                                                      Date

Appendix G

ADP/Telecommunications Award Questions

In making the final evaluation of ADP/Telecommunications acquisitions, the Board may use the following

series of questions, as applicable:

1. Have all mandatory requirements been met?

2. Have they been validated by the benchmark tests and/or operational capability demonstrations?

3. Has the benchmark test and/or demonstration result in a conclusion that the offeror's performance is acceptable or not?

4. Are economic benefits clearly attributable to increased productivity?

5. Are there direct savings that would accrue from the release of rented ADPE, discontinuance of services, or reduction in energy and telecommunications costs?

6. Are there indirect savings to be derived from reductions in other than ADPE or service costs, such as space and/or personnel support expenses?

7. Are there benefits from implementing new applications which otherwise would have to be deferred?

8. Are there economic advantages resulting from providing the capability to accommodate projected increases in workload without augmentation or replacement of equipment?

9. Are there potential savings due to the availability of software, already available from the Federal inventory or commercial market place, that could be used to meet additional requirements?

10. Has the equipment and operating system software proven to be reliable in similar operating environments?

11. Will there be continued availability of operating system software support and maintenance services beyond the initial system/item life that could enhance the probability of reuse of the equipment elsewhere in the government?

12. Is there a potential for supporting other agencies through an ADP sharing plan?