PSHC Industry Partner Briefing — MAS Information Technology IT Pre Award Offer Prep FY23

PSHC Industry Partner Briefing — MAS Information Technology IT Pre Award   Offer Prep FY23

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>> What is the purpose of a schedule? Why should you want to get a schedule? Why would you want to get a contract with GSA? You know, why go through the trouble? Well, there are several advantages to having a GSA schedule contract with us. First of all, it basically what the schedule is, is a federal market space. It's a premier contract vehicle for the purpose of the federal government acquiring products and services. The program is long-term.

It's government wide, and basically, it is the whole definition of the schedules contract is it's an agreement between suppliers and the federal government, and it's a way of streamlining the process so that the government can get the products and services that it needs for your tax taxpayer dollars. The suppliers come from all over the country. They're contractors like you all. And basically, it's, as I said, a way of the federal workspace.

When you have a schedule with GSA, that leverages that space, that environment. So definitely, it's something that you should look into. We have any number of products and services.

The pricing has already been negotiated. The terms/conditions have also been negotiated, and so it's a fast vehicle. It provides fast, flexible, and cost-effective procurement solutions to the federal government and to the federal marketplace is what I said before. More than $15 billion in annual sales flow through the schedules program. 38% of the sales are to small businesses.

We have tons of small businesses. >> Excuse me, Ms. Sermons? >> Yes. >> Excuse me for interrupting, but do you have -- have you been able to acquire your slides, because if you have not, I can forward them to someone here who will drive them for us? >> Ah, fabulous. >> So you're still waiting for your slides, right? >> Yeah, uh-huh.

Give me 30 seconds, and I will email them to you like right now. >> Okay, okay. Thank you. >> Send them to you, right? >> Actually, yeah, that's fine, and I will forward them. >> Okay. So, basically, there's a significant growth. When you think of the schedules program, you think of federal government, but there's also a huge significant growth in both state and local governments as well.

We have 4,000 -- over 4,700 schedule contract holders at this moment, and so, as you can see, that's a great deal. That's a whole lot of products, that's a whole lot of services, and that's a whole lot of business that is flowing through the schedules program. All of the government customer agencies are customers of ours, the largest being the Department of Defense.

As I previously indicated, we have more than $15 billion (with a B) in annual sales. We have a huge number of small businesses, significant growth in state and local sales for a total of -- so we have significant growth in state and local sales, and we also have a huge growth in state and local governments. We have more than 4,700 current IT schedule holders.

And the vast majority of these schedule holders are from small businesses. We have a solicitation that is electronically posted, and we post about four to five times a year. What we do is called a refresh, so anytime that we have some additions to the terms and conditions of the contract, we publish what's known as a refresh. The solicitation is a standing solicitation, which means that you can submit an offer at any time. The solicitation is, like I said, updated. We currently are up to refresh 14.

How to get started? So there are several important sections of the solicitation. We have the cover page, as well as things like the general proposal submissions. This is where your instructions are going to be located. That speaks to how you should go about submitting the offer, the various evaluation factors that are utilized when the contract specialist or contracting officer receives the proposal, the offer. The evaluation factors are also located in the solicitation.

In addition to that are the special item numbers. Special item numbers, think of them as -- so for example, we have product services 54151 is IT professional services, and we have a SIN for hardware, software, services, furniture, office equipment. Anything that the government may need in order to carry out its mission, we pretty much have on GSA schedule. There are several options that you have when submitting an offer. You can do the legacy, and you can do the what's called TDR, transactional data reporting. And I will be covering those a little bit later.

Also, in the solicitation, we have things like the Price Reductions Clause, basically, everything you're going to need in order to submit a complete offer packet. Required documents, basically we need things like contract data. That's your basic information about who you are, what sort of company you are, what you'll be proposing, things of that nature. We also would need you to do things like a pathways to success certification, readiness assessment.

Those are basic tools to kind of get you in the swing of preparing your offer. Think of them as a checklist, a miniature checklist for all of the documentation that is required and that you'll need to have that will accompany your offer package. Also, you will need your financial statements, offer responses.

That is what I was saying as far as think of the offers responses document as kind of the basis, the foundation of your offer package because it really does contain the standard things such as your address, name, authorized negotiators, but it also covers the special item numbers that you're going to be proposing, your business size, socioeconomic status, if you're 8(a), woman-owned, veteran-owned small business, because we take all of those socioeconomic programs very seriously. We want to ensure that all businesses are receiving your piece of the American pie and so we definitely want you to keep those in mind. Also in the offer responses are things like corporate history. That's where you get to tell us a little bit about who you are, what your company does, things of that nature. Then you're going to have your technical proposal along with the evaluation documentation and that goes back to when I said earlier the what the factors are in the solicitation.

So you will find the evaluation factors both in the solicitation in and of itself and also in the offer responses. You have things like your pricing proposal. When you submit an offer, it is a very detailed process. It is a very -- it's a series of detailed documentation. The pricing component of it is essentially not quite price buildup, but it is still how you go about pricing, what sort of pricing are you offering to the government versus the types of pricing that you offer to your other customers? Do you have discounts? Under what circumstances do those discounts kick in? And is -- are you offering GSA the same discounts? Under the same circumstances, would GSA be eligible for these discounts as well, because being that we're leveraging the federal market space, then we also want the discount structure as well, something equal to or better than? In addition to the pricing proposal itself, you would have either a commercials practices -- commercial price list, which is the actual list where you are setting up your pricing, or you'd have what's called a market rate sheet, and you would have something called a commercial sales practices format. That basically, kind of in one document in a nutshell, outlines the classes of customers with whom you conduct business, what your discounts are with them -- for them, under what circumstances those discounts are triggered, and then the last thing on them, that document, is what's being proposed to GSA, what sort of discounts and under what circumstances they're being proposed.

So that is a key document. We also are going to want to know, when it comes to your pricing, there are several -- particularly for customer -- businesses who are proposing services, IT services, there are several ways to propose it. You can tie it to your commercial price list and say okay, anybody when we -- we're going to increase our commercial pricing by 2%, we can -- you come to GSA. All right, we want a 2% price increase. Or you can use what is known as an escalation factor.

Also, along with the labor categories, that's services are going to be things like your labor category descriptions, which basically expand on what a labor category is, what exactly would you be proposing. If you have, say, a database analyst or a information architect, okay, what does that entail? What sort of credentials would you need to have, things of that nature? So we know that it can be -- this whole thing can be rather daunting, and we don't want you to get overwhelmed, and that's the reason that we have what is known as a standing solicitation. Solicitation is open year-round, 24/7, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So, you know, the holidays are coming up.

If you decide you're not going to spend holidays with your family, and you want to get a jumpstart on submitting an offer to GSA, you are welcome to do so. But it's a standing solicitation and therefore that sort of takes away the stress of oh, my goodness, oh, my goodness, what am I going to do? I have to hurry up. No, the clock per se does not start ticking until the you've hit the Submit button on the offer package, which means that if it takes you two weeks to compile your documentation, okay. If it takes you, you know, three months to compile it, okay.

It's -- but it's -- so what I'm saying is, don't stress. Just relax. be systematic about compiling your documentation. Take it one step at a time, and just understand that until you press that upload submit offer package button, you have as much time as you want.

We think that it's a really good idea when I was talking about earlier the pathways to success documentation, that's just a refresher, a checklist that you should sort of be familiar with. That'll give you some idea of what will need to happen. Some basic things to know as well, make sure that you are registered in SAM and that you're registration is active, everything's been filled out, you're good with that. Make sure that you have a UEI number, and also make sure that you have -- make sure that you have Docusign. We used to use digital certificates, but we've phased that out. These days, we're using Docusign, so make sure that you do have Docusign, and that's up and running before you go ahead and submit your offer.

Then think about the particular special item members would that be the best fit for your company. Prepare the -- depending on what it is. If it's a product, then you're getting the pricing documentation, maybe some brochures, things of that nature.

If it is software, you might need (you will need) an end user license agreement which I'll go over in a little bit. And if it's services, then you will also need things like your past performance, your labor category descriptions, the employee compensation plan, things of that nature. So just slowly, methodically go about compiling your documentation. You might also want to do some market research and see who your competitors are. What does their pricing look like -- looking like? What are their labor categories look like? What are their offerings? And then you take that and put your best foot forward when it comes to submitting your offer, and that way, you can shine, because you're not competing per se with any other offer, but at the same time, we have to do things like determine your pricing, what's called fair and reasonable.

And we -- in order for us to be able to do that, it has to be in line with basically market rates. So you go ahead and you're submitting your offer and you're set, and you -- you know, you're getting there. You're well on your way to doing that. And in depth look at the offer responses document. I said earlier that that is the foundation of the offer. It's going to contain everything from special item numbers.

It actually has all of the special item numbers that are available on schedule, and we consolidated, so we have -- now we're down to one schedule but we consolidated all of the schedules. I think there are 36 of them, so IT, office supplies, language services, you name it, we consolidated them all. So the offer responses document actually contains all of the special item numbers that are available to be proposed on, and you check which one you want.

You would also check your whichever -- so for example, if you you're using special item number 54151 (that's a personal favorite of mine. I keep reverting back to it) IT professional services, then your primary NAICS code might be 541519 or 541512. So the NAICS, think of it as the umbrella, and all of the SIN numbers kind of generally are linked to the NAICS code. Now it used to be we had an entirely different set of numbers, had nothing to do with NAICS codes. Now, if you were to put the two together side by side, you could see where the relation comes into play.

Also, within the offer responses document, we are asking that you tell us your projected annual sales. How much do you think you will be able to sell under the schedule? We also want to know if you've had a schedule previously, if you've had a scheduled contract with us, just check that box, yes you have. You would list your plants of production. Where is it that you -- so depending on what special item number you propose, you can have things like government site, contractor site, both. It's basically the address where the product or service will be performed or delivered.

It also contains -- the offer responses document also contains authorized negotiators. That -- those are people who have the authority to bind your company. I recommend more than one because -- at least two.

Not all of them have to bind the company but the thing about having just one is if for whatever reason they are out of the office or unavailable, then things sort of come to a halt when it comes to the government conducting business with your company because nobody's there. We can't speak -- we can only speak with one person. So I strongly recommend that you have more than one authorized negotiator. Once you have populated the offer responses, it generates a document, which then is going to automatically become part of your offer package. System for Award Management, I covered that earlier. Just it's extremely important.

It's mandatory that you have an active registration, your registration is valid in SAM, and we have gone away from DUNS numbers. We now use UEIs, so make sure that you have that as well. Unique identification number, that is required, and sometimes there's a bit -- they have to match up with the IRS, so there may be a lag time with respect to getting those in sync so that SAM and the IRS have the same information. Cage code, all of that documentation, just make sure that that's on point prior to submitting the offer. And, again, make sure that you have Docusign.

One thing about your SAM registration, it has to remain active throughout the duration of the schedule contract. So for example, our contracts are have a base period of five years with three five-year option periods, so it's a potential 20-year time period, so throughout that 20 years, you have to make sure that your SAM remains valid for that entire duration. One of the things that we have to determine when it comes to evaluating your offer is what is called financial responsibility.

That means that you are solvent enough to perform the products or services that you're proposing. We understand that sometimes, particularly with our small businesses, there is a great deal of financial stress. You don't necessarily have the same financial resources as the larger companies, but so we will work with you in when it comes to what your finances look like, so we need balance sheets for the past two fiscal years, income statements as well, and basically we send them to our number crunchers, and they make a determination as to -- they make a recommendation as to your financial responsibility. If that doesn't work out, then there are other options for our small businesses and socioeconomic businesses. We are not requiring audited statements. They don't have to be audited.

However, if you are submitting audited statements as part of your financial statements, then just let us know that they are audited, because that does help but it's not a requirement. Sometimes if the finances are not where they need to be, we -- you can obtain an irrevocable letter of credit, and that is -- that basically will tip the scales. And if that is not a viable option, then we can do what is called a certificate of competency. That is for our small businesses, small disadvantaged, those guys.

That option will be available for you all, whereas an irrevocable letter of credit is available to all businesses. So don't allow the thought of the financial aspects to deter you from submitting your offer because our -- we're not here to make things difficult for you. We are here to work with you.

We're here to make this as painless of a process as we possibly can, so do not let the idea, the thought of your finances, necessarily deter you from submitting an offer package. Earlier, I covered services, any kind of IT professional services, financial services, what have you. I also said that you could -- you also could have other -- sorry guys. You could also propose products. So just like there is additional documentation for services, there's additional documentation for products as well.

If you are a manufacturer, then you're fine. It's simply your pricing proposal, the brochures, and you're good to go, but for example, sometimes you're not going to necessarily be the manufacturer. You're going to need -- you're going to be a distributor. So let's say you are a distributor for Dell or for IBM or for, you know, Purple Computers, Inc., that's when the additional documentation comes into play. So things like a dealer/reseller spreadsheet, that is basically showing what you are paying for the item at the distributor level, so what is the actual manufacturer selling the product, what price are they being sold to you? And then in turn, what price are you proposing them to GSA? Along with that, is going to be a letter of supply. Basically, that is the validation.

It says okay, yes, GSA, we, this company, is in good standing, and we will be able -- we as the manufacturer will be able to supply this company with enough product to meet the government's demand, so that comes into play, if you are a distributor, reseller, things of that nature. It has to appear on company letterhead. It should also be signed and dated. And it should include trade agreements, because we want to make sure that you are -- the products that you are proposing to GSA are being produced in a country that is TAA compliant, so that is definitely essential. Like everything else, the template for the letter of supply can be found in the solicitation as one of the attachments.

Definitely so take a look at that, and depending on if you are a reseller, dealer, this is the documentation that you would provide. You can also use the product portal. That may be an option for you as well, and the solicitation does speak to that, and you just have to decide which one you'd like to use. In addition, we have some other things. Any agreement, for example, we covered letter of supply. We covered dealer/reseller spreadsheet.

I did briefly touch on a EULA. EULA is end user license agreement, and that is utilized for software. Now some software has -- is governed by a EULA.

Some is not. If the software that you're proposing is governed by a EULA, then it needs to be included in your offer package, because our legal team has to vet it. There are some terms and conditions that are contrary to federal law, and therefore we can't -- we cannot comply with them.

They cannot be in the EULA that we sign off on. So it has to be vetted through our legal team, and that's part of the process, the offer process, so be sure that if your software is governed by a EULA, then you make sure that you include that, and also make sure that it is a Word version of the document, because we need to be able to make the comments as needed. Point of production, so this goes back to the trade agreements that we want to know where your products are being made. Are they sometimes they're in -- they're manufactured here in the United States? Okay, that's fine.

Sometimes they're manufactured in other countries. So the countries where they are manufactured have to be in compliant, TAA compliant, so and that is the list of trade -- TAA compliant countries is evolving, so make sure that you check that before when it comes to looking at the types of products that you would like to propose to us. Make sure that wherever the products are being produced, it is a TAA-compliant country, so no products coming from North Korea, Iran, anything like that. Also, when it comes to services, you can choose to have the services performed either at your site, contractor site, at the government location, or both. Authorized negotiators, so throughout the process, we have to -- we're in constant contact communication with you.

That was one of the reasons I said that it's important for you to have more than one authorized negotiator, because little things pop up. We have questions. We are reviewing documentation. We're not sure on something. We're not clear on something. We don't want to make assumptions, so we reach out to your authorized negotiator.

If there's only one, then the -- basically conversation comes to a halt until they're available again. That is the definition of an authorized negotiator. They have the ability to bind the company.

You can have authorized negotiators who are -- who don't have the authority to bind the company as well. Those are good if -- for the day-to-day questions that we might have. They might know the nuts and bolts of the company and be able to answer our questions, but they're not -- you're not willing to allow them to bind the company. That's fine, too. It's just that we want you to list them.

And as I said, the conversation is ongoing. It's pre-award and post-award, so our need to communicate with your company, with the central person, that's where the authorized negotiators come into play. So just keep that in mind. The pre-award is conversations regarding the offer itself.

We have some clarification questions, or what have you. Post is okay, maybe you want to modify the contract in some way, or the refreshes that I spoke about earlier, that have additional terms and conditions, new terms and conditions. And let's say we have a contract, and we have not received that refresh from your company. Okay, we would reach out to the authorized negotiator to find out okay, what's going on? When will that be submitted? So we actually speak with your authorized negotiators throughout the entire duration of the contract, depending on what we need. You can have-- you can either utilize people who are within your company to be authorized negotiators, or you can hire a consultant. If you hire a consultant, then we also need what's called a letter of authorization that outlines what they have the authority to speak about.

So sometimes they can answer their questions, but they can't commit the company to anything. They can't bind the company. Sometimes they have full authority pre- and post-award, and so you -- I can -- we can reach out and ask them any questions. It's up to you how you'd like to delineate that, but if you reach -- if you engage the services of a consultant, then a letter of authorization is also required in as part of your offer package, and that template is available in the solicitation as well. A subcontracting plan is only required if you are a large business.

And the way that you determine whether or not you're a large business is by the NAICS code. So if you're using your primary NAICS code might be 541512, a personal favorite of mine. Let's say the gross annual is $30 million. So if your company's revenue exceeds $30 million, and let's say 200 employees, then okay, you're large. Then you would need to include a subcontracting plan. That is the trickle-down flow to what you're going to be subcontracting to the socioeconomically disadvantaged small, disadvantaged, women-owned, those size designations that's covered in the subcontracting plan.

There are two types, commercial and individual, and you have to decide which one is the best fit for your company. Take a look at that and make that decision, again, depending on what fits best with your company. Evaluation factors, so the link back to what we're doing is we're sort of alternating products, services, software, all of the above. We're back to services. If you are proposing services, a database architect or something of that nature, those have labor categories, then we need to know some additional information. We need to know about your corporate experience.

What corporate experience do you have that's going to demonstrate that you can perform these projects with utilizing these labor categories? The narratives have to be two pages, and they're detailing the number of years of relevant experience that you have. The one exception is if you're using the startups springboard initiative, because those are for companies that are younger than two years. So corporate structure, size, experience, resources.

Basically, this is where you're just leveraging what your company has, the projects that you've done, in order to demonstrate that you can perform them. It's a brief history of the -- your company, the organization, and you're also demonstrating your ability to acquire the resources that you need. Primarily, this is people. So whatever your labor categories are, you're demonstrating to us that you can leverage that resource whenever needed.

And we also want to know, and what strategy do you have for making that happen? We used to use what's called the open ratings report. We no longer do that anymore. So we do however, use -- we still need customer service. The open ratings report has been replaced with a questionnaire, and basically, the -- you can send it to the -- your previous customers, and they can send it directly to us. If you have federal work, you also can use your CPARS.

You can let us know that you, you know, do have CPARS, and therefore, we can access that. We need three past performance evaluations. It is in the solicitation and they can be -- once they're completed, they can be emailed directly to us, directly to the contract specialist who is evaluating the offer. We have that a lot, especially if there's some proprietary project or something to that effect. They're valid for one year. And we'd like to think in an ideal world that you have perfect projects, nothing ever goes wrong, but we also know that things happen, and so we want to know how negative feedback is addressed.

What if you hit a roadblock, you know, you -- something, a fly in the ointment, how did you address that? What did you -- you know, you were running over budget and you managed to mitigate, you know, rectify that situation, and you -- how did you do that? Definitely, we're not saying things don't happen. We want to know how it was rectified. Basically, that's huge, you know, how did you go about mitigating the adverse circumstances? Factor three, quality control, so we believe, we know, that all of you have a high standard of quality for the products and services that you deliver, but the quality control speaks to okay, what is the policy? When it comes down to the nuts and bolts of things, how do you go about ensuring that, to the fullest extent possible, we receive the highest quality of products or services or software? We want to see how that works, what goes into that. What standards are you utilizing to ensure the uniform quality control? Project experience, this goes back to services.

So corporate experience is the overall, but this speaks to the nuts and bolts. What sort of projects did you perform? How do the projects relate to the sense that you're proposing to GSA? What services -- what labor categories did you utilize? What sorts of laws and regulations did you have to adhere to, you know, general accepted principles or, you know, FISMA, or whatever? If there were some unique circumstances, top secret secret clearance for all of your staff and you made sure all of that happened and you did all of these things, we want to know that. This is where your opportunity comes to shine, and to really speak to how your company, the projects that you've previously performed, how that lines up with or aligns to the special item members that you're proposing to do. This is where you really get that opportunity to break it down and really push and establish a huge platform for your company.

And just basically, we know that you already believe the company is the best in the world, but this is your opportunity to demonstrate to us why it is that way, why do you feel that way? Just basically, it's your -- it's the capabilities of the staff. So we need two projects. The narratives have to include the descriptions, the dollar value, duration, are they ongoing, the -- anything, things of that nature. This is where that would appear. Pricing proposal, we touched on this earlier, but this is outline -- pricing proposal outlines the what you're going to be -- the pricing that you're going to be proposing to GSA. It's a spreadsheet.

It has SIN, GSA price with IFF, without IFF, but it's also your opportunity to demonstrate why you believe that the pricing you proposed is reasonable, is fair and reasonable. Very important document. It is, like every other document, contained in the solicitation, so you don't have to worry about that.

This is also where you're going to list your discount structure. You're going to have a narrative that decides which -- where you decide which economic price adjustment clause you're going to use. Are you going to -- do have commercial pricing or are you going to tie it to a market rate? Also, this is where you're discussing your most favorite customer. That is the class of customers that you conduct the most business with and that you offer the most discounts to.

We want to know who they are, what triggers those, and what triggers those discounts. So depending on whether or not you opt to do TDR or not, that's going to determine which of those clauses you use. Commercial sales practices, so if you have -- if you're doing TDR, commercial sales practices is not required, but if you're not, you're doing the legacy, then this is where you are just telling us what the discount structure is, who the customers are, the most favorite customers are, and actually, one more thing. We need one per special item number. They're entered into the into the eOffer system, and you're also indicating what the sales to the general public is within a 12-month period.

Discount structure, that's do you have discounts, are they standard, non-standard, what the triggers are? Those would be included in the commercial sales practices format. Startup springboard, I mentioned that a little while ago when I was referring -- I was outlining the project narratives and I said for everybody except for startup springboard, but GSA, we understand that submitting an offer takes a lot of resources and you don't always have them, so we created what's called the Startup Springboard initiative. That's for young companies, young companies that have emerging technology where you have this great product, idea, software package that you believe the government would benefit from, but you don't -- you're only -- you're young, you're less than two years old. If that is your company, then we encourage you to apply for a springboard initiative because a lot of those requirements, the professional experiences, the finance, professional experience, corporate experience, financial experience, can be waived, and you're using your key personnel as a substitute, because clearly you don't have the corporate experience and you don't have -- but you do have -- maybe one of your founders has 20 years in the IT industry. Okay, so you can use -- you can utilize that.

We do ask for financial documentation. However, it's -- the threshold is lower because we understand that you're a new company. So if -- definitely, if you're a new company under two years old, we encourage you to consider using GSA springboard initiative and the website is on the slide. If you have -- you'd like more information, we encourage you to definitely take a look at that and go ahead and apply.

In terms of other initiatives, we have several. We just -- I just covered springboard. We also have the FASt Lane, if you believe that you have an excellent offer, well put together, you want to be on the fast track, you can't wait to conduct business with the government, you might want to consider FASt Lane, shorter processing time, and then if you are awarded, then the modification process is shorter for you as well. It definitely -- if you -- it's a way of kind of streamlining everything and getting direct support to the customer agencies for whatever the requirement is. So you might want to consider submitting under FASt Lane, particularly if you have an innovative solution. New offers can be awarded within 45 days.

It could normally be three months. These days, we try to make it three months or less but 45, the FASt Lane, 45 days definitely is fast track. The offer is still going to have to meet the same eligibility requirements in order to participate. It is that with everything is expedited, which means you don't have the same response times and opportunities to submit revisions, so we're still going to work with you, but FASt Lane is just that faster, so we don't have the same times -- timeframes that we're working with.

However, it is definitely a tool that we are pushing, and we encourage you to take a look at it and see if it is going to meet your company needs and the slide has the information, the site for where you can go to get further information about FASt Lane. 889, basically, this is a certain telecommunications and video surveillance services. It's very important that you make sure that you're in compliance with this, because it is huge, and there is a prohibition. All GSA contractors are required to comply with Section 889. The clauses are going to be included in any contract that we award, so definitely make sure that you're in compliance with 889. Okay, you've taken the plunge and you've submitted an offer, and oh my goodness, you're jumping up and down, "What now? What now?" It's going to be assigned to an office and you'll have a contract specialist or a contracting officer who will evaluate your offer.

That person will reach out to you. They'll work directly with you, and they will review your offer. If they have any questions, concerns, clarifications, they will reach out directly to you and begin the process, and you will -- that's the pre-award process. You will have that individual throughout that process.

They will negotiate your contract, and most of the time, you will have them post-award which means that they will be the ones who are administering your contract as well. If you have any questions, additional questions, you need some additional information, this is where you can get further assistance on this particular slide. Definitely, we encourage you to visit these sites. Take a good look, and hopefully you will consider submitting an offer.

>> Are the GSA Schedule vendors vetted by GSA as being valid? >> Yes. So our -- the way that we -- our validity per se, okay, is a) they have to be financially responsible, which means they have the financial wherewithal to perform the project, the services or deliver the products. They have to be responsive, which means that when we ask questions, request revisions/clarifications, that they provide those in a timely fashion. Then we have to determine that the price is fair. We have to determine price reasonableness, which means that the price that is being proposed is fair and reasonable.

We also, depending on the company, the service, the product, the software, we have other levels of vetting. So for example, if you're doing cloud computing work, or hacks, then you have oral -- you have an oral evaluation. Or if it's software, we have -- you have a EULA, where -- so, depending on the product/service/software, we have various levels of vetting in place to ensure that -- yes, we do we validate, for sure.

>> Okay, thank you for that. Let's see. Our next question is, are there publicly available certifications in government contracting management for those not employed federally? >> That is an interesting question. I would say that I can get back to you on that one, because I would need some additional clarification on that question. I'm not sure that I fully understand, so. >> Yeah. Unfortunately, the person signed in as anonymous.

>> Okay. >> But, yeah. >> Well, I'm, so feel free to reach out to me directly.

My number, 202-676-7263. And -- >> Okay, I'll -- >> Go ahead. >> I'm sorry. Well, I just want to say because I know people are -- some are having to leave because we went -- >> Late. >> -- over time, but -- >> Yes.

>> -- I wanted to just let them know that the slides will be sent out in a PDF format to all the attendees, because we weren't able to get them posted ahead of time. So please know that you will be getting the slides. Okay. So now, let's see. Our next question, where can I find the solicitation for the MAS consolidation RFP? Is it in SAM? >> Yes, yes.

Yes, yes, yes, it is. >> Okay. Let's see. Let's see. Okay. It looks like the next question might have gotten chopped off [inaudible]. >> We could send the solicitation out with the slides, too. You know what I mean? >> I am not sure that our tech person will do that, but certainly, they can just go on and go into SAM and get it or -- >> Literature.

>> -- it's also if they go onto and go into eLibrary, it's -- >> Yup, they can do that, too. >> -- also posted there. You know, so there are multiple ways of getting the solicitation. >> Yes. >> Now, I don't quite -- this question.

I think -- yeah. >> What does it say? >> It says "years of relevant experience applies to company?" and that's all it -- so I guess -- >> Years of relevant experience applies to the company if it is a service that is being proposed, yes. >> Okay. Thank you. Next question is if a certain resource is unavailable after acceptance, and we negotiate the price and period of the [inaudible]? >> No, no, no. >> Okay.

>> You can try, but no. Typically, if you post -- the only way you can do that, you can request that the contract be modified, but you're still going to have to honor those terms until the contract has been -- until the modification has been executed, and depending on what it is, the CO may cancel the contract entirely. >> Okay. Thank you. Let's see. Okay. How do we -- okay, this is -- how do we get RFP rather than RFQ? So that's one we get a lot.

I'm sure you can -- yeah. >> So quotes are -- request for quotes, we -- it's on the schedules program. If you are competing for a task order, it's going to be a request for quote.

So typically, RFPs are going to be for non-schedule acquisitions that vary depending on the agency and the level of complexity. That's the typical difference between an RFQ and an RFP, because an RFP is literally, you're starting from scratch. RFQ is okay, we already know what the product and service is. It's a matter of just of the terms for how it's going to be delivered.

>> All right, thank you. Let's see. Next question. How long does it take your legal department to approve a EULA? >> It's going to depend on the complexity of the EULA, and the number of EULAs that are ahead of the one that you will be submitting, so it depends. Yes, it depends.

Average, anywhere from three days to three weeks, four weeks. >> Okay, let's see. Next question.

Let's see. How do you know if an area is a considered -- considered eligible for the IT FASt Lane, and how do you apply for IT FASt Lane consideration? >> So if you -- in the solicitation, the solicitation states the special item numbers that are eligible for FASt Lane. So first, you decide which special item number you're going to be proposing, and then and you would check, refer to the solicitation to determine which -- if that SIN is eligible, and assuming that it is eligible, and assuming that you do want to participate, then you would check the box in the offer responses document, because it asks, just like it asks, you know, do you -- would you like to participate in cooperative purchasing? That's for the state and local governments disaster recovery, which is for the event of, you know, hurricanes, earthquakes.

You have a checkbox for that. You also have a checkbox for FASt Lane, and you just check the box, and that then puts you in that FASt Lane category. >> Okay, thank you. Excellent. So let's see. Our last question seems to be can you provide the solicitation number for the MAS consolidation RF -- well, they have RFP, but can you -- RFQ.

So can you provide the solicitation number for the MAS consolidation? And if you don't have it off the top of your head, then you may not, and I [inaudible] I used to know them all, but. >> I did used to know them all, and then especially the naming convention sort of went a bit different than what I'm accustomed to, so sorry, I can't. >> But they can just go on to eLibrary, and you can get -- >> And it's actually -- yes, and it's on the slides as well, so -- >> Oh, okay, yes. >> -- when you -- >> And everybody will be getting the slides, so.

>> -- get the slide, so you should have -- not should, when you get that, you should have the number as well. >> All right. Well, that was our last question, and I'd like to thank you so much for presenting today, really good presentation. I'm so sorry that we ran into a few more [inaudible]. Yes. But I just want to say I'm getting -- you know, have gotten some good feedback from participants and folks asking -- you know, some people had to leave, cut out.

They were sorry for that. >> Actually, I do have the solicitation number. Okay. It is 47QS -- okay, let me start over.

47Q as in Quebec, S as in SAM, M as in Mary, D as in diamond, 20R0001 >> Okay. You want to do that one more time, just to make sure people had a chance to get their pen and paper together? >> 47Q as in Quebec, Sam -- S as in Sam, M as in Mary, D as in David, 20r0001. >> All right. All right. Well, thank you, and as I was just saying, we got some good feedback, some people apologizing that they were not able to stay to the end, because we got a late start, so know that we will do this, again. I'm going to get Ms. Sermons back here to do this over again.

We'll do it again, probably in a couple of months, just so that people can -- >> And next time, Ms. Sermons's technical issues will be resolved. >> Okay. Thank you so much. You know, thank you, everyone, for hanging in there with us today while we were working through this. This generally, as you know, is not the way this goes down, but it -- we did it. So thank you so much.

Please see us back here. We won't be back until the new year. Our next date is -- where did I just put that? I think is January the 11th, and we will be talking about compliance, all the new compliance initiatives and regulations that our small businesses are being held to, as well as just generally for any company wanting to do business with the federal government. Okay. Thank you, [inaudible].

>> Happy holidays! >> Yeah, happy holidays to everyone. We wish you all just wonderful, wonderful holidays and happy new year and we'll see you in 2023. All right. Bye. >> Bye.

>> Thank you. Thank you, Tim, for hanging in there, too. Okay, bye-bye.

2023-01-15 10:51

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