A Deeper Dive into Second PACTS III Draft RFP

Aug 7, 2023

On July 25, 2023, DHS announced that it intends to host a pre-solicitation virtual Industry Day for its much-awaited $8.4B contract vehicle Program Management, Administration, Clerical, and Technical Services (PACTS) III.

The agency had previously released the Second Draft RFP of PACTS III in June, which includes several key revisions to the first draft RFP. For small business contractors aspiring to work with the federal government, PACTS III is a chance to embrace fresh opportunities, conquer challenges, and elevate their businesses to new heights. Understanding the updated requirements laid down in the Second Draft RFP is key to staying prepared for the final RFP release.

This blog is in continuation of our previous blog on the First Draft RFP of PACTS III, where we explained the functional areas, submission requirements, evaluation criteria, and some noteworthy points. In the latest Draft, DHS has made several important adjustments that might influence how you structure your proposal. The competition type targets 8(a), HUBZone, Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), and Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) Set-Asides with 541611, 561110 and 541330 NAICS codes. The aggregate ceiling for PACTS III is $8.4 Billion. All the official documents of the Second Draft RFP are available on SAM.gov.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at what has changed in the Second Draft RFP of PACTS III. Let’s dive in!

What is New in the Second PACTS III Draft RFP?

In the second revision, there have been major changes and additions that the agency has made to the Draft RFP, and they include the following:

1. Past Performance Evaluation has been Included: In this draft, DHS has listed the requirements and evaluation criteria for past performance. The measure of merit will be acceptable when DHS can:

  • Verify the Offeror provided and delivered completed Self-Scoring Sheet(s) required by 52.212-1 Addendum with its proposal.
  • Verify the Offeror provided and delivered all supporting documentation required by 52.212-1 Addendum for each project the Offeror claims on its completed Self-Scoring Sheets with its proposal.
  • Verify at least 40% of the claimed projects from an SBA Mentor-Protege Program are from the protégé. If more than 60% of the projects verified under a Mentor-Protege Program’s proposal are performed solely by the Mentor, the Offeror’s proposal will be deemed non-compliant and unawardable.
  • Verify all projects meet the definitions of relevant and recent as identified in 52.212-1 Addendum, paragraph 4.3.1.
  • Verify the following seven elements for each project the Offeror claims using the Offeror’s supporting documentation and the evaluation methods described below. The seven elements include Project Title, Project Contract Number, Total Obligated Value, In-Scope of PACTS III Determination, Period of Performance, Offeror’s Name, and Past Performance.

In addition to that, for the ease of offerors, the agency has provided the Federal Government Projects Evaluation Checklist and Non-Federal and First Tier Sub-contracts Evaluation Checklist. This checklist will help the offerors to check out and confirm all the necessary details.

2. Project Consideration Limit: Projects will only be considered from Primes (without subcontractors or affiliates), SBA Small Business JVs, SBA MPPs itself, or members of SBA Small Business JV or SBA MPP. Although Small Business Teaming Arrangements may submit a proposal, only projects from the Prime of that arrangement will be accepted. Projects from the members of a Small Business Teaming Arrangement members will not be accepted.

3. 40% of Projects Verified must have been Performed by the Protégé in an SBA Mentor-Protege Program: DHS has put a cap on the projects from the Mentor in a Mentor-Protege Program. According to the latest draft requirements, 40% of projects claimed under an SBA Mentor-Protégé Arrangement must be from the protégé. If more than 60% of the projects that are verified under an MPP’s proposal are performed solely by the Mentor, the Offeror’s proposal will be deemed non-compliant and unawardable.

4. The Second Draft RFP further defines Project Relevancy/Recency Requirements: The agency has laid down the requirements for Project Recency and Relevancy as below:

A Relevant Project is one:

  • Where it is not being claimed more than once for PACTS III under any other proposal. It means that once a project is used, it shall not be used again under any circumstances including but not limited to under another socioeconomic track, functional category, or as a member of another partnership. Additionally, if more than one contractor performed services under the same contract and completed different parts of the scope, only the contractor that performed the predominant service may claim the project.
  • Where the predominant service(s) that the offeror performed for the project is similar to the services performed for each Functional Category as outlined in the Statement of Work (SOW) and the NAICS code associated with each functional category the offeror is submitting its offer for.
  • Where the funds were obligated for the project being claimed.
  • Where the project was executed under a contract and all associated modifications as defined in FAR Part 2.101.
  • Where the offeror has provided at least six (6) consecutive months of performance by the date the original PACTS III solicitation is issued.
  • Where it is from the offeror providing the service itself as a Prime or First-Tier Subcontractor to a public and/or private customer.
  • Where the project for each Functional Category is from the Prime Contractor, SBA Small Business JV, or SBA Mentor-Protégé Arrangement itself or a member of the SBA Small Business JV or SBA Mentor-Protégé Arrangement.
  • Where the project is not from a subcontractor or affiliate of the Prime Contractor.
  • Where the performance was satisfactory or above as defined in this solicitation.

A Recent Project is one:

  • Where the performance has occurred within two years (730 calendar days) since the issuance of the original solicitation. A minimum of one business day of the mandatory six (6) month performance in paragraph (e) of the RFP must be within two years from the issuance of the original solicitation.

5. Offeror and New Entrant: The agency has defined an “Offeror” as a Prime Contractor (without subcontractors or affiliates) and all members of a Small Business Administration Small Business Joint Venture (SBA JV), SBA Mentor Protégé Program (SBA MPP) or Small Business Teaming Arrangement. Offerors that are “New Entrants” as defined in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum, Creating a More Diverse and Resilient Federal Marketplace through Increased Participation of New and Recent Entrants (M-23-11) are encouraged to participate in the PACTS III solicitation.

6. Updated the Statement of Work:
DHS has made certain changes to the SOW of PACTS III. Below is the table that can help you tally the changes between the Updated and the Old Statement of Work:

7. On/Off Ramping Terms and Conditions and Added new Attachments 2, 3, 11, 19, 20, 21 and 22:
DHS has provided On/ Off Ramping terms and conditions in the latest draft as well as added the following attachments:

  • Attachment 2 – Functional Category NAICS / PSC Relationships
  • Attachment 3 – Labor Category Pricing
  • Attachment 11 – Proposal Organization Guide
  • Attachment 19 – Individual Project Coversheet
  • Attachment 20 – Computing Obligated Project Dollars
  • Attachment 21 – POP Determinations
  • Attachment 22 – SF 1408 Example

Latest Developments on PACTS III

Jul 25, 2023: DHS announced that it intends to host a pre-solicitation virtual Industry Day in August 2023. Registration instructions for Industry Day will be made available once a firm date is established. The DHS also noted that it is working on responses to the questions from the second draft RFP and will provide the answers once available.

Jul 05, 2023: DHS posted the responses to the questions received for the second draft of the PACTS III RFP. The responses were listed from 619-627 (highlighted in gray).

PACTS III is a golden opportunity to work with DHS and establish yourself in the federal market and advance your company. Going after contract vehicles such as PACTS III can be a complicated process for small businesses; our team here at iQuasar simplifies the process for our clients. We support small businesses in bidding for complex contract vehicles such as Polaris GWAC, OASIS + (GSA BIC MAC), CIO-SP4, 8(a) Stars III, and other GWACs. We are constantly tracking updates related to contract vehicles like PACTS III. Our team of experts, will supervise the entire process by helping you evaluate your eligibility, increase your readiness levels, prepare a proposal development strategy custom-made to your firm’s unique requirements, and create a high-quality and compliant proposal response to help you win. Please feel free to get in touch with us to find out more.


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