Final RFP for SEWP VI – What You Need to Know

Jun 27, 2024

NASA has released the final solicitation for its highly anticipated NASA SEWP (Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement) VI, the latest iteration of the highly successful SEWP Government-Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWAC). This contract, with a cap of $20,000,000,000, is a significant opportunity for both Unrestricted and Small Business Set-Aside. SEWP VI was released on May 23, 2024, and the questions’ due date was June 7th, 2024. A virtual SEWP VI event was held on June 4th, 2024. After the release of the final solicitation, there have been multiple amendments that have been discussed in this blog as well. The due date for SEWP VI was July 11, 2024, but as per Amendment 3 the revised due date is now July 25, 2024.

SEWP is a GWAC with a broad reach, extending its offerings to all government agencies. Under SEWP contracts, a comprehensive array of IT-based solutions is available, encompassing categories such as tablets, desktops, network equipment, storage systems, software platforms, audio-visual products, product-centric services, and more. SEWP remains a cornerstone of procurement for federal agencies, with a primary focus on the acquisition of IT products and solutions distinctly separate from IT services.

Continuing our previous blog on the draft solicitation of SEWP VI, this blog will focus on the most important features of the newly released final RFP of SEWP VI, what you should consider before bidding, and the latest happenings on this contract vehicle.

What changed in the final SEWP VI RFP from the draft RFP?

From the Draft RFP to the final RFP, SEWP VI has seen some major changes in some of the areas like technical areas, dollar value for past performance submissions, and so on, while as the basics like proposal format, proposal evaluation, small business focus and the number of awards remain the same.

  • Technical Area 1 has seen some major changes in the sub-categories of services, while Technical Area 2 and Technical Area 3 remain the same.
  • CMMI at maturity level 2 or higher, which was earlier mandatory for both categories B and C, is now mandatory for only category B.
  • Earlier for small businesses in categories A and C, offerors needed to furnish past performance for similar scope within average annual value of $500,000, but now for Category A, the offerors need to submit past performance with average annual value of $150,000, while as for Category B it remains to be $1,000,000 and for Category C it remains $500,000.

What is NASA SEWP VI?

The specific objectives of SEWP VI include:

  • To have hardware and software solutions and services available to address an increasingly difficult, complex, and changing set of NASA-specific scientific and engineering problems while also providing Information Technology, Communication (and AV (ITC/AV) product-based solutions to assist all Federal Agencies in meeting their ITC/AV needs.
  • To provide a suite of ITC/AV services to assist the Government in maximizing the ITC/AV infrastructure by leveraging the latest service offerings, including cloud services, managed and shared services, consulting, training and support, and operational and engineering services.
  • To provide the federal government with a wide range of ITC/AV hardware, communications, audio-visual and related hardware, software, and ITC/AV services to enhance the federal government’s Information Technology capabilities.
  • To embrace and facilitate innovative procurement transactions and processes that will place a minimal administrative burden on the customer, contractor, and the Government while minimizing incompatibilities and maximizing strategic decision-making across the ITC/AV infrastructure.

Scope and Categories:

SEWP VI will help NASA fulfill its wide range of requirements for its various missions and projects. It will also be available for other Government agencies if they determine that the available solutions and services meet their technical requirements and represent the best value to that agency. Deliverables under the contract are not limited to NASA-specific requirements, and any such deliverable will be available for NASA and any other federal government agency usage. While SEWP Contractors are required to provide continental United States rate (CONUS) for delivery, Federal Agencies with outside continental United States rate (OCONUS) locations may utilize the SEWP contracts based on mutually agreed upon delivery arrangements.

SEWP focuses on the full suite of technology offerings that simplify Governmental access and Industry offerings across the entire Information Technology, Communication, and AV (ITC/AV) solutions and services landscape. SEWP VI has been divided into three categories:

1. Category A will consist of the full range of ITC/AV Solutions, such as hardware and software products, including cloud-based solutions, installation, integration, testing, training, maintenance, and other product-based services.

2. Category B is focused on Enterprise-wide Strategic Solutions that improve and enhance the Agency’s ITC/AV infrastructure through methodologies including cloud services, managed services such as computer or printer services, and shared services such as Agency-wide help desk ticketing systems.

3. Category C will be focused on ITC/AV mission-based services that provide a full range of technology services inclusive of custom computer programming services, telecommunication services including network operations, ITC/AV-based engineering and design services, data processing and analysis services, hosting, and related services, ITC/AV and network operation and computer facilities, ITC/AV management services, ITC/AV consulting and educational services, digital government services, and cybersecurity and security systems services.

Key features of SEWP VI:

1. Particular Focus on Small Businesses: SEWP VI has a special focus on fostering small businesses; hence, contractors from various socio-economic categories will have particular preferences. One such is past performance criteria. Here are the main criteria for the past performance per category and subcategories:

For the prime contractor’s contract reference or a proposed first-tier subcontractor to be considered at least minimally “relevant,” it must meet/exceed an average annual contract value per below:

Other Than Small Businesses-

  • In Category A and B, the offeror needs to furnish past performance for similar-scope efforts with an average annual cost/fee incurred of $2,500,000.

Small Businesses-

  • In Category A, the offeror needs to furnish past performance for similar-scope efforts with an average annual cost/fee of $150,000.
  • In Category B, the offeror needs to furnish past performance for similar-scope efforts with an average annual cost/fee incurred of $1,000,000.
  • In Category C, the offeror needs to furnish past performance for similar-scope efforts with an average annual cost/fee incurred of $500,000.

For a past performance submission to have its content rated “relevant” (Pertinent), it must meet the following criteria:

Other Than Small Businesses

  • In Category A, the offeror needs to provide past performance references showcasing at least four content representative areas.
  • In Category B, the offeror needs to provide past performance references showcasing at least four content representative areas.

Small Businesses

  • In Category A, the offeror needs to provide past performance references showcasing at least three content representative areas.
  • In Category B, the offeror needs to provide past performance references showcasing at least three content representative areas. HUBZone, SDVOSB, EDWOSB, 8a shall provide past performance references showcasing at least two content representative areas.
  • In Category C, the offeror needs to provide past performance references showcasing at least three content representative areas. HUBZone, SDVOSB, EDWOSB, 8a shall provide past performance references showcasing at least two content representative areas.

2. No Bar on the Number of Awards: In the latest solicitation, NASA has mentioned that “The Government intends to evaluate proposals and make an award to each and all qualifying offerors.” Hence, it clearly states that there will be no limit on the number of awards. The term qualifying offeror, as defined in the solicitation, means an offeror that meets all the following criteria:

  • Submits a proposal that conforms to the scope category requirements of the solicitation in which they are proposing.
  • Meets all requirements within the firm down select phase of evaluation:
    • Phase 1- Accuracy of NAICS Crosswalk and pass Mandatory Relevant Experience requirement with a current ISO 9001:2015 Certification of Conformity/Conformance or for small businesses show that the necessary certification is in process
    • Phase 2- Have a past performance rating of Neutral or Satisfactory Level of confidence and
    • Phase 3- Have overall High confidence in Mission Suitability: High Confidence in both subfactors- Management Approach and Technical Approach and
  • Is determined to be a responsible source IAW FAR 9.104.
  • Is otherwise eligible for an award

3. Emerging Technologies: SEWP VI is all about embracing the future. One of its most notable features is a strong emphasis on integrating cutting-edge technologies into government procurement. This includes a focus on technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cloud solutions. By doing so, the government aims to enhance efficiency, streamline processes, and stay ahead in an ever-evolving tech landscape. The SEWP VI contract empowers agencies to harness the power of innovation, ensuring that federal operations keep pace with the rapidly advancing world of technology.

Combination of Unrestricted and Small Business Set-Asides: All three categories will have a mix of unrestricted and small business set-asides in the following categories –

  • Category A – Group A1 will be unrestricted competition, and Group A2 will be set aside for small businesses only.
  • Category B – Group B1 will be unrestricted competition, and Group B2 will be set aside for small businesses only.
  • Category C – Group C1 will be set aside for small businesses only. Group C2 has been reserved yet.

Categories available under SEWP VI

SEWP VI has been divided into the following categories:

SEWP VI categories

Certifications Required for SEWP VI

  • All Categories: Offeror must submit a third-party ISO 9001 compliance verification with their proposal, showing certification or proof of certification process for small businesses. They must also include ISO 9001:2015 Certification details and POC information. The manufacturer’s ISO 9001 certification does not fulfill the requirement. No use of Parent Company certifications is allowed. If an offeror is a small business that is not certified to the standard at the time of proposal submission, proof that the certification approval is in process is acceptable and shall be provided at the time of proposal submission.
  • For Category B: Offeror must provide third-party compliance verification with CMMI at Maturity Level 2 or higher for proposals. Verification includes current CMMI-DEV or CMMI-SVC Appraisal, official Appraisal Disclosure Statement, and POC details. Categories A and C are exempt from CMMI Certification requirement. The official appraisal must be current (active, not expired) as of the date proposals are due.

Proposal Format & Evaluation

The proposal needs to be submitted in three volumes that entail – Offer Volume (I), Past Performance Volume (II) and Mission Suitability Volume (III) that consists of Technical Approach Volume (III-A) and Management Approach Volume (III-B). Offer volume will consist of the mandatory certifications, mandatory experience exhibits and NAICS Crosswalk. Past Performance volume will consist of information from offeror, customer evaluations and so on. Mission Suitability Volume will consist of Technical Approach and Management Approach.

The evaluation of SEWP VI will be done in a phased approach. Upon completion of each phase, the Government will make a firm down- select and notify each Offeror if they are no longer eligible for award along with providing a brief rationale statement. Offerors that do not receive a notification from the Government are to assume their proposal has proceeded to the next phase of the evaluation. Following are the phases in which the proposals will be evaluated:

Proposal Phases iQuasar LLC

Latest Amendments

Amendment 1:
The latest amendment (Amendment 1) was released on 13th June 2024, and it consisted of the following documents, the due date for the final submission remains unchanged:

  • Enclosure 2- UNSPSC
  • Exhibit 3a- Category A Solutions Spreadsheet (Column added on POC tab for Secondary Providers)
  • Exhibit 2- Past Performance Questionnaire (PPQ) for each category (Exhibit 2a- category A, Exhibit 2b- Category B, Exhibit 2c- Category C) (Error with Excel cells fixed).
  • Exhibit 1- Relevant Experience Projects Table (Clarity on page count on REP description)
  • Attachment A- EWP Scope (corrected reference to Attachment C)
  • Attachment C- Contract Holder User Manual (Updated language about UNSPSC code location)
  • Attachment D- Contract DRD list (revision on DRD #3)
  • Attachment J- C_SCRM Attestation Form (revision in Section 1.6)

Amendment 2:
As per amendment 2, Exhibit 2 – Past Performance Questionnaires (PPQ) for categories B and C were updated. Here is the detail of the revision and updation:

  • Exhibit 2b- Category B was revised for the technical areas to match the solicitation
  • Exhibit 2c- Category C was revised with a selection box for technical areas 1-4. ).
  • If a PPQ was already submitted using the previous version of the document, a new questionnaire is not needed for that same past performance reference.

The previous documents of Exhibits 2b and 2c were deleted and replaced with the latest version of the documents. The due date of the solicitation was not extended.

Amendment 3:
As per Amendment 3, Exhibit 4- NAICS Crosswalk revised to incorporate NAICS changes from Amendment 1. Attachment J- C_SCRM form errors are corrected. The previous documents have been replaced with the updated documents. The due date for the solicitation has also been extended to July 25th, 2024, 12 pm EST.

If you are a small business contractor, NASA SEWP VI can be your gateway to opportunities in the federal domain. Given this contract vehicle’s past performance, this has been a huge success within the agencies. This streamlined and competitive contract vehicle offers a wealth of IT solutions while prioritizing small business participation. With a focus on innovation, cybersecurity, and inclusivity, SEWP VI empowers both federal agencies and small enterprises, making it a beacon of opportunity in the government contracting landscape. Its continued evolution promises to deliver value and efficiency, further solidifying its importance in the federal marketplace. Our team at iQuasar is well-versed with SEWP VI and many other contract vehicles. We have been tracking and following all the updates for this and other contract vehicles. We support small businesses bidding for complex contract vehicles such as Polaris GWAC, OASIS + (GSA BIC MAC), CIO-SP4, 8(a) Stars III, and other GWACs.

Our team of experts, will supervise the entire process by helping you evaluate your eligibility, increase your readiness levels, prepare a custom-made proposal development strategy to your firm’s unique requirements, and create a high-quality and compliant response to help you win. Please feel free to get in touch with us to find out more.

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