The Due Date Approaches – PACTS III Final Solicitation

Feb 29, 2024

PACTS III is finally out! After multiple draft RFPs and feedback from the industry, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the final RFPs for its much-awaited $8.4B contract vehicle on February 5, 2024. Program Management, Administration, Clerical, and Technical Services (PACTS) III has been set aside for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB), Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB), 8(a) and Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) businesses. 

DHS aims to establish a suite of Department-wide Indefinite-Delivery Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) contracts for program management, administrative, clerical, technical, and engineering services that will enable it to accomplish its mission objectives. Let’s dive deeper into the final RFP requirements and look at what has changed since the last draft.

Past, Present, and Future of PACTS III

Last year, three Draft Solicitations were released for PACTS III, Industry Day was held, and questions were taken from the industry. The final RFPs for all three functional categories were released on February 5, 2024. The latest amendment was issued to inform the offerors about the changes to the Solicitation Cover Page, Part III, Request for Proposal Attachments, Part IV, Addendum to FAR 52.212-1 of the solicitation and the Offer Template in PIEE. The final RFP is due on March 29, 2024, 05:00 pm ET. Questions on PACTS III were due on February 14, 2024.

What will the PACTS III cover?

PACTS III consists of three comprehensive Functional Categories (FCs) of services, each with a primary NAICS code that further describes the scope of work that can be procured under each FC. For each task order under these functional categories, the contractor shall furnish the necessary labor, personnel, materials (equipment, facilities, travel, and ancillary labor), and other direct costs required to satisfy the TO requirements. 

FC 1 – Administrative Management and General Management Consulting Services – NAICS code 541611

Contractors working under the FC 1 will provide any of the services below, but are not limited to the following:

1. Management Support – for situations where the preponderance of work is Program Management in nature with day-to-day operations such as:

  • Financial Planning (excluding investment advice) and budgeting
  • Records Management
  • Office Planning
  • Strategic and Organizational Planning
  • Physical Distribution and Logistics
  • Management Advisory Services
  • General Management Consultants (including administrative, or management consulting services)

2. Program Management:

  • Contractor shall provide program management support to government personnel

FC2 – Office Administrative Services -NAICS code 561110

Contractors working under the FC 2 will provide any of the services below, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Word Processing/Typing, Paper Shredding, Transcription, Stenographic- for situations that require duties typically associated with a secretary, administrative assistant, or office management operations
  2. Contract/Procurement/Acquisition Support for situations that require contract support, management, or services
  3. Court Reporting- for situations that support legal and court services or policy analysis.
  4. Mailing/Distribution, Courier/Messenger to assist with mail room operations, shipping, and chain of custody procedures.

FC3 -Engineering Services-NAICS code 541330

Contractors working under the FC 1 will provide any of the services below, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Program Management Support – for situations where the preponderance of work is Engineering in nature.
  2. Program Evaluation/Review/Development, and Operations Research/Quantitative Analysis – for situations where the preponderance of work is engineering and the day-to-day operations involve program management, staff planning, or analysis (excluding capabilities to perform an Independent Test Agent [ITA] for level 1 and 2 Major Acquisition Programs)
  3. Environmental Management

    • Environmental Site Assessments and Planning
    • Environmental Consulting and Remediation
    • Engineering Process Improvement
  4. Systems Engineering and Training

    • Lifecycle Management
    • Configuration Management
    • Quality Assurance
    • Requirements Analysis
    • Concept Development
    • Design Documentation and Technical Data
    • Data Management and Analytics
  5. Mechanical Engineering Services

    • Robotics Automation Engineering Services – design, integration, and related consulting services
    • Prototype and Fabrication Support/Modelling and Simulation
  6. Technical Writing: documentation of service manuals and other support materials for operational requirements

Some Noteworthy Points

  1. The offeror’s proposal will be evaluated based on the Functional Category, socioeconomic track, and type of Offeror:
    Based on the latest solicitation, PACTS III will consist of approximately eight(8) separate and distinct IDIQ contracts designated under each of the following four (4) small business set-aside programs for each of the three (3) functional categories: FC 1, FC 2 and FC 3.  This division of awards among different small business programs has been done to ensure beneficial competition occurs at the task order level while maximizing the effectiveness and efficiency of PACTS III. This division also provides fair competition between the contractors under these small business programs. Even though this will be the plan for DHS, DHS has also remarked that the government reserves the right to deviate from the estimated number of contracts, if that is in the best interest of DHS. 
  2. Relevancy and Recency definitions of the projects: Under section 4.3.1.1 Qualifications, Project Relevancy and Recency definitions have been explained. These definitions will form the basis for the selection of the projects for Experience and Past Performance. Hence, aspiring bidders need to read the sections very carefully.
  3. A minimum of 40% of the total number of projects claimed and verified by the DHS under an SBTA MUST be from the managing venturer of an SBTA JV or the SBTA JV itself; Prime Contractor of a Prime / Subcontractor relationship or the protégé in a Mentor-Protégé Joint Venture or the Mentor Protégé Joint Venture itself: This is one of the most important changes, and it states that to remain compliant and awardable, the following criterion must be met for teaming arrangements:
    • A minimum of 40% of the total number of projects claimed and verified by the DHS under an SBTA MUST be from the managing venturer of an SBTA JV or the SBTA JV itself; Prime Contractor of a Prime / Subcontractor relationship or the protégé in a Mentor-Protégé Joint Venture or the Mentor Protégé Joint Venture itself
    • If more than 60% of the projects that are claimed and verified under an Offeror’s proposal are performed solely by the partner(s) of a JV that are not the managing venturer; the subcontractor(s) in a Prime/Subcontractor relationship or the Mentor(s) in a Mentor Protégé relationship, the Offeror’s proposal will be deemed non-compliant and ineligible for award.

Offerors planning to go for teaming arrangements must be aware of the above criteria for the number of projects. It can be explained in the depiction below:

How to prepare for PACTS III

PACTS III provides an amazing opportunity for small business owners in different socio-economic categories to work with DHS. Here are some tips on starting your journey:

  1. Understanding the contract vehicle: Go through all the documents of the PACTS III and ensure you understand all the critical factors for success. DHS has provided various documents like Functional Category NAICS/PSC Relationships, Qualifying Project Examples, and so on that can help an offeror assess and understand their capabilities. 
  2. Assess your capabilities: Conduct a thorough assessment of your business capabilities, past performance and certifications, and other offerings to ensure your business can meet the requirements and standards set by PACTS III.
  3. Maximize your scoring: DHS PACTS III is going to be a scoring sheet-based proposal, hence, as an offeror, you need to have a strategy for maximizing your points on the self-scoring sheet. Some strategies can be teaming up with another business with projects and certifications that can help increase your score.
  4. Maintain robust documentation: Documentation will play a critical role in your project verification and other requirements; hence, it is recommended to ensure that your documentation is valid and has no discrepancies.
  5. Get in contact with a proposal outsourcing company: Many companies like iQuasar provide dedicated support for PACTS III. Their teams have thoroughly reviewed this contract and can help you assess your capabilities and provide sound advice. They can also help in bid preparation and support your journey on this project end to end. 

PACTS III is a great opportunity to work with the government, 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, but our team here at iQuasar simplifies the process for our clients. We support small businesses bidding for complex contract vehicles such as OASIS+ (GSA BIC MAC), Alliant, MQS2-NG, 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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