EVOLVE DoS RFP: An Opportunity to EVOLVE

The Department of State (DoS) is committed to finding vendors capable of assisting them in meeting the continuing requirements for a secure network infrastructure with an acquisition and the award of a multiple award IDIQ contract to replace the current Vanguard 2.2.1 and to increase it’s capabilities to meet future IT service needs. Dare we say that DoS is EVOLVEing?

Background on Evolve

The DoS has a wide variety of needs for transparent, interconnected systems and security. These systems are required to carry out the world-wide U.S. foreign policy mission. The Information Resource Management organization is charged with planning and implementing strategic goals for information technology (IT) management and is further responsible for providing all things related to enterprise architecture design, engineering, operations and maintenance support services for desktops, servers, networks, firewalls, and enterprise applications. These activities support the entire DoS and further diplomacy on an anytime, anywhere basis.

The overall DoS goals for the EVOLVE acquisition are to:

  • Eliminate redundant contracts
  • Speed delivery of new technology
  • Improve service delivery
  • Ensure IT security is enhanced and integrated across the enterprise
  • Implement standards to meet modern IT challenges

EVOLVE DoS RFP Program Key Information

The IDIQ contract resulting from this acquisition will have an estimated $8B ceiling and will support the enterprise IT requirements. It comes about as the focus of the IRM organization is shifting to a project-based framework.

The resulting IDIQ is intended to advance the diplomatic mission as a centralized contract vehicle and is intended to provide “best of breed” service providers via a set of five (5) “pools.” The pools will encompass the entire range of IT and IT service categories and are most likely to include:

  • Pool 01 — IT Management which includes the full set of strategy, planning architecture, Finance and budget, capital planning, and other consulting opportunities to include program management.
  • Pools 02-05 — cover the full spectrum of IT services execution to include such activities as engineering, testing, operations, and maintenance.

A few interesting things to note:

  • The DoS is anticipating only six (6) awards per pool. This may change when the final determinations are made.
  • Vendors who pursue and win Pool 01 may not provide any service delivery in any of the other pools and are prohibited from partnerships or subcontracts involving winning vendors in Pools 02-05. Considering that the likely winners of this pool will be the traditional cast of large consultancies, it’s unclear what this might mean for smaller companies involved in mentor-protégé arrangements.
  • While this acquisition is considered to be full and open, Pool 03 will be awarded as small business set-asides and encompasses Clod and Data Center services.
  • No organization can prime in more than two pools in the grouping of Pools 02-05.
  • Joint Ventures are welcome but the same rules apply.

RFP Requirements: The exact RFP requirement are unknown at this time, but an educated guess would be the following volumes will be required:

  • Technical Capability
  • Management
  • Corporate Experience and Past Performance
  • Systems (Cost Accounting, Purchasing, Quality), Certifications, and Clearances
  • Pricing
  • I would not be surprised if there is at least one task order per pool requiring a response

Given the timeline of the RFP (discussed below), it does not appear that a draft RFP will be released but that we will receive the solicitation in final form. You should anticipate a large number of questions will be submitted.


During the virtual Industry Day held on October 25th of this year, the DoS provided the following timeline:

  • RFP release 1st Quarter FY 2022
  • Proposal submission 2nd Quarter FY 2022
  • Pool 01 Awards 2nd Quarter FY 2022
  • Pools 02-05 Awards 3rd Quarter FY 2022
  • Pool 01 Task Orders Early 3rd Quarter FY 2022
  • Pool 02-05 Task Orders Late 3rd Quarter FY 2022

Of note is the fact that a change in Contracting Officer was announced on November 15th. It’s unknown what effect this may have on the issuance timing of the final RFP.

A major concern for small businesses hoping to compete will be the timing of the EVOLVE RFP and that of Polaris. Both will take substantial effort for their responses. Small businesses should assess their capability to pursue both opportunities, should identify required resources, and plan accordingly.

How Do I Win: Without a draft and before the final RFP, it’s hard to say what the “winning strategy” will be. You should be reviewing the available materials (see information at the end of the article) and making decisions as to what pools to feel you can compete.

What Do I Need to Do NOW:

  • You should be reviewing the available materials and making decisions as to in what pools you feel you can compete.
  • Identifying your resources and getting them educated.
  • Hold some solutioning sessions around potential sample task orders to be prepared to respond.



GovWin Opportunity ID:            108089

SAM.Gov Notice ID:                  19AQMM21R1000

There is a plethora of information on SAM.gov. It’s a lengthy page but if you scroll to the bottom of the page, you will see a number of files that will provide more insight into the program. The best one will be the EVOLVE Industry Day Slides and the Evolve Pools Update from 11/9.

Need help with EVOLVE? Please reach out.