Insight into Winning a $12B SITE III Contract IDIQ

  |  March 5, 2020

With 50 or more awards expected, the SITE III RFP is expected to be released this month – March. Site III is the follow-on to eSITE and also combines the former Application Development and Sustainment Support (ADS2) contract.

Solicitation documents from February 2020, and the updated Q+A from March 3, are online.  The current eSITE contract includes 25 large and 25 small awardees.

This program is one of the most attractive solicitations scheduled for 2020.  However, potential offerors need to be aware of the specific and challenging requirements that must be met to win.

All Qualified Offerors to Receive a Contract

The Government has stated that each “Qualifying Offeror” will receive an award, and each factor will receive an Acceptable or Unacceptable rating.  However, the bar to achieve an acceptable rating is high.   Potential offerors are cautioned to carefully read the RFP, the Industry Day slide deck, and the Q&A before making a decision to bid.

Key Factors to Submit an Acceptable Proposal

Following below is a high-level discussion of some of the unique federal proposal requirements necessary to win:

Factor 2 – Supply Chain Risk Management Plan.  This may be a new requirement for offerors that did not submit proposals for the current eSite contract. For this requirement, all offerors should consider the new FAR and DFARS requirements that likely will impact this plan.  For example, one new item for consideration comes from DFARS Clause 252.204-7012 which addresses new requirements for controlled defense information and contractor internal systems, among others.  For example, this plan must enable the bidder to assure they will not introduce malicious code into DIA systems, for example from devices such as those produced by Huawei.

Factor 7 – Relevant Experience is required within DIA-defined scenarios from small and large business offerors.  Large businesses must have relevant experience for all four scenarios to be rated as acceptable, and small businesses must cite relevant experience for two scenarios.  And small business experience must have been obtained while serving as a prime.

For example, the first two scenarios include these detailed requirements:

Scenario #1: Customer Facing Requirements: Help/Service Desk, Desk Side Support, Endpoint Devices. This scenario requires (1) on-site desk side support in centralized, decentralized and remote locations, (2) solutions to mitigate extensive customer wait times with delayed resolutions, (3) consistent contractor services reducing repeated errors, and (4) the appropriate number of FTE’s on site at the various locations to successfully support the user community. (Offeror must meet all four requirements). A further requirement is for Small Business bidders to have worked help desk serving at least 10,000 users, while Large Businesses must have served at least 75,000 users.

Scenario #2: Backend infrastructure and Cyber Security (Servers, Storage, Cloud, Monitoring, Networks). This scenario requires (1) Backend infrastructure and Cyber Security (Servers, Storage, Cloud, Monitoring, Networks), (2) leading edge IT architecture concerning data backup, disaster recovery (DR), failover capabilities, and continuity of operations plans (COOP), (3) the appropriate number of FTE’s at the necessary locations to successfully support the user community. (Offeror must meet all three requirements).

Weasel Wording Won’t Help 

Although the requirements are pass / fail, there is no fudging on the answers.  For example, a small business has either provided help desk to at least 10,000 users or has not.  Also the qualified bidders must have provided two years of continuous service. Further, pricing must be fair and reasonable.

Conducting research to audit a potential bidder’s experience against this extensive and challenging spec is a serious task.  Further, the bidder’s experience must be in the intelligence Community (IC), and bidders lacking such experience can not manufacture it by the due date.

Winning Proposal

This RFP is simple but difficult.  Going down the spec and providing conclusive evidence from your past performance / experience is a task that is straightforward but extensive and exacting.  Let’s assume you have closely audited the requirements and you can see you pass. Then you need to start collecting the evidence and writing yesterday.  You can expect that, depending on the status of your plans and documentation, preparing a winning proposal may take one to two person months of effort from qualified professionals.   And your team should already be in place.  If you are qualified, this is a must-bid opportunity, since because they will award to all qualified offerors.

If you have questions about preparing your SITE III proposal, or need proposal support, please contact OCI at 703-689-9600.

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