NITAAC Releases DRFP for CIO-SP4, a GWAC for HIT Contractors

By Global Services on April 3, 2020

The National Institutes of Health Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC) has released the Draft RFP for the Chief Information Officer – Solutions and Partners 4 (CIO-SP4) Government-Wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC), under Solicitation No.: 75N98120R00002.

The Draft RFP gives a strong sense of what this acquisition will look like, but also leaves several key questions unanswered. In this post, we’ll look at what we currently know, and what is still to be determined in the coming months.

What We Know About CIO-SP4

  • Small Businesses preferred: CIO-SP4 is open to all offerors, but Small Businesses will be given preference.
  • Teaming allowed, but with a caveat: CTAs as defined by FAR 9.601, JVs, Mentor-Protégé JVs, and Prime-Sub teams are all allowed. However, in the case of Prime-Sub teams, ONLY the Prime is evaluated. This means that prime offerors will not be able to use subcontractors’ qualifications to boost their score.
  • Documented adequate accounting system is required: Because CIO-SP4 will include Cost Reimbursement type Task Orders (TOs), in order to bid, offerors must have documentation of an adequate accounting system. This can take the form of an audit from the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA), any federal civilian audit agency, or a third-party CPA firm.
  • CIO-SP4 covers ten Task Areas. Offerors who win a space on the contract will only be able to bid on work within their awarded Task Areas. The Task Areas include:
    • Task Area 1 (Mandatory): IT Services for Biomedical Research, Health Sciences, and Healthcare
    • Task Area 2: Chief Information Officer Support
    • Task Area 3: Digital Media
    • Task Area 4: Outsourcing
    • Task Area 5: IT Operations and Maintenance
    • Task Area 6: Integration Services
    • Task Area 7: Critical Infrastructure Protection and Information Assurance
    • Task Area 8: Digital Government
    • Task Area 9: Enterprise Resource Planning
    • Task Area 10: Software Development.
  • All offerors MUST qualify for Task Area 1. In addition to Task Area 1, offers must cover a variable number of additional Task Areas, depending on the offeror’s size status:
    • Other than Small Businesses: All 10 Task Areas
    • Small Businesses: Task Area 1 plus minimum of 7 other Task Areas
    • HUBZONE: Task Area 1 plus minimum of 4 other Task Areas
    • SDVOSB: Task Area 1 plus minimum of 4 other Task Areas
    • WOSB: Task Area 1 plus minimum of 4 other task Areas
    • 8(a): Task Area 1 plus minimum of 7 other Task Areas
  • Proposal structure: The proposal includes six volumes (called “Sections” in this RFP):
    • Section 1: General
    • Section 2: Technical Capability and Understanding
    • Section 3: Relevant Corporate Experience
    • Section 4: Management Approach
    • Section 5: Past Performance
    • Section 6: Price

Questions Remaining

Self-Scoring Sheet: The proposal will include a self-scoring sheet, which will be a go/no-go requirement. However, the contents of this sheet have not been determined. The Government has requested industry input regarding what should be included on this sheet, no later than noon on May 15, 2020. At the time of writing, it is not yet known what will be included or how it will be scored.

Minimum Requirements to Qualify for a Task Area: The RFP states that offerors “are required to demonstrate their ability to perform” the Task Areas. At the time of writing, it is not yet clear what counts as sufficient demonstration of ability.

Minimum Past Performance Requirements: Offerors are required to submit a maximum of three references for Past Performance assessments, only one of which can be from the private sector. At the time of writing, it is not yet clear whether there is a minimum number of references required. The RFP indicates that lacking past performance will not negatively impact score; however, since the scoring methodology is not yet determined, it is unclear to what extent the overall score will depend on past performance. Even if offerors will not lose points, the failure to gain points may mean that in practice, achieving a winning score without adequate past performance is not possible.

Key Upcoming Milestones

  • Industry feedback on the Draft is requested no later than 12:00 PM on May 15, 2020.
  • The Final RFP is slated for release in December 2020.

Next Steps for CIO-SP4

NITAAC is actively seeking industry input on the Draft RFP, including what should be included in the self-scoring assessment. Industry responses will play an important part in determining the requirements of the Final RFP—and ultimately, who can qualify and win a space on CIO-SP4.

Have questions about CIO-SP4? Global Services has provided proposal development support for numerous similar GWACs—including the previous version of this contract, CIO-SP3.

Contact Global Services today to learn more!