STEP 4: SPARC Solicitation/Award
During this step the RFP/RFQ is sent to the vendors (the type of procurement will determine which vendors receive the RFP/RFQ) so that they can prepare the proposals. There are several key dates listed below that are part of the process:
- Draft RFP/RFQ issued to vendors by OAGM (issuing a draft RFP/RFQ is optional; the draft RFP gives CMS time to address questions and update documents prior to the final RFP being issued).
- RFP issued to vendors by OAGM.
- Technical Evaluation Panel (TEP) formed by CMS management specific to functional area.
- Questions pertaining to RFP/RFQ sent to CMS from vendors.
- Responses drafted by COR/GTL and updated RFP/RFQ is sent to vendors by CO and CS.
- Notice of Intent (NOI) sent to CMS (optional, but informs CMS on potential number of proposal submissions for planning purposes).
- Proposals due to CMS from vendors.
- TEP Kickoff training provided by panel chair and CO.
- Technical proposals evaluated by TEP.
- Section 508 reviewed by 508 Subject Matter Expert (SME); findings sent to TEP for approval.
- Business proposals evaluated (possible to do concurrent with technical).
- TEP chair sends report on behalf of TEP to CO/CS for review.
- TO award or updated request for proposals, sometimes known as Best And Final Offer (BAFO).
Guidance and Tips:
While awaiting the proposal submissions, the requesting COR/GTL should:
- Gather names of people involved for the Technical Evaluation Panel (TEP) and ask if there are any other CMS departments or groups which need to be included on the TEP; the business owner (component) will determine whether any Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) should be included in the TEP.
- Upon proposal receipt by OAGM, the CO and CS will review offerors for responsiveness, and prepare to send to the COR or Procurement Lead for dissemination to the panel members.
- The CO or CS shall provide a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) which everyone on the TEP and any leadership who want to be involved in the procurement, must read and sign. The CO/CS will ensure/determine TEP members do not have a conflict of interest with any of the offerors.
- The TEP Chair (procurement lead within requesting division) will schedule the TEP kick-off and include all TEP members and participating SMEs; the meeting is usually within one day of proposal submission.
- The COR or Procurement Lead within the component performing the work will work with OAGM throughout the procurement process.
There are typically two parts to the proposal evaluation; the Technical Volume and the Business Volume. Sample evaluation factors are in Appendix A in this document.