4 Things to Look For When Gathering Evidence for GSA POLARIS GWACJul 30, 2021
Think you're ready for GSA's Polaris GWAC? Let's see you prove it.
We've already talked about the crucial role your Relevant Experience and Past Performance projects are going to play on GSA's Polaris GWAC (In case you missed it, check out our blog on Polaris GSA scoring here!). Maybe you have even downloaded our checklists and started ranking your potential projects. But how can you be sure your self-scoring ends up with the same score the Government will give you? The answer lies in understanding the "standard of evidence" GSA will use to evaluate your claims, so let's pull the thread on that a little and focus on government (vice commercial) projects.
If you've tuned into our webinars, you've heard us talk about the difference between an assertion and actual evidence. In other words, you have to be able to prove what you are claiming. Offerors will be asked to do this by submitting documents that are already in existence. So as you sift through your files, here are some guidelines to help you whittle down your list of exhibits to something manageable:
Is it on the list of approved documents?
This sounds obvious, but start with documents on the list that GSA gave you! The Draft RFP provides a list of "approved sources" that it will accept for contract documentation. These include:
FPDS-NG Report (REQUIRED)
And if your FPDS-NG Report does not "substantiate all information on the Section J.P-2, Relevant Experience (Primary) Project Template," then you will need this additional documentation:
Project Template (Must be signed by the Contracting Officer or in certain circumstances, the Contracting Officer Representative's signature will be accepted)
Original Contract Award Document (SF 1449; SF26; SF33; DD 1155; Optional Form 307; GSA Form 300)
Copy of Contract Statement of Work
Copy of Contract's Section B Supplies/Services & Prices or Costs CLINs (Optional)
If you need to submit additional documentation from the list above, then you will need to ask these follow up questions:
Does it clearly tie to the contract?
Ok, this is another one that seems obvious, but is the correct and correlating contract number listed on every piece of additional documentation you're submitting? You'd be surprised how many final Statements of Work/Performance Work Statements don't include the contract number anywhere in/on the document. You're especially going to want to take a look at this if your SOW/PWS was revised, or included with an award packet as an attachment. Oh, and remember how you can claim additional points for things like subcontracting? That's only if your subcontracting agreement lists the right contract number, too. Every piece of evidence has to link back to the "source" project.
Does it say what you thought it should say?
In other words, is your documentation accurate and complete? Is the right contract type reflected? What about the obligated value? And NAICS? While the Project Template can help correct minor issues (in lieu of an electronic change of record), you won't be able to submit a whole narrative that accounts for something like a missing task area in the PWS. So read and re-read everything you plan to submit now.
Does it stand on its own?
Understanding the nuance between something you know and something you can prove is critical, so ask yourself: Is my evidence definitive and clear enough to be read, understood, and interpreted exactly the same way by the Government without me in the room to guide or influence them? For instance: If you're claiming points for OCONUS performance, does your PWS say that the Place of Performance may include Japan (as an example), or does it state that contractors will (or shall) perform tasks in Japan? You only get credit for what appears in black and white.
Conclusion: If reviewing every piece of evidence through this lens seems like a lot of work, you're right! But following these steps raises your chances of maximizing your points and submitting a successful bid. So make sure you get credit for all of your hard-won experience by selecting qualifying evidence that will make it easy for GSA to grade your proposal -- and send you an award notice!
Still, have any questions, or feeling overwhelmed? Contact us today -- we can help you get started and give you an honest assessment of how well you are likely to score.