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Everything You Need to Know About GSA's OASIS+

gsa gwac oasis Mar 20, 2023

GSA’s OASIS+ consolidated 2nd Draft RFP is out and we’re here to help you understand all the updates! We created this consolidated resource to help interested partners prepare for OASIS+ as well as stay up to date with the latest information for this exciting GWAC! We’ll be updating this blog with guidance, FAQs, and pro tips on how to prepare, so be sure to check back frequently for the latest news. Also, be sure to bookmark our OASIS+ Hub for access to our free downloads, past webinars, and more!

Table of Contents 

  • What is OASIS+?
  • How do I know if I qualify?
  • How do I get started?
  • How do I evaluate my experience and self-score projects?
  • What do I need to know about teaming?
  • How can I boost my score?

What is OASIS+?

One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services - Plus, or OASIS+, is the Best in Class follow on to GSA’s OASIS, a family of multiple award IDIQ contracts for professional (non-information technology) services. Here are the quick contract highlights based on the March 2023 2nd Draft as well as Questions and Answers.


How do I know if my company is a good candidate?

If you followed any of our Polaris campaign support, then you won’t be surprised that the first recommendation we have for you is to reframe that question. What you should be asking at this stage is, “Is OASIS+ the right prime contract for me?” In other words, is it a contract you can realistically manage and that your government clients can/will use? As with all IDIQs, the initial bid is the easy part. Winning work on task orders is going to require additional time, resources, and effort. We’d encourage a quick “time out” before you start tallying any points to ask yourself a few key qualifying questions:

  • Do you have current Federal customers who are likely to use OASIS+ for future acquisitions? (By the way, if you don’t know the answer to this question, contact us - our Business Analysts can help!)
  • Can you manage the administrative demands of a GSA contract within your current contract support infrastructure?
  • Are you willing and able to meet the marketing, minimum contracting thresholds, and participation requirements that come with a win?

Recommendation: Answering “No” to the questions above shouldn’t lead to an automatic “no bid,” but it should give you pause and help you calibrate your definition of what success looks like on OASIS+. Your goal should be staying on the contract for the long term and making it work for you, not just getting an initial award. Think through how you will manage work once you’re on the contract, and then let that plan of action inform your strategic bid, hiring, teaming, or business development decisions accordingly.

How do I get started?

If you don’t think your long-term contract success will be an issue, then there are three actions you can take immediately.

  1. Step 1: Read the 2nd Draft RFPThis sounds obvious, but this follow-on vehicle has been an iterative work in progress with some BIG revisions along the way. Make sure you understand the latest guidance – and don’t forget to read ALL of the attachments. This recent draft included changes to the scoresheet (Attachment J.P-8 OASIS+ Domain Qualifications Matrix and Scoresheet) as well as the J.P-3 Project Verification Form that may have big impacts to your bid depending on the Domain/Set Aside you are pursuing. As you read, keep track of any questions or feedback you have. You’ll need those for Step 2.
  2. Step 2: Register for Symphony. Symphony is the submission portal that will be used for OASIS+. It’s the same platform that GSA used for other GWACs like ASTRO and Polaris, however, OASIS+ has a different portal link that is distinct from other proposal instances. You can register for the OASIS+ section of Symphony here: Symphony. You’ll need a Multi-Factor authentication method as well as your company’s (or your Prime’s) UEI from SAM.Gov when you register.
  3. Step 3: Perform an eligibility check. Before you spend valuable time preparing documents and coordinating your response, make sure you don’t have any disqualifiers that will make you ineligible for award. Check out our OASIS+ Basic Eligibility Checklist if you’re not sure. Note: Most of the eligibility requirements are binary, but don’t be lulled into thinking you will be able to put your proposal together in a week. Preparing your response is going to take some time – especially if you are missing paperwork or need to renew any certifications. You must be able to prove that you have successful performance, not just assure the Government you have the potential to be successful.

BEWARE: Even the most organized companies can be surprised by the amount of time and effort it takes to prepare a response like this, but the investment you make to prepare now can pay dividends when the final RFP is released! Give yourself the best head start possible by preparing now.

What do I need to know about teaming?

Based on the success of the current OASIS program, GSA (and the rest of the Federal government) has big plans for OASIS+. It makes sense that you will want to consider forming a team to help improve the services you can offer as well as improve your score. Contractual teaming relationships can take many forms, and not all of these are equal when it comes to OASIS+. While the draft RFP doesn’t include a penalty for new teaming relationships (like we saw with Polaris, for example), your teaming strategy still requires careful consideration. We put together the most frequently asked questions about teaming to build this Quick Reference Guide about the ins and outs of teaming on OASIS+. Let’s dive in!

  1. What types of teams are allowed? On OASIS+ there are three main ways to bid. You can bid alone (no teammates), with a team under a Contract Teaming Arrangement (which models the traditional Prime/Sub relationships), or as part of a Joint Venture. Here are the high-level pros and cons of each relationship. 
    What changed with subcontracting requirements in the 2nd draft?

Section L.5.1.8 of the Unrestricted Draft RFP included some big revisions. Here’s what you need to know:

  • All Offerors that are Other than small business (OTSB) concerns for ANY NAICS within the proposed domain(s) shall provide an Individual Subcontracting Plan
  • Commercial and Master Subcontracting Plans will NOT be accepted: the Subcontracting Plan must apply to the OASIS+ program as a whole
  • All plans need to comply with FAR 19.704 and FAR 52.219-9
  • GSA included one attachment (J.P-9) to serve as a guide for the Subcontracting Plans, but this plan is NOT a fill-in-the-blank template and DOES NOT establish minimum requirements for an acceptable plan
  • Offerors must show their plan to provide opportunities to Small (SB), HUBZone, Small Disadvantaged (SDB), Women-Owned (WOSB), Veteran-Owned (VOSB), and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB)
    • Plans must represent a “creative and innovative program” for involving these set-asides
  • The Plan must include a description of the Offeror’s subcontracting strategies in previous contracts, as well as significant achievements, and how this Plan will build upon those achievements
  • The Plan must include “robust” SB subcontracting goals. For reference, GSA’s OASIS+ updated subcontracting goals are below. While Offerors must propose a plan that contains “challenging yet attainable” goals, these percentages are probably a good starting point:
    • SB: 50%
    • SDB: 7%
    • WOSB: 7%
    • HUBZone: 3%
    • VOSB: 3%
    • SDVOSB: 3%
  • The Subcontracting Plan will be incorporated by reference into any resulting OASIS+ MA-IDIQ.
  1. What do I need to know about Joint Ventures (JVs)? JVs can be a great way to pool resources because you’ll be permitted to use the experience and company certifications from any of the JV entities (or the JV itself) to qualify. There are, however, a couple of things to watch out for:
    1. The JV will only qualify for the contracting set-asides that the entities are eligible for (i.e., you can’t form a HUBZone JV if neither company is a HUBZone). The JV must be separately identified in writing with its own name, UEI number, and CAGE number in
    2. If you’re working under a Mentor / Protégé construct, the Protégé must certify to SBA and the Contracting Officer that the JV complies with SBA requirements. SBA provides a template JV certificate (
    3. The JV must meet the requirements of 13 CFR § 125.8 and 13 CFR § 121.103(h).
  2. Can I submit multiple bids? The short answer is “yes,” but let’s break this down by asking some more specific questions.
  • Can I bid solo on one IDIQ (e.g., WOSB) and as a JV or part of a team in another IDIQ (e.g., HUBZone)? Yes, teaming arrangements in accordance with FAR Subpart 9.6 will be allowed under the OASIS+ contract. Organizations may propose solo on one IDIQ and as a JV on a different IDIQ, and would do so as different legal entities. For example, a SB offering on its own (with or without subcontractors) is a different legal entity than a JV.
  • Ok, so can a company subcontract with more than one prime? At the IDIQ level, yes; however, no project may be used in more than one proposal for the same Pool under this solicitation. Projects used in more than one proposal in a given Pool under this solicitation will be removed from all proposals and will not be evaluated as part of any Offeror’s proposal.
  • Are there any cross-teaming limitations? Actually, yes! This will come into play post-award once GSA starts releasing Task Orders, so you need to be aware that “an OASIS+ Contractor (including affiliates, divisions, subsidiaries, or joint venture participants) may only participate as a prime offeror or subcontractor in the submission of one proposal in response to a specific task order. For example, if an OASIS+ Prime awardee who is a Joint Venture submits a proposal for a task order solicitation, a Contractor designated in the OASIS+ IDIQ as a member of the Joint Venture may not also propose to the same task order solicitation as an order-level first tier subcontractor or separate OASIS+ Prime Offeror.”
  1. Is experience from my teammate eligible for as many points as my own experience? Yes – for qualifying projects, it doesn’t matter if they belong to the Prime Offeror or a teammate. We recommend having your checklists ready to ensure there are no duplicates that may disqualify you for that domain. The example from the Draft RFP explains it best by saying:
    1. QP/FEP#1 may be submitted to the Technical and Engineering Domain, Small Business solicitation; and may also be submitted to the Technical and Engineering Domain, HUBZone solicitation as these are not competing solicitations. However, if QP/FEP#1 is found twice within the Technical and Engineering Domain, HUBZone solicitation, QP/FEP#1 will be removed from all proposals and will not be evaluated as part of any Offeror’s proposal.
  2. Can the prime contractor add "un-named" subcontractors to the master contract and/or task order? Good news here! Yes, awarded OASIS+ contractors may utilize different subcontractors for task orders than those identified for the master contract – so the team you propose with doesn’t need to be static after award.

Teaming and Joint Ventures are meaty topics. How are you feeling about teaming now? We obviously can’t cover every teaming situation or point permutation in a single blog, so if you still have questions (or are feeling a little uneasy about your specific situation), then get in touch! We can walk you through your options and help you evaluate your viability objectively before you commit yourself to a teaming strategy that inadvertently puts your proposal at a points disadvantage! 

How do you evaluate your 'relevant' experience projects?

Evaluating your “relevant” experience doesn’t have to be overwhelming. We’re going to keep this as simple as possible and walk you through this in steps.

Step 1: Understand what type of work meets the Qualifying Project (QP) requirement. The information that follows comes from Section L.5.2.1 of the 2nd Draft RFP. For clarity, there are two types of QPs: Relevant Qualifying Projects (where the project work itself was relevant to the scope of the domain you are scoring it in), and Non-Relevant Qualifying Projects. Determining Relevant vs. Non-Relevant is something we’ll cover later because to get to that point, EVERY QP must first meet ALL the following criteria:

  1. Be one of the following types of contracts:
  • A single contract (including prime contracts, subcontracts, and commercial contracts); or
  • A single task order awarded under an indefinite delivery task order contract (Definite Quantity, Requirements, or Indefinite Quantity), Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA), or Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA), including single or multiple award; or
  • A task order under a Federal Supply Schedule contract (FAR 8.405-2) or BPA (FAR 8.405-3); or
  • An Other Transaction Authority (OTA) award issued under 10 U.S.C. 4021 or other applicable authority; or
  • A “Collection of Task Orders” as defined in Section L.5.2.1. *You’ll want to note here that Offerors can only submit one aggregation of TOs per Domain submission*

**Yes, you read that correctly, OTAs are NO LONGER considered eligible!**

  1. Be a contract or order for services in accordance with FAR Part 37.

To save you some time, FAR Part 37 defines a service contract as “a contract that directly engages the time and effort of a contractor whose primary purpose is to perform an identifiable task rather than to furnish an end item of supply. A service contract may be either a non-personal or personal contract. It can also cover services performed by either professional or nonprofessional personnel whether on an individual or organizational basis.” There’s a lot more detail that you can check out here, but if you have questions, we’d love to get you in touch with one of our Contracts Specialists!  Bottom line, your contract should be for services (not products) and you should use the definition of “services” found in FAR Part 37.

  1. Meet or exceed a minimum annual value. This is going to be domain-specific (and there are variations!), so you’ll want to give Attachment 8 - Domain Qualifications Matrix a very close read. The proposed minimum values for the SB domains range from $250,000 to $1 million, while the Unrestricted domains have a range from $500,000 to $50 million! There are a couple of other nuances buried here that you need to be aware of:
    1. First, when you’re looking at your projects, make sure you’re calculating the annual value correctly. If you’re scoring your projects for scale (Section L., then you can use the total annual value of the project (even if the whole value wasn’t relevant to the Domain). BUT, if you’re evaluating project relevance/eligibility, keep this in mind: Section L. states “Relevant work does not need to be the primary purpose of the project, but the Offeror must clearly demonstrate (e.g., via a distinct CLIN or section within a PWS) that the relevant portion of the work meets the minimum QP criteria for the proposed Domain” (e.g., ≥$500,000 annual value for Technical & Engineering Domain).
    2. Second, there are different methods to determine a “total” based on whether the work is ongoing or completed. The methods include:

i. Project value for completed projects is determined by the total funded dollars. NOTE: This includes completed projects with a Period of Performance (PoP) of less than one year.

ii. Project value for ongoing projects is determined based on the total estimated value (value inclusive of all option periods; regardless of completed/funded status). NOTE: This includes ongoing projects with a PoP of less than one year.

iii. QPs with a PoP greater than 12 months will be prorated to the annual value. Total annual value will be calculated by dividing the total project value by the total number of days of PoP, and multiplying by 366.

- For example, a project valued at $3 million with a PoP of 450 days will be considered to have an annual value of ~$2.44 million ([$3,000,000 ÷ 450] x 366).

  1. Be recent and observed. To make the cut as a QP, each project must be ongoing (and have at least six months of completed performance by proposal submission) or if the project is completed, the end date must be within five years of the proposal due date. Note: It’s reasonable to expect that GSA will establish a specific cut-off date so that this criterion doesn’t create unnecessary churn if the final solicitation gets amended/extended.
  2. Have satisfactory past performance. Technically what the draft says is the QP cannot have an associated record of negative past performance. But if your project is relatively new (and/or perhaps hasn’t received a CPAR evaluation), you’ll need to get your customer to fill out a Past Performance Rating Form. That’s one reason why there’s a 6-month minimum performance time – GSA wants to know your client has observed your performance long enough to submit a qualified opinion!

Caveats and Considerations:

  • You’re allowed to use subcontract experience – but keep in mind: “only the work identified in the specific subcontract may be utilized for scoring as a QP.” This applies to relevance and dollar value!
  • Offerors may submit a maximum of five distinct QPs for each Domain. These five can be a combination of Relevant and Non-relevant QPs (but the Relevant QPs are going to score higher!) Also, these five projects can be any combination of federal government and non-federal projects.

Ok – so now we know what the minimum criteria are. What next?

Step 2: Draft your contract lineup. Make a list of your contracts that immediately come to mind as aligning to one or more of the OASIS+ Domains. Whether it’s one contract or 15 contracts, it will be faster to start your evaluations with a consolidated list and evaluate each project upfront, rather than chasing projects down one by one once the government finalizes (and refines) the evaluation criteria. 

Step 3: Down-select your projects -- fast! You don't have infinite time and resources, so you need to figure out your top projects fast. First, confirm that every project on your list meets the minimum qualifying criteria. If a project doesn't meet the minimum thresholds for recency, type, and magnitude, don't keep it on the list! Down-selecting early allows you to prioritize your efforts and spend time developing only the eligible projects that have the best chance of yielding you the most points. Warning: OASIS+ isn't a proposal you can creatively write your way onto by stretching definitions of relevance or adding a lot of additional justifying text. Best case, you’ll have 750 characters on the J.P-3 form to state your case. You have to prove - largely using documents authored and maintained by entities other than your company – that your experience qualifies.

Step 4: “Rack and Stack” your projects. This step will identify your strongest chance of winning the most points. Once you have your list of eligible projects, score them based on the draft point values in the Draft RFP (it’s Attachment 9!) This is a full cheat sheet for your submission that describes in detail the evaluation criteria GSA will use when they dig into your proposal. (Contact us if you need help understanding how your proposal will be graded!) 

Step 5: Get a second set of eyes on your scoresheet. I know we’re a little biased, but an independent review can help you objectively determine your qualifications and/or gaps and validate your potential score. We are experts at reading contract documentation and will be able to tell you – with fidelity – where your vulnerabilities are. Contact us to get an impartial, requirements-based review of your potential project documentation.

As contracting history has shown, the final RFP is likely to be released amid a flood of other contracts – don’t be left holding the bag of QP verification when you really need to focus on your technical response. If you think you’d like a second set of eyes, be sure to visit our website to see how our team of capture and proposal SMEs can help you prepare for OASIS+.

How Can I Boost my OASIS+ Score?

By this point, you’ve probably run through a self-assessment on the first second third fourth draft scorecard (the one from 8 March!) at least once. Maybe you’re feeling pretty good about your OASIS+ bid … or maybe you’re right on the edge of meeting that minimum point threshold to qualify for award. If that’s the case, you’re probably wondering, “How can I boost my score?” We have a few recommendations, but first, we want to make sure you understand some of the basic OASIS+ scorecard mechanics.  

  1. Each domain has a unique tab in the scorecard for a reason. Make sure you review and understand the scorecard for the domain(s) you’re pursuing before you start totaling credits (i.e., points). Why is that important? Because not every domain’s scorecard has the same criteria or the same weight for credits. For example, in almost every domain, you earn the majority of credits from maxing out the number of Relevant Qualifying Projects (QPs) you submit (up to five in total). But that’s not the case in the Intelligence domain: in that domain, each Relevant QP is only worth two credits, but having five or more cleared personnel on a QP (Relevant or not) will get you three credits for each QP. So, you actually get more credits for five QPs with five or more cleared personnel (15 credits) than you do for having five Relevant QPs (10 credits).   

Similarly, the minimum average annual value for projects is not consistent across all domains, and you can bet there are differences within domains based on whether you’re reading the small business or unrestricted RFP.  

  1. Larger, more complex projects (generally) help your score. But you must ensure you’re calculating things correctly. Keep in mind – the project end date is really important because you are calculating an average annual value, not getting credit for the total ceiling (like we saw on Polaris). Here’s what both RFPs (specifically Section L.5.2.1) say about determining QP Value: 

 The QP value is determined based on the following criteria:  

  • Project value for completed projects is determined by the total funded dollars. NOTE: This includes completed projects with a PoP of less than one year.  
  • Project value for ongoing projects is determined based on the total estimated value (value inclusive of all option periods; regardless of completed/funded status). NOTE: This includes ongoing projects with a PoP of less than one year.  
  • QPs with a PoP greater than 12 months will be prorated to the annual value. Total annual value will be calculated by dividing the total project value by the total number of days of PoP and multiplying by 366.  
    • For example, a project valued at $3M with a PoP of 450 days will be considered to have an annual value of ~$2.433M (($3M ÷ 450) x 366)  

A point I want to emphasize: for those ongoing projects, the total estimated value WILL include all option periods – you can’t opt to leave them out of the formula. When it comes to doing the math, that could actually hurt your calculation, especially if you have a long period of performance with multiple option years and a relatively low total ceiling. It is not uncommon for contracts (especially subcontracts) to raise the ceiling incrementally as the project progresses, but have all the option years listed in the original documentation (why not? They’re optional!) Make sure you read your contract documentation closely so that you’re basing your calculations (and subsequent qualifications) on the correct data.  

  1. Pay attention to those category maximums.Some of the categories on the scoresheet have an accompanying maximum number of credits that changed with the 2nd Draft RFP, and that value does not necessarily correspond to a one-for-one project-to-credit ratio. Check out this example from the SB T&E domain:

Based on this criteria, an individual project could earn 0, 1, 2, or 3 credits depending on the criteria it meets – but if you had five QPs that met all three criteria, you wouldn’t earn 15 credits – you’d still max out at seven credits.  

Here’s another example from the SB Intelligence domain. Again, you can aggregate credits at the project level, but you’re limited to claiming four TOTAL in this category: 

  • Relevant is best.Ok, it should be obvious that in general, you’d want to submit as many Relevant QPs as possible, but the return on investment here plays out in two ways. In addition to consistently being eligible for more points than just a qualifying project, you can ONLY earn past performance credits on Relevant QPs. In this category, you need a minimum of three (positive) Relevant QPs to get one credit. Four Relevant QPs will get you two credits, and you’ll max out at three credits with five positive past performance ratings Relevant QPs.   

Ok, so you’re clear on the basics. What do you do with this information?  

  1. Score your projects individually.The first thing you want to do is evaluate the possible credit total for each project to know how each project scores on its own. Then you can get a sense of which projects to discard and which to keep. You need to go through this exercise for every single project you think you *might*  want to use because of the way Section L is written. While it’s true that bigger is generally better, there’s no way to pick your highest-scoring projects by applying a one size fits all rule like, “Only use Prime experience.” You must crunch the numbers. Need some proof? 

A Relevant, low-value, low-complexity Federal Prime project and a non-Relevant, high-value, moderate-complexity project performed as a subcontractor could theoretically earn the same number of points. Check it out (we’ll use the updated SB T&E scorecard to make our point): 

  • Project A was a Prime Federal contract with an annual average value of $750,000. The work involved two labor categories, two functional areas, did not have a Surge requirement, no first-tier subcontractors were used, and all of the work was unclassified (no clearances required).  
  • Project B was work performed as a subcontractor with an annual average value of the subcontract being $2.1M. The subcontract specified six distinct labor categories, involved a surge capability that was exercised, and all of the 12 personnel from the subcontractor were required to have Secret or Top Secret clearances. 

As you can see, these projects both score 4 credits.  

Now, that’s not the end of the story, because we’ve already told you that only Relevant QPs will count for Past Performance, so for that criteria, Project A would carry an advantage over Project B. But whether or not Project A makes the final “project cut” is largely contingent on how the rest of the projects you’re considering score – both individually and as part of the portfolio.  

This might be a good time for four quick reminders: 

  1. If you are using subcontract work (or work performed as part of a Contractor Teaming Arrangement or Joint Venture), you’ll only be eligible to receive credit for the portion of work your entity completed (and can substantiate).  
  2. You can use DIFFERENT projects for your Prime Federal experience project credits – so don’t feel “locked in” to using them for Relevant QPs if they don’t score as high as commercial or subcontract experience would.  
  3. Think through your teaming options. Teaming has been a very hot topic recently, so while I wouldn’t recommend finalizing your strategy just yet (I know I previously said wait for the 2nd Draft RFP, but having listened in on the Industry Day, I’d wait for the Final RFP before signing anything in ink), it is a good time to start having conversations and understanding your options, especially if you are a SB. Right now, there is no requirement for teammates to demonstrate performance in a previous relationship, so building a small but qualified team might be a good way to boost your score solidly above the minimum.  
  4. Focus your efforts.This is all about making sure you make the most of the time you have remaining. Specifically, make sure you understand the maximum for additional points (see below) so that you can run different permutations of your relevant experience projects and come up with an accurate self-score. Don’t waste a lot of time gathering documentation for projects that are barely eligible (or may fall out of eligibility based on upcoming modifications, extensions, etc.). Similarly, we don’t want you to overlook potential points in Volumes 4 and 5, but we do want you to realize that you may not a) have time to lock in a CMMI or ISO certification before proposal submission (for example) and b) you might be better served by looking for a higher scoring project (like, one with a larger average annual value).  

This can be a lot to absorb and we know that. It's why our OASIS+ GWAC SMEs are standing by ready to help you with your OASIS+ eligibility check. If you still have questions after reading this contact us today! We're ready to help. 

Written By Rebecca Wayland

Rebecca is our HR and Development Manager. While Rebecca primarily wears the HR hat, she offers comprehensive proposal management, capture support, market research and training. She is also our GWAC lead so if you’re exploring Polaris, OASIS+, or Alliant 3, she is definitely your SME. As a U.S. Navy veteran and military spouse based in Honolulu, she supports clients around the world as part of our globally dispersed team.