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What’s the Scoop on NASA SEWP VI?

government contracting gwac nasa sewp vi May 29, 2024
Night sky with duck wearing space helmet

Big news – NASA released the final SEWP VI Request for Proposal on May 23 and (as of right now) proposals are due July 11! We’re updating our blog so you can have the latest and greatest information all in one place! We’ve already seen a lot of misinformation circulating, and there are very different requirements depending on the size of your business and the Category you are applying for, so be sure to read the final RFP very closely. It’s also important to check back frequently for the latest news, amendments, and clarifications. For up-to-date information and additional resources, visit our Contract Vehicle page: https://www.tridentproposals.com/nasa-sewp-vi. Also, mark your calendars because NASA is hosting an informational SEWP VI WebEx on June 4 (you can register here).

Let's dive into the RFP!


Table of Contents

  • Quick Recap: What is the NASA SEWP Program?
  • What do I need to know about the Final RFP? 

What is the NASA SEWP Program?

NASA Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) is a government-wide acquisition contract (GWAC) managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Used to purchase a wide range of information technology (IT) products (and limited services), it has been in operation for several decades and serves as a valuable procurement vehicle for NASA, all federal agencies, and approved federal agency support service contractors.

NASA SEWP provides a streamlined and cost-effective way for federal agencies to acquire IT products and services. It covers a broad spectrum of IT-related categories, including hardware, software, cloud computing, cybersecurity, telecommunications, audio-visual products, and related services. As the name suggests, the primary customer is NASA; however, other federal agencies can expedite IT purchases through the SEWP contract. 

FAST FACTS: SEWP VI will be an order level multiple contract type GWAC with the ability to issue Firm-Fixed-Price, Time and Material, Labor Hour, Fixed Price Award Fee, and Fixed Price Incentive Fee task orders. For administrative purposes only, the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes for Category A is 541519e- IT Value Added Reseller and for Categories B and C is 541512- Computer Systems Design Services. However, Offerors are not restricted to only NAICS Code 541512 and 541519e. This opportunity will also use the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC) for classification. A complete list of in-scope UNSPSC codes for SEWP can be found in Attachment C, SEWP Contract Holder User Manual.

The current GWAC, SEWP V, consists of over 140 pre-competed Prime Contract Holders, including more than 110 Small Businesses (source). SEWP V is due to expire on April 30, 2025.

What Do I Need to Know About the Final RFP?

All information below is based on the final Request for Proposal (RFP) released on May 23, 2024.

Solicitation Number

80TECH24R001 (Note the updated number so that you flag the right SAM.Gov entry!)

Contract Ceiling

~$60 billion

Period of Performance

10-year Period of Performance (PoP)

Customer Agencies

Multiple federal agencies (including NASA, DoD, and more)

Competition Type

Unrestricted (UNR) and Small Business (SB) set-asides

Evaluation Method

Phase 1 – Evaluation consists of:

- Accuracy of NAICS Crosswalk

- Pass Mandatory Relevant Experience requirement with a current ISO 9001:2015 Certification of Conformity/Conformance (Required for All Categories); and/or CMMI (DEV or SVC) Maturity Level 2 or higher (Category B Only) [Note: if you are a SB, these can be in progress]

Phase 2 - Have a past performance rating of Neutral or Satisfactory; and

Phase 3 - Have overall High confidence in Mission Suitability: High Confidence in both subfactors- Management Approach and Technical Approach

Offerors must also be a responsible source IAW FAR 9.104

# of Awards

No limit

Anticipated TO Award Type(s)

GWAC contract with the ability to issue Firm-Fixed-Price, Time and Material, Labor Hour, Fixed Price Award Fee, and Fixed Price Incentive Fee

Domains / Core Services

For administrative purposes only, the NAICS codes for Category B and C is 541512 - Computer Systems Design Services and for Category A is 541519e - IT Value Added Reseller. However, Offerors are not restricted to only NAICS Code 541512 and 541519e. Broadly, SEWP covers: Category A: IT Solutions; Category B: IT Enterprise-Wide Solutions; Category C: IT Services

Award Timeline

The anticipated contract award and contract effective date is May 1, 2025

On/Off Ramps

On-Ramp: NASA may on-ramp as needed and determined by the Project Management Office (See A.1.4.2 of the Final RFP)

Off-Ramp: NASA may off-ramp under-performing contractors (See A.1.41 of the final RFP)

Teaming

Permitted, although there are restrictions on the number of proposals a corporate entity can submit. Additionally, only SBs can use relevant experience of first-tier subcontractors as part of their proposal


Updated Opportunity Timeline (As of May 23)

RFP Released

May 23, 2024

Industry Day

June 4, 2024, at 1 p.m. EDT

Questions Due

June 7, 2024, at 4:59 p.m. EDT

Submission Due Date

July 11, 2024, at 12 p.m. EDT

Expected Award

May 1, 2025 


How is this going to work?

Big picture, bidders need to pass four steps to obtain an award as a qualifying offeror:

  • Step 1: Pass the mandatory REP requirement (see more below) with a current ISO 9001:2015 Certification of Conformity/Conformance. If you’re a SB, you must show that the necessary certification is in process; and
  • Step 2: You must have an overall Neutral or Satisfactory Level of confidence past performance rating; and
  • Step 3: You must have overall High confidence in Mission Suitability: High Confidence in both the Management Approach and Technical Approach; and
  • Step 4: You must be classified as a responsible source in accordance with FAR 9.104.

SEWP VI Categories

One new advantage of SEWP VI is that it features expanded Categories that include IT Services beyond those traditionally bundled with IT parts/supplies. It’s important to understand what types of products/services align with which categories, so we’ve outlined them below.

  • Category A Scope - Information Technology, Communications, and Audio-Visual (ITC/AV) Solutions: A broad suite of Information Technology, Communications, and Audio-Visual (ITC/AV) solutions: i.e., technology in which there is an intertwining of products, such as a laptop, and services, such as maintenance and installation. 
  • Category B Scope - Enterprise-Wide ITC/AV Strategic Solutions: Provides Federal Agencies with customized Enterprise-Wide Strategic Solutions for the improvement and enhancement of Agency ITC/AV infrastructure.
  • Category C Scope – ITC/AV Program-level Solutions: Provides Federal agencies with customized Solutions at a Mission/Program level for improvement and enhancement of Agency ITC/AV infrastructure.

Mandatory Experience/Offerings

Ok, here’s where things start to get a little trickier. Broadly speaking, Offerors must provide a certain number of relevant experience projects (REP) that cover a minimum number of mandatory sub-areas. But what’s required varies based on Category and Company Size. Let’s break it down. 

For Category A: You won’t have projects, per se, but you will need to propose technology solutions for any 4 of the 8 Category A Mandatory Technical Areas as well as Technical Area 9 (Product Based Services) within the Category A Solutions Spreadsheet. For quick reference, these are the Category A Mandatory Technical Areas:

  1. IT Computer Systems / Compute Facilities
  2. IT Storage Systems
  3. Networking and Communication Equipment
  4. Imaging Equipment and Supporting Technology
  5. IT Power and Cabling Equipment
  6. Audio/Video Equipment
  7. Security and Sensor Equipment
  8. Software and Cloud Technology
  9. Product-based Services

There are a few sub-components to this that, for ease of explanation, we’re breaking down into numbered parts as follows:

Part 1: Information Tab: On the Category A Solutions Spreadsheet tab, Offerors will indicate which 4 areas (plus Area 9) the Offeror is, well, offering. One of those 4 areas will be designated the Primary Technical Area: this is important because it directly impacts how many distinct and relevant CLINs you will need to provide in Part 3.

Part 2: Point of Contact Tab: On this tab, Offerors must identify a Designated Provider for each of the 4 proposed Technical Areas (you don’t need one for Technical Area 9). This Designated Provider must be from the list of approved SEWP Providers listed in Enclosure 1 of the RFP. Companies can use the same designated provider in more than one Technical Area BUT the offerings provided in each must be distinct, relevant, and different. Additionally, Offerors must include at least one additional provider in each Technical Area (Note: these *don’t* have to be from the Enclosure 1 list).

Part 3: Technical Area Tabs: You’re going to list a MINIMUM of 1,502 CLINs. Here’s the breakdown.

  • For the ONE Primary Technical Area: You need a minimum of 1,000 distinct and relevant CLINs from the designated provider and a minimum of 50 distinct and relevant CLINs from the secondary providers (Total Minimum Number of CLINs in the Primary Technical Area: 1,050).
  • For the other THREE Technical Areas: You need a minimum of 100 distinct and relevant CLINs from the designated provider and 50 distinct and relevant CLINs from the secondary providers (Total Minimum Number of CLINs PER TECHNICAL AREA: 150 per area. Total Minimum Number of CLINs across three Technical Areas: 450).
  • For Technical Area #9: Last but not least, you need a minimum of 2 service CLINs.

Let’s move on to Categories B and C! There are a couple of lanes within these categories, depending on your business size and socio-economic status. Let’s start with what constitutes a REP in these categories.

  • A REP for mandatory experience is defined as a single contract or task order as either a Prime or Subcontractor. You cannot use the whole IDIQ – it must be a single contract or task order.
  • Work should be from NASA, Government, and/or commercial contracts.
  • If work was performed as a subcontractor, you can only claim the size and work actually defined in the subcontract.
  • Work must be from projects that are complete or ongoing within three years of the solicitation release date.
  • You may only submit projects with NAICS codes that are in scope for SEWP VI (See RFP Section A.1.34 for a complete listing).

CATEGORY B

 Business Size/Type

Number of REPs

Size

Other Than SB

Total of 4 different REPs from different mandatory experience technical areas

Each project must have had a minimum of $30M in total value size

SB

Total of 3 different REPs from different mandatory experience technical areas

Each project must have a minimum of $5M in total value size

HUBZone, VOSB, WOSB, EDWOSB, and 8a

Total of 2 different REPs for each* of the mandatory experience technical areas (*Note: this guidance seems to conflict with the language in other REP descriptions, so we would expect NASA to revise this to read “2 different REPs from different mandatory experience technical areas” rather than require these set asides to nominate 2 projects for each area)

Each project must have had a minimum of $4M in total value

Category B Mandatory Experience Technical Areas

  1. Enterprise-Wide Network Services
  2. IT Managed Services
  3. Enterprise-Wide Innovation Services
  4. IT Service Management
  5. Enterprise Service Program Integration
  6. Enterprise-Wide Information and Data Analytics Services (IDAS)
  7. Enterprise-Wide Application Services / Software Development
  8. Enterprise-Wide Cybersecurity Services
  9. Enterprise-Wide Cloud Services
  10. Enterprise-Wide Digital Multimedia and Technical Communications Services

 

CATEGORY C

Business Size/Type 

Number of REPs

Size

Other Than SB

N/A – this category is only for SBs

SB

Total of 3 different REPs from different mandatory experience technical areas

Each project must have a minimum of $2M in total value size

HUBZone, VOSB, SDVOSB, WOSB, EDWOSB, and 8a

Total of 2 different REPs from different mandatory experience technical areas

Each project must have had a minimum of $2M in total value

Category C Mandatory Experience Technical Areas

  1. Network Services
  2. Innovation Services
  3. Information and Data Analytics Services (IDAS)
  4. Application Services / Software Development
  5. Cybersecurity Services
  6. Cloud Services
  7. Digital Multimedia and Technical Communications Services
  8. IT Operations and Maintenance / Help Desk / Call Center Support
  9. Database Services
  10. In-Scope Training

 

What about Past Performance?

An important distinction is that Past Performance is not evaluated on your REPs. It is a separate subfactor and requires that you send a specific questionnaire to your clients/former clients for the projects you are citing. Prime Offerors must submit information for a minimum of 1 but no more than 3 of their most recent similar contracts that are complete or ongoing within three years of the solicitation release date. A couple of notes:

  • You cannot use newly-awarded projects or those that do not have documented performance history (based on the RFP, we recommend using 6-months of performance as the minimum cutoff here).
  • NASA is not requesting information for proposed subcontractors and if submitted, it will only be evaluated for SB prime offerors. And even then, there are a few caveats: check out RFP Section A.3.7.2(a) for more information on that.
  • For Past Performance, Offerors MAY submit a single award IDIQ/BPA at the contract/agreement level as a single past performance reference (however, you cannot submit a multiple award or GWAC as an individual record).

The table below outlines how many content representative areas you need to cover to be rated “Pertinent” and how large each project needs to be to be rated “Relevant” based on the category you are proposing and your business size.

Reminder: Primes must submit a minimum of 1 but no more than 3 recent & relevant contracts that meet the criteria below:

 Business Size/Type

 

Category A

Category B

Category C

OTSB

Content Areas Covered

4

4

n/a

Minimum Avg Annual Cost/Fee Incurred

$2.5M

$2.5M

n/a

SB

Content Areas Covered

3

3

3

Minimum Avg Annual Cost/Fee Incurred

$150,000

$1M

$500,000

HUBZone, SDVOSB, EDWOSB, and 8a 

Content Areas Covered

3* (see note)

2

2

Minimum Avg Annual Cost/Fee Incurred

$150,000* (see note)

$1M

$500,000

* Note: Category A does not include specific socio-economic set-aside thresholds for these categories; all SB bidders must comply with SB requirements. 

ISO / CMMI

For all categories, you must provide a third-party compliance verification with the ISO 9001 standard via an ISO 9001:2015 Certification that is active at the time of proposal submission. 

If you’re a Small Business, you must provide proof that the ISO 9001:2015 (or CMMI for Category B) certification is in process at the time of proposal submission. Certification must be obtained within 12 months of contract award. If it cannot be obtained within the 12-month time frame, NASA will off-ramp you from SEWP VI. If you’re in the certification process, you cannot compete on any requirements that require the certification. This can only be done after you are certified.

Another note about the certification: you cannot take credit for an ISO 9001 certification held by a manufacturer whom you represent.

Please tell me that’s all …

Almost. SEWP VI DOES include a narrative Mission Suitability Volume, which is made up of two subfactors. Subfactor A is a Technical Approach, and Subfactor B is a Management Approach. Each subfactor has a page limit of 15 pages.  These are fairly straightforward, but bidders should be prepared to talk about how their solutions will provide technological leadership, how they will handle Supply Chain Risk Management, their commitment to sustainability, as well as product and services diversity, and their program management approach.

So, am I ready to bid?  

SEWP VI won’t have a maximum number of awardees, meaning any bidder who qualifies can theoretically get an award. But that doesn’t mean everyone should throw their hat in the ring. Here are some factors to consider when framing your bid/no-bid decision.

Will you use the contract? This is always one of the first questions you should ask yourself – because getting a seat on any IDIQ isn’t just about the WIN (although we know that feels good). You need to make sure you’re spending time and resources bidding on the contracts that will give your clients the best access to your products and/or services and showcase you in your best light. You also need to consider how competitive the pool of awardees is for each contract. Is there a better GWAC out there for your products/services/clients/socioeconomic set-aside? (If you’re not sure, Contact Us, and we’ll put you in touch with our seasoned Business Intelligence Analysts and Capture Advisors).

Other considerations are the administrative and performance/participation requirements – if you haven’t read through Attachment B (Program Performance) and Attachment C (the SEWP Contract Holder User Guide) – you need to do that immediately. Those documents outline everything expected of you as a SEWP performer and include critical information on how you’ll be evaluated in execution. SEWP has a phenomenal reputation when it comes to Client Service and transparency, so make sure you’re prepared with the capacity, infrastructure, agility, and innovation to manage delivery throughout the life of the contract.

Bottom line – your goal should be winning and staying on the contract, so take a look at how you will win and manage task orders once you’re on the contract so that you can make the best hiring, teaming, or BD decisions to ensure your long-term success.

Are you qualified? This seems like an obvious question, but have you really looked at your experience to make sure it qualifies in terms of recency and relevance as defined by the solicitation? If you’re pursuing Category A, do you have the requisite number of CLINs and providers? And don’t forget those mandatory certifications. Every bidder must be ISO 9001 certified (or, if you are a SB, be able to show proof that the certification is in progress). And, if you are applying for Category B and/or Category C, you need a minimum CMMI (Development or Services) Level 2 certification.

We repeat this warning for every GWAC: Even the most organized, qualified companies can be surprised by the amount of time and effort it takes to prepare a proposal response like this. Give yourself the best advantage by thoughtfully evaluating your projects, teaming strategy (if needed), and familiarizing yourself with the administrative and performance requirements of the program now.

What’s next?

If you offer IT products and services, read the RFP to determine if this is the GWAC for you. If you are interested in pursuing SEWP or would like Trident to review your proposal before you submit, contact us today. Our GWAC experts can walk you through the most complex elements so that you can bid with confidence!    


Written by Rebecca Wayland

Rebecca Wayland    

Rebecca is our Chief of Staff. While Rebecca may primarily wear 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.  

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