When the General Services Administration (GSA) released the RFP for Pool 1 on OASIS SB last month, it contained a welcome surprise. In a major change, GSA is now allowing teams to bid for spots on the multi-billion dollar, government-wide professional services contract vehicle. Pool 1 is the most popular pool on OASIS – its applicable NAICS codes cover a wide range of professional services – but it also has the smallest size standard (currently $15M). As a result, the large majority of existing contract holders will size out of OASIS SB at the upcoming option in April, 2019.
Due to its popularity, the on-ramp will expand Pool 1 to 190 contractors from the existing number (40). Additional spaces may be awarded due to ties or to meet socioeconomic goals. Both OASIS and OASIS SB use objective, points-based scoring, allowing potential bidders to ascertain whether they are likely to be successful before submitting a proposal. The lowest-scoring original awardee in OASIS SB Pool 1 earned 5925 points. It is difficult to guesstimate what the threshold will be for the upcoming on-ramp. Even though the pool will be almost five times larger than before, teaming should make a significant difference in scoring potential.
Other than the allowance for teaming, the major proposal requirements are largely identical to the original RFP. Keep in mind that merely meeting the requirements does not score any points. The most competitive offerors will far exceed the minimum solicitation requirements. Of the evaluation points an offeror can earn, 78% come from relevant experience and past performance. Offerors should carefully consider their relevant project experience in order to optimize their scoring as there are many factors in play – contract type, contract value, place(s) of performance, scope of work, NAICS codes, CPARS ratings, subcontractor utilization, and more.
Offerors have until November 8, 2018 to submit their OASIS SB Pool 1 proposal. According to GSA, “[t]his is the first of several OASIS SB and OASIS Unrestricted on-ramps.” After the Pool 1 on-ramp, “OASIS SB Pool 3 and Pool 4 on-ramps will then proceed, followed by the on-ramps for the OASIS Unrestricted Pools.” Additionally, vertical and lateral on-ramps for current OASIS SB holders who size out of their pool are expected by the end of the calendar year.
Small businesses interested in pursuing on-ramps should carefully review the Pool 1 solicitation, especially the self-scoring worksheet, in order to develop their strategy. OASIS Unrestricted includes additional criteria related to small business subcontracting performance, so large businesses looking to on-ramp are better served by reviewing the OASIS Unrestricted presolicitation notice on FedBizOpps for further information. Please note that the recent OASIS Unrestricted on-ramp for Pool 2 still does NOT allow teaming.
Aronson will continue to follow OASIS closely and provide up-to-date information as it becomes available. For any questions, please contact Jennifer Aubel at 301.231.6253 or firstname.lastname@example.org.