In the last quarter, GSA released new information about its upcoming Services MAC contract, including our first look at a draft evaluation scorecard. Positioned as the follow-on to GSA’s wildly successful OASIS contract (with $46.0B in obligations and counting), Services MAC is a Best-in-Class (BIC) vehicle for non-IT professional services. Services MAC will not be a carbon copy of OASIS, so here’s the latest:
GSA is proposing a domain-based structure with services grouped by scope rather than size standard. Domains will be released in two phases. The first includes areas with the highest spend and most urgent need for continuity with OASIS. The proposed Phase One domains are:
- Management and Advisory
- Technical and Engineering
- Research and Development
- Intelligence Services
- Enterprise Solutions
- Environmental Services
Phase Two domains will be incorporated at a later date. They include business administration, financial services, marketing and public relations, social services, and human capital.
GSA plans to evaluate offers and make awards at the domain level. While general requirements will be similar across domains, some will have specialized requirements. Like OASIS, Services MAC is expected to use a project-centric evaluation criteria requiring strategic analysis to select the highest-scoring group. There will be a qualification threshold setting the minimum amount of points for award in a given domain.
GSA published a sample small business evaluation criteria in March for the Technical and Engineering Domain. While this is likely to change, it gives a feeling for where GSA is headed with its scorecard. The bulk of available points are for past performance based on the three to five Qualifying Projects (QP) submitted for scoring. Some new factors include the number of labor categories, surge capability, retention and turnover, and emerging technology.
Small Business Strategy
An area that will be handled differently is business size. Unlike the OASIS pool structure, Services MAC domains will be strictly defined by scope rather than grouping NAICS codes with the same size standard. Most domains have multiple size standards. This means a contractor could be large AND small within a single domain. The size would be determined by the NAICS code assigned at the order level.
Rather than having unrestricted and small business contracts, Services MAC will have separate IDIQ contracts for the following set-aside programs – total small, 8(a), HUBZone, SDVOSB, and WOSB. GSA will allow small businesses to mirror its contract across different socioeconomic classifications (e.g. a company that is a WOSB could have both small business and WOSB Services MAC contracts).
Even as the Services MAC picture comes into focus, there are many open issues. The most important is the use of subcontractors and teaming. Based on protests on this issue for CIO-SP4, you can be certain GSA is looking at this closely, but not much information is currently available. Another question is whether the contract will be continuously open. GSA initially seemed to favor continuous open season, but hinted recently that a periodic on-ramp approach may be gaining steam. The final major area is pricing. GSA was granted authority to exclude pricing as an evaluation factor on some IDIQ contracts under Section 876 of the FY19 NDAA. While this concept was popular with industry, ordering agencies do not like it. Based on GSA’s decision NOT to have unpriced items on the Schedules, it would be surprising if Services MAC is unpriced.
Keep checking Aronson Insights for updates on Services MAC. For questions, contact GSA Schedule expert Jennifer Aubel at 301.231.6253.