MP5315 - Contracting by Negotiation
Revised: 2 May 2022
MP5315.3 Source Selection
1 PURPOSE, ROLES, AND RESPONSIBILITIES
1.2 Applicability and Waivers
This MP must be used in conjunction with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 15, as supplemented, to include the DFARS Part 215 and its companion resource entitled Procedures, Guidance and Information (PGI), DoD Source Selection Procedures, and related laws, regulation, and policy. As guidance, this MP also provides hyperlinks to non-mandatory best practices, TTPs, sample RFP and contract language, tailorable templates and training materials, and links to PGI 5315.3 language.
188.8.131.52 Acquisitions with an estimated dollar value less than or equal to $50M may use price as the only evaluated factor and therefore be exempt from the DoD Source Selection Procedures dated 31 March 2016 and from this MP if all of the following conditions are met:
1) The requirement is non-complex and well-defined, such that consideration of non-cost/price evaluation factors (e.g., technical, past performance, etc.) would not provide any meaningful differentiation amongst proposals and would add no value to the selection of a successful offeror;
2) Past performance record and history will be assessed as one of the multiple standards required for a successful offeror to be determined responsible as described in FAR 9.104 ;
3) Use of price as the only evaluation factor is the most advantageous approach to the government; and
4) The acquisition strategy approving official has determined that use of price as the only evaluated factor is the most appropriate source selection methodology for the requirement and the justification for this determination is included in the approved acquisition strategy/plan.
184.108.40.206 A waiver allowing the use of price as the only evaluated factor for an acquisition with an estimated dollar value greater than $50M may be granted on an acquisition specific basis by the SCO upon the waiver authority’s determination that the conditions at 220.127.116.11 (1)-(4) are met.
1.2.4Waivers.Waivers for solicitations valued at $1B or more for approval by the Director, Defense Pricing and Contracting (DPC), must be forwarded through the SCO to SAF/AQC for review and processing. Waivers for solicitations above $10M but less than $1B must be approved by the SCO.
18.104.22.168. Waiver procedures apply only to the DoD Source Selection Procedures (CAUTION: read paragraph 1.2 of the DoD Source Selection Procedures) and this MP. The requirements of FAR 15.3 , as supplemented, cannot be waived as these requirements are subject to the FAR deviation process (see AFFARS 5301.402(2), 5301.403(1)( i ), (ii), and 5301.404(b) ( i ) , (ii) .
1.3 Best Value Continuum (No AF Text)
1.4 Source Selection Team Roles and Responsibilities
1.4.1 Source Selection Authority (SSA).
22.214.171.124 SSA Appointment.
126.96.36.199.3 Be accessible to the PCO, SSEB Chairperson and SSAC Chairperson (if applicable) to ensure that necessary leadership and guidance is provided to the SST. Promote active communication within the SST and encourage the team to raise concerns/issues.
188.8.131.52.6 See the following tailorable templates:
184.108.40.206.6.1 Source Selection Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) . An NDA may be executed on an annual basis in accordance with AFFARS 5303.104-4 (a) Disclosure, Protection, and Marking of Contractor Bid or Proposal Information and Source Selection Information .
220.127.116.11.3 Manage all source selection documents, control and record all exchanges with offerors, and protect all documents (see 4 ). Consider identifying a Source Selection Records Custodian (SSRC) familiar with the contracting process to manage all source selection documents (PCO or someone under PCO oversight). Ensure source selection material is not removed, circulated, or disseminated outside of the source selection work area without PCO review and approval. Ensure all means of electronic communications receive additional scrutiny to preclude inadvertent release of documents that contain sensitive or embedded source selection files. It is a good practice that prior to transmission of Source Selection Information to offerors via any means, the information is reviewed by a second person to preclude inadvertent inclusion of inappropriate data. Additionally, Source Selection Information transmitted to offerors electronically (e.g., via email or disc) or posted to a website must be distributed in a “locked” format, such as scanned .pdf file, .jpeg file, or other protected format, unless offerors are required to fill-in or complete portions of a document, such as Section K Representations and Certifications, or a pricing matrix. Using e-mail to transmit source selection information should be done judiciously and it must be encrypted and digitally signed. Include in the subject line the phrase “Source Selection Information – See FAR 2.101 and 3.104”. Use the Source Selection Information Cover Sheet to identify source selection information. For RFPs released after 30 November 2020, use the SF 901 Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) Cover Sheet (AF Template) . A sample Verification of Correspondence Going to Offeror checklist may be utilized, as desired.
18.104.22.168.4 Maintain in the official contract file (whether in hard copy or electronic media) all evaluation material and any related supporting information, including minority and dissenting opinions, that has been presented in any form to the SSA as an official record that must not be altered. Updates, revisions, or changes to that evaluation information must be captured in subsequent documentation such that the original record remains distinct.
22.214.171.124.4.1 Working papers, calculations, and personal notes must be clearly identified as such and are not normally part of the official source selection record unless they include information relevant to the source selection decision and the information has not been captured in the official record. Solicit the advice of legal counsel and representatives from the Acquisition Center of Excellence (ACE) (if used) regarding the management and/or retention determination of any paper or digital document generated during the source selection. Legal counsel, the SSEB Chair, SSRC (if other than the PCO) and the PCO must review any notes, working papers, and other documents for a retention determination at regular intervals during the source selection process and upon completion.
126.96.36.199.4.2 Preserve documents and data that are not stored within the electronic official contract filing system (e.g., classified documents, product samples, electronic media) as part of the official record and identify their physical location. A sample Source Selection File Checklist may be tailored for use, as desired.
188.8.131.52.4.3 Ensure that any requests for source selection delegations are properly accomplished and documented in the source selection file.
184.108.40.206.7 Send a notice to all appropriate organizations (e.g., user or requirements personnel, public affairs offices, etc., that could be contacted by offerors or media outlets concerning the requirement or acquisition) concurrent with issuance of the solicitation announcing that a source selection is in progress. For acquisitions estimated at $100M or more, send the notice to SAF/AQC for HAF-level notification. The notice shall:
1) identify the system, subsystem, service, or project involved;
2) identify the anticipated period of the source selection activities;
3) include a statement to the effect that contacts or briefings concerning the program by industry are no longer allowed outside of the formal source selection process; and
4) state that the PCO (include name and phone number) controls all contact or exchanges with industry/offerors and is the only person authorized to release source selection information before and after contract award.
220.127.116.11 SSAC Composition.
18.104.22.168.1 It is preferable that the SSAC Chairperson not be in the chain of command of the SSA.
22.214.171.124.2 For all new Milestone B (Pre-MDAP on Major Defense Acquisition Program lists) ACAT I and II competitive acquisitions, the specific composition of the SSAC should consist of senior leaders (flag rank or 0-6/GS-15/NH-04 to the maximum extent practicable) from Program Management, Engineering, Finance, Legal, Contracting, Small Business, the ACE, and any other participants as determined appropriate by the SSA, who have recent experience in the successful conduct of source selections. The SSAC may be augmented with senior leaders from the SAF/AQ staff, when appropriate, to provide additional experience and expertise. The SSAC may also be supplemented by other subject matter experts at comparable functional positions. For non-weapon system acquisitions when an SSAC is used, the specific composition of the SSAC is at the discretion of the SSA, based upon the expertise required to accomplish a successful source selection.
126.96.36.199 SSEB Responsibilities.
188.8.131.52.1.7 It is considered a best practice for the Program Manager (PM), when one is assigned, to serve as the SSEB Chairperson. It is also a best practice that the SSEB chair not serve in multiple roles.
184.108.40.206.3 For source selections without an SSAC, the SSEB Chairperson must document in the source selection plan, whether or not the SSA wants the SSEB to perform the comparative analysis of proposals and provide that analysis and an award recommendation in the SSEB Final Report. .
1.4.6 Other Advisors.
220.127.116.11 Government Advisors. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers and international cooperative project partners may only participate in the source selection process as advisors. The PCO must not disclose to the FMS customer any form of cost or price data that is proprietary unless the offeror authorizes its release.
18.104.22.168.2 Limitations on use of nongovernment advisors. Nongovernment advisors shall not attend the past performance portion of evaluation briefings.
2 PRE-SOLICITATION ACTIVITIES
2.1 Conduct Acquisition Planning
2.2 Develop a Source Selection Plan (SSP)
2.2.5 Evaluation Factors and Subfactors. When using VATEP, address the decision to use, or not use, an affordability cap, along with supporting rationale for the decision. If an affordability cap will be used, describe how it will be evaluated and whether offerors whose proposals exceed the affordability cap will be eligible for award.
2.2.6 Documentation. Briefing charts shall not serve as the SSEB Initial Report, Competitive Range Decision Document, updated SSEB Initial Report, or SSEB Final Report, but may be used to present summaries of these reports to the SSA. If briefing charts are used to comply with any other source selection documentation requirements set forth in the DoD Source Selection Procedures, a written script for each briefing must be maintained in the official (permanent) contract file. Briefings should summarize the evaluation and not duplicate the content of written reports.
2.2.9 Securing Source Selection Materials. Section 9.0 of the SSP (“Securing Source Selection Materials”) must include a plan and procedures which address the filing, protection, handling, maintenance, release, retention and disposition of all documents that constitute the complete source selection record. For those source selections utilizing an electronic system for source selection documentation, the SSP must include the process for handling documentation, such as the process for documenting the basis for any changes made to an evaluator’s finalized document. The plan must address training for all SST members to familiarize them with the plan/procedures and mechanism(s) to ensure compliance with the plan/procedures.
2.2.10 The PCO shall maintain the SSP after approval. Subsequent proposed changes to the source selection organization, to include the SSEB and the SSAC (when used), shall be documented in an addendum to the SSP and approved by the SSA unless the SSA delegates this approval responsibility to the SSEB Chairperson within the SSP.
2.3 Develop the Request for Proposals
22.214.171.124 Cost or Price. The analysis technique(s) identified in FAR 15.404, as supplemented, for the evaluation of the proposed cost or price shall be included in the evaluation criteria (Section M or equivalent provisions of the solicitation for commercial acquisitions).
126.96.36.199.1 When used, the Probable Cost estimate is the government estimate of the cost to acquire specified goods and/or services based on each offeror’s proposed approach. The Probable Cost is based upon an analysis of each offeror’s unique proposal in accordance with FAR 15.404-1(d). Define all the components that make up the aggregate government Probable Cost and specify them in Section M (or equivalent provisions of the solicitation for commercial acquisitions).
188.8.131.52.4 Affordability Cap. When an affordability cap is established, the affordability cap must be specified in the RFP and affordability must be included either as a go/no go gate or as an evaluation criterion in the RFP. The RFP must state whether proposals that exceed the affordability cap can be considered for award.
2.3.6. Requirements that fall within the areas of traditional offeror responsibility factors may trigger the Small Business Administration Certificate of Competency (CoC) process if such requirements are evaluated on an acceptable/unacceptable basis, as a rating of unacceptable for an otherwise apparently successful business offeror equates to a non-responsibility determination. For example, issues related to facility clearance/security requirements or evaluation of professional employee compensation as an element of responsibility are areas that may trigger the CoC process for small business offerors. PCOs should consult with small business and legal counsel regarding the use and treatment of such evaluation factors/subfactors.
2.4 Release the Request for Proposals (No AF Text)
3 EVALUATION AND DECISION PROCESS
3.1 Evaluation Activities
184.108.40.206 When FAR 52.222-46 , Evaluation of Compensation for Professional Employees (Feb 1993), is included in the RFP, the Government shall evaluate whether all offerors considered for award understand the contract requirements and have proposed a compensation plan appropriate for those requirements. This evaluation may be accomplished through a technical subfactor to evaluate offerors’ proposed management approach and or/staffing plan, or including the evaluation under the cost/price factor or as a “Volume I” proposal submission and element of proposal compliance and offeror responsibility.
220.127.116.11.1 When including the professional employee compensation evaluation as a “Volume I” proposal submission and element of proposal compliance and offeror responsibility in a source selection with small business offerors, a finding of non-responsibility due to an inadequate professional employee compensation plan for an otherwise successful small business offeror requires the PCO to engage the Small Business Administration Certificate of Competency (CoC) process.
3.2 Documentation of Initial Evaluation Results
3.2.1 SSEB Initial Evaluation. The SSEB Initial Report is used to document the results of the SSEB’s initial evaluation. The rationale for initial evaluation results and assignment of initial ratings will be fully and contemporaneously documented in the SSEB Initial Report. The SSEB Initial Report shall be signed by the PCO and SSEB Chairperson after the completion of initial evaluations and prior to presentation of the initial evaluation results to the SSA. The following tailorable templates are available for use, as desired:
3.3 Award without Discussions
3.3.3 Documentation Required Prior to Contract Award. The PCO must obtain contract clearance approval in accordance with 5301.9000 prior to the SSA making the decision to award without discussions.
3.4 Competitive Range Decision Document
3.5 Discussion Process
3.5.5 Best Practices. The PCO may provide offerors in the competitive range with their own initial ratings and results of their own initial pricing analysis or total evaluated price. When interim ratings and pricing analysis are provided prior to requesting final proposal revisions, the ratings must reflect the results of discussions with the offeror. PCOs may use the actual briefing charts used to brief the SSA as a method of disclosing an offeror’s ratings and price analysis to them. The PCO must require offerors to provide proposal change pages along with their EN responses for any aspect of the proposal that will be incorporated into the awarded contract.
3.5.7 The SSEB Initial Report shall be updated, as necessary, following evaluation of offeror responses to discussions. The rationale for updated (interim) evaluation results and assignment of updated (interim) ratings will be fully and contemporaneously documented in the SSEB Initial Report. The updated SSEB Initial Report is reviewed by the SSAC (if an SSAC is used) and must include, if applicable, any minority and dissenting opinion(s). At a minimum, the report shall be updated and signed by the PCO and SSEB Chairperson prior to presentation of the pre-Final Proposal Revisions evaluations and briefing to the SSA.
The following tailorable templates are available for use, as desired:
3.6 Final Proposal Revisions
3.6.3 The PCO must obtain contract clearance approval in accordance with 5301.9000 Scope and Definitions(e)(2)(i) prior to submission of all material (e.g., Pre-FPR briefing) to the SSA to obtain approval for releasing the FPR request.
3.7 Documentation of Final Evaluation Results
3.7.1 The rationale for final evaluation results and assignment of final ratings will be fully and contemporaneously documented in the SSEB Final Report. The SSEB Final Report is prepared by the SSEB and reviewed by the SSAC (if an SSAC is used) and signed by the PCO and SSEB Chairperson after the evaluation of FPRs. The tailorable SSEB Report template is available for use, as desired.
3.7.2 The SSEB Final Report must document, if applicable, any minority and dissenting opinion(s).
3.8 Conduct and Document the Comparative Analysis
3.9 Best Value Decision
3.9.1 The PCO must obtain contract clearance approval prior to the SSA making a source selection decision in accordance with 5301.9000 Scope and Definitions .
3.10 Source Selection Decision Document
3.11 Debriefings (No AF Text)
3.12 Integrating Proposal into the Contract
The RFP must advise offerors that the awarded contract document will reflect all beneficial aspects of the awardee’s proposal and all above threshold (minimum) attributes, performance levels, or capabilities for which evaluation credit was given in the source selection process (e.g., purple or blue technical or technical/risk rating, above threshold elements proposed for valued requirements), regardless of source selection process utilized.
4 DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS
4.1 Minimum Requirements
4.1.15 All briefing charts presented to the SSA (including, but not limited to, competitive range briefing charts, pre-FPR request briefing charts, and decision briefing charts) must be included in the official (permanent) contract file.
4.1.16 Evaluation worksheets and summaries shall be included in the official (permanent) contract file.
4.2 Electronic Source Selection
EZ Source is the standard Air Force documentation tool that shall be used for all unclassified competitive acquisitions valued at $100M or more (unless waived by the CAA), or when an acquisition has been designated a high visibility program by a PEO or Center/Complex/Wing Commander. EZ Source may be used for acquisitions valued at less than $100M. In order to ensure proper support is available to the team, PCOs must use the SharePoint EZ Scheduler to request the use of EZ Source and input information relative to their acquisition not later than 60 days prior to the projected RFP release.
4.3 Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTP), Samples, and Tailorable Templates
Source Selection TTPs can be accessed at the DAF Contracting TTP Team page.
Templates: A comprehensive collection of source selection samples and tailorable templates, including those listed below, are located on the Contracting Templates and AFFARS Library Part 5315 pages within the Air Force Contracting Central (AFCC) SharePoint site (please note: this link requires CAC and is not available to all users.)
Abstract of Proposals/Quotations (Negotiated Procurement)
Delegation of Source Selection Authority (SSA)
Past Performance Questionnaire (Sample 1)
Past Performance Questionnaire (Sample 2)
Past Performance Questionnaire (Sample 3)
Section L Attachment - Past Performance Information
Solicitation Cross Reference Matrix Source Selection File Checklist
Source Selection Plan Subcontractor Consent Letter Verification of Correspondence Going to Offeror Checklist
Source Selection Information Coversheet
SF 901, Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) Cover Sheet (AF Template)
Source Selection Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
Conflict of Interest Statement
Sample RFP Section L language ? Use of Non-Government Advisors
RFP Section L & M Samples
Notice Announcing that a Source Selection is in Progress
Competitive Range Decision Document
Comparative Analysis Report & Award Recommendation
Source Selection Decision Document
Source Selection Evaluation Board (SSEB) Templates
Rating Team Worksheet (Methodology 1)
Rating Team Worksheet (Methodology 2)
Rating Team Worksheet (PPT)
Tradeoff Technical Evaluator Template
LPTA Technical Evaluator Template
Tradeoff Subfactor Chief Template
LPTA Subfactor Chief Template
Evaluation Notice (EN)
Initial Evaluation Briefing
Pre-Final Proposal Revisions (FPR) Request Briefing
Final Decision Briefing
Past Performance Evaluation Team Documents
Tradeoff Performance Quality Template
LPTA Performance Quality Template
Business Relationship Template
Past Performance Information Template
Tradeoff Past Performance Confidence Assessment Template
LPTA Past Performance Evaluation Template
Cost/Price Evaluation Team Document
5 DEFINITIONS ( No AF text)
6 MANDATORY AIR FORCE SOURCE SELECTION TRAINING
This Section establishes and standardizes the mandatory Air Force source selection training process for acquisition/SSTs.
6.2 Responsibilities of Senior Contracting Officials (SCO)
SCOs must: (a) implement a robust source selection training program; (b) designate a Training Manager/Point of Contact (POC); (c) designate experienced source selection trainers; and (d) maintain current lists of the Training Managers/POCs for use at their respective locations. The lists should be updated as necessary, but at a minimum shall be updated annually. A Designation of Source Selection Training Manager/Trainers template is available for use, as desired.
6.3 Required Training for Designated Trainers
6.3.1 Designated trainers must receive “Train-the-Trainer” training and be certified as source selection trainers. Periodic “Train-the-Trainer” sessions are conducted by SAF/AQC Field Support Team (FST) personnel every other month via webinar; however, this training may be conducted by any SCO-designated and experienced source selection trainer. Note that this is summary-level training designated trainers and not for use by source selection teams and other individuals to satisfy the source selection training requirements set forth in paragraph 6.4.1.
6.3.2 Training Managers/POCs must maintain a record of the source selection training provided by designated trainers, including the name of the acquisition, training date, names of individuals trained, and training provided (e.g., Phase I (Acquisition Planning) or Phase II (Source Selection Execution) training).
6.3.3 Designated trainers who have not conducted source selection training within a two (2) year period must be recertified. Recertification requires that the SCO confirm the individual’s continued designation as a source selection trainer and that the individual re-complete the “Train-the-Trainer” training.
6.4 Acquisition/Source Selection Team Training
6.4.1 Conducting Source Selection Training Sessions.
Source selection training must be presented to the entire SST, including the SSA, SSAC Chair and members, PM (where one is assigned), RO, and all advisors. Independent review of source selection training materials by SST members and/or attendance at “Train-the-Trainer” training is not sufficient to satisfy this training requirement.Specialized executive level training modules are available for the SSA and SSAC . Phase I (Acquisition Planning) training should be presented at the earliest stage of an acquisition and covers the acquisition process up to release of the RFP. Phase II (Source Selection Execution) training is presented prior to or immediately after receipt of proposals.
6.4.2 Training Content and Process.
The SAF/AQC FST develops and maintains source selection training modules to assist Source Selection Trainers. Trainers are encouraged to tailor the modules, as needed, to meet the unique elements of the instant acquisition.
The Ethics, Procurement Integrity, and Conflicts of Interest topic should be presented by the local legal advisor. Links to Ethics training material are included in both Phase I and Phase II source selection training materials. The use of locally-developed Ethics training by local legal advisors is encouraged. The length of the source selection training and the level of detail presented in either Phase I (Acquisition Planning) or Phase II (Source Selection Execution) depends on the complexity of the specific acquisition and the experience level of the SST.
6.4.3 Advance Preparation.
Effectiveness of the source selection training experience can be enhanced with advance preparation. The Defense Acquisition University (DAU) offers continuous learning modules on source selection and related topics. Some suggested DAU courses include the following:
6.5 Source Selection Training Material
The Source Selection Training Modules, Trainer’s Lesson Plans, and Resource/Reference Material are accessible by designated trainers and training managers on SharePoint at https://usaf.dps.mil/sites/AFCC/KnowledgeCenter/source_selection_training/Forms/AllItems.aspx . Additional training materials for teams are available in the AFFARS Library, Part 5315 .
6.6 Training Certificates.
Any Trainer conducting “Train the Trainer” training will provide a Source Selection Training Certificate to the Training Managers/POCs and Trainers upon completion of the source selection training. Trainers must provide the Source Selection Training Certificate for Phase I and Phase II to the personnel they train.
6.7 Source Selection Training Survey.
6.8 Continuous Learning Points (CLP).
Designated Source Selection trainers may grant CLPs to source selection attendees. As a general rule, CLPs must be given based on the length and intensity of the training provided. Trainers may grant six (6) CLPs for each full day of instruction, three (3) CLPs for half-day, and one (1) CLP for a two-hour session.
LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES (No AF text)
List of Appendices
Appendix A. Debriefing Guide (No AF Text)
Appendix B. Tradeoff Source Selection Process: Subjective Tradeoff and Value Adjusted Total Evaluated Price (VATEP) Tradeoff ( No AF Text )
Appendix C. Lowest Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) Source Selection Process (No AF Text)
MP5315.4 Contract Pricing
1. Proposal Instructions.
To facilitate timely awards of sole source contract actions and definitization of Undefinitized Contract Actions (UCA) within 180-days after issuance of the UCA, contracting officers:
a. provide contractors with clear and concise proposal instructions, including a suspense date for proposal submission;
b. require that contractor proposals (both prime and subcontractors) are submitted as adequate for evaluation and valid for the anticipated time required to conduct evaluation, audit, negotiation and award, with data updates provided until the conclusion of negotiations in accordance with TINA.
c. Include DFARS provision 252.215-7009 in sole-source draft and final Requests for Proposals (DRFPs/RFPs) and RFPs for UCAs when the contract value is anticipated to exceed the threshold for obtaining certified cost or pricing data, and no exception to the requirement to submit certified cost or pricing data applies. (See FAR 15.403-1(b).)
d. Include a provision substantially the same as L-XXX, Cost Proposal Adequacy and Structure, in the solicitation, or as a paragraph within a letter RFP, whenever DFARS provision 252.215-7009 is included. Add paragraph (e) to provision L-XXX, Cost Proposal Adequacy and Structure, only when an electronic version of the cost proposal with active formulas (e.g., in Excel) is required. Contracting officers may tailor this provision as necessary to reflect the unique circumstances of each acquisition.
L-XXX COST PROPOSAL ADEQUACY AND STRUCTURE
NOTE : The blue italicized text below represents instructions for the contracting officerand should be removed prior to incorporating Section L into the solicitation.
(a) In response to this Request for Proposals (RFP), the offeror shall prepare and submit certified cost or pricing data and supporting attachments in accordance with Table 15-2 of FAR 15.408. Further, the offeror shall (1) utilize the DFARS 252.215-7009, Proposal Adequacy Checklist (PAC), in pre-submission proposal quality reviews, and (2) furnish the completed checklist as part of their proposal submission.
(1) The responsibility for providing a well-prepared and fully supported cost proposal lies solely with the offeror. The basis and rationale for all proposed costs shall be provided as part of the proposal so that the contracting officer has the information necessary to evaluate the reasonableness of the proposed price.
(2) If the offeror is unsure as to whether a checklist item is required in support of the proposal, or how to adequately comply with a checklist item, the offeror shall contact the contracting officer as soon as possible after receipt of the RFP, but in any case prior to proposal submittal, to resolve the questions.
(3) Non-compliances with the DFARS Proposal Adequacy Checklist and the additional requirements of this provision will require immediate correction. However, completion of the checklist does not relieve the offeror from the responsibility to comply with all applicable regulations and any special requirements of the solicitation.
(4) The offeror is encouraged to flow down this provision to subcontractors/affiliates required to submit certified cost or pricing data in support of this RFP.
(b) The offeror is advised that the contracting officer may find costs associated with revision/rework of inadequate cost proposals unreasonable, and will consider the nature and extent of any proposal inadequacies when assessing/negotiating profit.
(c) In order to preclude delays in negotiations and contract award, the completed PAC submitted with the proposal shall provide a clear explanation for any checklist items not included in the proposal, particularly items not provided based on any of the exceptions to TINA found at FAR 15.403-1(b) and Deviation 2018-O00009 .
(d) Cost Proposal Requirements. In addition to the requirements identified in the DFARS PAC, the following also apply to the cost proposal submitted in response to this RFP.
(1) Breakout by Year. If the proposal includes more than one CLIN, the proposal shall include a breakout of CLIN prices by cost element by Contractor Fiscal Year (CFY). At the contracting officer’s direction, the breakout by year shall also be provided by: (select applicable breakouts)
• Government Fiscal Year (GFY)
• Calendar Year (CY)
The proposal shall define the timeframe of the Contractor Fiscal Year (for example, January – December).
(2) If the proposal includes more than one CLIN/subCLIN, recurring/non-recurring costs shall be identified for each CLIN/subCLIN.
(3) When the proposal includes material costs, the proposal shall include a consolidated bill of materials (CBOM) at the total contract level in an electronic, sortable format (Excel spreadsheet or other format approved by the contracting officer).
i. When the amounts proposed in the CBOM include application of escalation, the proposal shall identify the base value, the escalation rate(s) used, and the escalation amount associated with each item escalated.
ii. When the proposed amount is based on historical data which has been adjusted (for example, for differences in quantity), the CBOM shall clearly identify the adjustments made to the historical data and the reason for each adjustment.
(4) All costs proposed on the basis of Cost Estimating Relationships (CER) shall be fully supported. The proposal shall identify the basis for the proposed rate, shall identify the base to which the rate is applied, and shall clearly demonstrate the calculation of proposed costs based on CERs.
(5) For any costs incurred prior to proposal submission, the proposal shall identify actual hours and cost incurred as well as hours/costs to complete and the time phasing associated with these hours/costs. This information/data shall be provided in a time-phased cost element summary format.
(6) Submission of Historical Actual Costs Incurred. (Insert in RFPs for follow-on efforts as applicable. The contracting officer may identify specific contracts for which submission of actual cost data is required (for example, the last three lot buys of the same item), or may require that the contractor identify its most recent sales of the items to any customers, if the contractor’s sales base is broader than the current buying office. Language may be tailored to request insight into specific areas of cost (e.g., sustaining engineering hours). However, the contracting officer should take into consideration the extent to which the contractor’s existing business systems can support requests for granularity in reporting of actual costs incurred, as well as the potential time and cost involved in obtaining very detailed or low-level historical actuals.)
(i) The contractor shall provide the following information for these prior acquisitions: [ contracting officer identifies the specific acquisitions for which actual cost data is required. Alternately, the contracting officer may require the contractor to identify prior and current contracts for the same items covered in this RFP.] For these contracts, the contractor shall provide the following information:
a. contract number (including modification number if applicable) or other identifier;
b. contract type;
c. contract quantity;
d. contract price; and
e. actual cost incurred, including a breakout of actuals as recurring/non-recurring costs. If performance is not complete on any of the specified contract actions, provide an estimate to complete and the basis for that estimate.
(ii) The contractor shall also request that its top five major sole source subcontractors provide the information listed in the above paragraphs (i) a. through e. on prior contracts for items the prime is purchasing from the subcontractors for this effort. If a subcontractor’s information on prior actuals is not included in the prime’s proposal, the proposal should identify status and anticipated receipt date(s). If the subcontractor deems the information proprietary, the subcontractor may submit the information directly to the contracting officer.
(7) The proposal shall identify those actions where assist audits have been requested by the prime or sub-tier contractors and identify the request date and scheduled receipt date for those audits. The need for assist audits resulting from proprietary data rights assertions at any tier shall be identified to the contracting officer as soon as the offeror becomes aware of the need. Government performance of assist audits does not relieve the offeror of the responsibility to accomplish and provide its price/cost analysis of the subcontracts.
(8) If the offeror intends to request Performance-Based Payments (PBP), the offeror’s proposal shall include a monthly expenditure profile, proposed events and their projected completion dates, rationale on why the proposed event demonstrates significant progress towards the completion of the end item, proposed values for each event, completion criteria for each event, and an identification of each event as severable or cumulative.
(9) Commercial item considerations:
i. The offeror’s proposal shall provide support for any subcontractor Commercial Item Determinations (CID), addressing, at a minimum, the following:
a. A description of the supplies or services;
b. Specific identification of the type of commercial item claim ( FAR 2.101 commercial item sub-definitions (1) through (8)), and the basis on which the item meets the definition; and
c. For modified commercial items (commercial item sub-definition (3)), classification of the modification(s) with supporting rationale as either:
1. Of a type customarily available in the commercial marketplace ( FAR 2.101 commercial item sub-definition (3)(i)); or
2. A minor modification of a type not customarily available in the commercial marketplace made to meet Federal Government requirements ( FAR 2.101 commercial item sub-definition (3)(ii)).
Note that per FAR 15.403-1(c)(3)(iii)(B), modifications that meet the definition of minor modifications of a type not customarily available in the commercial marketplace as defined in FAR 2.101, paragraph (3)(ii) of the commercial item definition, will require the submission of certified cost and pricing data when the total price of all such modifications exceeds the greater of the threshold for certified cost or pricing data (FAR 15.403-4) or 5% of the total price of the contract at the time of contract award.
ii. For proposed subcontract commercial items “of a type”, or “evolved” or modified ( FAR 2.101 commercial item sub-definitions (1) through (3)), the offeror shall provide a technical description of the differences between the proposed item and the comparison item and thoroughly address the cost differences between the proposed item and the comparison item.
iii. The proposal shall include, or the offeror shall make available, data other than certified cost or pricing data to establish price reasonableness of the proposed subcontract commercial item (to include any modifications not subject to the requirement to submit certified cost or pricing data) by supplying:
a. Information/data related to competition, if competition is the offeror’s basis for asserting the reasonableness of the proposed subcontract price.
b. Information/data related to prices (sales data, market price assessments, etc.). Note that subcontractors may submit sales data directly to the contracting officer if the subcontractor deems the data proprietary.
c. The prime contractor’s or higher tier subcontractor’s price analysis/price reasonableness determination for the commercial subcontract in accordance with FAR 15.404-3(b)(1) and (2).
d. Cost information/data (cost element breakdown and supporting documentation not subject to certification in accordance with FAR 15.406-2). Instances where cost information may be required include but are not limited to commercial items offered but never actually sold to the public, “of a type” commercial items, or when sales data is limited and/or not recent and/or not for the same/similar quantities.
Note that the preferred method of establishing the price reasonableness of commercial items is to obtain commercial sales data. It is recognized that other methods, such as market price assessment data or evaluation of cost data not subject to certification, are also acceptable when prior sales data cannot be obtained. Sales data shall (1) demonstrate sales to the general public; (2) be current; and (3) where possible, be in like quantities. Items sold to state, local, or foreign governments or items sold with applications only to state, local, or foreign government or US Government end items are not considered to be sales to the general public unless the proposed commercial item meets the FAR 2.101 commercial item definition sub-definition (8).
(10) Additional Cost/Price Proposal Requirements: (Identify any additional requirements applicable to the solicitation, or enter “N/A”.
- If an electronic CBOM providing traceability to the CLIN level, to WBS paragraph, etc. is required, identify that requirement in this paragraph.
- If sales data supporting price reasonableness of a commercial item is required, use this paragraph to provide specifics as to the level of detail and applicable date range(s) of the sales data.
- If a breakout of basic and options is required, detail that requirement here)
Add the following paragraph to provision L-XXX, Cost Proposal Adequacy and Structure, only when an electronic version of the cost proposal with active formulas (e.g., in Excel) is required. This paragraph may be tailored as necessary to describe the specific requirements of the electronic cost model.
(e) Submission of electronic cost model. (Tailor as needed for each specific circumstance. If electronic cost models are required for any subcontractors or affiliates, identify those requirements within this paragraph.)The proposal submission shall include an electronic cost model with active formulas demonstrating the mathematical calculation of the proposed cost (in Excel or other format approved by the contracting officer). The electronic cost model shall include build-up by year of cost in total and by CLIN/subCLIN, consistent with the yearly breakout required by paragraph (d)(1) of this provision, or as directed by the contracting officer. If applicable, the electronic cost model shall link each Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) to the applicable CLINs. The electronic cost model shall roll up to an annual and total program summary by cost element. All information supporting each CLIN should be visible and verifiable in the electronic cost model. The formulas included in the electronic cost model shall not be locked, and the model shall be editable by the Government.
NOTE : The blue italicized text above represents instructions for the contracting officer and should be removed prior to incorporating Section L into the solicitation.
2. Requesting data/documentation after receipt of the proposal.
a. A contracting officer request for supporting data/documentation from a contractor (whether verbally or in writing) after proposal receipt, must clearly state what data/documentation is needed and when it should be provided.
b. If requested data/documentation is not readily available because of extenuating circumstances (e.g., data that did not form the basis of the contractor's proposal), the contracting officer and the contractor should agree in writing as to a reasonable time for submittal of data.
c. Where system generated data is to be provided, the contracting officer should review the data fields to be reported before the data is generated to ensure a common understanding of what is needed. Inform the contractor that all data requests will be tracked and will be considered open action items until the Government concurs that the data has been received and is complete.
d. If the data is not provided by the requested date or, if applicable, the agreed-to-date, and an acceptable resolution cannot be achieved, the contracting officer must elevate the issue to appropriate senior contracting management for both the Government and the contractor until an appropriate resolution is reached. The contracting officer must document the outcome of the elevation process in writing to include any revised dates for receipt of requested data/documentation. See the DoD Sole Source Streamlining Tool Box for the recommended elevation process, as well as other streamlining techniques.
e. If, after elevation, an acceptable resolution has not occurred or the contractor fails to provide the data/documentation within the revised agreed-to date, the contracting officer may take remedial actions:
• for UCAs, contracting officers should consider reducing or suspending progress payments ( FAR 32.503-6) when the contractor does not submit a timely qualifying proposal or has otherwise not supported the established definitization schedule; and/or
• assign an unsatisfactory rating for a singular performance problem, such as the failure to submit a timely, complete and quality proposal (or subsequent data submissions), in connection with a UCA when the problem is of such serious magnitude that it alone justifies an unsatisfactory Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS) rating in the assessment of Management Responsiveness (Block 18d(1) for a Systems CPAR) or Business Relations (Block 18d for a Non-Systems CPAR). Ratings must track to the Evaluation Ratings Definitions found in FAR 42.1503(h)(4).
f. Consistent with the notice given to contractors in the provision L-XXX, Cost Proposal Adequacy and Structure , in situations when the contractor’s original proposal is inadequate and requires revision or rework, contracting officers should consider whether to recognize as reasonable any contractor costs associated with the revision/rework effort and must consider the nature and extent of any proposal inadequacies when negotiating profit.
MP5315.404-1-90 Pricing Assistance or Pricing Assistance Waiver
(b) Requesting Pricing Assistance.
(1)“Full Pricing Assistance” means the price analyst accomplishes the majority of the pricing effort (e.g. pricing case) for a specific contract action which meets or exceeds the thresholds identified in AFFARS 5315.404-1-90 Pricing Assistance or Pricing Assistance Waiver(a). Submit the request for pricing assistance to the Pricing Chief (or Chief of the Clearance and Program Support office where there is no designated Pricing Chief). The contracting officer may also request full pricing assistance for actions below the thresholds identified in AFFARS 5315.404-1-90(a) when additional pricing expertise is needed. The Pricing Chief (or Chief of the Clearance and Program Support office where there is no designated Pricing Chief) is the approval authority for those requests, on a case by case basis. See the tailorable Request for Pricing Assistance or Pricing Assistance Waiver template.
(2)“Tailored Pricing Assistance” may also be requested for actions below the mandatory thresholds (or in conjunction with a Pricing Assistance Waiver Request) and will be provided at the discretion of the Pricing Chief (or Chief of the Clearance and Program Support office where there is no designated Pricing Chief). See the tailorable Request for Pricing Assistance or Pricing Assistance Waiver template. Examples of Tailored Pricing Assistance that may be available include:
(i) Assistance with completion of the Weighted Guidelines (DD Form 1547)
(ii) Pricing inputs for business/contract clearance
(iii) Cost proposal spreadsheet development/modeling
(iv) Defective pricing
(v) Assistance with structuring Economic Price Adjustment (EPA) clauses
(vi) Assistance with determination of final prices of incentive contracts
(viii) PNM review
(ix) Assistance with/review of reopener clauses
(x) Evaluating Performance Based Payments
(xi) Source selection support, including drafting and/or review of Sections L and M, drafting cost sections of briefings and reports, and review of pricing volumes of proposals
(xii) Rate and factor reviews when DCMA assistance is not available
(3) Request pricing assistance as early as practicable in the acquisition process, but no later than receipt of the proposal. For large dollar sole source acquisitions, the contracting officer is expected to consult with the pricing office (or Clearance and Program Support office ) to determine which components of the L-XXX Cost Proposal Adequacy and Structure provision described in MP5315.4 Contract Pricing-1.d, should be included in the RFP.
(c) Requesting a Pricing Assistance Waiver. Contracting officers may request a Pricing Assistance Waiver for acquisitions which meet or exceed the required thresholds identified in 5315.404-1-90 Pricing Assistance or Pricing Assistance Waiver . Submit the waiver request to the CAA through the Pricing Chief (or Chief of the Clearance and Program Support office where there is no designated Pricing Chief). See the tailorable Request for Pricing Assistance or Pricing Assistance Waiver template .
MP5315.407-90 Contract Audit Follow-up (CAFU)
1. This Mandatory Procedure implements the following publications:
d. Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) 7650.02, Engaging with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on GAO Audits.
The publications above establish policy and responsibilities, reporting requirements, and follow-up procedures for contract audit reports issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Inspector General of the Department of Defense (IG DoD), Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), and the other internal audit agencies (such as the Air Force Audit Agency (AFAA)).
2. SAF/AQCP manages the Air Force CAFU program.
3. CAFU requirements for DCAA audit reports:
a. SCO RESPONSIBILITIES: SCOs:
(i) Designate a CAFU focal point to manage the organization’s CAFU program in accordance with these procedures. The CAFU Focal Point:
(a) Monitors and ensures proper and timely resolution and disposition of contract audit reports within the focal point’s organization.
(b) Maintains current records on all reportable audits, from receipt through disposition. For open reports, this includes written milestone plans comprised, as a minimum, of target resolution and disposition dates.
(c) Ensures that acquisition personnel within their organization are properly trained in the use of contract audit reports and the requirements of the CAFU program.
(d) Ensures that the organization’s semi-annual CAFU status report is prepared in accordance with these procedures using the web-based CAFU tool and User’s manual located on the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) website. When the security classification of a contract or an audit precludes the use of the DCMA website, SCOs must seek approval from SAF/AQCP to use alternate means of reporting.
(e) Directs periodic evaluations of the organization’s CAFU program to determine whether they are adequate and result in timely, appropriate resolution and disposition of audit reports.
b. CONTRACTING OFFICER (CO) RESPONSIBILITIES: The CO is responsible for reaching agreement with the contractor and has wide latitude and discretion in that regard. Accordingly, the procedure contained herein is structured in consonance with the independent, decision-making role of the CO and the financial advisory role of the contract auditor. COs should give full consideration to contract audit advice and must pursue timely and proper resolution and disposition of contract audit reports. Resolution of contract audit reports, other than pre-award reports, is required by OMB Circular A-50 to be accomplished within six months of report issuance. Disposition should take place as soon as possible after resolution. Per DoDI 7640.02 , Enclosure 3, Section 3.a, reportable audits should normally be disposed of within 12 months after issuance. The CO must document the disposition of all reported findings and recommendations in a signed and dated memorandum in accordance with DoDI 7640.02 , Enclosure 3, Section 3.b.
c. TRACKING OF AUDIT REPORTS: Contracting activities must track all contract audit reports. Tracking of non-reportable audits may be accomplished using records maintained in the contract file or in the CAFU on-line system. The designated focal point at each Air Force contracting activity maintains contract audit follow-up information on a current basis. The audit tracking information will normally be managed centrally at MAJCOM/DRU headquarters (except for HQ AFMC and SMC, where this tracking will occur at the field activity). For auditor-determined final, indirect cost rate reports, a report is considered received for follow-up tracking purposes when it is forwarded by the auditor to the cognizant Administrative Contracting Officer (ACO) for resolution and disposition.
d. REPORTING OF AUDIT REPORTS: Reportable audits are identified in the Glossary of DoDI 7640.02 . The information to be reported on each audit is identified in Enclosure 4 of the same regulation. MAJCOM/DRU/SMC semi-annual status reports will be automatically transmitted using the on-line CAFU system. The reports must cover the semi-annual periods ending 31 Mar and 30 Sep and must be completed in the on-line CAFU system no later than the end of the reporting period. If there are no audits, a negative report must be prepared and submitted to SAF/AQCP. All activities must make every possible effort to ensure the completeness and accuracy of their semi-annual reporting submission. Special attention should be focused on ensuring the most accurate data is submitted on any audit listed as unresolved and over 6 months old.
4. CAFU for GAO, IG DoD, and Internal Audit Reports: These procedures apply to audit reports which disclose contract pricing issues and are issued directly to the buying activity. COs shall provide:
a. An initial response to the GAO/IG DoD/Internal Audit Agency within 60 days of receipt of the audit report; and
b. A copy of the initial response and the disposition documents to the following:
(i) SAF/FMPF, 1130 Air Force Pentagon, Washington, DC 20330-1130.
(ii) SAF/AQCP, 1060 Air Force Pentagon, 4C149, Washington, DC 20330-1060.
(iii) Office of the Inspector General, Department of Defense, Attn: DAIG, GAO Report Analysis, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22350-1500.
MP5315.606-90 Receipt, Evaluation, and Disposition of Unsolicited Proposals
(a) Unsolicited proposals (UP) are defined at FAR 2.101 and described in FAR 15.603(c) MAJCOMs/DRUs/AFRCO/SMC and subordinate contracting units are considered to be the cognizant points of contact for ensuring evaluation and disposition of a UP which is received at their respective base/activity. Organizations that are part of the Headquarters Air Force (HAF) that receive a submission that is considered a UP must forward it to SAF/AQC for assignment to the proper Air Force MAJCOM/DRU/AFRCO/SMC contracting unit cognizant point of contact.
(b) Cognizant points of contact:
(2) Notify the SCO for any UP that requires wider Air Force consideration.
(3) Maintain an accurate and complete record of the disposition of all UPs received.
(4) Ensure the appropriate evaluation office is aware of the FAR guidance for evaluating UPs and the prohibitions and rules regarding copying, disclosing, and using restricted data contained in the proposal. Limit the distribution of UPs to the appropriate number of evaluators required to conduct a reasonable review. Maintain a record of the evaluators for each UP and the dates of their evaluation.
(5) Ensure evaluators provide supporting rationale for their conclusions and recommendations. If the recommendation is to accept the UP, ensure evaluators indicate whether funds are currently available or programmed.
(6) Notify the offeror concerning results of the evaluation within 30 working days from receipt of the UP. When the evaluation cannot be completed within 30 working days, send the offeror an interim reply to include an estimated completion date.
(7) Advise the offeror that the favorable evaluation does not, in itself, contractually bind the government.