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Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District US Working for the Corps Presented by Cheryl W. Chandler March 11, 2008
Small Businesses (SB) Ø The definition of a Small Business varies according to a company’s NAICS Code. What are NAICS Codes? Ø NAICS Codes are North American Industrial Classification System Codes. Ø They determine what category a company fits into. I. E. - NAICS Code 541330 is classified as General Engineering Services (the size is $4. 5 million)
Examples of NAICS Codes Ø NAICS Code 237990 covers Other Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction. These firms must have average annual sales less than $31 million to be a SB. Ø NAICS Code 336611 is for Shipbuilding & Repair of Ships and to maintain their SB status, must have less than 1, 000 employees. ØCurrently, most sizes are either revenue or employee based, although DOD wants an all employee-based system.
Small Business Set Asides (SBSA’s) Ø Requirements under $100 K are automatically setaside for small businesses, unless a waiver is requested and approved. Ø In certain designated industries, no set-asides are allowed for SBs. Ø All Building, Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction and Specialty Trades Contractors are included in those designated industry groups (DIGs) categories
Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDB’s) ØSDB’s are considered those firms that are at least 51% owned by one or more socially & economically disadvantaged individuals; ØAll 8(a)firms are SDB; not all SDBs are 8(a); 8(a) firms can be awarded sole-source contracts up to$3. 5 M; competition amongst 8(a)s is mandatory for requirements over $3. 5 M ØThe 8(a) program is developmental vs preferential (HUBZone, SDVOSB) so firms are required to do less work with their own staff
8(a) Advantages Ø Awards can be made in a very short period of time Ø Contractors can be hand-picked Ø Contractors are usually very responsive Ø 8(a)’s can form a joint venture with its mentor (often a large business) but will still be considered small for competition purposes
Women Owned (WO) and Minority Owned (MO) Small Businesses Ø To be either Women Owned or Minority Owned, one must have at least 51% ownership and control of the company. Ø The goal for FY 08 is to award 5. 8% of total contract awards to WOSBs. Ø There are no preferences for women-owned or minority-owned small businesses.
Service–Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB) Ø Set-asides for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses established by Executive Order 13360 on 20 October 2004. Ø Currently, firms can self-certify but proof of status should be provided. Ø The SDVOSB Program is a preference program.
Service–Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB Ø SDVOSB requirements can be competed if there is an expectation that 2 or more responsible firms will submit an offer; if justified, sole source awards can be made. Ø SDVOSB have parity with HUBZone firms Ø SDVOSB take precedence over small businesses Ø In FY 08, SDVOSB firms should receive 2% of our total award dollars; the statutory goal is 3%
Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) Ø HZs were implemented as of FY 00. Ø Two Main purposes: - To increase employment. - To provide assistance for qualified SB concerns located in historically underemployed and underutilized areas. Ø HUBZone’s are determined by the census tract.
More about HUBZone’s Three eligibility criteria for a company to be HUBZone certified: 1. The company’s primary place of business must be located in a HUBZone. 2. Must have 51% ownership by one or more U. S. citizens. 3. At least 35% of the employees must live in a HUBZone.
Hubzone Facts Ø HUBZone is a preference program Ø In a unrestricted procurement, HUBZone firms may be eligible for a 10% price adjustment Ø There are set-asides for HUBzone firms Ø If justified, HUBZone firms can be awarded contracts up to $3. 5 M on a sole-source basis Ø In FY 08, the Corps’ HUBZone goal is 10. % of total award dollars; the statutory goal is 3%
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s)/Minority Institutions (MI’s) ØTo increase opportunities for HBCU’s/MI’s to participate in and benefit from Federal programs. Ø To enhance their academic and research environment at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Ø This program has been extended to include Hispanic Institutions (HIS’s), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU’s), and other MI’s.
Internet Addresses U. S. Army Corps of Engineers website: www. usace. army. mil Philadelphia District Website: www. nap. usace. army. mil Acquisition Central: http: //www. arnet. gov/ US Small Business Administration: www. sba. gov GSA (forms): www. gsa. gov
Working For The Corps Agenda Ø Some pointers to help you get work Ø Tips for submitting successful proposals Ø TTPP (a. k. a. KO’s top ten pet peeves) Ø Q&A
Small Business Offices Headquarter’s Small Business Office Division Small Business Office District Small Business Offices ØCorps of Engineers contracts are awarded by Districts, Laboratories and Centers. If you are a small business, the Small Business Office located at the Corps of Engineers District, Laboratory or Center nearest you can be a great resource for identifying contracting opportunities and providing assistance on how to do business with the Corps.
Contracting Office Ø The Office of the Principal Assistant Responsible for Contracting (PARC) ensures that the contracting interests of the Head of Contracting Activity (HCA) and USACE are safeguarded. Ø They also serve Corps contracting by providing guidance, assistance, contracting automation support, training and information on acquisition related subjects to Corps contracting offices.
Working for the Corps The PARC office does NOT: ü Perform operational contracting, i. e. , issue solicitations or award contracts ü Collect, maintain, or coordinate market research or other vendor related material ü Contact the district Contracting Office in your area to find local contracts. You can check Fedbizopps for awarded contracts.
Working For The Corps Ø Visit the web site for the Division, District, or Laboratory with which you want to do business in order to learn about the missions and the types of services/supplies each office procures.
Working For The Corps Ø If you have a small or disadvantaged business, call, write or visit the Corps of Engineers Deputy for Small Business in the location of interest to you Ø Check out announcements of Business Opportunity Conferences, Trade Fairs and other federally attended or sponsored events in your area
Working For The Corps Ø Discuss your capabilities, interest and capacities to perform with the Deputy for Small Business or Contracting Office in the location of interest to you Ø Find information on available contracts through the Fed. Teds (formerly the Electronic Bid Solicitation) Web site
Working For The Corps Ø Some Corps websites no longer lists its business opportunities but will provide a link to Fed. Teds, the site that does Ø Most websites link to other Corps sites Ø The SB Deputy will give you information about upcoming work prior to it being advertised Ø Let your contact know what you have been doing ØAttend small business conferences
Working for the Corps Ø Register in Central Contractor Registration, www. ccr. gov Ø Refer to Federal Business Opportunities, www. fedbizops. gov Ø To obtain solicitation information, go to http: //www. fedteds. gov
Working For The Corps Ø Provide a professional statement of qualifications to include all certifications (8(a), HUBZone, SDB, SDVOSB) & past performance information to the SBO Ø Tri Service Solicitation Network is maintained to assist bidders in locating solicitations offered by the US Army Corps of Engineers, Naval Facilities Engineering Command the US Coast Guard.
Working for the Corps 10 Tips to Improve Your Proposal
Working for the Corps Tip # 1 Read the RFP thoroughly! Ø Ask questions early to ensure there is sufficient time to respond Ø Pay attention to the criteria order and weights – it indicates what is important to us
Working for the Corps Tip #2 - Understand the Type of RFP Ø How will source selection be accomplished? üLowest Price Technically Acceptable üBest Value Trade Off
Working for the Corps Tip #3 - Address all aspects of the Criteria Ø Create a matrix of Section 00100 or the Scope of Work, by paragraph, with each requirement to use as a checklist to ensure your proposal is complete. Ø Include your checklist with your proposal.
Working for the Corps Tip #4 - Be succinct Ø Avoid being too wordy Ø Use bullets, underlines, bolding Ø When a limited page count is provided – stick to it!
Working for the Corps Tip #5 - Your experience should relate to the project in terms of scope, size, $ value, complexity Ø Should be recent – within the past 5 -10 years or as required by RFP Ø Be clear – is it experience of firm or people? Or, is it experience of subcontractor or mentor?
Working for the Corps Tip #6 - Make sure qualifications of staff match RFP Ø Ensure each team member’s qualifications address EACH ASPECT of the criteria Ø List relevant experience of team members Ø Ensure team members are available
Working for the Corps Tip #7 - Organization Chart – Who’s in Charge? Ø Identify one person to be in charge of entire team Ø Person should be from YOUR company, not a subcontractor or your mentor Ø Indicate clear lines of communication ØIdentify person and company (with location) for each role
Working for the Corps Tip # 8 - Address Quality Ø Include the quality team on the Organization Chart – even if not required Ø Quality is important to us – indicate it’s important to you Ø Show/describe how the quality control team interacts with the execution team
Working for the Corps Tip #9 - Address Performance Problems Head-On Ø Get copies of your Construction Contractor Appraisal Support System (CCASS) evaluations. Ø Explain any “Marginal” or “Unsatisfactory” items within the evaluation as well as overall ratings. Ø Check out the past performance of your proposed subcontractors.
Working for the Corps Tip #10 - QC your Proposal Ø Have an independent reviewer ensure all items are addressed (someone not involved in putting the proposal together). Ø If you copy another proposal, make sure you only refer to the current project. ØUze spel cheque!
Working for the Corps The Contracting Officer’s Top Ten Pet Peeves
Working For the Corps KO’s Top Ten Pet Peeves: #10 Calling multiple times or calling around office for a different answer #9 Not paying subcontractors #8 Going over the KO’s head #7 Superman (or Wonder Woman) Syndrome #6 Not reading proposals before asking questions
KO’s Top Ten Pet Peeves: Cont. #5 Rounding $ amounts in proposals and/or mathematical errors #4 Trying to market items that the agency doesn’t buy #3 Asking what can you do for me? #2 Misleading comments or lying #1 Unannounced visits
My e-mail address: cheryl. w. [email protected] army. mil Phone number: 215 -656 -6867