Do you have a government contract Transition Plan checklist when you bid on federal contracts? Only about 64% of contractors include a vendor transition plan checklist at the proposal development stage. The remaining 36% fail to include a plan simply because the solicitation did not call for one. This is one of the most dangerous mistakes when bidding on government contracts.
Even the 64% of contractors that actually use one, fall prey to the agency’s misevaluation. However, without one, you are guaranteed to not fall within the serious contender list (competitive range.)
In a recent bid protest from DRS Technical Services, Inc., GAO found the Department of the Army, Army Materiel Command for system engineering, failed to properly evaluate DRS’ technical contract transition out plan where it offered less ramp-up time and saved the government out-of-pocket expenses. In this rare case, GAO waived the exception to its timeliness rules.
What GAO Found With the Government Contract Transition Plan Evaluation
GAO found that the Army’s solicitation’s evaluation scheme failed to account for differences in offerors’ contract transition plan and effectively penalized offerors that proposed to provide full staffing and operational performance on the first day of the task order and rewarded offers that proposed a phased approach to staffing and performance.
GAO also agreed that the Army unreasonably failed to account for the fact that in the awardee’s proposed government contract transition out plan, the government would have to pay the incumbent to perform and that under DRS’s technical proposal, its proposed government contract transition plan would actually save the Army money. Find out more about best value evaluations.
What Protestor Did Correctly About Its Government Contract Transition Plan at GAO
When companies file a bid protest, they should articulate how the contracting agency failed to consider their proposal as submitted.
- DRS correctly stated the facts about its project transition plan and that the agency overlooked the cost savings
- DRS also target the awardee’s proposal. Failure to do so may still get a bid protest denied because protestors often focus on their own technical proposal evaluation but say nothing about the awardee’s.
- DRS’s GAO protest also went on to state how it was prejudiced by the unreasonable agency evaluation. This is another hurdle that some government contractors fail to overcome.
This GAO protest is unique because although the protestor had a legitimate argument about its government contract transition plan, GAO seems to be taking more of an interest in issues of significant interest to the procurement community regarding change management transition plan requirements.
What Does the Agency Look for in a Government Contract Transition Plan?
A government contract transition out plan should at a minimum discuss your process, details, and schedule for providing an orderly transition in the event you win the contract. Companies often make dangerous mistakes by not mentioning the length of time that the project transition plan would take; how it will minimize the impacts on continuity of project operations; maintaining communication with staff and affected communities.
The plan should also focus on overcoming barriers to transition; developing milestones and measurable commitments that will be included in the schedule.
Tip: Although a solicitation may not require you to submit a commitment from a teaming partner or subcontractor, you may want to still do so. There could be an argument that failure to do so may cause a technical proposal weakness.
Tip: As part of your proposal’s management approach, successful bidders describe the intimate details of their transition out plan to include the identified which employees that would be involved and what their respective roles. Furthermore, the proposal evaluation board could give points for describing how your company would implement the transition for each Sample Task, including the role and tasks of management employees. See A-T Solutions, Inc. v. United States, No. 15-119 C (July 14, 2015).
These are but a few issues that you can help your company to withstand a bid protest launched against your company for an insufficient government contract transition plan.