5 ways to prepare for the final ASTRO solicitation
The General Services Administration (GSA) has released a nearly complete draft solicitation for ASTRO, which will support a wide variety of manned, unmanned, and optionally manned system-related programs primarily within the Department of Defense. GSA intends to award at least 45 contracts in each of its 10 functional domain areas or pools – that’s a lot of opportunities!
While you are analyzing the current draft version of the ASTRO solicitation, here are five ways you can prepare before the solicitation goes final.
1. Ready evidentiary documents now, and line them against the latest draft scoring tables (see Section M).
2. As discussed in our previous ASTRO article, it is critical to be doing the algebra on the points and assessing where competitors are going to land. Those bootstrap bonuses are going to be huge for the small and mid-sized businesses that want to be involved in this procurement. If you are considering a joint venture approach, understand how the points will be applied to each of the scoring sheet criteria.
3. If you don’t have a formal DCAA-approved accounting system, then make sure your accounting system can successfully withstand a DCAA audit. The draft RFP is allowing third-party CPA reports as evidence.
4. Review the other certifications you can receive points for, and whether you can get your firm qualified in time.
5. Provide feedback on the draft solicitation that will help make your firm more competitive. For instance, has DCMA or another federal agency not audited your estimating and/or purchasing systems, but you think they’re compliant? Ask GSA to consider allowing a third-party audit report or capability assessment that demonstrates the capability to pass a DCMA audit 6-12 months after award.
In addition, you may want to consult with a government contracting professional to ensure that your business systems are audit-ready, your indirect rate structure is as competitive as possible, and you are compliant with CMMI Maturity Levels 3-5, ISO 27001, ISO 22301, and/or NSA CIRA.
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