While DISA continues to work on awards for the Systems Engineering, Technology and Engineering (SETI) contract vehicle, the agency took an opportunity to ask interested parties to contribute ideas to a new “Innovative Contracting Playbook” which it is putting together. Inspired by the successful (and well publicized) NASA Space Poop Challenge, DISA is asking for input (in any format) on non-traditional contracting strategies it could utilize in the future. Mainly, it wants to know if contractors would participate in a challenge similar to the non-traditional format used by NASA.
Taking a cue from “Shark Tank”-style pitches being utilized by new procurement offices like the Defense Intelligence Agency’s iHUB, and the Silicon Valley-based Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), DISA wants to know if it should take advantage of a similar strategy for awarding contracts based on oral presentations. Beyond the oral presentation/demonstration requirement, DIUx has taken full advantage of DOD’s new Other Transaction Authority (OTA) for awarding contracts up to $250 million.
Aside from a new method of award, including evaluation based on the oral presentations, what kind of award could DISA utilize? Would a Firm Fixed Priced lump sum amount, basically a task order for a prototype/solution, motivate multiple companies to complete the initiative? Or, would a competition for a single award, a prize for a winning solution (like the NASA competition), be more advantageous?
Finally, DISA inquired about the motivations of government contractors. Are incentives or disincentives more effective in spurring contractor speed and innovation? Why do contractors protest certain decisions? While GAO and DOD may begin charging fees for protest submissions, which some see as a method of dissuading protests, DISA wants to know how it can “take risks” and “do things differently” in the procurement process without incurring Industry protests of final decisions. Take a look at the latest SETI solicitation for a look at the questionnaire, as well as the provided contact information for response submissions.
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Published on January 4, 2018