NASA Begins Planning for SEWP V

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Innovative draft RFP process will allow interactive input from government, industry

Officials with the NASA SEWP program will be seeking advice from both government and industry officials in an interactive draft Request for Proposal (RFP) process for the follow-on SEWP V program. Officials will post the draft RFP online so that people can read and comment directly on individual sections of the document, and then get a response from SEWP IV officials within a matter of days.

In contrast to the traditional process in which agencies collect and review all responses to a draft RFP before making changes, SEWP IV officials will refine and update the draft RFP in an interactive, iterative process that will enable government and industry to track and respond to changes in the RFP. People also will be able to read the comments made by others as well as the responses from SEWP IV officials to their questions and recommendations. Company-specific references will be removed from people’s comments before they are posted on the website for public review.

“We will read all of the comments and post a response within a few days, so there will be a good back and forth, and we will update the draft RFP on a continuous basis, so people can see how it is evolving,” said Joanne Woytek, NASA SEWP IV Program Manager.

Planned Steps in the SEWP V Acquisition Process

The SEWP program office has established only one scheduled date or deadline in the SEWP V process: Award the SEWP V contracts by May 2014. As a more detailed schedule is developed, SEWP officials will notify all registered participants and make it available publicly.

The typical steps taken in a SEWP Procurement process are:

• Market research. This is the current step. Interested parties can register to obtain relevant SEWP V e-mails at https://www.sewp.nasa.gov/registration.

• Draft Request for Proposal (RFP): A draft RFP is posted on the Internet with interactive access to allow comments and questions on specific sections with a NASA response to those submitted comments and questions on those sections. This is the next interaction between industry and NASA and is done through the Web RFP interface. All questions and comments will be responded to publicly (after removing all company-specific references). There is no schedule available for this yet.

• RFP: After reviewing all comments and questions received during the draft RFP, an RFP will be made available. At this point, companies may decide to submit a proposal, work with other companies who are submitting a proposal or not send in a proposal. The exact nature of proposal submission and subsequent evaluation and award will be detailed in the RFP itself.

• Evaluation and award: The proposals will be evaluated and selection made based on the criteria which will be laid out in the RFP.

Source: SEWP IV Program Office


A Two-Year Acquisition Process

The SEWP V program is slated to launch in May 2014 when the SEWP IV program expires. Government and industry officials are already seeing significant interest in the follow-on contract to the highly successful SEWP IV, which likely will generate more than $12 billion in sales over its seven years of existence.

NASA officials have just begun the market research phase as they examine how current laws, policies, and technology will shape the new SEWP V program. In July, NASA officials conducted one-on-one interviews with industry officials to help lay the groundwork for their effort. Woytek did not provide a timeline for completing each of the steps in the acquisition process, such as releasing the draft RFP, crafting the final RFP, conducting a competition, and awarding spots on the SEWP V contract vehicle, except to say that the process will be completed by May 2014.

“This process will take two years because when we are finished, we want to make sure that we have excellent companies who will provide the government with high-quality products and services that meet government requirements,” she said.

“Don’t Look for Radical Change”
SEWP V, like its predecessors, is expected to be a fixed-price, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity multi-award governmentwide acquisition contract (GWAC) offering a wide selection and range of advanced technology computers and servers along with peripherals, network equipment, storage devices, software and other IT products and related product solutions, according to the SEWP IV office. Woytek also points out that each successor SEWP contract has been evolutionary rather than revolutionary, and she expects this to be the case with SEWP V as well.

SEWP V Market Research

The NASA SEWP program office launched its market research effort for SEWP V by conducting 60 one-on-one interviews with industry officials in July 2012. SEWP IV officials emphasized that the sessions would not give companies an advantage in the proposal and evaluation process, but interest was so strong that that the interview slots filled up within one day.

SEWP IV officials said they were seeking insight at these meetings into one or more of the following areas:

• New Technology Products and Anticipated IT Trends
• Cloud Computing including Acquisition Issues and FedRAMP Certification
• Small Business Capabilities including Reseller and Manufacturer Roles for Small Business in IT Product Acquisition
• Supply Chain Management including Mitigating Risks for Counterfeit and Tainted Products
• Other topics related either to upcoming technology or IT Acquisition concerns

“These meetings are a first step in getting the pulse in what is out there for industry, such as technology and small business, so we have some information and feedback to help craft the first iteration of the draft RFP for SEWP V,” said Joanne Woytek, SEWP IV Program Manager.


“We aren’t looking to do radical change,” Woytek said. She expects changes and improvements, of course, particularly to ensure that SEWP V can anticipate and adapt to changing technologies and policies over its planned seven-year lifespan. “But if you know how SEWP IV works, you will know how SEWP V will work,” she said.

Get Involved in Shaping SEWP V

Industry officials should not be concerned if they did not participate in the July one-on-one meetings that kicked off the market research, Woytek said. The real heavy lifting—and chance to shape the planned SEWP V program—will occur when the draft RFP is posted online for comment and interactive response. “We can’t overemphasize how important it is to get involved in the draft RFP process. That’s when industry and government can impact the RFP in terms of the scope, requirements, and other issues,” she said.

To stay informed about the SEWP V program, government and industry officials can register to receive updates and information at the “NASA SEWP V Interested Parties Registration Page” at www.sewp.nasa.gov/registration.


About this Report

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