NASA Begins Planning for SEWP V
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.
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.
“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.