SeaPort-e Rolling Admission coming in November!

The Navy has announced the next SeaPort-e rolling admissions solicitation will be released November 2nd, with proposals due January 13, 2016. Awards will be made next June. Iona Moon has everything you need to win with ReadyWin for SeaPort-e. This year we have some additional availability to help firms with full service support as well. Contact us for details

Proposals are due in:

The synopsis is below.


The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division, on behalf of the Naval Sea Systems Command and the Navy Virtual SYSCOM (partners NAVSUP, NAVAIR, SPAWAR and NAVFAC) along with other Navy activities and Marine Corps, is conducting a rolling admission per the terms and conditions of the SeaPort Enhanced (Seaport-e) Multiple Award Contracts.

The purpose of this rolling admission is to expand the contractor base by awarding additional Indefinite-Delivery/Indefinite-Quantity (ID/IQ) prime contracts. Existing Seaport-e prime contractors will also have the opportunity to expand their presence in other geographical zones to allow them to compete for Task Order awards in those zones and to voluntarily re-certify their size status. The NAICS code for this procurement is 541330 and the revenue size standard for Small Business is $38.5 Million.

The purpose of this rolling admission is to expand the contractor base by awarding additional Indefinite-Delivery/Indefinite-Quantity (ID/IQ) prime contracts. Existing Seaport-e prime contractors will also have the opportunity to expand their presence in other geographical zones to allow them to compete for Task Order awards in those zones and to voluntarily re-certify their size status. The NAICS code for this procurement is 541330 and the revenue size standard for Small Business is $38.5 Million.

The purpose of this rolling admission is to expand the contractor base by awarding additional Indefinite-Delivery/Indefinite-Quantity (ID/IQ) prime contracts. Existing Seaport-e prime contractors will also have the opportunity to expand their presence in other geographical zones to allow them to compete for Task Order awards in those zones and to voluntarily re-certify their size status. The NAICS code for this procurement is 541330 and the revenue size standard for Small Business is $38.5 Million.

SeaPort-e is the Navy's electronic platform for acquiring support services in 22 functional areas including Engineering, Financial Management, and Program Management. Authorized ordering activities compete their service requirements amongst SeaPort-e IDIQ multiple award contract holders. All task orders are competitively solicited, awarded and managed using the SeaPort-e electronic platform.

Oral proposals will not be conducted. Awards will be made on initial offers without discussions. Please email questions concerning Rolling Admissions to

The Government desires an increase in Small Business, HubZone, Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB); Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB); Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB); and 8(a) concerns. Businesses in these categories are encouraged to submit offers as primes.

Information concerning this rolling admission is available on the Seaport homepage at Copies of the previous Rolling Admission solicitation N00178-14-R-4000, the original Rolling Admission Industry Brief (dated November 2004), and questions and answers to the previous solicitations can currently be found on the homepage.

The solicitation number for this Rolling Admissions is N00178-16-R-4000. It is anticipated that a solicitation will be issued on 02 November 2015 with a response date of 13 January 2016. The target date for the Rolling Admission awards is June 2016. The Government reserves the right to change these dates. It is the potential offeror's responsibility to monitor the Seaport site for the release of solicitations, amendments, and supporting information

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Countdown to Rolling Admission, 2011

Updated December 06, 2010 Are you ready to obtain your Seaport-e prime contract and start competing to provide services to the Navy and Marine Corps? Rolling Admissions is slated to open in April 2011. You should be planning your response now.

Over the next few months, among other subjects, we will address SeaPort-e preparation issues here, in articles about strategic teaming, zone coverage, performance-based contracting, and lessons-learned in previous competitions. Please use the link in the side-bar to subscribe to this blog to be updated when new articles are published.

By planning ahead, you can avoid all of the pitfalls related to a hurried submission once the RFP is published and a deadline is on the horizon. Additionally, you can gain a significant competitive advantage by establishing your teaming relationships, assuring appropriate zone coverage, and identifying the functional areas you will address in your offering ahead of the rolling admission period.

Most importantly, you can save crucial business development resources by preparing the bulk of your response ahead of time. The details of the SeaPort-e RFP have remained largely unchanged since its inception. With existing documentation and the previous RFPs, your firm can develop your proposal to at least 75% completion, with only minor compliance edits to make when the RFP is published.

Winning a Seaport-e prime contract award is the first step in establishing your firm as a service provider directly to Navy and other eligible DoD customers. More and more, service acquisitions are being migrated to SeaPort-e, and in fact, it is mandatory for some types of services.

At a recent small business event, the NAVAIR Office of Small Business Programs emphasized: “If you don’t have a SeaPort-e prime contract, plan to get one in the next rolling admission.”

Do you know what the demand will be on your business development resources when the next rolling admission period opens? Do you know what opportunities you will be chasing, and what phase of capture they will be in? By staging your proposal submission early, you can make sure your firm is not caught in a crunch as the deadline approaches, and free your internal resources to focus on other urgent, and possibly unpredictable, demands when time is of the essence.

Preparing your  proposal early is a wise strategic move for your company if you plan to compete for Navy work in the future.  Reading the previous RFPs, available briefs, and related articles now will familiarize you with the language, structure, purpose and mission of SeaPort-e.  You can begin to think about the ways in which you will market your company, and the area on which you will focus your response to increase the likelihood of receiving an award.

The process of gathering your past performance and workforce qualifications, formulating your win strategy, cultivating and finalizing teaming agreements and drafting your quality and management plans is an excellent exercise in coalescing your corporate story.

The resulting proposal will not only be an exceptionally well-prepared  submission, but can serve as the backbone of your corporate documentation, extensible to other proposals, marketing materials, business plans, and even valuation justification for capital attraction.

Iona Moon has won the SeaPort-e vehicle many times over for our clients and has compiled valuable lessons-learned during every competition. Each rolling admission period, the demand for our services has increased, until 2008 when we reached capacity within days of the release of the RFP. We were simply unable to help all the firms who contacted us.

To help meet demand, Iona Moon published the “SeaPort-e Proposal Toolkit©”, which quickly became a “best seller” on the website, enabling all the firms who used it to win their SeaPort-e award. The toolkit includes all appropriately-formatted templates, writing guides, cost proposal workbooks, line-by-line guides to fill-ins, step-by-step instructions, reference material, and up to one hour of phone consultation.

“The toolkit was amazing and made a murky process crystal clear. We would not have been successful without it. Thank you!” – a successful bidder

“Thank you for taking the time to put this together. We won!” – a happy client

For firms who want to get started early, the toolkit is available and now includes valuable planning data to facilitate your process. The current version is up to date as of the last rolling admission. When the 2011 admission is conducted, the Toolkit will be updated for all compliance issues and any other changes, and the update provided free to those who have purchased a previous version. The updated version will be available for purchase after the RFP is published.

Iona Moon is currently in workforce planning to accommodate as many firms as possible for complete proposal preparation support for RA 2011. We anticipant reaching capacity well before the RFP hits the street. If you are interested in having Iona Moon prepare your proposal, now is the time to engage.  We can help you with teaming, zone coverage, and all aspects of your response.

However you plan to prepare your proposal, using our full-service option, with our tools, or going it alone -- I hope this has encouraged you to begin your planning process now, and to put SeaPort-e into your strategic plan for increasing your Navy business.

Best of luck!

(At least) 78 Iona Moon Clients Take Home the Gold!

Congratulations to the 78 (known) Iona Moon clients who won SeaPort-e prime contract awards!  No losses have been reported yet. This was a huge year for rolling admissions, with 556 new prime contractors added. The complete list of awardees can be found here. The Iona Moon list with links will be published in an upcoming post.

Here are a few of the things clients had to say about their experience with Iona Moon.

"We got one! THANK YOU FOR ALL!!!!"

"We got ours!  Thanks for your guidance and help!"

"[Our company] was notified today that we were awarded a Navy Seaport-e Contract!!! Thank you so much for your assistance. We could not have done it without your company's help because we started very late in the process and we didn't get a chance to have telephone calls to you but we were able to use your templates. Thanks again."

"We have been awarded our first prime contract. Thank you for your help."

"Software Systems International, Inc. was awarded.  We greatly value the Iona Moon Seaport-e  Toolkit  for our ultimate award. Please include our name in your Toolkit success."

"You can add [Us] to the rolls of 2010 Seaport-e contract winners.  With the aid of your tool kit, we were able to submit a winning proposal that required only one clarification point on the pricing.  Thank you very much for putting together a winning proposal toolkit."

"Thank you for all your help and assistance.  [Our company] was on the award list for Seaport-e.  Without your support and templates it won’t have happened."

"Thanks for everything and you were correct we had nothing to worry about.  I want to also thank you for your excellent RFP support."

"Hi, Lee.  [Our company] won an award.  We are very happy.  The toolkit and your assistance were extremely valuable in the process.  Thank you!"

"Thank you very much for your outstanding guidance during this process.  I am pleased to announce that [Our company] received a Seaport Prime award.  Your kit made the process logical and your regular updates kept us right on track."

"[We] received an award.  Your toolkit was a great help.  Feel free to use me as a reference for future potential customers."

"We made the cut - and we could not have got this far without Iona Moon.  Now on to winning a contract!"

I am overwhelmed at the outcome this year, and very pleased Iona Moon could be a part of so many success stories. Thank you all for a great year and congratulations again. I look forward to helping many of you achieve your goals with this important contract.

Finally, if you used the Toolkit, submitted on time and didn’t win, make sure you request a debrief from the contracts office. With that in hand, get in touch with me and I will help you determine where you went wrong so you can prepare to win in the next round of rolling admissions. Remember, you are entitled to free lifetime updates until you win.

As always, best of luck!

SeaPort-e award date moved

The Navy has announced the anticipated award date for SeaPort-e 2010 Rolling Admissions has been pushed from June 29, 2010 to late July 2010. Please follow me on Twitter for updates as I have them.

If you haven’t heard from the contracting office – this is probably a good thing. The Dahlgren staff is very thorough and helpful. They will contact you if they want clarification on anything in your proposal. Any time prior to awards, “no news is good news.” I discourage you from calling them for updates on awards or the status of your own proposal. They are hard at work and they will let you know when they are done. Every distraction is a setback.

H.11 Web-page requirement

If you haven’t already, you should be preparing your SeaPort-e Web-page to comply with the H.11 clause requirements of the contract. Your web-page must be live within 10 days of award.

The web-page does not need to be complex or elaborate. I will be publishing a guide to creating your web-page and complying with H.11 by the end of the week. Subscribe to this feed or follow me on Twitter to be alerted when that guide is available for purchase and download.

More guides and tutorials coming soon

Over the next few months, Iona Moon will be publishing more guides and tutorials for optimizing your SeaPort-e contract, evaluating bid announcements, teaming issues, educating your current Navy customers about SeaPort-e, and how SeaPort-e fits into your overall business development strategy and execution. If there are specific questions or issues you would like to see addressed in this series, now is the time to submit them.

While you wait, I encourage you to read through the archives of this blog, for more tips, success stories, and historical news items of interest. Again, please subscribe to make sure you get all the latest posts.

I am looking forward to watching the changing landscape of SeaPort-e after this year’s awards, and to helping all of you achieve your goals for this exciting contract vehicle.

As always, best of luck!

What you need to know about rolling admissions - FAQ

Updated December 06, 2010


I am getting a lot of calls on the upcoming SeaPort-e rolling admissions period, slated for April 2011. Here, I address some of the questions I answer most frequently, and provide some resources to enable your understanding.

What is SeaPort-e?

SeaPort-e is a multiple-award contract (MAC), an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) vehicle with a scope of 22 functional areas. Currently, over 1,500 prime contractors, large and small, and their team members, compete for task orders across seven geographical zones and multiple contracting agencies.

Read the Navy's FAQ on Seaport-e here.

What is Rolling Admissions?

Rolling admissions is the process by which the Navy qualifies new vendors as prime contractors on SeaPort-e. The 2011 Rolling Admissions is predicted to open in Spring 2011.

How do I know if I should bid?

If you provide services in any of the 22 functional areas, and your pipeline includes selling to any of the authorized agencies as a prime, you should consider submitting during the next rolling admissions period.

Will my company qualify for an award?

If you have past performance and/or can demonstrate expertise through your workforce qualifications in at least three of the 22 functional areas (as a small business), you will likely qualify for award. The evaluation process is not competitive, but based on objective evaluation criteria in the solicitation. Of course, the contracting office may limit the number of awards, but historically that has not occurred.

How does SeaPort-e work for small/disadvantaged businesses?

About 85% of the current primes on SeaPort-e are small businesses, across all categories. The NAICS code is 541330 and the size standard is $25M. Task order set-aside decisions are made by the local commands, based on market research. There is a 30% small business requirement on SeaPort-e.

Should I team with a large business?

The reasons to team are myriad, and dependant on your situation. You may want to team with a larger company if your firm is new to expand your breadth of capabilities. Teaming can also help you establish Zone coverage so you can compete in other geographical markets.

Teaming has become more challenging over the last few years, as more large businesses lose contracts to small business set-asides. A large business may be reluctant to bolster your competitive advantage in a market they are targeting.

A better strategy may be to reach out to similar small businesses in other Zones to build your team.

I don’t have any government past performance, only commercial. Will I qualify for an award?

You may. I have seen companies with only commercial experience win. However, you will have to tell a good story in your proposal and correlate your experience to the Navy’s mission areas and objectives.

I don’t know where to start. Can you help me?

Yes. Yes I can.

I have tried to address the questions I receive most often, but I am sure you have issues I didn’t touch on. Please use the comment field to post your issue. I will answer in this forum if I can. If you have more specific questions, please get in touch using the contact link above.

Don't forget to subscribe to receive updates.

Best of luck!

Navy announces 2010 SeaPort-e Rolling Admissions

The Navy today announced the next full and open rolling admission for SeaPort-e will be in April, 2010. If you plan to bid this time around, you should be preparing now for your submission. Iona Moon is planning capacity for assisting firms during this round. We highly recommend you purchase the previous proposal toolkit and begin collecting your data.

We cannot urge strongly enough how important it is to get started NOW on your submission. Issues such as teaming and developing your cost-savings approach should not be done at the last minute.

Best of luck.

Seaport-e Resources has moved

Well, I think everything went swimmingly with the move. Please update your bookmarks! We have moved the blog to our own domain. Subscriptions will be handled a little differently. Clicking the little elephant will take you to our RSS feed. You may still subscribe via e-mail using the link in the sidebar. If you were already a subscriber, you don't need to do a thing, everything has been transferred for you!

Thanks again for your support! More great articles coming soon!

Seaport-e Under Fire

Navy Systems Commands, including Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), headquartered at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, have run afoul of Federal Acquisition Regulations and Department of Defense Acquisition regulations with the use of the Seaport-e contract vehicle, according to a report by the Department of Defense Inspector General (IG) issued earlier this month.

By not following the Concepts of Operations issued by the Seaport-e program manager, the Inspector General found that NAVAIR and other agencies restricted competition, performed inadequate market research, improperly set-aside some work for small businesses, failed to enact measurable quality standards for contract performance, and failed to control the scope of contracts across functional areas, effectively using some task orders as indefinite- delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contracts.

The IG's report further identifies a possible contradiction in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) that may require legislation to clarify, regarding the use of small-business set asides under IDIQ contracts.

Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), the contracting authority and administrative office for the Seaport-e contract, through the Seaport-e program manager, issues and maintains a “Concept of Operations” document (CONOPS) promulgated throughout the ordering agencies via the Seaport-e web-portal and a bi-weekly meeting of a council comprising representatives from each command.

The Seaport-e program manager holds no authority to direct the individual agencies’ contracts officers or Deputies of Small Business in the use of the contract for competing and awarding task orders. Ordering agencies pay an annual fee for participation in the Seaport-e program, use of the portal, contract administration services, and the minimum award guarantees for prime contract awardees. There is no penalty for deviating from the CONOPS.

NAVAIR under microscope

The IG studied 133 task orders across all ordering agencies, including 17 from NAVAIR, and determined that 39, valued at nearly $500-million, were awarded without fair competition. Of the 17 NAVAIR task orders examined during the year-long audit, the IG found 7 were set-aside improperly and 15 did not follow quality assurance requirements.

Not enough time to bid

The report stated the length of time task orders were open for bidding and the number of bids received indicated a lack of competitive environment and a violation of Seaport-e CONOPS. The audit found one task order valued at $2.3-million open to bidders for only 6 days.  That solicitation received only one bid – from the incumbent contractor. Another $56-million order was open for only 19 days.

The Seaport-e CONOPS states orders between $1-50-million should be open for 11-24 days, and orders over $50-million remain open for at least 25 days. This guideline is designed to insure contractors have a fair opportunity to bid on task orders so the government may realize the “best value” from the resulting award.

Small business set-asides illegal?

Further, the report finds some task-orders were improperly set-aside for small business without adequate market research and possibly against FAR regulations. FAR 19.502-2(b) states: “the contracting officer shall set aside any acquisition over $100,000 when there is a reasonable expectation that offers will be obtained from at least two responsible small business concerns.” The report cites a recent protest of an NAVAIR task-order award by Delex Systems, Incorporated, a small business prime contractor on Seaport-e, which leaned heavily on that FAR clause. The protest was upheld by the GAO.

The IG however, determined a contradicting section of the FAR (16.505(b)) to apply, which requires the contracting offices to provide each contractor a fair opportunity to be considered for each order exceeding $3,000 issued under multiple-award IDIQ. This regulation would seem to prohibit any small business set-asides under IDIQs.

The IG report recommends evaluation of the need for revision of the FAR to clarify this issue.

“Weaknesses” in contracting workforce

The report found significant deficiencies in the application of performance-based contracting principles in the task orders reviewed. In cases where task orders were written to be performance-based, the metrics used to measure contractor performance were negligible to non-existent, and in some cases copied from other contracts without relevance to the statements of work. Additionally, the report charges inadequate or non-existent methods for quality surveillance, poor information assurance standards, and failure to identify a Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) to monitor work performed.

The report cites lack of training of contracting officers writing the task orders, insufficient understanding of performance-based contracting practices, and inadequate oversight to standardize and enforce CONOPS at each ordering agency.

Some task orders were used as IDIQs in and of themselves, the report claims -- “undefinitized” orders across multiple functional areas that left details to later-issued “technical instructions” that then acted as task orders. This is directly contrary to CONOPS which states “No undefinitized task orders are allowed” and would seem to indicate a lack of understanding of the purpose of the contract.

Seaport-e Program Manager Disagrees

The Seaport-e program manager’s response to the findings is included, and states that although the Seaport-e program office maintains the Seaport-e portal, awards the base contracts, and negotiates changes to the ordering system, it does not hold authority to enforce guidelines at ordering agencies using the contract.

The Seaport-e program manager further disagreed with the charges of restricted competition, citing multifarious methods for market research that may not be evident from the data reviewed by the auditors, such as advanced planning, industry days, and standardized work packages.

The Seaport-e program manager does plan to update CONOPS in response to some elements of the report, and to disseminate the revised document to ordering agencies.  Additionally, the Seaport-e office will provide training resources on performance-based contracting via the Seaport-e portal and will require a COR be identified for every task order issued. The portal enhancements are to be complete by December, 2009.

It’s not enough for the IG though, who wants to see authoritative oversight of Seaport-e to assure compliance with CONOPS and the FAR. The Deputy Undersecretary of the Navy (Acquisition and Logistics Management) has until June 8, 2009 to respond to the IG with a plan of action and milestones to address every recommendation in the report.

Iona Moon will continue to gather information on these issues and developments as they impact the NAVAIR small business community. We will provide updates as they are available, including any responses from the NAVAIR Deputy for Small Business, and command leadership.

Please subscribe to receive updates.  

Iona Moon is a full-service business development and management consultancy with extensive experience with Seaport-e, having won the base contract and several task orders for 23 companies over the past four years.

Please feel free to join the discussion about this issue by posting your comments.