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IMPORTANT! Please read the Q&A and make sure you understand the requirements for SeaPort-NxG before purchasing. Follow upates at FBO.gov. Thank you!
SeaPort-NxG Questions and Answers 14 February 2018
Q1. Will SeaPort-NxG be announced through SeaPort or FedBizOpps (FBO)? Will you please add a note to SeaPort regarding your intentions? What is the solicitation number?
A1. All SeaPort-NxG notices and information will be posted on FBO under Solicitation Number N00178-18-R-7000. The notes on the public SeaPort web page (www.seaport.navy.mil) and on the SeaPort-e landing page have been updated.
Q2. What is the latest schedule for SeaPort-NxG? When will the draft Request for Proposals (RFP) be released? When will the formal RFP be released? When does the Government expect to make an award?
A2. The notional schedule is as follows:
Synopsis – Released 14 Feb 2018
Post Draft RFP to FBO – Second Quarter Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Post Formal RFP to FBO – Third Quarter FY 2018
Proposals Due – Third Quarter FY 2018 Awards Made – First Quarter FY 2019
Q3. What is the structure of the SeaPort-NxG contract?
A3. Each SeaPort-NxG Multiple Award Contract (MAC) will have a base ordering period of five years, with an option for an additional five-year ordering period.
Q4. How will SeaPort-NxG MACs be awarded?
A4. SeaPort-NxG MACs will be awarded based on full and open competition to all qualified offerors.
Q5. Will the Government hold an Industry Day?
A5. No in-person Industry Days are currently planned. The Government will post Industry Day-like presentations and a draft RFP to FBO. The Government intends to allow sufficient time for industry feedback prior to issuing the formal RFP. If at a later date, an in-person Industry Day or any other “road show” event is scheduled, the Government will post an advance notification of the event on FBO. Questions may be sent by email to email@example.com. Responses will be provided periodically on FBO.
Q6. Will the Government post the SeaPort-NxG presentations that were given at Navy Gold Coast in August 2017, Charleston Defense Contractor Association (“CDCA”) Conference in December 2017, and Professional Services Council (“PSC”) meeting in January 2018?
A6. Yes, the CDCA presentation will be posted on FBO. The CDCA presentation was updated from the Navy Gold Coast presentation; therefore, the Navy Gold Coast presentation has not been uploaded. Additionally, the PSC presentation has not been uploaded because it is merely a subset of the CDCA presentation. Please note that the notional timeline of events (slide 16) of the CDCA presentation is continually being updated. For the Government’s most up to date estimate of the SeaPort-NxG schedule, see A2.
Q7. What kind of experience is necessary in order to be qualified to be awarded a SeaPort- NxG MAC? What other criteria are required?
A7. A single company (not a joint venture) must have, within the past five years, experience “in direct support of the Navy.” This experience can be either as a prime or as a subcontractor. Experience in support of the Department of Defense, Fourth Estate, Missile Defense Agency, Coast Guard, non-Navy military departments, or other federal agencies is not sufficient. The experience must be related to one of the twenty-three functional areas covered by SeaPort-NxG. In addition, the company must be registered in System for Award Management (SAM), owe no federal taxes, not be debarred or suspended, and if a large business, submit a compliant small business subcontracting plan.
Q8. How many past performance references will be required?
A8. Past performance is not being evaluated for award of the SeaPort-NxG MACs. There is no requirement to submit past performance references. Offerors will provide information, i.e., contract number/subcontract agreement, describing their experience related to one of the twenty-three functional areas, either as a prime or as a subcontractor.
Q9. If the contracting activity issuing the contract is not Navy, but the effort performed was in support of the Navy, will that experience count?
A9. If the scope of work clearly shows that the effort was in direct support of the Navy the experience would count. For example, a contract issued by Aegis BMD, part of the Missile Defense Agency, would be accepted where the effort contracted is clearly in direct support of the Navy. The issuing activity is not criteria, the scope of work is.
Q10. Is there a required length of time for the experience to count? For example, would experience working on a Navy simplified acquisition that only lasted a month count?
A10. The length of experience doesn’t matter, as long as it was within the past five years, in direct support of the Navy, and related to one of the twenty-three functional areas covered by SeaPort-NxG.
Q11. What if a company holds a SeaPort-e MAC? Does that count as experience?
A11. Simply holding a SeaPort-e MAC is not sufficient. The company would have had to actually perform work under the MAC, i.e., been awarded a task order under the SeaPort-e MAC.
Q12. What if my team member has the experience but I do not - can I still get a MAC?
A12. No. In that situation, your team member would be eligible, but you would not.
Q13. If my company is a subcontractor under SeaPort-NxG, will that experience be sufficient to qualify as a prime under SeaPort-NxG at a later date? Will there be any on-ramps?
A13. Yes, if your company actually performs work as a subcontractor to a prime SeaPort-NxG MAC holder under a SeaPort-NxG task order, you will have gained the requisite experience in order to qualify as a prime yourself. See A29 for information on on-ramps.
Q14. If my company has no experience in direct support of the Navy in the twenty-three functional areas, does that mean my company can never qualify to hold a SeaPort-NxG MAC?
A14. No. See A13.
Q15. Can a company and its subsidiary or sister organization each have a MAC?
A15. No, there will only be one MAC per corporate entity.
Q16. Can joint ventures receive a MAC?
A16. No, proposals submitted by joint ventures will not be considered for award.
Q17. Would the experience of key employees satisfy the experience requirement?
A17. No. Experience of employees will not qualify a company for award if the company has no experience in direct support of the Navy within the past five years related to one of the twenty-three functional areas covered by SeaPort- NxG.
Q18. Should offerors identify their proposed team members in their proposals for SeaPort- NxG?
A18. Yes, offerors should identify their proposed team members so that they and their team members can receive access to the SeaPort-NxG portal once award is made. Otherwise, primes would have to request the SeaPort-NxG MAC Contracting Officer to add their team members post-award, which may take some time due to the Contracting Officer’s workload.
Q19. Will there be a Cost Accounting Standard (CAS) compliancy requirement as part of the RFP? Can an offeror receive a SeaPort-NxG MAC without having CAS compliance?
A19. Yes, an offeror can receive a SeaPort-NxG MAC without having CAS compliance but would not be eligible to be awarded a cost type task order without it. The applicable FAR clauses will be included in the RFP. After award of the SeaPort-NxG MACs, a message will be sent out via the portal providing contact information to assist in facilitating a pre-award accounting system review. Any MAC holder that does not currently have an approved DCAA Pre-Award Accounting System Audit but is intending to propose on flexibly priced task orders (any type other than Firm-Fixed Price without Progress Payments), or has a prior audit older than five years with no other contact with DCAA since that audit, or who’s accounting system has changed since their last DCAA audit will want to take advantage of the offered assistance in facilitating a pre-award accounting system review.,
Q20. What dollar size threshold are you using to evaluate 8(a) companies for an award on the MAC (as 541330 is a $15,000,000 North American Industry Classification System (“NAICS”) but has multiple exceptions)?
A20. NAICS 541330 utilizing the exception for marine engineering and naval architecture - average annual receipts - $38.5M.
Q21. We are a VOSB looking to participate in SeaPort-NxG. Is it possible to increase the revenue threshold to $50,000,000 for NAICS 541330?
A21. No. Refer to A20.
Q22. Is the SeaPort-e contracting vehicle open to non-Department of the Navy activities (such as the Defense Information Systems Agency)? Will the SeaPort-NxG vehicle be open to non-Department of the Navy activities?
A22. No, SeaPort-e is only open to Department of the Navy activities. SeaPort-NxG will also only be open to Department of the Navy activities except Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and its field activities. NAVAIR has opted out of SeaPort-NxG and will pursue different business models to best meet their needs. If at some point in the future, it is determined that NAVAIR would like to utilize the SeaPort-NxG vehicle, the inclusion will be advertised and admission process will be held in order for their vendor base to compete for SeaPort-NxG MACs.
Q23. We are a current SeaPort-e prime contractor in two particular zones. We have not proposed on any RFQ to date, typically because the RFQs/ opportunities for which we were qualified were outside our two zones. Since one of the Navy’s stated goals for moving to SeaPort-NxG is to essentially get rid of firms that do not propose on RFQs, is it really worth our while to propose on SeaPort-NxG, or will our proposal be dead on arrival since we have never proposed in the past? A candid reply is appreciated.
A23. The Navy’s main goal for SeaPort-NxG is for rigorous competition under the MACs. The Navy desires firms to participate. There is also an administrative burden associated with the oversight of MACs held by firms who do not participate. One element of the decision to award the option for the additional five year ordering period will be the extent of a company’s participation during the first five years. Companies that never submit proposals will most likely be off-ramped at the five year mark. Consideration for award is discussed in A7. All awardees will receive all zones.
Q24. We understand that the existing SeaPort-e MACs will be extended through December 2019. Does the government have a timeline for when that extension will take place? Has the government determined the surrounding criteria and by what method this will occur (unilateral modification), etc.? Is there an established notational timeline for events leading up to SeaPort-NxG RFP release? Should the government use a “brown- out period” for completion to establish transition from SeaPort-e to SeaPort-NxG, and if so, has it been determined how long that period will be?
A24. The unilateral modifications extending the SeaPort-e MACs are complete. For information relating to the SeaPort-NxG RFP release, refer to A2. There will be a period that has been referred to as a “brown out period” where certain solicitations that normally would have been issued under the SeaPort-e MACs will be issued outside of SeaPort-e because the SeaPort-NxG MACs are not awarded yet. There is no definition of how long that period is or how many procurements may be conducted during the period. The Government is, however, trying to minimize the length of time between the award of SeaPort- NxG MACs and the expiration of the SeaPort-e MACs. It is recommended that you contact the specific Contracting Officers at each activity for more information on specific procurements and where they will be advertised.
Q25. Will product manufacturers be awarded SeaPort-NxG MACs?
A25. SeaPort-NxG is a vehicle for the procurement of services and does not allow for the direct procurement of supplies/hardware. Any and all material or products ordered under SeaPort-NxG shall be in direct support of performed services, i.e., small scale testing equipment, prototypes, or spares for direct performance of services.
Q26. Where can I find information, training, and guides for SeaPort-NxG?
A26. When the SeaPort-NxG MACs are awarded, information for awardees related to operation of the SeaPort-NxG platform will be available on SeaPort-NxG for those companies and their registered team members.
Q27. There is a technical issue on your website - the link for the SeaPort-e contract holders list is not working; and neither is the link in the "contact us" teaming question (see http://www.seaport.navy.mil/Home/Partners/). A list of all SeaPort-e prime contract holders would be greatly appreciated.
A27. Due to security requirements, we cannot provide a listing of SeaPort-e contract holders, therefore the links on the website were disabled.
Q28. Will Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) or International Organization for Standardization (ISO) be required at the MAC IDIQ level?
A28. No. There are no CMMI/ISO requirements at the MAC level; however, once the MACs are awarded, solicitations for individual task orders may require CMMI or ISO.
Q29. Will SeaPort-NxG have rolling admissions (“on-ramps”) like the previous SeaPort-e?
A29. Yes. There will be rolling admissions but the Government has yet to determine exactly when they will be. They will not be as often as SeaPort-e, which was annually. Any rolling admissions will be advertised well in advance to industry.
Q30. Will there be any cost or price evaluation as part of the source selection for SeaPort- NxG?
A30. No. In accordance with the DPAP Class Deviation – Evaluation Factors for Certain Multiple-Award Task- or Delivery- Order Contracts dated 13 December 2017, price or cost evaluation is not required for certain DOD multiple award contracts. The Contracting Officer has determined that the Government may exclude price and cost as an evaluation factor for SeaPort-NxG.
Q31. Will a small business subcontracting plan be required to be submitted with the proposal for SeaPort-NxG for large business offerors?
A31. Yes, large businesses will be required to submit a small business subcontracting plan in accordance with FAR 19.702 with their proposals for SeaPort-NxG.
Q32. If a company is a small business at the time they are awarded a SeaPort-NxG MAC, but they become a large business later, will they still be eligible to participate in small business set-aside task order solicitations?
A32. Yes, but only for the first five years of the MAC. If a company is a small business at the time they are awarded a SeaPort-NxG MAC, but they become a large business within the first five years, they can participate in small business set- aside task order solicitations until they have to re-certify their size status in order to receive the additional five-year ordering period option. Upon receiving the option, they would now be a large business and ineligible for small business set- asides.
Q33. Is SeaPort-NxG anticipated to be a point score proposal (similar to GSA OASIS/Alliant 2) using past performances, contracts and certifications?
A33. No. See A7.
SeaPort-NxG Questions and Answers 27 February 2018
Q34 Can a company bid on and win a contract in either Engineering Support Services or Program Management Support Services, without bidding on both areas?
Q35. Our company’s wholly-owned subsidiary performed work which qualifies it for a SeaPort- NxG award. Would the wholly-owned subsidiary’s work also qualify our parent company for an award? The subsidiary has a different CAGE code and DUNS, but we are part of the same corporate entity and we are fully responsible for its work.
A35. Because the parent company and the subsidiary are part of the same corporate entity, the subsidiary’s experience would transfer to the parent company and would qualify the parent company for a MAC. However, since there can be only one MAC per corporate entity, either the parent company or the subsidiary may be a MAC holder – not both. Please also refer to A15.
Q36. Are all labor categories in SeaPort-NxG expected to be professional (and therefore exempt from the Department of Labor Service Contract Act Wage Determinations), or will there be a mix of professional and non-professional labor categories?
A36. There will be a mix of professional and non-professional labor categories. Department of Labor Service Contract Act Wage Determinations may be incorporated on individual Task Orders, as applicable.
Q37. A18 states, “…offerors should identify their proposed team members so that they and their team members can receive access to the SeaPort-NxG portal once award is made.” What information will offerors need to provide in order to port existing SeaPort-e team members to the new contract? And what information will be needed to add additional team members as part of an offeror’s proposal?
A37. Offerors will be required to submit the Team Member’s Name (as registered in SAM), the DUNs Number, and Cage Code. The SeaPort-NxG RFP will include instructions on how and when to submit proposed teammate(s) registration information. Since SeaPort-e and SeaPort- NxG are standalone contracts, a teammate added to SeaPort-e will not automatically be added to a SeaPort-NxG’s MAC, or vice versa.
Q38. A16 states that “…proposals submitted by joint ventures will not be considered for award.” A9 states (among other requirements) that past experience will only qualify a company for an award if it was performed by a single company, not a joint venture. How do these statements apply to SBA-approved participants in its 8(a) BD Mentor-Protégé Program?
A38. No work will be performed at the SeaPort-NxG MAC level. Therefore a Joint Venture, including SBA-approved participants in the mentor-protégé program, cannot be formed to win work under NxG. While a JV cannot be formed to win work under NxG, if a partner in a JV can cite experience in direct support to “The Department of the Navy”, it would therefore be eligible for award of an NxG MAC as a single entity.
Q39. Since the United States Marine Corps is part of the Department of the Navy, will work performed for the Marine Corps qualify as work “in direct support of the Navy?” What about work performed for the Marine Corps Technical Service Support Activity (MCTSSA)?
A39. The Marine Corps (including its activities, such as the MCTSSA) is considered to be part of “The Department of the Navy.” Therefore, assuming the work met all other qualification requirements, work performed in direct support of the Marine Corps and/ or its activities would qualify as work performed in direct support of the Department of the Navy. This response clarifies the responses in Answers A7 and A9. The references in A7 and A9 to “The Navy” should be revised to “The Department of the Navy.”
Q40. What if a company has experience contracting with TRICARE (a DoD health care program)? Does this qualify as experience which is “in direct support of the Navy?” The experience otherwise meets all requirements.
A40. No. For purposes of qualifying for a SeaPort-NxG award, TRICARE contracts are not considered to be directly supporting The Department of the Navy. Please also refer to Answer A9.
Q41. Where can an Offeror find information on the 23 functional areas that are contained within the SeaPort-NxG MAC’s scope of work?
A41. The 23 functional areas are listed below:
Engineering Services: Service areas that are included under the Engineering Services discipline include but, are not limited to the following examples:
1. Engineering, System Engineering, and Safety and Process Engineering Support
2. Software Engineering, Development, Programming, and Network Support
3. In-Service Engineering, Fleet Introduction, Installation and Checkout and Provisioning Support
4. Measurement Facilities, Range, and Instrumentation Support
5. Interoperability, Test and Evaluation, Trials Support
6. Research and Development Support
7. Modeling, Simulation, Stimulation, and Analysis Support
8. Prototyping, Pre-Production, Model-Making, and Fabrication Support
9. System Design Documentation and Technical Data Support
10. Reliability, Maintainability, and Availability (RM&A) Support
11. Inactivation and Disposal Support
12. Biochemical Engineering Support
Program Management: Service areas that are included under the Program Management Services discipline include but, are not limited to the following examples:
1. Financial Analysis and Budget Support
2. Quality Assurance (QA) Support
3. Functional and Direct Programmatic Administrative Support
4. Professional Development and Training Support
5. Analytical and Organizational Assessment Support
6. Database Administrators
7. Public Affairs and Multimedia Support
8. Logistics Support
9. Configuration Management (CM) Support
10. Information System (IS) Development, Information Assurance (IA), and Information Technology (IT) Support
11. Computer Systems Analysts
Q42. Will the Navy conduct an onramp after award of the initial set of SeaPort-NxG MACs in 2019 to allow for vendors that receive SeaPort-e task orders awards in 2019 to be eligible for SeaPort-NxG work?
A42. No, not in 2019. Please also refer to A29.
Q43. I’ve seen briefs that show NAVSUP as a participant in NXG and others that state NAVSUP is not participating in NxG. Also in the latest bank of Q & A, question #22 stated the only DoN activity not participating was NAVAIR. Will you please confirm if NAVSUP will or will not participate in NxG.
A43. NAVSUP is participating in SeaPort-NxG.
Q44. Must Offerors propose on all subcategories in a functional area?
A44. No, in order to qualify for a SeaPort-NxG MAC, an offerors’ proposal must demonstrate experience in direct support to the Department of the Navy related to one of the twenty-three functional areas covered by SeaPort-NxG. Please also see A7.
Q45. Within the CDCA Updates on Seaport Brief, on slide 14, there is an experience requirement that all US Navy experience must be from the prime proposal and must be verifiable via CPARS or government endorsement. What qualifies as a government endorsement?
A45. Since CDCA, the Government has refined the experience requirement. Direct Department of the Navy experience can be as a prime or as a subcontractor. For prime experience, providing a contract number will be sufficient. The Government will look up the contract in EDA to verify that the scope of work is applicable to one of the 23 functional areas of SeaPort-NxG and was in direct support of the Department of the Navy. For subcontractor experience, a copy of the subcontracting agreement which demonstrates a scope of work applicable to one of the 23 functional areas of SeaPort-NxG and in direct support of the Department of the Navy will be sufficient to qualify an offeror for a SeaPort-NxG MAC. The Government will not check CPARS or do any other type of quality assessment.
Q46. We understand that in order to “qualify” for an award, a vendor must be able to show experience in direct support of the Navy. However, will the RFP also allow for vendors to include other DoD or non DoD type experience to demonstrate capability in the 23 functional areas?
A46. Offerors must show direct support to “The Department of the Navy” in one or more of the 23 functional areas listed in Question 41. If the experience was in one of the 23 functional areas but was experience supporting DoD or non-DoD, that will not qualify an offeror for award of a SeaPort-NxG MAC.
Q47. Is the SeaPort Next Generation contract’s an IDIQ tool that existing Navy and other DOD agencies can utilize to acquire Engineering Support Services?
A47. SeaPort-NxG will be a set of multiple award IDIQ contracts (MACs) for use by the Department of the Navy (but see A22 regarding NAVAIR and its field activities) to acquire services in the 23 functional areas covered by SeaPort-NxG (Also see A41 for a list of the 23 functional areas).
Q48. Is the SeaPort Next Generation contract’s Scope of Work inclusive of Surveillance Systems to protect the Homeland? Is the SeaPort Next Generation contract’s Scope of Work inclusive of Physical Access Control Systems to protect the Homeland? Is the SeaPort Next Generation contract’s Scope of Work inclusive of Border Protection with the use of Electronic Security System? Is the SeaPort Next Generation contract’s Scope of Work inclusive of Drone Detection and Gun Shoot Detection? Is the SeaPort Next Generation contract’s Scope of Work inclusive of Intrusion Detection and Perimeter Protection to protect the Navy’s Facilities? Is the SeaPort Next Generation contract’s Scope of Work centric only to Information Systems?
A48. Offerors must show direct support to “The Department of the Navy” in one or more of the 23 functional areas listed in Question 41.
[END OF 27 February 2018 Q&A]
SeaPort-NxG Questions and Answers 6 March 2018
Q49a. Can more than one subsidiary of a corporate entity hold a MAC if the overarching corporate entity itself is not bidding for a MAC and the subsidiaries have their own different CAGE codes?
A49a. No. (See also Q15)
Q49b. Or if a holdings company or corporate entity is awarded a MAC on Seaport-NxG and declares all CAGE codes of all subsidiaries at the time of bid, could any subsidiary bid on task orders under the MAC held by the corporate entity?
A49b. Yes. (See also Q15)
Q50. The FBO notification dated Feb. 28, 2018 indicates that a document containing questions and answers is being posted. I cannot find the document. Is it possible that it did not post?
A50. The FBO amendment attachment did not post correctly on 28 Feb. It was posted successfully on 1 Mar. The following are all the attachments to date:
1. Q&A 14 Feb 2018
2. CDCA Updates on SeaPort Brief 3. Q&A 27 Feb 2018
4. Announcement 1 5. Q&A 6 Mar 2018
Q51. I am looking to register my business in SEAPORT, but the rolling admission is closed. When is it open?
A51. There will be no more rolling admissions for SeaPort-e. Interested, qualified companies are encouraged to submit a proposal in response to the upcoming SeaPort-NxG solicitation.
Q52. We have been tracking the SeaPort-NxG procurement for some time and noticed that the draft RFP and additional responses to questions were posted on FBO.gov yesterday. Is there something specific I need to do to register my company for the solicitation?
A52. The draft RFP has not been posted on FBO.gov yet. There is no registration for the solicitation. Recommend you periodically check FBO.gov for the posting of the Draft RFP and the ultimate formal RFP.
Q53. I attempted to find solicitation N0017818R7000 on NECO. However, it appears this solicitation does not exist on NECO.
A53. The solicitation for SeaPort-NxG will only be posted on FBO.gov. See Q1.
Q54. Would a SEAPORT E task order for work performed on a joint program – includes Navy aircraft, US Marine Corps aircraft and Air Force – be acceptable as a US Navy experience for SEAPORT NxG?
A54. It would if the work performed was in direct support to the Department of the Navy. Offerors are cautioned that just because a contract is issued by a Department of the Navy DODAAC (even a SeaPort-e contract/task order) does not guarantee that the work meets the requirements of “direct support to The Department of the Navy.”
Q55. Would the Government please consider following a limited price evaluation similar to other Multiple Award MACs such as RS3 where only a handful of LCATs are priced as part of vendors proposal submission?
A55. No. SeaPort-NxG will not have capped rates or a set of master labor categories that are tied to the overarching SeaPort-NxG MAC therefore there is no pricing required at the SeaPort-NxG MAC. Additionally, it is estimated that the preponderance of Task Orders issued under SeaPort-NxG will be issued as cost-reimbursement type orders which require a cost realism analysis as part of Task Order evaluation and award. (See also Q30)
Q56. Would the Government please provide more insight as to whether Technical and Management Volumes will be required as part of vendors proposal submission? If so how will these be evaluated?
A56. Typical technical and management volumes will not be required. The information that is provided by the offerors to meet the experience requirement (See Q7) will be verified (not evaluated) by the Government. The SeaPort-NxG RFP will contain specific proposal requirements.
Q57. If a contractor has experience in functional areas: 1. Software Engineering, Development, Programming, and Network Support and 2 Research and Development Support on a Navy Contract, then are they eligible for the NxG solicitation to submit a proposal for all 23 functional areas?
A57. Experience in any one functional area in direct support to The Department of the Navy is required to be awarded a SeaPort-NxG MAC. The MAC awards will not designate which of the functional areas awardees are qualified or eligible for. All awardees receive all functional areas. Post-award of the MACs, awardees may propose on any Task Order solicitation issued under the SeaPort-NxG MACs for any of the 23 functional areas that they chose.
Q58. Under Seaport-e, small businesses of all sizes and socio-economic status were able to obtain a prime contract and provide services directly to the Navy. The Navy bought many different types of services under Seaport-e, many of which were not primarily 541330/$38.5 including a high volume of program management and engineering services tasks. Small business (SB) of all sizes still had a shot because they could get a Seaport prime contract and compete for work directly as demonstrated by your market research. Under SeaPort Next Generation SB who focus on program management services or engineering services have little chance of winning the limited number of SeaPort Next Generation prime contracts and the ensuing task orders. This is because they won’t be able to compete successfully against the mature businesses that are more than twice their size, but who will still qualify as “small” under the $38.5M size standard the Navy has chosen as the single primary NAICS code for the IDIQ. This competitive dynamic is not speculative as it is clearly seen by the size of the winning SB prime contractors on the OASIS vehicle in the larger NAICS code lanes – namely - the larger the NAICS code for the lane, the larger the sb prime contractors are within those lanes. As we understand Seaport Next-Generation, the SB primes will all be considered “small” under the IDIQ primary $38.5M NAICS code. These SB primes will be priming task orders on program management and engineering services under the IDIQ, though under the NAICS codes truly applicable for the program management and engineering tasks most if not all of the Seaport Next Generation “small” primes would not be considered small. That really hurts the businesses that actually are considered small by the SBA for providing these program management and engineering services under the applicable NAICS codes such as 541611, 541330, 541990, etc. Moreover, these “small” Seaport Next Generation IDIQ award winners will have no incentive to sub to small businesses who actually are small under the applicable program management services or engineering NAICS codes because they won’t be required to have small business subcontracting plans because they are “small”, under the $38.5M primary IDIQ NAICS code. The likely result will be that the majority of small businesses who provide program management services or engineering services will be shut out of Seaport-Next Generation and by extension the Navy. If our understanding of the Navy’s Next Generation strategy is correct, there are serious implications for naval innovation, the Naval defense industrial base, and fairness to small businesses as a whole. Given the likely volume of program management and engineering tasks for which the $38.5M primary NAICS is not appropriate, will the Navy consider creating separately competed lanes for “business services” and “engineering (excluding the $38.5M exception)” under the same type of contracting model as OASIS? If not, then how is the Navy’s Seaport Next Generation CONOPS fair to small businesses legitimately operating as small businesses in the program management services and Engineering (without the exception) NAICS codes?
A58. SeaPort has always used only NAICS code 541330/$38.5. SeaPort-e historically has and continues to have vigorous and healthy competition amongst the ~3,200 contract holders, 90% of which are small businesses. SeaPort-e has been very successful supporting small business; since its inception 551 different small businesses have won task order competitions for work directly supporting the Department of the Navy. Further 54 different small businesses have grown to other than small in large part as a result of the work they won under SeaPort-e. The Navy's plan for SeaPort-NxG is to follow the SeaPort-e model to the greatest extent in order to maintain that healthy competitive atmosphere and continue to support the Navy's industrial base, in particular the small business industrial base that the Navy relies on today.
Q59. As you know that there has been several contracts and proposals that have come out on SEAPORTE for IT related projects for Defense Health Agency (DHA) for example: Defense Health Readiness Engineering Support and Defense Health Agency Cybersecurity Risk Management Operations Support at SCC Atlantic. Will these types of contracts for DHA count as support of the Navy for a contractor to bid SEAPORT NxG?
A59. See A58. Not all work contracted for via SeaPort-e is in direct support of the Department of the Navy. SSC Atlantic, as a working capital activity, provides a diverse range of support services to multiple federal organizations, including DHA. These orders are examples of work contracted via SeaPort that is not in direct support of the Department of the Navy and therefore, based on this experience alone, the Contractor would not be qualified for SeaPort-NxG.
SeaPort-NxG Questions and Answers 13 March 2018
Q60. If a contractor has performed work within the past five years (within one of the functional areas) in direct support of the Navy (i.e., Marine Corps), but that work was not executed under a SeaPort-e Task Order, is the contractor still eligible for a SeaPort-NXG MAC award?
A60. Yes, qualifying experience in direct support of the DoN is not limited to SeaPort-e Task Orders.
Q61. What specific information will be required for each proposed team member? For instance, will a list of proposed companies with their CAGE Code and DUNS number be sufficient? Or, will an assessment of each proposed team member’s experience against the 23 functional areas be required? Will prime contractors be able to use a teammates’ experience supporting the Department of the Navy as part of their proposal response? Having this guidance now will allow prospective offerors to begin compiling necessary information for their proposed team members.
A61. Only the Prime Offeror’s experience will be validated for award based on evidence of recent, relevant technical experience in one of the 23 functional areas in direct support of the DoN. Prime Contractors will not be able to use the experience of teammates to satisfy SeaPort-NxG’s requirement of providing direct support to the DoN. Instructions on the submission of Teammate Information will be provided in the RFP. See also A18 and A37.
Q62. I wanted to reach out to you and let you know how much the Navy’s industrial base appreciates the approach you have taken with the follow-on to Seaport-e, to include how you solicited information and input from industry on several occasions, the multiple briefings you made to stakeholders at various forums (such as the NAVSEA Industry Day and the CDCA Defense Summit) to raise awareness, and the more streamlined features of the NexGen contract. You have set a new standard in the Navy regarding inclusiveness and the idea of an integrated team seem more real. As most Navy services work is executed via Seaport, your business base has been awaiting information as to how NexGen would look for some time, and we are quite pleased. The majority of firms feared that the Navy might have been influenced to take an approach more similar to GSA OASIS with several contract pools, addressing multiple NAICS per contract pool, and utilized a restrictive points based proposal approach which could have eliminated portions of the Navy’s industrial base. We appreciate that the NexGen approach will be very similar to Seaport-e and will be simple and inclusive, which should reduce government and contractor transaction costs and provide the Navy with the largest possible business base and resources to execute the important work of the warfighter. As many challenges as other parts of the DoD and the Navy have with contracting timelines and approaches NexGen seems a breath of fresh air. Why was the Seaport-e contract a 15 year contract and NexGen is only 10 years?
A62. In accordance with DFARS 217.204 the ordering period of a task order contract awarded by DoD pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 2304a shall not exceed 10 years.
Q63. In reference to Q&A 58 - the Navy did not address the concerns I raised about the new SeaPort conops. Instead they highlighted that under the old Seaport conops, SB did quite well (which I agree with). The point is they are changing the mechanism that enabled those results. I believe that my concerns about the new plan is legitimate and that many small businesses providing services in the under 15M NAICS codes are going to lose out. If they limit the new Seaport SB lane to say, 40-60 businesses, it's only going to be the giant smalls/mid-tier that win a prime contract and the rest of us are on the outside looking in - a far cry from the old seaport-e model where 551 different small businesses got to be a prime performing work directly for the Navy. However, the real issue is running a substantial amount of 541330 and 541611 work under a contract competed under the 541330/38.5 exception - that's just not fair.
A63. Since its inception, SeaPort has only ever used the NAICS Code 541330 under the Military and Aerospace Equipment and Military Weapons exception. That is not changing under SeaPort-NxG which will continue to utilize NAICS Code 541330 under the Military and Aerospace Equipment and Military Weapons exception. Additionally, the Navy is not limiting the number of Small Businesses (or Large) who can receive an NxG MAC. All businesses that qualify (see A7A7) will receive a MAC no matter how many that turns out to be.
Q64. The Navy has previously expressed a desire to significantly reduce the number of awardees for Seaport-NxG. How does the Navy plan to accomplish this? Does the Navy expect the requirement “in direct support of the Department of the Navy” to be sufficient, or will new evaluation criteria be included in the solicitation?
A64. The Navy will award MACs to all companies that meet the criteria for award listed in the RFP however many that turns out to be.
Q65. Reference Answers 7, 44 and 45, will large business offerors be required to propose to more than one functional area to increase their probability of receiving an award, or will one functional area be sufficient?
A65. No. One functional area is sufficient to receive a SeaPort-NxG award. Listing more than one functional area that an Offeror has provided direct support to the DoN will not increase the likelihood of receiving a SeaPort-NxG award.
[END of 13 MAR 2018 Q&A]
SeaPort-NxG Questions and Answers 20 March 2018
Q66. Our company is selling our current government division to a WOSB. All of our past performance and current Navy contracts will go to this new entity. Since the new entity will be providing direct support to the Navy (as you have defined it) in one of the 23 functional areas, we want to make sure this new entity will be able to propose on the Seaport-NGX. Please confirm.
A66. If the sale and contract novation occur prior to the closing of the SeaPort-NxG solicitation, then the relevant experience would belong to the WOSB.
Q67. Will the NIST 800-171 standard for securing controlled unclassified data (CUI) be a requirement on the Seaport-NxG solicitation?
A67. Yes, the solicitation will contain the clause DFARS 252.204-7012 Safeguarding Covered Defense Information and Cyber Incident Reporting.
Q68. Will the government give preferential evaluation treatment to those bidders who respond to both Functional Areas versus only one area? Or will the government do two separate independent evaluations for each?
A68. The Government is not giving preferential treatment to Offerors who respond to both functional areas over those who respond to one functional area. Offerors are required to address only one functional area in order to be qualified for a SeaPort-NxG award. See also A57 and A65.
Q69. If we have an existing contract do we need to submit a proposal for NxG? If not, will we see NxG releases on our current Seaport-e portal?
A69. SeaPort-NxG and SeaPort-e are two separate Multiple Award Contracts (MACs) and portals. Having a SeaPort-e contract does not automatically qualify a company for a SeaPort- NxG award; a valid proposal must be submitted. See A7 for the qualification criteria. All SeaPort-NxG Task Order solicitations will only be available to NxG MAC holders on the NxG portal.
Q70. I noticed on the FBO document; it mentioned SPAWAR, NAVFAC, NAVSUP, ONR, and USMC. Will past performance at the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) suffice for the required relevant experience to pursue the SeaPort-NxG opportunity?
A70. Direct experience with any DoN activity, including ONI, may be qualifying experience.
Q71. Will being proposed as a team member on another Offeror's SeaPort-NxG proposal preclude me from winning a SeaPort-NxG contract as a prime?
A71. No. Also, there is no limit on the number of times a company can be proposed as a team member.
Q72. Does the Presolicitation announcement under solicitation number N0017818R7000 contain requirements similar to a current contract? If possible, please provide the current contract number. Or, is this a new requirement for the government?
A72. As noted in the synopsis, solicitation N0017818R7000 is for SeaPort-NxG which is a replacement for SeaPort-e. There are over 3000 current contracts under SeaPort-e.
Q73. Would industrial engineering work completed as a subcontractor for BUMED (but completed under a NAVSEA prime contract) in the last five years be applicable experience for a Seaport NxG submittal?
A73. If the scope of the work clearly shows that the effort was in direct support of the DON and it is associated with at least one of the 23 functional areas, it may be relevant experience. The issuing activity is not criteria, the scope of work is.
[END of 20 MAR 2018 Q&A]
SeaPort-NxG Questions and Answers 27 March 2018
Q74. If a firm was a 2nd tier subcontractor for a Prime contractor providing professional support to the Navy, would being a 2nd tier subcontractor qualify that firm for SeaPort-NxG? Please advise.
A74. As long as the work performed by the 2nd tier subcontract is in direct support of the DON and it is associated with at least one of the 23 functional areas, the 2nd tier subcontractor may be found eligible. See A45 for additional information on how subcontractors, at any level, demonstrate this experience.
Q75. A2 provided a notional schedule including a draft RFP to be released in Q2FY18. Is the Draft RFP still expected this quarter and can you provide an update to the schedule for solicitation and award?
A75. The draft RFP is expected to be released the week of 2 April 2018. The remainder of the notional schedule provided in A2 is still valid.
Q76. I did not see the SeaPort NxtGen briefings and draft SOW on FBO. Can you direct me to the location where I can download them? (I do see the Q&A responses).
A76. The only briefing is the attachment entitled “CDCA Updates on SeaPort Brief”. A draft SOW has not been posted but will be available as part of the draft solicitation.
Q77. Is the SeaPort-NxG contract being viewed as a logical “follow-on” to SeaPort-e? Or is SeaPort-NxG being viewed as a new requirement?
A77. SeaPort-NxG is a replacement contract vehicle to SeaPort-e.
Q78. With respect to Q&A #24 (posted on 14 Feb 2018), if the SeaPort-NxG contracts are awarded before the period of performance end date of a company’s SeaPort-e contract, will that company be allowed to hold simultaneously their “legacy” SeaPort-e contract and the new SeaPort-NxG contract?
Q79. I have heard there have been recent changes made in the System for Award Management (SAM). What do I need to do to in order to register?
A79. Effectively immediately due to a new security measure implemented by GSA, every new registrant is now required to provide an original, signed notarized letter identifying the authorized Entity Administrator allowed to register in SAM and make changes to a registration before a registration or registration change will be activated. For further information on the contents of the letter and the mailing address for the Federal Service Desk go to https://www.fsd.gov/fsd- gov/answer.do?sysparm_kbid=d2e67885db0d5f00b3257d321f96194b&sysparm_search=kb00 13183 . A new registration or change to a previous registration may now take several days to become active depending on both the information provided passing existing validations, and the entity’s delivery of the notarized letter. GSA has posted information at this link, https://www.gsa.gov/about-us/organization/federal-acquisition-service/office-of-systems- management/integrated-award-environment-iae/sam-update.
Q80. In regards to the Government’s Answer to Q20:1) please confirm that the answer applies to WOSB and not just 8(a) companies, based on how the question was framed;(2) please confirm that, for a WOSB potential offeror on the SB set aside portion of SeaPort-NxG, the size standard applicable is $38.5M, applying the NAICS 541330 exception for marine engineering and naval architecture.
A80. Yes, the answer applies to WOSB and not just 8(a) companies. The size standard of $38.5M in average annual receipts for NAICS 541330, utilizing the exception for marine engineering and naval architecture, applies to all Offerors for the SeaPort-NxG MAC awards. There is no SB set-aside portion to the SeaPort-NxG MAC. Task Orders will be set-aside on an individual basis limited to those awardees that are identified as SBs (or other applicable socio-economic group) in their SeaPort-NxG MAC.
[END of 27 MAR 2018 Q&A]
SeaPort-NxG Questions and Answers April 2018
Q81. If the contractor system complies with NIST SP 800-171 and subsequent NIST/FIPS IT security requirements, will a third party organizational assessment or an authority-to-operate be required prior to any contractor award?
A81. No third party assessment or Authority to Operate will be required. Offerors will be required to certify compliance with DFARS 252.204-7008.
Q82. If a small business subsidiary of a large company bids on the MAC, can it have other small business subsidiaries from the same parent company as subcontractors?
A82. Since these companies share the same corporate entity as their parent company, they are considered affiliates. A subsidiary carries the same size standard as their parent company, so in this example, all of these entities would be considered large businesses. Also, as noted in A15, there will be only one MAC per corporate entity.
Q83 FAR Part 15-404 and DFARS Part 215.404 discuss the requirements for contract fee determination. The current Seaport-e base contract: i) sets a seemingly arbitrary fee limit on ensuing Seaport-e task orders for prime contractor labor, ii) establishes an arbitrary ceiling on pass-through that effectively limits the fee available on subcontractor performance, and iii) does this without taking into account the actual task order work to be performed. This determination was made nearly 15 years ago when the competitive landscape for talent, particularly in computer science and engineering, was quite different. What is the structured approach that the Navy will use to determine the fee on a task order by task order basis? Will it use the DFARS weighted guidelines approach? Will arbitrary limits be removed from the base contract? Will subcontractor fee continue to be restricted to that of the prime contractor notwithstanding the complexity of the subcontractor’s particular tasking?
A83. Because the task orders are subject to Fair Opportunity, the structured approach to profit analysis will not be used. The SeaPort-NxG MAC will contain maximum pass-through and fixed fee rate caps of 8% on CPFF type orders which are considered appropriate since, as stated in FAR 15.404-4, the contractor assumes the least cost risk in a cost-plus-fixed-fee level-of-effort contract/task order. The MAC maximum fee rate proposed for each task order by the prime contractor will flow down to all subcontractors/consultants included in the task order proposal.
Q84. There is a growing sense in industry that bids are becoming more and more disconnected from actual execution cost and fee. This has been especially true when offerors are left to choose which labor categories might apply to a body of work. In execution, contracts are very often not being worked consistently with the manner bid. Cost ceiling is being approached much earlier than originally contracted with fewer hours supplied. Are there any changes to Seaport-NxG to ensure that solicitations specify those labor categories that will actually be used for the work described?
A84. The SeaPort-NxG MAC will not contain labor categories. The CONOPS for SeaPort-NxG will encourage ordering activities to include the estimated labor mix and level-of-effort in their task order solicitations. Specific concerns regarding task order solicitations should be addressed to that ordering activity PCO.
Q85 Questions 58 and 63 address part of the small business industrial base issues that the Navy faces by selecting only one NAICS code for such a large and diverse body of work over such a long period of time. The Research & Development professional services industry base should be considered as well. SBA NAICS code size limits are defined as they are to promote competition at the level of company size pertaining to the actual work being contracted at the time of such a contract action. The NAICS codes selected for the OASIS contracting portfolio recognized this dilemma and used multiple NAICS codes in recognition of the range of work expected on the MAC vehicle. It permits the PCO to select an appropriate NAICS pool to solicit responses at the time the work is defined and the contract is needed. We are not advocating pools. What precludes authorizing multiple NAICS codes such as 541330 (base and individual exceptions), 541715, 541611, and others as necessary by modification to be used by the PCO at the time of task order solicitation?
A85. The definition of the NAICS code 541330 with the Military exception most appropriately covers the work to be performed under SeaPort-NxG. While there may be elements of a SeaPort-NxG task order statement of work that touch on other NAICS Codes (541715, 541611, etc.), the statement of work in its entirety is more appropriately classified under NAICS Code 541330.
Q86. Will the Navy please conduct an early on ramp in 2019 to allow existing SeaPort e holders to transition to SeaPort Next Gen without a gap? With SeaPort-NxG award in 1Q FY 2019 and SeaPort-e extension through December 2019, a potential prime can get the required Navy experience on Seaport-e but be precluded from winning a SeaPort-NxG IDIQ for another 5 years. This does not appear to be in the Navy’s best interest nor their intent. Having spent all the business development, capture and bid and proposal resources to support the Navy work, there will be a gap without starting the on-board process early in 2019 so that existing SeaPort-e holders can get an award right after the Seaport-e contract expires. We suggest starting the procurement process no later than April 2019 to assure award before Seaport e is shut down.
A86. A rolling admission is not planned for 2019 but will occur prior to the five-year point. It should be noted that qualifying experience in direct support of the DoN is not limited to SeaPort-e. See A60 and A42.
Q87. My company is a service-disabled veteran-owned small business and the owner/President is a retired US Navy senior officer with extensive experience performing “work in direct support of the Navy” while on active duty during operational and Pentagon tours, etc. During his time at the Pentagon, he specifically gained extensive experience in all areas of DON resourcing and budgeting. Also, the company has performed one job as a subcontractor for a prime on a contract with the US Navy Strategic Systems Program (within the last year). The work was within one of the 23 functional areas that you identified. Will the owner’s Naval experience during his career, alone, allow the company to bid on Seaport-Nxg? If not, will the company’s work as a subcontractor on a US Navy Strategic Systems Program contract within the last year allow the company to bid on Seaport-Nxg?
[END of 3 APRIL 2018 Q&A]