Acquisition Consulting to Avoid Protests
The number of protests filed and the number of protests being sustained are on the rise. This trend can be attributed to the fact that federal budgets are tight, creating more competition for finite opportunities, and the increase in long-term, large-dollar procurements that represent “make or break” situations for private industry. The rise in the protest sustain rate unfortunately must be attributed to faulty government source selection actions, a situation fueled by a scarcity of highly skilled acquisition professionals and increasing congressional acquisition reform mandates.
The Solution: Centre Federal’s Protest Negation Program
These trends can be significantly reversed through the introduction of expert professional services offered by Centre. The Centre Federal Protest Negation Solution is unique and distinct from procurement support services offered currently in that its focus is on providing timely services during the procurement process to review and evaluate federal procurement actions before they are finalized to assess and negate potential grounds for protests. It is simply not effective to review procurement actions after they have been finalized, because at that juncture the record is already set and the damage has been done. The time for taking effective action is during the procurement process, because that is when proactive measure can be implemented to negate or reverse potential protest grounds. Indeed, it is a very common practice among successful federal contractors to employ independent proposal reviewers before their proposals are submitted. So-called Red Teams are charged with reviewing the contractor’s draft proposal for compliance with solicitation requirements and credibility. The Centre Federal Protest Negation Program enables federal agencies to be similarly proactive and obtain timely advice and recommendations for counteracting conditions that lead to protests.
How It Works
The Centre Federal Protest Negation Program offers three distinct program levels that will minimize the number of protests experienced and will significantly reduce the number of sustained protests. The program levels are summarized below:
Level One: Total Program Support. For major programs and procurements, our Total Program Support is recommended. At this level, Centre Federal professionals actively participate in all stages of the procurement process to ensure successful outcomes.
Level Two: “Red Team” Program Support. For more routine and lower-dollar-value procurements where Total Program Support service package may not be warranted, Centre Federal offers a “Red Team” support package. With this program, our experts meet with agency buyers at the outset of the procurement process to assess program objectives and plan the procurement to fulfill legal and policy mandates and achieve successful outcomes. Then, as the procurement proceeds, we provide “on call” support to address potentially troublesome questions or issues as they arise. Once a preliminary source selection decision is made, we meet with the Government procurement team to review the entire procurement process, with special attention paid to proposal evaluations and discussions with offerors, to negate the most likely grounds for successful protests. Finally, we assist the procurement office to prepare a formal source selection decision that accurately documents the entire process and provides a rational and supported basis for the award decision.
Level Three: Protest Awareness Training & Support. Finally, as a supplement to the above services, Centre Federal offers comprehensive training and education services to assist federal agencies to effectively and professionally conduct their procurement obligations. Centre Federal professionals regularly monitor new legislation, new regulations, and emerging policy developments to enable our federal customers to stay abreast of and master new legal mandates and policy requirements. Our extensive knowledge and experience allows us to create customized training events, establish comprehensive training programs, and provide coaching and mentoring services to groups and individuals to enhance the effectiveness of federal procurement offices.