NASA, industry helped cook up the final RFP for SEWP V

Tuesday - 8/20/2013, 3:41pm EDT

In developing version five of its SEWP governmentwide acquisition contract, NASA pleaded with industry for feedback.

NASA went out of its way to schedule group and individual meetings with vendors, and it used social media tools to discuss the creation of the 10-year, $10 billion multiple award contract.

Late last week, NASA released the outcome of all that feedback in the SEWP V request for proposals.

"The SEWP V industry day was well attended with over 600 people, representing over 400 companies," said SEWP Program Manager Joanne Woytek in an interview on In Depth with Francis Rose before NASA released the RFP. "Industry gave us a lot of feedback, which was good because too often industry is reluctant to say anything."

That feedback ended with NASA splitting the solicitation into four groups — one for computer-based systems and three for supporting equipment.

"Each of the groups have specific requirements and functional tasks that must be met by the offerings in that group," the RFP stated.

NASA is also restricting certain products to only small businesses. For instance, mass storage devices are set aside for service disabled, veteran-owned businesses and Historically Underutilized Business Zone firms, while server support services is open to all small businesses.

NASA is keeping the computer-based systems and servers, and the networking, security and video conferencing tools categories are open to all bidders.

Responses to the RFP are due by Oct. 14. The current SEWP contract expires in 2014.

Interestingly, NASA made the source selection committee public. It will be led by NASA Goddard Chief Information Officer Adrian Gardner and will include Woytek, Darlene Coen, Natesa Robinson, George Rumney and Nancy Palm.

Recently, agencies are using SEWP IV more during the end of the fiscal year than in the past, Woytek said.

"I'm thinking people are more catching up where they would have been earlier in the year because of all the budget issues," she said. "People are now getting their act together and getting purchasing done. I think they are putting more thought into how they are buying during the earlier parts of the year and that's why I'm expecting this year to have been slower. But I think now September will be busier because agencies are waiting to see what's left in the pot."

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