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Review and Finalize Request for Proposals (RFP)

The preliminary request for proposals (RFP), which was developed during the Start Request for Proposals (RFP) Development topic of the Prepare Project task of Process Step 2: Evaluate Sources, outlines Client requirements and contract expectations. After the Purchase/SCM Team has conducted activities relating to the Collect Ideas and Build Fact Base and Develop Sourcing Strategy tasks of Process Step 2: Evaluate Sources, the RFP must be revisited (including statement of objectives (SOO), statement of work (SOW), specifications, and product descriptions) to ensure that the document is clear of loopholes and addresses all the necessary requirements and conditions of the purchase. RFPs must be amended when changes such as quantity, specifications, delivery schedule, date of receipt of proposals, or changes to clarify or correct solicitation ambiguities or defects must be made. Such amendments are made by the Contracting Officer and are referenced in the Issue Amendments topic of the Perform Solicitation-Related Activities task of Process Step 2: Evaluate Sources. The Contracting Officer is responsible for finalizing the RFP in working with the Client.

A review of the preliminary RFP must ensure the following:

RFP and supporting documents abide by the relevant statutes and regulations (or must be adjusted)

Requirements are altered to comply with the industry's and/or suppliers' capabilities

RFP is free of non-value-added process steps, in accordance with the value chain analysis

Assumptions supporting the RFP are still valid (if not, new assumptions should be spelled out and the RFP adjusted accordingly)

RFP promotes Postal Service best value

RFP describes how proposals will be evaluated

RFP is compatible with schedule or performance constraints

Risk mitigation criteria are built into the RFP

RFP states the Postal Service's expectation regarding data rights and intellectual property

RFP correctly and clearly describes Postal Service expectations regarding contract performance, especially in performance-based contracting

RFP requires suppliers to provide necessary cost or pricing data to support a determination of price reasonableness or cost realism

RFP requires proposals to include both free on board (f.o.b.) origin and destination prices for transportation analysis, when appropriate (additional information on f.o.b. origin and destination prices can be found in the Shipping topic of the Complete Delivery task of Process Step 4: Deliver and Receive Requirements)

RFP describes any applicable security considerations

RFP defines the type of proposal

Types of Proposals

Proposals may be made in writing or orally:

Written proposal - provides a clearer understanding of the requirement and should be used whenever practicable.

Oral proposal - used when the written proposal is impracticable (e.g., processing a written solicitation would cause a delay detrimental to the Postal Service or a standing price quotation is being verified). Oral presentations may speed up the evaluation process and provide a better picture of both the supplier's understanding of the proposal's requirements and its proposed approach to meeting the Postal Service's needs.

Standing price quotations - if the practice is for suppliers to furnish standing price quotations on supplies or services required on a recurring basis, then this information may be used instead of issuing a written proposal for each purchase. The Contracting Officer must ensure that the price information is current and that the Postal Service obtains the benefit of the suppliers' trade discounts.

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Presolicitation Workshops

Presolicitation workshops are held to inform interested suppliers about the upcoming opportunity, in an effort to generate their input for the final RFP. These workshops help establish early and open dialogue with prospective suppliers to ensure their understanding of the Postal Service's needs and obtain recommendations for solutions.

The Contracting Officer prepares the agenda and assigns responsibilities for the presolicitation workshop; briefings include a discussion of all pertinent information related to the activity associated with the proposed need or project. During this workshop, suppliers have the opportunity to comment on the proposed RFP. Suppliers' comments can be provided orally during the workshop or in writing. Written comments can be submitted before or after the workshop.

To attract and retain quality suppliers, develop true strategic relationships, and spur communication of innovative solutions without the fear of suppliers' capabilities and ideas becoming known to competitors, the Postal Service will protect proprietary business information to the extent required by law and good business practice. The Contracting Officer analyzes suppliers' verbal and written inputs for incorporation into the relevant portions of the RFP.

Verify Available Resources

Total cost of ownership (TCO) estimates should be reviewed to confirm that they remain at or below the funding objective, established in the Assess Resources discussion of the Conceptualize Need task of Process Step 1: Identify Needs, for the project to be sustainable. Otherwise, the Purchase/SCM Team should revisit the requirement and RFP documentation to make appropriate adjustments. If the TCO estimate exceeds the funding objective, the RFP must be adjusted to reflect accurate project scope, schedule, prices, and other criteria accordingly, so the expected cost falls within requested funding levels.

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Draft Request for Proposals (RFP) Review

RFP drafts should be circulated to, and reviewed by, any organization that will be involved in the project.

Contract Types

The RFP should specify a particular type of contract to provide a basis for comparing proposals, in accordance with Provision 4-1: Standard Solicitation Provisions. Potential suppliers should submit proposals in response to the contract type specified. The RFP should state whether alternate proposals containing a different contract type will be accepted. Clause B-3: Contract Type must be included in all contracts awarded without issuing a written solicitation.

Approval Authorities

If a proposed contract award or modification will exceed $10 million, the Vice President, Supply Management (VP, SM) must give prior written approval to the individual purchase plan and the proposed contract award or modification. Written approval of the proposed contract award or modification from the VP, SM serves as the delegation of authority required if the proposed award or modification exceeds the Contracting Officer's delegated authority.

Actions Exceeding a Contracting Officer's Delegated Authority

A Contracting Officer may take a contractual action (a purchase, modification, or termination) exceeding his or her authority after receiving a written delegation of authority from a Contracting Officer having and authorized to redelegate the required authority. The redelegation must be placed in the contract file. When determining the appropriate redelegation authority, Contracting Officers must consider the anticipated total dollar value of the action

Other Topics Considered

Start Request for Proposals (RFP) Development topic, Prepare Project task, Process Step 2: Evaluate Sources

Develop and Finalize Sourcing Strategy topic, Develop Sourcing Strategy task, Process Step 2: Evaluate Sources

Issue Amendments topic, Perform Solicitation-Related Activities task, Process Step 2: Evaluate Sources

Shipping topic, Complete Delivery task, Process Step 4: Deliver and Receive Requirements

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