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Q. Is it possible to have more pre-proposals for larger projects so that small businesses can meet with and ask questions of the primes? It can be hard to know what primes are bidding on or have won a given contract.
A. Most larger projects we solicit include a site visit and/or pre-proposal conference that firms can attend. We consider these meetings essential to ensure a good understanding by offerors of the solicitation requirements, as well as opportunities for teaming between primes and subcontractors, and large and small business firms. Also, every contract award is published on the Fedbizopps.gov website for subcontracting opportunities.
Q. What percentage of Baltimore District FY14 prime contracts will go to small businesses?
A. The Baltimore District fully supports the national policy of providing small, small disadvantaged businesses, HUBZone small businesses and women-owned small businesses the opportunity to provide supplies and services which are within their capability. We are committed to these worthwhile and varied socioeconomic programs and through teamwork, we will continue to help support the nation. In FY14, 23% of prime contracts will be awarded to small businesses. Some additional number of contracts awarded to large businesses will include small business subcontractors.
Q. At what dollar amount does the small business size standard change?
Q. How will the Baltimore District assist small firms to break through bonding access barriers?
A. The size standards are for the most part expressed in either millions of dollars (those proceeded by “$”) or number of employees (those without the “$”). A size standard is the largest that a concern can be and still qualify as a small business for Federal Government programs. For the most part, size standards are the average annual receipts or the average employment of a firm.
For more information on these size standards, please visit: http://www.sba.gov/size
Q. Are there small business contracting opportunities in the surveying work that occurs in some engineering projects?
A. Small businesses are the engine of our economy and a vital part of the Department of Defense procurement process. With our ever-changing needs, small and small disadvantaged businesses face new and different challenges. Information is available from the Small Business Administration about surety bonds: SBA Website.
One way to increase bonding capacity is to joint venture with another company.
A. We do not separate surveying from A-E services at this time. In FY14, we anticipate multiple A-E contracts with small business set asides. Another avenue is to subcontract to a larger company that has an existing A-E contract.
Q. Will the Multiple Award Military Munitions Services, II include a small business set-aside?
A. Yes, the Multiple Award Military Munitions Services (MAMMS) II will include a small business set aside. Stay apprised of our contracting opportunities via FedBizOpps for further information.
Q. Does the Baltimore District hold monthly vendor outreach sessions for small businesses?
A. The Baltimore District does not hold monthly vendor meetings for small businesses. Baltimore District personnel attend small business-specific conferences and fairs throughout the year, where interested small businesses can interface with decision makers. There are opportunities for small businesses to meet personnel at outreach events, held throughout the year, and also to meet one-on-one with the Deputy for Small Business and Contracting Division.
Q. What is the dollar threshold at which acquisitions go unrestricted versus small business set aside?
A. There is not a dollar threshold, per se. Market research (often times in the form of a sources sought) will be issued on FedBizOpps (FBO) to determine if small businesses can perform the work. Typically if two or more small businesses are able to perform the work, the acquisition will be solicited as a small business set aside.
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Q. How is the decision made to pursue Design-Bid-Build (DB) versus Design-Build? When DBB is selected, what goes into making it a one- versus two-phase contract?
A. We base our decision to use DBB versus DB on several variables. These may include timing of design or funding, customer preference, complexity of the work, and other factors. Projects that are fully designed (DBB) may be solicited for construction a number of ways, including sealed bidding, two-step sealed bidding, or request for proposals (best value or low-price/technically acceptable). Design Build contracts are required to be solicited using two-phase selection procedures, unless another procedure is authorized. A one-step design build selection procedure may only be used for military construction, where no designs are to be submitted with the technical proposals, and must be approved by Headquarters USACE prior to usage.
Q. Why does the Baltimore District use large-scale Multiple Award and Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contracts?
A. We use MATOCS as one tool among many to achieve our acquisition objectives and goals. MATOCS allow us to select a well qualified pool of awardees who may then compete for specific projects under task order solicitations. It saves on acquisition costs and time and allows us to meet our customer’s needs for project execution. It leads to better quality projects as the MATOC holders increase their understanding of how USACE and our customers require projects to be executed.
Q. For phase-funded projects, how can contractors more readily identify the project’s current phase? Could this be made clear on the forecast and FedBizOpps?
A. The District usually includes the phase of the project in the project title for each separate solicitation.
Q. Is Design-Bid-Build becoming the mechanism of choice over Design-Build for military construction and secure environment due to the sensitive nature of these projects, or are there other drivers responsible for the uptick in Design-Bid-Build?
A. Design-Bid-Build is being more widely used when funding stream, project milestones, and customer preferences allow for it.
Q. What dollar amount is anticipated for the various project delivery methods (Design-Build, Design-Bid-Build, Multiple Award Construction Contract, etc.)?
A. As it currently stands, in FY14, the Baltimore District will award $1.2 billion in contracts using several project delivery methods, including those mentioned above. Our Business With Us page has a current picture of upcoming contracting opportunities: FY-2014 Contracting Opportunities
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Q. What steps is the Baltimore District taking to reduce paper usage?
A. Speaking only of the acquisition process, the Baltimore District has significantly reduced paper usage in the last several years. We no longer issue hard copy solicitations, plans, and specs. In addition, the contracting office recently implemented the Virtual Contracting Enterprise-Paperless Contract File (VCE-PCF) and VCE Contracting Officer’s Representative Module (VCE-CORM). These two systems allow contract documents to be filed electronically for review, contract administration, and records holding.