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5 Steps to Doing Business with NCI Agency

Our acquisition process may seem overwhelming at first, but it is designed to make sure company proposals are looked at fairly. Below we have outlined a few things you should do to work with us. We have also addressed some of your frequently asked questions.

STEP 1: Decide if you are a fit for our Basic Ordering Agreements (BOA) Programme

The BOA Programme is an accelerated procurement procedure used by NCI Agency to acquire commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products and services. This procedure might be a good fit for you if your company is a small-to-medium enterprise. BOA competitions have short-term performance periods and are COTS-oriented.

It is a two-step contracting procedure. First, you and the NCI Agency establish a framework agreement, specifying all basic contract provisions, for a range of COTS goods and services. Your company would also have to get a Declaration of Eligibility. For more on that, see Step 3. Once this step is completed your company will be included in our BOA vendors database.

The second step takes place when there is an actual BOA competition. The contracting officer would match the vendors in the database with the requirements for the competition, and the solicitation documents would be sent out to those vendors.

All open BOA competitions can be found here. Questions on our BOA Programme should go to [email protected].

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STEP 2: Check out our open competitions

If the BOA Programme does not seem like the right fit for your organization there are other options. And even if your company joins our BOA Programme, you might still want to consider bidding in our open competitions.

We hold open competitions through Invitations for Bid, or IFBs, where we use two different evaluation methods to determine the awardee:

  • Lowest Price, Technically-Compliant: In this situation, only price criteria will determine the award.
  • Best Value: Price will not be the main driver for best value competitions. Other technical, qualitative criteria will also be considered.

Click here to learn more about these evaluation methods.

Open competitions are listed here. The opportunities are separated into three categories: Requests for Information (RFI), International Competitive Bids (ICB), and BOAs.

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STEP 3: Get a Declaration of Eligibility

Now that you have decided to compete for an Agency contract, you need to work with your national delegation to get a Declaration of Eligibility.

The Declaration of Eligibility certifies that your company has the necessary financial, technical and professional competence to bid.

Prior to a competition, the Agency will issue a Notification of Intent, which alerts industry to an upcoming business opportunity. The notification will include a deadline for the Agency to receive Declarations of Eligibility (DoE) for all companies interested in competing. The DoE is how our acquisition office will know you are eligible to bid in the competition and include you on the bidders list.

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STEP 4: Prepare a competitive bid

Study the solicitation documents closely to make sure you understand the requirements. You will need to prepare a few documents, such as a detailed proposal and a bid schedule where you will propose your prices.

Create a detailed outline of your bid, and make sure you address the information specifically required by the bidding instructions. After we issue an IFB, we sometimes add additional information in the form of amendments. Make sure you also address the content of amendments, if needed, in your bid.

Take advantage of the question-and-answer period before the bid closes. Ask any questions you may have in writing, and confirm that we receive them. Q&A are also the only opportunity you will have to get approval for a waiver, or deviation from our requirements.

Q&As are sent to all bidders to ensure fairness and transparency without identifying the bidder, so be careful not to reveal your technical solution in the question.

When in doubt, contact the project’s contracting officer!

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STEP 5: Learn from the process

If your company is selected, congratulations! The work is not over. Now you will need to deliver on what you proposed in your bid.

If your bid was unsuccessful, don’t give up! We have a plan in place to make sure your company can learn from the experience. You can ask for a debriefing on why your company was not selected by contacting the contracting officer. Anyone who asks will get one. It can be in-person or by Skype.

During the debriefing we will not compare your bid to other companies’ submissions. The debriefing we provide is tailored to your company and specific aspects of the bid your company submitted. During the debriefing, you will learn the strengths and weaknesses of your bid.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity! The debriefing will give your company extremely important information to better your chances in future competitions. Interested companies are also invited to look at the reports of past contract awards that may provide relevant information for future bids.

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