Is the Air Force Agile Cyber Technology 2 (ACT2) a Fit for Your Company?
The Air Force Agile Cyber Technology 2 (ACT2) is expected to be released either this month or the next. This is a $950 million, 60 months (with another 60 months grace period), Multiple Award IDIQ, Cost-Plus-Fixed-Fee/FFP contract and is expected to have 6 awardees. This is a set-aside for Small Businesses on the 541712 NAICS (up to 1000 employees) so almost all SB firms with proper qualifications can participate.
The initial Agile Cyber Technology Contract (which will end in July 2017) was awarded to 3 large and 3 small businesses in July 2012. During the life of the contract, approximately $251 million has been obligated of which over 72% has gone to one awardee, Assured Information Security, Inc, an SB firm. The two other SB firms, Radiance Technologies Inc. and Global Infotek Inc, have had considerably smaller pieces of the pie. The Air Force started its market research for the recompete way back in 2016. They finally concluded that they can issue this solicitation under a Total Small Business set-aside.
Top-Secret Facility Clearance
Note that although the original requirement was that firms would be required to have Secret Facility Clearance at the time of Award and that they should get Top-Secret Facility Clearance after the award, the draft RFP is now asking that only those firms who have Top-Secret Facility Clearance at the time of proposal submission can participate. This leaves out quite a number of companies. Nonetheless, my research shows that over 460 small business firms do have the Top-Secret Facility Clearance and the NAICS 541712 capabilities, so the competition is going to be stiff.
Having written the proposal for one of the current incumbents, I was fairly involved in shaping the requirements of ACT2 as well. The proposal will be around 100-120 pages with the main emphasis on:
- Development and Design Engineering
- Management Approach
- Experience and Qualifications
Since this is a best value evaluation, the non-price factors are significantly more important than price. Since the above 3 factors are of equal importance, this is one of those proposals that all sections need to shine and be the best your firm can produce, and there is no specific focus for evaluation. This includes the selection of the management and implementation team (whose resumes must be included) as well as the development and engineering approach. Due to the stiff completion, and the capabilities of all involved firms, I highly recommend the involvement of third-party proposal development firms for post Pink Team/Red Team reviews and completion, in addition to your own in-house teams.
An ACT2 contract for any firm will provide it with increasingly lucrative opportunities for the next 10 years. Even though it requires Top-Secret Facility Clearance, the competition is still stiff and you need to make sure that your proposal is prepared by competent in-house proposal teams augmented by suitably selected SMEs. And finally you should increase you win probability by getting outside proposal development firms involved in the proposal preparation process, including in the reviews and post-review completion phases.