You still have time to go after the $5 billion DoS DiPSS bid

The U.S. Department of State (DoS) has a requirement for Diplomatic Platform Support Services (DiPSS) to provide a full range of services for Life Support Services, Logistics Services (LSS&L), and Operations and Maintenance (O&M) services to DoS and other U.S. Government agencies across the globe. DoS anticipates a large portion of the contract work will focus on locations in the Middle East and South Central Asia contingency environments; however, DiPSS will be available to other Bureaus, Posts, Missions, and agencies operating in other areas.

A Total Small Business set-aside, DiPSS is for one base year and nine options years (a total of 10 years) and is a multiple award IDIQ contracts with a total value of $5 billion. Its Sources Sought was originally circulated by DoS by the name of DOSCAP in July 2015 but was later renamed to DPSS in March 2016 and finally DiPSS. The solicitation was issued on 9 Jan 2017 and was due on 24 February, but because DoS has not answered the questions put to it by contractors, it has extended the solicitation 3 times and now it is due on May 5, 2017. So there is enough time to prepare a proposal if you have not started yet.


Per the SOW, these are the main Service Categories that you need to perform under:

  • Task Order Management
  • Logistics Services, Critical Supplies (High Threat Post)
  • Operations & Maintenance, Life Support, and Logistics Services (High Threat Posts)
  • Projects, Renovations, and Construction (High Threat Posts)
  • Operations & Maintenance, Life Support, and Logistics Services (Medium and Low Threat Posts)

Security Qualifications:

  • Company Facility Clearance

You must possess, at the time of proposal submission, a Defense Security Service TOP SECRET facility clearance.  In the case of a Joint Venture (JV), each entity of the JV must possess, at the time of proposal submission, a TOP SECRET FCL. Note that a JV, which contains any non-cleared entity, will not be qualified for the award.

  • Key Personnel Clearance

All proposed Key Personnel must have SECRET Clearance before performing work

Proposal Requirements:

The non-priced part of the proposal will be around 140 pages. There are five factors involved in the preparation of the proposal:

Factor 1 – Relevant Experience (Up to 5 projects)

Factor 2 – Past Performance

Factor 3 – Corporate Capabilities

Factor 4 – Management Approach

Factor 5 – Price

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Factors 1 and 2 are of equal importance and are more important than Factors 3, 4 and 5 combined.
  • Factor 3 is more important than Factors 4 and 5.
  • Factor 4 is more important than Factor 5.
  • Factor 5 is least important factor.

Having said that, now let’s see how they are going to go through the selection process. The Government will execute the phased evaluation of offers as follows:

  1. They will first check against the qualification criteria of the RFP and remove any proposals that do not comply. For example, if proof of TOP SECRET Facility Clearance is not provided, they will put your proposal aside.
  2. The Government will then perform a price analysis of the remaining offers and eliminate offers whose prices are considered to be too high to be competitive in light of the prices offered by other offerors and the Government estimate of the price.
  3. The Government will then evaluate the relevant experience and prices of the remaining offerors and eliminate any offers that are not sufficiently competitive to be selected for contract award.
  4. The Government will then evaluate the past performance and prices of the remaining offerors and eliminate any offers that are not sufficiently competitive to be selected for contract award.
  5. The Government will then hold ORAL PRESENTATIONS by the remaining offerors to select and award possible multiple contracts.

Note that although the RPF states that Factor 5, Price is the least significant factor; yet, it is part of the selection process from item b onwards. So companies must pay special attention to their prices and not put it aside as an insignificant factor.

Overall, if you have the security requirements, then the ball rolls for those companies with the best performed relevant projects and past performances. Then the Corporate Capabilities and Management Approach sections can easily be put together to make this a winning proposal. So I suggest that companies concentrate on Factors 1 and 2 and create the necessary partnerships to make the strongest impact on those factors.

In Summary:

If you have previous experience in providing the required services to DoS or similar organizations overseas, and if you think you and your teaming partners can provide outstanding relevant experience as well as past performance in addition to having Top Secret Facility Clearance, then this bid can become a strategic contract for the next ten years. Concentrate on Factors 1 and 2 (using teaming arrangements) and get a very capable proposal team (I suggest outsourcing) to prepare your proposal and especially Factors 3 and 4, and you are set to have a winning proposal.

By |2018-10-08T06:08:41+00:00April 6th, 2017|Capture Management, Proposal Writing, Technical Writing|Comments Off on You still have time to go after the $5 billion DoS DiPSS bid

About the Author:

Ab Vand has more than 25 years of proposal writing and capture management experience on government contracts especially in defense, construction, and IT sectors. Ab has a track record of writing over 100 successful proposals for above $1 million contracts. Ab is currently the VP of Capture and Proposal Development at GDI Consulting, a well-established firm on proposal writing and contract management. Ab has written a number of articles on proposal writing and capture management, and regularly holds training courses for companies and individuals on ways to improve their winning chances.