This is the second in our series on Preaward Surveys of Prospective Government Contractors. There are six forms (SF Forms 1403 through 1408) in the Government's arsenal that provides a structured approach to determining whether prospective contractors are capable of performing whatever work they are bidding on. Not everything is applicable in every case. For example, on a competitive award of a fixed price construction contract with progress payments based on work performed, the Government might be interested in financial capability and bonding capacity. The Government however probably won't be too interested in whether the prospective contractor has an accounting system that is adequate for cost reimbursable contracts.
The first of the Preaward Survey Forms, SF Form 1403 is essentially a transmittal form for requesting pre-award information. It contains a checklist of "major" and "other" factors that the procurement office wants to have checked out prior to awarding a contract.
Box 19 lists five major factors to be evaluated; technical capability, production capability, quality assurance capability, financial capability, and accounting system. Box 20 contains seven "other" factors that the requester might need addressed: Government property control, transportation, packaging, security, safety, environmental/energy consideration, and flight operations/flight safety.
The five factors in Block 19 generally mean:
Technical capability - an assessment of the prospective contractor's key management personnel to determine if they have the basic technical knowledge, experience, and understanding of the requirements necessary to produce the required product or provide the required service.
Production capability - an evaluation of the prospective contractor's ability to plan, control, and integrate manpower, facilities, and other resources necessary for successful contract completion. This includes an assessment of the prospective contractor's possession of, or the ability to acquire, the necessary facilities, material, equipment, and labor as well as a determination that the prospective contractor's system provides for timely placement of orders and for vendor follow-up and control.
Quality assurance capability - an assessment of the prospective contractor's capability to meet the quality assurance requirements of the proposed contract. It may involve an evaluation of the prospective contractor's quality assurance system, personnel, facilities and equipment.
Financial capability - a determination that the prospective contractor has or can get adequate financial resources to obtain needed facilities, equipment, materials, etc. These determinations were formerly performed by DCAA but have now been subsumed by DCMA (Defense Contract Management Agency).
Accounting system and related internal controls. An assessment by the auditor (e.g. DCAA) of the adequacy of the prospective contractor's accounting system and related internal controls as defined in DFARS 242.7501. Normally a contracting officer will request an accounting system review when soliciting and awarding cost-reimbursement or incentive type contracts, or contracts which provide for progress payments based on costs or on a percentage or state of completion.
Tomorrow, SF Form 1404, Technical
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