Friday, November 22, 2013

Preaward Surveys - SF Form 1406 (Quality Assurance)

This is the fifth installment in our series on Preaward Surveys of Prospective Government Contractors. There are six forms (SF Forms 1403 through 1408) the Government uses to provide 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.

SF Form 1406 is used to assess a prospective contractor's quality assurance policies, practices and procedures. It applies, as the name suggests to solicitations where quality assurance is required in the contract. It also requires the Government evaluator to contact Quality Assurance personnel within the prospective contractor's organization and assess their personal qualifications.

In all, there's about 26 evaluation requirements. These include:

  1. Does the contractor understand exhibits, technical data, drawings, specifications, and approval requirements
  2. Has the contractor had satisfactory quality performance record during the past 12 months
  3. Did the contractor fulfill commitments to correct deficiencies, as proposed on previous surveys wen awarded that contract.
  4. Does the prospective contractor have available and adequate 
    • Inspection and test equipment, gauges, and instruments for first article and production
    • Calibration/metrology program 
    • Quality system procedures and controls
    • Control of specifications, drawings, changes and modifications etc.
    • System for determining inspection, test and measurement requirements.
    • Purchasing process for selecting qualified supplies and assuring the quality of purchased materials.

There are many others but, you get the idea. As with the other preaward survey forms we've discussed so far, it is very important that prospective contractors give complete attention to this form, make certain the Government evaluator learns everything there is to learn about your QC systems and try to review the form before it is submitted, making certain that it accurately reflects your QC system.

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