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Competitive Sealed Proposals CSP


And we won't get through all the s today ... Through Best and Final Offers (BAFOs) offerors can revise their original proposal submissions ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Competitive Sealed Proposals CSP

Competitive Sealed Proposals(CSP)
  • The DBM Perspective on
  • OR

The DBM Perspective onHow to Maximize the
Benefits of CSPPresenter
  • Joel Leberknight Chief of Procurement, DBM
  • State employee for almost 34 Years
  • 12 Years with Dept. of Budget
    Management (DBM)
  • 30 Years of Procurement Experience
  • Has conducted or been actively involved in
    hundreds of CSP procurements collectively worth
    billions of dollars

DBM Procurement Role
  • On average DBM is responsible for the
  • Direct procurement of about 1 billion per year
    in services contracts
  • Indirect procurement of about 1 billion per year
    in services contracts entered into by other State
  • Most of these procurements are done via the
    competitive sealed proposals procurement method

Just the Highlights
  • In less than an hour I cant adequately cover
  • Maximizing the benefits, and
  • The many other complexities of CSP
  • So just the briefest highlights will be featured
  • And we wont get through all the slides today
  • A full review of the CSP process will be
    presented in the 3 day CSP course in DBMs 7
    class procurement training curriculum
  • Classes will be offered starting in the fall 2009
  • But as of yet there is no exact class schedule,
    including when the CSP classes will be presented

Flexibility (Advantages) of CSP
  • Offerors can correct some flaws that under
    Competitive Sealed Bidding (CSB) would render
    bidders non-responsive
  • Within limits, specifications can be changed
    after proposals are received
  • Oral presentations and discussions enable
    evaluators to get to know offerors and
    facilitate a thorough understanding of offerors
  • Through Best and Final Offers (BAFOs) offerors
    can revise their original proposal submissions
  • Or, via multiple BAFOs offerors can further
    revise already revised submissions
  • BAFOs can be requested for technical factors
    only, the price only, or both technical and
    financial factors

More CSP Flexibility
  • Through discussions and BAFOs improved proposals
    should be sought from offerors that
  • Might be judged as being marginal
  • Are also judged to have submitted good proposals
  • i.e., the objective of discussions is to get an
    even better offer from all potentially qualified
    offerors than was in their original submission
  • The award can be made to other than the lowest
    priced offeror
  • To the offeror that is most advantageous to the
  • i.e., the offeror judged to have the best
    combination of product and price, or Best Value
  • The award is based upon subjective judgment

A 2 Edged Sword(It Cuts Both Ways)
  • The above described flexibility is both an
    Opportunity and a Responsibility
  • An Opportunity to obtain the Best Value
  • A Responsibility to exert effort to seek or
    cultivate the Best Value
  • Often the best value doesnt happen by chance
  • It happens because State personnel set up the
    conditions to get improved offers
  • By eliciting information and improved proposals
    from offerors

  • State personnel can set up the conditions to get
    better proposals by aggressively using passive
  • This will be explained later
  • We cant just tell offerors exactly what they
    should include in proposals
  • Other than what is in the RFP
  • But we should continually tell them when they are
    not giving us satisfactory information,
    approaches, timeframes, staffing, etc.

Flexibility Gone Bad
  • Agencies fully understand that under CSP there is
    flexibility not to award a contract to the
    offeror with the lowest price
  • In fact, at times agencies seem to exercise this
    flexibility to extremes
  • In some CSP procurements it seems that price is
    effectively rendered irrelevant
  • This is taking a good thing too far
  • Price should be an important award component,
    even under CSP
  • In this session Ill try to explain why this
    happens and how to prevent it in the future

Sports Analogy 1
  • In any sport one team or participant might be
    dominant over another one for much of the game or
  • In such a situation the dominant team/participant
    wants to deliver a knock-out punch so that the
    opponent has virtually no chance of ultimately
    winning the contest

Sports Analogy 1 (Contd)
  • Conversely the team/participant that is losing
    wants to keep it close
  • i.e., avoid getting so far behind there is no
    realistic chance to pull a victory out in the end
  • As long as the score is close going into the 4th
    quarter, the later innings, the home stretch,
    etc. there is a chance for the trailing
    team/participant to get hot and grab victory
    from the jaws of defeat

CSP Parallel
  • By using the processes described in this class
    you are setting up the situation
  • Of keeping it close for offerors to improve
    their proposals so they might ultimately win
  • But also allowing even an offeror with a good
    initial proposal to land a knock-out punch by
    making its proposal even better

Sports Analogy 2
  • CSP can be equated to a marathon rather than a
  • It isnt who gets out of the starting gate the
  • Who submits the best initial proposal
  • Its who crosses the distant finish line first
  • Who ultimately provides the best value to the
  • The best combination of technical proposal and

2 Out of 3 Explained
  • There are 2 primary competitive procurement
    methods in Md. procurement
  • Competitive Sealed Bidding, and
  • Competitive Sealed Proposals
  • Each has 3 words in its name
  • Agencies understand the competitive sealed
  • But there is not a clear understanding of the 3rd
  • The difference between bidding proposals

2 Out of 3 Explained (Contd)
  • Until there is understanding of the differences
    inherent in these methods
  • And how to derive the full benefit of the
    flexibilities listed on the preceding slides
  • The benefits of CSP will not be maximized

CSP History
  • When COMAR Title 21 first became effective on
    7/1/1981 what is now CSP was called Competitive
  • Around 1988 the name Competitive Negotiations was
    changed to Competitive Sealed Proposals
  • This was done because in Md. procurement we do
    not really negotiate

  • To negotiate means that one party makes an offer
    to another party
  • Or sometimes multiple parties
  • If that offer is unacceptable to the 2nd party,
    the 2nd party usually makes a counter offer
  • It tells the 1st party what it wants
  • This offer, counter-offer process continues until
    there either is agreement or the negotiations fail

Negotiations (Contd)
  • In situations when ultimately there is agreement
  • Often what is finally agreed to is very different
    from the positions either party started with
  • Usually there is compromise by both parties
  • Perhaps based upon a series of offers and

We Dont Negotiate
  • But in government procurement we dont negotiate
  • 1st, typically we are dealing with multiple
  • 2nd, aside from the specifications in a RFP we
    dont tell vendors exactly what we want see if
    they will comply
  • We dont make offers or counter-offers
  • Because we dont negotiate the name was changed
    to avoid confusion

The Good the Bad
  • This name change was good because it eliminated
    the confusion between what true negotiation is,
    versus what we do
  • But, the name change was also bad because it
    removed the focus from the essence of competitive
    negotiation, now competitive sealed proposals

The Essence of CSP
  • The essence of CSP is to seek improvement in the
    proposals of possibly all offerors
  • Not just accepting what offerors, including good
    offerors, initially propose
  • And, not immediately eliminating offerors with
  • Most agencies understand this concept from the
    price perspective
  • They understand that usually offerors should be
    invited to submit a financial BAFO in an effort
    to get a lower price

The Essence of CSP (Contd)
  • But many agencies procurement personnel dont
    seem to understand this same concept applies to
    offerors technical proposals
  • Obtaining improvement in offerors technical
    proposals benefits the State in two ways
  • The obvious benefit (result) is there will be
    some increased level of contract performance
  • The presumption is that even an offeror that
    submitted a good proposal can improve its
  • Even if only slightly
  • And, sometimes more than slightly

The Essence of CSP (Contd)
  • But perhaps a not obvious benefit is to keep more
    offerors in the running for the award
  • Offerors whose proposals as originally submitted
    might have been determined technically
    unacceptable, potentially can revise them to make
    them acceptable
  • Being judged to be technically acceptable means
    these offerors will remain in the competition and
    have their prices opened
  • Which means more selection for the agency to
    choose among to arrive at the best value

Passive Negotiations
  • We dont do this in an active way, such as in
    negotiations, by saying exactly how an offeror
    should change its proposal
  • We should do it in a passive way, by saying what
    we dont like or dont understand
  • And then allowing the offerors to try again to
    give us something well like better
  • And often trying multiple times, improving the
    offer each time
  • If at first you dont succeed, try again

Thats Not Fair!
  • The reaction of many of you to the preceding
    slide is probably summed-up above
  • Its not fair to the offerors that submitted good
    proposals to begin with

Its Too Much Work
  • Another typical reaction is that the process of
    telling vendors their weaknesses and allowing
    revisions, perhaps more than once
  • Is too much work
  • And, takes too much time to do

Why We Think This Way
  • The reason for the 2 previously possible
  • Its unfair
  • And, too much time and work
  • Likely stems from people letting their
    understanding of Competitive Sealed Bidding (CSB)
    influence how they think Competitive Sealed
    Proposals (CSP) procurements should be conducted

Get the Best Deal for the State
  • The objective of both CSB and CSP is to get the
    best deal for the State
  • In CSB the best deal is the lowest bid
  • That is responsive
  • From a responsible bidder
  • In CSP the best deal is the best value or Most
    Advantageous Offer

  • In public procurement what we call CSB has
    existed much longer than what we call CSP
  • So the notion of lowest bid wins is widely
    ingrained in peoples minds, including the
    public, vendors and non-procurement State
  • Many people also understand that the core
    principle of public procurement is Fair and Equal
    Treatment of vendors in competing for public

CSB (Contd)
  • Since CSB existed long before CSP
  • To a large degree the concept of Fair and Equal
    Treatment of vendors in competing for public
    awards has been framed in the context of what
    that means in CSB
  • As stated earlier in CSB the lowest bid wins
  • But it is understood that awarding to the lowest
    bidder only makes sense if the bids are
  • Bids must be apples to apples, not apples to

Sealed Bid Avoids an Auction
  • Another core principle of CSB is that it is not
    an auction
  • Vendors get 1 chance to bid
  • That is why their bids are sealed and opened
  • Each vendors submits its best bid and hopes it
  • There is no second chance
  • No Second Bite of the Apple

  • The words Responsive and Non-responsive came
    into being to indicate if bids are compliant with
    the requirements of the specifications, hence are
  • Are apples to apples
  • Procurement people should know that
  • Responsiveness is determined solely on the basis
    of the submitted bid
  • Without additional explanation or supplement
  • i.e., as the bid came out of the sealed envelope
  • Responsiveness doesnt apply to CSP

Summary of Key CSB Concepts
  • Fair and Equal Treatment
  • Responsiveness
  • Judged solely on the basis of what is in the
    sealed bid envelope
  • Only 1 chance to bid (1 bite at the apple)
  • With rare exceptions you cant claim you made a
    mistake and change your bid
  • Especially to a price that is now the lowest bid
  • Otherwise it isnt fair
  • Either because its an auction or,
  • There is a risk of the prior bids being leaked

A Little Knowledge Can be Bad
  • Ive pointed out some of the highlights of CSB to
    illustrate how easy it is for persons who dont
    really understand CSP to incorrectly transfer
    what they know about CSB to CSP
  • They incorrectly think offerors that dont get
    their initial proposals right should be judged
  • Based solely upon their initial proposal
  • As taken from the sealed envelope
  • Otherwise an offeror has 2 bites at the apple
  • Which is perceived as unfair

From the Past to the Present
  • Now that Ive talked about the past
  • About CSB
  • How it came into being
  • Some of its hallmarks
  • And, about Competitive Negotiations and CSP
  • Lets focus on the primary aim of this class
  • Maximizing the benefits of CSP
  • i.e., focusing on the difference between bidding
    and proposals
  • The 3rd word in the title of the procurement

Question How do You Maximize the Benefits of
  • Answer
  • Change Your Thinking

Whose Thinking Needs to Change?
  • Procurement Officers
  • Program Personnel involved in CSP procurements
  • Evaluation Committee members
  • Agency Middle Upper Management

How Should Thinking Change?
  • People need to forget what they know about CSB
    when doing a CSP procurement
  • Instead they need to learn and accept
  • The Objective of CSP
  • To get the best value
  • That time and effort are needed to achieve that

Objective of CSP
  • Get the best offer for the State (within reason)
  • Getting the best reasonably possible offer is
    typically achieved by
  • Maximizing the number of offerors responding to
    the RFP
  • Fully using the flexibility of the CSP process
  • Avoid eliminating offerors for curable weaknesses
    or deficiencies
  • Get improved technical and financial offers

Less Isnt More
  • I sometimes hear agency personnel state that they
    want to save time and effort by only dealing with
    a few, clearly qualified offerors
  • To achieve this mistaken objective of minimizing
    their work such persons
  • Establish high minimum offeror response
    requirements to hold down the number of offerors
  • Eliminate all but the best initial offerors as
    quickly as possible to get to the serious
  • Quickly open prices
  • Then quickly make an award recommendation
  • As explained in this class, I dont share that

Instead, More is Better
  • More is better in terms of
  • The initial competition
  • The number of offerors
  • Continuing competition
  • More offerors being determined to be technically
    acceptable and having their price proposals
  • The caliber of the competition
  • More offerors ultimately judged to have good
    technical proposals
  • Its how they finish that counts, not how they

Why More Is Better
  • Although saving time and effort seems like a
    laudable endeavor
  • When it comes to CSP procurements frequently this
    premise is the equivalent of being penny wise
    and pound foolish
  • While seeking to maximize competition will likely
    cost thousands of dollars in person hours of work
    by involved State employees
  • The potential payoff is hundreds of thousands, or
    millions of dollars of savings
  • And/or better performance

Getting It Right
  • The best way to illustrate that going through the
    effort pays off in the end is to cite real
  • The 4 procurements cited on the following slides
    were done by DHMH over the past 4 years
  • 3 of the 4 procurements involved the same
    procurement officer (P.O.)
  • In 3 of the 4 procurements the P.O. awarded the
    contract to a different offeror than the
    evaluation committee recommended
  • In each instance the agency head (the DHMH
    Secretary) accepted the procurement officers

Getting It Right (Contd)
  • All 4 decisions resulted in protests
  • 3 of the protests were appealed to the Board of
    Contract Appeals
  • The 4th contract award wasnt appealed
  • In 2 of the appeals DHMHs decisions were upheld
  • In the 3rd situation the BPW approved the
    contract award notwithstanding protest and the
    appellant withdrew its appeal

Getting It Right (Contd)
  • The P.O. did not accept the evaluation
    committees recommendations, because the P.O.
    decided a different offeror represented the best
  • The P.O.s decisions were based upon a much
    greater price difference than the perceived
    technical difference
  • In these 3 instances the P.O. went with offerors
    with much lower prices that were still
    technically very capable
  • Why the evaluation committees didnt reach the
    same conclusion is perhaps a topic for future

Getting It Right (Contd)
  • Based upon the preceding litany of overruling
    evaluation committees, incurring protests, and
    fighting appeals at the Appeals Board you may
    wonder what was achieved for all this grief
  • The answer collectively over 35 million in
    lower prices
  • Judged in the context of 35 million, all the
    other expenses in terms of the time and effort of
    State personnel are trivial

Getting It Right (Contd)
  • 2 of these procurements happened 3-4 years ago
    and the new vendors have performed very well
    despite their low prices
  • In fact in both instances renewal options have
    been exercised with the assessment that the
    vendors are doing a fine job
  • 2 of these procurements just happened, with 1
    starting 7/1/2009 and the other to start 9/1/09
  • So there is no performance record yet for these

Example 1
  • Clifton Gunderson vs. Myers Stauffer from 2006
    to perform auditing services for the Medical
    Assistance Program.
  • Clifton Gunderson (CG) was the incumbent was
    ranked 1 technically
  • Myers Stauffer (MS) was ranked 2 technically
  • The rounded off prices were 26.6 million for CG
    and 17.3 million for MS
  • The exact price difference was 9,305,130, or 35

Example 2
  • ACS vs. PSI from 2005 to provide Enrollment
    Broker Services for the Medical Assistance
  • ACS was the incumbent and was ranked 1
    technically, while PSI was 2nd technically
  • The rounded off prices were 47.5 million for ACS
    and 41.9 million for PSI
  • The exact price difference was 5,670,139, or 12

Example 3
  • IHAS vs. HCA to perform inpatient and outpatient
    audits of payments by the Medical Assistance
    Program to hospitals IHAS was the incumbent and
    was ranked first technically, with HCA ranked 2.
  • This contract started on 7/1/09
  • The pricing was a of identified overpayments to
    be paid to the contractor
  • IHAS quoted a 25 commission rate
  • HCA quoted a 12 commission rate
  • It is believed this difference will equate to
    over 1 million less for HCA versus IHAS
  • A 53 lower commission rate

Example 4
  • APS vs. ValueOptions to provide a Statewide
    Administrative Services Organization for publicly
    funded mental health services.
  • This contract starts on 9/1/09
  • APS was the incumbent and was ranked 1
    technically Value Options was 2nd technically
  • The rounded off prices were 71.1 million for APS
    and 51.6 million for Value Options
  • The exact price difference was 19,443,425, or
    27 lower

Using the CSP Process Fully and Conscientiously
  • A Quick Resource Guide On How To Do It

Maximize the Number of Offerors Responding to the
  • Do outreach to adequately advise potential
    offerors of the availability of the RFP
  • Do focused, direct notice in addition to eMM
  • Relying exclusively on eMM may cause you to miss
    good vendors
  • Minimize Minimum Offeror Requirements
  • Perhaps only requirements of law or regulation
  • Avoid excessive bond/insurance requirements
  • Avoid overly restrictive specifications

Easier Said Than Done
  • Saying avoid excessive or overly restrictive
    requirements is easy
  • Determining what is excessive or restrictive is
    much harder to do
  • And, I know many persons believe not having
    minimum offeror requirements, bonds, etc. will
    allow unqualified vendor to submit proposals
  • So, how do you learn what to do, or consider, or
    not do when drafting requirements?
  • All of the issues on the prior slide and many
    more are extensively covered in the DBM
    procurement training classes

Do the 3 Step(The Process, Not the Dance)
  • Many years ago when I took a seminar on effective
    writing I was told to
  • Tell the reader what I was going to tell them
  • Introduce the key points
  • Then tell them the information
  • Then tell them what I had told them
  • Again mentioning the key points
  • The rationale for this approach was that
  • People learn by repetition
  • It will help ensure that even if the details are
    missed or not comprehended the key aspects will
    be understood

The CSP 3 Step
  • Before the oral presentations (Orals) tell
    offerors the aspects of their proposal that are
    weak, confusing, or not justified
  • Tell them whether to reply to these aspects prior
    to the Orals, or at the Orals
  • Have the Orals and ensure that the previously
    noted information is addressed
  • Allow offerors to provide additional follow-up
    after the Orals
  • If despite Steps 1 2 any aspect of offerors
    proposals is still judged to be inadequate

The CSP 3 Step (Contd)
  • By following this process usually offerors will
    provide additional information or responses
  • Very few offerors will fail to make at least some
    attempt to address identified deficiencies
  • This is part of the process of eliciting
    additional information from offerors beyond what
    is in their original proposals
  • If offerors dont respond they have no excuse if
    they are judged not qualified or not the best
  • Even if offerors do respond, the responses still
    may be judged as not being adequate
  • But at least the offerors had the opportunity

The CSP 3 Step (Contd)
  • Hopefully, though, the responses will be judged
    adequate, thereby ensuring the continuation of
    offerors in the competition
  • Sometimes, the additional information may even
    result in an offeror being judged to be a star
    performer, although the original submission
    didnt indicate that
  • As described shortly, there are reasons why an
    offeror may not originally submit a good
    proposal, but subsequently can and will do so if
    given the chance

The CSP 3 Step (Contd)
  • Conversely not doing this may result in missed
    opportunities for improved offers, or lower
    prices or both
  • Figuratively leaving money on the table
  • And may actually prompt a protest when an offeror
    is told it wasnt selected because of an aspect
    that was easily curable by the offeror, or
    misunderstood by the State

Do You Do All This with All Offerors?
  • Ideally, without going through this process you
    should only eliminate offerors that
  • Are clearly incapable of satisfying the
    requirements of the RFP and,
  • Have virtually no possibility of becoming capable
    during the timeframe of the evaluation
  • i.e., dont seek to eliminate as many offerors as
    possible, as quickly as possible

Procurement Conceit
  • Frequently we take 6 months or more to draft RFPs
  • Then we give vendors 30 days or so to provide
  • We expect the responses to be totally detailed
    and exactly as we direct
  • Without regard for
  • Competing demands on the vendors
  • They may also be responding to other RFPs
  • The cost to offerors to respond

Offeror Response Costs
  • Frequently offerors expend thousands of dollars
    to respond to an RFP
  • Sometimes tens of thousands of dollars
  • Vendors need to expend their resources wisely in
    deciding which RFPs to respond to how
    extensively to do so
  • They may respond minimally if they
  • Dont feel they have a good chance at winning a
    particular award
  • Recently learned of the RFP
  • Are simultaneously responding to multiple RFPs

Have Some Understanding
  • We should understand that there may be a big
    difference between the amount of effort a vendor
    will devote doing something on speculation
  • Something they are not being paid for
  • Responding to our RFPs
  • Versus how they would perform on a contract they
    are paid to perform
  • So a minimal initial response may not mean that a
  • Has little capability
  • Would not fully, or even exceptionally perform a
  • Would not quote a good price

Have Some Understanding (Contd)
  • The cost to vendors to respond to a RFP (CSP) is
    typically much higher than that of a bid (CSB)
  • This is another major difference between CSB and
  • And why the rules and processes followed for CSP
    are fundamentally different from CSB

Keep Offerors Engaged
  • By going through the processes described in this
    presentation we tell offerors
  • They are still in the running
  • Exactly what we need more information about
  • And the more effort offerors put into proposals,
    even on an incremental basis
  • The more they will continue to be involved and
    buckle down to win to justify their costs to date
  • And the more they continue in the running the
    better understanding we will have of their
    strengths and weaknesses

Get to Know Offerors
  • The more you interact with offerors
  • The better you can assess their capabilities and
  • Especially any you havent dealt with previously
  • If you dont have this interaction the offeror
    may be just a name on a proposal
  • You likely will be reluctant to take a chance
    with an offeror you dont know well
  • You probably will play it safe and go with a
    known (frequently the incumbent) offeror

Ignorance Can Be Costly
  • Elimination of offerors for technical
    insufficiency without getting to know their
    capabilities has a cost
  • We dont know how good they would have been
  • We dont know what their price was
  • We pay for playing it safe
  • Even if such offerors are not eliminated we still
    tend to not select them
  • We forego lower prices
  • Sometimes substantially lower prices

Fully Use the CSP Process
  • To use CSP to its full potential we must
  • Use the pre-proposal conference as an active
    two-way communication tool
  • Encourage questions and suggestions before,
    during after the pre-proposal conference
  • Check references
  • Hold meaningful discussions with all offerors
  • Invite a Best and Final Offer (BAFO) after
  • More than one BAFO can be invited

Hold Meaningful Discussions
  • Allow adequate time for discussions
  • Be prepared by thoroughly reading proposals
  • Note areas of confusion, dislike, or if very good
  • Earnestly prepare generic specific questions
  • Control the discussions
  • Engage the offerors (get them to talk)
  • Tell offerors when they are not answering
  • Ask appropriate follow-up questions

Hold Meaningful Discussions (Contd)
  • Tactfully let offerors know of any aspect of
    their proposals that are
  • Deemed a weakness/not liked
  • i.e., anything for which the offeror might be
    downgraded in the final evaluation
  • Allow the submission of written follow-up
    information and/or proposal revision via BAFOs
  • This affords offerors the opportunity
  • To cure or improve upon deficiencies
  • For an already adequate proposal to be made better


Hold Meaningful Discussions (Contd)
  • The ultimate purpose of discussions is to improve
    the technical standing of all, or as many
    offerors as is feasible
  • The result should be for agencies to have more
    viable choices for the award recommendation
  • Viable choices means more
  • Offerors under serious consideration for the
  • Opportunity for price to play a significant role
    in the award decision

Only the End Result Counts
  • One offeror can
  • Submit the best proposal at the beginning and,
  • Seem to be the sure winner based upon its initial
    technical superiority
  • And another offeror may have lots of omissions,
    ambiguities and weaknesses
  • And have to make substantial changes to its
    technical proposal

Only the End Result Counts (Contd)
  • There is no
  • Averaging or blending of the original proposal
    and the final proposal
  • Consideration of how much one offeror had to
    improve versus any other offeror
  • Regard for the amount of effort you had to invest
    to get to this point
  • All that matters is that when the time comes to
    make an award selection, which offeror is now
    judged to be the best value
  • The most advantageous

Fair and Equal Treatment
  • Fair and equal treatment in CSP means offerors
    were given the same opportunities
  • The same opportunity to
  • Cure deficient technical proposals
  • Explain their proposals in oral presentations
  • For technically qualified offerors to submit BAFOs

Fair and Equal Treatment (Contd)
  • Fair and equal treatment also means if
    discussions, etc. are held with one offeror, they
    must be held with all offerors
  • That have not been formally eliminated
  • Told they were eliminated
  • Fair and equal treatment doesnt mean
  • How many proposal aspects need to be cured by one
    offeror versus another

Real-life Parallel Scenario
  • You are shopping for a new car and the first
    dealer you visit quotes a very high price
  • And also might not have been very friendly
  • So you tell this dealer you will do some more
  • You might even say there is no way you will
    purchase there
  • But typically you will already have provided your
    name, phone number, etc., just to get the price

Real-life Parallel Scenario (Contd)
  • So you go to one or more other dealers in an
    effort to get the best deal
  • A good price from a dealer you trust
  • You may have eliminated the first dealer from
    consideration and be just about to inform another
    dealer you will purchase there
  • When the first dealer calls and quotes a much
    lower price than it did originally
  • In fact, its price is now lower than any other

Real-life Parallel Scenario (Contd)
  • Also, the salesperson apologizes, apparently
    sincerely, for the rudeness or lack of attention
    from before
  • Do you say?
  • Sorry, its too late.
  • You had your chance and blew it
  • No. I owe it to dealer X to buy from them. They
    quoted me a good price from the start and treated
    me very well

Show me the Money!
  • Or, do you do the equivalent of the Cuba Gooding
    Jr. character in the Jerry McGuire movie and say,
    Show me the money?
  • i.e., it doesnt matter who quoted less
  • Its who is going to charge less now
  • For the same vehicle
  • With other comparable factors
  • Immediate availability
  • Cleaned and detailed
  • Full tank of gas
  • Delivered to your door
  • All paper work properly done (Title, loan

Show me the Money!
  • If you go with the ultimate most advantageous
    offer in real life
  • Despite that offer not being the best originally
  • Why wouldnt you do the same thing in your State
  • But, even if you personally wouldnt buy from the
    dealer that ultimately offered you the best
    price, you are expected to go with the best value
    in a State CSP procurement

Let Price Be Important
  • If only 1 or a few offerors are judged to be
    technically competent only this/these offerors
    will be considered for the award
  • Even if other offerors are judged to be
    reasonably susceptible of being selected for the
    award, without a cure process they wont be under
    serious award consideration because of perceived
    technical shortcomings

Let Price Be Important (Contd)
  • This means that the agency will be almost forced
    into accepting whatever price this/these few
    offerors propose
  • If the price is reasonable, this is fine
  • But if the price is not reasonable, the agency
    doesnt have a legitimate alternative
  • The agency has to pay the too high price because
    it is not willing to select an offeror perceived
    as being of lower quality despite a much lower

Let Price Be Important (Contd)
  • But if through the discussion process other
    offerors improve their proposals so they are
    judged to be better than just marginal
  • If the highest technically ranked offerors have
    prices that are judged unreasonably high
  • The agency has a real alternative to select a
    lower technically ranked offeror whose lower
    price is determined to more than offset its lower
    technical capabilities

Let Price Be Important (Contd)
  • And if the highest technically ranked offerors
    are only minimally higher in price
  • The award can still be made to one of the highest
    technically ranked offerors
  • Because overall it is judged to be the most
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