I noticed this story in today’s Post buried in the business section. It reports how bidding is underway between major defense contractors for a $2 billion contract to “launch a comprehensive program to transform its border control technology and infrastructure,” according to the project website. This line in the Post’s story today caught my eye: “Homeland Security officials are expected to pick a winner in the fall, following oral presentations from each of the competing firms.” I immediately wondered if this presentation, or any part of it, would be open to the public. After some snooping around at the press information on the websites of DHS and Customs and Border Protection, I found the formal request for proposals on the Federal Business Opportunities website. The section on the oral presentation inside the 144-page document (reproduced after the jump) makes clear it will be a closed affair. Although government employees are welcome to leak the video or hard copies to me.
VOLUME IV ORAL PRESENTATIONS
Oral presentations will be conducted with all contractors submitting a proposal who are determined to be in the competitive range. The contracting officer will schedule oral presentations based on an estimated four (4) hour time frame per Offeror.
Contractors participating in oral presentations must provide all necessary audio-visual materials and devices. While the Government has provided a recommended topic list, it has not established a formal structure for oral presentations (e.g., slide limitations, format, agendas etc.) Presenting offerors and their team members may use the four-hour period as they deem most advantageous to describe their proposed solution/approach and pricing structures.
It is required that individuals presenting be those identified as key personnel. Due to space limitations, 10 people are allowed to attend for each presentation; 15 copies of the oral presentation in hard copy must be presented to the Government team on the day of the presentation.
Oral presentations will be video taped by, and for the sole benefit of, the Government. The purpose of these presentations is to allow the Government to better understand the proposed
solution/approach, as well as other aspects of the proposal. In addition it will serve as the opportunity to notify the offerors of proposal weaknesses and conduct discussions. As such, Government participants may ask questions throughout the presentation. Contractors will be given the opportunity to ask the Government questions during this time. While the oral presentations are scheduled for 4 hours, they may continue beyond that time estimate to allow
Government participants to gain a thorough understanding of the proposal. At the conclusion of orals, offerors will be provided the opportunity to submit proposal revisions, due at 2:00 PM the fifth calendar day following the conclusion of that offeror’s oral presentation.
To assist the Government to better understand the offeror’s proposal, it is recommended the offerors reference Section M evaluation criteria in preparing their oral presentation. The presentation should address the major aspects of the Section M evaluation criteria and describe how the proposal provides an approach to SBInet that meets its stated objectives.
Notification of Oral Presentation
The contracting officer will provide the exact date, time, and location of the offeror’s oral presentation with the notification of the competitive range determination. The contracting officer will schedule the first oral presentation to take place approximately seven (7) days after
notification to the offeror. Additional instructions for the oral presentation, along with size, layout, power capacity of the room, and any other additional information will be provided in the notification. The Government reserves the right to reschedule an offeror’s oral presentation solely at the discretion of the contracting officer. Contractor Confirmation for Oral Presentations
Once notified of the date, time and place for oral presentations, the offeror shall confirm its attendance and provide the number and identities of attendees. Confirmation shall be in the form of an email to: SBInet at dhs.gov .
HSBP1006R0463 SBInet SECTION: L