Program Management, Administrative, Clerical, and Technical Services III (PACTS III) is a Multiple Award Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) acquisition strategically designed to establish a diverse pool of qualified offerors. These offerors will be equipped to provide an extensive array of non-IT commercial services and solutions, specifically tailored to meet the operational needs of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Click here to go through Important Questions

Key Details

Functional Categories (FCs)

Socio-Economic Set-Asides:

PACTS III is exclusively set aside for the following four socio-economic categories:

  • Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB)

  • Women Owned Small Business (WOSB)

  • HUBZOne Small Business

  • 8(a) Small Business

Types of Offerors under PACTS III

  • Prime Contractor (Offeror): An “Offeror” in this  context refers to a single-entity Prime Contractor without any subcontractors or subsidiaries

  • Joint Venture (JV): A Joint Venture (JV) consists of two or more small businesses collaborating to pursue PACTS III.

  • Prime/Subcontractor(s): A small business offeror can participate as a Prime Contractor while also having one or more small business subcontractors.

  • Mentor/Protégé Joint Venture (Mentor/Protégé): A Mentor/Protégé Joint Venture involves a mentor (typically a large business) partnering with a protégé (a small business here).

Award Strategy:

  • DHS intends to issue approximately 32 separate IDIQ awards within each Functional Category, resulting in a total of approximately 96 contracts under PACTS III.

  • The award distribution is planned to ensure equitable opportunities for various businesses.

  • Specifically, within each socio-economic track, eight awards will be allocated, with two awards per type of offeror. This approach fosters fair competition and prevents any disproportionate concentration of awards.

Let’s break down the award distribution for PACTS III for an easy understanding. Below, we’ve represented the allocation of awards from the overall count of 96 down to the final distribution:

The PACTS III scheme operates on a self-scoring basis, with the evaluation criteria primarily centered around the number of past projects an offeror has. Given this framework, there was a legitimate concern that large businesses, particularly those operating through Mentor-Protégé Joint Ventures (JVs) or Joint Ventures (JVs), might disproportionately benefit from the allocation.
To mitigate this potential scenario, the agency has taken measures to ensure equitable award distribution across all types of offerors.

  1. Prime Contractor (Offeror):
    An “Offeror” in this  context refers to a single-entity Prime Contractor without any subcontractors or subsidiaries
  2. Joint Venture (JV):
    A Joint Venture (JV) consists of two or more small businesses collaborating to pursue PACTS III.
  3. Prime/Subcontractor(s):

    A small business offeror can participate as a Prime Contractor while also having one or more small business subcontractors.

  4. Mentor/Protégé Joint Venture (Mentor/Protégé):

    A Mentor/Protégé Joint Venture involves a mentor (typically a large business) partnering with a protégé (a small business here).

Offerors proposing as a Prime/Subcontractor(s) must include only those subcontractors that will be used at the first tier of their organization.

In this context, the Prime/Subcontractor(s) type of offeror is treated as a separate entity for PACTS III. Combining a Prime JV (Joint Venture) and Subcontractor is not allowed under PACTS III.

Single Proposal, Separate Evaluation

  • The goal is to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of awards across various types of offerors.

  • By evaluating separately within each socio-economic category, PACTS III promotes competition and prevents any single group from disproportionately claiming contract awards.

  • Each offeror submits a separate proposal for each Functional Category (FC) it is bidding for.

  • However, the same proposal is evaluated separately for each socio-economic track the offeror has chosen.

  • For instance, if an offeror qualifies as both an SDVOSB and an 8(a), their proposal will be assessed against the SDVOSB pool of vendors and separately against the 8(a) vendors.

  • No cross-evaluation occurs between different socio-economic tracks for the same proposal.

Score Enhancer

  • Facility Clearance:

  • While not mandatory for winning an award under PACTS III, having a Facility Clearance of Secret or Top Secret earns additional points.

  • Adequate Accounting System

  • Similar to facility clearances, having an Adequate Accounting System is not a mandatory requirement.

  • However, offerors can claim additional points if they possess an approved accounting system.

  • Double-Points for SBTA Offerors:

  • Small Business Teaming Arrangements (SBTAs) have a unique advantage.

  • If an offeror is part of an SBTA and can provide documentation proving that they managed a team on a specific project equal to or greater in size than what they are proposing, they receive double points for that project.

Remember, the doubling of points only applies to projects submitted by the
managing venturer or Prime Contractor of an SBTA.

Qualifying Criteria for Experience and Past Performance

To qualify as Experience and Past Performance, a project must adhere to the
definitions of “relevant” and “recent” provided by the Department of Homeland
Security (DHS). Let’s break down the criteria:

  • Relevance: A project is considered relevant if it meets the following conditions:

  • It is not being claimed under any other PACTS III proposal. Once a project is used, it cannot be reused under any circumstances, including other functional categories or as part of another offeror’s submission.

  • Common confusion arises regarding whether a project can be used an offeror is competing under more than one socio-economic track e.g. for both SDVOSB (Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business) and 8(a) categories. The answer is yes. When competing in multiple categories, the same proposal will be used.

  • Predominant Services Alignment: The services performed by the offeror for the project must align with the services outlined in the Functional Category Statement of Work, Attachment 1, and the NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) and Product Service Code associated with the functional category for which the offeror is submitting its proposal.

  • Funding Obligation: Funds must have been obligated for the project being claimed.

  • Contract Execution: The project must have been executed under a contract defined in FAR Subpart 2.101. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • A single contract (including prime contracts, first-tier subcontracts, commercial contracts, purchase orders).

  • A single task order/call awarded under a single award or multiple award IDIQ (Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity), Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA), Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA), or similar master contract.

  • A single task order awarded under a Federal Supply Schedule.

  • Note that an IDIQ without funding itself cannot be used as a past project; only the task orders under an IDIQ can be claimed for scoring.

  • Consecutive Performance:The offeror must have provided at least six (6) consecutive months of performance by the date the PACTS III solicitation is issued.

  • Offeror as Prime or First-Tier Subcontractor:

  • The project must be from the Offeror itself, acting as a Prime Contractor or First-Tier Subcontractor, providing services to a public and/or private customer.

  • Subcontractor past performance can be utilized, but only projects from subcontractors that are part of a Prime/Subcontractor type of Small Business Teaming Arrangement (SBTA) will be acceptable.

  • Projects from subcontractors to other types of offerors (such as Joint Ventures, Mentor-Protégé relationships, and Prime Contractors) will not be accepted, as they are not considered the “Offeror” itself or a partner/member of the Offeror’s SBTA.

  • Minimum 40% from Managing Venturer or Prime Contractor: A minimum of 40% of the total number of projects claimed and verified by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under an SBTA must come from:

  • The managing venturer of an SBTA Joint Venture (JV) or the SBTA JV itself (52.207-6(a)(1)(i)).

  • The Prime Contractor of a Prime/Subcontractor relationship (52.207-6(a)(1)(ii)).

  • The protégé in a Mentor-Protégé Joint Venture or the Mentor- Protégé Joint Venture itself.

  • Recent Project Definition: A project is considered recent if:

  • At least one (1) business day of performance within the mandatory six (6) months of consecutive performance falls within two (2) years (730 calendar days) since the issuance of this solicitation.

Important Questions

After IDIQ Award, can a prime contractor bring in a new subcontractor that was not identified in the proposal?

Yes, after an IDIQ (Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity) award, a prime contractor has the flexibility to bring in a new subcontractor that was not initially identified in the proposal.

Are Small Business Teaming Arrangement (SBTA) members required to be similarly situated, i.e., all need to be 8(a) to bid as 8(a)?

No, all SBTA members are not required to possess the same socio-economic category. They can have different designations, such as 8(a), Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, etc.

If a project is relevant under more than one Functional Category (FC), can we use it for both?

No, using a project for multiple FCs violates the relevance criteria. Not only will the duplicate project not be awarded points, but even the original one won’t receive points.

When can we get double points for a project?

Double points are awarded if it can be proven that, on the project for which points are being claimed, the Managing Venturer or Prime Contractor directly managed a team equal to or greater in size than the team size they are currently bidding as. It’s not important that the Past Project had same partners as are competing presently for PACTS III, what matters is the number of partners managed

Can we bid under multiple proposals under the same FC as different types of offerors?

Yes, you can be part of multiple proposals under the same FC. However, the limitation lies in the usage of past projects. Once a project has been used in a proposal, it cannot be reused without being removed from all other proposals.

Do the Past Performance projects from Joint Ventures (JVs) need to be in the name of the JV, or can individual members submit their Past Performance?

Individual members can also share their Past Performance as part of a JV. However, if there is only one member with the socio-economic track under which you’re bidding, a minimum of 40% of the past performance must come from that member.

Will projects from Mentor-Protégé JVs that are performed by the JV count towards the 40% requirement?

No, it must be from the Protégé in the Mentor-Protégé JV.

Can we get double points for Facility Clearance or Adequate Accounting System if the subcontractor also has them?

No, the points will be allocated only once for Facility Clearance or Adequate Accounting System.

Why do projects with large value have less score?

The scoring methodology considers historical actuals. Specifically, the percentage of orders correlates with the dollar ranges. Consequently, the weightage of the score is higher where more task orders are anticipated to be released.

If we have JV of members who are all similarly situated e.g. HUBZone, whose project must be minimum 40%?

In a Joint Venture (JV) where all members are HUBZone, all partners can contribute to meeting the minimum 40% past performance requirement.