Assignment #3 – Draft Compliance Matrix and Compliant Proposal to RFP

1. Create a compliance matrix and prepare a FAR-compliant proposal in response to the RFP

Four Seasons Waste and Dispose Management submitting the company’s proposal should be the first strong knock on the doors of a prospective client (Osborne, S. (2011). Whether it is in the form of a word document or presentation, it has to be impressive and portray such a compelling picture that the company cannot wait to pick up the phone and schedule a face to face meeting with the clients. As a Contract Officer, “getting the entry that you need to pitch your product/service and abilities are essential; having in mind that no proposal is too big or too complex if the company follows certain basic guidelines in the creation processes”. The goal of any proposal should be to address the specific requirements for the contract specified (Osborne, S. (2011). Since the preparation of request for proposal with care increases the likelihood of receiving suitable proposals on which to base a dependable project agreement and achieve a successful end result. Four Seasons should be able to structure the proposal in the best way that answers the client’s stated or implicit questions. Persuading the clients and letting them know that the companyhas the answers/requirements on the contract or  answers through the proposal the Four Seasons Waste and Dispose Management  is submitting (Osborne, S. (2011).

However, Four Seasons ensuring that the offeror’s proposal and every section in the proposal addresses things like Who, What, How, When and So What are also necessary. Although, a times the client specifies the format and structure of the proposal. But the company has to comply with this providing additional information that would be useful in nudging the client decision in a favor that should go into the appendix. Also, if the client/agency has not specified the response structure, Four Seasons is willing to create a template keeping in mind that the proposal will address the specific clients’ requirements (Feldman, S.W., and Keyes, W. N. (2011). The proposal should be easily readable and information easy to find.  For instance, use indexing and linking within the proposal, as well as headings for any sections and labels for diagrams to draw attention of the federal government personnel that issued the RFP. In cases, where there are large RFPs (Request For Proposal), especially in government and public sectors, different departments at Four Seasons are given different sections of the proposal to evaluate. Therefore, it is important that every section by itself has the context and the references to other sections that might be relevant. And as a result of this, the company should not make the clients work too hard or spend a lot of time puzzling the way through the proposal.

Most proposal requests lay out how they will score the vendor for the response. In cases this does not happen, Four Seasons Waste and Dispose Management need to ask the client about their key evaluation criteria; bearing in mind that compliance to all aspects of any bid is very critical to pass the first stage. Hence, reading the fine print carefully before starting to put the company’s efforts to it is very essential. Before responding to RFP, Four Seasons checks the submission date and create a timeline to ensure that the submission meets the deadline (Osborne, S. (2011). “Focus and give more time on those aspects that are most important to the agency/client that might give the company the scoring edge”. The rest of the proposal serves to provide the supporting points to add credibility to the introduction. However, the company does not want to project itself as someone who does not care about the details enough”. As a result of this, Four Seasons clearly define the expected final result and what tasks are expected of the company. The company alsoincludes at least a preliminary requirements specification or concept design (Feldman, S.W., and Keyes, W. N. (2011). The goal of including a requirement specification is to clearly describe the boundaries for the content, functionality and technical implementation of any project the company will embark on in the future (Osborne, S. (2011). Particularly at Four Seasons Waste and Dispose Management, the use of an exemplar for the company helps the company to ensure that the format of the request meets the requirements of federal government personnel that issued the RFP and responsibility for evaluation plan for the proposals (Four Seasons Waste and Dispose Management, 2012).

2. Apply the appropriate FAR clauses in order to meet compliance in contract formulation/award

Since all government contracts are governed under the auspices of the Federal Acquisition Regulation, details the way contractors do business with the government must be conducted at all times given that contracts are drawn up and the regulations are strictly. Meeting the agency Request for Proposal (RFP) requirements with a responsive proposal can be well worth the effort if a winning strategy can be formulated by the Contract Officer of Four Seasons. Before considering submitting a proposal to a given government solicitation, the company conducts a bid/no bid exercise. By going through that process the CO and the team are able to formulate a win strategy and discover whether they should bid on any contract that lacks such strategy. The first step is to impart clear direction to the effort so that the firm maximizes the time to meet the tightest of deadlines”. The company does this by developing a schedule and Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) that details the tasks that are on the critical path to writing a successful proposal. Having the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) enables the company to determine the anticipated proposal size and volume, the urgency of the solicitation requirement; as well as theadequacy of administrative procedures and timely delivery to the designated proposal. Regardless of the type of contract issued, Four Seasons considersthe contract terms and methods of completion that will be included in the body of the proposal. Bearing in mind that the firm’s proposals are written expression and proposed solutions to any need of proposals from the clients; andthe requirements of the Contracting Officer overseeing the execution of the contract will also help determine the actual sub-clause used in the final document.

Conversely, since Four Seasons Waste and Dispose bid strategy demonstrates the ability to effectively work with both the public and private sectors in achieving the desired results and surpassing expectations. Four Seasons agrees to the conditions of all responses in accordance with the criteria stated in the notice prior to execution. Although, the terms may seem immenseto the advantage of smaller companies like Four Seasons, but any information provided by the company to a potential solicitation in response to its request must be disclosed between the agency and Four Seasons Waste and Dispose Management to avoid confusion withinboth parties.The firm strives to understand the federal government contracting business and the win strategy for any opportunity. Thus, Four Seasons Waste and Dispose Management do so by establishing a close, on-going working relationship with the government/agencies. The company tends to have a clear line of communication and regular updates and drafts that help the company to keep in sync with a strategy of winning contracts opportunities.

Moreover, Since the agency may publish a pre-solicitation notice that provides a general description of the scope or purpose of the acquisition and invites potential offerors to submit information that allows the government to advise the offerors about their potential to be viable competitors. Four Seasons will use win themes from the company’s extensive proposal archive to customize each response from the government to the requirements of the solicitation to ensure a compliant submission.The company ensures compliance by incorporating all requirements into a solid response. Proposal specialists from Four Seasons create a winning outline, augment with clear and compliant text, introduce supporting graphics and charts, and package these into a conforming format that can yield winning a contract. The information sought may be limited to a statement of qualifications and other appropriate information (such as proposed technical concept, past performance, and limited pricing information). But at a minimum, the notice from Four Seasons Waste and Dispose Management will contain sufficient information to permit a potential client to make an informed decision about whether to award the contract or not.Considering the previous exemplary performance of Four Seasons Waste and Dispose Management, agencies that contracts with the company are able to determine that the plan of action for the company defines the relative importance of cost to other proposal areas, creativity to the work, visual and suitability to Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).

3. Identify and account for FAR compliance issues and contributing factors from your GAO knowledge

While Four Seasons Waste and Dispose Management dedication to improving the government workforce has gained the attention of a number of industry-leading commercial clients that face similar challenges, alignment throughout the organization, leadership, business process, logistics, and scale (FAR, 2012). The company is empowered to make achievement decisions within their areas of responsibility, including selection, negotiation, and administration of works consistent with FAR policy and regulations. In particular, Four Seasons has the authority to the maximum extent practicable and consistent with FAR compliance, to determine the application of rules, regulations, and policies on the kind of services they perform. Moreover, clients are always welcomed to visit the company’s facilities to experience how the staffs work and witness first hand commitment to excellence. The company is fully insured and has dedicated field account representatives to ensure a continued satisfaction to the federal government.

At Four Seasons Waste and Dispose Management, the company strives to maintain an attitude of total satisfaction to all clients. In order to achieve this goal, the entire company has been structured into client-driven business entities where quality of service/work is an obsession. At all levels, the company believes that the best way to accomplish quality and productivity is through empowering clients (Feldman, S.W., and Keyes, W. N. (2011). With such high expectations of quality service, Four Seasons strives to maintain a motivating climate, furnishes the necessary resources, and makes sure that high quality job performance pays off. As a result of being part of federal government contractor, the firm is committed to be proactive together with high quality service. The safety and welfare of the employees and the clients the company serves are vitally important to the company. Employees and clients safety is the company’s first priority. In addition to maintaining safety, reliable proposal and work to the government, all employees for the company receive thorough continuous on-the-job ethic and compliance training. The company creates a custom learning and development program that addresses the organization’s unique culture, specific needs, and strategic goals.

Planning for safety and health is also an important part of the company’s department manager job.Whether the firm has a single contract or multiple contracts with complex overhead rate calculations, Four Seasons ensures that the company is in total compliance with FAR requirements. The company’s corporate philosophy dictates that safety and health are part of the company’s business decision including purchasing, engineering, changes in work processes, and planning for potential contract requirements.Training is particularly important element of the programs for Four Seasons Waste and Dispose Management and this aspect of the company’s plan brings new ideas into the workplace, re-emphasizes safe prac­tices, and helps to put other elements of the company’s total safety program into action. In addition, Four Seasons commitments for ensuring that employees comply with FAR work practices/regulation are discussed during the orientation and throughout the year at weekly meetings. Consequently, the company employees benefit from compliance training through fewer work-related injuries and illnesses, reduced stress and worry caused by exposure to work dangers.

4. Apply the knowledge of planned actions in soliciting and awarding contracts and make recommendations to ensure the government agency is in compliance with the FAR requirements.

Government contracting can be lucrative, but as you might imagine, doing business with the federal government requires compliance with some unique laws and regulations designed to ensure that the taxpayers’ money is wisely spent. These regulations establish uniform policies and procedures that individual government agencies may supplement with their own regulations. Parts of the FAR are incorporated into government solicitations and contracts by reference. Consequently, federal government contractors like Four Seasons are required to establish and maintain internal controls and compliance programs to detect and prevent improper conduct in connection with the performance of government contracts; and should have a convincing clear evidence of free from violation of federal criminal law involving fraud, conflict of interest, bribery or gratuity found in Title 18 of the U.S. Code, or a violation of the civil False Claims Act (O’Connor, T. (2007).

Moreover,failure to comply with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) accounting to requirements can result in the loss of future business, reduced fees, and even criminal penalties in extreme cases for Four Seasons Waste and Dispose Management. According to FAR, “the penalties for knowingly including unallowable costs in the overhead rate can result in the company’s suspension, debarment, and potential prosecution under the False Claims Act, which is criminal fraud”. For example, on December 24, 2007, a new Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) rule requiring a contractor code of ethics and other elements of a compliance and ethics program became effective.The final rule requires contractors to have a code of business ethics and conduct within 30 days of award of all non-commercial-item contracts and subcontracts greater than $5 million and with a performance period of 120 days or more (FAR, 2012). It also requires formal training on the code, internal controls to detect improper conduct and the display of hotline posters. Although, this final rule requires some elements of a compliance and ethics program, as defined by the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines (USSG), it does not meet all of the USSG’s requirements for an effective program. As a result of the rules, Four Seasons Waste and Dispose Management understands the basic management principles and skills needed to support projects thus improving any project results through the use of project management best practices. The company integrates the core of broad-based approach to program control, which supports and goes beyond best FAR practices and regulations, including many program and portfolio control frameworks that have been implemented in DOD, federal agencies and industry.

WhileFour Seasons Waste and Dispose Management is thinking about what the company’s skills and capabilities are; the firm need to keep in mind that the client has his own perceptions that must be addressed. It is amazing how often a bidder and a Contract Officer do not see the world the same way. Four Seasons Waste and Dispose Management able to recognize who their competitors will enable the company evaluates any chances with these competitors against the solution the company offers and the skills it has relative to the RFP’s requirements. In addition, Four Seasons Waste and Dispose Management having a great FAR regulation and mandatory self-disclosure are very important with federal government corporate-charging guidelines. For example, the McNulty Memorandum issued December 12, 2006 by the Deputy U.S. Attorney General Paul McNulty, specifically states that “prosecutors must consider” in their charging decision “the corporation’s timely andvoluntary disclosureof wrongdoing and its willingness to cooperate in the investigation of its agents” (Janis, R. N (2006). Since the company is adhering to the FAR regulation and without losing sight of the fact that the clients are still the company most important focus; having a great bid strategy can make one speak enthusiastically about Four Seasons Waste and Dispose Management and the company’s creative and knowledgeable staffs who serve the federal government to meet every challenge.

References

Engelbeck, R. M. (2002). Acquisition management (2nd ed.). Vienna, VA: Management Concepts

Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).(n.d.).General format. Retrieved on May 15th, 2013 from http://www.acquisition.gov/far/index.html

Feldman, S.W., and Keyes, W. N. (2011).Government contracts in a nutshell (5th ed.). St. Paul, MN: Thomson Reuters.

Janis, R. N (2006). The McNulty Memorandum: Much Ado About Nothing. Retrieved on May 16th 2013 from http://www.dcbar.org/for_lawyers/resources/publications/washington_lawyer/february_2007/stand.cfm

O’Connor, T. (2007).Understanding government contracts law. (1st ed.). Vienna, VA:

     Management Concepts.

Osborne, S. (2011). Winning government business: Gaining the competitive advantage (2nd ed.).