In the previous TAC Talks podcast, we discussed the multi-step evaluation process and technical demonstrations. In this episode, we focus on more traditional proposal evaluations and techniques that speak broader than just a Technical Volume.

Evaluating proposals is a critical task for the government, as selecting the correct vendor can set the path of a project for years to come. The right contractor can be the difference between successfully serving our Veterans and the American people, or failing to support them in the way they need. Similarly, as a vendor, being selected can mean success or failure as a company. The stakes are high for both sides.

The more traditional evaluation approach is still being used for the majority of procurements, so it is important we continue to learn how to improve. Here, we discuss how the government decides what to evaluate, how to weight the factors in a trade-off, and how we go about evaluating. We also discuss considerations from a vendor perspective, such as strategies when writing a proposal, how to handle proposing unique terms, conditions, assumptions, and license agreements, whether late is always late, and other potential pitfalls that could impact your chance to get the award.

The panel of contracting officers in this episode includes: Charles Ross, director of Procurement Service B at VA TAC; Cara Varricchio, contracting officer at VA TAC; and Jamie Ford, deputy chief council at VA’s Office of General Council, Procurement Law Group.


Mark Junda is the director of Procurement Service at the VA TAC, and also serves on OMB’s Acquisition Innovation Advocate Council. 

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