June 05, 2013

When are technical evaluations required?

The threshold for performing technical evaluations varies by company - although I haven't personally see a threshold higher than $150K. I'd suggest at least $30K, as low as $3K for technical evaluations to apply to a procurement action. Given the restrictions on performance of technical evaluations (next up), a relatively low threshold shouldn't be too difficult to implement.

Technical evaluations are generally required in two (2) situations: (1) The sub bids portions of a solution not specified in the SOW; and/or (2) evaluation of portions of the technical proposal are outside the general technical knowledge and scope of a procurement professional.

Common examples of the first situation come when an offeror bids hours and/or travel where those hours and/or travel were not specified in the SOW. Common examples of the second situation are resumes submitted for highly specialized LCATS (e.g. SME labor categories) and proposals including functional equivalents.

As a more general rule, if a nontechnical person can effectively verify that the proposal successfully responds to the technical requirements of the RFQ without assistance, technical review is not required. In other words, if the buyer or SCA can't line the proposal up against the SOW and say "There's nothing else I have to know to evaluate pricing and make an award decision" then a technical evaluation is required.

One last note - the Technical Evaluation requirement should always be N/A for Best Value / Technical Trade Off procurements, since when successfully documented "Best Value" procurements don't need an independent technical evaluation documented.