Justification and Approval - Counter - Rocket, Artillery, Mortar (C-RAM) Contractor Manning of Sense and Warn (S&W) Forward Operating Base (FOB) Locations
Notice Type: Justification and Approval
Posted Date: 30-JAN-14
Office Address: Defense Information Systems Agency; Procurement Directorate; DITCO-Scott; 2300 East Dr.Building 3600 Scott AFB IL 62225-5406
Subject: Counter - Rocket, Artillery, Mortar (C-RAM) Contractor Manning of Sense and Warn (S&W) Forward Operating Base (FOB) Locations
Classification Code: D - Information technology services, including telecommunications services
Contact: Donald J. Petterson , Email email@example.comFAR 6.302-1
Description: Defense Information Systems Agency
JUSTIFICATION FOR AN EXCEPTION TO FAIR OPPORTUNITY
Upon the basis of the following justification, I, as the Head of the Contracting Activity, hereby approve this exception to fair opportunity pursuant to the authority of FAR 16.505(b)(2)(i)(C).
* 1. REQUIRING AGENCY AND CONTRACTING OFFICE:
Requiring Agency: Program Directorate, C-RAM, 5250 Martin Road, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama 35898
Contracting Office: DISA DITCO - Scott-PL83, Scott Air Force Base, IL 62225-5406
* 2. NATURE AND DESCRIPTION OF ACTIONS: Approval is requested for an exception to fair opportunity for the C-RAM Contractor Manning requirement to be extended under the current task order on the ENCORE II Contract HC1028-08-D-2023 TO 0042 to provide the necessary services and incidental supplies to support C-RAM S&W Staffing and Operations in support of the Force Protection mission for United States Forces - Afghanistan (USFOR-A) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Afghanistan. USFOR-A has a critical need to provide C-RAM Force Protection capabilities which provide life-saving warning to unprotected personnel against indirect fire attacks at US FOB locations in Afghanistan. Failure to provide these S&W capabilities will deny US Government personnel the ability to take cover prior to indirect fire events and place undue risk on life and limb to exposed personnel. This modification is anticipated to be issued on a cost plus fixed fee basis and will be funded with fiscal year 14 Operations and Maintenance funds.
* 3. DESCRIPTION OF SUPPLIES/SERVICES:
* (a) Required Activities. This acquisition will provide the necessary services and incidental materials to provide S&W Staffing and Operations at 18 designated FOB locations in Afghanistan in support of OEF. The effort requires a period of performance of a 12-month base period with a 2-month optionfor an estimated value of $85,000,000.00.
* (b) The current task order was extended for a six month period through January 25, 2014 in accordance with FAR 52.217-8 Extension of Services. The required activities for this extension request represent a continuation of services already being rendered under ENCORE II HC1028-08-D-2023 TO 0042; and will permit the uninterrupted support of 18 FOB locations with highly competent Staffing and Operations of C-RAM S&W coverage. Continuation of services will permit uninterrupted coverage for US Forces, and preclude the necessity to pull C-RAM Contractor Operators from Afghanistan leaving US Forces exposed to unwarned indirect fires.
4. SUPPORTING RATIONALE, INCLUDING A DEMONSTRATION THAT THE PROPOSED CONTRACTOR'S UNIQUE QUALIFICATIONS OR THE NATURE OF THE ACQUISITION REQUIRES USE OF AN EXCEPTION TO FAIR OPPORTUNITY:
* (a) Exception to Fair Opportunity. The extension must be issued on a sole-source basis in the interest of economy and efficiency because it is a logical follow-on to an order already issued under the contract where all ENCORE II contractors were given a fair opportunity to be considered for the original order.
* (b) Description of Justification. The current contractor has built a level of expertise over the course of the current effort (TO 0042) such that the FOB Operating Teams have earned the trust and confidence of their supported military organizations, and to that end they represent considerable effort toward and knowledge of the system. The FOB Operating Teams have been fully assimilated into each respective military unit at their respective FOBs and provide significant continuity of effort as the various military organizations rotate in and out of the FOBs. This continuity is the result of the expertise and familiarity of the FOB, situational awareness of threat and threat tactics, force protection mission, and execution of associated force protection tasks, and keen awareness of the terrain surrounding each FOB to identify potential points of origin from where threat fires are launched. Introduction of a new contractor at this time would require considerable resources, time and effort to build the same level of expertise and trust with supported military organizations and needlessly place personnel at risk of injury from indirect fire until a suitable alternate team of Operators could be trained and develop the necessary skills to provide the split-second instincts required. Further, changing contractors would also result in an 8-10 week gap in coverage in providing a life-saving force protection capability if a new offeror were selected. The 8-10 week delay represents the time it would take to train and validate new personnel, attend predeployment training, and then time to deploy to Afghanistan; and would ultimately only deliver Operators rated as adequate. USFOR-A requires uninterrupted support in providing S&W of the indirect fire threat that continues to impact US Forces in support of OEF, and as a result it is not possible to procure continued support to begin by the expiration of TO 0042 on January 25, 2014.
* (c) Justification:
* (1) Minimum Government requirements. The minimum requirement is the sustainment of 18 S&W FOB locations in Afghanistan, with award not later than January 25, 2014. USFOR-A requires that there be no gap in coverage after the expiration of TO 0042 on January 25, 2014 due to ongoing hostilities in Afghanistan.
* (2) Proposed sole source contractor. Northrop Grumman Information Technology (NGIT), 7575 Colshire Drive, Mclean, Virgina 22102, CAGE code 1V4D7 is the only source that can effectively and efficiently provide the uninterrupted highly specialized services and incidental materials to satisfy the requirements for this modification. Since its inception in 2010 in response to an urgent war-fighter need in OEF, NGIT has been the only source to provide the staffing and operations for C-RAM System of Systems (SoS). Over the past 3 years NGIT has developed highly specialized knowledge of the complexities of C-RAM SoS and the threat environment. The success of the C-RAM Program in providing continuity of mission essential force protection against an ever-changing indirect fire threat depends on continued provisioning of NGIT's specialized knowledge and services.
* (3) Discussion regarding cause of sole source situation. Due to the unknown requirements surrounding the withdrawal of forces, the continuation of the enduring effort and associated resources were not solidified by USFOR-A until November 2013. As a result, there is insufficient time available to provide a follow-on award to meet the needs of the Warfighter. However, as discussed in paragraph 6, the market research conducted for this procurement confirmed that at current time there is only one source available to execute the C-RAM mission. Further, service requirements beyond the proposed POP will be evaluated on an ongoing basis and an additional follow on approach (likely to be sole sourced) to be made pending the current Administration's efforts to identify enduring requirements and subsequent post withdrawal footprint of FOB locations throughout Afghanistan.
* (4) Demonstration of unique source. The C-RAM SoS overall is not a commercial item in accordance with the FAR Part 2 definition. While C-RAM contains some commercial items, it is not a commercial system. The commercial items are integrated with one another via an existing Army command and control (C2) system, Forward Area Air Defense, in a manner not duplicated by any other existing commercial system. Additionally, the Air and Missile Defense Workstation forms the C2 backbone of the C-RAM SoS and NGIT is the only source with the unique capabilities and in-depth knowledge of interoperability requirements with manning and operations to perform the continuation of this effort in an efficient and economical manner. Because of NGIT's unique technical expertise and knowledge, and the critical nature of C-RAM's ongoing force protection mission in OEF, conducting a competitive procurement to obtain an alternate supplier for this requirement is not an efficient or economical solution at this time. The requirement for manning and operations of the C-RAM SoS requires a thorough and intimate knowledge of the architecture and C2 components. The C-RAM Program Management Office (PMO) examined the cost efficiencies associated with a sole-source award based upon logical follow-on. Contractor efforts in program management, hiring of operators, training, and deployment of personnel would be highly duplicative, even if a second contractor were capable of performing the same complex efforts. Contractor direct labor and other indirect costs associated with the program management, hiring actions, operator training and replicating a successful personnel deployment model would significantly increase the cost to the Government if a second contractor were used. Extension of the current task order would provide best value to the Government. Award to any other source would likely result in substantial duplication of cost to the Government that is not expected to be recovered through competition.
* (5) Procurement discussion. The time available to compete this effort is limited due to the late identification of requirements and inability to identify a source other than NGIT to perform; thus with the end in period of performance for the current effort on January 25, 2014, a bridging effort is needed for at least a 12-month base period with one 2-month option to provide sufficient time to identify enduring requirements. Once the current US Administration and the Afghan government complete their negotiations and mutually concur to a Status of Forces Agreement, USFOR-A will begin planning for drawdown and transition activities for the enduring requirement. Based upon the experience encountered in Iraq with the drawdown of US Forces, it is estimated that this planning process will take approximately 4-6 months. Once those requirements are identified it should leave approximately 6-8 months of time available to award a follow-on effort, if required. NGIT has provided this service since its inception in July 2010 in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and there have been no other contractors operating the C-RAM SoS.
* (6) Impact: Award to any source other than NGIT will disrupt C-RAM's ability to field, operate, and operate a critical war-time force protection capability, and unnecessarily increase risk to deployed forces. It will result in unacceptable delays in completing C-RAM fielding in Afghanistan if a new source without NGIT's experience and specialized knowledge attempts to perform these services. Leaving USFOR-A personnel in theater without the indirect fire protection of the C-RAM SoS would cause an unacceptable and unnecessary risk to those personnel. Failure to provide a continued immediate response to the OEF mission and maintain the staffing and operations of the C-RAM capability will likely increase the casualties caused by mortar attacks on US personnel in Afghanistan.