Competitive Proposal Evaluation Process

Excerpt from the American Public Transit Association

Standard Bus Procurement Guidelines

Draft as of 9/20/96

1.1.4 PROPOSAL EVALUATION, NEGOTIATION AND SELECTION

Proposals will be evaluated, negotiated, selected and any award made in accordance with the criteria and procedures described below. The approach and procedures are those which are applicable to a competitive negotiated procurement whereby proposals are evaluated to determine which proposals are within a competitive range. Discussions and negotiations may then be carried out with Offerors within the competitive range, after which Best and Final Offers (BAFOs) may be requested. However, the Procuring Agency may select a proposal for award without any discussions or negotiations or request for any BAFO(s). Subject to the Procuring Agency's right to reject any or all proposals, the Offeror will be selected whose proposal is found to be most advantageous to the Procuring Agency, based upon consideration of the criteria of "Qualification Requirements" (Sections 1.1.4.3.1) and  "Proposal Evaluation Criteria" (Section 1.1.4.3.2) below.

1.1.4.1 Opening of Proposals

Proposals will not be publicly opened. All proposals and evaluations will be kept strictly confidential throughout the evaluation, negotiation and selection process. Only the members of the Selection Committee and Evaluation Team and other Procuring Agency officials, employees and agents having a legitimate interest will be provided access to the proposals and evaluation results during this period.

1.1.4.2 Selection Committee and Evaluation Team

(NOTE: Procuring Agency to specify how it will organize the evaluation and appropriately title this section. The following is provided as an example.)

A Selection Committee will be established. The Committee will make all decisions regarding the evaluations, determination of responsible Offerors and the competitive range, negotiations and the selection of the Offeror, if any, that may be awarded the Contract. The Selection Committee will be assisted by an Evaluation Team which will include officers, employees and agents of the Procuring Agency. The Evaluation Team will carry out the detailed evaluations and report all of its findings to the Selection Committee.

1.1.4.3 Proposal Selection Process

The following describes the process by which proposals will be evaluated and a selection made for a potential award. Any such selection of a proposal by a responsible Offeror shall be made by consideration of only the criteria of "Qualification Requirements" (Section 1.1.4.3.1) and "Proposal Evaluation Criteria" (Section 1.1.4.3.2) below. Section 1.1.4.3.1 specifies the requirements for determining responsible Offerors, all of which must be met by an Offeror to be found qualified. Final determination of an Offeror's qualification will be made based upon all information received during the evaluation process and as a condition for award. Section 1.1.4.3.2 contains all of the evaluation criteria, and their relative order of importance, by which a proposal from a qualified Offeror will be considered for selection. An award, if made, will be to a responsible Offeror for a proposal which is found to be in the Procuring Agency's best interest, price and other evaluation criteria considered.

The procedures to be followed for these evaluations are provided in "Evaluation Procedures" (Section 1.1.4.4) below.

1.1.4.3.1 Qualification Requirements

The following are the requirements for qualifying responsible Offerors. All of these requirements must be met; therefore, they are not listed by any particular order of importance. The Offeror of any proposal that the Selection Committee finds not to meet these requirements, and cannot be made to meet these requirements, may be determined by the Selection Committee not to be responsible and its proposal rejected. The requirements are as follows:

(NOTE: Requirements shown in italics are examples to serve as guidelines. The Procuring Agency is to choose and specify the appropriate requirements.)

1.1.4.3.2 Proposal Evaluation Criteria

The following are the complete criteria, listed by their relative degree of importance, by which proposals from responsible Offerors will be evaluated and ranked for the purposes of determining any competitive range and to make any selection of a proposal for a potential award. Any exceptions, conditions, reservations or understandings explicitly, fully and separately stated on the "Form for Proposal Deviation (Section 1.1.6.9) which do not cause the Procuring Agency to consider a proposal to be outside the competitive range, will be evaluated according to the respective evaluation criteria and/or sub-criteria which they affect.

The criteria are listed numerically by their relative order of importance. However, certain criteria may have sub-criteria that are listed by their relative order of importance within the specific criterion they comprise. Also, certain sub-criteria may have sub-criteria that are listed by their relative degree of importance within the specific sub-criterion they comprise.

(NOTE: Procuring Agency to define and insert the evaluation criteria. At the option of the Procuring Agency weights should be assigned to each criterion and sub-criterion and shown in the document. The criteria are to be listed by their order of importance in the evaluation. The following are suggested categories of criteria for Procuring Agency consideration, but not listed in suggested order of importance:

Example evaluation criteria are presented in the Appendix at the end of this Section 1.)

1.1.4.4 Evaluation Procedures

All aspects of the evaluations of the proposals and any discussions/negotiations, including documentation, correspondence and meetings, will be kept confidential during the evaluation and negotiation process.

Proposals will be analyzed for conformance with the instructions and requirements of the RFP and Contract documents. Proposals that do not comply with these instructions and do not include the required information may be rejected as insufficient or not be considered for the competitive range. Procuring Agency reserves the right to request an Offeror to provide any missing information and to make corrections. Offerors are advised that the detailed evaluation forms and procedures will follow the same proposal format and organization specified in "Instructions to Offerors" (Section 1.1.3). Therefore, Offerors shall pay close attention to and strictly follow all instructions. Submittal of a proposal will signify that the Offeror has accepted the whole of the Contract documents, except such conditions, exceptions, reservations or understandings explicitly, fully and separately stated on the forms and according to the instructions of "Form for Proposal Deviation." Any such conditions, exceptions, reservations or understandings which do not result in the rejection of the proposal are subject to evaluation under the criteria of "Proposal Evaluation Criteria" (Section 1.1.4.3.2).

Evaluations will be made in strict accordance with all of the evaluation criteria and procedures specified in "Proposal Selection Process" (Section 1.1.4.3). The Procuring Agency will select for any award the highest ranked proposal from a responsible Offeror, qualified under "Qualification Requirements" (Section 1.1.4.3.1) which does not render this procurement financially infeasible and is judged to be most advantageous to the Procuring Agency based on consideration of the evaluation "Proposal Evaluation Criteria" (Section 1.1.4.3.2).

1.1.4.4.1 Evaluations of Competitive Proposals

APPENDIX A: ILLUSTRATIVE EVALUATION CRITERIA AND SCORING PROCEDURE

Two scoring methods, each including criteria and application of the criteria, are presented below. The first is a completely weighted method, in which all the criteria have a predetermined role and, given the unavoidably subjective assignment of pass/fail or numerical scores to specific criteria, results in a single, certain total score for each proposal. The second method, the narrative/trade-off method, provides more subjectivity in the assignment and combination of technical scores, and in the trade-offs between price and non-price criteria. An infinite number of variations and combinations of these methods could be developed.

I. COMPLETELY WEIGHTED FORMULA METHOD

1.1.4.3.2 Illustrative Evaluation Criteria (Completely Weighted Formula Illustrative Method)

1.1.4.3.3 Application of Evaluation Criteria. (Completely Weighted Formula Illustrative Method)

(NOTE: This section may or may not be included, dependent upon the specific criteria that are included in Section 1.1.4.3.2.)

Proposals will be evaluated against the pass/fail Criteria Nos. 1, 2 and 3. Any proposal which meets all pass/fail criteria, or fails one or more of these criteria but is susceptible of being made to meet such failed criteria, will be considered within the competitive range. Otherwise, a proposal may not be considered to be within the competitive range.

Sub-criteria of Criteria Nos. 4 and 6 will be scored based on the reviewer's determination of the degree of compliance with Contract requirements, potential risks and benefits, and strengths and weaknesses. The score is reduced in proportion to the extent of non-conformance, discrepancies, errors, omissions, and risks to the Procuring Agency. Scores will be assigned according to the following:

9 - 10

Exceptional. Fully compliant with Contract requirements and with desirable strengths or betterments; no errors, or risks, or weaknesses or omissions.

6 - 8

Good to Superior. Compliant with Contract requirements; some minor errors, or risks, or weaknesses or omissions.

4 - 5

Adequate. Minimally compliant with Contract requirements; errors, or risks, or weaknesses or omissions; possible to correct and make acceptable.

1 - 3

Poor to Deficient. Non-compliant with Contract requirements; errors, or risks, or weaknesses or omissions; difficult to correct and make acceptable.

0

Unacceptable. Totally deficient and not in compliance with Contract requirements; not correctable.

An estimate of the impact costs to the Procuring Agency will be made for the items listed in Criterion No. 7. Resultant scores for each sub-criterion will be weighed by the appropriate weight factors and a total score for each criterion determined. The scores of Criteria Nos. 4, 5 and 6 will then be weighed by the appropriate weight factors and a total score developed for the proposal. The following table illustrates the procedure.

II. NARRATIVE / TRADE-OFF METHOD

1.1.4.3.2 Evaluation Criteria (Narrative / Trade-Off Illustrative Method)

1.1.4.3.3 Application of Evaluation Criteria. (Narrative / Trade-Off Illustrative Method)

(NOTE: This section may or may not be included, dependent upon the specific criteria that are included in Section 1.1.4.3.2.)

1. Proposals will be evaluated against the pass/fail Criteria Nos. 1 and 2. Any proposal which meets all pass/fail criteria, or fails one or more of these criteria but is deemed susceptible of being made to meet such failed criteria, will be considered within the competitive range. Otherwise, a proposal may not be considered to be within the competitive range.

Sub-criteria of Criterion No. 3 will be evaluated based on the reviewer's determination of the degree of compliance with Contract requirements, potential risks and benefits, and strengths and weaknesses. One of the following adjectival ratings should be used for each subcriterion:

Excellent

Significantly exceeds in all respects the minimum requirements; high probability of success; no significant weaknesses.

Very Good

Substantial response; meets in all aspects and in some cases exceeds, the critical requirements; no significant weaknesses.

Good

Generally meets minimum requirements; good probability of success; weaknesses can be readily corrected.

Marginal

Lack of essential information; low probability for success; significant weaknesses, but correctable.

Unsatisfactory

Fails to meet minimum requirements; needs major revision to make it acceptable.

Evaluators are to substantiate each rating with a brief narrative explaining their evaluation. The narrative will be specific in nature, addressing the strengths/weaknesses of the proposal in each area and provide a sound rationale for the conclusion reached. This becomes the basis for the evaluator's overall rating and comparison to other proposals. To arrive at the overall technical rating, the evaluator will develop a summary statement.

Evaluators may utilize an informal weighting scheme as a tool (not to be considered the formal evaluation) to assist them in formulating their evaluation. This may be helpful to individual evaluators in terms of remaining focused on the relationship between criteria and facilitate the evaluation process.

2. The individual evaluators will rank each of the proposals reviewed in descending order and provide a supporting narrative, addressing the specific elements of the proposal that are the determining factors (consistent with step 1 findings) for their position within the ranking.

3. Committee members will review and discuss the individual findings and develop a consensus ranking consistent with the evaluation criteria. The committee ranking must also be supported by a narrative that provides the rationale (specific strengths and weaknesses) for their determination.

4. The rank ordered list of proposals will be arrayed in descending order together with the price evaluation figure for each proposal. As the list is reviewed in descending order, any increase in price as technical merit decreases will cause the elimination of the proposal from the list. If more than one proposal remains, the committee will review the trade-offs between descending technical merit and descending price. The committee will then make a decision regarding which of the proposals is the most advantageous to the Procuring Agency, price and other factors considered.

Return to the top of the document