CMS OAGM and SPARC SB Primes gearing up

** Update 5.4.17 **


G2X has heard from several small businesses who
attended the kick-off yesterday for this shiny new $25B IDIQ, and included here
are a few of the highlights. We welcome perspective from those who attended as
what is included here is second-hand insight.

held a conference call with the small business awardees on CMS SPARC to discuss
near term plans and answer questions. A few of the things that stuck out to our
insiders (thank you!) include:

CMS to compete with NITAAC? You bet – across
HHS at least. CMS was clear to point out that they are open for business and
they encouraged SB primes to let other HHS OPDivs know that SPARC is an option
and that there are no fees to use the vehicle. We will see how this works in
practice, but discussions with other agencies are said to already be taking

You are what you were when you submitted
your proposal –
If you were a [8(a),
HUBZone, WO, SDVO] small business on that day, you remain that way in the eyes
of CMS for at least the next three years, irrespective of whether you have
graduated. Good news for those firms who no longer qualify for a category or
status. Bad news for those firms who may have added a new category during the
elongated evaluation and award period.

On Ramp –
Nothing planned at this point. After a painful and challenging award process,
can you blame them?

Did we hear “rule of two”? SDVOs will get very excited, but with no Supreme Court
ruling to back this up, we suspect this will not be a hard and fast rule of
two. The second-hand statement conveyed to G2X was that CMS will look to
compete something within a category if there are two or more vendors deemed
capable by OAGM. Still unclear how that works.

Do any socio-economic categories get
CMS stated the
order goes HUBZone, SDVO, WO, 8(a). As one commenter on G2X noted yesterday,
that is where they are missing their SB numbers, so makes sense. Having said
that, CMS has already stepped out of order with the small handful of market
research actions to date, and, as with the rule of two, we suspect this will
not be a hard and fast rule.

Does everyone see all tasks? Nope. For example, 8(a) will not see HUBZone and vice
versa. Tasks will only be released to prime vendors who qualify under the category
CMS opts to compete/release it under.

Any word on the large vehicle? Timing?
No. Sorry large bidders.
Wish we had better news for you.

Forecast – Here we go!! Get ready. Ok, not so much. A small
forecast was provided and we have highlighted some of the identified
opportunities below – check with your prime to get the complete list. CMS was
quick to point out this is only a subset of the overall list of opportunities
they expect to release.

  • LILS (Legislative IT
    Lifecycle Support, formerly ICD&A)
  • MDM (Enterprise
    Master Data Management)
  • EPC (Enterprise
    Portal Contract)
  • Business Operations
    Support Center (BOSC)
  • Enterprise
    Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) Support
  • Open Door Forum
  • National Provider
    Identifier (NPI) Crosswalk
  • Multi-Carrier
  • Business
    Intelligence/Extract, Transform & Load (BI-ETL)
  • Data Extract System
    (DESY) Data Access and Data Shipping System (DADSS) and Decision Support Access
    Facility (DSAF)
  • Beneficiary
    Eligibility Suite of Systems Transactions (BESST)

interesting thing to note here is that none of the opportunities on this list
are expected to be awarded in FY17, so there is opportunity to get in front of

anything strike you that we did not include? Is any of this wrong or
misinterpreted? Comment below or drop us a note at

** Posted 4.26.17

“OAGM is providing answers to some frequently asked questions below.

How were the socio-economic pools set? The pools were set based off the offerors socio-economic status as of the time of proposal submission. Furthermore, as per the solicitation, offerors were required to indicate which pools they were to be considered in. The socio-economic pools were based off of the offeror requested pools from proposal submission, and checked by the socio-economic status at the time of proposal submission as verified by SAM data or the SBA. The 8(a) pool was confirmed by the SBA, and the SBA determined the eligibility of each 8(a) pool participant as based off of the date of proposal submission.

Will CMS update pool memberships to reflect changes in socio-economic status that occurred after proposal submission? No, CMS will not update the pool memberships to reflect changes that occurred after the time of proposal submission. Offeror eligibility was determined at the time of proposal submission. The SBA approves and determines who is eligible for the 8(a) pool. Furthermore, the SBA validated the 8(a) pool for offerors with 8(a) status at the time of proposal submission, in accordance with SBA policy. The only changes that may be made are those provided by the re-representation of size status clause in the contract, FAR 52.219-28.

How will solicitations be distributed for the SPARC contract? The Task Order Contracting Officer will send the solicitation via email to only those awardees in the pool chosen for set-aside by the Task Order Contracting Officer. For example, a task order which is set-aside for the hubzone pool, will be emailed only to the hubzone awardees listed in the attached spreadsheet. Additionally, offerors who received their hubzone status after the date of proposal submission and are not listed on the attached spreadsheet will not receive the solicitation. The task order would not be sent to the unrestricted pool, all small business pool, Woman Owned Small Business Pool, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business Pool, nor 8(a) pool.

Will small business awardees be able to propose on unrestricted orders? Yes, Small businesses will be able to propose on Unrestricted orders. The solicitations will be sent via email to all small business and large business awardees.”

G2X TAKE: With the many CMS SPARC small business primes and subcontractors itching to get started, CMS sent a message to the SB primes yesterday addressing several current outstanding questions and providing more details about next steps.

Included above are a few of the excerpts from a Q&A in the email provided to CMS SPARC SB primes clarifying key questions around socio-economic pools and how solicitations will be distributed. While this confirms what was understood, it will be important for SPARC subcontractors to be aware of the rules as they impact which primes can bid on which tasks as you weigh teaming options at the task level.

The second big takeaway from the email is that OAGM is planning to hold a kick-off webinar for the prime awardees next week and an opportunity forecast will be provided to prime contract holders at that time. On a team? make sure to ask your prime to see it. If anyone wants to send G2X a copy, we will post it as all benefit from knowing what is coming. Have insight/intel the community can benefit from? email us at Tips are always appreciated!

Overall, CMS is doing a good job of communicating with industry partners and we expect to see a busy Q3 and Q4 for FY17 for SPARC primes.

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