If you are a professional services company that offers program evaluation services, you may want to consider the newest subgroup under the GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Contract. The General Services Administration (GSA) is positioning the MAS Contract as a go-to contract vehicle for agencies looking to meet their Program Evaluation needs.
GSA estimates there has been over $500 million in program evaluation contract awards over the past five years. With that number expected to rise, GSA identified a need to help federal agencies find qualified contractors who meet standardized requirements. After extensive research, GSA determined the best way to meet the growing need for Program Evaluation services was through a dedicated subgroup under the GSA MAS Contract.
The new subgroup, Program Evaluation Services, was introduced last week under Special Item Number (SIN) 541611, Management and Financial Consulting, Acquisition and Grants Management Support, and Business Program and Project Management Services.
- What is Program Evaluation?
- How Do You Qualify for the Program Evaluation Subgroup?
- Program Evaluation Subgroup Benefits
- How to Apply for the Program Evaluation Services Subgroup
- Need Help to Add SIN 541611 & the Program Evaluation Subgroup?
Program Evaluation is defined as “assessment using systematic data collection and analysis of one or more programs, policies, and organizations intended to assess their effectiveness and efficiency.” Program evaluations may address questions related to the:
- Implementation of a program, policy, or organization
- Effectiveness of specific strategies related to or used by a program, policy, or organization; and/or
- Factors that relate to variability in the effectiveness of a program, policy, or organization or strategies of these
As stated in the GSA Professional Services Large Category attachment, Program Evaluation Services “can also examine questions related to understanding the contextual factors surrounding a program, as well as how to effectively target specific populations or groups for a particular intervention.”
To fully understand how the government views and defines program evaluation services, take some time to review the Evidence Act, which was signed into law on January 14, 2019, and Office of Management and Budget Memorandum M-20-12.
At minimum, a company must have technical expertise and relevant experience “developing and implementing rigorous evaluation designs, including impact evaluations (i.e., evaluations that include a counterfactual through randomization or quasi-experimental methods) and outcome evaluations (i.e., evaluations that assess outcomes but are not designed to determine causality).”
Ideally though, qualified companies will have the capabilities to provide a range of program evaluation services that may include:
- Conducting evaluability assessments
- Designing and implementing a range of evaluation types, including equitable and culturally-responsive evaluation approaches and process or implementation evaluations
- Collecting and analyzing qualitative and quantitative evaluation data
- Providing evaluation technical assistance/expertise
- Developing and disseminating deliverables from evaluation activities to diverse audiences
If your company is added to the Program Evaluation Subgroup, you’ll benefit by qualifying to compete for BPAs and contracts issued under the subgroup. In creating this new subgroup, GSA worked with the Evaluation Officer Council, which includes 24 of the largest federal agencies, as well as the Interagency Council on Evaluation Policy (ICEP), which includes representatives from 23 different agencies and sub-agencies. As a result, there is already significant interest from the federal evaluation community in this subgroup.
Ongoing Engagement with Federal Agencies
In addition to qualifying for Program Evaluation opportunities, as part of the subgroup, you’ll be invited to attend regular meetings to meet with federal agencies and discuss best practices and ways to improve program evaluation procurements.
In order to apply for the Program Evaluation Services subgroup, you must first hold a GSA MAS Contract with SIN 541611. If you hold SIN 541611, an authorized negotiator on your contract can submit a request to add the Program Evaluation Services Subgroup at any time. Below is an overview of the process.
1) Submit Your Request
Submit your request to Add SIN 541611 Subgroup for Program Evaluation Services via email to [email protected]. Your request should include:
- A concise description of the program evaluation services offered
- 3 Relevant Project Experience examples for work performed within the last three years
2) Submission Assessment
Your submission will be assessed by a Technical Evaluation Board (TEB). The TEB is made up of evaluation professionals from multiple federal agencies who will meet periodically to assess submissions. The TEB will review your submission and may contact the POC for Project Experience examples you provide. The board may also review CPARS ratings for any projects you’ve completed for federal agencies.
The TEB assessment will result in a pass/fail rating on whether the services and past project descriptions in your submission “demonstrate technical expertise and relevant experience in developing and implementing rigorous evaluation designs that align with the definitions, standards, and practices in OMB M-20-12.”
3) Scenario Based Assessment
If your initial submission passes, you’ll move on to the second phase of the evaluation process, which is a scenario based assessment. You’ll receive a specific program evaluation services scenario and will have 15 business days to submit a written response. The scenario based assessment is designed to identify companies that have the experience and expertise to provide program evaluations services. Once you submit your response, the TEB will work to provide a pass/fail decision within 45 calendar days. If the board needs additional time, you’ll receive notification from GSA along with an anticipated date for a decision.
4) Add Subgroup Upon Passing Assessments
If you pass both the initial submission assessment and the scenario based assessment, you can then add the Program Evaluation Services subgroup to your eBuy profile. If you receive a fail rating you can reapply again in six months. The purpose of the six-month waiting period is to provide you time to correct any deficiencies.
Our team has you covered! We have the bandwidth and the expertise to save you time and help you successfully add SIN 541611. We can also provide guidance to help you navigate the process of adding the Program Evaluation Services subgroup. Contact us today to discuss!