MEMORANDUM FOR SEE DISTRIBUTION 9 Feb 98
2420 Vela Way, Suite 1467/A8
Los Angeles AFB, El Segundo, CA 90245-4659
SUBJECT: Teaming within Space Based Laser (SBL) Project Competition
1. The Air Force is pursuing the competitive procurement of the SBL Project. Due to the small market for key SBL technologies, from the outset there have been concerns about exclusive teaming relationships undermining a competitive full and open procurement approach. Initial reviews of technology availability and contractorsí statements indicating willingness to make their technical expertise available led the PMO to conclude that this issue would be avoided.
2. Concerns have been raised of potential exclusive teaming relationships that would make a required SBL technology, which is only available from one source, unavailable to all competitors. Such arrangements could have detrimental impacts on the integrity of the competitive environment. There may be other "single source" situations that have yet to be identified.
3. The PMO remains reluctant to intercede in the forces of the competitive market, as the side effects are hard to predict. However, given the current state of affairs, some action appears required. A plan has been generated that avoids specifying a solution and still drives unique resource owners to make those resources generally available for any team who desires to explore its application in arriving at a best solution.
4. The plan is to place within Article 18, Special Requirements, of each Other Transaction Agreement a clause saying:
Teaming Relationships -
Exclusive teaming relationships within the SBL acquisition are acceptable to the Government, provided the relationship does not inhibit competition. However, where there is a technology or component of potential use in any SBLRD concept, and said technology is solely available from the one organization, that organization must be available to support all CDS competitors interested in arranging for such services. In the instance where this is the case, the support provided to each competitor must be appropriately "firewalled" and governed by an Organizational Conflict of Interest Mitigation Plan.
Prior to entering in to an exclusive arrangement, sufficient documentation shall be provided to the Government demonstrating the relationship does not jeopardize the competitive environment. Where an Organizational Conflict of Interest plan is required to preserve adequate competition,
- Personnel skills and training
- Timely support
- Personnel identification
- Data protection and marking
- Organizational and physical separation
- "Good faith" Negotiations
- Non-disclosure agreements
- Shared resources
The parties agree to negotiate in good faith in an effort to resolve any dispute arising under the Plan. Disputes which cannot be negotiated shall be reported to the Government Agreements Officer for resolution. Further dispute will be governed by Article 6, Disputes.
5. This proposed approach puts all competitors on notice that restricting availability of unique resources at the expense of the Government interests is not acceptable. It does not place the Government in the position of enforcement; yet, makes the Government available as a fair, impartial reviewer. Please direct questions or comments on this matter to Capt Mark Baird at (310) 363-8629.
PETER M. VACCARO, Lt Col, USAF
Space Based Laser Program Manager