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FAQ

Question 1: What is ProTech?
Answer
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Acquisition and Grants Office (AGO) Strategic Sourcing Acquisition Division (SSAD) established the professional and technical (ProTech) Branch, and the ProTech Program Management Office (ProTech PMO). ProTech is a suite of contracting vehicles that consists of Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) multiple award contracts, multiple award and single award Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs), and other contract types providing professional and technical services to NOAA, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), and DOC bureaus.

The ProTech suite is organized into five Domains: Satellite, Fisheries, Oceans, Weather, and Enterprise Operations. ProTech contract vehicles are mandatory for NOAA line and staff office use, and may also be used by the DOC or other bureaus within the agency. The ceiling amount, collectively encompassing the suite of ProTech domain contracts, is $3,000,000,000.

  • The ProTech-Satellite contract primarily supports the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS). NESDIS is a NOAA line office (LO) operating branch and is responsible for NOAA’s environmental satellite, data, and information management programs providing the data, information, and services needed to support environmental studies and predictions, resource assessments, data archiving and dissemination, and satellite sensor and technology development. NESDIS develops and operates civilian satellite systems to observe land, ocean, atmospheric, and solar conditions required by governments, commerce, and the general public, and to support commercial space services. Services under this domain include conducting studies, analysis, and reporting; applied research and consulting; data collection and surveys; and program and project management in support of NESDIS. The NAICS code for the ProTech-Satellite contract is 541712 - Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (except Biotechnology).

  • The ProTech-Fisheries contract primarily supports the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). NMFS is a NOAA LO operating branch and promotes the conservation, management, and sustainable use of living marine resources for commercial and recreational uses. NMFS provides services and products to support NOAA’s fisheries management, international fisheries management, constituent services, protected resources and habitat conservation, enforcement, and scientific and technical aspects of the agency’s living marine resources programs. Services under this domain include conducting studies, analysis, and reporting; applied research, engineering, and operations; field sampling, data collection and surveys; and consulting, program, and project management in support of NMFS. The NAICS code for the ProTech-Fisheries contract is 541990 - All Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services.

  • The ProTech-Oceans contract primarily supports the National Ocean Service (NOS). NOS is a NOAA LO operating branch and integrates ocean services, coastal ocean, and coastal zone management programs. NOS provides services and products to garner increased use and opportunities within oceans and estuaries to meet the Nation’s needs; support the development, appropriate use, and management of the oceans and their resources; promote improvements in marine and coastal commerce; and improve the safety of marine operations and coastal activities. Services under this domain include conducting studies, analysis, and reporting; applied research, engineering, and operations; field sampling, data collection and surveys; consulting, program and project management; and capacity building in support of NOS. The NAICS code for the ProTech-Oceans contract is 541620 - Environmental Consulting Services.

  • The ProTech-Weather contract primarily supports the National Weather Service (NWS). NWS is a NOAA LO operating branch and is responsible for managing the delivery of products and services to meet the needs of the agency’s customers and stakeholders. NWS and all of NOAA’s LOs are accountable for aligning their efforts with respect to particular strategic goals and objectives. NWS is responsible for an integrated weather services program to monitor and predict the state of the atmospheric and hydrologic environment. NWS delivers climatic, hydrologic, and meteorological services to government, industry, and the general public, including weather warnings and predictions, as well as the exchange of products and forecasts with international organizations. Services under this domain include systems and facilities engineering and technical support services; scientific weather support services; and program and project management, consulting and training in support of NWS. The NAICS code for the ProTech-Weather contract is 541330 - Engineering Services.

  • The ProTech-Enterprise Operations contract primarily supports leadership and staff of NOAA, from its headquarters corporate functions and subordinate staff offices (SO) that support the entire organization through service and management functions, to LOs that provide the delivery of products and services to the public. Services under this domain include strategic planning; communication, training, education, outreach, conference and workshop management; business and administrative management; budget and financial management; program and project management; and legislative management in support of NOAA line and staff offices.

Question 2: What are the benefits of ProTech?
Answer
Strategic sourcing is the process of developing channels of supply or service at the lowest total cost, not just the lowest purchase price. Although strategic sourcing focuses primarily on reducing costs, its foundation is building longer term, win-win relationships with key government contractors to give government buyers a competitive advantage in meeting its priority goals and mission. The nature of the relationship underscores the success of strategic sourcing initiatives. It is critical that both government buyers and government contractors work together and share information to identify opportunities that will significantly increase savings over time.

ProTech provides integrated professional and technical services that allow for the full range of contract types (e.g. fixed-price, cost-reimbursement, time & material, labor hour, or hybrid) at the task order (TO) level, including commercial and noncommercial requirements. It will facilitate NOAA, DOC, and DOC bureau initiatives such as managing high-risk contracts, encouraging performance-based contracting, providing transparency and data analytics under strategic sourcing, streamlining the acquisition process, and maximizing opportunities for small businesses.

Question 3: How will NOAA line and staff offices, and the Department of Commerce (DOC) agency and other DOC bureaus access ProTech?
Answer
The agency and bureau contracting official support roles for program officials doesn’t change. Government program officials should reach out to their established contracting officer point of contact at their DOC agency or bureau. Government contracting officials can reach out to the ProTech PMO, which consists of contracting officers and account managers that are assigned to a specific domain, with any questions or for guidance. The ProTech website provides ProTech PMO points of contact, an ordering guide, training slides, templates that government program officials may use to develop their task order (TO) purchase requisition (PR) packages, and other resources with the information and procedures to effectively use the ProTech program and suite of domain IDIQ contracts.

Question 4: How does the ProTech Program Management Office (ProTech PMO) assist government program officials?
Answer
Upon request of the government requiring activity or the task order contracting officer (TO CO), the ProTech PMO is available to offer guidance and assistance in the following areas:

  • Market research and acquisition planning;
  • Assist the requiring activity with the development of the requirement document (statement of work (SOW)/performance work statement (PWS)/statement of objectives (SOO));
  • Independent government cost estimate (IGCE);
  • Source selection planning and evaluation factors;
  • Recommendations for the TO contract type (fixed-price, cost-reimbursement, time & material, labor hour, or hybrid);
  • Overall support of the requiring activity’s preparation of the work products necessary to complete the purchase requisition (PR) package; and
  • Train requiring activities and NOAA Acquisition and Grants Office (AGO) division, Department of Commerce (DOC), and DOC bureau contracting officers on the ProTech Program processes.

Question 5: Who oversees the ProTech Program?
Answer
The ProTech Program Manager (PPM) is the government’s central point of contact for all technical matters arising at the ProTech domain IDIQ contract-level. The PPM also serves as the liaison between the ProTech domain IDIQ contract-level contracting officers and account managers and the NOAA program and line offices for technical issues. Other aspects of the PPM’s role are as follows:

  • Maintain program integrity that prevents or mitigates contractual or programmatic issues;
  • Solicit feedback from requiring activities and NOAA Acquisition and Grants Office (AGO) division, Department of Commerce (DOC), and DOC bureau contracting officers, and provide continuous process improvement; and
  • Provide guidance and assistance to requiring activities, NOAA AGO division, DOC, and DOC bureau contracting officers, and prime contractors in the use of the ProTech domain IDIQ contract vehicles.
Please visit the Contacts page for more information.

Question 6: Who oversees the ProTech domain IDIQ contracts?
Answer
The domain IDIQ contract-level contracting officer (CO) has the overall responsibility for the administration of the ProTech domain IDIQ contracts. The domain IDIQ contract-level CO is the only authorized individual to take actions on behalf of the government to amend, modify, or deviate from the contract terms, conditions, requirements, specifications, details, or schedules within the domain IDIQ contracts. The domain IDIQ contract-level CO is responsible for the overall administration and final closeout of the contracts and, when necessary, shall:

  • Provide scope oversight;
  • Serve as liaison between ProTech domain IDIQ prime contract holders and NOAA;
  • Assist in expediting task orders where practical;
  • Ensure compliance with contract requirements;
  • Issue the CO’s final decision and handle all domain IDIQ contract-level disputes under the Contract Disputes Act;
  • Provide the administrative procedures for placing task orders, contract administration, and issuing contract modifications;
  • Designate the domain IDIQ contract-level contracting officer representative (COR); and
  • Track and report domain IDIQ contract-level metrics.
Please visit the Contacts page for more information.

Question 7: How can interested companies be added to a ProTech domain IDIQ contract?
Answer
In regard to contractor teaming arrangements, companies involved normally form a contractor team arrangement before submitting an offer. However, they may enter into an arrangement later in the acquisition process, including after contract award.

In regard to potential competition refresh, the government reserves the right to award additional contracts if it is determined to be in its best interest. The competition refresh process may be used to maintain a sufficient number of contractors for the work contemplated under the program. The government shall have sole discretion to determine when and how many additional contracts shall be awarded. The competition refresh will be announced in the designated government wide point of entry, Federal Business Opportunities. Contracts awarded under the competition refresh will share in the ceiling and period of performance established for the ProTech program and relevant domain IDIQ contract and such awards shall not result in changes to existing contracts.

Question 8: Who are the ProTech domain IDIQ prime contract holders?
Answer
ProTech’s website maintains a copy of the IDIQ prime contract holders for each domain that has been awarded. Hover the mouse pointer over "Domains” in the navigation bar, click on the domain you are interested in from the drop-down list, and select “Contract Holders” from the top menu.

For the Satellite Domain Contract Holders, click here.

Question 9: Where can the ProTech domain IDIQ contract clauses be found?
Answer
ProTech’s website maintains a copy of the master IDIQ contracts for each domain that has been awarded, which includes the clauses. Hover the mouse pointer over "Domains” in the navigation bar, click on the domain you are interested in from the drop-down list, and select “Master Contract” from the top menu.

For the Satellite Domain Master Contract, click here.

Question 10: Who assigns a contracting officer’s representative (COR) for a ProTech task order (TO)?
Answer
The requiring activity must provide a certified COR as part of their purchase requisition (PR) package for a TO. Services will be procured via TOs issued by a TO contracting officer (TO CO) from within NOAA’s Acquisition and Grants Office (AGO) divisions, Department of Commerce (DOC), or DOC bureaus. All warranted COs across the DOC agency and bureaus are authorized TO COs and must follow the ProTech ordering guide procedures accordingly. The TO CO appoints the certified COR for each ProTech TO.

Question 11: Who manages a ProTech task order (TO) after it has been awarded?
Answer
The TO contracting officer’s representative (TO COR) is responsible for the day-to-day monitoring of performance under that TO and conducts all delegated TO administration activities as required by the TO COR appointment letter. The TO COR is not authorized to make any representations or commitments of any kind on behalf of the TO contracting officer (TO CO) or the government, unless specified in the appointment letter. The TO COR does not have authority to alter the contractor’s obligations or to change the specifications, pricing, terms or conditions of the contract. If, as a result of technical discussion(s), it is desirable to modify requirements or the specification, changes will be issued in writing and signed by the TO CO.

Question 12: Are terms and conditions tailored at the task order (TO) level?
Answer
ProTech TO level terms and conditions are dependent upon the contract type. ProTech allows for TOs to be issued on a fixed-price, cost-reimbursement, time & material, labor hour, or hybrid basis.

Question 13: How is the small business “reserve” at the ProTech domain IDIQ contract-level utilized at the task order (TO) level?
Answer
At the ProTech domain IDIQ contract-level, approximately 75% of the awards for each domain are intended to be for small business concerns, including those to the socio-economic categories.

This reserve is conducted in accordance with 13 CFR 125.2(e)(4). Therefore, if there are two or more ProTech domain IDIQ contract awards to any one type of small business concern, the government may compete any ProTech TO solely amongst the specified types of small business concerns if the “rule of two” or an alternative set-aside requirement provided in the small business program have been met. If there are several ProTech domain IDIQ contract awards to several different types of small businesses, the government may compete any TOs solely amongst all of the small business concerns if the “rule of two” has been met. If there is only one ProTech domain IDIQ contract award to any one type of small business concern, the government may issue TOs directly to that concern for work that it can perform.

Question 14: How will the government determine set-asides at the ProTech task order (TO) level?
Answer
The determination will be made by the TO contracting officer based on market research conducted at the TO level. See also, response to question #13 above.

Question 15: When task order (TO) requirements span multiple ProTech domain IDIQ contracts, how will the government determine which domain to procure under?
Answer
The determination will be made by the TO contracting officer based on market research conducted at the TO level. At minimum, the preponderance of the TO work must fall within the NAICS code and scope of the selected domain.

Question 16: Can Service Contract Act (SCA)-covered labor categories be added at the task order (TO) level?
Answer
Yes. Some ProTech TOs may require services that do not correspond to the labor categories included in the domain IDIQ contract as awarded. Accordingly, if permitted by the TO solicitation, the contractor may propose appropriate labor categories and labor rates necessary to meet the requirements of the solicitation.