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Acquisition Policy Flash! 18-10

What's New?

PPM 2018-04, Guidance and Procedures regarding use of Tiered Evaluations (Cascading) for use in solicitations set-aside in accordance with the VA Rule of Two

Purpose:  To provide guidance, standardized procedures, and required solicitation provisions when employing tiered evaluations for single or multiple-award solicitations.

Dated:  February 9, 2018

Effective Date:  Immediately

Expiration Date:  This Procurement Policy Memorandum (PPM) will remain in effect until incorporated into the VA Acquisition Regulation (VAAR), VA Acquisition Manual (VAAM) or is otherwise rescinded.

Background:  The goal of this policy is to minimize delays in the re-solicitation process that are incurred subsequent to application of the VA Rule of Two at either the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) or Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) priority tiers within a single synopsized solicitation.  VA’s contracting officers have requested guidance and procedures for use of tiered evaluations when applying the VA Rule of Two.  The below process constitutes the use of a set-aside and must be identified as such within the solicitation.  Market research, which shall be conducted and documented in advance of issuing the solicitation, will inform which of the three following types of tiered evaluations is being used:  (1) tiered evaluations limited to SDVOSBs or VOSBs; (2) tiered evaluations including small business concerns; and (3) tiered evaluations including large business concerns.  The order of priority for awarding contracts to small business concerns is established in 38 U.S.C. § 8127(i).

Applicability:  The PPM applies to all competitive procurements using tiered evaluations.  The use of tiered evaluations is not mandatory.

Action Required:  Heads of the Contracting Activity (HCAs) and contracting officers shall implement the tiered evaluation approach in accordance with PPM 2018-04 when a single or multiple award contract is contemplated and market research indicates that SDVOSB or VOSB concerns cannot fully meet the requirement.

Additional Information:  Direct any questions or concerns to the Procurement Policy and Warrant Management Service (003A3A) via email at or (202) 632-5288.