Hanford

Think you could run Hanford? $4 billion contract up for bid

The proposed new Hanford Mission Essential Services Contract will provide many of the services now provided at the nuclear reservation by Mission Support Alliance, including fire prevention and suppression.
The proposed new Hanford Mission Essential Services Contract will provide many of the services now provided at the nuclear reservation by Mission Support Alliance, including fire prevention and suppression. Courtesy DOE

The Department of Energy released its draft request for bids for a Hanford nuclear reservation contract with an estimated value of up to $4 billion on Tuesday.

The winner of the new Hanford Mission Essential Services Contract for up to 10 years would do much of the same work now done by Mission Support Alliance.

Mission Support Alliance has a 10-year contract, valued at about $3 billion, that expires May 25, 2019, and covers providing site-wide services to DOE and its other Hanford contractors.

Mission Support Alliance employs about 1,900 people.

The new contractor would have the added task of providing assistance to DOE in soliciting small business contractors and administering those contracts. It also would be required to build infrastructure that will be needed to support operation of the vitrification plant, which is being built to glassify up to 56 million gallons of radioactive and hazardous chemical waste held in underground tanks.

Other tasks, which Mission Support Alliance now provides, include: security and emergency services; land management; information technology services; management of the HAMMER training center; and maintaining and upgrading infrastructure, including electrical and water service and roads.

DOE anticipates a contract structure that is similar to the current sitewide-services contract, reimbursing the contractor’s costs and providing incentive pay.

Filter Bed 4 SSIM Pic 1
A Mission Support Alliance employee checks a filter in a Hanford water treatment system. Utilities are among the services the Hanford contractor provides across the site. Courtesy DOE

DOE will accept comments on the draft request for bids, which it will use to develop its final request for bids. Deadline to respond is Jan. 8 and comments must be provided on a template posted at bit.ly/draftcomment.

It will hold a conference for interested bidders the week of Dec. 11, which will include a tour of Hanford and one-on-one meetings with DOE officials.

Because the new contract will cover services across the site and evaluation of other contractors in areas such as security, conflict of interest restrictions have been set. The winner of the new contract may not have full or partial ownership of the primary cleanup contracts or the vitrification plant contract.

The two primary cleanup contracts also are set to expire soon. The tank farm contract and central Hanford contract expire in September 2018, but no draft requests for bids have been released for the work.

The draft request for bids for the Mission Essential Services Contract would require that the winning bidder to subcontract at least 40 percent of its work, including 25 percent subcontracted to small businesses, in a competitive process to the extent possible.

The government is more concerned with obtaining a superior technical and management proposal than making an award at the lowest evaluated price.

Draft request for proposals for Hanford contract

The winning contractor will be required to provide DOE with an annual plan for community activities and provide semi-annual reports on its community programs. Suggested activities include educational outreach, business alliances with regional vendors and support to community service organizations. Costs of activities cannot be charged to the federal government.

Bids will be evaluated on several criteria, with the technical approach to providing services and other activities the most important, according to the draft request for bids.

The key personnel and organizational structure proposed by the contractor also will be considered, with that factor and the technical approach given “significantly” more weight than experience and past performance, according to the draft document.

The technical and management proposal combined also will be given significantly more importance than the evaluated price for work, it said.

“The government is more concerned with obtaining a superior technical and management proposal than making an award at the lowest evaluated price,” the draft bid request said.

“However, the government will not make an award at a price premium it considers disproportionate to the benefits associated with the evaluated superiority of one offerors’ technical and management proposal over another,” it said.

Annette Cary: 509-582-1533, @HanfordNews

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