Alliant 3 – Strategies for Developing a High-Ranking Proposal

Before organizing your Alliant 3 proposal, take a breath and develop your proposal strategy to maximize your score. GSA is only awarding Alliant 3 contracts to 76 companies (and a few more if there are tied scores). So, you must develop your proposal strategy and document any RFP questions before diving into your proposal response. To help you prepare your strategy, we divided this blog into two parts: a review and analysis of the evaluation criteria, and recommendations for maximizing your proposal score.

Part 1: Review and Analysis of the Evaluation Criteria

1.1      Acceptability Rating

As per Section M.4.2: Acceptability Review, GSA will conduct a pass/fail review to determine if the information requested by Section L.5.1 is current, accurate, and complete, including the requirements listed in Table 1.

Table 1: RFP Sections Reviewed for Acceptability

RFP Requirements Reviewed for Acceptability
(a) Signed SF33(g) Uncompensated Overtime Policy
(b) Individual Subcontracting Plan(h) Representations and Certifications
(c) Meaningful Relationship Commitment Letters (MRCLs) (if applicable)(i) VETS-4212 Federal Contract Reporting1
(d) Existing Joint Venture or Partnership(j) C-SCRM Responsibility Questionnaire
(e) Small Business Contractor Teaming Agreement. Subcontractor Letter(s) of Commitment (applicable to Small Business CTAs only).(k) Organizational Conflict of Interest Form
(f) Professional Employee Compensation Plan(l) Price Proposal
1 GSA is verifying the submission of this requirement on the Department of Labor website:

1.2      Technical Rating

A winning proposal will provide complete and compliant information to Sections L.5.2: Relevant Experience, L.5.3: Past Performance, L.5.4: Systems, Certifications, and Clearances, and L.5.6: Organizational Risk Assessment resulting in high-scoring proposals.

1.2.1     Experience Rating

The Offeror must verify that the requested information is complete and compliant per Section L.5.2. GSA is scoring proposals using the extensive Section M.6 Alliant 3 Scoring Table. As per Section M.6, the evaluation factors are worth 37,000 points for experience in relevant North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes and 9,100 for emerging technology, for a total of 46,100 points.

1.2.2     Past Performance Rating

Offerors must verify that the information GSA requests is complete and compliant per Section L.5.3. GSA is giving an overall rating earned for each Past Performance (e.g., CPARS Report or Attachment J.P6) as positive, negative, or neutral.

GSA is scoring Past Performance in accordance with Section M.6’s Alliant 3 Scoring Table. Offerors earn points for each primary NAICS code Relevant Experience project that received a positive or neutral Past Performance rating (up to 17,500 points). Past Performance assessments with a negative rating do not receive points.

1.2.3     Systems, Certifications, and Clearances

The offeror must verify that all the information GSA requests is complete and compliant per Section L.5.4.1–L.5.4.10. Offerors with Systems, Certifications, and Clearances will receive up to 17,600 points per Section M.6’s Alliant 3 Scoring Table.

1.2.4     Organizational Risk Assessment

GSA is awarding offerors 7,000 points for demonstrating that they previously performed in the same business arrangement, as defined in Section L.5.6 and referenced in Section M.6’s Alliant 3 Scoring Table. Offerors claiming public disclosure of Scope 1, 2, or 3 Greenhouse Gas Emissions can earn 1,750 points per Section L.5.7.1.

1.3      Responsibility Rating

GSA will make an overall responsibility determination using the information offerors submit as a part of the proposal (on GSA Form 527) or any information in its possession or in the public domain, including other past performance information, to make its determination. It will give offerors a pass/fail grade based on its determination.

1.4      Price Proposal Rating

GSA is reviewing Attachment J.P-8 A3 Price Template and Attachment J.P-18 A3 Labor Rate Attestation. (See Section L.5.8.2). These documents must be complete, compliant, and accurate. GSA is evaluating the submission for price reasonableness by comparing:

  • The proposed prices received in response to the RFP
  • The total price
  • Historical prices paid when Total Price exceeds the independent government estimate (IGE) and validated labor rate evidence

GSA will evaluate all highest technically rated offerors within the top 76 scorers (including ties). Those with a price proposal that GSA deems acceptable will be evaluated for Total Price. GSA uses Total Price to determine the fairness and reasonableness of the offeror’s final price, and GSA gives them a rating of acceptable or unacceptable.

Part 2: Recommendations for Developing Your Alliant 3 Proposal Winning Strategy

Winning the Alliant 3 contract requires a strategic approach focused on maximizing your technical score and verifying that all documentation is complete, compliant, and accurate, in addition to delivering a competitive price. Other strategies to consider include:

  • Leaving enough time for review and response to amendments—aim to complete your response by August 15.
  • Aiming for 90% or more of the total points to place in the winner’s circle.
  • Joining multiple teams—not just one. Prime, and then sub to as many as you can.
  • Understanding that there’s no time for independent audits now (if you don’t already have one, don’t try). For accounting, purchasing, etc., join a team instead.

Specific strategies for each evaluated criterion are summarized below.

2.1      Understand the Evaluation Criteria

Non-Price Factors:

  • Relevant Experience: Highlight projects that align with the NAICS codes specified, especially those with higher values and unique government customers (with cost reimbursement and OCONUS work).
  • Past Performance: Ensure you have strong, positive past performance ratings for relevant projects.
  • Systems, Certifications, and Clearances: Demonstrate possession of high-level certifications and clearances, such as CMMI Level 3 or higher, ISO certifications, and a Top-Secret Facility Clearance to maximize your score.

Acceptability Review:

  • Complete all mandatory documentation accurately, including the SF33, subcontracting plans, and various compliance forms.
  • Verify all organizational documentation is up-to-date and meets the criteria specified in the RFP.

2.2 Maximize Technical Scores

Focus on the following criteria to maximize points.

Relevant Experience:

  • Submit at least 7 projects with a minimum value of $7.5M each.
  • Highlight any projects exceeding $100M to gain maximum points.
  • Demonstrate experience with multiple federal customers and cost-reimbursement-type projects.
  • Include projects in foreign locations to gain additional points.

Emerging Technology:

  • Provide detailed submissions for emerging technology projects, showcasing a broad range of technologies.
  • Demonstrate experience in as many emerging technology categories as possible.

Past Performance:

  • Submit Past Performance evaluations that show exceptional ratings in at least four out of six elements for each project.
  • Verify you have relevant Past Performance evaluations for each primary NAICS code project or can obtain a positive past performance rating from the customer on Attachment J.P-6.

Systems, Certifications, and Clearances:

  • Highlight any high-level certifications, such as CMMI Level 3 or higher, and relevant ISO certifications.
  • Demonstrate possession of important clearances, like Top Secret Facility Clearance.

2.3      Prepare Comprehensive Documentation

Ensure Accuracy and Completeness:

  • Verify that all documents are current, accurate, and complete.
  • Verify original contract documents are signed by the correct government official.
  • Verify that the requirements listed in Section M.4.2, including subcontracting plans and compensation plans, are compliant, complete, and accurate.

Responsibility Determination:

  • Ensure your proposal includes all required elements for the determination of responsibility, such as financial resources and compensation plans.

2.4      Provide Fair and Reasonable Pricing

Ensure your price proposal is fair, reasonable, and, most importantly, competitive. It will only be evaluated if you are among the top 76 technically rated offerors. Verify that the price proposal template is completed as required, with no modifications to formulas or rates.

2.5      Submit a High-Quality Proposal

Verify your proposal is well-organized and articulates your strengths in each evaluation category. Submit the best possible offer initially, as GSA intends to award contracts without discussion. Be prepared for clarifications if the government requests them, verifying all elements of your proposal are defendable.

Conclusion – Maximize Your Proposal Score

Maximizing your technical score through strong relevant experience, past performance, certifications, and thorough documentation increases your chances of being one of the top 76 highest technically rated offerors. Ensuring your fair and reasonable price proposal will finalize your eligibility for award consideration.

If you need support to maximize your proposal score, contact Lohfeld Consulting at We have expert proposal professionals and former GSA contracting officers who can answer your questions.

By Brenda Crist, Vice President at Lohfeld Consulting Group, MPA, CPP APMP Fellow

Lohfeld Consulting Group has proven results specializing in helping companies create winning captures and proposals. As the premier capture and proposal services consulting firm focused exclusively on government markets, we provide expert assistance to government contractors in Capture Planning and Strategy, Proposal Management and Writing, Capture and Proposal Process and Infrastructure, and Training. In the last 3 years, we’ve supported over 550 proposals winning more than $170B for our clients—including the Top 10 government contractors. Lohfeld Consulting Group is your “go-to” capture and proposal source! Start winning by contacting us at and join us on LinkedInFacebook, and YouTube(TM).

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Brenda Crist