Frequently Asked Questions

Statement of Non-Availability
Following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the Statement of Non-Availability process. If you do not find the answer to your question here, please contact CHESS at 1-888-232-4405.
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What is a Statement of Non-Availability and why is it a requirement in order to purchase from a source other than CHESS?
A Statement of Non-Availability is issued by CHESS as validation that an Army organization has complied with the AR 25-1 regulation to purchase all COTS IT through CHESS; however, no viable contract vehicle was available at the time of the requirement submission. A Statement of Non-Availability does not constitute approval to purchase or to deviate from any Army regulation or policy.
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Is a Statement of Non-Availability sufficient for purchasing COTS IT hardware or software outside of CHESS?
No. In addition to a Statement of Non-Availability, the Army customer must request an ITAS Waiver (formerly Goal 1 Waiver) to purchase from sources other than CHESS regardless of cost or appropriation. The ITAS Waiver tool is available at https://cprobe.army.mil/enterprise-portal/web/itas/home. Policy Reference: “Army Waiver Process for Commercial-Off-the-Shelf Information Technology (COTS IT) Procurement Outside the Computer Hardware, Enterprise Software, and Solutions Program”, 06JUN13
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Do I need a Statement of Non-Availability in order to obtain an ITAS waiver (formerly Goal 1 Waiver) to purchase outside of CHESS?
Yes. An approved Statement of Non-Availability is needed to obtain an ITAS waiver for COTS IT hardware or software when the requirement is unavailable through existing CHESS or DOD ESI contracts.
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What is the turn-around time for obtaining a Statement of Non-Availability?
Three business days is the average time it takes CHESS to validate a Statement of Non-Availability.
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What is ITAS (formerly Goal 1 Waiver)?
Per CIO/G-6, effective 20 November 2015, the Army CIO/G-6 owned Goal 1 Waiver System transitioned to the Information Technology Approval System (ITAS). ITAS was created to re-engineer the process for obtaining an IT Waiver into a more transparent, efficient, and effective process that enables improved management of IT inventory to better inform users involved in the budget process. It will provide a more efficient and effective workflow to resolve stakeholder and CIO/G6 process owner challenges and provide IT Inventory Analysis Reporting.
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What is the process for obtaining access to ITAS (formerly Goal 1 Waiver)?
Per CIO/G-6: 1) Prior to being able to submit a waiver, Army users will be required to attend ITAS training and be provisioned in ITAS. ITAS has set up a training page (https://www.cprobe-training.army.mil/enterprise-portal/web/itas/home) where information can be obtained on training dates, training manuals, Administration, Analyst and System Owner Reports, Policy and Guidance Documentation, system outage messages and links to the various modules. 2) Effective 20 November 2015, waivers will be requested through the ITAS tool (https://www.cprobe.army.mil/enterprise-portal/web/itas/home). For more information and to schedule training, contact the following POCs: • Mr. Jim Mark, 703-692-4519 or james.n.mark.civ@mail.mil • Mr. Orlando Dixon, 571-256-8938 or orlando.dixon.civ@mail.mil
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When am I required to submit an ITAS Waiver (formerly Goal 1 Waiver) for IT Initiatives?
Per CIO/G-6, an ITAS Waiver is required when you are an Army customer or the acquisition supports the Army AND: • A COTS IT product is not available on a CHESS or DOD ESI contract • Mission critical constraints (time, etc.) require you to purchase outside of CHESS • Purchasing data center related hardware, software, or services Policy Reference: Army Regulation 25–1, Army Knowledge Management and Information Technology; “Approvals/Waivers for Obligation of Funds for Data Servers and Centers Information Technology (IT) Spending”, 14 AUG 13
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Does my SoNA information carry over to the ITAS system automatically?
No. The two systems currently do not have the ability to exchange information.
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Do I need a Statement of Non-Availability and an ITAS Waiver (formerly Goal 1 Waiver) for hardware maintenance purchases outside of CHESS?
Yes, both SoNA and ITAS Waiver are required if: The hardware maintenance obtained outside of CHESS includes the purchase of new hardware or software. No, If: Hardware maintenance that does not include the purchase of new hardware or software. This kind of maintenance can be considered a service. Per the Data Center Moratorium, an ITAS Waiver is required if the maintenance is for hardware that is part of a data center; regardless of whether the maintenance is purchased through CHESS or not. Policy Reference: “Approvals/Waivers for Obligations of Funds for Data Servers and Centers IT Spending”, 14 AUG 13
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Do I need a Statement of Non-Availability and an ITAS waiver (formerly Goal 1 Waiver) for software maintenance purchases outside of CHESS?
Yes. Army customers requiring software maintenance should first review the Enterprise License Agreements (ELAs) and DOD ESI BPAs. If neither ELAs nor ESI BPAs can satisfy the requirement, submit an RFQ/Reverse Auction for the maintenance to ITES-SW vendors. If none of these options can fulfill the requirement, the customer should obtain a SoNA and an ITAS Waiver to purchase Software Maintenance outside of CHESS/DOD ESI. Per the Data Center Moratorium, an ITAS Waiver is required if the maintenance is for software that is installed in a server or data center; regardless of whether the maintenance is purchased through CHESS or not. Policy Reference: “Approvals/Waivers for Obligations of Funds for Data Servers and Centers IT Spending”, 14 AUG 13
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How do I determine whether my requirement falls under Software Maintenance as a Service or Software Maintenance as a Product?
The current GSA definition makes the following distinction: Software Maintenance as a Product - Software maintenance as a product is used for the purpose of maintaining the operability and usability of the software product by utilizing published fixes to bugs via patches, updates, or upgrades. An example is the publishing of bugs or defect fixes by using patches to keep the software current. Software Maintenance as a Service - Software maintenance as a service is purchased for the purpose of solving user identified problems using technical support outside the scope of software maintenance as a product. For example, when problems arise after software implementation, such as when the software is incompatible with the organization's IT infrastructure.
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If I am unable to find a product on the CHESS IT e-mart does that mean it does not exist under a contract or enterprise agreement?
No. Catalogs and price lists posted on the CHESS IT e-mart are not exhaustive lists. In order to verify that no CHESS vendor offers the desired product, do the following: Hardware: Submit an RFQ/Reverse Auction. Services: Submit an RFP. Software: • CHESS Software ELAs: Review the list products offered under the specific ELA. • ESI Agreements: Contact the listed vendor POC directly to determine product availability. • ITES-SW: Submit an RFQ/Reverse Auction.
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I'm not an Army customer. Do I still need a Statement of Non-Availability and an ITAS Waiver (formerly Goal 1 Waiver)?
No. The Statement of Non-Availability and ITAS Waiver processes only apply to Army customers and commands or organizations where the Army is the executive agent.
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Are there any exceptions to the Statement of Non-Availability and ITAS Waiver (formerly Goal 1 Waiver) process?
Per the SecArmy memo, the following exceptions are in effect: • The United States Military Academy (USMA), in support of the academic and cadet development mission will use CHESS as the required source of supply. In the event CHESS is not able to support the procurement within mission requirements, USMA is authorized to execute the procurement consistent with existing regulations and policies. • Non-Program Executive Officer/Project Manager managed Military Intelligence (MIP) systems. Non-PEO/PM managed MIP systems will be requested using the Army G-2 Automated systems Integration Database system. The request will include the CHESS Statement of Non-Availability for alternate contract purchase approval and will be reported to the CIO/G6. Policy Reference: “Army Waiver Process for Commercial-Off-the-Shelf Information Technology (COTS IT) Procurement Outside the Computer Hardware, Enterprise Software, and Solutions Program”, 06JUN13
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How do I determine whether a product falls within the CHESS scope?
AR 25-1 designates CHESS as the Primary Source for COTS IT hardware and software, and defines Information Technology (IT) as "Any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment that is used in the automatic acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information . . ." Use the AR 25-1 definition above to make a reasonable determination if the products you require are IT. Review the contracts' Scope Statement and/or Catalog Items to find examples of IT products.
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Is an ITAS Waiver (formerly Goal 1 Waiver) required to purchase server equipment?
Yes. The moratorium on datacenter-related purchases is still in effect and requires completion of an ITAS waiver. Please note that if this purchase will be made outside of CHESS a Statement of Non-Availability is also required. If this purchase will be made through CHESS, then a Statement of Non-Availability is not required. Policy Reference: “Approvals/Waivers for Obligation of Funds for Data Servers and Centers Information Technology (IT) Spending”, 14 AUG 13
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Can users check the status of their ITAS Waiver (formerly Goal 1 Waiver)?
Per CIO/G-6, yes. Users who have access to the ITAS system may view their waiver status by going into the ITAS tool and using the status tab filter for open waivers.
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What is the estimated response time for an ITAS Waiver (formerly Goal 1 Waiver) to be processed?
Per CIO/G-6, an ITAS waiver can be processed in as little as 4 hours in an emergency. Normal processing time will be closer to 10 – 14 days. If there are errors or misinformation the processing time will increase as the waiver will be returned for correction.
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Who has access to ITAS?
Per CIO/G-6, Army users who have attended the mandatory ITAS training. The ITAS training page is located here: https://www.cprobe-training.army.mil/enterprise-portal/web/itas/home.
CHESS Customer Support Center
Below is a list of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that CHESS has received regarding the website via the help desk. We hope that these will help answer any questions you may have. If you still have further questions after reading these, then please feel free to contact us. You can use the "Feedback" or "Contact Us" link at top right of this page.
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I'm An Army user without an AKO account. How do I register?
All Army personnel are eligible for an Army Knowledge Online (AKO) account. Having an AKO account gives you access to multiple Army-wide websites and systems, including the CHESS IT e-mart. It's important that you register with AKO to get an account and then login to IT e-mart with your new login. Army users have access to more resources. To register for an AKO account, go the AKO Home page at: https://www.us.army.mil and follow the registration link.
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I'm having trouble logging in. Where can I get help?
Contact the CHESS Customer Support Center for any issues logging in. The Customer Support Center can be reached via telephone at 1-888-232-4405 and via email at armychess@mail.mil.
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Can Army personnel take advantage of the Microsoft Home Use Program discount?
Yes. Instructions to utilize the Microsoft Home Use Program can be found on CHESS’ Government Employee Purchase Program page here: https://chess.army.mil/Content/Page/RES_GEPP. Army users may register with their Enterprise (mail.mil) email addresses to utilize the program.
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What is the process for procuring software through CHESS?
Software procurement through CHESS can be met through Enterprise License Agreements (ELAs), DOD Enterprise Software Initiative (DOD ESI) or ITES SW. Army users should review Enterprise License Agreements first. ELAs can be found here: https://chess.army.mil/Contract/SoftwareAgreements. If ELAs do not satisfy the requirement, the DOD Enterprise Software Initiative (DOD ESI) software contracts, located at www.esi.mil should be reviewed. Submit your software RFQ to the listed vendor POC’s directly. If the software requirement cannot be fulfilled via the DOD ESI, then the user should submit an RFQ/Reverse Auction to ITES-SW contract holders via the RF(x) tool.
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I submitted a Request for Quote that needs to be cancelled. How do I accomplish that?
This can be accomplished via the RFQ Manager page. Login to CHESS and then go to your RFQ Manager . Select the request for quote that you wish to cancel and click the "Cancel" button. The vendor will be informed via email of your cancellation. They will also see a note in their display screen.
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I submitted a Request for Quote (RFQ)/Reverse Auction (RA) that I need to change. How do I update it?
Requests for quotes/Reverse Auctions may be changed once submitted. To make the revisions, select the quote/auction you wish to change via the RFQ/RA Manager page and click the Amend button. Note: Amending the RFQ/RA starts the bidding process over and invalidates the original RFQ/RA.
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Are iPads available for purchase through CHESS?
Yes. iPads listed on DODIN APL are available thorugh CHESS IT e-mart. All devices offered are Wi-Fi only and have no cellular data plans or capabilities. Further information can be found at the link below:
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Which agencies can order from CHESS contracts?
All DOD and federal agencies may order from all CHESS hardware and services contracts. Software contracts have the following exceptions: ESI Agreements: Open to all DOD and other Federal agencies CHESS software ELAs: Varies. Review ELA contract pages to determine which agencies’ ordering is open to ITES-SW: Army only
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How do you determine a Delivery Order Number?
DOD: (DFAR Appendix G, Activity Address Numbers) CHESS contracts and Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) are available for decentralized ordering. Defense Department customer delivery orders written by activities, other than the BPA/contract procuring activity, should be numbered IAW their contract address code. Civilian Agencies: Please follow the applicable policy within your agency. To determine the appropriate Delivery Order Code Assignment for your facility, click on the link below.
Consolidated Buy
Have questions regarding the consolidated buy? Below is a list of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that CHESS has received regarding the consolidated buy process. We hope that these will help answer any questions you may have. If you still have further questions after reading these, then please feel free to contact us. You can use the "Feedback" or "Contact Us" link at top right of this page.
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Are shipping costs included in CB prices?
Yes, all shipping costs are included for both CONUS and OCONUS locations.
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Why are OCONUS prices higher than CONUS prices for CB items?
CB prices include shipping. OCONUS prices are higher to cover the higher cost of shipping products to OCONUS locations.
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Can I use my Government Impac Credit Card to purchase from the CB?
Yes, call the vendor to place an order using the Impac Card. NOTE: Be sure to comply with all of your local credit card ordering procedures.
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Are activities using Non-Appropriated Funds (NAF) required to use the Consolidated Buy?
Yes. The Army policy does not differentiate between NAF and Appropriated Funds (AF). The signed policy states that all organizations purchasing desktop or notebook computers shall use the Consolidated Buy unless the organization submits an exception.
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Does Fair Opportunity FAR 16.505 and DFARS 216.505-70 apply during the CB?
Yes, FAR 16.505 and DFARS 216.505-70 does apply during the CB. However, if the order is at or below the simplified acquisition threshold (SAT), and you are procuring equipment off of the ADMC-2 contract, no additional competition is required if you utilize the Consolidated Buy (CB) compare tool. As part of the CB process CHESS has provided each ADMC-2 vendor the CB specifications and has given them the opportunity to submit CB proposals for each category. CHESS has reviewed/approved the proposed product and the prices were determined to be fair and reasonable by the Contracting Officer. The ordering Contracting Officer/Contract Specialist can consider the approved price for each ADMC-2 vendor for example through the CHESS CB Products and Prices compare tool. Contracting officers must document in the contract file the rationale for placement and price of each order, including the basis for award and the rationale for any tradeoffs among cost or price and non-cost considerations in making the award decision. This documentation does not need to quantify the tradeoffs that led to the decision. The contract file shall also identify the basis for using an exception to the fair opportunity process. This satisfies the Fair Opportunity requirements of FAR 16.505(b)(1) for orders valued at SAT or less. If the order exceeds SAT, competition is required. The order must be placed on a competitive basis in accordance with DFARS 216.505-70.
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What if the CB configurations do not meet my requirements?
A CB exception memo must be obtained if desktops/notebooks offered through the CB do not meet your requirement. Instructions to create a CB Exception Memo can be found at https://chess.army.mil/Content/Page/CB_EXPT. Once you’ve obtained the CB Exception Memo, you may purchase notebooks/desktops from CHESS hardware contracts. Purchases made outside of CHESS contracts still require a Statement of Non-Availability and ITAS Waiver.
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What if I need to add items to the order other than CB Options & Upgrades?
Upgrades or options not offered on the CB but that are available on a vendor's ADMC-2 catalog may be added to your order. The order is still considered to be a "CB Order." Simply obtain a quote for the additional items from the ADMC-2 vendor who is offering the CB platform you are purchasing so that the procuring official can add them to the order as a separately negotiated line item, IAW FAR Part 8.4 procedures.
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What if I need to purchase desktops or notebooks outside of the CB period?
Purchases of notebooks/desktops outside of the Consolidated Buy period require a Consolidated Buy Exception Memo prior to execution. Purchases outside of the Consolidated Buy offering, whether the CB period is open or not, also requires a Consolidated Buy Exception Memo. Instructions to create a CB Exception Memo can be found at https://chess.army.mil/Content/Page/CB_EXPT.
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Can support contractors purchase CB products on behalf of their Army/Government customer?
Your local contracting officer may authorize a support contractor to make purchases on the government's behalf from the CB IAW FAR 51.1 "Contractor use of Government Supply Sources."
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Does CHESS approve CB Exceptions?
No. CB Exceptions are approved by an O-6 or GS-15 (or equivalent) at the customer activity. A copy of the approved exception is required to be provided to CHESS by email as attachment to: ArmyCHESS@mail.mil
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What is the guidance for updating TPM 1.2 to TPM 2.0 in Dell & HPI Federal notebook, desktop, and mobile workstation products?
TPM Update Guidance for Dell & HPI Federal notebook, desktop, and mobile workstation products can be found at the links below.
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Should OMA or OPA funds be utilized for bulk CB Procurements?
It is ultimately up to the customer and contracting office to make the determination if OMA or OPA is appropriate. Per the ACC-RI Contracting Office, and supporting Legal Counsel, there is no ‘color of money’ issue with using OMA funding for bulk general purpose CB buys. The investment threshold of $250K for OMA purchases applies to ‘systems’. Although the computers procured would all be connected via the NIPRnet, they are all individually functioning pieces of equipment being used for different general purpose tasks by many users. Therefore, a bulk CB buy is not for a single "system" but for many individual items. Since none of the individual computers being purchased comes anywhere close to $250K per unit, they do not individually cross the threshold for a system. Different criteria would likely apply to CB purchases made by a PM in support of a program of record. These may cross the threshold for a “system.” In every case it is important to coordinate with your supporting contracting office early in the process regarding the type of funding you will be using.
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Does the ‘Bona Fide Need Rule’ apply for bulk CB procurements?
The ‘Bona-Fide Need Rule’ states that money spent on items should support requirements for that fiscal year. Production / delivery lead time, respective to the ordering date may provide a valid exception to this. Customers must decide if there is a true bona fide need if delivery slips into the next FY, taking into consideration the delivery lead time exception.
Mobile Devices
Following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding Mobile Devices. If you do not find the answer to your question here, please contact CHESS at 1-888-232-4405
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Can Mobile Devices be used for Enterprise Email?
Yes, mobile devices can be used for Enterprise Email. Please contact DISA for more information. DISA Contact Link: http://disa.mil/About/Contact DISA DOD Mobility Program Link: https://www.disa.mil/Enterprise-Services/Mobility/DOD-Mobility
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How can I determine if the device I am interested in procuring is an approved product?
Approved devices are located on the Department of Defense Information Network Approved Products List (DODIN APL), found at https://aplits.disa.mil/processAPList.action.
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Will Mobile Devices come with cellular service?
Customers will be able to purchase Wi-Fi capability only devices through CHESS. However, cellular service must be purchased separately. (Ref: NETCOM Wireless BPA)
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What can mobile devices be used for?
Customers can use mobile devices for publicly accessible, non-FOUO data. Mobile devices that involve storing and accessing FOUO or higher data must be vetted by DISA.
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Can I sign/encrypt DISA Enterprise Email with a Mobile Device from CHESS?
Customers requiring the ability to sign/encrypt DEE must contact DISA Mobility PMO for the latest guidance.
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Can I use a Government Purchase Card (GPC) or Government Credit Card to purchase a Mobile Device through CHESS?
Yes, as long as the Mobile Device is WI-FI only enabled (which are available through CHESS ICW NASA SEWP). The Mobile Devices available through CHESS are not cellular or data based plans.
Information Technology Enterprise Solutions - Software (ITES-SW)
Have questions regarding ITES-SW? Below is a list of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that CHESS has received regarding the program purchase process. We hope that these will help answer any questions you may have. If you still have further questions, please feel free to contact us. You can use the "Feedback" or "Contact Us" link at top right of this page.
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Do all products under ITES-SW have a Certificate of Networthiness (CoN)?
Yes. If a CoN will expire before the next tech refresh it should be removed. Since a tech refresh occurs every quarter, the CoN must be valid for a minimum of 90 days from the start of the quarter.
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How do I know that a product is not on another Enterprise License Agreement (ELA) or DoD Enterprise Software Initiative (ESI) Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA)?
Vendors are responsible for ensuring products on the ITES-SW catalogs are not on any other ELA or ESI BPA. Army customers must first attempt to satisfy their software requirements through an ELA or ESI BPA before submitting a request for quote (RFQ)/Reverse Auction (RA) under ITES-SW.
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Can vendors sell software products that are not listed in their catalog?
No. However, if a product has a valid CoN, vendors may add the product to their catalog after it has been technically reviewed by the Government and determined in scope.
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What types of software products can be offered under ITES-SW?
ITES-SW limits software products to items in the following categories: IT Utilities & Security - Contains system software that helps to analyze, configure, optimize, protect, and maintain computers and the network infrastructure. This catalog includes: network administration tools, firewalls, backups, security tools, encryption tools, password managers/creators, file compression, registry tools, test and document editors, data mining, decision support systems, asset and inventory management, handheld software. Modeling & Simulation – Contains software that facilitates a level of understanding of the interaction of the parts of a system, and of the system as a whole. Multimedia & Design – Contains software used for graphic design, multimedia development, specialized image development, general image editing, or to access graphic files. This catalog includes: 3D drawing, computer aided dispatch (CAD), digital photography applications, animation creation, illustration, image editing, font tools, authoring tools, desktop publishing, graphics, and label makers (CD & paper). Program & Development – Catalog IV contains software that assists in the development of software applications. This catalog includes: editors, compilers, interpreters, loaders, programming libraries, documentation tools, testing environments, application creation, and web design.
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Can Software as a Service be offered through ITES-SW?
No. Software as a Service (SaaS) is not to be offered through ITES-SW.
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Where do I locate pricing for the ITES-SW catalogs?
There are no prices on the ITES-SW catalogs. A Request for Quote (RFQ)/Reverse Auction (RA) must be issued to all vendors in accordance with FAR 16.505 fair opportunity procedures.
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Can customers combine two contract orders under one order?
Yes, it is the responsibility of the ordering office to adhere to regulations regarding consolidation and bundling.
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Can services be inlcuded in a software quote?
A quote can consist of multiple items (software, maintenance, training, etc.). However, each item must be separately priced to provide transparency to the customer. In addition, there is a cap of $10,000 for related services per delivery order.
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Can an ELA be structured under this contract?
Prior to a customer ordering office contemplating an Enterprise License Agreement (ELA), the ACC-RI contracting officer and contract specialist shall be notified to ensure that the contract ceiling is not breached by such an action.
CHESS Reverse Auction
Following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the CHESS Reverse Auction capability. If you do not find the answer to your question here, please contact CHESS at 1-888-232-4405.
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Which CHESS agreements can utilize the CHESS Reverse Auction capability?
Contracts that are participating in the CHESS Reverse Auction capability are ADMC-2, ITES-3H, and ITES-SW.
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Will start and end times for the CHESS Reverse Auction capability be during normal business hours?
Start times are upon submission of the auction. End times are determined by the buyer.
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Is the Army required to utilize CHESS for Reverse Auction and what incentive is there to utilize the CHESS Reverse Auction capability over other Reverse Auction tools?
No, customers are not required to utilize the CHESS Reverse Auction capability. Benefits of the CHESS Reverse Auction capability include no fee and direct CHESS oversight. It is also reinforced by the Deputy CIO memo dated 19 May 2017.
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Can customers conduct a Reverse Auction and traditional RFQ for the same requirement?
Conducting multiple competitions for the same requirement will lead to duplicate effort for all parties involved and greater potential for quoting error and is highly discouraged.
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May organizations using the CHESS Reverse Auction capability still be allowed to use the RFI tool to obtain preliminary information?
Yes. Customers may utilize the RFI tool to obtain information prior to conducting a traditional RFQ or a Reverse Auction.
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If the lead bid is rejected, does the second bid automatically become the lead?
Yes. Then the second bid automatically becomes the lead bid.
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If every vendor bids over the maximum price, will anyone be the “Lead”?
If the customer chooses “Make Maximum Price Active” then there will be no designated Lead. If that is not made active, then the Lead will be designated.
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Are vendors notified when a question is submitted?
Yes, all vendors included in the Reverse Auction that have not “No Bid” will have access to review all questions and answers.