While the SeaPort process provides for open communication with potential offerors, the statement of work is the most critical component of the procurement process.
Statement of Work
The statement of work (SOW) should specify in clear, understandable terms the services to be performed by the contractor. Preparation of an effective SOW requires both an understanding of the services that are needed to satisfy a particular requirement and an ability to define what is required in specific, quantitative terms. A SOW prepared in explicit terms will enable offerors to clearly understand the Government's needs. A well-written SOW facilitates the preparation of responsive proposals and the delivery of the required services. A well-written SOW also aids the Government in source selection and contract administration after award.
Performance Based SOW
This type of SOW is particularly applicable to services. Referred to as the Performance Work Statement (PWS), it is the foundation of performance-based service contracting. While a traditional SOW outlines exactly how the contractor shall perform the work by providing precise direction and little flexibility, the PWS describes the effort in terms of measurable performance standards or outputs. These standards or outputs should include such elements as "what, when, where, how many, and how well," while still allowing the contractor to establish its own processes to produce the desired output.
Additional information about traditional and performance based SOWs can be found in the Learning section of the SeaPort web site.