Please review the below frequently asked questions that you may have in order to have a successful experience with Symphony for the Polaris solicitation. The required URL for Polaris offerors is https://polaris.app.cloud.gov/.
New FAQ for 2023
How do I respond to Clarifications?
When your company receives the notification, please follow these steps or reference How Mass Clarifications Work.
- Login to Polaris instance of Symphony https://polaris.app.cloud.gov/
- From your Symphony dashboard, navigate to your pool submission(s).
- On the tab that states Submitted, select View Details.
- Your proposal details will be displayed.
- Select the clarifications tab to view the clarifications.
- You need to be an Administrator or Open Market Proposal Manager to respond.
- A clarification response that Needs Attention will be displayed.
- Review the Program Office inquiry and enter your clarifying information in the response space.
- Attach documents to support your response.
- Make sure you save your response to edit later if you are not ready to submit.
- Submit your clarification response to the Program Office before the clarification deadline. You cannot recall your response or make any changes to it once you submit it.
How do I provide my Clarification response?
Responses to Mass Clarifications are only available to Symphony Administrators and Open Market Proposal Managers. Please reach out to your administrators and request they assign you a role with the necessary permissions if required. The Proposal Manager Assignment is the last one in User Management within Administration.
How can I revise my Clarification response? I uploaded the wrong SF-30.
You cannot retract or modify your response to a clarification after you submit it per How Mass Clarifications Work. Please email Polaris@gsa.gov and provide the correct form. Polaris will make the update on their end, which will not be visible through the PSP.
Why can't I respond to the latest Amendments (008 or 009)?
- As of August 31, 2023, GSA is continuing work on amendments for the Polaris GWAC Pools. Release of the amendments for the WOSB, HUBZone, and SDVOSB Pools is expected four to six weeks after the SB Pool amendment.
- On September 20, 2023, Amendment 8 was released to SB and WOSB. As posted at SAM.gov "Amendment 0008 of the Polaris Small Business Pool has been posted in the Polaris Submission Portal (https://polaris.app.cloud.gov). This amendment is to extend the offer acceptance period for existing offerors." This action is only applicable to existing offerors who submitted a timely proposal for the Polaris GWAC Small Business and Women-Owned Small Business Pool by October 7, 2022.
- On September 29, 2023, Amendment 9 was released to Small Businesses. This action is only applicable to existing offerors who submitted a timely proposal for the Polaris GWAC Small Business Pool by October 7, 2022, and not to WOSB, SDVOSB, or HubZone.
- Small Business responses to Amendments 0009 and 0010, including any proposal revisions, must be submitted within the PSP no later than 4:00 PM ET, October 31, 2023.
- On October 25, 2023, RFP 47QTCB22R0007 Amendment 0003 for the Polaris Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Pool and RFP 47QTCB22R0006 Amendment 0004 for the Polaris Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Pool posted in the Polaris Submission Portal (PSP) (https://polaris.app.cloud.gov). These amendments extend the offer acceptance period for existing offerors.
Why can't I modify my Polaris proposal?
Only your SAM.gov POC administrator(s) (at the time they registered) or the Open Market Proposal Manager can modify or submit your proposal(s) when the feature is available for your pool.
Please ask your administrator to assign your account the Open Market Proposal Manager role in the administration link. It's the big green button.
Can the SAM data be updated for Polaris?
No. Your SAM data needs to remain unchanged to reflect the original submission. Please notify Polaris@gsa.gov of any changes that they should be aware of.
Can offerors update their Professional Employee Compensation Plan (PECP) and submit a revised version with their response?
Yes in accordance with Small Business Amendment 0010. The PECP is in My Company > Business Factors or My Company > Team Members > Business Factors. Please reference How to Edit Business Factors for more information.
Why do my Projects show the Primary NAICS File and Tag Reference as missing?
There were some changes to tags/file references in the core project details that weren't available in the original submission. The red file references and tags for NAICS were added to Symphony in June 2023. You can ignore those messages because NAICS was optional for Polaris and your project documents were used as references without linking to that field.
Administration and Registration
Can All users/Team Members see all data that is put into the system?
Yes. The team members would be able to upload documents themselves if they registered under the prime's UEI and cage code. Documents are viewable by any users to whom access is given. This is done so that the user who is responsible for submitting the proposal can verify that the information uploaded is done accurately. Per How to Manage Users, you can use the Administration link to limit those who have access, or provide access and then remove it after specific items were uploaded.
Do all members of an SBA Mentor-Protege Joint Venture need to create their own registration/accounts within Symphony? Or should the registration be done under the MPJV name?
You should register with the UEI for the company that will be the prime for the proposal. You can then add the JV Mentor and/or Protege to your team members.
How do I restrict user view in the portal as an admin?
Users in Initial, Suspended, or Delete status will not be able to sign in because there are not any restricted viewing roles in Symphony once a user is in the active status. In addition, a staff user will not have access to administration and cannot submit proposals.
Where is the Contract Manager/Program Manager role assigned?
The Contract Manager and Program Manager roles are designations required for the submission. They are assigned to registered users in your proposal(s). They are not available in the Administration link.
Why are we not seeing registered users show up in the administrator tab?
If you added partners as Team Members to your company asset library, this does not grant users from those companies access to your Symphony information. Any users from those partners need to register with your/the prime offeror's UEI. The Administrator can activate their accounts so that they can add their information to the company assets. If incorrect registrations were done, please let us know the user's email address and confirm the correct UEI/Cage that they should have registered for.
Symphony does not validate Business Factors beyond the requirements seen in the system. For business factors, Full Shading means the information is coming from the prime. You should only see full shading for the business factors that belong to the prime in My Company > Company Overview.
When you add team members to your proposal, the Business Factors on the Pool Submission > Proposal Overview page should show half-shading to represent the factors coming from the members (regardless of how many have a factor).
Do we need to combine the documents we will have more than one of? Example: each team member should submit a GSA 527.
In My Company/Business Factors, the claimed business factors are only the Prime offeror's. Team Member's documents should be uploaded individually in the business factors for each team member (My Company/Team Members/Team Member/Business Factors). Symphony will keep everything organized by Team Members in the Document Library.
How do I delete certification documents once they've been uploaded?
Click the Unclaim button to be able to edit or delete the documents from the business factor. If the documents are attached to a team member, delete the documents from the Business Factor they are attached to when you click on the Team Member link as long as they are not in a Pool Submission. Then, click the Unclaim button to be able to edit or delete the documents from the business factor.
What is the file size limit, as well as the limit for the entire library of documents we plan to submit?
Symphony will allow you to attach as many files as you need to support your claims but the size limitation of 20 MB for an individual file is mandated by GSA security. File uploads also have additional rules.
- File names cannot exceed 250 characters
- Files cannot be combined into a "zip" folder but there is no limit to how many files you can upload.
- You can not drag and drop from Sharepoint or other Cloud Drives. Files must come from your computer.
Projects and Past Performance
How do we add more tags to the legend?
The Tag legend only applies to projects in your My Company assets because these are reusable. Additional tags outside the legend are unique to the Polaris solicitation. They can be whatever you want and you identify what those are in Symphony when you "Begin" the Functional Factors for Projects that you add to your proposal Submission.
How do we identify projects/past performances performed as a subcontractor?
If you are adding a project where you performed as a subcontractor, this is a commercial project because you are not contracting directly with the government. Enter your subcontract information and you would be the prime on the project even though you were not the prime on the contract.
What do we do if the Funding Agency ID is missing?
We get our data directly from FPDS. If the agency you need is not listed, please contact us with the FPDS code from your contract and your contract number so that we can assist. Submit a copy of the FPDS report to the Symphony Help Desk. If an FPDS report does not exist, please contact Polaris directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where is the location of the Project Verification Form (Attachment J.P-6)?
Symphony generates the form on the project page by clicking the Generate as PDF button in My Company/Projects/Project name. You would then complete the form and send it to the CO/COR outside of the system and then upload it into Symphony once it is signed. We generate it so that the information you entered doesn't have to be entered twice and it should match the data you entered in the system and therefore be easier for the evaluators to confirm.
Relevant Experience & Tags
How do we identify projects/past performances as either primary relevant experience, cybersecurity, or emerging technology relevant experience?
When you are working in the My Company link, you are building your asset library. Upload the business factor documents for the prime or the team members as applicable and then add your Projects/Past Performance.
When you Start your Submission from the dashboard, you then add the desired assets (team members and projects) to your proposal for scoring.
- When you add the projects to your submission(s) click the Begin button under Functional Factors to claim Primary Relevant Experience, Cybersecurity, or Emerging Technology Relevant Experience.
What does "location in file" mean?
The location can mean a keyword or can include a brief description of where the information can be found in the document: page number, section, paragraph, etc. A keyword becomes known as a tag. Tagging is like the "Find" feature in software systems. Therefore, if you have a keyword already in the document you can enter it into the tag field (location in file). Or you can add tags throughout the document(s) like Relevant - with an explanation and then enter "relevant" in the tag field. It's up to you. At the evaluation, we will find all instances of that tag in one or more documents that you added to the file reference field and display them for the evaluator.
Where are offerors supposed to define Emerging Technology Relevant Experience?
The Tag legend only applies to projects in your My Company assets because these are reusable. Additional tags are unique to the Polaris solicitation so they can be whatever you want and you identify what those are in Symphony when you "Begin" the Functional Factors for Projects that you add to your Submission.
Solicitation and Scoring Questions
How does Symphony calculate the points for 4 Unique Customers?
Once you add projects from your company asset library to your submission, unique scoring starts with the second customer after you Begin or Modify the functional factors that apply to the project.
- 2 Unique customers = 500 points
- 3 Unique customers = 1000 points
- 4 Unique customers = 1500 points
- 5 Unique customers = 2000 points
Is any sort of receipt provided after the proposal submission?
You can use the print button at the top of the Review screen to save a copy of your submission, or you can click View Details after submission and Print/Save a copy.
Where do you upload the J.P-7, SF 33, and SF 30 for amendments?
The J.P-7, SF 33, and SF 30 are considered solicitation documents. They can be added in the Submission Documents tab within your proposal submission for the selected pool. Only the SF 33 and subsequent SF 30(s) are required. The Confidentiality Disclosure Statement is an optional Submission Document that users have requested. It is not required. You can also use this option for a Cover Letter, which is another optional document that you can add to your submission.
Who can submit the proposal?
The administrator(s) or Open Market proposal manager can submit your proposal(s). Then the applicable pool will display the submission date and time, with the option to view the details of it. These users can undo the submission by clicking View Details and then Modify Submission, and make edits until the solicitation deadline. However, they should carefully review and resubmit if changes are made. Once the Solicitation deadline is met, all assets are frozen and Polaris will only receive submitted proposals.
Why doesn't Symphony calculate the points for Unique NAICS?
If you used copy and paste to put the NAICS codes into Symphony, try to re-enter the NAICS manually to see if Symphony picks them up. Some users have found an extra space that is causing the NAICS to not get picked up by the system. In addition, when you add the projects to your submission(s) click the Begin or Modify button under Functional Factors to claim Primary Relevant Experience, Cybersecurity, or Emerging Technology Relevant Experience to receive the applicable scoring credit.
Can Team members see all data that is put into the system?
Yes, if they register under the prime's UEI and cage code, all data would be viewable by any others to whom access is provided. This is done so that the user who is responsible for submitting the proposal can verify that the information provided and uploaded is done accurately. Per How to Manage Users, you can use the administration link to limit those who have access, or provide access and then remove it after specific items are uploaded.
Is it possible to change our Team Member’s type designation?
You can delete the team members and add them back with the correct relationship type as long as they are not listed in any projects. You must remove all links to the team member before you can delete them from your assets. When documents are attached to a team member, you will delete the documents from the Business Factor they are attached to when you click on the Team Member link. Then, click the Unclaim button to be able to edit or delete the documents from the business factor. Once all documents are removed, you can delete the team member and add them back with the correct relationship type.
Where are the JV Agreement, Mentor-Protege agreement, and the Subcontractor Letter of Commitment uploaded?
Upload the supporting team members' documentation, such as the team member agreement, and any other supporting documents to your Team Member(s) documents tab (My Company/Team Members/Team Member/Documents). These documents cannot be added at the prime level. They are Teaming documents.
A Joint Venture requires a JV agreement.
A Mentor-Protege requires an SBA-approved Mentor-Protege agreement.
Subcontractors require a Subcontractor Letter of Commitment.
Can GSA review/see the documents I post before my submittal?
No, the GSA team will only receive Submitted proposals when the solicitation deadline is met. Up until the deadline, offerors may review and edit their proposals. Once the deadline is met, all assets are frozen.
Can I change the timeout logout?
The timeout is set to 15 minutes. This is a security requirement from GSA security.
What security protocols are in place to protect my proprietary data?
Symphony is hosted on cloud.gov with a FISMA Moderate 3-year ATO. All data is encrypted in transit and rest. Details can be requested from the GSA IT Security office directly.
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