FAR 13.002 states that the purpose of simplified acquisition procedures is to reduce administrative costs, improve opportunities for small businesses, promote efficiency and economy in contracting and to avoid unnecessary burdens for agencies and contractorsContracting Officers must publicize con
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1. Competition Requirements for Simplified Acquisitions Fair Opportunity to be Considered Synopsis Writing
Phillip D. Osborne, Director
Office of Acquisitions, National Library of Medicine 1
FAR 13.002 states that the purpose of simplified acquisition procedures is to reduce administrative costs, improve opportunities for small businesses, promote efficiency and economy in contracting and to avoid unnecessary burdens for agencies and contractors
Contracting Officers must publicize contract actions in order to:
- Increase competition
- Broaden industry participation
- Assist small business concerns... Purpose of Simplified Acquisitions 2
FAR 6.001 states that the full and open competition requirements do not apply to simplified acquisitions
FedBizOpps.Gov is the web site used to post notices related to simplified acquisitions
Part 6 Competition Application and Publication 3
Methods of disseminating information.
Contracting Officers must disseminate information on proposed contract actions as follows:
For proposed contract actions expected to exceed $25,000, by synopsizing in FedBizOpps.Gov
Modification to an existing contract for additional supplies or services exceeding $25,000; or
Contract action in any amount when advantageous to the Government.
For proposed contract actions between $10,000 and $25,000, by displaying in a public place. Include a statement that all responsible sources may submit a response which, if timely received, must be considered by the agency.
The information must be posted not later than the date the solicitation is issued, and must remain posted for at least 10 days or until after quotations have been opened, whichever is later.
The contracting officer need not comply with the display requirements of this section when oral solicitations are used. (FAR 5.101(a)(2)(ii))
Posting Requirement 5
Often used exceptions to the requirement to publish in FedBizOpps.Gov:
Synopsis cannot be worded to preclude disclosure of an agency’s needs and such disclosure would compromise the national security
Unusual and compelling urgency precludes competition to the maximum extent practicable
Contract action is authorized by a statute to be made through another Government agency, including the use of the authority of section 8(a) of the Small Business Act
Contract action is made under the terms of an existing contract that was previously synopsized in sufficient detail
Contract action is for services of an expert to support the Federal Government in any current or anticipated litigation or dispute.
Exceptions to FedBizOpps.Gov posting 6
Whenever agencies are required to publicize notice of proposed contract actions they must:
Publish notice in FedBizOpps.Gov before issuing any resulting solicitation. The notice must be published, at least 15 days before issuance of a solicitation, except that, for acquisitions of commercial items, the contracting officer may:
Establish a shorter period for issuance of the solicitation; or
Use the combined synopsis and solicitation procedure (see FAR 12.603).
Solicitation response time affording potential offerors a reasonable opportunity to respond to each proposed contract action in an amount estimated to be greater than $25,000 but not greater than the simplified acquisition threshold; or each contract action for the acquisition of commercial items in an amount estimated to be greater than $25,000
Publicizing and Response Time for Simplified Acquisitions 7
Applies to all acquisitions except:
Contracts awarded using the simplified acquisition procedures of Part 13 (but see 13.501 for sole source acquisitions of commercial items under Subpart 13.5);
Orders placed against task order and delivery order contracts entered into pursuant to Subpart 16.5.
FAR Part 6 – Competition Requirements 8
Only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements.
Unusual and compelling urgency
Expert or neutral person for any current or anticipated litigation or dispute
Authorized or required by statute – SBA 8(a)
FAR Part 6 – Competition Requirements 9
While Justifications for Other than Full and Open Competition (JOFOC) are not required for simplified acquisitions or for Commercial buys up to $5.5 million, the JOFOC format and approvals are required for commercial buys over $100,000
Sole Source Justifications 10
11. Commercial Buys using Simplified Acquisition Procedures
Justifications and Content:
(1) Identification of the agency and the contracting activity
(2) Nature and/or description of the action being approved.
(3) A description of the supplies or services (including the estimated value).
(4) An identification of the statutory authority permitting other than full and open competition
(5) A demonstration that the proposed contractor’s unique qualifications or the nature of the acquisition requires use of the authority cited.
(6) A description of efforts made to ensure that offers are solicited from as many potential sources as is practicable
(7) A determination by the contracting officer that the anticipated cost to the Government will be fair and reasonable.
(8) A description of the market research conducted (see Part 10) and the results or a statement of the reason market research was not conducted.
(9) Any other facts supporting the use of other than full and open competition
(10) A listing of the sources, if any, that expressed, in writing, an interest in the acquisition.
(11) A statement of the actions the agency may take to remove or overcome any barriers to competition before any subsequent acquisition for the supplies or services required.
(12) Contracting officer certification that the justification is accurate and complete to the best of the contracting officer’s knowledge and belief.
Approval for commercial buys over $100,000
For a proposed contract/order not exceeding $550,000, the contracting officer’s certification will serve as approval unless a higher approving level is established in agency procedures
For a proposed contract exceeding $550,000, the Competition Advocate and Head of the Procuring Activity must approve
The estimated dollar value of all options shall be included in determining the approval level of a justification.
Commercial Buys using Simplified Acquisition Procedures – Sole Source Approvals 12
13. For purchases not exceeding the micro-purchase threshold, one quote is acceptable, if deemed reasonably priced (FAR 13.202). To the extent possible, micro-purchases shall be equally distributed among qualified suppliers.
When soliciting competition for requirements above the micro-purchase threshold, FAR 13.106-1(a) advises the contracting officer to consider the guidance in 13.104
Competition for Simplified Acquisitions 13
14. FAR 13.104 states:
The contracting officer must not—
- Solicit quotations based on personal preference; or
- Restrict solicitation to suppliers of well-known and widely distributed makes or brands.
If using simplified acquisition procedures…maximum practicable competition ordinarily can be obtained by soliciting quotations or offers from sources within the local trade area.
Unless the contract action requires synopsis pursuant to 5.101 and an exception under 5.202 is not applicable, consider solicitation of at least three sources to promote competition to the maximum extent practicable.
Whenever practicable, request quotations or offers from two sources not included in the previous solicitation.
Competition for Simplified Acquisitions 14
15. For purchases not exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold, contracting officers may solicit from one source if the contracting officer determines that the circumstances of the contract action deem only one source reasonably available (e.g., urgency, exclusive licensing agreements, brand name or industrial mobilization) (FAR 13.106-1(b)(1)).
For sole source (including brand name) acquisitions of commercial items in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold conducted pursuant to Subpart 13.5 the requirements at 13.501(a) apply including the requirement to prepare a justification and approval in accordance with FAR 6.303-2.
Competition for Simplified Acquisitions 15
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 16.505(b)(1) describes the fair opportunity process under indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contracts. The Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 (FASA) authorized the use of multiple award task order contracts. Giving Fair Opportunity to be Considered – Task Orders 16
FASA provides that, where an agency makes multiple awards, all contractors awarded such contracts shall be provided a fair opportunity to be considered, pursuant to procedures set forth in the contracts, for each task or delivery order in excess of $3,000 that is to be issued under any of the contracts unless a fair opportunity exception applies Giving Fair Opportunity to be Considered – Task Orders 17
The agency need is so urgent that providing a fair opportunity would result in unacceptable delays
Only one awardee is capable of providing the supplies or services because the supplies or services ordered are unique or highly specialized
The order must be issued on a sole-source basis in the interest of economy and efficiency because it is a logical follow-on to an order already issued under the contract
It is necessary to place an order to satisfy a minimum guarantee.
Fair Opportunity Exceptions 18
19. The appropriate use of task and delivery order contracting should increase overall productivity in the acquisition of supplies and services where a recurring need exists, as these vehicles: (1) encourage award of multiple contracts under a single solicitation; and (2) provide a streamlined method for competing and awarding orders for specific requirements that arise during the contract period. Giving Fair Opportunity to be Considered – Task Orders - Purpose 19
20. The competition requirements in Part 6 and the policies in Subpart 15.3 do not apply to the ordering process. However, the contracting officer must:
Develop placement procedures that will provide each awardee a fair opportunity to be considered for each order and that reflect the requirement and other aspects of the contracting environment;
Not use any method that would not result in fair consideration being given to all awardees prior to placing each order;
Tailor the procedures to each acquisition;
Include the procedures in the solicitation and the contract; and
Consider price or cost under each order as one of the factors in the selection decision.
Giving Fair Opportunity to be Considered – Task Orders 20
21. Each synopsis must address:
General format for “Description.” Prepare a clear and concise description of the supplies or services that is not unnecessarily restrictive of competition and will allow a prospective offeror to make an informed business judgment as to whether a copy of the solicitation should be requested including the following, as appropriate:
A description of the procedures to be used in awarding the contract (e.g., request for oral or written quotation or solicitation); and
The anticipated award date.
Format for a Synopsis 21
22. (1) National Stock Number (NSN) if assigned
(2) Specification and whether an offeror, its product, or service must meet a qualification requirement in order to be eligible for award, and identification of the office from which additional information about the qualification requirement may be obtained
(3) Manufacturer, including part number, drawing number, etc.
(4) Size, dimensions, or other form, fit or functional description
(5) Predominant material of manufacture
(6) Quantity, including any options for additional quantities
(7) Unit of issue
(8) Destination information
(9) Delivery schedule
(10) Duration of the contract period.
Format for a Synopsis 22
23. State how the acquisition is to be conducted
Provide information to support the agency's proposed sole source.
Conduct market research before issuing synopsis.
Include an adequate description of work to be performed and include relevant information such as the tasks to be performed.
Be careful not to state requirements based upon the "unique qualifications” of a preferred vendor rather than upon the agency's minimum requirements.
Format for a Synopsis - Dos 23
Be careful not to provide a preferred vendor access to procurement-sensitive information.
State whether the acquisition is a small business set-aside, etc.
Describe how the submissions to the agency will be evaluated.
Do not cite FAR Part 12 when the item or services being procured do not meet the definition of a commercial item.
If place of performance must be at the government site or some other specific location, provide the reason.
Include appropriate FAR clauses as well as terms and conditions in combined synopsis/solicitation notices
Format for a Synopsis - Dos 24