FAR Part 14 Sealed Bidding
Contents • Subpart 14.1 -- Use of Sealed Bidding • Subpart 14.3 -- Submission of Bids • Subpart 14.4 -- Opening of Bids and Award of Contract • Subpart 14.5 -- Two-Step Sealed Bidding
Subpart 14.1 -- Use of Sealed Bidding • Sealed bidding is a method of contracting that employs competitive bids, public opening of bids, and awards. The following steps are involved: • Preparation of invitations for bids • Publicizing the invitation for bids. • Submission of bids. • Evaluation of bids. Bids shall be evaluated without discussions. • Contract award. • Contracting officers shall solicit sealed bids if – • Time permits the solicitation, submission, and evaluation of sealed bids; • The award will be made on the basis of price and other price-related factors; • It is not necessary to conduct discussions with the responding offerors about their bids; and • There is a reasonable expectation of receiving more than one sealed bid
Subpart 14.2 -- Solicitation of Bids • Uniform contract format or Simplified format may be used • Must check (x) block for IFB on Offer and Award • Must include description or specifications for product/service solicited. • Clauses and Provisions – insert as prescribed • 52.214-4, False Statements in Bids • 2.214-5, Submission of Bids • 52.214-6, Explanation to Prospective Bidders • 52.214-7, Late Submissions, Modifications, and Withdrawals of Bids • 52.214-10, Contract Award - Sealed Bidding or 52.214-19, Contract Award -- Sealed Bidding -- Construction,
Subpart 14.2 -- Solicitation of Bids • Clauses and Provisions (Con’t.) • 52.214-12, Preparation of Bids or 52.214-18, Preparation of Bids -- Construction • 52.214-13, Telegraphic Bids • 52.214-14, Place of Performance -- Sealed Bidding • 52.214-15, Period for Acceptance of Bids • 52.214-22, Evaluation of Bids for Multiple Awards, • 52.214-31, Facsimile Bids • 52.214-34, Submission of Offers in the English Language • 52.214-35, Submission of Offers in U.S. Currency • 52.214-26, Audit and Records -- Sealed Bidding, • 52.214-28, Price Related Factors
Subpart 14.2 -- Solicitation of Bids • Rules for soliciting bids • Bid time – Reasonable time consistent with needs of the Government – typically 30 days if synopsizing in FBO (>25K) • Announcement / Publicizing • Using the FBO • Posting in public place • Trade journals/publications • Pre-solicitation notice leading to a bidders list. • Method for Solicitation • Direct mail • Copy available for reproduction or distribution • Electronic commerce • Means of response • Written bid in sealed envelope most common • Electronic commerce • Fax or telegraphic if allowed by CO
Subpart 14.2 -- Solicitation of Bids • Pre-Bid Meeting may be conducted to clarify solicitation requirements • Not an opportunity to prop-up a flawed solicitation • Amendments to solicitation – SF30 • May need to extend bid due date to allow time to incorporate information in amendment • Solicitation may be cancelled before bid opening • Announce in FBO • Bids received shall be returned unopened • Prospective bidders should be given the right to bid on any re-solicitation • Communications with bidders • Any information provided to one bidder must be provided to all – preferably at the same time. • Prohibition
Subpart 14.3 -- Submission of Bids • Means of delivery • Postal / Commercial delivery • Hand delivered • Electronic submittal only if permitted by CO (e.g., fax, telephone, telegraph. • Bids must be timely • Must arrive on or before the time specified at the address or location identified in the solicitation documents. • Time and date stamped by Government
Subpart 14.3 -- Submission of Bids • Bids must be responsive • Must comply in all material respects with the invitation for bids • Bids should be filled out, executed, and submitted in accordance with the instructions in the invitation • Acknowledgement of amendments • Bid bond (if required) • All attachments or supporting documentation included • Must be properly submitted • E-mail, fax and telegraphic bids need not be accepted if not specified in the solicitation • Modification or withdrawal of bids • Permitted at any time up to the bid due (“closing”) date/time • If time not specified then bids close at 4:30pm on the prescribed date
Subpart 14.3 -- Submission of Bids • Late Bids, Modifications and withdrawals • Held unopened until after award • Government must notify bidders of late bid • Bid bond is returned. • CO may choose to accept a late bid if • Doing so does not delay the award • If it was transmitted through an electronic commerce method authorized by the IFB, it was received at the initial point of entry to the Government infrastructure not later than 5:00 p.m. one working day prior to the date specified for receipt of bids; • There is acceptable evidence to establish that it was received at the Government installation designated for receipt of bids and was under the Government’s control prior to the time set for receipt of bids
Subpart 14.4 -- Opening of Bids and Award of Contract • Receipt of proposals • Must be secured prior to bid opening – held in secure file cabinet, safe, or Bid Box • Procedure for inadvertently opened proposals • Procedure to open bids if identifying information not on exterior of bid package. • Bid opening is a public event • Bids opened by the Bid Opening Officer • Bid opening is publicly announced (usually in the solicitation or pre-solicitation notice on FBO)
Subpart 14.4 -- Opening of Bids and Award of Contract • Opening Process • Opening official announcement (greeting, the time is ___, Solicitation number/purpose, bidding is now closed, introductions) • Usually assisted by abstractor • Each bid is numbered and opened in turn • Each bid is examined for responsiveness (e.g., were amendments acknowledged, bid bond present, etc.) • Each bid is read aloud and recorded by the abstractor • Government estimate is opened, read aloud, and recorded • Opening official announces that the bid opening is complete. No statement need be made concerning the winner or apparent winner at this time. • Bids speak for themselves • Bids are subject to review prior to award • Opening official signs the abstract and a copy is available for public inspection.
Subpart 14.4 -- Opening of Bids and Award of Contract • Rejection of bids • Individual • does not conform to the applicable specifications • fails to conform to the delivery schedule • conditioned (all-or-none is OK) that affects price, quality or delivery. • unreasonable as to price (in total or for an individual line item) • materially unbalanced • bidder deemed not responsible or debarred • bid security not provide or improper • All • Government requirement no longer exists • All bids exceed the Government estimate (i.e., are not reasonable) • Specifications revised or inadequate • No responsive bid from a responsible bidder • Collusion among bidders • Less expensive if performed by Government (A-76) • In the interest of the Government
Subpart 14.4 -- Opening of Bids and Award of Contract • Waiver of minor informalities by CO • Matter of form rather than substance • Does not prejudice other bidder • Examples: failed to acknowledge amendment, did not sign bid, etc. • Mistakes in bids – Before award • Obvious clerical errors – correct through verification • Cannot be used to cure non-responsive bids • Correction may be initiated by bidder after opening but subject to significant restrictions – especially if it would displace lower bidder. • Agency may prohibit low bidder from withdrawing (low) bid but may allow bidder to correct. • Bidders notified of mistakes and asked to correct through ‘verification of bid’ process • Price is exceptionally low compared to other bidders and Government estimate • Other information that the CO believes indicates an error in the bid.
Subpart 14.4 -- Opening of Bids and Award of Contract • Mistakes in Bids – After Award • Governed by FAR 33.2 (Disputes and Appeals) • Decision documented via CO’s Final Decision • Work continues without interruption while issue is resolved • Actions include rescission or reforming to • Eliminate item(s) involved • Adjust the contract price – but may not displace next low bidder • Clear and convincing Evidence that a mistake in bid was made. In addition, it must be clear that the mistake was— • Mutual, or • If unilaterally made by the contractor, so apparent as to have charged the contracting officer with notice of the probability of the mistake.
Subpart 14.4 -- Opening of Bids and Award of Contract • Evaluation of bids • Responsive to the solicitation • Cost and cost related factors • Single vs. multiple awards • Prompt payment discounts • Schedule • Additive items • Fair and reasonable price • Balanced pricing • Determination of bidder responsibility • Equal low bids resolved by 14.408-6 with preference to small business • Award made using the appropriate document (SF 1447, SF 33 SF26, SF 1442, OF 347) Note: the bid constitutes an offer which may be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract. • Notice of Award • FBO • To bidder
• Subpart 14.5 -- Two-Step Sealed Bidding • Step One • Request for, submission, evaluation, and (if necessary) discussion of a technical proposal • Resolves conformity to the technical requirements and any questions concerning the specifications • Step Two • Sealed bids as per the above