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Acquisition Innovation - Questions and Answers








Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Question: Can we meet one-on-one with a potential vendor?

    Answer: YES. Government officials can generally meet one-on-one with potential offerors as long as no vendor receives preferential treatment.


  1. Question: If the government meets with vendors and they submit unsolicited proposals will that delay the procurement process?

    Answer: NO. Submission of an unsolicited proposal should not affect the schedule. Generally, the unsolicited proposal process is separate from the process for a known agency requirement that can be acquired using competitive methods.


  1. Question: Should industry only be given a few days to respond to an RFP since the government has been talking to industry about this procurement for over a year?

    Answer: IT DEPENDS. Providing only short response times may result in the government receiving fewer proposals and the ones received may not be as well-developed -which can lead to a flawed contract. This approach signals that the government isn’t really interested in competition.


  1. Question: Do debriefings always lead to protests?

    Answer: NO. An effective debriefing process can greatly reduce the frequency of protests, as protests are often driven by a desire to obtain additional information - information that should otherwise be available via a proper debriefing.


  1. Question: Are all debriefings required to be completed in writing?

    Answer: NO. Debriefings may be completed orally, in writing, or by any other methods acceptable to the contracting officer. However, oral debriefings allow for an open, flexible space where the government and offeror are able to communicate in a productive manner and foster a positive rapport.


  1. Question: Are we required to assign adjectival ratings or numerical points for evaluation factors when evaluating competitive offers under FAR Part 16 fair opportunity procedures?

    Answer: NO. FAR 16.505(b) does not require adjectival ratings or numerical points. FAR 16.505(b)(1)(v)(B) specifically states that scoring of quotes or offers is not required.


  1. Question: Is a written evaluation plan required under FAR Part 16 fair opportunity procedures?

    Answer: NO. FAR 16.505(b)(1)(v)(B) specifically states that an evaluation plan is not required.


  1. Question: Are we required to evaluate past performance for an order under FAR Part 16 fair opportunity procedures?

    Answer: NO. FAR 16.505(b) does not require the evaluation of past performance. If a contracting officer chooses to evaluate past performance, FAR 16.505(b)(1)(v)(A)(1) allows for the evaluation to be limited to previous orders under the multiple-award IDIQ contracts.


  1. Question: Are we required to establish a competitive range before negotiating or bargaining with a competitive offeror for an order under FAR Part 16 fair opportunity procedures?

    Answer: NO. FAR 16.505(b) does not require establishing a competitive range before negotiating, and nothing from FAR subpart 15.3 is applicable when ordering under multiple-award IDIQ contracts (see FAR 16.505(b)(1)(ii)).


  1. Question: In a FAR subpart 15.3 Source Selection, are we required to provide Q&As to all offerors by solicitation amendment?

    Answer: NO. FAR Part 15 does not require Q&As to be provided by solicitation amendment. Q&As should be provided as a separate, standalone document. If a Q&A actually changes anything in the solicitation, then that change should be included in a solicitation amendment.



Ask us your Questions!

If you have any questions or comments, contact us here: OAM_Mailbox@doc.gov





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