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CFCM Study Section 4

FAR Part 15

QuestionAnswer
Which FAR Part covers contracting by negotiation? FAR Part 15
What is a negotiated contract? A contract awarded using other than sealed bidding procedures
What FAR Part covers source selection processes and techniques? FAR Part 15.1
What is the best value continuum? A technique that ensures the best deal for the government is obtained through the use of any one or a combination of source selection approaches
In acquisitions where the requirement is clearly definable and the risk of unsuccessful contract performance is minimal what plays a dominant role in source selection? Cost or price may play a dominant role in source selection
In acquisitions where the requirement is less definitive, there is more developmental work, or performance risk is greater, what plays a dominant role in source selection? Technical or past performance may play a greater role in source selection
What is a tradeoff process? the process of trading off price or price and noncost factors in evaluating offers
When is a tradeoff process appropriate for use in evaluating proposals? When it may be in the best interest of the government to consider award to other than the lowest priced offer or other than the highest technically rated offeror
When is a lowest price technically acceptable (LPTA) source selection process appropriate? When best value is expected to result from selection of the technically acceptable proposal with the lowest evaluated price.
Are tradeoffs permitted in a lowest price technically acceptable source selection process? No
How will award be made in a lowest price technically acceptable source selection? Award will be made on the basis of the lowest evaluated price of proposals meeting or exceeding the acceptability standards for noncost factors
When may oral presentations occur in the acquisition process? At any time during the acquisition process
What may oral presentations be used for? As a substitution for, or augmentation of, written information.
What must an offeror do when oral presentations include information intended to be included in the contract as material terms and conditions? The offeror must put the information in writing.
Can oral statements be incorporated by reference into a resulting contract? No
What FAR Part covers solicitation and receipt of proposals and information? FAR Part 15.2
What is the purpose of exchanges of information among all interested parties, from the earliest identification of a requirement through receipt of proposals? 1. improve the understanding of government requirements and industry capabilities 2. allow potential offerors to judge whether and how they can satisfy the governments rqmts 3. enhance the governments ability to obtain quality supplies and services
How does exchanges of information effect all aspects of proposals? It increases efficiency in proposal preparation, proposal evaluation, negotiation, and contract award
True or False: Exchanges of information among all interested parties should only occur once the request for proposal has been issued. False, exchanges of information should occur from the earliest identification through the receipt of proposals.
What are some techniques to promote early exchanges of information? 1. industry or small business conferences 2. market research 3. one-on-one meetings with potential offerors 4. presolicitation notices 5. Requests for Information (RFI) 6. Presolicitation or preproposal conferences 7. site visits
When should Requests for Information (RFI) be used? When the government does not presently intend to award a contract, but wants to obtain price, delivery, other market information, or capabilities for planning purposes
Can a response to a request for information (RFI) be considered an offer? No, it is not an offer and cannot be accepted by the government to form a binding contract
Is there a required format for Requests for Information (RFI)? No
What are Request for Proposal (RFPs) used for? To communicate government requirements to prospective contractors and to solicit proposals
What must be included in Requests for Proposal (RFPs) for competitive acquisitions? 1. Requirement description 2. anticipated terms and conditions 3. information required to be in the contractors proposal 4. factors and significant subfactors that will be used to evaluate the proposal and their relative importance
When may Letter RFPs be used? They may be used in sole source acquisition and other appropriate circumstances.
Does the use of a letter RFP relieve the contracting officer from complying with other FAR requirements? No
How should RFPs for noncompetitive acquisitions be handled? They should be tailored to remove unnecessary information and requirements
When are Oral RFPs authorized? When processing a written RFP would delay the acquisition of supplies or services to the detriment of the government and a notice is not required under FAR Part 5.202
Does the use of an oral RFP relieve the contracting officer from complying with other FAR requirements? No
What format should be used for solicitations and resulting contracts? Unless specifically excluded in elsewhere in the FAR, the Uniform Contract Format
What is included in the uniform contract format? Part I - The schedule (Sections A - H) Part II - Contract Clauses, Section 1 Part III - List of Documents, Exhibits, and Other Attachments, Section J Part IV - Representations and Instructions, Sections K - M
Upon award, what Part of the Uniform Contract Format is not physically included in the resulting contract? Part IV shall not be physically included in the contract but retained in the contract file. Section K shall be incorporated by reference
When should a solicitation be amended? When the government changes its requirements or terms and conditions.
True or False: A solicitation can only be amended prior to receipt of proposals False
Should proposals, and modifications thereto, received late be considered? Only if they are received prior top award is made and they meet the specific requirements in FAR 52.215-1(c)(3)(ii)
If no time is specified in the solicitation, when are proposals due? 4:30 PM local time
When may proposals be withdrawn? in writing any time before award
Do Oral proposals need to be withdrawn in writing? No
What must a contracting officer do when a proposal is withdrawn? Document the contract file.
What FAR Part covers source selection? FAR Part 15.3
What is the objective of source selection? To select the proposal that represent the best value
What is an award decision based on? Evaluation factors and significant subfactors that are tailored to the acquisition
What must evaluation factors and significant subfactors represent? The key areas of importance and emphasis to be considered in the source selection decision, and support meaningful comparison and discrimination and among competing proposals
What are the requirements that evaluation factors and significant subfactors are subject to? 1. Price or cost 2. Quality of the product or service 3. Past performance 4. for bundling with significant subcontracting opportunity, the subcontracting plan 5. if telecommuting is not prohibited, telecommuting shall not be unfavorable
How are competitive proposals evaluated and assessed? Using the factors and subfactors specified in the solicitation
What methods must be used when evaluating proposals? any rating method or combination of methods, including color or adjectival ratings, numerical weight, and ordinal ranking
How is price reasonableness normally established? Through competition
What method may be used to establish price reasonableness in limited situations? Cost analysis
What should be considered in evaluating past performance? 1. currency and relevance of the information 2. source of the information 3. context of the data 4. general trends in contractor performance
In regards to the evaluation of past performance, what should be listed in the solicitation? The approach for evaluating past performance, including evaluating offers with no relevant performance history and shall provide offerors an opportunity to identify past or current contracts for efforts similar to the government requirement.
True or False: In providing past performance, offerors are not permitted to provide information on problems encountered or corrective actions taken. False
True or False: The government may only consider past performance provided from the offeror False
In regards to solicitations, what are clarifications? Limited exchanges between the government and offerors that may occur when award without discussions is contemplated
In regards to solicitations, if discussions are contemplated what must the contracting officer establish? a competitive range comprised of the most highly rated proposals. Communications then are exchanges between the government and offerors after receipt of proposals, leading to the establishment of the competitive range.
What are negotiations? Exchanges between the government and offerors that are undertaken with the intent of allowing the offeror to revise its proposal.
When negotiations are conducted in a competitive acquisition, when do they occur and what are they called? After the establishment of a competitive range and they are called discussions
True or False: Discussions should be generic and apply to all proposals False, discussions should be tailored to each offeror's proposal
What is the primary objective of discussions? to maximize the government's ability to obtain best value based on the requirement and the evaluation factors set forth in the solicitiation
Who must discussions be held with? Each offeror in the competitive range
At a minimum, what must be indicated to, or discussed with, each offeror still being considered for award? 1. deficiencies 2. significant weaknesses 3. adverse past performance information to which the offeror has not yet had an opportunity to respond
What is the contracting officer encouraged to discuss with each potential offeror Other aspects of the proposal that could, in the opinion of the contracting officer, be altered or explained to enhance materially the proposals potential for award
Is the contracting officer required to discuss every area where a proposal can be improved? No
True or False: The scope and extent of discussions are clearly set in the FAR False: The scope and extent of discussions are a matter of contracting officer judgement
True or False: If after discussions have begun, an offeror originally in the competitive range is no longer considered to be among the most highly rated offerors, the offeror must be notified of the change in status and allowed to revise their offer. False: The offeror may be excluded or eliminated from the competitive range
True or False: Only offerors that are within the competitive range but are not awarded a contract can request a debriefing False: Any offeror excluded or eliminated from the competitive range may request a debriefing
If an offeror's proposal is eliminated or otherwise removed from the competitive range, can they revise their proposal to attempt to be competitive? No, once a proposal is eliminated or otherwise removed from the competitive range no further revisions shall be accepted
What can a contracting officer request or allow proposal revisions for? To clarify and document understandings reached during negotiations
At the conclusion of discussions, what will each offeror still bein considered for award do? Submit a final proposal revision.
What must the contracting officer do at the conclusion of discussions? Establish a common cut-off date for receipt of final proposal revisions and advise offerors that the final revisions shall be in writing and award will be made without further revisions
True or False: The Source Selection Authority's (SSA's) decision should be made in collaboration with key stakeholders False, the SSA's decision must be made independently, based on a comparative assessment of proposals against all source selection criteria in the solicitation
What FAR Part covers contract pricing? FAR Part 15.4
What is cost or pricing data? All information that, as of the date of price agreement or, if applicable, an earlier date agreed upon between the parties that are as close as practicable to the date of agreement on price.
True or False: Cost or Pricing data is judgmental False, Cost or Pricing data is factual and verifiable
What is certified cost or pricing data? Data that requires certification on a Certificate of Current Cost or Pricing Data (FAR 15.406-2)
What is cost realism? The costs in an offeror's proposal are realistic for the work to be performed, reflect a clear understanding of the requirements, and are consistent with the various element of the offerors proposal
What is "Information other than cost or pricing data"? pricing data, cost data, and judgmental information that is not required to be certified and is necessary to determine price reasonableness or cost realism
What does "Price" mean? Cost plus any fee or profit applicable to the contract type
True or False: In establishing the reasonableness of price, contracting officers should attempt to get as much information as possible in order to make an informed decision. False, Contracting officers must not obtain more information than is necessary
When cost or pricing data is not required, what should contracting officers rely on to determine the type of information required in establishing the reasonableness of the price. 1. No information - particularly if there is adequate price competition 2. Information other than cost or pricing data 3. cost or pricing data
Should cost or pricing data be obtained for acquisitions at or below the simplified acquisition threshold ($150K)? No
What FAR Part covers exceptions to cost or pricing data? FAR Part 15.403-1
When is Certified Cost or Pricing Data Required? When a negotiated procurement is expected to exceed $750,000
What statute governs certified cost or pricing data? The Truth in Negotiations Act (TINA), unless an exception exists
What are exceptions to the requirement to provide certified cost or pricing data? 1. adequate price competition 2. prices are set by law or regulation 3. items that meet the commercial item definition in FAR 2.101
If an exception to the requirement to provide certified cost or pricing data exists, what can the contracting officer request to help determine price reasonableness? information other than cost or pricing data
When is a price considered to be based on adequate price competition? If two or more responsible offerors, competing independently, submit priced offers that satisfy the government's expressed requirements.
Can the requirement of adequate price completion be met if only one offer is received from a responsible offeror? Yes if: 1. The KO concludes, and one level above agrees, that the offer was submitted with the expectation of competition. 2. Price analysis clearly demonstrates that the proposed price is reasonable compared to prices for same or similar items
Who has the authority to waive the requirement for submission of certified cost or pricing data in exceptional cases? The head of contracting activity, without the power of delegation
When may the head of contracting authority consider waiving the requirement for certified cost or pricing data? If the price can be determined fair and reasonable without the submission of certified cost or pricing data.
If the requirement for certified cost or pricing data is waved, doe subcontractors, whose subcontract is expected to exceed the threshold for certified cost or pricing data ($750K) have to provide certified cost or pricing data? Yes, unless an exception otherwise applies or the waiver specifically includes that subcontract and the rationale supporting the waiver for that subcontract
What is cost analysis? The review and evaluation of the separate cost elements and profit in an offeror's or contractor's proposal and the application of judgement to determine how well the proposed costs represent what the cost of the contract should be
What is cost analysis used for? To evaluate the reasonableness of individual cost elements when cost or pricing data are required.
What is price analysis used for? To determine a price fair and reasonable
What is price analysis? the process of examining an evaluating a proposed price without evaluating its separate cost elements and proposed profit
When is price analysis used? When certified cost or pricing data are not required
What are the preferred techniques for price analysis? 1. All prices received 2. Previously/current proposed prices for same/similar items 2. Parametric estimating methods 3. Competitive published price lists 4. Independent Government Cost Estimates (IGCE)
When should field pricing assistance be requested? When the information available the buying activity is inadequate to determine a fair and reasonable price
True or False: There is a standard format for requesting field pricing assistance False, the contracting officer must tailor requests to reflect the minimum essential supplementary information needed to conduct a technical or cost or pricing analysis.
How should field assistance responses be transmitted to the contracting officer? Orally, in writing, or any method acceptable to the contracting officer
For commercial items, what is the minimum a contracting officer must use to determine a price fair and reasonable? Price analysis
Does a catalog listing make a price fair and reasonable? Not in an of itself
If a contracting officer cannot determine if a price for a commercial item is fair and reasonable, even after obtaining additional information from sources other than the offeror, what must they do? request the offeror to submit information other than cost or pricing data
What FAR Part covers subcontract pricing considerations? FAR Part 15.404-3
Who is responsible for determining a subcontractors costs fair and reasonable? The contracting officer
What should the contracting officer consider, in regards to the subcontractors costs, when determining the reasonableness of the prime contract price? If the prime contractor or subcontractor has 1. approved purchasing system 2. has performed cost or price analysis 3. has negotiated the subs prices before negation of the prime contract
The contractor shall submit certified cost or pricing data to the government for subcontracts that are the lower of either: 1. $13.5M or more; or 2. Both more than the pertinent certified cost or pricing data threshold and more than 10% of the prime contractor's proposed price, unless the contracting officer believes such submission is unnecessary
Why may the contracting officer require subcontractor certified cost or pricing data below the thresholds and data other then certified cost or pricing data? If the contracting officer believes such submission is necessary to adequately price the prime contract.
If there is more than one prospective subcontractor for any given work, does the prime need to submit certified cost or pricing data for all prospective subcontractors? No, only for the prospective subcontractor that is most likely to receive the award.
If the contracting officer learns that the certified cost or pricing data is inaccurate, incomplete, or noncurrent prior to award what remedies are available? The contractor may correct the deficiency for consideration
If the contracting officer learns that the certified cost or pricing data is inaccurate, incomplete, or noncurrent after award what remedies are available? The government is entitled to a price adjustment, including profit or fee
What FAR part covers Profit or Fee? FAR Part 15.404-4
When a price negotiation is not based on cost analysis, are contracting officers required to analyze profit? No, profit is not required to be analyzed when price negotiation is not based on cost analysis
True or False: when price negotiation is based on cost analysis, contracting officers in agencies that have a structured approach shall use it to analyze profit. True
When not using a structured approach, what shall contracting officers comply with in developing profit or fee negotiation objectives? FAR Part 15.404-4 (d)(1)
Structured approaches for determining profit or fee prenegotiation objectives provide for ensuring that... all relevant factors are considered.
Agencies making noncompetitive contract awards over $100K totaling $50M or more a year are required to use what? A structured approach for determining the profit or fee objective in those acquisitions that require cost analysis, and may prescribe specific exemptions for situations in which mandatory use of a structured approach would be clearly inappropriate.
Can agencies use another agencies structured approach? Yes
In an experimental, developmental, or research work performed under a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, the contracting officer shall not shall not negotiate a price or fee that exceeds what statutory limitations? 15% of the contract's estimated cost excluding fee
For architect-engineer services for public works or utilities, the contracting officer shall not negotiate a price or fee for production and delivery of designs, plans, drawings, and specifications that exceeds what statutory limitations? 6% of the estimated cost of construction of the public work or utility, excluding fees.
For other cost-plus-fixed-fee contracts, the contracting officer shall not negotiated a price or fee that exceeds what statutory limitations? 10% of the contract's estimated cost, excluding fee
If a change or modification calls for essentially the same type and mix of work as the basic contract and is of relatively low dollar value compared to the total contract value, what may be used as the pre-negotiation objective for that change? The basic contract's profit or fee rate
Contract type, cost, and profit or fee should be balanced to achieve what? an agreement that is fair and reasonable to both the government and the contractor
What are the principal elements of the negotiated agreement documented in? The Price Negotiation Memorandum (PNM)
Who is responsible for managing contract performance, including planning, placing, and administering subcontracts as necessary to ensure the lowest overall cost and technical risk to the government? The Prime Contractor
When make-or-buy programs are required, what may the government reserve the right to review and agree on? The contractor's make-or-buy program when necessary to ensure negotiation of reasonable contract prices, satisfactory performance, or implementation of socioeconomic policies
What FAR Part covers Defective Certified Cost or Pricing Data? FAR Part 15.407-1
If, before agreement on price, the KO learns that any certified cost or pricing data submitted are inaccurate, incomplete, or noncurrent, what should the KO do? Immediately bring the matter to the attention of the prospective contractor, whether the defective data increases or decreases the contract price.
Does the price negotiation memorandum have to reflect adjustments made to certified cost or pricing data? Yes
What FAR Part covers Pre-Award, Award, and Post-Award notifications, protests, and mistakes? FAR Part 15.5
Notifications to offerors eliminated from the competition shall be given... Promptly and shall include information that further proposal revisions will not be accepted
In the case of a small business, a small disadvantaged business program, what notification will be given when the offeror is eliminated from the competition? If a small business, a small disadvantaged business, HUBZone, Service-disabled-veteran or woman owned small business program was utilized.
How many days does the contracting office have to provide a post award notice to unsuccessful offerors? Three days
What does the post award notice to unsuccessful offerors have to list? 1. # offerors solicited 2. # proposals received 3. name & address of each awardee 4. items, qties, unit prices of each award or, if impractical, the total contract price 5. in general terms, the reason(s) the offerors proposal was not accepted
What shall not be listed in the post award notice to unsuccessful offeror? 1. Cost Breakdown 2. profit 3. overhead rates 4. trade secrets 5. mfg processes and techniques 6. other confidential business information
What shall the KO furnish to the successful offeror? The executed contract or other notice of award to the offeror
What methods can debriefings be done? Orally, in writing or by any other method acceptable to the contracting officer
What FAR part covers Pre-Award Debriefings? FAR Part 15.505
How would an offeror request a pre-award debriefing? By submitting a written request for debriefing to the contracting officer within three days after receipt of a notice of exclusion.
What must a pre-award debriefing include? 1. The evaluation of significant elements in the offeror's proposal 2. Summary of the rationale for eliminating the offeror from the competition 3. reasonable responses to relevant questions about whether all procedures were followed
What shall pre-award debriefing not disclose? 1. # of offerors 2. identity of others 3. content of others 4. ranking of others 5. eval of others 6. point by point comparison with others 7. trade secrets 8. privileged or confidential mfg processes 9. commercial or financial info
What FAR part covers Post-Award Briefings? FAR Part 15.506
How may an offeror request a post-award debriefing? In writing within three days after receipt of notice of contract award.
How long does the KO have to provide a post-award debrief? To the maximum extent practicable, within 5 days after receipt of the written request
What must be included in a post award debriefing? 1. sgnfcnt weaknesses or deficiencies 2. overall evaluated cost/price & technical rtng, if appl, of the successful offer & this offer 3. Past perf info 4. overall ranking of offers 5. summary of rationale for awd 6. reasonable responses to questions
What FAR Part covers Unsolicited proposals? FAR Part 15.6
What is an unsolicited proposal? A written proposal for a new or innovative idea that is submitted to an agency on the initiative of the offeror for the purpose of obtaining a contract with the government, not in response to a government request
Does a favorable comprehensive evaluation of an unsolicited proposal justify warding a contract without providing for full and open competition? No
The agency POC shall return an unsolicited proposal to the offeror, citing reasons, when its substance: 1. Available to the gvmt w/o restriction from another source; 2. closely resembles a pending competitive acq rqmt; 3. Not related to the activity's mission; 4. Not demonstrate innov unique mthd, apprch, or cncpt or is not deemed meritorious prop
The contracting officer may commence negotiations on a sole source basis, for an unsolicited proposal, only when: 1. Has received favorable comprehensive eval; 2. A justification and approval has been obtained for research proposals 3. Agency technical office sponsoring the contract furnished the necessary funds; & 4. The KO has complied with synopsis requirements
Created by: thabart