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I'm a Contracting Officer tasked with soliciting for a construction project that involves a brand name specification under the CICA waiver authority under FAR 6.302-1 Only One Responsible Source. The item is a major component of the construction project, but the value of the item is expected NOT to exceed $700k (the total construction project will be much larger). My read of the regs has always been that a 6.302-1 CICA waiver justification must include evidence that a notice of intent was posted to the GPE and interested sources responding to that notice were considered in accordance with FAR 6.302-1(d)(2), FAR 5.201, and FAR 5.207. HOWEVER, we are planning to solicit the project as a task order RFP under a multiple award IDC, and so the question was raised, does CICA and FAR Part 6 even apply? FAR 5.202(a)(6) provides an exception to the FAR 5.201 synopsis requirement for IDC orders and refers to FAR 16.505(a)(4). FAR 16.505(a)(4) states that items peculiar to one manufacturer must be justified in accordance with FAR 16.505( b)(2) (aka Fair Opportunity Exception). BOTTOM LINE: I've nearly concluded that FAR Subpart 16.5 may be the applicable regulation and not FAR Subpart 6.3, and so a FAR 16.505(b )(2) Fair Opportunity Exception would be required instead of a FAR 6.303 Justification. But I have a nagging suspicion that that's not quite right. My hesitations with a FAR 16.505(b )(2) Fair Opportunity Exception are that #1 I can't quite see how this is would restrict competition among the IDC contractors, so I can't really see how the concept of "fair opportunity" is at play. And, #2 I'm surprised to find that there is no requirement at FAR 16.505( b)(2) to post a notice of intent to the GPE--since in our situation for a brand name component, it seems to me that would be compelling information to include in the justification if we get no acceptable response from industry. And I'm also surprised because FAR 16.505 ( b)(2)(d) DOES require that the final approved Fair Opportunity Exception be posted to the GPE within 14 days (for orders >SAT). Whereas under FAR Subpart 6.3, for brand name justifications, all that is required is to attach the final approved J&A with the solicitation. I suppose that's because Fair Opportunity Exceptions under 16.505( b)(2) would never be publicized if only distributed with the solicitation because the solicitation isn't made public--it's only sent the multiple IDC contractors. Anyone have any thoughts on this? Appreciate the feedback.
Here is a question and some thoughts hopefully to gain a better understanding. Possible Scenario: An agency failed to exercise an option to extend the period of performance and the contract expired in January, in June the contractor and the Agency agree bilaterally to a modification to re-establish and continue originally planned work under the contract to the original option period of performance completion date of December of the year. The contract was initially award as valid contract against a Broad Agency Announcement and is for Basic Research (Budget Activity 1/2/3). Thoughts: When a competitively awarded contract is awarded using FAR part 15 solicitation procedures, and the contracting officer fails to exercise an option and allows a contract period of performance to expire such that the contract has expired either a justification in accordance with FAR part 6 is necessary or a new competition is required. Either to establish a new contract vehicle or execute a bi-lateral modification to extend/reactivate the period of performance. See Washington National Arena Limited Partnership, B-219136, OCT 22, 1985, 65 COMP.GEN. 25. [Relevant text below and credit to Vern under http://www.wifcon.com/discussion/index.php?/topic/2164-option-to-extend-the-term-not-exercised-on-time-now-what/&page=2]. Relevant text from CICA relating to a BAA (FAR 35.016) “The term 'competitive procedures' means procedures under which an executive agency enters into a contract pursuant to full and open competition. Such term also includes ….(2) the competitive selection of basic research proposals resulting from a general solicitation and the peer review or scientific review (as appropriate) of such proposals.” Here is an example where the issue was worked by DAU/Ask A Professor (https://www.dau.mil/aap/pages/qdetails.aspx?cgiSubjectAreaID=3&cgiQuestionID=114379). I note the response does not address the basis for the original award. My position is should the fact pattern presented in B-21913 be modified to switch the award authority the conclusion would change. In the possible scenario above should an Agency fail for any reason to exercise an option under a contract properly awarded against a BAA a bi-lateral modification to continue the original performance be agreed to by the parties then performance may continue absent the need for a FAR 6 J&A. Is such a modification an abuse of the Agency's authority and outside the regulations? Relevant Text from Washington National Arena Limited Partnership. “WE AGREE WITH TICKETCENTER THAT THIS ATTEMPT WAS IMPROPER. UPON EXPIRATION OF TICKETRON'S CONTRACT, NEITHER THE GOVERNMENT NOR TICKETRON WAS OBLIGATED BY ANY OF THE CONTRACT TERMS; TICKETRON NO LONGER WAS BOUND TO PROVIDE VISITOR RESERVATION SERVICES, AND THE GOVERNMENT NO LONGER WAS BOUND TO PAY TICKETRON COMMISSIONS FOR SUCH SERVICES. THE UNEXERCISED OPTION PROVISIONS WERE PART OF THE CONTRACT AND, THUS, NECESSARILY EXPIRED WHEN THE CONTRACTUAL RELATIONSHIP WAS TERMINATED. THUS, THE ATTEMPTED RETROACTIVE EXTENSION OF TICKETRON'S CONTRACT WAS NOT AN EXTENSION AT ALL- - THERE WAS NO CONTRACT TO EXTEND- BUT THE NONCOMPETITIVE CREATION OF A NEW CONTRACTUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH TICKETRON. UNDER CICA, AGENCIES ARE REQUIRED TO "OBTAIN FULL AND OPEN COMPETITION THROUGH THE USE OF COMPETITIVE PROCEDURES" IN PROCURING PROPERTY OR SERVICES. 41 U.S.C. SEC. 253. CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM THE COMPETITION REQUIREMENT ARE LISTED, BUT IT DOES NOT APPEAR FROM THE RECORD, AND NPS DOES NOT ARGUE, THAT ANY OF THESE EXEMPTIONS WOULD APPLY TO JUSTIFY A NONCOMPETITIVE AWARD TO TICKETRON UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES HERE. CONSEQUENTLY, WE SUSTAIN THE PROTEST ON THE GROUND THAT NPS SHOULD HAVE CONDUCTED A COMPETITIVE PROCUREMENT FOR THESE VISITOR RESERVATION SERVICES.” Washington National Arena Limited Partnership, B-219136, OCT 22, 1985, 65 COMP.GEN. 25 (https://www.gao.gov/products/461444#mt=e-report) Hoping for a good discussion, not based on a current fact set.