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Scenario: IFB is issued for construction since government estimate is over the SAT. Low bid is under the SAT. Bid is responsive and bidder is considered responsible. IFB included FAR clause 52.228-15, Performance and Payment Bonds-Construction, requiring payment and performance bonds. Question: Do you think it would be appropriate to make award and then bilaterally modify the contract to remove this clause and replace with 52.228-13, Alternative Payment Protections, along with a price reduction reflecting the removal of the performance bond premium and any difference in the cost of the payment protection provided? I was unable to find any GAO decisions or other case law on the issue with the resources I have. My initial though is that this would be appropriate since there is not a compelling reason to cancel the IFB (FAR 14.404-1) and no bidders would be subject to competitive prejudice by award being made (all submitted bids based on same information). Thank you. Edit: I suppose a contractor could argue that they did not include the cost of bonds in their bid since clause 52.228-15 itself does not require bonds if the "resulting contract price is $150,000 or less."
This is applicable to solicitation responses under IDIQ contracts. Most specifically MATOCs for construction services. I thought I knew this stuff until a supervisor wanted to issued RFQs under MATOCs because it was easier and more streamlined. I know that is the guidance, but how far does one take that? Maybe I am overthinking this, but I think a few factors need considered. Here is my thought process and rationale. 1. FAR Part 2 does not define Requests for Quotes (RFQ), specifically. 2. FAR Part 2 does define "solicitation." ""Solicitation" means any request to submit offers or quotations to the Government. Solicitations under sealed bid procedures are called "invitations for bids." Solicitations under negotiated procedures are called "requests for proposals. Solicitations under simplified acquisition procedures may require submission of either a quotation or an offer."" 3. Simplified Acquisition Procedures are detailed in FAR Part 13. IAW FAR 13.004(a), a quotation is not an offer and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract (thus the order issued is an offer and the contractor accepts by commencing performance giving constructive acceptance). 4. Based on the definition of "solicitation" at FAR Part 2, can an RFP be issued under FAR Part 13 when an offer is desired rather than a quote? And can the Government accept the offer received to form a binding contract? Or is constructive acceptance required? 5. Does FAR Part 13 offer advice on when to use an RFQ vs. an RFP (I cannot find it)? 6. Since a certain amount of negotiation can happen under FAR Part 13, would use of an RFP only be appropriate when using evaluation factor other than price or price-related (FAR Part 15)? 7. Do thresholds play into the type of solicitation issued under an IDIQ contract? 8. Does the mere existence of an IDIQ contract automatically move the orders into the simplified acquisition arena? 9. FAR 16.505 paren b addresses placement procedures and does not address solicitation procedures, specifically. Is this semantics? 10. When an IDIQ contract is in place, can an RFQ be issued for projects exceeding the SAT (construction, non-commercial item)? And can the quote submitted be used for form a binding contract? Or is constructive acceptance required? My opinion (prove me wrong via holes in my rationale/interpretation or regulation and case law): 1. Yes, an RFP can be issued under FAR Part 13, pulling in the applicable portions of FAR Part 15. 2. An RFP under FAR Part 13 should only be used if the Government wishes to incorporate evaluation factors other than price and price-related. 3. If the Government issues an RFP under FAR Part 13, then yes, the offer received can be used to form a binding contract and constructive acceptance is not required. 4. Yes, thresholds do have an impact on the type of solicitation issued under an IDIQ contract and the type of response received - legally binding or not (quote vs. bid/proposal) and negotiable or not (bid vs. quote/proposal). 5. The mere existence of an IDIQ contract does not automatically move the orders placed under it into the simplified acquisition arena. 6. An RFQ should not be used under an IDIQ contract if the Government wishes to receive legally binding responses (bids/proposals). 7. Just because the IDIQ includes a provision that required the contractors to provide a response (including "no bid" responses), that does not make the response binding of that response is a quote as requested by the solicitation (RFQ).