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Hello all, I would like to request feedback regarding when to use the term "RFQ" vs "RFP." Based on my research, an RFQ is always used under the SAT (FAR 13) and an RFP is used above SAT. However, there have been instances with commercial (FAR 12) buys under FAR 15 or 13 where RFQ was used. This may be wrong. I've been under different offices and different COs. So I am seeking clarification to see if there is a hard/fast rule or can it come down to CO preference or particular situations. Thank you.
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).
I know you can ask for discounted pricing from GSA Scheduled contractors but can you actually negotiate with them? Let's say we put out an RFQ and we get quotes in, can we then start negotiating with one of the vedors? How does one "negotiate" better pricing with GSA vendors?