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Cody

Source Selection for Commercial Items

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The test program has ended (FAR 13.5) expired January 2012.

Commercial Items have no dollar threshold.

I have searched FAR part 12, 13, 14 and 15.

Using FAR Part 12 in conjunction with FAR Part 15 for the purchase of a commercial item over the Simplified Acquisition Threshold $150,000.00.

Is a source selection plan required when using the clause 52-212-2 (price and past performance) will be the evaluation criteria?

Recently I was given a opinion from a policy group that all commercial solicitations above the SAT now need a full blown source selection plan. I cannot find guidance in the FAR that states source selection plans are required for commercial items.

Is there a recent DoD policy that states a source selection plan is now required for all Request for Proposals above SAT?

There still appears to be confusion in using FAR Part 12 with 15?

Thanks

Cody

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There should be no confusion. Source selections for commercial items are conducted just like any other source selection. The only exception is the streamlined procedure for evaluation and solicitation in FAR Subpart 12.6, which does not address source selection plans one way or another.

If you are conducting a source selection for an acquisition of a commercial item valued in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold, then you must comply with FAR Part 15 except as provided in FAR Subpart 12.6. FAR Part 15 does not require the preparation of a source selection plan for any acquisition. The requirement for a source selection plan is a matter of agency and contracting office policy and procedure, not governmentwide policy or procedure. If you want to know if you need a source selection plan for an acquisition of commercial items, see your agency FAR supplement and other policy and procedure directives.

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Agree with Vern. SSP requirements should be covered by your agency internal policies. Your agency should have some SSP templates and they are fairly easy to put together. My previous agency even had a "streamlined" version of the SSP for actions above SAT but below the old test program threshold.

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Thanks guy's for the quick response.

So if I understand this correctly. If I receive a request from a customer to purchase an off the shelf commecial item, lets say a John Deere Tractor (Item is not available from DLA/GSA, etc.) with a government estimate of $151,000.00 I need to develop a source selection plan.

If I post a combined synopsis/solicaition using FAR part 12.6 for the same item then a source selection plan is not required?

I understand we do not make the rules I am just trying to follow them. Again thanks.

Cody

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You've got it entirely wrong.

Whether you need a source selection plan or not depends on what agency you work for and what its policies are. No one told you that you need a source selection plan if the anticipated price is $151,000. And no one told you that you don't need a source selection plan if you use a combined synopsis/solicitation.

If you want people to answer your questions, then please read the answers they give you.

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Assuming you are DoD, then you are right. The guidance Don mentioned is incorporated into the DFARS via 215.300 (an agency supplement as pointed out by Vern). The guidance states it is not applicable to FAR Part 12 Streamline Acquisitions (FAR Subpart 12.6) and FAR Part 13 buys. FAR Part 12 buys, as a whole, are not exempt from the guidance, so if you are not using FAR Subpart 12.6, and the buy is greater than SAT, then you need to follow the guide and prepare a SSP. Again this is for DoD because the guide is incorporated through the agency supplement.

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There should be no confusion. Source selections for commercial items are conducted just like any other source selection. The only exception is the streamlined procedure for evaluation and solicitation in FAR Subpart 12.6, which does not address source selection plans one way or another.

If you are conducting a source selection for an acquisition of a commercial item valued in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold, then you must comply with FAR Part 15 except as provided in FAR Subpart 12.6. FAR Part 15 does not require the preparation of a source selection plan for any acquisition. The requirement for a source selection plan is a matter of agency and contracting office policy and procedure, not governmentwide policy or procedure. If you want to know if you need a source selection plan for an acquisition of commercial items, see your agency FAR supplement and other policy and procedure directives.

Vern,

I know you're very busy, but did you have a chance to review DFARS 215.300 and the DoD Source Selection Procedures? Page 10, paragraph 2.2 of the DoD Source Selection Procedures manual states, "An SSP is required for all best–value, negotiated, competitive acquisitions under FAR Part 15. The SSA shall approve the SSP before the final solicitation is issued."

Also, Chris M. wrote on 19 July, "FAR Part 12 buys, as a whole, are not exempt from the guidance, so if you are not using FAR Subpart 12.6, and the buy is greater than SAT, then you need to follow the guide and prepare a SSP."

/bt/

The basis of DoD's source selection procedures' requirement for an SSP is when you conduct a "best value, negotiated, competitive acquisitions under FAR Part 15". An example of agency policy/procedure covering this can be viewed at http://www.409csb.ar...9-12.pdf. Look at the reference cited for the requirement to have an SSP: "DoD Source Selection Procedures, 2.2 and AFARS 5115.303© " Also, it mentions that the preparer is the Program Office/Requiring Activity and legal and MOD (policy) will review it. The lawyers have never written an SSP and the policy people may not recognize why the SSP was included in the package. Still, the Army has the lawyers review it and provide a recommendation to the PARC. The KO and Contract Specialist spent very little time on the SSP and didn't review it too closely, so the lawyers have a field day with spelling, formatting comments. It is unfortunate, because the 51C (E6/E7) or GS-1102 specialist shouldn't be the target of the blame.

Cody's question is difficult to address on this forum, but I suspect Cody is asking since there is nobody at Cody's agency who knows how to answer his/her question. What agency you work for and what the policies are in that agency, is the basis of whether a source selection plan is required or not.

DFARS 215.300 states, "Contracting officers shall follow the principles and procedures in Director, Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy memorandum dated March 4, 2011, Department of Defense Source Selection Procedures, when conducting negotiated, competitive acquisitions utilizing FAR part 15 procedures."

Therefore, if you work for DoD and are conducting a source selection for an acquisition of a commercial item valued in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold, AND choose to NOT follow the streamlined procedure for evaluation and solicitation in FAR Subpart 12.6, you must have an approved Source Selection plan (emphasis added) apparently.

I wonder if the first response given to people like Cody on something like this is, "FAR Part 15 requires a Source Selection Plan". I have heard that said a couple of times in my office. The DoD source selection procedures give some bullets about what to put in a plan, but Army appears to not have a "streamlined template" and I haven't seen a consistent template being used. Maybe TIMBUK2 could direct Cody to the template he/she was referring to in his 17 July answer to Cody's question.

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Matt:

FAR Part 15 -- FAR itself, 48 CFR Chapter 1-- does not require a source selection plan. In fact, the term "source selection plan" does not appear in FAR Part 15. It appears only once in FAR, and that's in the definition of "source selection information" in Part 2. Many agencies require source selection plans, but that is a different matter. If someone in your office tells you that FAR requires a source selection plan, ask him or her to show you where it does so.

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