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Ignoring whether or not agency should have used this vehicle, agency establishes multiple IDIQ contracts with FSS holders under FAR Subpart 8.4. The award of IDIQ contracts would seem to bring FAR Subpart 16.5 into play. Agency then issues a request for quotations by issuing a solicitation to all the IDIQ holders. While it seems clear that a procurement under FAR Subpart 8.4 does not involve the use of competitive proposals (see Millennium Space Systems, Inc., B-406771, August 17, 2012, 2012 CPD ¶ 237), it appears unsettled whether the use of an IDIQ contract vehicle transform the procurement from one involving other competitive procedures to one making the use of competitive proposals. The FAR generally links competitive proposals language directly to FAR Part 15 (see FAR 6.102( B )), but a nexus is created in FAR 16.505( B )(4) wherein is mandated that FAR 15.506 procedures be followed for postaward debriefings.

And, just to muddy the waters a bit more, the FAR is explicitly clear that “responses to requests for quotation (simplified acquisition) are ‘quotations,’ not offers” while “responses to requests for proposals (negotiation) are offers called ‘proposals.’” FAR § 2.101 (under “Offer”). And, as that same provision explains, an offer “means a response to a solicitation that, if accepted, would bind the offeror to perform the resultant contract.” Id. Thus, according to the FAR, there is a clear and unalterable distinction between “quotations” (where no contract is formed by its submission) and “proposals” (where the submission binds the offeror and a contract results).

So here is the question: Is a FAR Subpart 8.4 procurement that utilizes IDIQ contracts under FAR Subpart 16.5 a procurement on the basis of competitive proposals?

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Your question is not clear to me. I do not understand the distinction you appear to be making between competitive procedures and competitive proposals. Perhaps my confusion arises from the incomplete set of facts and the reference to an inapposite GAO decision.

FAR Subpart 8.4 procedures apply to Federal Supply Schedules and to instruments awarded under the Schedules. Typically, these are orders and BPAs.

Also, the FAR gives precedence to FAR Subpart 8.4 over FAR Subpart 16.5. See the second sentence of paragraph (c ) of FAR 16.500:

"Nothing in this subpart restricts the authority of the General Services Administration (GSA) to enter into schedule, multiple award, or task or delivery order contracts under any other provision of law. Therefore, GSA regulations and the coverage for the Federal Supply Schedule program in Subpart 8.4 and Part 38 take precedence over this subpart."

Absent a sole source justification, FAR Subpart 8.4 requires you to obtain competition among the holders of a contract vehicle placed under a Schedule. You follow FAR 8.4 procedures, not FAR 16.5 ones.

The procedures you follow when using FAR 8.4, 15 or 16.5 do vary. Each FAR Part is a bit different with FAR 15 being more procedure rich than the other FAR references. The fact that a solicitation issued pursuant to different FAR reference calls for a proposal while another calls for a quote will not change the requirement to conduct a competition in accordance with the procedures of the relevant reference and with the terms of your solicitation.

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