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Guest vitopie

Open Market, Sole Source, Other than Full and Open, Posting, Requirement Documents

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Guest vitopie

1. Have a Purchase Request for an Open Market, Fixed Price, On-Line Legal Subscription Service over the SAT (approx $2.5M); Base Year with 4 Option Years. Period of Performance to start end of September, 2013

2. Program Office wants to Sole Source (we have a previous contract with the present vendor which is due to expire and the Program Office wants to keep them).

3. There is another potential vendor that knows about this pending requirement, but the Program Office said they had a few bad past experiences with them on other procurments and do not want to use them.

I have checked the FAR over and over again trying to site some clauses for the sole source justification, posting requirements (publicizing as a Notice of Intent), JOFOC and other than full and open competition.

Some parts of the FAR I have been reading are:

FAR 5.401

FAR 6.303-1
FAR 6.302

FAR 15.603

What do I actually need as far as documentation and posting requirements?

Thank you in advance!

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I would suggest first having a talk with your Competition Advocate - - see FAR 6.501 & 6.502. Based on your limited information above you may have an issue with supporting a S/S procurement and I would tend to think that at the estimated dollar amount of the proposed procurement (approx $2.5M) the Competition Advocate would need to weigh in on this. Maybe a face to face meeting with the Progam Office, PCO, and Competition Advocate would be beneficial.

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Guest vitopie

Policyguy, thank you for your input. If I am in the absence of a Competition Advocate and/or PCO. Would you have another suggestion? I was reading that I could post on FedBizOpps and Notice of Intent regarding this procurement and stating the S/S is related to a brand name justification. Your thoughts?

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Knowing that there's a possibly qualified alternate source, going sole source has the potential of causing some real heartburn.

Which could translate into delays and other unpleasantness.

My 2 cents, solicit SBSA, or unrestricted, and make Past Performance #1 in the best value evaluation.

No better way to educate the potential sore loser on what requiring activities consider key.

If I understand the requirement, I can think of two different sources with pretty good reputations, WestLaw and Lexis-Nexis.

I'd guess that a JOFOC will be like a red flag in this particular case.

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Guest Vern Edwards

What you need is what you apparently do not have -- valid justification for sole source contracting.

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It sounds like the right thing to do here is compete the requirement. You know of a second vendor so it isn't sole source. Too often contracting officers are afraid to compete things because competing is "hard." I'm not trying to be glib, but if you read the FAR, follow it closely and document the rationale for your decision, you can get this thing competed.

I'd also recommend reviewing FAR 12.603 "Streamlined Solicitation for Commercial Items." It may or may not work for your situation, but it is worth considering.

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Out of curiosity - - are you talking WestLaw and/or Matthew Bender (dba Lexis Nexis) - - if so you may wish to view not only the GSA Schedules, but I believe one or both have existing agreements that allow use by other Agencies.

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I don't like it,

but BZ Man is right:

today, doing your job in FAR-constrained (compliant) federal contracting, often the smartest route is the one that avoids the requirements for competition.

Hey, if its on a GSA FSS, it's already been competed -

though almost all "competitors" win a Kt.

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FAR Part 8.4 still requires competition among schedule holders.

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Boof,

not really.

A buyer has to look at 3 schedules, unless they find an exception, in which case they have to explain why they only looked at 1 or 2.

If they do look at three, and the preferred vendor is not low among those 3, they keep looking until they find 2 that are higher.

At least, that's what I've seen. Repeatedly. While on the government side.

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Vitopie:

You haven't said whether you are a Federal agency. If so,do you have Interagency Agreement capability?

I have had good experiences with obtaining legal research service requirements utilizing the services of the Library of Congress (FEDLINK). The contact information on their website www.loc.gov is 202-707-4850 or gharris@loc.gov.

They offer two types of services. Under the Transfer Pay Option, the requiring agency enters into an Interagency Agreement with the Library of Congress. The Library's Contracts office will then issue a delivery order to the legal research service on your behalf. There is quite a comprehensive list of providers to select from.

Under the Direct Express option, your agency issues the delivery order against the Library's contract.

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Boof,

not really.

A buyer has to look at 3 schedules, unless they find an exception, in which case they have to explain why they only looked at 1 or 2.

If they do look at three, and the preferred vendor is not low among those 3, they keep looking until they find 2 that are higher.

At least, that's what I've seen. Repeatedly. While on the government side.

The rules changed several years ago to require, for orders exceeding the SAT, posting on eBuy or distributing the RFQ to enough vendors to "reasonably ensure that quotes will be received from at least three contractors that can fulfill the requirements."

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but ... "When fewer than three quotes are received from schedule contractors that can fulfill the requirement, the contracting officer shall prepare a written determination explaining that no additional contractors capable of fulfilling the requirement could be identified despite reasonable efforts to do so. The determination must clearly explain efforts made to obtain quotes from at least three schedule contractors."



Therefore, if you advertise it on the proper schedule (if one exists) and do not receive three, you need to document your rationale to move forward with an award.



@EFeinburg - - FedLink is another good source if viable to the buyer


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