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Is the 15 day notice of intent required for sole source under Part 13?

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All,

I am wondering if anyone knows if there is an official answer somewhere to whether the 15 day notice of intent to sole source is required when using Part 13. I know that Part 6 does not apply to sole source acquisitions using Part 13 but I am not clear if a 15 day notice of intent is required or if a notice of intent for a lesser period of time would suffice?

I see many notices of intent on FBO that are only for 3 or 5 days but I don't know how they are getting around the FAR 5.203 requirement to publish the notice of intent for 15 days. The only thing that I thought maybe makes this possible is using the authority in 5.203 (a) for the acquisition of commercial items, that allows a shorter period for issuance of the solicitation and wondering if that somehow means that the 15 days could be less but that only applies to commercial. Any thoughts?

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It could be they simply don't know any better, never having read the FAR.

Or, it could be they are applying the exception for commercial items in FAR 5.203( a )( 1 ) to both the "15 days before issuance of a solicitation" and to the "15 days before . . . a proposed contract the Government intends to solicit and negotiate with only one source under the authority of 6.302" even though it applies only to the former, and then only for commercial items.

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Perhaps they're interpreting FAR 5.203( b ) --

( b )The contracting officer must establish a solicitation response time that will afford potential offerors a reasonable opportunity to respond to each proposed contract action, (including actions where the notice of proposed contract action and solicitation information is accessible through the GPE), in an amount estimated to be greater than $25,000, but not greater than the simplified acquisition threshold; or each contract action for the acquisition of commercial items in an amount estimated to be greater than $25,000. The contracting officer should consider the circumstances of the individual acquisition, such as the complexity, commerciality, availability, and urgency, when establishing the solicitation response time.

as providing flexibility for acquisitions between $25,000 and the SAT.

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Noting a difference between SAP and SAT and sole source versus single source how about agencies applying either of these……

FAR 5.202(a)(2) that allows an exception to the notice when “(2) The proposed contract action is made under the conditions described in 6.302-2 (or, for purchases conducted using simplified acquisition procedures, if unusual and compelling urgency precludes competition to the maximum extent practicable) and the Government would be seriously injured if the agency complies with the time periods specified in 5.203;”

FAR 5.202(a)(13) that allows an exception to the notice when“ The proposed contract action— (i) Is for an amount not expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold; (ii) Will be made through a means that provides access to the notice of proposed contract action through the GPE; and (iii) Permits the public to respond to the solicitation electronically;”

Of course both say no notice is required versus the fact that notice time can be reduced so maybe the agencies are just being nice?

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