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FARmer

Reserving MA IDIQ contracts for Small Businesses - FAR 19.502-4

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Hello All,

I am trying to find some more information on how to reserve MA IDIQ contracts (using the CO's discrection) that are using full an open competition for small buisness concerns. I am specifically looking at FAR 19.502-4, Multiple-Award Contracts and Small Business Set-Asides. The FAR specifically states (for those that don't want to go look at it):

"In accordance with section 1331 of Public Law 111-240 (15 U.S.C. 644®) contracting officers may, at their discretion--

(a ) When conducting multiple-award procurements using full and open competition, reserve one or more contract awards for any of the small business concerns identified in 19.000(a)(3). The specific program eligibility requirements identified in this part apply;

(b ) Set aside part or parts of a multiple-award contract for any of the small business concerns identified in 19.000(a)(3). The specific program eligibility requirements identified in this part apply; or

(c ) Set aside orders placed under multiple-award contracts for any of the small business concerns identified in 19.000(a)(3). For orders placed under the Federal Supply Schedules Program see 8.405-5. For all other multiple-award contracts see 16.505."

What I am specifically try to figure out is how would a CO go about doing this on a Full and Open IDIQ that isn't broken out specifically to contain a Small Business track and a Large Business track.

The only bit of information that I have been able to scroung up through google searches etc is from DPAP Ask A Professor- https://dap.dau.mil/aap/pages/qdetails.aspx?cgiSubjectAreaID=31&cgiQuestionID=117202

My situation is somewhat similar to the scenario mentioned in the DPAP ask a provessor minus the fact that we will not be doing a two phase approach.

Has anyone seen this done in a single solicition for a full and open MA IDIQ? From an evaluation standpoint, how is the determination made as to which SB receive an IDIQ contract?

If anyone has any good examples that I could look at (FBO posting etc) or has any suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated.

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It's simple. Based on what you wrote, I assume the parent multiple-award IDIQ contracts were awarded under full and open competition under FAR Subpart 6.1. All you have to do is say that your fair opportunity consideration for the requirement will be limited to the small business awardees (or HUBZone small business awardees or whatever other category you want). One sentence in your solicitation (called a notice in FAR 16.505( b )( 1 )( iii )( B )( 1 ) and ( iv )( A )) is all you need. All the awardees in that category may submit an offer for your consideration and selection.

You;re talking about a competitive set-aside under the multiple-award IDIQ contracts, right?

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Thanks for the response ji20874- I understand the process that you are talking about when there are IDIQ contracts that have been specifically reserved for small business on an already established MA IDIQ. What I am trying to figure out the logistics of a solicited MA IDIQ that reserves a number of the presumed IDIQ contracts for small businesses

For instance - The CO plans to award a MA IDIQ using full and open competition. The CO plans to award 7 contracts on the IDIQ Contracts (Not to be confused with Task Orders etc; I am talking about the basic IDIQ contract). Per FAR 19.502-4, the CO, "at their discretion...... reserve one or more contract awards for any of the small business concerns identified in 19.000(a)(3)." So the CO plans to reserve 3 of the IDIQ contracts for small business concerns..

So my main question is how does the CO go about reserving an IDIQ contract for SB? How does the CO determine which 3 SBs receive their own IDIQ contract. Based on the DPAP ask a professor link, the CO may not be able to reserve any contracts for SB based on the proposals received (and I understand this). But what if at the conclusion of the solicitation evaluation there are some small businesses that are further down on the list of businesses to receive an award. For this post, let’s assume there are 10 large businesses that top the list based on the overall evaluation ratings out of 40 proposals received. Based on the overall ratings, businesses 11, 15, and 19 on the list are small businesses. Their ratings are overall acceptable ratings. Since the CO planned to reserve 3 of the 3 IDIQ contracts for small business, can the CO just say they get an award, and the 4 remaining IDIQ contracts anticipated are awarded to the top 4 large businesses on that list of 10?

Is this the intention of 19.502-4?

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The process I described is not "the process that you are talking about when there are IDIQ contracts that have been specifically reserved for small business on an already established MA IDIQ." This process works even for multiple-award IDIQ contracts that were awarded on an unrestricted basis under FAR 6.1, with a mixtuire of large business and small business awardees.

But you're not talking about orders -- it seems you're talking about the parent IDIQ contracts themselves.

Issue your solicitation as normal for an FAR Part 15 acquisition under FAR Subpart 6.1. Include the words from FAR 19.502-4( a ), something like,

The Government intends to award up to five contracts from this solicitation and to reserve two contract awards for small businesses. If adequate competition is received and quality offers are received from two or more small businesses, and the initial best value determination does not result in two or more contract awards for small businesses, the Government, in the sole discretion of the source selection authority, may select one or more lower-rated and/or higher-priced small business proposals for award instead of a higher-rated and/or lower-priced non-small business proposal if he or she feels doing so is in the Government's interest.

This is not a set-aside. FAR 19.502-4( a ) specifically says this approach is used when using full and open competition (that's FAR Subpart 6.1). This is not a partial set-aside. Use "reserve" instead of "set aside."

I haven't done this before, but I believe this approach will work. If others think there are better words, I hope they will share their better idea with you instead of knocking my words.

I wouldn't make it an automatic process like you described -- I would want the selection of a lower-rated and/or higher-priced small business over a higher-rated and/or lower-priced large businesses to be part of the SSA's subjective selection process. But I suppose you could make it automatic.

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FARmer, I understood that you were talking about a Multiple Award IDIQ Base Contract Award competition. You can use the term "Base Contract" to distinguish it from "task order" competitions. :)

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Thanks Ji20874, Joel, and Don!

I think based on Ji20874's proposed language, this approach could work.... I just wish there was more examples out there to look at or more history as to how it worked out in the end for the Government (GAO cases etc).

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FARmer be bold and brave now.

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