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kointhemaking

FAR Part 8 Terms and Evaluation

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Good Morning,

I am conducting an acquisition under FAR 8 against GSA Schedules.

1) Can someone explain the difference in terms used in RFQ language. Such as "shall" vs. "should". What is the difference? And, what is the advantage of using 1 over the other?

2) If my evaluation criteria is LPTA, can I compare quotes from all vendors across the board and award to the lowest price considering they were technically acceptable?

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20 minutes ago, kointhemaking said:

Good Morning,

I am conducting an acquisition under FAR 8 against GSA Schedules.

1) Can someone explain the difference in terms used in RFQ language. Such as "shall" vs. "should". What is the difference? And, what is the advantage of using 1 over the other?

2) If my evaluation criteria is LPTA, can I compare quotes from all vendors across the board and award to the lowest price considering they were technically acceptable?

1) FAR Part 2 says "Shall" means the "imperative" and "Should" is an expected course of action or policy that is to be followed unless inappropriate for a particular circumstance.

2) Yes, as long as the low price vendor is deemed responsible and meets all other RFQ terms and conditions.   

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16 minutes ago, Farparts said:

"Should" means something is recommended and if one decides not to act in accordance with the recommendation, one should have a sound basis for not doing so.

That is not the FAR definition of should.  FAR 2.101 states that should means "an expected course of action or policy that is to be followed unless inappropriate for a particular circumstance."  It is expected to be followed..., not recommended to be followed.

40 minutes ago, kointhemaking said:

1) Can someone explain the difference in terms used in RFQ language. Such as "shall" vs. "should". What is the difference? And, what is the advantage of using 1 over the other?

Having said that, if what you are including in the RFQ evaluation criteria is not subject to a shall or should requirement in the FAR, then you could use whichever term you prefer.  However, if you say for example, a contractor should have a certain amount or type of experience, you would have to be clear about how you intent to evaluate whether they have met the desired criteria or not.  One dictionary definition of "should" is "an obligation or duty", but another is "indicating a desirable or expected state" (Oxford Dictionary). 

If you intend to favorably evaluate someone who met the criteria versus someone who didn't, you need to say so in the RFQ.  When measuring technical acceptability, a requirement is either met or it isn't.  Using "should" does not establish a firm requirement.  Consequently, when using technical acceptability criteria it makes more sense to establish a minimum requirement that "must" be met to be determined to be acceptable.

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Just now, Todd Davis said:

That is not the FAR definition of should.  FAR 2.101 states that should means "an expected course of action or policy that is to be followed unless inappropriate for a particular circumstance."  It is expected to be followed..., not recommended to be followed.

I corrected my response just a moment before you posted this.  Thanks anyway.

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43 minutes ago, kointhemaking said:

I am conducting an acquisition under FAR 8 against GSA Schedules.

2) If my evaluation criteria is LPTA, can I compare quotes from all vendors across the board and award to the lowest price considering they were technically acceptable?

Recommend reading Vern's post at the link below under the section "Orders Against GSA Schedules".  http://www.wifcon.com/anal/analcomproc.htm

I would stay away from applying Part 15 procedures to actions under Subpart 8.4.  Stick with 8.405-1(c) and (f) or 8.405-2(c) and (d), as applicable.  Simply state the evaluation criteria you want to apply to the procurement and follow it when evaluating the quotes you receive.

 

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Todd Davis's post is important in part as related to a previous post in this thread made by Farparts.   There is no need to determine responsibility of a GSA FSS contractor, GSA does that at the contract level.   By example, most GSA FSS contracts are IDIQ contracts and like IDIQ contracts responsibility is again determined at the contract level and not the order level.  Determining award is based on the ordering instructions for the IDIQ.  So as Todd Davis has indicated use the ordering instructions, FAR Part 8.4, for GSA FSS orders, not the rest of the FAR.

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In step 3 of awarding a contracting GSA states "Since GSA has completed a determination of responsibility at the Schedules contract level, ordering agencies are not required to conduct it at the order level."

http://www.gsa.gov/MASDESKTOP/section2_2.html

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For a simple purchase under FAR Subpart 8.4 (or Part 13 or 16.505), LPTA might be too complicated -- how about price only?  If you are able to specify the needed item well enough, you won't need a technical evaluation at all.  

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If you are a DOD organization, follow the procedures under DFARS Class Deviation 2014-00011; then you would then use the procedures found in FAR 8.405.

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