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Synopses of Proposed Contract Actions and Contract Awards for SAP (less than 150k)

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Question 1) For a 100k SAP procurement, is a synopsis of proposed contract required?  There is an exception in the FAR for the requird notice, but there has been debate regarding the meaning of the below orange text.

FAR 5.202 Exception - (a) (13) 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; 

Question 2) For a 100k SAP procurement, is a synopsis of contract award required?  There is an exception in the FAR for the required notice, but there has been debate regarding the meaning of the below red text:

 FAR 5.301 (b) (6) The contract action

  • (i) Is for an amount not greater than the simplified acquisition threshold;

    (ii) Was made through a means where access to the notice of proposed contract action was provided through the GPE; and

    (iii) Permitted the public to respond to the solicitation electronically; or

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YES, a pre-solicitation synopsis of proposed action is needed unless an exception applies.  The exception in FAR 5.202( a )( 13 ) is a three-part exception -- all three parts must be true for the exception to apply.  So don't bother getting hung up on ( ii ) if ( iii ) isn't true.

Did you permit or require the public to respond (submit quotations) in an electronic system?  YES   NO 
(In my opinion, allowing for an e-mailed quotation isn't covered by this exception -- but others may have differing opinions.)

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For the orange text, as shown below, the debate surrounds trying to understand the meaning of this orange colored text.  The text speaks to an exception but the second half of the sentence seems to speak to still having to post a link of some sort on FBO to access your proposed contact action that must still exist on another platform (e.g., FedBid, Agency website, etc.).  Thoughts?  My interpretation of this orange text is as follows: One condition for the subject exception is that your "proposed contract action" must be posted on another platform; however, the chosen platform must interface and provide a link to your notice of "proposed contract action" on FBO.

       (ii) Will be made through a means that provides access to the notice of proposed contract action through the GPE; and

For the 2nd colored text, as shown below, the debate is the same as the above: do you get an exception to the award synopsis if your selected platform had interfaced with FBO and posted a link to notice of proposed contracts (first synopsis)?
       (ii) Was made through a means where access to the notice of proposed contract action was provided through the GPE; and

Thanks!

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Guest Vern Edwards

FAR 5.202(a)(13) does not make a bit of sense to me.

FAR 5.201 says that a CO must send a notice of proposed contract action to the GPE under certain circumstances.

FAR 5.202(a)(1) says that the CO does not have to send the notice of proposed contract action to the GPE when he or she will make the proposed contract action through some means that will provide access to the notice through the GPE.

So there is a notice somewhere, that is not at the GPE, but that can be gotten to through the GPE through other means.

:blink:

I'm sure this makes sense to someone, and I hope that someone will explain it soon.

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3 hours ago, ji20874 said:

Did you permit or require the public to respond (submit quotations) in an electronic systemYES   NO 
(In my opinion, allowing for an e-mailed quotation isn't covered by this exception -- but others may have differing opinions.)

"In an electronic system"? What is that supposed to mean? No need to complicate things. The matter is whether the proposed contract action permitted the public to "respond to the solicitation electronically." 

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Don,

The public cannot respond to a solicitation electronically unless the agency has an electronic system to accept the quotations.

I simply asked the original poster if he or she permitted or requird the public to respond in an electonic system -- if he or she will answer that YES or NO question, we will be better able to assist with his or her question.

If you have any helpful information for the original poster, please share it.

Vern,

I can't speak for the drafters, but here is how I try to interpret it -- the contracting officer either transmits a notice to the GPE, or uses an electronic system (such as an agency website or tool) that feeds out to the GPE.

 

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No, our organization does not have an electronic system or tool that feeds to the GPE so I take it your opinion is that we cannot claim the synopsis exception?  

Still would be nice for someone to shed light from the drafters' perspective because the FAR language isn't clear or even needed considering the resultant synopsis would be posted to FBO regardless.   The one advantage is that if you use a "system" to post your proposed contract action with a feed to FBO, then technically, per the FAR verbiage, you do NOT have to post an award synopsis in the "system" or FBO (not sure if the FAR drafters intended this to be the case). 

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If you do not meet part ( iii ) of the exception in FAR 5.202( a )( 13 ), then you cannot use the exception -- you must have (i), (ii), and (iii) -- that's the reason for the "and" and the very end of ( ii ), rather than an "or."

Maybe the FAR text is needed -- if an agency has an electronic system that doesn't reach out to FBO, then it cannot use the exception -- but if it modifies its system to reach out to FBO, then it can use the exception -- the FAR text is intended, I believe, to encourage agencies to make their electronic systems reach out to FBO.

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2 hours ago, ji20874 said:

I simply asked the original poster if he or she permitted or requird the public to respond in an electonic system -- if he or she will answer that YES or NO question, we will be better able to assist with his or her question.

What do you mean by "electronic system"? Is Microsoft Outlook an "electronic system"?

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On 8/22/2016 at 2:49 PM, ji20874 said:

Don,

i have no intention of engaging your stupid conversation.  

Don't get frightened, ji. You stated:

Quote

The public cannot respond to a solicitation electronically unless the agency has an electronic system to accept the quotations

You also opined that e-mail was not such an electronic system. This raises the question of what you mean by "electronic system". We need to know that in order to evaluate your advice. I hope you explain yourself instead of resorting to a fight or flight response. What's the worst that can happen? You discover that you wrote something without thinking it through?

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Don,

I wrote, "In my opinion, allowing for an e-mailed quotation isn't covered by this exception -- but others may have differing opinions."

If you believe an e-mail counts for the exception, please make your case for the benefit of the original poster and other readers.  I allowed for differing opinions, didn't I?  You might convince me (not likely, but possible).

 

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ji,

Ok, so you opted for the fight response.

When you registered for this forum, you agreed to abide by the terms of use. I'd like to direct your attention to rule #1:

Quote

 

1. No personal attacks on another individual user. Personal attacks DO NOT include a disagreement with another poster's views. Users understand that professional disagreement and professional argument are a part of the learning process. Personal attacks include such things as calling a poster ignorant, unprofessional, etc. These posts will be removed or edited as soon as they are seen.

Although Bob will be the final judge, I believe that you are in violation of rule #1. If Bob determines that your comments are fair game, then I can't wait to describe you.

Now, in the event that you can maintain the discipline required for a civil discussion, the ball is in your court to tell us what you mean by "electronic system". FAR 5.202(a)(13)(iii) says "Permits the public to respond to the solicitation electronically." You have put forth two claims:

1. The public cannot respond to a solicitation electronically unless the agency has an "electronic system" to accept the quotations.

and

2. E-mail does not qualify as an "electronic system".

You haven't provided any reasoning to support your claim #2. It is just an assertion at this point. It is a questionable assertion, which is why I asked you what you mean by the term "electronic system". You now ask me to make my case that e-mail is an "electronic system". That's not how it works. I haven't made that claim. You have made a claim, you must bear the burden of proof. You tell us why it isn't and we'll evaluate your argument. You once said that you expect intellectual honesty in this forum. Now it's time for you to walk the walk. 

Unless we know what you mean "electronic system" we can't answer the key question that you posed:

On 8/22/2016 at 8:50 AM, ji20874 said:

Did you permit or require the public to respond (submit quotations) in an electronic system?  YES   NO

 

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Guest Vern Edwards

Let's try to get back on track and figure out what FAR says. The relevant language begins with 5.201(a):

Quote

(a) As required by the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(e)) and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 1708), agencies must make notices of proposed contract actions available as specified in paragraph (b) of this section.

So agencies must (1) make notices and (2) make them IAW 5.201(b). 5.201(b) says:

Quote

(b)(1) For acquisitions of supplies and services, other than those covered by the exceptions in 5.202 and the special situations in 5.205, the contracting officer must transmit a notice to the GPE, for each proposed—(i) Contract action meeting the threshold in 5.101(a)(1); (ii) Modification to an existing contract for additional supplies or services that meets the threshold in 5.101(a)(1); or (iii) Contract action in any amount when advantageous to the Government.

(2) When transmitting notices using electronic commerce, contracting officers must ensure the notice is forwarded to the GPE.

So unless an exception in 5.202 or 5.205 applies, agencies must (1) send notices of proposed contract actions to the GPE (FedBizOps) for actions that will exceed $25,000, and (2) must make sure that the notice goes to the GPE if it is transmitted by electronic commerce. (Apparently, if the notice is sent using means other than electronic commerce, then COs need not ensure that they are forwarded to the GPE.)

Now according to 5.202:

Quote

(a) The contracting officer need not submit the notice required by 5.201 when—(13) 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....

So if (1) the proposed action is for less than $150,000 and (2) will be "made" (conducted, awarded) through a process that provides access to the notice through the GPE and (3) permits the public to respond to the solicitation electronically, then the CO need not submit the notice to the GPE.

In other words, a CO need not submit the notice to the GPE that 5.201 requires to be sent to the GPE if the award will be made through an electronic method of contracting will provide access to the notice at the GPE that need not be submitted to the GPE.

Right? If so, that doesn't seem to make sense. You don't have to send a notice as long as you provide access to the notice that you don't have to send? If a notice need not be submitted to the GPE, then how does a notice get to the GPE so that access to it can be provided?

My powers of analysis may not be what they once were, so perhaps I have misinterpreted the language in the FAR. I'm not being ironic. Have I misinterpreted the language in the FAR? I'm not interested in speculation about what was actually meant, and I'm not interested in what people actually do. I am interested only in rational interpretation of the language in the FAR.

By the way, based on the original interim rule, which was published in the Federal Register at 63 FR 58590 on October 30, 1998, FAR 5.202(a)(13) would have said:

Quote

(a) * * *

(13) The proposed contract action—

(i) Is for an amount not expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold;

(ii) Will be made through FACNET or another means that provides access to the notice of proposed contract action through the single, Governmentwide point of entry; and

(iii) Permits the public to respond to the solicitation electronically....

Strangely, according to the interim rule, FACNET was the GPE. "FACNET qualifies as the single, Governmentwide point of entry pending designation by the Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP)."

The rule subsequently went through a "proposed rule," 65 FR 50872, August 21, 2000; an "interim rule with request for comments," 66 FR 27407, May 16, 2001; and, ultimately, an "interim rule adopted as final with changes," 68 FR 56676, October 1, 2003. Over the course of its development, from October 1998 to October 2003 (five years!), the thing was handled by four different FAR council staffers.  

I think the language in 5.202(a)(13) is a screw up. I think the FAR council staffers got wrapped around the axle and didn't realize what they had written. But, then, perhaps I have misinterpreted the clear language of the FAR. So ji20874, Don, and the rest of you, please straighten me out. I feel certain that I've made an analytical mistake. Please tell me what it is, and in the simplest possible terms, so that my muddled mind can understand you. And I'm not being ironic.

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On 8/22/2016 at 2:44 PM, cs123 said:

No, our organization does not have an electronic system or tool that feeds to the GPE so I take it your opinion is that we cannot claim the synopsis exception?  

Still would be nice for someone to shed light from the drafters' perspective because the FAR language isn't clear or even needed considering the resultant synopsis would be posted to FBO regardless.   The one advantage is that if you use a "system" to post your proposed contract action with a feed to FBO, then technically, per the FAR verbiage, you do NOT have to post an award synopsis in the "system" or FBO (not sure if the FAR drafters intended this to be the case). 

CS 123, perhaps, the language is outdated.  I think it was drafted prior to the current FBO/GPE systems.

 

On 8/22/2016 at 5:17 PM, Don Mansfield said:

Don't get frightened, ji. You stated...

 I hope you explain yourself instead of resorting to a fight or flight response. What's the worst that can happen? You discover that you wrote something without thinking it through? You do that all the time and nothing bad has happened, right?

Don, I read that as an escalation, in response to

On 8/22/2016 at 4:49 PM, ji20874 said:

Don,

i have no intention of engaging your stupid conversation.  

I also read your retort as a personal attack on ji. 

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Guest Vern Edwards

Okay, forget the spat. What the heck does 5.202(a)(13) mean?

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I never submitted announcements to the GPE (fedbizopps at that time) personally- never had an account with it.  I only submitted announcements to our in-house computer system.  However, our in-house system had an account with the GPE and provided those announcements to the GPE. 

Could this language be a needlessly fussy way to describe that scenario?  I honestly don't think so, but I thought I should float that trial balloon so that it can take heavy fire . . .

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Guest Vern Edwards

apso:

So if a CO is going to conduct the procurement through an in-house system and the system sends a notice the the GPE, then the CO need not send a separate one. FAR 5.202(a)(13) should be read as follows:

(a) The contracting officer need not submit the notice required by 5.201 when—(13) 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 to the GPE; and (iii) permits the public to respond to the solicitation electronically....

Makes sense to me. I feel better already. Thanks.

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Vern,

It has been a while, but if I remember correctly, the old Army Single Face to Industry system fit the exception; the pertinent information would be kept on ASFI with a link posted to FBO.

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I am preparing a solicitation with four year option.  There are two types of funding associated with each CLIN.  There are 4 CLINs.

How do I set up the CLINs and Sub-Clins for the base and the 4 option years?

This is what I have, but I am not sure it is correct.

Base year

CLIN

00001

0001AA

0001AB

00002

0002AA

0002AB

00003

0003AA

0003AB

00004

0004AA

0004AB

Option Year 1

00005

0005AA

0005AB

00006

0006AA

0006AB

00007

0007AA

0007AB

00008

0008AA

0008AB

I proceeded with the remaining option years the same as above.

Is this correct?

Daisy DuBose

 

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16 hours ago, Daisy DuBose said:

I am preparing a solicitation with four year option.  There are two types of funding associated with each CLIN.  There are 4 CLINs.

How do I set up the CLINs and Sub-Clins for the base and the 4 option years?

This is what I have, but I am not sure it is correct.

Base year

CLIN

00001

0001AA

0001AB

00002

0002AA

0002AB

00003

0003AA

0003AB

00004

0004AA

0004AB

Option Year 1

00005

0005AA

0005AB

00006

0006AA

0006AB

00007

0007AA

0007AB

00008

0008AA

0008AB

I proceeded with the remaining option years the same as above.

Is this correct?

Daisy DuBose

 

Bob and Daisy,  I think that this post is under the wrong thread.

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This is a 3-year old topic that should have been locked.  I don't know how it was left open.  I'll figure something out.  It is now locked.

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