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My company (The Prime Contractor working under a Federal Contract) sent out a competitive solicitation and have decided upon the "best value" selection approach. The problem we are having is that the responses we have received back (2 received) are much higher in price than our budget will allow. Is it inappropriate in a competitive solicitation to throw out a budget number to the bidders to work with? OR since its best value, can we select the apparent successful bidder and negotiate with them on price?

I appreciate any help I can get on this.

Thanks,

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You can do either one.

The DOD used to have an initiative designed to match performance against available monies - Cost As an Independent Variable (CAIV). Tell the contractor how much you are willing to pay and invite them to suggest changes to your SOW, Ts and Cs, or whatever, to meet the cost (or price) target. It worked for me in a FFP competition.

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Assuming there is no clause in your contract with Uncle limiting your discretion in selecting subs (e.g. subcontract approval or subcontracting plan requirements), you are not bound by the FAR source selection policies and procedures. As a good business practice, I think you should be consistent with any source selection procedures listed in your solicitation. Assuming there are no detailed procedures, negotiate in a way that makes sense and gets you the best deal.

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