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Is it considered adequate competition when a Prime Contractor chooses to execute teaming agreements with subcontractors without issuing a RFP to the all potential teaming partners?? My company policy is that we do not have to provide source justifications for subcontractors selected through adequate competition or subcontractors under teaming arrangements. I'm not sure I agree with the second part in that there is no competition when we just execute a teaming agreement without issuing RFPs and evaluating bids. Any thoughts??

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I would be curious what is the precise ?adequate competition? or ?sole source justification? requirement that you are trying to evaluate your company?s policy against. Is it a requirement from a contract clause, solicitation provision, company purchasing system or estimating system? What and where is this requirement?

Perhaps your company does not require a sole source justification, because teaming partners and their proposed supplies and services are considered to be vetted though the initial prime contract competition.

Post award, your company as the prime contractor may need to add some supply or service to the prime contract that was not part of the original award. Perhaps your company has a purchasing policy that requires a subcontract for a new sole source requirement to be either competed or a sole source justification provided.

But again, please identify the underlying requirement for the prime contractor to compete subcontracts. What does it say?

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Guest Vern Edwards
Is it considered adequate competition when a Prime Contractor chooses to execute teaming agreements with subcontractors without issuing a RFP to the all potential teaming partners?? My company policy is that we do not have to provide source justifications for subcontractors selected through adequate competition or subcontractors under teaming arrangements. I'm not sure I agree with the second part in that there is no competition when we just execute a teaming agreement without issuing RFPs and evaluating bids. Any thoughts??

The term "adequate competition" is meaningless in this context. If the prime contract contains the clause at FAR 52.244-5, Competition in Subcontracting (DEC 1996), then the prime is obligated to get competition to the "maximum practical extent." It does not have to get "full and open competition." It does not have to solicit all potential teaming partners. It can get competition in any way it sees fit. It does not have to use any particular competitive procedure. It does not have to issue an RFP. It can solicit quotes or offers by any means.

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If the solicitation or contract contains 52.215-20 or 52.215-21 then wouldn?t the requirement for ?adequate price competition? come into to play relative to the requirement to obtain cost or pricing data? Or does subpart 9.6 Contractor Team Arrangements or the definition of subcontract somehow get around that?

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Guest Vern Edwards
If the solicitation or contract contains 52.215-20 or 52.215-21 then wouldn?t the requirement for ?adequate price competition? come into to play relative to the requirement to obtain cost or pricing data? Or does subpart 9.6 Contractor Team Arrangements or the definition of subcontract somehow get around that?

If the issue is the requirement for cost or pricing data from a subcontractor, then yes, adequate price competition is a consideration. However, you didn't mention an issue about cost or pricing data and you wrote of "adequate competition," not adequate price competition.

What definition of "subcontract" are you talking about?

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  • 3 months later...

Can't tell y'all how many times I've preached the sermon, don't try to second guess the market.

The business development version goes like this: If you want to team with somebody because you need their resume to earn best value brownie points, fine. If you want to team with somebody because you think they provide you the best value, it's time for push-back. Let's send out a quick budgetary RFQ or mini-RFP, ask for qualifications and references along with budgetary price and schedule, and see what kind of results we get. You may be pleasantly surprised by what other potential sources can do for you.

For little post-award projects that come up on site where multiple contractors are mobilized, people tend to say just cut a change order to so-and-so, or limit the bidders list to those on site. My thinking is we go full and open, best value, and see where that takes us. Even if you end up awarding to somebody already on site, you have competition on file, and a much cleaner file.

Unless you need to go SB set-aside. If you have room on site for another entity and can get competition among SBs, go for it.

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