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Vin

What constitutes an "electronic response"?

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Internal office debate, I've been tearing through the FAR/WIFCON/DAU but can not find a definitive answer.

 

If a solicitation is posted on the GPE (NECO/FEDBIZOPPS) and offerors are instructed to respond electronically through email, does that constitute an "electronic response" or do offers have to be received specifically through FEDBIZOPPS?

 

FAR 5.301(b)(6) states:

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,

 

Thanks in advance for your input!

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Even if there were a way to submit "through" FBO, which would be news to me, you always want to follow the solicitation instructions precisely. If the solicitation states to submit by email, and provides an email address, then you would send to that address, not to an intermediary. This is usually what the Government means by "electronic response," but that's besides the point. Just follow the instructions to be safe.

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4 hours ago, Vin said:

If a solicitation is posted on the GPE (NECO/FEDBIZOPPS) and offerors are instructed to respond electronically through email, does that constitute an "electronic response" or do offers have to be received specifically through FEDBIZOPPS?

Why doesn't "email" mean what it says?

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To further provide background information.  We had a Sole-Source SAP requirement (over $25,000) that had a combined Synopsis/Solicitation as well as the Sole-Source Justification posted in the GPE prior to award.  Any party interested in the requirement was instructed to respond through email.  

Award was made and we are having an internal discussion if the contract award is required to be synopsized.

It is my interpretation the exception FAR 5.301(b)(6) applies as the threshold is below SAT, notice was provided through the GPE, and the public was permitted to respond electronically (through email).

Once of my Contracting Officers is interpreting "electronic response" as a response to solicitations specifically utilizing an e-commerce method that allows the ability to respond/quote in the system e.g. FEDBID and that a post award synopsis is required.

 

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Is this question really about whether you can avoid synopsizing the award? 

From FAR 2.101 - “Electronic commerce” means electronic techniques for accomplishing business transactions including electronic mail or messaging, World Wide Web technology, electronic bulletin boards, purchase cards, electronic funds transfer, and electronic data interchange.

Consider the following from GAO-15-253R: "However, according to officials, the Corps provides options outside of these procurement systems to enable vendors to submit bids electronically. In particular, the Corps can accept bid submissions on a compact disc or by e-mail if the bid does not exceed agency e-mail size limits and provision is made in the solicitation for such a method of submission."

It would seem that GAO, in reviewing implementation of Section 850 of PL 105-85 (1997) in the above report, considers email to constitute electronic submission.

I suggest you ask your contracting officer where his/her interpretation comes from.

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