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Design - communication w offeror during Phase I

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Can I communicate with an offeror after the receipt of phase I proposals (sf330s) for a design solicitation, to ask if they have any additional satellite offices or subcontractors’ offices to meet eval criteria? What are the limits of my communication with the offeror?  The solicitation criteria states offerors must be within a 300 mile radius of the location.  Right now, I believe it would be a "communication" with an offeror  to address a deficiency in the proposal.   Right now they are eliminated, this clarification could only include them in the down select. 

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Check out the selection procedures in USACE EP 715-1-7 . 

https://www.publications.usace.army.mil/Portals/76/Publications/EngineerPamphlets/EP_715-1-7.pdf?ver=2013-08-22-094139-520

They address similar circumstances. 

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The FAR subpart 15.3 text on exchanges with offerors after receipt of proposals (clarifications, communications, and discussions) is wholly inapplicable to the A-E selection process.  Ignore everything you read in 15.3 and instead follow the procedures in 36.6.

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This is an A/E contract , not phase 1 of two phase design-build, correct?

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Correct this is a AE Contract. Currently in the evaluation of phase I (SF330s). 

36.601-3 (C) When the contract statement of work includes both architect-engineer services and other services, the contracting officer shall follow the procedures in this subpart if the statement of work, substantially or to a dominant extent, specifies performance or approval by a registered or licensed architect or engineer. If the statement of work does not specify such performance or approval, the contracting officer shall follow the procedures in Parts 13, 14, or 15.

 

So yes I'm definitely using Far 36.6, but what I don't see is detailed information, like what is included in 15.3 about communications, clarifications, and discussions.  I don't see anything that says I cannot ask this question about additional offices, which if this were in FAR 15, would be a "communication".  There does not seem to be a 36.6 equivalent for this type of communication. 

 

appreciate everyone's the input. 

 

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If it isn’t there, it isn’t there.  Don’t bring 15.3 baggage with you.  Since we’re on this topic, you mentioned “solicitation” in an earlier post — but there should not be a solicitation, but instead a public announcement.  And why call them offerors?  FAR 36.6 doesn’t — you shouldn’t, either.

Are you thinking the A-E firm made a mistake in its SF-330?  The evaluation board (not the contracting officer) can hold discussions (not 15.3 discussions) with as many of the most highly qualified firms as it wants to (but at least three).

Don’t agonize about rationalizing 15.3 with 36.6.  Be like a wet dog and shake off all of the 15.3 water — forget that 15.3 even exists, and stay within 36.6.  It is a tremendously liberating feeling!

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I was thinking that the AE firm made a mistake not properly addressing one of the criteria..

Yes, I posted the request for SF330s via a FBO notice, confusion of terms.  I will engage with the AE firm.  I didn't even know I had 15.3 baggage but it seems like I do.  

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L.C.,  A possible problem with communicating with one firm at the initial screening stage that didn’t address the specific announcement response requirement is that there may be other firms that also didn’t address something which might have allowed them to advance in the qualifications based competition. 

Of course, another factor might be the extent of competition  and how much separation there is between this firm and the rest of the respondents. 

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