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Sufficient Information under Brand Name or Equal

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When soliciting on a brand name or equal basis, does a contractor submitting the brand name product need to provide sufficient information as required by FAR 25.212-1(b)(4), or is it automatically considered technically acceptable because the Government identified it in the solicitation?  In other words, does the brand name quote need to demonstrate compliance with the salient characteristics within the four corners of the proposal?

In GAO Decision B-403366.2, "It is well-settled that it is the vendor's responsibility to include sufficiently detailed information in its proposal (or quotation) to establish that the item offered will meet the solicitation requirements, and that blanket statements or certifications of full compliance are insufficient. IVI Corp., B-310766, Jan. 23, 2008, 2008 CPD para. 21 at 3. With respect to a brand name or equal solicitation, a firm offering an equal product must demonstrate that the product conforms to the salient characteristics of the brand name product listed in the solicitation. American Gov't Marketing, Inc., B‑294895, Nov. 22, 2004, 2005 CPD para. 109 at 2." 

Does "a firm offering an equal product must demonstrate that the product conforms to the salient characteristics of the brand name product listed in the solicitation" mean that a company offering the requested brand name shouldn't have to demonstrate conformance with the salient characteristics? 

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Does the solicitation require you to submit information or identify a specific, specified brand name product? 

Unless the solicitation specifies otherwise or something in addition to the provision at 52.211-6, here is what it says:

“52.211-6   Brand name or equal.

As prescribed in 11.107(a), insert the following provision:

Brand Name or Equal (AUG 1999)

(a) If an item in this solicitation is identified as “brand name or equal,” the purchase description reflects the characteristics and level of quality that will satisfy the Government's needs. The salient physical, functional, or performance characteristics that “equal” products must meet are specified in the solicitation.

(b) To be considered for award, offers of “equal” products, including “equal” products of the brand name manufacturer, must—

(1) Meet the salient physical, functional, or performance characteristic specified in this solicitation;

(2) Clearly identify the item by—

(i) Brand name, if any; and

(ii) Make or model number;

(3) Include descriptive literature such as illustrations, drawings, or a clear reference to previously furnished descriptive data or information available to the Contracting Officer; and

(4) Clearly describe any modifications the offeror plans to make in a product to make it conform to the solicitation requirements. Mark any descriptive material to clearly show the modifications.

(c) The Contracting Officer will evaluate “equal” products on the basis of information furnished by the offeror or identified in the offer and reasonably available to the Contracting Officer. The Contracting Officer is not responsible for locating or obtaining any information not identified in the offer.

(d) Unless the offeror clearly indicates in its offer that the product being offered is an “equal” product, the offeror shall provide the brand name product referenced in the solicitation.

(End of provision)“

Equal products of a brand name manufacturer are offered as “or equal” to the specific brand name product specified . 

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9 hours ago, anonco said:

In other words, does the brand name quote need to demonstrate compliance with the salient characteristics within the four corners of the proposal?

Generally, no, the vendor is not required to demonstrate that the brand name conforms to the salient characteristics identified by the government.  The brand name is presumed to comply.  CAMSS Shelters, B-309784 (Oct. 19, 2007) ("In contrast, with respect to an offer of the brand name item, absent certain provisions in a solicitation that impose additional requirements applicable to the item, an agency can reasonably accept a brand name offer and make award without further investigation. See, e.g., General Hydraulics Corp., B–181537, Aug. 30, 1974, 74–2 CPD para. 133 at 2 (brand name item properly rejected where solicitation expressly required additional features applicable to the item).")

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5 hours ago, Lionel Hutz said:

Generally, no, the vendor is not required to demonstrate that the brand name conforms to the salient characteristics identified by the government.  The brand name is presumed to comply.  CAMSS Shelters, B-309784 (Oct. 19, 2007) ("In contrast, with respect to an offer of the brand name item, absent certain provisions in a solicitation that impose additional requirements applicable to the item, an agency can reasonably accept a brand name offer and make award without further investigation. See, e.g., General Hydraulics Corp., B–181537, Aug. 30, 1974, 74–2 CPD para. 133 at 2 (brand name item properly rejected where solicitation expressly required additional features applicable to the item).")

Yes, I agree. That's why I asked,  "Does the solicitation require you to submit information or identify a specific, specified brand name product?"  Nothing in the Provision at "52.211-6   Brand name or equal" by itself would require "a company offering the requested brand name  to demonstrate compliance with the salient characteristics within the four corners of the proposal." 

This assumes no.1 that the firm offered - in writing - the specified brand name product(s) and no.2, did not offer, in writing, an equal product(s) of a brand name manufactuer as “or equal” .

We don't know what information is "within the four corners of the contract" That term refers to the written contract - or written solicitation, if the parties are in the pre-award phase.

We don't know what information was specifically requested in the written solicitation.  We don't know how the written solicitation said the information would be evaluated.

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