Jump to content
The Wifcon Forums and Blogs

Recommended Posts

Hi Wifcon, long-time lurker, first time poster.  

My office is currently debating the most appropriate form for RFQs under SAP for other than commercial items.  I think the FAR prescriptions are not too clear, and the only options available within our contracting system are SF 1449, SF 18, SF 1442, and OF 347.  All of our RFQs are electronically issued, whether it be through our system, or through email.  In the past people have issued RFQs for other than commercial using SF 18s and SF 1449s, but lately that has come under fire, so I wanted to see what other officers are using.  I am inclined to use the SF 18 for RFQ, and OF 347 for award, but others would rather use the SF 26 for award (I'm not sure their preference for RFQ).  We issue only a few other-than-commercial service contracts/POs annually, but they still cause an issue for new folks when we do.

Is there a generally accepted form for RFQs for other than commercial services?  Any help or feedback is greatly appreciated.

 

13.307 Forms.

      (a) Commercial items. For use of the SF 1449, Solicitation/Contract/Order for Commercial Items, see 12.204.

 

      (b) Other than commercial items.

           (1) Except when quotations are solicited electronically or orally, the SF 1449; SF 18, Request for Quotations; or an agency form/automated format may be used. Each agency request for quotations form/automated format should conform with the SF 18 or SF 1449 to the maximum extent practicable.

           (2) Both SF 1449 and OF 347, Order for Supplies or Services, are multipurpose forms used for negotiated purchases of supplies or services, delivery or task orders, inspection and receiving reports, and invoices. An agency form/automated format also may be used.

 

      (c) Forms used for both commercial and other than commercial items.

           (1) OF 336, Continuation Sheet, or an agency form/automated format may be used when additional space is needed.

           (2) OF 348, Order for Supplies or Services Schedule-Continuation, or an agency form/automated format may be used for negotiated purchases when additional space is needed. Agencies may print on these forms the clauses considered to be generally suitable for purchases.

           (3) SF 30, Amendment of Solicitation/Modification of Contract, or a purchase order form may be used to modify a purchase order, unless an agency form/automated format is prescribed in agency regulations.

      (d) SF 44, Purchase Order-Invoice-Voucher, is a multipurpose pocket-size purchase order form that may be used as outlined in 13.306.

      (e) SF 1165, Receipt for Cash-Subvoucher, or an agency purchase order form may be used for purchases using imprest funds or third party drafts.

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Krimz said:

Is there a generally accepted form for RFQs for other than commercial services?

I understand the confusion with regard to the SF-18 and SF-1449 for the RFQ but noting the title of the SF-18 and SF-1449 I would find it generally acceptable to use the SF-1449 for only commercial item acquisitions.

As to award using the SF-26 as you noted does not seem acceptable.

My conclusions are reached by a read of both the FAR 13.307 and FAR 53.213. 53.214 and 53.215 and the associated cross references for each.  I will note that one might want to look at their agency supplements to the FAR as well.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, C Culham said:

I understand the confusion with regard to the SF-18 and SF-1449 for the RFQ but noting the title of the SF-18 and SF-1449 I would find it generally acceptable to use the SF-1449 for only commercial item acquisitions.

As to award using the SF-26 as you noted does not seem acceptable.

My conclusions are reached by a read of both the FAR 13.307 and FAR 53.213. 53.214 and 53.215 and the associated cross references for each.  I will note that one might want to look at their agency supplements to the FAR as well.

 

I agree that the SF 1449 does not seem appropriate, so I'm really confused why FAR 13.307(b) references it so heavily.  Personally, for everyone's sake, I think SAP/Commercial form should be one and the same since the procedures are so similar.  As it is now, we do not do many of these (maybe 20-30 every 4-5 years), but when they pop up, they are a point of contention for those tasked with making the award.  The only forms available to use in our contracting system are those that are prescribed, but with prohibitive caveats.

I hope someone in a similar situation can chime in with their experience.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve come to the conclusion that the SF 1449 and SF 18 are entirely acceptable per the FAR.  FAR 13.307(b) states:

b) Other than commercial items.

           (1) Except when quotations are solicited electronically or orally, the SF 1449; SF 18, Request for Quotations; or an agency form/automated format may be used. Each agency request for quotations form/automated format should conform with the SF 18or SF 1449 to the maximum extent practicable.

Technically, it doesn’t say the SF 1449 or SF 18 cannot be used because of electronic or oral quotes, it just says they are not prescribed.  It says the agency can use its own automated form, and that it should conform with the SF 18 and SF 1449 to the maximum extent practical.  
 

The entire point of SAP is to simplify things.  If I’m having to develop a new form for specialists and contractors to familiarize themselves with, how am I simplifying anything?  Why not use a perfectly good form that already exists,  and is already implemented in my agency’s contracting system?

 

The only reason I’ve brought this up is because a specialist in my office is vehemently against using using an SF 1449 and SF 18 for some very simple, minor purchase orders for other than commercial services, despite the fact they are two of the only three forms available for use, the third being the OF 347 (which I’m also fine with using).

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/22/2020 at 3:32 PM, Krimz said:

I agree that the SF 1449 does not seem appropriate, so I'm really confused why FAR 13.307(b) references it so heavily. 

Personally, I agree that the SF1449 is not the correct form for non-commercial acquisitions (literally says for "Commercial Items" at the top of it).

That being said, The FAR is so far from perfect it is disturbing. Just leave the choice of the form used to the CO and let it go at that.

On 1/22/2020 at 3:32 PM, Krimz said:

 Personally, for everyone's sake, I think SAP/Commercial form should be one and the same since the procedures are so similar.  

 Dealing in different parts of the U.S.C (and therefore the FAR).

FAR 12.000: "This part prescribes policies and procedures unique to the acquisition of commercial items. It implements the Federal Government’s preference for the acquisition of commercial items contained in 41 U.S.C. 1906 , 1907 , and 3307 and 10 U.S.C. 2375-2377 by establishing acquisition policies more closely resembling those of the commercial marketplace and encouraging the acquisition of commercial items and components."

FAR 13.000: "This part prescribes policies and procedures for the acquisition of supplies and services, including construction, research and development, and commercial items, the aggregate amount of which does not exceed the simplified acquisition threshold . . "

I like simple as well, but that is not what Congress generally deals in. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think using SF 1449 for other than commercial would make the item commercial, and I wouldn't use it for anything over the SAT,  but I think, in the absence of a better form, it's acceptable to use.  The FAR prescribes it for other than commercial where electronic/oral quotations are not used, but I don't think that precludes it from being used in those scenarios.  I know I probably sound crazy, but I don't think the name of the form has much bearing on when it can or can't be used.  I wish they would just remove the "For Commercial Items" part simply because the form can be tailored for use with other than commercial (by not checking the CI clauses), and then agencies and specialists do not have bend over backwards to find a different form for simplified process.

I'm with you Constricting, in the end, the CO should be allowed to use whichever form they feel comfortable using.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Krimz said:

I don't think using SF 1449 for other than commercial would make the item commercial,

There is more to it than just commercial or not.  It is also about "firm offer" or just a quote.   The SF-18 is clear that it is for just quotes.  Reference this statement found directly on the SF -18 - "IMPORTANT: This is a request for information and quotations furnished are not offers."

Use of the 1449 does not carry this important caveat.  Yes you can check the block "RFQ" but the quote provisions that you would need to include further clarify firm offer or not.   By example if used for a non-commercial item it is clear you would not fill/check the box of the SF-1449 at No. 27a BUT, what would you include in the SF-1449 provisions that clearly defines that you are only requesting pricing information not firm offers.

To add to my thoughts and switching to if a commercial item and you were to include 52.212-1 there has been much debate regarding the lack of the term "quote" versus "offer" as used in this clause.  You can find those discussions by searching the internet and even here on WIFCON.

In the end I will not argue the use of the SF-1449 for a non-commercial item but if so used there is much more to it than simply slapping the form on the "RFQ" document.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, C Culham said:

There is more to it than just commercial or not.  It is also about "firm offer" or just a quote.   The SF-18 is clear that it is for just quotes.  Reference this statement found directly on the SF -18 - "IMPORTANT: This is a request for information and quotations furnished are not offers."

Use of the 1449 does not carry this important caveat.  Yes you can check the block "RFQ" but the quote provisions that you would need to include further clarify firm offer or not.   By example if used for a non-commercial item it is clear you would not fill/check the box of the SF-1449 at No. 27a BUT, what would you include in the SF-1449 provisions that clearly defines that you are only requesting pricing information not firm offers.

To add to my thoughts and switching to if a commercial item and you were to include 52.212-1 there has been much debate regarding the lack of the term "quote" versus "offer" as used in this clause.  You can find those discussions by searching the internet and even here on WIFCON.

In the end I will not argue the use of the SF-1449 for a non-commercial item but if so used there is much more to it than simply slapping the form on the "RFQ" document.  

The content of my RFQ will tell everyone that it's an RFQ, as it does in even my commercial item RFQs.  So I don't really understand your issue with that part.  You can accept an offer under SAP, but you can also request informational quotations, and the form doesn't really matter as long as your solicitation is setup properly.

I'm not sure I understand how anything you said would preclude the use of the SF 1449.

In the end, we're talking about simplified acquisition procedures.  There are people in my office who, given the chance, would insist on formal procedures for everything.  I'm sure they would use formal procedures on Amazon if they could, but what is the value in complicating these things?  These are low-risk purchases, why are people insistent on making them out to be things they are not?

Btw, it's worth noting that the PIID will include Q, which denotes RFQ, and the instructions to offerors will instruct them to submit quotes, so I think that covers any perceived confusion on that front.

 

Edit:  I guess I should add, all but on of my office's other than commercial requirements are single source situations; the one that isn't is sole source.  The real debate is about which form should be used as the award, which so far is believed to be SF 26 or OF 307 (Award of Contracts).

Thanks for your input everyone, I appreciate it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Krimz said:

The content of my RFQ will tell everyone that it's an RFQ, as it does in even my commercial item RFQs.

That's good. 

 

1 hour ago, Krimz said:

You can accept an offer under SAP, but you can also request informational quotations, and the form doesn't really matter as long as your solicitation is setup properly.

Exactly what I said in differentiating between the forms - SF-18 and SF-1449.   The SF-18 is clear that it is not seeking firm offers.  Yes you can redact the "IMPORTANT" statement on an SF 18 so that you can receive firm offers but an offer is not FAR definition of quotation. 

FAR 2.101(emphasis added) -  “Offer” means a response to a solicitation that, if accepted, would bind the offeror to perform the resultant contract. Responses to invitations for bids (sealed bidding) are offers called “bids” or “sealed bids”; responses to requests for proposals (negotiation) are offers called “proposals”; however, responses to requests for quotations (simplified acquisition) are “quotations,” not offers. "

1 hour ago, Krimz said:

I'm not sure I understand how anything you said would preclude the use of the SF 1449.

I did not say it did, in fact, I said I would not argue with it's use as long as the solicitation language beyond simply checking the "RFQ" box was clear that you were seeking quotes and not offers.

 

1 hour ago, Krimz said:

Btw, it's worth noting that the PIID will include Q, which denotes RFQ, and the instructions to offerors will instruct them to submit quotes, so I think that covers any perceived confusion on that front.

Again the PIID does not matter.   I say this because if you read GAO decisions where the content of a solicitation walks like other than a RFQ, such as the possibility of asking for offers and otherwise handling as you say a formal process like an RFP, GAO will in simple terms say it is a RFP no matter what you call it or the PIID designator is.  I am glad you understand that the context of the instructions clarify quotes as opposed to offer.

Beyond the use of form I hope you stick to your position with your people in your office that the use of formal procedures or in other words staying away from anything that makes a RFQ look like an RFP is successful. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, C Culham said:

Beyond the use of form I hope you stick to your position with your people in your office that the use of formal procedures or in other words staying away from anything that makes a RFQ look like an RFP is successful. 

I definitely will.  I agree that the substance of the solicitation should inform the vendors that they are reading an RFQ (or RFP if that's the case).  I'd probably never use RFP under SAP.

Thanks for your great feedback C Culham.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...