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BPA off a National BPA? Sole source?

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The scenario is this: : I've been given direction to create a BPA, against a National BPA. It's for training purposes- supposedly National Office has created a BPA with one company, and because we want our training to be succinct with National Office, my CO wants me to create a Sole Source BPA for us.

The questions are: 1) Is this possible to create a BPA off of a BPA? 2) Can we create a Sole Source for that one company?

I realize these must be pretty juvenile questions- but my reputation is riding on my reply- and I don't want to give the wrong answer. It seems to me- that we can't do a BPA against a BPA- (Since one has already been created, why don't we just use that one?) In addition- we shouldn't do a sole source- especially since [iN THE AGREEMENT] we are requesting that they create a few more classes. (I believe it would be better if more companies were involved in the solicitation, and the classes we're requesting they "create" would be better off given to a company that has credable experience teaching the class. Why don't we award to a few companies?

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Some questions first to help provide a good response. Is the national BPA one under simplified purchase procedures (FAR 13.303) or under GSA Schedule (FAR 8.405-3)? Was the national BPA awarded competitively to a single firm, non-competitively to a single firm, or are there other similar BPAs awarded to other sources? Is your agency/component included within the ordering provisions/scope of the national BPA?

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Guest Vern Edwards
The scenario is this: : I've been given direction to create a BPA, against a National BPA. It's for training purposes- supposedly National Office has created a BPA with one company, and because we want our training to be succinct with National Office, my CO wants me to create a Sole Source BPA for us.

"Succinct"? Briefly and clearly expressed? Did you mean that want your training to be in sync with National Office, i.e., synchronized, i.e., conducted at the same time or rate?

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The general rule is that competition is required for all BPA purchases above the micro-purchase threshold.

In my shop, I try to discourage talk about sole source BPAs -- having a BPA in place does not justify purchasing from only one source -- see FAR 13.303-5 ( c ) -- and a BPA can only be used for purchases that are otherwise authorized by law or regulation -- see FAR 13.303-5 ( a ). When we have a BPA and a need that can be met by the BPA, I am supposed to solicit quotes from other sources and then make the purchase as appropriate (a call under the BPA or a purchase order to another source, according to the award decision) -- see FAR 13.303-5 ( d ). In my mind, a sole source BPA purchase over the micro-purchase threshold requires a contracting officer determination that the BPA contractor is the only source reasonably available -- see FAR 13.106-1 ( c ) -- I suppose this determination could be made on a call-by-call basis or on a class basis for the entire BPA.

Too often, persons on the contracting staff and other Government employees see a BPA as a means to avoid competition for the life of the BPA.

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Some questions first to help provide a good response. Is the national BPA one under simplified purchase procedures (FAR 13.303) or under GSA Schedule (FAR 8.405-3)? Was the national BPA awarded competitively to a single firm, non-competitively to a single firm, or are there other similar BPAs awarded to other sources? Is your agency/component included within the ordering provisions/scope of the national BPA?

Related to this question but from the contractor's end:

We have a BPA award. Is there something in the award document that tells me what type of award it was? I know from historical knowledge in the company that it was nationally awarded competitively to one firm, but there's nothing in the award document or the RFP that discusses the procurement process saying this type of award will be made. How would we know, for example, if a sole-source determination had been made? Thank you!

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Related to this question but from the contractor's end:

We have a BPA award. Is there something in the award document that tells me what type of award it was? I know from historical knowledge in the company that it was nationally awarded competitively to one firm, but there's nothing in the award document or the RFP that discusses the procurement process saying this type of award will be made. How would we know, for example, if a sole-source determination had been made? Thank you!

Additional information: this is a BPA under our GSA Schedule.

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It's odd that the solicitation on which the BPA was awarded didn't provide information. Generally the solicitation is clear on this point because the agency wants industry to know it represents consolidated requirements going to a single source in order to negotiate the best arrangement.

That said, the BPA award often is silent on the ordering process.

Also you mentioned sole-source determination. When agencies place orders under this type of BPA, they don't make sole source determinations. If the requirement fits under the BPA, they just place the order.

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Another question: Was the GSA BPA a single-award or multiple-award BPA?

See FAR 8.405-3© for ordering procedures against GSA BPAs.

There are different rules for ordering against a single-award versus multiple-award BPAs.

Hope this helps.

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Guest Vern Edwards

Write down the name of the government official who signed the BPA.

Get his or her phone number and email address.

Call or write and ask your questions.

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Additional information: this is a BPA under our GSA Schedule.

If you can find the award notice document (not the same as the award document you got as the winner), it should state how many bids were received. Additionally the original RFQ should state somewhere whether it was issued to "All Holders" of a particular schedule or just to you. Another place to look in RFQ is at evaluation scheme - does it say anything about just being rated as acceptable or unacceptable? Many times a sole-source uses acceptable/unacceptable versus a multi-tiered scheme such as excellent/good/acceptable/poor. But easiest way to get answers is to take Vern's advice and call your CO

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