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FAR 5.201(a) Requirement to Synopsize and SAP


FAR 5.201(a) Requirement to Synopsize and SAP  

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  1. 1. When soliciting (via other than combined synopsis/solicitation) under Part 13 when greater than $25K and less than SAT:

    • I synopsize - it is required
    • I don't synopsize - not required per FAR 5.202(a)(13)
    • I don't synopsize - not required per regulation so no exception is needed
    • I don't synopsize - for some other reason (please respond to the OP to describe why you don't synopsize)

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THE noun synopsis and the verb synopsize are problematical.

Before establishment of the Governmentwide point of entry (GPE) the CO announced an upcoming procurement in the Commerce Business Daily with a notice called a "synopsis" (brief description) 15 days prior to making the RFP available. Interested companies would then contact the CO and ask for a copy. There was only one published notice—the synopsis.

But according to SAM.gov there are seven different kinds of preaward notices:

  1. Special
  2. Sources sought
  3. Presolicitation
  4. Intent to bundle requirements
  5. Solicitation
  6. Combined synopsis/solicitation
  7. Award

No. 3, Presolicitation, is what we used to call a "synopsis."  FAR Part 5 still uses that word, but also uses "presolicitation notice." See FAR 5.204.

The Presolicitation notice is the synopsis notice required by FAR 5.101(a) and 5.201. FAR 5.203(a) requires that release of the solicitation be delayed for 15-days thereafter. So now there are two notices. Publication of the No. 3 Presolicitation notice comes first; publication of the No. 5 Solicitation notice is supposed to come after the delay. SAM.gov seems to require a separate, No. 5 Solicitation notice, but it appears that it's usually done by modifying the Presolicitation notice. Of course, FAR 5.202 describes exceptions to the requirement for a presolicitation notice.

The terminology and rules in FAR Part 5 are needlessly confusing, but the FAR councils think confusion is a method.

FAR ought not to use the words synopsis and synopsize. They are outdated. The notices should be called (1) Presolicitation notice and (2) Solicitation notice, and FAR Part 5 should specify the rules for each. Period. It's no longer necessary to use the term "combined synopsis/solicitation."

Somebody call GSA and tell them to sort things out. New times, new terminology, clearer rules.

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