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Good afternoon Wifcon,

I have a disagreement w/ a coworker about when to synopsize to the GPE and when not to.  I have a construction requirement under the SAT which I am about to synopsize, but I'm told I nothing in the FAR requires me to, and they cited FAR 5.202(a)(13😞

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The contracting officer need not submit the notice required by 5.201 when-
... 
(13) The proposed contract action-

                (i) Is for an amount not expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold;

                (ii) Will be made through a means that provides access to the notice of proposed contract action through the GPE; and

                (iii) Permits the public to respond to the solicitation electronically; or
...

as well as the below "Ask the Professor" answer:

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QUESTION
This is a follow up to a posting titled Synopsizing Construction Below the SAT, 8/7/2017. Please consider if the response would be different considering the following: FAR 36.101(b) states, When a requirement in this part is inconsistent with a requirement in another part of this regulation, this Part 36 shall take precedence if the acquisition of construction or architect-engineer services is involved. 36.213-2(a) appears to conflict with Part 5: Unless the requirement is waived by the head of the contracting activity or a designee, the contracting officer shall issue presolicitation notices on any construction requirement when the proposed contract is expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold. Presolicitation notices may also be used when the proposed contract is not expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold. These notices shall be issued sufficiently in advance of the invitation for bids to stimulate the interest of the greatest number of prospective bidders. A colleague points out the reference to IFBs and bidders in this statement implies this is only applicable to the sealed bid process. I deduce that the statement applies to all construction and further limits the notice for IFBs. Based on this, I conclude that a presolicitation notice is not required for a construction project below SAT.
 
ANSWER

The title of section FAR 36.213 is Special Procedures for Sealed Bidding in Construction Contracting, so technically this section applies only when doing an IFB for construction.  Thus your reference of FAR 36.213-2(a) on issuing presolicitation notices does apply to IFBs for construction over the SAT. While it is not required at the SAT and below it is left to the contracting officer discretion.  This is not in conflict with FAR part 5 guidance.  This is an additional notice that goes out in advance of the synopsis. These notices shall be issued sufficiently in advance of the issue date of invitation for bid to stimulate the interest in the greatest number of prospective bidders.  This is normally accomplished 30 to 45 days prior to the issuance of the synopsis.

The purpose of this notice is to provide the contractors sufficient time to form their teams and initiate the preparation of their bids. This notice is often done via email or through the GPE.

As far as issuing a presolicitation notice for a RFP in construction, FAR part 36 does not speak to it directly, so it is not required.  However, it does not forbid it either.  At the contracting officer’s discretion, if the contracting officer believes issuing the presolicitation notice will be beneficial to competition then there is nothing precluding the contracting officer from also issuing a presolicitation notice for a RFP.

 

My thought is that 5.202(a)(13), as confusing as it is, still requires a notice to be posted in some form or fashion.


Am I missing something here?

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20 minutes ago, Krimz said:

Am I missing something here?

No, but your co-worker is. The FAR distinguishes between presolicitation notices and synopsis at FAR 5.204:

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Contracting officers must provide access to presolicitation notices through the GPE (see 15.201 and 36.213-2). The contracting officer must synopsize a proposed contract action before issuing any resulting solicitation (see 5.201 and 5.203).

You don't have to issue the presolicitation notice described by 36.213-2 below the SAT, but you still have to synopsize.

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@Krimz, There's a clearer distinction between a presolicitation notice and a synopsis at FAR 9.206-1(e)(1):

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Use presolicitation notices in appropriate cases to advise potential suppliers before issuing solicitations involving qualification requirements. The notices shall identify the specification containing the qualification requirement and establish an allowable time period, consistent with delivery requirements, for prospective offerors to demonstrate their abilities to meet the standards specified for qualification. The notice shall be publicized in accordance with 5.204. Whether or not a presolicitation notice is used, the general synopsizing requirements of subpart  5.2 apply.

 

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