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Good morning WifCon,

I have very little experience with formal acquisitions in FAR 15, but in the Air Force it was the rule to have funding up front before issuing an RFP.  I understood that to be because we were requesting formal offers, one of which we will accept for award.

Now, in my current, non-DOD office, COs are considering issuing RFPs without funding in hand.  Is there really no requirement to have funds available prior to issuing an RFP?  I've gone through the FAR and haven't seen anything in Part 15.

When I issue an RFQ I am ultimately only requesting information, and technically a non-CO (unwarranted person) can request quotes, but only a warranted CO can request proposals.

What am I missing?

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32.703-2   Contracts conditioned upon availability of funds.

(a) Fiscal year contracts. The contracting officer may initiate a contract action properly chargeable to funds of the new fiscal year before these funds are available, provided that the contract includes the clause at 52.232-18, Availability of Funds (see 32.706-1(a)). This authority may be used only for operation and maintenance and continuing services (e.g., rentals, utilities, and supply items not financed by stock funds) (1) necessary for normal operations and (2) for which Congress previously had consistently appropriated funds, unless specific statutory authority exists permitting applicability to other requirements.

32.706-1   Clauses for contracting in advance of funds.

(a) Insert the clause at 52.232-18, Availability of Funds, in solicitations and contracts if the contract will be chargeable to funds of the new fiscal year and the contract action will be initiated before the funds are available.

(b) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 52.232-19, Availability of Funds for the Next Fiscal Year, in solicitations and contracts if a one-year indefinite-quantity or requirements contract for services is contemplated and the contract—

(1) Is funded by annual appropriations; and

(2) Is to extend beyond the initial fiscal year (see 32.703-2(b)).

I think that agency or Department supplements or regulations may address whether funding is required before advertising. 

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19 hours ago, Krimz said:

COs are considering issuing RFPs without funding in hand

Just a thought here.  As provided in previous posts the idea of issuing RFP's without funding does have a possible way through the FAR.  Yet by my experience what a CO or CO's might be thinking may not be acceptable to the agencies finance people and the agencies fiscal policy.  This said I hope the CO's have included the appropriate finance people in their discussions on the strategy.   By example and its been awhile since I sat in a CO desk but I also remember that some of the electronic requisition programs/process had a built in stop mechanism if funding was not tied to the requisition when put into the system.   Again a sign of what agency fiscal policy might be.  I worked for 5 over my career and each had a different view on the idea.

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