48 CFR § 873.111 - Acquisition strategies for health-care resources.

873.111 Acquisition strategies for health-care resources.

The following acquisition processes and techniques may be used, singly or in combination with others, as appropriate, to design acquisition strategies suitable for the complexity of the requirement and the amount of resources available to conduct the acquisition. These strategies should be considered during acquisition planning. The contracting officer shall select the process most appropriate to the particular acquisition. There is no preference for sealed bid acquisitions. (38 U.S.C. 8153)

(a) Request for quotations (RFQ).

(1) Without regard to FAR subparts 6.1 or 6.2, contracting officers must solicit a sufficient number of sources to promote competition to the maximum extent practicable and to ensure that the purchase is advantageous to the Government, based, as appropriate, on either price alone or price and other factors (e.g., past performance and quality). RFQs must notify vendors of the basis upon which the award is to be made. (see FAR 13.004)

(2) For acquisitions in excess of the SAT, the procedures set forth in FAR part 13 concerning RFQs may be utilized without regard to the dollar thresholds contained therein. (38 U.S.C. 8153)

(b) Sealed bidding. FAR part 14 provides procedures for sealed bidding.

(c) Multiphase acquisition technique—(1) General. Without regard to FAR 15.202, multiphase acquisitions may be appropriate when the submission of full proposals at the beginning of an acquisition would be burdensome for offerors to prepare and for Government personnel to evaluate. Using multiphase techniques, the Government may seek limited information initially, make one or more down-selects, and request a full proposal from an individual offeror or limited number of offerors. Provided that the notice notifies offerors, the contracting officer may limit the number of proposals during any phase to the number that will permit an efficient competition among proposals offering the greatest likelihood of award. The contracting officer may indicate in the notice an estimate of the greatest number of proposals that will be included in the down-select phase. The contracting officer may down-select to a single offeror. (38 U.S.C. 8153)

(2) First phase notice. In the first phase, the Government shall publish a notice (see 873.108) that solicits responses and that may provide, as appropriate, a general description of the scope or purpose of the acquisition and the criteria that will be used to make the initial down-select decision. The notice may also inform offerors of the evaluation criteria or process that will be used in subsequent down-select decisions. The notice must contain sufficient information to allow potential offerors to make an informed decision about whether to participate in the acquisition. The notice must advise offerors that failure to participate in the first phase will make them ineligible to participate in subsequent phases. The notice may be in the form of a synopsis in the Governmentwide point of entry (GPE) or a narrative letter or other appropriate method that contains the information required by this paragraph. (38 U.S.C. 8153)

(3) First phase responses. Offerors shall submit the information requested in the notice described in paragraph (d)(2) of this section. Information sought in the first phase may be limited to a statement of qualifications and other appropriate information (e.g., proposed technical concept, past performance information, limited pricing information). (38 U.S.C. 8153)

(4) First phase evaluation and down-select. The Government shall evaluate all offerors' submissions in accordance with the notice and make a down-select decision. (38 U.S.C. 8153)

(5) Subsequent phases. Additional information shall be sought in the second phase so that a down-select can be performed or an award made without exchanges, if necessary. The contracting officer may conduct exchanges with remaining offeror(s), request proposal revisions, or request best and final offers, as determined necessary by the contracting officer, in order to make an award decision. (38 U.S.C. 8153)

(6) Debriefing. Without regard to FAR 15.505, contracting officers must debrief offerors whose proposals are not accepted under a competitive request for proposals (RFP) as required by 873.118. (38 U.S.C. 8153)

(d) Alternative negotiation techniques.

(1) Contracting officers may utilize alternative negotiation techniques for the acquisition of health-care resources. Alternative negotiation techniques may be used when award will be based on either price or price and other factors. Alternative negotiation techniques include but are not limited to:

(i) Indicating to offerors a price, contract term or condition, commercially available feature, and/or requirement (beyond any requirement or target specified in the solicitation) that offerors will have to improve upon or meet, as appropriate, in order to remain competitive.

(ii) Posting offered prices electronically or otherwise (without disclosing the identity of the offerors) and permitting revisions of offers based on this information.

(2) Except as otherwise permitted by law, contracting officers shall not conduct acquisitions under this section in a manner that reveals the identities of offerors, releases proprietary information, or otherwise gives any offeror a competitive advantage (see FAR 3.104). (38 U.S.C. 8153)