41 U.S. Code § 3301 - Full and open competition

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(a) In General.— Except as provided in sections 3303, 3304(a), and 3305 of this title and except in the case of procurement procedures otherwise expressly authorized by statute, an executive agency in conducting a procurement for property or services shall—
(1)obtain full and open competition through the use of competitive procedures in accordance with the requirements of this division and the Federal Acquisition Regulation; and
(2)use the competitive procedure or combination of competitive procedures that is best suited under the circumstances of the procurement.
(b) Appropriate Competitive Procedures.—
(1) Use of sealed bids.— In determining the competitive procedures appropriate under the circumstance, an executive agency shall—
(A)solicit sealed bids if—
(i)time permits the solicitation, submission, and evaluation of sealed bids;
(ii)the award will be made on the basis of price and other price-related factors;
(iii)it is not necessary to conduct discussions with the responding sources about their bids; and
(iv)there is a reasonable expectation of receiving more than one sealed bid; or
(B)request competitive proposals if sealed bids are not appropriate under subparagraph (A).
(2) Sealed bid not required.— Paragraph (1)(A) does not require the use of sealed-bid procedures in cases in which section 204(e) [1] of title 23 applies.
(c) Efficient Fulfillment of Government Requirements.— The Federal Acquisition Regulation shall ensure that the requirement to obtain full and open competition is implemented in a manner that is consistent with the need to efficiently fulfill the Federal Government’s requirements.

[1] See References in Text note below.


(Pub. L. 111–350, § 3,Jan. 4, 2011, 124 Stat. 3745.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised Section Source (U.S. Code) Source (Statutes at Large)
June 30, 1949, ch. 288, title III, § 303(a), 63 Stat. 395; July 12, 1952, ch. 703, § 1(m), 66 Stat. 594; Pub. L. 90–268, § 2, Mar. 16, 1968, 82 Stat. 49; Pub. L. 98–369, title VII, § 2711(a)(1), July 18, 1984, 98 Stat. 1175; Pub. L. 103–355, title I, § 1051(1), Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3260.
June 30, 1949, ch. 288, title III, § 302(c)(2), as added Pub. L. 98–369, title VII, § 2714(a)(1)(B), July 18, 1984, 98 Stat. 1184.
June 30, 1949, ch. 288, title III, § 303(h), as added Pub. L. 104–106, title XLI, § 4101(b)(2), Feb. 10, 1996, 110 Stat. 642.

References in Text

Section 204 of title 23, referred to in subsec. (b)(2), was repealed and a new section 204 enacted by Pub. L. 112–141, div. A, title I, § 1119(a),July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 473, 489.

Pub. L. 98–369, div. B, title VII, § 2711(c),July 18, 1984, 98 Stat. 1181, provided that: “The amendments made by this section [see Tables for classification] do not supersede or affect the provisions of section 8(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637 (a)).”


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