Sign In
  • Question

    Are these cases ones where I do not have to compete parts? I have searched the FAR and would appreciate assistance.


    Answer

    This is a great question because it describes a common and frequent competing dilemma between a contracting officer's responsibilities and the customer/program manager's objectives.
     
    First, let's start with the policy.  FAR subpart 6.101, Policy, states: (a) 10 U.S.C. 2304 and 41 U.S.C. 253 require, with certain limited exceptions (see subparts 6.2 and 6.3), that contracting officers shall promote and provide for full and open competition in soliciting offers and awarding Government contracts.  (b) Contracting officers shall provide for full and open competition through use of the competitive procedure(s) contained in this subpart that are best suited to the circumstances of the contract action and consistent with the need to fulfill the Government's requirements efficiently (10 U.S.C. 2304 and 41 U.S.C. 253).
     
    Next, the exceptions.  In our case as a DoD entity, our Statute is 10 U.S.C. 2304 and states that contracting without providing for full and open competition or full and open competition after exclusion of sources is a violation of statute, unless permitted by one of the exceptions in FAR subpart 6.302.  IAW FAR subpart 6.302, the following are the 7 exceptions to this Statute:
     
    6.302-1 -- Only One Responsible Source and No Other Supplies or Services Will Satisfy Agency Requirements.
    6.302-2 -- Unusual and Compelling Urgency.
    6.302-3 -- Industrial Mobilization; Engineering, Developmental, or Research Capability; or Expert Services.
    6.302-4 -- International Agreement.
    6.302-5 -- Authorized or Required by Statute.
    6.302-6 -- National Security.
    6.302-7 -- Public Interest.
     
    If your contract falls under one of these exceptions then you must obtain a J&A (Justification and Approval) IAW FAR 6.303-1:  (a) A contracting officer shall not commence negotiations for a sole source contract, commence negotiations for a contract resulting from an unsolicited proposal, or award any other contract without providing for full and open competition unless the contracting officer --
    (1) Justifies, if required in 6.302, the use of such actions in writing;
    (2) Certifies the accuracy and completeness of the justification; and
    (3) Obtains the approval required by 6.304.
     
    Finally, you have a designated Competition Advocate that can help you determine if you need to pursue full and open competition for your contract requirements, or if your contract falls under one of the exceptions. Depending on the threshold of your contract, and your Agency procedures, contracts seeking exemption to full and open competition exceeding $650,000 must be approved by the Competition Advocate.
     
    Your responsibilities as a contracting officer are to promote and assure full and open competition unless it falls under one of the 7 exemptions.  If your customer/program manager is directing you to specific sources, then they must justify why this requirement is exempt from full and open competition and you must obtain the proper approvals.  To do any differently is a violation of Statute.  If at any time you feel pressured to go outside of this Statute, I suggest you seek immediate help from your Competition Advocate.  Their responsibility is to remove barriers and challenge conventional wisdom to full and open competition.



    Open full Question Details