Are solicitations for sole source bridge contracts required by FAR / DFAR to be posted in NECO/FED BIZ OPPS before and/or prior to award?
Yes, as a general rule, all contract actions need to be synopsized. FAR 5.101(a)(1) requires the contracting officer to synopsize in the Governmentwide point of entry (GPE) for proposed contract actions expected to exceed $25,000. FAR 5.201(d) indicates the GPE may be accessed via the Internet at http://www.fedbizopps.gov. There are exceptions to this general rule for situations such as in the use of Far Subpart 17.2 – Options. FAR 5.202(a)(11) allows for the exercise of options without synopsis provided options were adequately synopsized at time of contract award. You will generally know if your contract has such options as clauses like 52.217-8 Option to Extend Services or 52.217-9 Option to Extend the Term of the Contract will be present. Sometimes clause 52.237-3 Continuity of Services is referred to as a “bridge,” but here again, it would have to be in the contract already in order to be available. FAR 5.001 defines contract action as including actions for additional supplies or services outside the existing contract scope, but not including actions that are within the scope and under the terms of the existing contract... Out of scope makes it a new contract action. New contract actions need to be synopsized in accordance with FAR Part 5.
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The sole source condition in this question has to do with FAR Subpart 6.3 statutory authorities for contracting without providing for full and open competition as highlighted in FAR 6.301(a). Just because a requirement has an approved FAR 6.302 justification (J&A) to not have full and open competition does not necessarily mean that particular requirement is in or out of the scope of the current contract. Additional details of the specific acquisition situation would be necessary to further address this scenario.