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  • Question

    If we have a pre-solicitation notice posted and a manufacturer/contractor requested we send them a bidders/interested parties list, can we provide that information to them?


    Answer

    If this RFI is already on Fedbizops that decision is already made.
     
    The following is from the Fedbizopps buyer’s guide (which can be downloaded in PDF format from www.fbo.gov main page).  Hit Control F and search for RFI:  [If}“Vendors are able to add themselves to the “Interested Vendors List” (IVL) for an opportunity. If the buyer has indicated that reviewing vendors are able to review other interested vendors, vendors can review the list of vendors who have expressed interest in the opportunity.”
     
    When putting an RFI (they are calling it an “opportunity) on Fedbizops there are two decisions the buyer (that’s you) will have to make.  Can the Vendor add their name to the IVL and can the IVL be made visible or not.  The contractor’s decision is whether to add their name to the IVL.  It should be noted that the vendor must have an account with Fedbizops to view the IVL.  Vendors may be sizing up the “competition” or looking for subcontracting opportunities on the IVL.  So when determining the contracting strategy the Contracting Officer needs to make a decision on whether or not to make the IVL visible in Fedbizops.
     
    There are two questions you answer when setting up the “Opportunity” in Fedbizops.  One can the vendor add themselves to the IVL (Yes or No).  The other is “Allow Vendors to View Interested Vendors List” (Yes or No).  See page 34 (of 107) to find screen shots of the “radio buttons” to make your selections.
     
    If your “Opportunity” (RFI) isn’t on Fedbizops your Contracting Officer should have the same flexibility to give the information out or not.  However I’d review your actions with your policy and legal offices to be sure you are all of the same opinion on whether you want to do that.  For instance, if you gave it to only one company you might get a protest because of the feeling that gave them an advantage over those that didn’t get the listing.  Also on Fedbizops the vendors can chose to list themselves or not, did your “interested parties” know the information might be released?  Was this addressed in the RFI?  The decision to release the names or not is a “business decision" that the Contracting Officer needed to make, in consultation with legal and policy.  However the contractors should also have a say in whether their names are on the list.  If you address both of these areas, like in Fedbizops, you can release the names if that is the desire of the Contracting Officer.


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