If we ask the 5 offerors that did not use the documents attached to the RFQ to resubmit their quote using the documents attached to the RFQ is that still a clarification or is this already considered discussions?
It appears that you are using FAR part 13 procedures since you identify release of an RFQ and receipt of quotes. Per FAR 13.106-2(b) the procedures in part 15 are not mandatory, therefore formal evaluation plans, discussions and scoring quotations are not required - unless of course you identified that they would be used in the RFQ. If not using those formal procedures, the FAR states that evaluation should be done in an efficient and minimally burdensome fashion, however you are still required to evaluate on the basis established in the solicitation. Therefore, the contracting officer has discretion to determine what is the most efficient manner to complete the evaluation and make an award decision within the constraints of what was identified in the RFQ.
Open full Question Details
If however you are using the procedures contained in FAR part 15, clarifications and communications shall not be used to cure proposal deficiencies or material omissions, materially alter the technical or cost elements of the proposal or otherwise revise the proposal (FAR 15.306). Therefore it appears that having those five offerors resubmit would likely be a change to their proposal and would be considered Discussions.