What is the procedure for after the fact discovery of sole source? Is the justification at FAR 6.303-1 required? The bidder provided a letter indicating that they were the only sole source. Do we need to prepare any other documentation?
The following answer is based solely on the question background provided. As we do not have all the facts pertaining to your situation, we highly recommend you consult your service/local agency guides, the Contracting Officer as well as the Legal Office.
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Based on your use of the terms “bid” and “bidder”, it is assumed that you have used the procedures at FAR Part 14 Sealed Bidding for a competitive procurement. It is also assumed that your market research indicated that there was a reasonable expectation of receiving more than one sealed bid, thus the competitive procurement.
The language at FAR 14.408-1(b) provides the following:
(b) If less than three bids have been received, the contracting officer shall examine the situation to ascertain the reasons for the small number of responses. Award shall be made notwithstanding the limited number of bids. However, the contracting officer shall initiate, if appropriate, corrective action to increase competition in future solicitations for the same or similar items, and include a notation of such action in the records of the invitation for bids (see 14.204).
The key statement here is “Award shall be made notwithstanding the limited number of bids.” Therefore, the justification at FAR 6.303 is not required for your instant action because you provided for full and open competition.