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  • Question

    Are we restricting competition by competing an A/V installation for a courtroom through CHESS? Is this truly a CHESS purchase? Or is a request for audio visual infrastructure install with supplies embedded allowing it to be a service, without waiver and solicited Full and Open?


    Answer

    The primary purpose of the CHESS contractual vehicle is to provide the Army with continuous competitive contracts that provide economical, value-added, commercial IT products and performance-based commercial IT services.  Additionally, the consolidated buy objective is to reduce Army costs and provide standardization to the IT enterprise, including decentralized ordering that provides contracting officers with the option to negotiate the proposed order pricing.  While competition is restricted to those contractors under the multiple award contract, there are numerous contractors and the contracting officer must provide each awardee a fair opportunity to be considered for each order exceeding $3,500, unless the requirement meets exceptions as provided in FAR 16.505(b)(2).  
     
    Further review of the acquisition plan and market research report should reveal documentation and approvals for addressing all the above and clarify the decision to support the course of action taken for this requirement, including any exceptions or waivers, if appropriate.  Additional note and consideration should be given to any other discretion the contracting officer may have on how the product/service is obtained and the frequency of obtaining the requirement, keeping with the overall objective for the consolidated buy.  It is highly recommended to discuss the concerns with the contracting officer, legal counsel and the contract review office, to ensure compliance or identify whether there is a need to review and update the requirements package or any other aspects of the contractual vehicle.


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