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    What are the steps?


    Answer

    Based on the information provided, this appears to be a FAR Part 8 procurement which governs acquisitions made under the FSS program (See FAR 8.401).  FAR 8.402(a) states, the FSS program "provides Federal agencies with a simplified process for obtaining commercial supplies and services at prices associated with volume buying."  Federal agencies are allowed to select products and services from a list of eligible contractors whose pricing has been pre-approved by GSA.  According to FAR 8.405-6, orders placed under FSS are exempt from FAR Part 6, but the ordering activity must still justify in writing an action that restricts competition, obtain approval and post the limited source justification (LSJ) along with the RFQ to eBuy (if the order specfies a brand name).  In accordance with FAR 8.405-6(g), "for orders exceeding the SAT, the justification shall cite that the acquisition is conducted under the authority of the MAS Program (See 8.401)." 

    If the LSJ is challenged by another FSS holder, then the Contracting Officer should determine if the protesting FSS holder is able to meet the requirement and if they can is there is still a compelling reason for restricting competition.  If the other FSS holder can meet the requirement and there is no other compelling reasons for limiting competition, the contracting officer should permit them to submit a quote.  If the contracting officer determines there's still a need to restrict competition, some appropriate steps to take include consulting with the GSA contracting officer and your legal advisor, notifying the protesting FSS holder of the contracting officer's decision, updating the LSJ to reflect the decision made regarding the protesting FSS holder's challenge and having legal review the revised LSJ. 

     
    If the protestor is a non-FSS vendor, pursuant to Sales Resources Consultants, Inc., B-284943, B-284943.2, June 9, 2000, 2000 CPD 102, an agency is not required to consider an unsolicited offer of an alternative product from a non-FSS vendor.  A protester that does not have an FSS contract is not an interested party to challenge an agency's determination as to its minimum needs and its decision to conduct a limited competition among FSS vendors for a particular brand name.


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