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    In accordance with, FAR 13.303-2(a), BPAs should be established for repetitive requirements. With that in mind, is there any justification that allows us to have BPAs as backups for emergencies? When there is no expectation of a requirement how would a BPA be justified? Is there any contracting vehicle that would be better suited to fulfill this role?


    Answer

     

     

    FAR 13.303-2 -- Establishment of BPAs.

    (a) The following are circumstances under which contracting officers may establish BPAs:

    (1) There is a wide variety of items in a broad class of supplies or services that are generally purchased, but the exact items, quantities, and delivery requirements are not known in advance and may vary considerably.

    (2) There is a need to provide commercial sources of supply for one or more offices or projects in a given area that do not have or need authority to purchase otherwise.

    (3) The use of this procedure would avoid the writing of numerous purchase orders.

    (4) There is no existing requirements contract for the same supply or service that the contracting activity is required to use.

    (b) After determining a BPA would be advantageous, contracting officers shall --

    (1) Establish the parameters to limit purchases to individual items or commodity groups or classes, or permit the supplier to furnish unlimited supplies or services; and

    (2) Consider suppliers whose past performance has shown them to be dependable, who offer quality supplies or services at consistently lower prices, and who have provided numerous purchases at or below the simplified acquisition threshold.

    (c) BPAs may be established with --

    (1) More than one supplier for supplies or services of the same type to provide maximum practicable competition;

    (2) A single firm from which numerous individual purchases at or below the simplified acquisition threshold will likely be made in a given period; or

    (3) Federal Supply Schedule contractors, if not inconsistent with the terms of the applicable schedule contract.

    (d) BPAs should be prepared without a purchase requisition and only after contacting suppliers to make the necessary arrangements for --

    (1) Securing maximum discounts;

    (2) Documenting individual purchase transactions;

    (3) Periodic billings; and

    (4) Incorporating other necessary details.

     

    FAR 1.102 -- Statement of Guiding Principles for the Federal Acquisition System.

    (a) The vision for the Federal Acquisition System is to deliver on a timely basis the best value product or service to the customer, while maintaining the public’s trust and fulfilling public policy objectives. Participants in the acquisition process should work together as a team and should be empowered to make decisions within their area of responsibility.

    (b) The Federal Acquisition System will --

    (1) Satisfy the customer in terms of cost, quality, and timeliness of the delivered product or service by, for example --

    (i) Maximizing the use of commercial products and services;

    (ii) Using contractors who have a track record of successful past performance or who demonstrate a current superior ability to perform; and

    (iii) Promoting competition;

    (2) Minimize administrative operating costs;

    (3) Conduct business with integrity, fairness, and openness; and

    (4) Fulfill public policy objectives.

    (c) The Acquisition Team consists of all participants in Government acquisition including not only representatives of the technical, supply, and procurement communities but also the customers they serve, and the contractors who provide the products and services.

    (d) The role of each member of the Acquisition Team is to exercise personal initiative and sound business judgment in providing the best value product or service to meet the customer’s needs. In exercising initiative, Government members of the Acquisition Team may assume if a specific strategy, practice, policy or procedure is in the best interests of the Government and is not addressed in the FAR, nor prohibited by law (statute or case law), Executive order or other regulation, that the strategy, practice, policy or procedure is a permissible exercise of authority.

     

     

     

     

    FAR 1.602 -- Contracting Officers.

    1.602-1 -- Authority.

    (a) Contracting officers have authority to enter into, administer, or terminate contracts and make related determinations and findings. Contracting officers may bind the Government only to the extent of the authority delegated to them. Contracting officers shall receive from the appointing authority (see 1.603-1) clear instructions in writing regarding the limits of their authority. Information on the limits of the contracting officers’ authority shall be readily available to the public and agency personnel.

    (b) No contract shall be entered into unless the contracting officer ensures that all requirements of law, executive orders, regulations, and all other applicable procedures, including clearances and approvals, have been met.

    1.602-2 -- Responsibilities.

    Contracting officers are responsible for ensuring performance of all necessary actions for effective contracting, ensuring compliance with the terms of the contract, and safeguarding the interests of the United States in its contractual relationships. In order to perform these responsibilities, contracting officers should be allowed wide latitude to exercise business judgment. Contracting officers shall --

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