If awarded the task order (TO) RFP (on a multi award IDIQ contract) based on lowest cost or best value, isn't the TO RFP award already considered fair and reasonable? It proves to be difficult showing fair and reasonable on the limited competition by the prime (buyer) and seems to be redundent since it was awarded on the cost to begin with. I have been reviewing the FAR trying to find help for prime fair and reasonable requirements. Any suggestions or insights is greatly appreciated.
This response is based on the information provided. We suggest you discuss with your contract administrator and/or legal department and the government contracting officer as appropriate.
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Our sense of this question is that you are a prime holding a multiple award contract and have received a TO requiring your company to use a directed source.
FAR 16.505(a)(4) states,
"The following requirements apply when procuring items peculiar to one manufacturer:
(i) The contracting officer must justify restricting consideration to an item peculiar to one manufacturer (e.g., a particular brand-name, product, or a feature of a product that is peculiar to one manufacturer). A brand-name item, even if available on more than one contract, is an item peculiar to one manufacturer. Brand-name specifications shall not be used unless the particular brand-name, product, or feature is essential to the Government’s requirements and market research indicates other companies’ similar products, or products lacking the particular feature, do not meet, or cannot be modified to meet, the agency’s needs.
(ii) Requirements for use of items peculiar to one manufacturer shall be justified and approved using the format(s) and requirements from paragraphs (b)(2)(ii)(A), (B), and (C) of this section, modified to show the brand-name justification. A justification is required unless a justification covering the requirements in the order was previously approved for the contract in accordance with 6.302-1(c) or unless the base contract is a single-award contract awarded under full and open competition. Justifications for the use of brand-name specifications must be completed and approved at the time the requirement for a brand-name is determined.
(A) For an order in excess of $30,000, the contracting officer shall—
(1) Post the justification and supporting documentation on the agency Web site used (if any) to solicit offers for orders under the contract; or
(2) Provide the justification and supporting documentation along with the solicitation to all contract awardees.
(B) The justifications for brand-name acquisitions may apply to the portion of the acquisition requiring the brand-name item. If the justification is to cover only the portion of the acquisition which is brand-name, then it should so state; the approval level requirements will then only apply to that portion.
(C) The requirements in paragraph (a)(4)(iii)(A) of this section do not apply when disclosure would compromise the national security (e.g., would result in disclosure of classified information) or create other security risks.
(D) The justification is subject to the screening requirement in paragraph (b)(2)(ii)(D)(4) of this section."
The FAR is guidance primarily for government contracting officers. Your concern appears to be how does the prime justify "fair and reasonable"? This needs to be done within the framework of accounting practices, company procedures and disclosure statement if the company has one. If the source is directed, that is the basis of the company's justification.
The government has the burden of justifying going to a directed source. If you have received the TO, your assessment should address that the source selected to perform the work was a directed source. The government has the responsibility to establish a fair and reasonable negotiation in issuing the TO. The contractor has the responsibility to establish a fair and reasonable negotiation in issuing subcontracts in the performance of the TO.