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  • Question

    Is it correct that the word 'when' in FAR 10.001(a)(2)(iii) modifies the imperative statement to permit agencies to forego market research for acquisitions below the SAT, provided adequate information is available?


    1. The FAR references quoted below in pertinent part are applicable to this response.

    FAR 10.001 -- Policy
    (a) Agencies shall --
    (2) Conduct market research appropriate to the circumstances --
      (iii) Before soliciting offers for acquisitions with an estimated value less than the simplified acquisition threshold when adequate information is not available and the circumstances justify its cost;

    (3) Use the results of market research to --
      (i) Determine if sources capable of satisfying the agency’s requirements exist;
      (ii) Determine if commercial items or, to the extent commercial items suitable to meet the agency’s needs are not available, nondevelopmental items are available that --
      (A) Meet the agency’s requirements;
      (B) Could be modified to meet the agency’s requirements; or
      (C) Could meet the agency’s requirements if those requirements were modified to a reasonable extent;

    FAR 10.002 -- Procedures
    (b)(1) The extent of market research will vary, depending on such factors as urgency, estimated dollar value, complexity, and past experience. The contracting officer may use market research conducted within 18 months before the award of any task or delivery order if the information is still current, accurate, and relevant.

    (e) Agencies should document the results of market research in a manner appropriate to the size and complexity of the acquisition.

    2. The language in FAR 10.001(a)(2)(iii) as quoted above does provide an exception to the requirement to conduct market research for acquisitions below the simplified acquisition threshold (SAT), but only if “adequate information” pertaining to the acquisition is truly available. For example in accordance with the standard set forth in FAR 10.002(b)(1), if such available information is older than 18 months, then such information is probably not adequate. Also to be “adequate”, such available information must be sufficient to enable the contracting officer to make the determinations described in FAR 10.001(a)(3) as appropriate to the acquisition.

    3. Finally, if the exception set forth in FAR 10.001(a)(2)(iii) will be used to forego market research for an acquisition below the SAT, then as contemplated by FAR 10.002(e), the contracting officer should fully document the adequacy of such available information in the contract file.

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