Despite the magnitude of analysis being performed at the task order level, would we not still call the solicitation an RFQ since it is a task order on an existing IDIQ base contract? In other words, the RFP was at the base contract level, and task order solicitation are called RFQs correct?
According to the definition in FAR 2.101, “Offer” means a response to a solicitation that, if accepted, would bind the offeror to perform the resultant contract. Responses to invitations for bids (sealed bidding) are offers called “bids” or “sealed bids”; responses to requests for proposals (negotiation) are offers called “proposals”; however, responses to requests for quotations (simplified acquisition) are “quotations,” not offers. Therefore, this terminology (e.g. “Request for Quotation and “Quotations”) has specific meaning and applies to purchases made following the procedures in FAR Part 13 -- Simplified Acquisition Procedures. According to FAR 13.003, the simplified acquisition procedures in FAR Part 13 should be used to the maximum extent practicable for the purchase of supplies and services equal to or below the SAT. However, FAR Part 13 DOES NOT apply to existing indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contracts or other established contracts. According to FAR 13.004, Legal Effect of Quotations, a quotation is NOT an offer and, consequently, cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract. Therefore, issuance by the Government of an order in response to a supplier’s quotation does not establish a contract. The order is an offer by the Government to the supplier (issued in response to the supplier's quotation) to buy certain supplies or services upon specified terms and conditions. A contract is established when the supplier accepts the offer.
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With respect to an IDIQ contract, the contractor’s proposal is an offer and the Government establishes a contract by awarding the basic IDIQ contract. The Government can then issue orders for supplies and services in accordance with the DFARS 252.216-7006—Ordering clause in the contract. When the ordering activity issues a task or delivery order against the IDIQ contract, the order has the full force and effect of a contract as long at least the minimum quantity (which needs to be more than a nominal quantity) is ordered and the ordering procedures and selection criteria stated in the basic IDIQ contract were followed (See FAR 16.504(a)).
Orders issued under multiple-award contracts, must follow the "fair opportunity" ordering procedures in FAR 16.505(b), which states the contracting officer must provide each awardee a fair opportunity to be considered for each order exceeding $3,500 issued under multiple delivery-order contracts or multiple task-order contracts, except as provided for in paragraph (b)(2) of this section. The competition requirements in Part 6 and the policies in Subpart 15.3 DO NOT apply to the ordering process. However, the contracting officer must develop placement procedures that will provide each awardee a fair opportunity to be considered for each order and that reflect the requirement and other aspects of the contracting environment.... For each order exceeding the SAT, FAR 16.505(b)(iii) states the contracting officer shall provide a fair notice of intent to make purchase... and for orders exceeding $5.5 million, a notice of the task or delivery order...(See FAR 16.505(b)(iv)).
Bottom line: The Government’s request for task order proposals should not be referred to as a request for quotation. Also, careful consideration should be given to the use of Request for Proposal terminology which has specific meaning and applies to FAR Part 15 acquisitions. For multiple award IDIQ contracts, FAR 16.505(b) ordering procedures must be followed and pursuant to FAR 16.505(b)(ii), the competition requirements in Part 6 and the policies in Subpart 15.3 DO NOT APPLY to the ordering process. In order to preserve the contracting officer's ability to exercise “broad discretion” in developing appropriate order placement procedures per FAR 16.505(b)(ii), it would be a advisable to adhere to the terminology used in FAR 16.505(b) (e.g. “fair notice of intent to make a purchase”, or “notice of task or delivery order”) and avoid terminology used in FAR part 15 (e.g. RFP) as much as possible.