Can and should a "no quote" be labeled and reported as a quote? FAR 2.101 defines "offers" (including quotes) as "a response to a solicitation that, if accepted, would bind the offeror to perform the resultant contract." Using this definition alone, indicates that a "no quote" is technically not an offer. However, if the CS reports in FPDS-NG that only 1 offer has been, it creates an appearance that competition was not adequately solicited. Could you provide any insight, thoughts, or opinions on this matter? Thank you!
This response is based on the information provided. We suggest you discuss with your contracting team, program manager and/or legal department as appropriate.
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The FAR does not address the issue of recording receipt of quotes.
“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."
"FAR 13.004 -- Legal Effect of Quotations.
(a) 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 to buy certain supplies or services upon specified terms and conditions. A contract is established when the supplier accepts the offer."
We believe FAR policy is helpful in addressing your question.
"FAR 13.003 – Policy
(a) Agencies shall use simplified acquisition procedures to the maximum extent practicable for all purchases of supplies or services not exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold (including purchases at or below the micro-purchase threshold)."
They key is "to the maximum extent practicable". Your process appears to have met that level of competition requirement. For the purposes of indicating competition, the contract specialist can state that the government received four responses. For FPDS-NG we believe it would not be inappropriate to record four "offers" and have a memo for record in the file stating the four "offers"
consisted of one "intent to contract" and three "no intents".
Doing this indicates that your office met the "maximum extent practicable" burden while properly recording the actual event.