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  • Question

    What are the rules when you receive only 1 proposals in response to a posted RFP. Must the requirement be re-solicited and how do you determine the Price Fair and Reasonableness?


    Answer

    The policy and procedures regarding the receipt of only one offer in response to a source selection (or competitive RFP) are detailed in DFARS 215.371, Only one offer.  If the solicitation allowed for fewer than 30 days for receipt of proposals, the contracting officer shall consult with the requiring activity to determine if the requirements should be revised in order to promote more competition and resolicit, allowing an additional period of at least 30 days for receipt of proposals. Furthermore, if the solicitation was competitive and more than one offeror expressed an interest in the acquisition yet only one offer was received, you follow the guidance at DFARS PGI 215.371-2.  This guidance requires the contracting officer to seek feedback (e.g., issue an RFI) after award from potential offerors expected to submit an offer; and document any feedback received in the contract file.  This information shall then be used when considering how to overcome barriers to competition for future requirements.
     
    Determining the price fair and reasonable is addressed in DFARS 215-371-3.  Unless one of the exceptions apply, certified cost and pricing data will be required to determine a fair and reasonable price.  The DFARS is clear that “presumed competition” is not sufficient to determine a fair and reasonable price. 
     
    Excerpts from DFARS 215.371 and DFARS PGI 215.371-2 follow.
    215.371 Only one offer.
    215.371-1 Policy.
    It is DoD policy, if only one offer is received in response to a competitive solicitation—
    (a) To take the required actions to promote competition (see 215.371-2); and
    (b) To ensure that the price is fair and reasonable (see 215.371-3) and to comply with the statutory requirement for certified cost or pricing data (see FAR 15.403-4).
    215.371-2 Promote competition.
    Except as provided in sections 215.371-4 and 215.371-5
    (a) If only one offer is received when competitive procedures were used and the solicitation allowed fewer than 30 days for receipt of proposals, the contracting officer shall—
    (1) Consult with the requiring activity as to whether the requirements document should be revised in order to promote more competition (see FAR 6.502(b) and 11.002); and
    (2) Resolicit, allowing an additional period of at least 30 days for receipt of proposals; and
    (b) For competitive solicitations in which more than one potential offeror expressed an interest in an acquisition, but only one offer was ultimately received, follow the procedures at PGI 215.371-2.
    215.371-3 Fair and reasonable price.
    (a) If there was “reasonable expectation… that …two or more offerors, competing independently, would submit priced offers” but only one offer is received, this circumstance does not constitute adequate price competition unless an official at a level above the contracting officer approves the determination that the price is reasonable (see FAR 15.403-1(c)(1)(ii)).
    (b) Except as provided in section 215.371-4(a), if only one offer is received when competitive procedures were used and the solicitation allowed at least 30 days for receipt of proposals (unless the 30-day requirement is not applicable in accordance with 215.371-4(a)(3) or has been waived in accordance with section 215.371-5), the
    contracting officer shall—
    (1) Determine through cost or price analysis that the offered price is fair and reasonable and that adequate price competition exists (with approval of the determination at a level above the contracting officer) or another exception to the requirement for certified cost or pricing data applies (see FAR 15.403-1(c) and 15.403-4). In these circumstances, no further cost or pricing data is required; or
    (2)(i) Obtain from the offeror cost or pricing data necessary to determine a fair and reasonable price and comply with the requirement for certified cost or pricing data at FAR 15.403-4. For acquisitions that exceed the cost or pricing data threshold, if no exception at FAR 15.403-1(b) applies, the cost or pricing data shall be certified; and
    (ii) Enter into negotiations with the offeror as necessary to establish a fair and reasonable price. The negotiated price should not exceed the offered price.
    215.371-4 Exceptions. (DEVIATION 2018-O0018)
    (a) The requirements at sections 215.371-2 do not apply to—
    (1) Acquisitions at or below the simplified acquisition threshold;
    (2) Acquisitions in support of contingency or humanitarian or peacekeeping operations; to facilitate defense against or recovery from cyber, nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological attack; to facilitate the provision of international disaster assistance; or to support response to an emergency or major disaster;
    (3) Small business set-asides under FAR subpart 19.5, set asides offered and accepted into the 8(a) Program under FAR subpart 19.8, or set-asides under the HUBZone Program (see FAR 19.1305(c)), the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Procurement Program (see FAR 19.1405(c)), or the Women-Owned Small Business Program (see FAR 19.1505(d));
    (4) Acquisitions of basic or applied research or development, as specified in FAR 35.016(a), that use a broad agency announcement; or
    (5) Acquisitions of architect-engineer services (see FAR 36.601-2).
    (b) The applicability of an exception in paragraph (a) of this section does not eliminate the need for the contracting officer to seek maximum practicable competition and to ensure that the price is fair and reasonable.
    215.371-5 Waiver.
    (a) The head of the contracting activity is authorized to waive the requirement at 215.371-2 to resolicit for an additional period of at least 30 days.
    (b) This waiver authority cannot be delegated below one level above the contracting officer.
    215.371-6 Solicitation provision.
    Use the provision at 252.215-7007, Notice of Intent to Resolicit, in competitive solicitations, including solicitations using FAR part 12 procedures for the acquisition of commercial items, that will be solicited for fewer than 30 days, unless an exception at 215.371-4 applies or the requirement is waived in accordance with 215.371-5.
     
    PGI 215.371-2 Promote competition.
     
      (a)  For competitive solicitations in which more than one potential offeror expressed an interest in an acquisition, but only one offer was ultimately received, the Contracting Officer shall—
     
      (1)  Seek feedback (e.g., issue an RFI) after award from potential offerors expected to submit an offer; and
     
      (2)  Document any feedback received in the contract file.
     
      (b)  Agencies shall use any feedback received when considering how to overcome barriers to competition for future requirements.

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