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    Good Afternoon - is the SME (K9 Supervisor) allowed to visit the K9 site where dogs are to be purchased even after the contract has been let? Although the contract has been awarded, I'm not sure if it would be an issue if the SME visited the facility to look at the prospective dogs that we are thinking of purchasing. Delicate situation as we do not want a "soft" dog... Any guidance or thoughts on same would be greatly appreciated... Thanks so much, Scott


    Answer

    Unique question, and a good one.  One thing we need to establish is BPA's aren't contracts, they are agreements.  The contract is formed when the purchase (order/Call) is placed on the BPA.  With that said I can't find anything that wouldn't allow the government to look at a K9 before purchasing.

    FAR 12.602(b) states "... A technical evaluation would normally include examination of such things as product literature, product samples (if requested), technical features and warranty provisions."  A product sample would be an example of someone going to the kennel and looking at the K9.

    Also, when acquiring commercial items in accordance with FAR 12.202(a) market research is used to come up with an effective strategy for commercial items.  I called three sellers of K9's and every one said it was common for buyers to see the dogs before purchase unless there was a reason they choose not to.

    I can't find anything in the regulations that would not allow the government to look at a K9 before purchase and if it's not prohibited we fall on FAR 1.102(d) which states " (d) The role of each member of the Acquisition Team is to exercise personal initiative and sound business judgment in providing the best value product or service to meet the customer’s needs. In exercising initiative, Government members of the Acquisition Team may assume if a specific strategy, practice, policy or procedure is in the best interests of the Government and is not addressed in the FAR, nor prohibited by law (statute or case law), Executive order or other regulation, that the strategy, practice, policy or procedure is a permissible exercise of authority."

    My suggestion would be discuss with the contracting officer to add the government will inspect the K9 before purchase in the BPA.

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