Is it permissible to not perform market research, but rather state IAW with FAR 16.505(b)(1), fair opportunity was given upfront on the establishment of the IDC with the issuance of solicitation #XXXX for Architecture & Engineering Services. All AE firms were able to submit SF330's on this solicitation. The most qualified technical firms were selected from the solicitation.
There is no mention of market research.
At FAR 16.500 (d), Scope of the Part, it states, “The statutory multiple award preference implemented by this subpart does not apply to architect-engineer contracts subject to the procedures in Subpart 36.6. However, agencies are not precluded from making multiple awards for architect-engineer services using the procedures in this subpart, provided the selection of contractors and placement of orders are consistent with Subpart 36.6.”
Based on this, FAR subpart 16.5 does not apply to A-E contracts so neither market research or fair opportunity memo would be required. A-E contracts are governed by FAR subpart 36.6. FAR 36.6 is governed by the Selection of Architect- Engineering Statue. Regardless of the grouping or terminology used for A-E contracts, the award of task orders under separate A-E IDC or under Multiple Award IDCs forming MATOCs the decision as to whom will receive the task order must be qualification-based and completed per the Selection of Architect- Engineering Statue. It is best if it stated upfront in the solicitation on how an organization will handle this selection process. It should be documented in your contract file.