What should be considered the minimum contractual/legal standard for soliciting a requirement with technical specifications? What standard for language and structure should be observed for the sake of the potential offerors? Is it reasonable to ask my customers to write their requirements in the way I requested?
Excellent questions, ones that are asked by many Contracting Professionals. There can be strong differences of opinions in regards to the clarity and adequacy of the language in solicitations and contracts. While FAR part 14 applies to bidding procedures, it captures the need to not have inadequate or ambiguous language in specifications, an important concept for any procurement method. A best practice to assess if the language for any requirement is sufficient is simply asking for feedback from industry. One way to do this is posting the draft solicitation and its attachments or just the draft requirements document like a SOW or PWS to SAM.gov as a RFI with the intention of asking for industry feedback. Industry has a vested interest in having requirements be clear and adequately defined, and most of the time, will provide constructive feedback. This isn't necessary for every requirement, perhaps just one or two associated with requirement owners who may not see the importance of taking the time to clearly define requirements.