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    I have attempted to get buy in for setting a competitive range which is already included in our solicitation. However, legal does not support since we have an IDIQ multiple award contract and some of the bid lines which act like "mini awards" have the potential to be won by the bidder. However, they are willing to consider elimination based off of what is called Non-responsiveness in Sealed Bidding if I can find the equivalent for Part 15 to remove those that after extensive negotiations and well before responsibility/final proposals are still not able to be evaluated due to the bidder not providing the necessary information needed to conduct the evaluations. My question is 2 part. 1) Am I missing the Part 15 equivalent? 2) If not, then why isn't there something that I can cite to remove these time wasters that I can use to essentially state" Sorry, you are out because we cannot evaluate your offer after many attempts to get the necessary information". To reiterate, there is great opposition to setting a competitive range on this parameter but keeping these dead offers in poses a great strain on Government resources and is not showing a good faith attempt at negotiation. Thank you for your help!


    Answer

    The issue of "responsiveness" is central to FAR part 14 because bidders don't typically have the opportunity to submit additional information after bid opening. FAR part 15 is based on the possibility of negotiation (hence the title, Contracting by Negotiation) so "responsiveness" in the sense used in FAR part 14 is not directly addressed. The equivalent of FAR part 14 non-responsiveness in FAR part 15 would be technical unacceptability. It's unfortunate you are not using the benefits of a competitive range determination, as that would resolve much of your issue. Time saving is a primary purpose of using a competitive range. That said, the contracting officer has authority to decide whether to determine a competitive range. Pursuing that path for future acquisitions is the best solution. FAR part 15 does not provide a clear path for dealing with "non-responsive” proposals beyond competitive range determinations.

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