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  • Question

    If you made multiple awards to at least three highly qualified A/E firms using the procedures in FAR subpart 16.5, why would you not ask for design/technical proposals from at least these three awardees in order to identify the most highly qualified firm for each respective task? This would seem to satisfy Fair Opportunity under FAR section 16.505 and be consistent with FAR subpart 36.6 (most notably FAR section 36.602-1, Selection of firms for architect-engineer contracts). This process obviously also provides an additional element of competition to the process, which seems very desirable to me. Price can then be negotiated with the highest rated firm. Is there something wrong with placing orders for A/E services in this manner?


    Answer

    The answer may turn on the language of the contract. However, without any specific language to the contrary, in the case of a multi-agency contract the Contracting Officer is required to follow the procedures of FAR 36.6.  Acquisition of A-E services in accordance with these procedures constitutes a competitive procedure. Once the Contracting Officer has made the initial award determination based on these procedures, subsequent award to alternate sources is not required.

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