What is a notional quantity?
Is there a best way to get to a "notional quantity" to use for your price/cost analysis to determine what proposal is the best cost effective due to the step-ladder pricing if it is not truly defined by DoD or DAU?
The following response is based solely on the question and background information provided. As we do not have all of the facts particular to your contract, program, and situation, we recommend you consult your Contracting Officer and Legal Office for guidance.
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We have not encountered the term "notional quantity" in terms of performing cost or price analysis while evaluating proposals. There is one thing to remember - particularly for competitive proposal analysis - the total quantity of supplies or services ultimately bought must have been included in the evaluation process. For example, if the "notional quantity" used for evaluation purposes was 50 units but the Government ultimately purchased 100 units, unsuccessful bidders/offerors could legitimately complain or possibly protest that the wrong overall evaluated price was used to make a selection decision. One commonly used way to structure an evaluation when only an estimated quantity is available at the time of proposal analysis is to assign probabilistic weights to the potential quantities that could possibly be contracted with the estimated quantity (or "notational quantity" in your case) weighted most heavily.