Are evaluation factors required for Sole Source 8(a) Proposals? While I understand the premise of engaging in a Sole Source award, my uncertainty lies in adequately determining whether or not the proposed contractor can accomplish the specific work identified in the SOW. While the intent of the evaluation is not to eliminate the proposed company, but should be viewed more as a measure for determining if they are truly capable of performance during Technical Evaluations.
There is no requirement to include a Section M in a solicitation document issued to an 8(a) on a sole source basis. Furthermore, FAR 15.002 states: "When contracting in a sole source environment, the request for proposals (RFP) should be tailored to remove unnecessary information and requirements; e.g., evaluation criteria and voluminous proposal preparation instructions." In the absence of a response from the SBA, evaluation of the 8(a) firm's technical capability is up to the contracting officer, so there needs to be some type of assessment of that capability. While a formal Section M is not required, the contracting officer needs to explain the criteria that will be used to determine if the 8(a) firm's proposed approach and capabilities will meet the requirements of the work to be accomplished. How this is to be done is up to the contracting officer. Instructions to the 8(a) firm to demonstrate its capability could even be included in Section L (Instructions to Offerors) of the offer.
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