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    Are we required to consider/evaluate the non-brand quote? Based upon FAR 6.302-1(c)... "The justification should indicate that the use of such descriptions in the acquisition is essential to the Government's requirements, thereby precluding consideration of a product manufactured by another company." It appears that we should preclude consideration of a non-brand item. However, based upon FAR 5.207(c)(16)(ii)... "When using the sole source authority at 6.302-1, insert a statement that all responsible sources may submit a capability statement, proposal, or quotation, which shall be considered by the agency." It appears we should consider all responsible quotations received. Which one is it?


    Answer

    In response to your question, “Which one is it, FAR 6.302-1 or FAR 5.207(c)(16)(ii)?”, the answer is both. FAR Part 6 deals with competition requirements and FAR Part 5 deals with publicizing contract actions. Both have appropriate procedures that need to be followed.

    In your reference to FAR Part 6, you indicate that a J&A needs to be written explaining the criteria supporting this “name brand” solicitation. It is not clear whether the J&A has been written and approved. If the J&A has been written and approved, no further documentation is required. Additional specific criteria for DoD can be located in the DFARS, specifically DFARS 206.302, Circumstances permitting other than full and open competition.
    DFARS 206.302 - 1 Only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements.

    DFARS 206.302 - 2 Unusual and compelling urgency.
    DFARS 206.302 - 3 Industrial mobilization; or engineering, development, or research capability.
    DFARS 206.302 - 3-70 Solicitation provision.
    DFARS 206.302 - 4 International agreement.
    DFARS 206.302 - 5 Authorized or required by statute.


    One of these 5 criteria (above) needs to be included in the justification.
     
    The statement added to the solicitation from FAR 5 is requiring the contracting officer to consider a capability statement, proposal, or quotation from responsible sources. As written in FAR 5.102(a)(6) When an acquisition contains brand name specifications, the contracting officer shall include with the solicitation the justification or documentation required by 6.302-1(c).


    To assist you in making a decision, the question is whether the need to do a sole source contract is appropriate according to the FAR and DFARS and cited in the J&A.  The contracting officer still needs to consider other offers, e.g., capability statements, proposals or quotations. However, a contract can be awarded to the contractor offering the brand name as long as the written J&A is appropriate, has been approved, and the offer represents the best value to the Government.

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