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  • Question

    How much assistance can a contractor provide in preparing a procurement package? Can they conduct market research, coordinate vendor demonstrations, prepare requirements, request cost estimates from prospective vendors, prepare SOW/SOO, prepare IGCE, prepare source selection evaluation criteria, etc.? Also, to what degree can they participate in the source selection panel process? Finally, what and where are the resources to support your response? Thank you for your assistance.


    Answer

    Your first order of business is to check the contractor’s statement of work to be sure that any task you may assign to them is covered by the general scope of work of their contract.  Having confirmed that you can assign such tasks to the contractor, you may proceed to answer the question: what procurement work can be allocated to the contractor?  You should start with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) at Subpart 7.5 – Inherently Governmental Functions. 
    That is where you will find lists of what is (
    FAR 7.503(c)) and what is not (FAR 7.503(d)) considered an inherently governmental function. 

    However, the key is to apply judgment when deciding what can and cannot be delegated to contractors to perform especially if you don’t find an exact match for a task you might ask a contractor to perform.  So, let’s take a look at some of your specific items.  Conduct market research and coordinate vendor demonstrations – see
    FAR 7.503(d)(6).  Prepare SOW/SOO – see FAR 7.503(d)(9).  Request cost estimates from prospective vendors and prepare IGCE – see FAR 7.503(d)(1) but consider FAR 7.503(c)(12)(i).  Prepare source selection evaluation criteria – FAR 7.503(d)(14) but consider FAR 7.503(c)(12)(iii).  Lastly, prepare requirements – see FAR 7.503(c)(12)(iii) and, in addition, consider the prohibitions of FAR SubPart 9.5 (specifically FAR 9.505-2) about contractors performing the work when they have helped to create the requirement specifics.  When you are considering using contractors in a source selection panel process be sure to comply with FAR 37.203(d).  Be sure to check the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) and your service’s FAR Supplement, etc. for any further guidance or limitations.  The above determinations are within the purview of the contracting officer with consultation from legal counsel.

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