Networking in the Government. The time old question of networking with Contracting Officers.



Is the headliner statement of ,"Networking in the Government. The time old question of networking with Contracting Officers & Program Mangers will lead to more Government contracts." 


Is this true? Does networking really work?Depends and I will support it with the Federal Acquisition Regulation.


FAR Subpart 5.101(a)(1) - For proposed contract actions expected to exceed $25,000, by synopsizing in the Government Point of Entry (GPE).


FAR Subpart 5.101(a)(2) For proposed contract actions expected to exceed $15,000, but not expected to exceed $25,000, by displaying in a public place, or by any appropriate electronic means, an unclassified notice of the solicitation.


What does the 5.101(a)(1) & (2) mean in simple language? Simple if it is below $15k, it doesn't need to be posted on a Government Point of Entry such as www.fbo.gov. If it is from $15,000 to $25,000 than as long as it is in a public place. So in theory networking is only really good for items less than $15,000.


Here is another exception to the above rule in accordance with FAR Subpart 5.101(a)(2)

(ii).


FAR Subpart 5.101(a)(2)(ii) The contracting officer need not comply with the display requirements of this section when the exemptions at 5.202(a)(1), (a)(4) through (a)(9), or (a)(11) apply, when oral solicitations are used, or when providing access to a notice of proposed contract action and solicitation through the GPE and the notice permits the public to respond to the solicitation electronically.


FAR Subpart 5.202(a)(1) The synopsis cannot be worded to preclude disclosure of an agency’s needs and such disclosure would compromise the national security (e.g., would result in disclosure of classified information). The fact that a proposed solicitation or contract action contains classified information, or that access to classified matter may be necessary to submit a proposal or perform the contract does not, in itself, justify use of this exception to synopsis.


FAR Subpart 5.202(a)(4) The proposed contract action is expressly authorized or required by a statute to be made through another Government agency, including acquisitions from the Small Business Administration (SBA) using the authority of section 8(a) of the Small Business Act.


FAR Subpart 5.202(a)(5) The proposed contract action is for utility services other than telecommunications services and only one source is available.


FAR Subpart 5.202(a)(6) The proposed contract action is an order placed under Indefinite-Delivery Contracts.


FAR Subpart 5.202(a)(7) The proposed contract action results from acceptance of a proposal under the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982 (Pub. L. 97-219); which is intended to help certain small businesses conduct research and development (R&D).


FAR Subpart 5.202(a)(8) The proposed contract action results from the acceptance of an unsolicited research proposal that demonstrates a unique and innovative concept and publication of any notice complying with Preparation and Transmittal of Synopses would improperly disclose the originality of thought or innovativeness of the proposed research, or would disclose proprietary information associated with the proposal.


FAR Subpart 5.202(a)(9) The proposed contract action is made for perishable subsistence supplies, and advance notice is not appropriate or reasonable.


What about the other exceptions not mentioned?


FAR Subpart 5.202(a)(2)The proposed contract action is made under the conditions described in 6.302-2 (or, for purchases conducted using simplified acquisition procedures, if unusual and compelling urgency precludes competition to the maximum extent practicable) and the Government would be seriously injured if the agency complies with the time periods specified in


FAR Subpart 5.203 publicizing and response time.


FAR Subpart 5.202(a)(3) The proposed contract action is one for which either the written direction of a foreign government reimbursing the agency for the cost of the acquisition of the supplies or services for such government, or the terms of an international agreement or treaty between the United States and a foreign government, or international organizations, has the effect of requiring that the acquisition shall be from specified sources.


FAR Subpart 5.202(a)(10) The proposed contract action is made under conditions described in Unusual and Compelling Urgency, or Authorized or Required Statue with regard to brand name commercial items for authorized resale, or Public Interest, and advance notice is not appropriate or reasonable.


FAR Subpart 5.202(a)(11) The proposed contract action is made under the terms of an existing contract that was previously synopsized in sufficient detail to comply with the requirements of Preparation and Transmittal of Synopses with respect to the current proposed contract action.


FAR Subpart 5.202(a)(12) The proposed contract action is by a Defense agency and the proposed contract action will be made and performed outside the United States and its outlying areas, and only local sources will be solicited. This exception does not apply to proposed contract actions covered by the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement or a Free Trade Agreement.


FAR Subpart 5.202(a)(13) The proposed contract action--


(i) Is for an amount not expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold   


(ii) Will be made through a means that provides access to the notice of proposed contract action through the GPE; and 


(iii) Permits the public to respond to the solicitation electronically


FAR Subpart 5.202(a)(4) The proposed contract action is made under conditions described in Industrial Mobilization; Engineering, Developmental, or Research Capability; or Expert Services with respect to the services of an expert to support the Federal Government in any current or anticipated litigation or dispute.


What about networking? Where does it fit in?


Look at all the exceptions above? Networking does exist if your are an 8(a) firm according to the exception. So network all you want as an 8(a).


Look at FAR Subpart 19.808-1 Sole Source. -


(a) The SBA may not accept for negotiation a sole-source 8(a) contract that exceeds $22 million unless the requesting agency has completed a justification in accordance with the requirements of 6.303; which is a justification.


(b) The SBA is responsible for initiating negotiations with the agency within the time established by the agency. If the SBA does not initiate negotiations within the agreed time and the agency cannot allow additional time, the agency may, after notifying the SBA, proceed with the acquisition from other sources.


(c) The SBA should participate, whenever practicable, in negotiating the contracting terms. When mutually agreeable, the SBA may authorize the contracting officer to negotiate directly with the 8(a) participant. Whether or not direct negotiations take place, the SBA is responsible for approving the resulting contract before award.


(d) An 8(a) participant must represent that it is a small business in accordance with the size standard corresponding to the NAICS code assigned to the contract.(e) An 8(a) participant owned by an Alaska Native Corporation, Indian Tribe, Native Hawaiian Organization, or Community Development Corporation may not receive an 8(a) sole source award that is a follow-on contract to an 8(a) contract, if the predecessor contract was performed by another 8(a) participant (or former 8(a) participant) owned by the same Alaska Native Corporation, Indian Tribe, Native Hawaiian Organization, or Community Development Corporation (See 13 CFR 124.109 through 124.111).


I have heard the rumors that if my business is a certified HUBZone, I can get a sole source contract?


Maybe - FAR Subpart 19.1306 - The contracting officer does not have a reasonable expectation that offers would be received from two or more HUBZone small business concerns and the anticipated price of the contract, including options will not exceed:


$7 million for a requirement within the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes for manufacturing


$4 million for a requirement within any other NAICS codes

The requirement is not currently being performed by an 8(a) and the acquisition is for over $250,000.


What about if I am a Service-disabled Veteran owned small business?


See FAR Subpart 19.1406 - The contracting officer does not have a reasonable expectation that offers would be received from two or more Service-disabled Veteran owned small business concerns and the anticipated price of the contract, including options will not exceed:


$6.5 million for a requirement within the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes for manufacturing


$4 million for a requirement within any other NAICS codes


The requirement is not currently being performed by an 8(a).


What about if I am a Economically Disabled Woman owned small business?


See FAR Subpart 19.1506 - The contracting officer does not have a reasonable expectation that offers would be received from two or more Economically Disabled Woman owned small business concerns and the anticipated price of the contract, including options will not exceed:


$6.5 million for a requirement within the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes for manufacturing


$4 million for a requirement within any other NAICS codes


The requirement is not currently being performed by an 8(a).


So why network? Does it really help me win Government Contracts?I


t may and can, but only if you can fall under one of six other categories within the Federal Acquisition Regulation, however would need justified and approved. This is where networking may be of services outside of an 8(a). However, all of them need posted to the Federal Point of Entry, some prior to award, some after award of a contract.


FAR Subpart 6.302 - Circumstances Permitting Other than Full and Open Competition


6.302-1 -- Only One Responsible Source and No Other Supplies or Services Will Satisfy Agency Requirements


6.302-2 -- Unusual and Compelling Urgency


6.302-3 -- Industrial Mobilization; Engineering, Developmental, or Research Capability; or Expert Services6.302-4 -- International Agreement


6.302-5 -- Authorized or Required by Statute


6.302-6 -- National Security


6.302-7 -- Public Interest


2. FAR Subpart 8.405-6 – Limited Sources - Which is used for GSA Contract Holders.


(A) An urgent and compelling need exists, and following the procedures would result in unacceptable delays;


(B) Only one source is capable of providing the supplies or services required at the level of quality required because the supplies or services are unique or highly specialized; or


(C) In the interest of economy and efficiency, the new work is a logical follow-on to an original Federal Supply Schedule order provided that the original order was placed in accordance with the applicable Federal Supply Schedule ordering procedures. The original order or BPA must not have been previously issued under sole-source or limited-sources procedures.


3. FAR Subpart 13.106-1(b) - Solicitation from a Single Source


(1) For purchases not exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold ($250,000).


(i) Contracting officers may solicit from one source if the contracting officer determines that the circumstances of the contract action deem only one source reasonably available (e.g., urgency, exclusive licensing agreements, brand-name or industrial mobilization).


(ii) Where a single source is identified to provide a portion of a purchase because that portion of the purchase specifies a particular brand-name item, the documentation in paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section only applies to the portion of the purchase requiring the brand-name item. The documentation should state it is covering only the portion of the acquisition which is brand-name.


4. FAR Subpart 16.504(c)(ii)(A) (if your company has an IDIQ Contract with the Government)


The contracting officer must determine whether multiple awards are appropriate as part of acquisition planning. The contracting officer must avoid situations in which awardees specialize exclusively in one or a few areas within the statement of work, thus creating the likelihood that orders in those areas will be awarded on a sole-source basis; however, each awardee need not be capable of performing every requirement as well as any other awardee under the contracts. The contracting officer should consider the following when determining the number of contracts to be awarded:


(1) The scope and complexity of the contract requirement.


(2) The expected duration and frequency of task or delivery orders.


(3) The mix of resources a contractor must have to perform expected task or delivery order requirements.


(4) The ability to maintain competition among the awardees throughout the contracts' period of performance.


5. FAR Subpart 16.505(b)(2) Exceptions to the fair opportunity process.


(i) The contracting officer shall give every awardee a fair opportunity to be considered for a delivery-order or task-order exceeding $3,500 unless one of the following statutory exceptions applies:


(A) The agency need for the supplies or services is so urgent that providing a fair opportunity would result in unacceptable delays.


(B) Only one awardee is capable of providing the supplies or services required at the level of quality required because the supplies or services ordered are unique or highly specialized.


(C) The order must be issued on a sole-source basis in the interest of economy and efficiency because it is a logical follow-on to an order already issued under the contract, provided that all awardees were given a fair opportunity to be considered for the original order.


(D) It is necessary to place an order to satisfy a minimum guarantee.


(E) For orders exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold, a statute expressly authorizes or requires that the purchase be made from a specified source.


6. Sole source under an Emergency Declaration FAR Subpart 18.2 Emergency Acquisition Flexibilities


Contingency Operations


Defense or Recovery from Certain Attacks


Emergency Declaration or Major Disaster Declaration


Humanitarian or Peacekeeping Operations.


Is the headliner statement of ,"Networking in the Government. The time old question of networking with Contracting Officers & Program Mangers will lead to more Government contracts." Is this true? Does networking really work?


As a business owner you need to make that decision. I would say absolutely if your company is an 8(a) vendor, looking to snag a justified and approved requirement, and finally if your company accepts Government Purchase Cards also known as a Credit Card. This is known as the Micro-Purchase Threshold.


Supplies - Under $10,000


Services - Under $2,500


Construction - under $2,000


Networking is a business decision and only you as the owner or representative can make that decision.

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