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Title 48: Federal Acquisition Regulations System
52.215-1 Instructions to Offerors—Competitive Acquisition.
As prescribed in 15.209(a), insert the following provision:
Instructions to Offerors—Competitive Acquisitions (JAN 2004)
(a) Definitions. As used in this provision—
Discussions are negotiations that occur after establishment of the competitive range that may, at the Contracting Officer's discretion, result in the offeror being allowed to revise its proposal.
In writing, writing, or written means any worded or numbered expression that can be read, reproduced, and later communicated, and includes electronically transmitted and stored information.
Proposal modification is a change made to a proposal before the solicitation's closing date and time, or made in response to an amendment, or made to correct a mistake at any time before award.
Proposal revision is a change to a proposal made after the solicitation closing date, at the request of or as allowed by a Contracting Officer as the result of negotiations.
Time, if stated as a number of days, is calculated using calendar days, unless otherwise specified, and will include Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays. However, if the last day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, then the period shall include the next working day.
(b) Amendments to solicitations. If this solicitation is amended, all terms and conditions that are not amended remain unchanged. Offerors shall acknowledge receipt of any amendment to this solicitation by the date and time specified in the amendment(s).
(c) Submission, modification, revision, and withdrawal of proposals. (1) Unless other methods (e.g., electronic commerce or facsimile) are permitted in the solicitation, proposals and modifications to proposals shall be submitted in paper media in sealed envelopes or packages (i) addressed to the office specified in the solicitation, and (ii) showing the time and date specified for receipt, the solicitation number, and the name and address of the offeror. Offerors using commercial carriers should ensure that the proposal is marked on the outermost wrapper with the information in paragraphs (c)(1)(i) and (c)(1)(ii) of this provision.
(2) The first page of the proposal must show—
(i) The solicitation number;
(ii) The name, address, and telephone and facsimile numbers of the offeror (and electronic address if available);
(iii) A statement specifying the extent of agreement with all terms, conditions, and provisions included in the solicitation and agreement to furnish any or all items upon which prices are offered at the price set opposite each item;
(iv) Names, titles, and telephone and facsimile numbers (and electronic addresses if available) of persons authorized to negotiate on the offeror's behalf with the Government in connection with this solicitation; and
(v) Name, title, and signature of person authorized to sign the proposal. Proposals signed by an agent shall be accompanied by evidence of that agent's authority, unless that evidence has been previously furnished to the issuing office.
(3) Submission, modification, revision, and withdrawal of proposals. (i) Offerors are responsible for submitting proposals, and any modifications or revisions, so as to reach the Government office designated in the solicitation by the time specified in the solicitation. If no time is specified in the solicitation, the time for receipt is 4:30 p.m., local time, for the designated Government office on the date that proposal or revision is due.
(ii)(A) Any proposal, modification, or revision, received at the Government office designated in the solicitation after the exact time specified for receipt of offers is “late” and will not be considered unless it is received before award is made, the Contracting Officer determines that accepting the late offer would not unduly delay the acquisition; and—
(1) If it was transmitted through an electronic commerce method authorized by the solicitation, it was received at the initial point of entry to the Government infrastructure not later than 5:00 p.m. one working day prior to the date specified for receipt of proposals; or
(2) There is acceptable evidence to establish that it was received at the Government installation designated for receipt of offers and was under the Government's control prior to the time set for receipt of offers; or
(3) It is the only proposal received.
(B) However, a late modification of an otherwise successful proposal that makes its terms more favorable to the Government, will be considered at any time it is received and may be accepted.
(iii) Acceptable evidence to establish the time of receipt at the Government installation includes the time/date stamp of that installation on the proposal wrapper, other documentary evidence of receipt maintained by the installation, or oral testimony or statements of Government personnel.
(iv) If an emergency or unanticipated event interrupts normal Government processes so that proposals cannot be received at the office designated for receipt of proposals by the exact time specified in the solicitation, and urgent Government requirements preclude amendment of the solicitation, the time specified for receipt of proposals will be deemed to be extended to the same time of day specified in the solicitation on the first work day on which normal Government processes resume.
(v) Proposals may be withdrawn by written notice received at any time before award. Oral proposals in response to oral solicitations may be withdrawn orally. If the solicitation authorizes facsimile proposals, proposals may be withdrawn via facsimile received at any time before award, subject to the conditions specified in the provision at 52.215-5, Facsimile Proposals. Proposals may be withdrawn in person by an offeror or an authorized representative, if the identity of the person requesting withdrawal is established and the person signs a receipt for the proposal before award.
(4) Unless otherwise specified in the solicitation, the offeror may propose to provide any item or combination of items.
(5) Offerors shall submit proposals in response to this solicitation in English, unless otherwise permitted by the solicitation, and in U.S. dollars, unless the provision at FAR 52.225-17, Evaluation of Foreign Currency Offers, is included in the solicitation.
(6) Offerors may submit modifications to their proposals at any time before the solicitation closing date and time, and may submit modifications in response to an amendment, or to correct a mistake at any time before award.
(7) Offerors may submit revised proposals only if requested or allowed by the Contracting Officer.
(8) Proposals may be withdrawn at any time before award. Withdrawals are effective upon receipt of notice by the Contracting Officer.
(d) Offer expiration date. Proposals in response to this solicitation will be valid for the number of days specified on the solicitation cover sheet (unless a different period is proposed by the offeror).
(e) Restriction on disclosure and use of data. Offerors that include in their proposals data that they do not want disclosed to the public for any purpose, or used by the Government except for evaluation purposes, shall—
(1) Mark the title page with the following legend: This proposal includes data that shall not be disclosed outside the Government and shall not be duplicated, used, or disclosed—in whole or in part—for any purpose other than to evaluate this proposal. If, however, a contract is awarded to this offeror as a result of—or in connection with—the submission of this data, the Government shall have the right to duplicate, use, or disclose the data to the extent provided in the resulting contract. This restriction does not limit the Government's right to use information contained in this data if it is obtained from another source without restriction. The data subject to this restriction are contained in sheets [insert numbers or other identification of sheets]; and
(2) Mark each sheet of data it wishes to restrict with the following legend: Use or disclosure of data contained on this sheet is subject to the restriction on the title page of this proposal.
(f) Contract award. (1) The Government intends to award a contract or contracts resulting from this solicitation to the responsible offeror(s) whose proposal(s) represents the best value after evaluation in accordance with the factors and subfactors in the solicitation.
(2) The Government may reject any or all proposals if such action is in the Government's interest.
(3) The Government may waive informalities and minor irregularities in proposals received.
(4) The Government intends to evaluate proposals and award a contract without discussions with offerors (except clarifications as described in FAR 15.306(a)). Therefore, the offeror's initial proposal should contain the offeror's best terms from a cost or price and technical standpoint. The Government reserves the right to conduct discussions if the Contracting Officer later determines them to be necessary. If the Contracting Officer determines that the number of proposals that would otherwise be in the competitive range exceeds the number at which an efficient competition can be conducted, the Contracting Officer may limit the number of proposals in the competitive range to the greatest number that will permit an efficient competition among the most highly rated proposals.
(5) The Government reserves the right to make an award on any item for a quantity less than the quantity offered, at the unit cost or prices offered, unless the offeror specifies otherwise in the proposal.
(6) The Government reserves the right to make multiple awards if, after considering the additional administrative costs, it is in the Government's best interest to do so.
(7) Exchanges with offerors after receipt of a proposal do not constitute a rejection or counteroffer by the Government.
(8) The Government may determine that a proposal is unacceptable if the prices proposed are materially unbalanced between line items or subline items. Unbalanced pricing exists when, despite an acceptable total evaluated price, the price of one or more contract line items is significantly overstated or understated as indicated by the application of cost or price analysis techniques. A proposal may be rejected if the Contracting Officer determines that the lack of balance poses an unacceptable risk to the Government.
(9) If a cost realism analysis is performed, cost realism may be considered by the source selection authority in evaluating performance or schedule risk.
(10) A written award or acceptance of proposal mailed or otherwise furnished to the successful offeror within the time specified in the proposal shall result in a binding contract without further action by either party.
(11) If a post-award debriefing is given to requesting offerors, the Government shall disclose the following information, if applicable:
(i) The agency's evaluation of the significant weak or deficient factors in the debriefed offeror's offer.
(ii) The overall evaluated cost or price and technical rating of the successful and the debriefed offeror and past performance information on the debriefed offeror.
(iii) The overall ranking of all offerors, when any ranking was developed by the agency during source selection.
(iv) A summary of the rationale for award.
(v) For acquisitions of commercial items, the make and model of the item to be delivered by the successful offeror.
(vi) Reasonable responses to relevant questions posed by the debriefed offeror as to whether source-selection procedures set forth in the solicitation, applicable regulations, and other applicable authorities were followed by the agency.
(End of provision)
Alternate I (OCT 1997). As prescribed in 15.209(a)(1), substitute the following paragraph (f)(4) for paragraph (f)(4) of the basic provision:
(f)(4) The Government intends to evaluate proposals and award a contract after conducting discussions with offerors whose proposals have been determined to be within the competitive range. If the Contracting Officer determines that the number of proposals that would otherwise be in the competitive range exceeds the number at which an efficient competition can be conducted, the Contracting Officer may limit the number of proposals in the competitive range to the greatest number that will permit an efficient competition among the most highly rated proposals. Therefore, the offeror's initial proposal should contain the offeror's best terms from a price and technical standpoint.
Alternate II (OCT 1997). As prescribed in 15.209(a)(2), add a paragraph (c)(9) substantially the same as the following to the basic clause:
(9) Offerors may submit proposals that depart from stated requirements. Such proposals shall clearly identify why the acceptance of the proposal would be advantageous to the Government. Any deviations from the terms and conditions of the solicitation, as well as the comparative advantage to the Government, shall be clearly identified and explicitly defined. The Government reserves the right to amend the solicitation to allow all offerors an opportunity to submit revised proposals based on the revised requirements.
[62 FR 51259, Sept. 30, 1997; 64 FR 51841, Sept. 24, 1999, as amended at 64 FR 72433, 72451, Dec. 27, 1999; 66 FR 2135, Jan. 10, 2001; 68 FR 69258, Dec. 11, 2003]