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Avoid FAR part 15 terminology, just say NO to “Discussions” and follow this suggested RFQ language

We are often asked the question “How do I avoid using the term “discussions” if I want to reserve the  right to communicate with contractors?  


The following is suggested RFQ language to do just that:  


“FAR 15 Does NOT apply

The Government intends to (establish BPAs/award a  task order) without  further communicating with contractors. Consequently, contractors are highly encouraged to quote their best technical and pricing quotes in their initial submissions. However, the Government reserves the right to communicate with any or all contractors submitting a technical and price quote, if it is determined advantageous to the Government to do so. This statement is not to be construed to mean that the Government is obligated to communicate with every quoter (note that FAR Part 15 procedures do not apply to FSS orders, therefore formal discussions are not applicable). A contractor may be eliminated from consideration without further communication if its technical and/or pricing quotes are not among those Contractors considered most advantageous to the Government based on a best value determination."

Additionally, we suggest your read the blog posts FAR 15 Doesn’t  Apply--So Don’t Use It and the Unisys/Lockheed COFC case emphasizing inapplicability of FAR 15 Discussions under the FSS program.


Now that we have your attention, please remember that what you are reading here is a blog post on a social media site managed by GSA.  This is NOT a GSA policy site, nor is it intended to be.  If you don't see us citing a specific statute, regulation or policy in this post, you should assume all you are getting is our opinion as experienced contracting officers.  We are trying to share what we believe are best practices and generate discussion with other contracting professionals about their best practices.  You may feel like something you read on our site is a terrible idea or is inconsistent with your organization's policies, practices or even general approach to contract management.  That's good!  Let's talk about it.  Did we miss something?  Are we flat out wrong?  Alright, we don't claim to be all knowing or perfect.  Share your thoughts with us.  And, as always, we strongly encourage you to consult with your own policy staff and legal counsel before using our methods and practices.  Finally, and most importantly, have fun with your procurement, use your creativity and make smart business decisions!

Authors of this blog post: A collaborative effort by Brad deMers, Brad Powers and Dan Briest


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