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What Is a Request for Information (RFI) Posted to GSA eBuy?

Schedule order market research is no different than the market research you do for your open market (non-Schedule) procurements.  FAR Part 10 applies to Schedule orders, too.  The Request for Information (RFI) you post to eBuy is really the same as the Sources Sought Notice you would post on FedBizOpps for a non-Schedule procurement.  As this is part of market research, you are asking for statements of capability rather than quotes. A draft Performance Work Statement is typically included.  In those cases, comments are typically solicited on that Draft PWS document.  The RFI can then serve two purposes: (1) identifying sources, and (2) improving the PWS based on comments from industry.

What Information Could an eBuy-Posted RFI Contain?

This is an eBuy Request for Information for a tentative requirement to ………[describe broad scope] as further defined in the attached Draft Performance Work Statement.  As part of its market research, [agency] is issuing this RFI to determine if there exists an adequate number of qualified interested GSA Schedule contractors capable of [broad scope] as further described in the Draft PWS.  The Government may use the responses to this RFI for information and planning purposes. The Draft PWS describes only the currently contemplated possible scope of services and may vary from the work scope in a final PWS included in any Request for Quotations (RFQ).

The anticipated period of performance is [...] and the contractor may be required perform work at the following locations: [...]

[If a Schedule BPA is contemplated, describe whether it will be Single-Award or Multiple-Award, the BPA duration, the estimated dollar amount, and the general scope.]

A Request for Quotations using the following Schedule(s) and SIN(s) is contemplated:

[Identify the Schedule(s) and SIN(s) required by the ordering activity to meet the total requirement.]

This RFI is only for the purpose of identifying potential sources as part of [agency’s] market research. No RFQ exists; therefore, do not request a copy of the RFQ. [Agency] is not required to use eBuy for any resulting RFQ.

Responses to this RFI are not quotes on which [agency] can issue any Schedule orders. This RFI is issued for information and planning purposes only and does not itself constitute a Request for Quotations (RFQ). The Government does not intend to award a Schedule order(s) or BPAs based only on responses to this RFI.

All information received in response to this RFI marked “Proprietary” will be protected and handled accordingly. Interested parties are responsible for adequately marking proprietary or competition sensitive information contained in their response.

Responses to the RFI will not be returned.  Responders are solely responsible for all expenses associated with responding to this RFI. [Agency] will not pay for information received in response to this RFI.

There is no commitment by the Government to issue an RFQ, make an award or awards, or to be responsible for any monies expended by industry responses to this RFI.

[Describe what you want to see in the responses, sometimes called Capability Statements. Page limit? Usually you ask for Schedule contract number, relevant information on the company, and brief descriptions of recent and relevant projects for tasks similar to those in the Draft PWS.  Some agencies also use this as opportunity to get specific comments on an initial Draft PWS.  If you are soliciting comments on the Draft PWS, describe the desired format for those comments.] 

Do not submit pricing information in response to this RFI.

Submit RFI responses to:

[name, address, e-mail address, phone number]

by [deadline date].

[Within eBuy you will specify a reasonable deadline for the responses. Also, remember to check the block that says it is for information only. If you forget that block, eBuy will treat this as an RFQ.  Remember to give it a complete and descriptive title (including location and period of performance) in eBuy as that will appear in the e-mail subject line that results from the posting. It’s often a good idea to let your agency's Contracting Officer see your RFI before you post it on eBuy.  Your agency may have particular language to be used in Sources Sought Notices/eBuy RFIs.]

[NOTE:  Original content created by Dave Clemens.  Edited by Dan Briest on 2/7/11.] 

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