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Acquisition Policy Flash! 12-13

What's Changed?

Requirements for Acquisition Pursuant to Multiple-Award Contracts

Purpose:  To inform the VA Acquisition Workforce of changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Requirements for Acquisitions Pursuant to Multiple-Award Contracts.

Dated:  March 26, 2012

Effective Date:  April 2, 2012

Background:  On May 16, 2011, an interim rule went into effect amending the FAR to implement section 863 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009.  Section 863, entitled “Requirements for Purchase of Property and Services Pursuant to Multiple-Award Contracts,” mandates enhanced competition for orders in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold placed under multiple-award contracts, including GSA’s Federal Supply Schedules (FSS). The changes under the interim rule became effective on May 16, 2011.

On March 2, 2012, the rule became final with an effective date of April 2, 2012.  This rule applies to:

  • Solicitations issued and contracts awarded on or after April 2, 2012
  • Orders issued on or after the effective date, without regard to whether the underlying contracts were awarded before April 2, 2012
  • FSS Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) established on or after April 2, 2012

A summary of the FAR changes made by this rule follow:

Synopsis Changes (FAR 5.3 and 5.4)
FAR 5.301 — New synopsis requirement in FBO for task/delivery orders awarded without providing fair opportunity
FAR 5.301 — New synopsis requirement in FBO for FSS orders and BPAs issued with limited sources justifications
FAR 5.406 — New posting requirement in FBO for limited sources justifications (excluding brand name)
FAR 5.406 — New posting requirement in FBO for justifications now called “Justification for an Exception to Fair Opportunity”
FSS Changes (FAR 8.4)
FAR 8.4 No more “maximum order threshold” — simplified acquisition threshold (SAT) is now more prominent in FSS procedures
Ordering Procedures for Supplies, and Services not Requiring a Statement of Work (FAR 8.405-1)
Orders ≤ the micropurchase threshold No change; orders may be placed with any FSS contractor that can meet the agency’s needs
Orders > the micropurchase threshold, but ≤ the SAT currently at $150,000 Place order with the FSS contractor offering the best value after either —
  • Survey at least three FSS contractors through GSA advantage!
  • Reviewing catalog/price lists of three FSS contractors, or
  • Request quotations from at least three schedule contractors
Or —
Follow procedures for limiting sources as allowed by FAR 8.405-6(a)
Orders > the SAT
  • Provide Request for Quotations (RFQ) to as many FSS contractors as practicable (May post on GSA e-Buy)
  • Fairly consider all quotations received
  • Award the order in accordance with the basis for selection in the RFQ
Or —
  • Prepare a limited sources justification and approval in accordance with FAR 8.405-6
  • Publish a notice in accordance with FAR 5.301, and post the justification in accordance with FAR 5.406, unless exception applies
Ordering Procedures for Supplies, and Services Requiring a Statement of Work (SOW) (FAR 8.405-2)
Orders ≤ the micropurchase threshold No change; orders may be placed with any FSS contractor that can meet the agency’s needs
Orders > the micropurchase threshold, but ≤ the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT) currently at $150,000
  • Provide the RFQ to at least three FSS contractors that offer services/supplies that will meet the agency’s need.  (May post on GSA e-Buy)
Or —
  • Follow procedures for limiting sources as allowed by FAR 8.405-6(a)
Orders > the SAT
  • Provide RFQ to as many FSS contractors as practicable (May post on GSA e-Buy)
  • Fairly consider all quotations received
  • Award the order in accordance with the basis for selection in the RFQ
Or —
  • Prepare a limited sources justification and approval in accordance with FAR 8.405-6
  • Publish a notice in accordance with FAR 5.301, and post the justification in accordance with FAR 5.406, unless exception applies
Blanket Purchase Agreements (FAR 8.405-3)
FSS BPA Procedures Consolidates FSS BPA procedures into one subsection FAR 8.405-3
Single-Award BPAs
  • New preference for multiple-award BPA over single-award BPA
  • Single-award BPA exceeding $103M must be based on a determination by head of the agency
Establishing multiple-award BPAs < SAT Place order with the FSS contractor offering the best value after either —
  • Survey at least three FSS contractors through GSA Advantage!
  • Reviewing catalog/price lists of three FSS contractors, or
  • Request quotations from at least three schedule contractors
Or—
Follow procedures for limiting sources as allowed by FAR 8.405-6(a)
Establishing multiple-award BPAs > SAT
  • Provide Request for Quotations (RFQ) to as many FSS contractors as practicable (May post on GSA e-Buy)
  • Fairly consider all quotations received
  • Award the order in accordance with the basis for selection in the RFQ
Unless—
  • Prepare a limited sources justification and approval in accordance with FAR 8.405-6
  • Publish a notice in accordance with FAR 5.301, and post the justification in accordance with FAR 5.406, unless exception applies
Orders under multiple-award BPAs (FAR 8.405-3)
≤ Micropurchase threshold Orders may be placed with any BPA holder that can meet the agency’s needs
> Micropurchase threshold, but ≤ SAT
  • Provide each multiple-award BPA holder a fair opportunity to be considered unless one of the exceptions at FAR 8.405-6(a)(1)(i) applies.
  • Document the circumstances when limiting consideration to less than all the BPA holders.
> SAT
  • Provide RFQ to all BPA holders.
  • Afford all BPA holders the opportunity to quote.
  • Fairly consider all responses received, and make award in accordance with selection procedures.
Unless—
  • Prepare a limited sources justification and approval in accordance with FAR 8.405-6
  • Publish a notice in accordance with FAR 5.301, and post the justification in accordance with FAR 5.406, unless exception applies
Indefinite-Delivery Contracts Ordering (FAR 16.505)
FAR 16.505(b)(1)(ii) — lowered the threshold from $5M to the SAT
FAR 16.505(b)(1)(iii) — lowered the competition requirement from $5M to the SAT; debriefing requirement per (b)(4) still applies
FAR 16.505(b)(2) — new exception to fair opportunity: if over SAT, a statute expressly authorizes/requires purchase from specified source
FAR 16.505(b)(2)(ii)(B) — these justifications now have a name:  “Justification for an Exception to Fair Opportunity“ and must be in required format, approved at specified levels and posted on FBO

Additional Information:  Questions or concerns should be addressed to Ms. Eyvonne Mallett, Senior Procurement Analyst at (202) 461-5101 or VA.Procurement.Policy@va.gov.