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315.405 Solicitations for information or

planning purposes.

315.405-1 General.

The determination approval required by FAR 15.405-1 that a solicitation for information or planning purposes is appropriate shall be made by the chief of the contracting office.

315.406 Preparing requests for proposals

(RFP's) and requests for quotations

(RFQ's). (a) The contracting officer is responsible for preparing the RFP with the assistance of the project officer. The purpose of the RFP is to convey information that prospective offerors need to prepare a proposal. The RFP includes the statement of work and the terms, conditions and provisions that will form the basis for the final definitive contract. It specifies all the information that prospective offerors must furnish to permit a meaningful and equitable evaluation of their offers. The RFP must be clear, complete, accurate, and consistent with the requirements of the acquisition so that it provides all who receive it with the same understanding of the requirements. Much of the information in the RFP is either derived directly from the request for contract or is otherwise furnished by the project officer. Therefore, it is important that the project officer develop a meaningful request for contract and supporting documentation during the initial presolicitation phase which will fully satisfy program needs and objectives when included in the RFP (see Subpart 315.70).

(b) Careful drafting of the RFP is vital to the proper working of the competitive process. The success of the acquisition depends, in large measure, on how well the work to be performed and the basic ground rules under which the competition will be conducted are described in the RFP. Particular effort must be made to develop a comprehensive and accurate statement of work (see 307.105-3 and FAR 35.007) to prevent ambiguities and to avoid misunderstandings which might otherwise surface at later stages of the acquisition.

(c) Care should be taken to avoid conflicting statements in the RFP. Clear distinctions must be made as to the contents and purpose of the statement of work, the instructions to offerors, and the evaluation criteria. Briefly:

(1) The statement of work must clearly specify the work to be done by the resultant contractor (or, if it is an R & D acquisition, present a clear statement of the requirements, see FAR Part 35);

(2) The general, technical, and business instructions must delineate all the essential information prospective offerors need to know in preparing their proposals (see 315.406-5(b)); and

(3) The evaluation criteria must clearly indicate the technical, management, personnel, and cost or pricing factors which are to be the major considerations in selecting the successful offeror (see 315.406-5(c)).

(d) The RFP must require that proposals be submitted in two parts—a “Technical Proposal” and a “Business Proposal.” Each part is to be separate and complete in itself so that evaluation of one may be accomplished independently of the other.

(e) The technical and business proposal instructions of the RFP must provide all the information deemed essential for proper evaluation of the proposals so that all prospective offerors are aware of all requirements, and so that differences in proposals will reflect each offeror's individual approach to the clear and unambiguous requirements and criteria stated in the RFP.

(f) The RFP must inform prospective offerors of all evaluation criteria and of the relative importance or weight attached to each criterion. Evaluation criteria must be described sufficiently enough in the RFP to inform prospective offerors of the sig. nificant matters which should be addressed in the proposals. Only the evaluation criteria set forth in the RFP shall be used in the evaluation of proposals, and the criteria can only be modified by a formal amendment to the RFP.

(g) Generally, the RFP will provide that the technical proposal not contain any reference to cost. However, tract clauses (see Part 352–Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses).

resource information, such as data concerning labor hours and categories, materials, subcontracts, travel, computer time, etc., must be included in the technical proposal so that the offeror's understanding of the scope of work may be evaluated.

(h) The project officer should be offered the opportunity to review the finalized RFP before it is printed and released.

315.406-1 Uniform contract format.

The uniform contract format specified in FAR 15.406-1 and Table 15-1 shall be used by all contracting activities of the Department. [49 FR 13979, Apr. 9, 1984, as amended at 50 FR 23129, May 31, 1985; 50 FR 38004, Sept. 19, 1985)

315.406-2 Part 1-The Schedule.

(a) Section A, Solicitation/contract form.

(3) Contracting activities are encouraged to use SF 33 for RFPs. In those instances where a contracting activity believes the SF 33 is not appropriate, a transmittal letter may be used. However, it is essential that the transmittal letter contain the pertinent information that must be brought to the attention of prospective offerors, so the information contained in FAR 15.4062(a)(3) shall be included in it. (In item (viii), the Employer's Identification Number (EIN) may be requested in place of the offeror's DUNS number.) The transmittal letter should also contain reference to the solicitation provision “Late Submissions, Modifications, and Withdrawals of Proposals or Quotations" and stress the importance of timeliness. The last paragraph of the transmittal letter should provide the name and complete telephone number of a contract specialist who can provide information concerning the solicitation.

315.406-5 Part IV-Representations and

instructions. (a) Section K, Representations, certifications, and other statements of of. ferors or quoters.

(1) This section shall begin with the following statements and continue with the applicable representations and certifications:

To Be Completed by the Offeror: (The Representations and Certifications must be executed by an individual authorized to bind the offeror.)

The offeror makes the following Representations and Certifications as part of its proposal (check or complete all appropriate boxes or blanks on the following pages). Name of offeror RFP No. Signature of authorized individual Date Type name of authorized individual

NOTE: The penalty for making false statements in offers is prescribed in 18 U.S.C. 1001.

(2) The contracting officer shall insert in all solicitations the representations and certifications at

(i) FAR 52.203-2, Certificate of Independent Price Determination;

(ii) FAR 52.203-4, Contingent Fee Representation and Agreement;

(iii) FAR 52.215-6, Type of Business Organization;

(iv) FAR 52.215-20, Place of Performance;

(v) FAR 52.219-1, Small Business Concern Representation;

(vi) FAR 52.219-2, Small Disadvan. taged Business Concern Representation;

(vii) FAR 52.219-3, Women-Owned Small Business Representation;

(viii) FAR 52.222-19, Walsh-Healy Public Contracts Act Representation;

(ix) FAR 52.222-21, Certification of Nonsegregated Facilities;

(x) FAR 52.222-22, Previous Contracts and Compliance Reports;

(xi) FAR 52.222-25, Affirmative Action Compliance;

(xii) FAR 52.223-1, Clean Air and Water Certification;

(xiii) FAR 52.225-1, Buy American Certification;

315.406-3 Part II-Contract clauses.

Section 1, Contract clauses.

This section should contain all the pertinent contract clauses applicable to the acquisition, to include those contained in the general provisions, any additions or modifications to the general provisions, and special con

(xiv) FAR 52.230-2, Cost Accounting Standards Notices and Certification (Nondefense);

(xv) FAR 15.804-4, Certificate of Current Cost or Pricing Data.

NOTE: The following paragraph shall be inserted between the title and text of this certificate:

(When a certificate of cost or pricing data is required to be submitted in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 15.804-4, the Contracting Officer will request that the offeror complete, execute, and submit to the Contracting Officer a certification in the format shown in the following Certificate of Current Cost or Pricing Data. The certification shall be submitted only at the time negotiations are concluded. Offerors should complete the certificate set forth below and return it when requested by the Contracting Officer.)

(xvi) 352.215-70, Duplication of Cost Certification;

(xvii) 352.215-71, Employer's Identification Number; and

(xviii) 352.225-12, Country of Manufacturer Representation.

(b) Section L, Instructions, conditions, and notices to offerors and quoters. This section shall be comprised of the general instructions, technical proposal instructions, and business proposal instructions, as well as pertinent solicitation provisions (see FAR 15.407).

(1) General instructions.

(i) The general instructions provide basic guidance to prospective offerors that informs them of what is required in the preparation and submission of proposals. The general instructions must include the following statements and any instructions pertinent to the individual acquisition and applicable requirements of the OPDIV, agency, or regional office.

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS The following instructions establish the acceptable minimum requirements for the format and content of proposals:

Your special attention is directed to the requirements for technical and business proposals to be submitted in accordance with these instructions.

Any resultant contract shall include the general provisions applicable to the selected offeror's organization and type of contract awarded. Copies of general provisions may be obtained by contacting the contracting officer. Any additional clauses required by

public law, executive order, or acquisition regulations, in effect at the time of execution of the proposed contract, will be includ. ed.

The proposal must be prepared in two parts: "Technical Proposal" and a “Business Proposal." Each of the parts shall be separate and complete in itself so that evaluation of one may be accomplished independently of evaluation of the other. The technical proposal must not contain reference to cost; however, resource information, such as data concerning labor hours and categories, materials, subcontracts, etc., must be contained in the technical proposal so that your understanding of the scope of the work may be evaluated. It must disclose your technical approach in sufficient detail to provide a clear and concise presentation that includes, but is not limited to, the requirements of the technical proposal instructions.

The proposal must be signed by an official authorized to bind your organization. (Number) copies of your technical proposal and (number) copies of your business proposal must be submitted to: (Insert complete address indicating where the proposal is to be sent and how it is to be marked. Provide similar information for hand-delivered proposals.)

You may, at your discretion, submit alternate proposals, or proposals which deviate from the requirements; provided, that you also submit a proposal for performance of the work as specified in the statement of work. These proposals may be considered if overall performance would be improved or not compromised, and if they are in the best interest of the Government. Alternate proposals, or deviations from any requirements of this RFP, must be clearly identified.

The Government will evaluate proposals in accordance with the evaluation criteria set forth in Section M of this request for proposals.

It is understood that your proposal will become part of the official contract file.

The RFP does not commit the Government to pay any cost for the preparation and submission of a proposal. In addition, the Contracting Officer is the only individual who can legally commit the Government to the expenditure of public funds in connection with this proposed acquisition.

(ii) Include either of the following in the General Instructions if prospective offerors are to be informed of the Government's estimate of the level of effort necessary to accomplish the requirement:

The Government considers the level of effort to perform the resultant contract should take the following staff-hours:

(insert a breakdown of the Government's staff-hour estimates by categories). These estimates are furnished for the offeror's information only and are not to be considered restrictive for proposal purposes; or

To assist you in the preparation of your proposal, the Government considers the effort to perform this contract to be approximately (insert the total number) staff. hours. This number is furnished for the of. feror's information only and is not considered restrictive for proposal purposes.

(NOTE: The first paragraph should only be used for term (e.g. level of effort task order), rather than completion type, contracts.)

(iii) If the proposed contract will involve performance or services on a Government installation, insert the following in the General Instructions:

Offerors are urged and expected to in. spect the site where services are to be parformed and to satisfy themselves as to all general and local conditions that may affect the cost of performance of the contract, to the extent such information is reasonably obtainable. In no event will failure to in. spect the site constitute grounds for claims by the contractor after the award of a contract.

(iv) If reference material is to be provided for use in preparation of proposals, insert either of the following:

To assist offerors in preparing their proposals, reference material consisting of (insert title or description of publications, specifications, drawings, reports, or other documentation being made available as ref. erence material) will be available for inspection at (insert name and address of building and room number).

Offerors are expected to examine all reference material prior to preparation and submission of their proposals. Failure to do so will be at the offeror's risk; or

To assist offerors in preparing their proposals, reference material consisting of (insert title or description of publications, specifications, drawings, reports, or other documentation being furnished as reference material) is enclosed. Offerors are expected to examine all reference material prior to preparation and submission of their proposal. Failure to do so will be at the offeror's risk.

(v) If the reference material being provided is to be returned to the Government, include the following statement:

(insert name and address of building and room number).

(vi) If an incentive type contract is being considered, a notice to the offeror of the Government's desire as to use of incentives considered applicable, objectives of the incentive performance goals, schedules, milestones, critical delivery parameters, and similar information must be included.

(2) Technical proposal instructions.

(i) The technical proposal instructions should clearly and concisely describe the information prospective of. ferors must provide in their technical proposals. The instructions should address the need for submission of a detailed work plan indicating how each aspect of the statement of work is to be accomplished, a discussion of how the work is to be organized, staffed, and managed, and statements of the qualifications and experience of the prospective offeror and its key personnel.

(ii) The technical proposal instructions must be specific enough to convey the information the program office will require from offerors to allow the technical proposal evaluators to determine whether a proposal is acceptable. Therefore, it is essential that the instructions are written to elicit the information necessary to fully address all the elements of the work plan with particular emphasis on the evaluation criteria, so that evaluators may readily evaluate each offer in the pertinent areas. The instructions should not require the submission of excessive information since this will complicate the evaluation process and could cause unnecessary

proposal preparation costs for offerors.

(iii) The technical proposal instructions should require that technical proposals be prepared in a specified format to facilitate evaluation. A uniform format will minimize evaluators' efforts and should minimize

the amount of extraneous and voluminous material sometimes included in proposals.

(iv) Since specific instructions must be developed to suit the needs of the individual acquisition, detailed guidance concerning the contents of the technical proposal instructions is not

All reference material furnished hereunder shall be returned within (insert number) days after the submission of proposals to

presented here. However, the following represents a sampling of general statements which may be helpful in the preparation of the instructions:

TECHNICAL PROPOSAL INSTRUCTIONS Proposals which merely offer to conduct a program in accordance with the require. ments of the Government's scope of work will not be eligible for award. You must submit an explanation of the proposed technical approach in conjunction with the tasks to be performed in achieving the project objectives.

A detailed work plan must be submitted indicating how each aspect of the statement of work is to be accomplished. Your technical approach should be in as much detail as you consider necessary to fully explain your proposed technical approach or method. The technical proposal should reflect a clear understanding of the nature of the work being undertaken.

The technical proposal must include information on how the project is to be organized, staffed, and managed. Information should be provided which will demonstrate your understanding and management of important events or tasks. You must explain how the management and coordination of consultant and/or subcontractor efforts will be accomplished.

The technical proposal must include a list of names and proposed duties of the professional personnel, consultants, and key subcontractor employees assigned to the project. Their résumés should be included and should contain information on education, background, recent experience, and specific scientific or technical accomplishments. The approximate percentage of time each individual will be available for this project must be included. The proposed staff hours for each of the above individuals should be allocated against each task or subtask for the project.

The technical proposal must provide the general background, experience, and qualifi. cations of the organization. Similar or related contracts, subcontracts, or grants should be included and contain the name of the customer, contract or grant number, dollar amount, time of performance, and the names and telephone numbers of the project officer and contracting/grants offi. cer.

The technical proposal must contain a discussion of present or proposed facilities and equipment which will be used in the performance of the contract.

The technical proposal must be prepared and submitted in the following format:

(Provide the required format.) (3) Business proposal instructions. Business proposal instructions consist

of cost and pricing data and administrative and management data.

(i) Cost and pricing data. Prospective offerors must be informed in the business proposal instruction that they are required to submit cost or pricing information in sufficient detail to allow a complete cost analysis. (See FAR 15.804 for requirements on cost or pricing data.) Categories and amounts of labor, materials, travel, computer time, overhead and other costs should be requested. Prospective offerors are to be provided Standard Form 1411, Contract Pricing Proposal Cover Sheet, for use in preparing the cost of pricing data, and are to be told to submit, as a minimum, cost proposals fully supported by cost and pricing data adequate to establish the reasonableness of the proposed amount. Prospective offerors are to comply with the instruction on the SF 1411 and fill in or check the appropriate boxes. In addition, they should be informed to itemize the cost for individual elements, each as analytical studies, reports, etc., and the estimated cost of each phase or segment of the offered performance.

(ii) Administrative and management data.

(A) The business proposal instructions must be written so that the contracting officer receives adequate information to evaluate each offeror's management capability and to determine whether each offeror is responsible. Therefore, under this section, information should be requested to allow the contracting officer to assess the following factors as they apply to the instant acquisition:

(1) The offeror's financial capability;

(2) The offeror's capability to meet delivery or performance schedules;

(3) The offeror's record of past performance;

(4) The offeror's record of business integrity;

(5) The offerors's possession of necessary organization, experience, and technical skills, or the ability to obtain them;

(6) The offeror's possession of required facilities; and

(7) Any other special consideration involved in the instant acquisition.

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