A Working Guide for Every Member of the Acquisition Team
Charles D. Solloway (Author)
Publication date: 03/01/2011
STEP BY STEP
A Guide for Every Member
of the Acquisition Team
Charles D. Solloway, Jr., CPCM
Charles D. Solloway, Jr., CPCM, has more than 40 years of acquisition experience in the government and private sector. As a civilian employee of the U.S. Army, he held positions as buyer, contract specialist, contract negotiator, procurement analyst, contracting officer, director of contracting, and principal assistant responsible for contracting. Solloway twice received the U.S. Army’s highest civilian award, the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service, for innovations in contracting.
A Certified Professional Contracts Manager (CPCM) and a Fellow of the National Contract Management Association (NCMA), Solloway serves on the NCMA Special Topic Committee on Contract Management Education.
As an educator he has authored a number of textbooks on acquisition topics and has taught thousands of acquisition professionals from both the public and private sectors.
Before we tackle the subject of source selection, it is helpful to briefly examine some of the basic requirements for awarding a contract.
Regardless of the manner in which a source is selected, an authorized contracting officer normally cannot make an award to a contractor unless he or she has determined that:
The contractor is responsible. In general terms, this means the contractor has a satisfactory record of perseverance and integrity and that the contractor either has, or has made provision to obtain, the necessary resources to do the job.
As a part of the responsibility determination, contracting officers must consult the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS). This relatively new online system gathers information from various government databases. This includes past performance information from the Past Performance Information Retrieval System (PPIRS) and information on contractor integrity or perseverance from the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS), which contains suspension and debarment information on contractors.
When appropriate, the government may establish special standards of responsibility for any particular acquisition, provided that contractors are so notified when they are solicited for bids, offers, or quotes.
The proposed contractor (offeror, bidder, or quoter) is responsive. In general terms, this means that the contractor has followed the instructions in the solicitation and has agreed before award to meet all the requirements of the proposed government contract. In negotiated procurements, as described in FAR Part 15, competing contractors that are initially found to have a nonresponsive proposal may be given an opportunity to become responsive through proposal revision if discussions (negotiations) are held and revisions are permitted.
The price (or cost) has been determined by the contracting officer to be fair and reasonable.
Money has been appropriated for the purpose of the contract, and the contracting officer has received the proper notification from agency fiscal authorities that the funds are available for use in awarding a contract. This notification of availability is often referred to as fund certification.
Only when these requirements have been met (or, in exceedingly rare instances, have been waived) may a contracting officer with the requisite authority execute a contract on behalf of the government. This is true regardless of the source selection process used.