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The solicitation here stated that the agency intends to evaluate proposals and award "without discussions with Offerors, except clarifications as described in FAR Where, as here, however, an agency conducts a task order competition as a negotiated procurement, our analysis regarding fairness, will, in large part, reflect the standards applicable to negotiated procurements.
An agency may, but is not required to, engage in clarifications that give offerors an opportunity to clarify certain aspects of proposals or to resolve minor or clerical errors. However, clarifications may not be used to cure proposal deficiencies or material omissions, materially alter the technical or cost elements of the proposal, or revise the proposal.
Here, any exchanges between the agency and SOC regarding the license and key personnel would have concerned the acceptability of SOC's proposal and would have required that SOC revise its proposal in some manner to cure the proposal deficiencies or material omissions. Accordingly, SOC could not have corrected its proposal through clarifications.
SOC further asserts that the agency was required to hold discussions with SOC because its price was so much lower than the awardee's. An agency need not conduct discussions with a technically unacceptable offeror. Further, the solicitation, expressly advised that the agency contemplated making award without discussions.
An agency's decision not to initiate discussions is a matter we generally will not review. Jan 8, DBSI complains that the agency acted unreasonably by not seeking clarifications from the firm with regard to its legally binding teaming agreement.
Rather than include the proper agreement, however, DBSI states that its proposal mistakenly included the confidentiality agreement. According to DBSI, the agency should have known that DBSI erroneously included the wrong agreement, and should have permitted the firm to clarify its proposal by allowing the firm to substitute the proper agreement with the mistaken agreement.
Clarifications are limited exchanges between the agency and offerors that may occur when contract award without discussions is contemplated; an agency may, but is not required to, engage in clarifications that give offerors an opportunity to clarify certain aspects of proposals or to resolve minor or clerical errors.
As noted above, an agency is permitted, but not required, to obtain clarifications from offerors. Furthermore, the RFP permitted, but did not require, the agency to "waive informalities and minor irregularities.
Moreover, to become acceptable, the protester would have to provide additional, substantive proposal information--specifically, the legally binding teaming agreement. Although the protester views its proposal omission to be minor or clerical, correction of this discrepancy would have required the agency to conduct discussions.
Defense Base Services, Inc. Pontiac reasons that the awardee does not intend to perform in the manner required by the RFP resulting in an alleged bait-and-switchor else it intends to demand price increases from the Forest Service during performance.
In our view, these allegations do not state a valid ground of protest. In the context of a fixed-price contract, a bidder or offeror, in its business judgment, may properly decide to submit a price that is extremely low--even below the cost of performance.
As a result, we dismiss this basis of protest. Pontiac contends that the communication constituted discussions, and that such discussions were improperly unequal because Pontiac was not provided discussions or an opportunity to revise its proposal. The FAR describes a spectrum of exchanges that may take place between a contracting agency and an offeror in a negotiated procurement.
In that regard, clarifications involve a limited exchange with an offeror that gives an opportunity to clarify certain aspects of a proposal or resolve minor or clerical errors. Discussions occur when an agency seeks information essential to determine the acceptability of a proposal, or provides the vendor with an opportunity to revise or modify its proposal in some material respect.
In contrast, where an agency simply seeks confirmation of its understanding of the proposal, it is merely obtaining a clarification. When the agency communicated with the awardee, the contracting officer simply asked for confirmation of that understanding, and for price verification, which the awardee then provided in simple terms.
Jun 12, On August 1, the Department of Justice filed a motion with the court requesting an advisory opinion from our Office.
The court granted the motion and requested that our Office issue an advisory opinion regarding the merits of the protest Paltech filed with our Office. As explained below, our Office finds the protest without merit, and we would deny this protest.
Clarifications cannot be used to cure deficiencies or material omissions in a proposal or otherwise revise a proposal. Providing an offeror the opportunity to revise its proposal and cure a deficiency would constitute discussions, not clarifications, because that would require the submission of information necessary to make the proposal acceptable.
The solicitation stated that the agency could allow an offeror to respond to clarifying questions but that offerors could not resubmit or revise documents. Therefore, the agency provided Paltech the opportunity to clarify whether the proposal contained verifiable contractual documents demonstrating the required performance period for the IT Shows subcontract.
Specifically, the agency requested that Paltech provide the location of the needed information in the verifiable contractual document that was submitted in its initial proposal submission and stated that Paltech could not provide additional documents or explanation.
In response, Paltech referenced its subcontract agreement with IT Shows.
This information could only be submitted in the course of discussions. See Savvee Consulting, Inc. Since the agency did not hold discussions, it properly did not permit Paltech to provide additional documentation. In this regard, clarifications cannot be used to cure deficiencies or material omissions in a proposal, or to otherwise revise a proposal.Free Term Paper regarding Book Reports for download.
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