15.203 Requests for proposals.
(a) Requests for proposals (RFPs) are used in negotiated acquisitions to communicate Government requirements to prospective contractors and to solicit proposals. RFPs for competitive acquisitions shall, at a minimum, describe the-
(1) Government’s requirement;
(2) Anticipated terms and conditions that will apply to the contract. The solicitation may authorize offerors to propose alternative terms and conditions. If the solicitation permits offerors to submit one or more additional proposals with alternative line items (see 52.204-22 or 52.212-1(e)), the evaluation approach should consider the potential impact of the alternative line items on other terms and conditions or the requirement (e.g., place of performance or payment and funding requirements) (see 15.206);
(3) Information required to be in the offeror’s proposal; and
(4) Factors and significant subfactors that will be used to evaluate the proposal and their relative importance.
(b) An RFP may be issued for OMB CircularA-76 studies. See subpart 7.3 for additional information regarding cost comparisons between Government and contractor performance.
(c) Electronic commerce may be used to issue RFPs and to receive proposals, modifications, and revisions. In this case, the RFP shall specify the electronic commerce method(s) that offerors may use (see subpart 4.5).
(d) Contracting officers may issue RFPs and/or authorize receipt of proposals, modifications, or revisions by facsimile.
(1) In deciding whether or not to use facsimiles, the contracting officer should consider factors such as-
(i) Anticipated proposal size and volume;
(ii) Urgency of the requirement;
(iii) Availability and suitability of electronic commerce methods; and
(iv) Adequacy of administrative procedures and controls for receiving, identifying, recording, and safeguarding facsimile proposals, and ensuring their timely delivery to the designated proposal delivery location.
(2) If facsimile proposals are authorized, contracting officers may request offeror(s) to provide the complete, original signed proposal at a later date.
(e) Letter RFPs may be used in sole source acquisitions and other appropriate circumstances. Use of a letter RFP does not relieve the contracting officer from complying with other FAR requirements. Letter RFPs should be as complete as possible and, at a minimum, should contain the following:
(1) RFP number and date;
(2) Name, address (including electronic address and facsimile address, if appropriate), and telephone number of the contracting officer;
(3) Type of contract contemplated;
(4) Quantity, description, and required delivery dates for the item;
(5) Applicable certifications and representations;
(6) Anticipated contract terms and conditions;
(7) Instructions to offerors and evaluation criteria for other than sole source actions;
(8) Proposal due date and time; and
(9) Other relevant information; e.g., incentives, variations in delivery schedule, cost proposal support, and data requirements.
(f) Oral RFPs are authorized when processing a written solicitation would delay the acquisition of supplies or services to the detriment of the Government and a notice is not required under 5.202(e.g., perishable items and support of contingency operations or other emergency situations). Use of an oral RFP does not relieve the contracting officer from complying with other FAR requirements.
(1) The contract files supporting oral solicitations should include-
(i) A description of the requirement;
(ii) Rationale for use of an oral solicitation;
(iii) Sources solicited, including the date, time, name of individuals contacted, and prices offered; and
(iv) The solicitation number provided to the prospective offerors.
(2) The information furnished to potential offerors under oral solicitations should include appropriate items from paragraph (e) of this section.