9.105-1 Obtaining information.
(a) Before making a determination of responsibility, the contracting officer shall possess or obtain information sufficient to be satisfied that a prospective contractor currently meets the applicable standards in 9.104.
(1) Generally, the contracting officer shall obtain information regarding the responsibility of prospective contractors, including requesting preaward surveys when necessary (see 9.106), promptly after a bid opening or receipt of offers. However, in negotiated contracting, especially when research and development is involved, the contracting officer may obtain this information before issuing the request for proposals. Requests for information shall ordinarily be limited to information concerning-
(i) The low bidder; or
(ii) Those offerors in range for award.
(2) Preaward surveys shall be managed and conducted by the surveying activity.
(i) If the surveying activity is a contract administration office-
(A) That office shall advise the contracting officer on prospective contractors’ financial competence and credit needs; and
(B) The administrative contracting officer shall obtain from the auditor any information required concerning the adequacy of prospective contractors’ accounting systems and these systems’ suitability for use in administering the proposed type of contract.
(ii) If the surveying activity is not a contract administration office, the contracting officer shall obtain from the auditor any information required concerning prospective contractors’ financial competence and credit needs, the adequacy of their accounting systems, and these systems’ suitability for use in administering the proposed type of contract.
(3) Information on financial resources and performance capability shall be obtained or updated on as current a basis as is feasible up to the date of award.
(c) In making the determination of responsibility, the contracting officer shall consider information available through FAPIIS (see 9.104-6) with regard to the offeror and any immediate owner, predecessor, or subsidiary identified for that offeror in FAPIIS, including information that is linked to FAPIIS such as from SAM, and CPARS, as well as any other relevant past performance information on the offeror (see 9.104-1(c) and subpart 42.15). In addition, the contracting officer should use the following sources of information to support such determinations:
(1) Records and experience data, including verifiable knowledge of personnel within the contracting office, audit offices, contract administration offices, and other contracting offices.
(2) The prospective contractor-including bid or proposal information (including the certification at 52.209-5 or 52.212-3(h) (see 9.104-5)), questionnaire replies, financial data, information on production equipment, and personnel information.
(3) Commercial sources of supplier information of a type offered to buyers in the private sector.
(4) Preaward survey reports (see 9.106).
(5) Other sources such as publications; suppliers, subcontractors, and customers of the prospective contractor; financial institutions; Government agencies; and business and trade associations.
(d) Contracting offices and cognizant contract administration offices that become aware of circumstances casting doubt on a contractor’s ability to perform contracts successfully shall promptly exchange relevant information.