15.304 Evaluation factors and significant subfactors.
(a) The award decision is based on evaluation factors and significant subfactors that are tailored to the acquisition.
(b) Evaluation factors and significant subfactors must-
(1) Represent the key areas of importance and emphasis to be considered in the source selection decision; and
(2) Support meaningful comparison and discrimination between and among competing proposals.
(c) The evaluation factors and significant subfactors that apply to an acquisition and their relative importance, are within the broad discretion of agency acquisition officials, subject to the following requirements:
(i) Price or cost to the Government shall be evaluated in every source selection (10 U.S.C.2305(a)(3)(A)(ii)and 41 U.S.C.3306(c)(1)(B)(also see part 36 for architect-engineer contracts), subject to the exception listed in paragraph (c)(1)(ii)(A) of this section for use by DoD, NASA, and the Coast Guard.
(ii) In accordance with 10 U.S.C. 2305(a)(3), for DoD, NASA, and the Coast Guard—
(A) The contracting officer may choose not to include price or cost as an evaluation factor for award when a solicitation—
(1) Has an estimated value above the simplified acquisition threshold;
(2) Will result in multiple-award contracts (see subpart 16.5) that are for the same or similar services; and
(3) States that the Government intends to make an award to each and all qualifying offerors (see 2.101).
(B) If the contracting officer chooses not to include price or cost as an evaluation factor for the contract award, in accordance with paragraph (c)(1)(ii)(A) of this section, the contracting officer shall consider price or cost as one of the factors in the selection decision for each order placed under the contract.
(C) The exception in paragraph (c)(1)(ii)(A) of this section shall not apply to solicitations for multiple-award contracts that provide for sole source orders pursuant to section 8(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(a)).
(2) The quality of the product or service shall be addressed in every source selection through consideration of one or more non-cost evaluation factors such as past performance, compliance with solicitation requirements, technical excellence, management capability, personnel qualifications, and prior experience (10 U.S.C.2305(a)(3)(A)(ii) and 41 U.S.C.3306(c)(1)(A)); and
(i) Past performance, except as set forth in paragraph (c)(3)(iii) of this section, shall be evaluated in all source selections for negotiated competitive acquisitions expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold.
(ii) For solicitations that are not set aside for small business concerns, involving consolidation or bundling, that offer a significant opportunity for subcontracting, the contracting officer shall include a factor to evaluate past performance indicating the extent to which the offeror attained applicable goals for small business participation under contracts that required subcontracting plans (15 U.S.C.637(d)(4)(G)(ii)).
(iii) Past performance need not be evaluated if the contracting officer documents the reason past performance is not an appropriate evaluation factor for the acquisition.
(4) For solicitations, that are not set aside for small business concerns, involving consolidation or bundling, that offer a significant opportunity for subcontracting, the contracting officer shall include proposed small business subcontracting participation in the subcontracting plan as an evaluation factor (15 U.S.C.637(d)(4)(G)(i)).
(5) If telecommuting is not prohibited, agencies shall not unfavorably evaluate an offer that includes telecommuting unless the contracting officer executes a written determination in accordance with FAR 7.108(b).
(d) All factors and significant subfactors that will affect contract award and their relative importance shall be stated clearly in the solicitation (10 U.S.C.2305(a)(2)(A)(i) and 41 U.S.C.3306(b)(1)(A)) (see 15.204-5(c)). The rating method need not be disclosed in the solicitation. The general approach for evaluating past performance information shall be described.
(e) Unless the exception at paragraph (c)(1)(ii)(A) of this section applies, the solicitation shall also state, at a minimum, whether all evaluation factors other than cost or price, when combined, are—
(1) Significantly more important than cost or price;
(2) Approximately equal to cost or price; or