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What Offerors Ought to Know About FAR Part 15

PACA Pulse, Spring 2018, reprinted in NGO Financial Newsletter

Offerors proposing to perform negotiated federal contracts need to understand FAR Part 15. Part 15, entitled “Contracting by Negotiation,” prescribes policies and procedures governing negotiated acquisitions by the federal government. Non-negotiated contracts are awarded by federal agencies using the sealed bidding procedures described in FAR Part 14.

Purpose of Part 15

Negotiated acquisitions fall into two categories: sole source and competitive. Part 15 directs that when conducting a sole source procurement, the agency’s request for proposals should be tailored to remove unnecessary information and requirements such as evaluation criteria and voluminous proposal preparation instructions. When contracting in a competitive environment, Part 15 is to be used to minimize the complexity of the solicitation, the evaluation of proposals, and the source selection decision. At the same time, this process is designed to foster an impartial and comprehensive evaluation of offerors’ proposals, leading to selection of the proposal representing the best value to the government. FAR 15.002.

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