Limited Source Justification and Approval
When the estimated values exceed the simplified acquisition threshold, as well as when establishing BPAs, limiting sources must be justified in writing and approved at the required levels (refer to FAR 8.405-6).
Although orders or BPAs placed under Schedules are exempt from the requirements in FAR Part 6, an ordering activity must justify its actions when (1) restricting consideration of Schedule contractors to fewer than the number required by FAR 8.405-1, 8.405-2, or 8.405-3, or (2) restricting consideration to a brand name item peculiar to one manufacturer.
When an ordering activity restricts consideration of Schedule contractors to fewer than that required in FAR 8.405-1, 8.405-2, or 8.405-3, the ordering activity shall procure only if the need to do so is justified in writing and approved at the levels specified in FAR 8.405-6(d).
Posting the RFQ
Posting the RFQ on eBuy is automatically considered to be adequate justification that “reasonable efforts” were made to identify contractors who can fulfill the requirement in the event that fewer than three quotes are received. (www.ebuy.gsa.gov)
Orders or BPAs Exceeding the Micro-purchase Threshold, but not Exceeding the Simplified Acquisition Threshold
For proposed orders or BPAs exceeding the micro-purchase threshold, but not exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold, the ordering activity Contracting Officer shall document the circumstances when restricting consideration of Schedule contractors to fewer than required in FAR 8.405-1, 8.405-2 or 8.405-3. The only circumstances that may justify the action are found in FAR 8.405-6(a)(1) and FAR 8.405-6(b). (See NUTS AND BOLTS TIP.)
Orders or BPAs Exceeding the Simplified Acquisition Threshold
- For proposed orders or BPAs exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold, the requiring activity shall assist the ordering activity Contracting Officer in the preparation of the justification. The justification shall cite that the procurement is conducted under the authority of the GSA Multiple Award Schedules program (refer to FAR 8.401).
- As a minimum, each justification shall include the following information:
- Identification of the agency and the contracting activity, and specific identification of the document as a “Limited Source Justification.”
- Nature and/or description of the action being approved.
- A description of the supplies or services required to meet the agency’s needs (including the estimated value).
- Identification of the justification rationale (refer to FAR 8.405-6(g)(2)(iv)) and, if applicable, a demonstration of the proposed contractor’s unique qualifications to provide the required supply or service.
- A determination by the ordering activity Contracting Officer that the order represents the best value consistent with FAR 8.404(d).
- A description of the market research conducted among Schedule holders and the results or a statement of the reason market research was not conducted.
- Any other facts supporting the justification.
- A statement of the actions, if any, the agency may take to remove or overcome any barriers that led to the restricted consideration before any subsequent acquisition for the supplies or services is made.
- The ordering activity Contracting Officer’s certification that the justification is accurate and complete to the best of the Contracting Officer’s knowledge and belief.
- Evidence that any supporting data that is the responsibility of technical or requirements personnel (e.g., verifying the government’s minimum needs or requirements or other rationale for limited sources) and which form a basis for the justification have been certified as complete and accurate by the technical or requirements personnel.
Posting Requirements for Limited Source Orders and BPAs Exceeding the Simplified Acquisition Threshold
Within 14 days after placing an order or establishing a BPA supported by a limited-sources justification based on the circumstances in FAR 8.405-6(a)(1), the ordering activity must publish a notice in FedBizOpps and provide a link to the supporting justification in accordance with FAR 8.405-6(a)(2). The ordering activity must provide access to the link for a minimum of 30 days. This posting requirement does not apply to orders or BPAs that limited sources in accordance with FAR 8.405-6(b).
Circumstances that may justify restriction include:
- Only one source is capable of responding due to the unique or specialized nature of the work.
- The new work is a logical continuation of an original Schedule order, provided that the original order was placed in accordance with the applicable Schedule ordering procedures. The original order must not have been previously issued under sole source or limited source procedures.
- An urgent and compelling need exists, and following the ordering procedures would result in unacceptable delays.
- Item peculiar to one manufacturer.