Poll: How long do you post equipment requirements using SAP?

For an equipment purchase without installation using Simplified Acquisition Procedures, most of the time how long do you post the RFQ?

  • 1-6 calendar days
  • 7-10 calendar days
  • 11-14 calendar days
  • 15-21 calendar days
  • 22-30 calendar days
  • 31-45 calendar days
  • 46-60 calendar days
  • 60+ calendar days

0 voters

Depends if the acquisition is under FAR Part 12 Commercial (see FAR 5.203); and World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement or a Free Trade Agreement (see FAR Subpart 25.4) applicability.

These are a few regulatory influences aside from any business decisions that go into the answer.

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Do you think most contracting professionals default to 30 days despite the exceptions for commercial items and items under the SAT provided at FAR 5.203(c)?

(c) Except for the acquisition of commercial items (see 5.203(b)), agencies shall allow at least a 30-day response time for receipt of bids or proposals from the date of issuance of a solicitation, if the proposed contract action is expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold.

Based on my experience, practitioners use 30 days as a workload management tool. Practitioners generally expect industry RFIs, other purchase requests, and additional duties as assigned to fill in the posting time. Also, 30 days arguably provides enough time to digest the government’s solicitation and provide a quality quote.

30 calendar days (approx 20 business days) may seem excessive for many COTS items, but small businesses often occupy the under SAT space and may not have robust operations and supply chains including personnel that are savvy about government solicitations. First a business has to find the solicitation (hopefully we posted to FBO using the proper codes); under the non-manufacturer rule, many small businesses need to request quotes before responding; shipping quotes (need dimensions & weight); and quote prep (government often asks for ridiculous amounts of info).

I would be interested to hear what our industry partners would say. My market research surveys included a question along these lines.

*I wanted to change my vote to 15-21 calendar days (approx. 10-15 business days), but it won’t allow it.

Great point here on getting feedback from industry.

Some other really good considerations.

Maybe it’s because I’m a procrastinator at heart, but sometimes I think if you give people too long to respond to a suspense they set it aside and lose focus only to rush at the end anyway. I’m sure there is a sweet spot that depends on the requirement.

There is also a concept of limiting Work In Progress in Scrum or Agile methodology that shorter solicitation periods might help a team implement. For example:


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I also think people fear the “only one offer” policy at DFARS 215.371 when soliciting for less than 30 days.

(a) If only one offer is received when competitive procedures were used and the solicitation allowed fewer than 30 days for receipt of proposals, the contracting officer shall—

(1) Consult with the requiring activity as to whether the requirements document should be revised in order to promote more competition (see FAR 6.502(b) and 11.002); and

(2) Resolicit, allowing an additional period of at least 30 days for receipt of proposals; and

but they miss the exceptions for acquisitions under the SAT & small business set-asides:

215.371-4 Exceptions.

(a) The requirements at sections 215.371-2 do not apply to—

(1) Acquisitions at or below the simplified acquisition threshold;

(2) Acquisitions, as determined by the head of the contracting activity, in support of contingency or humanitarian or peacekeeping operations; to facilitate defense against or recovery from cyber, nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological attack; to facilitate the provision of international disaster assistance; or to support response to an emergency or major disaster;

(3) Small business set-asides under FAR subpart 19.5, set asides offered and accepted into the 8(a) Program under FAR subpart 19.8, or set-asides under the HUBZone Program (see FAR 19.1305©), the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Procurement Program (see FAR 19.1405©), or the Women-Owned Small Business Program (see FAR 19.1505(d));

(4) Acquisitions of science and technology, as specified in 235.016(a); or

(5) Acquisitions of architect-engineer services (see FAR 36.601-2).

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