23.1 When to use two-step competitive sealed bidding

Unless other factors require the use of competitive sealed bidding, two-step sealed bidding may be used when any of the following situations exist:

  • there is a need to evaluate technical offers for acceptability in fulfilling the IT procurement requirements.
  • there is a lack of adequate specifications or when rapid changes in technology make it more advantageous to request unpriced technical proposals before making any award based on price.
  • to facilitate understanding of the technical offers and purchase description requirements through discussion; and, where appropriate, obtain supplemental information or permit amendments to the solicitation and technical offers.
  • available specifications or purchase descriptions are not definite or complete.
  • definite criteria do exist for evaluating technical proposals.
  • more than one technically qualified supplier is expected to be responsive.
  • there is sufficient lead time available to complete a two-step competitive sealed bidding procurement.
  • a firm-fixed-price contract or a fixed-price contract with economic price adjustment is desired.

 None of the following situations would preclude the use of two-step sealed bidding:

  • multi-year contracting
  • agency-owned facilities to be made available to the successful bidder a Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (DSBSD)-certified small business, including small businesses owned by women, minorities and service disabled veterans as well as micro businesses set-aside requirement
  • a first or subsequent production quantity (if hardware) is being acquired under a performance specification