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Chapter 23 - Two-Step Competitive Sealed Bidding

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