05-05

Procurement Information Circular


April 4, 2005

 

ESTABLISHING REASONABLE RESPONSE TIMES IN SYNOPSES FOR COMMERCIAL PROCUREMENTS

 

PURPOSE:  To provide guidance for the NASA procurement community to use in establishing response times in synopses for commercial procurements.

 

BACKGROUND:  FAR 5.203(a), “Publicizing and Response Time,” allows contracting officer discretion in limiting the response time in the synopsis process for commercial items.  FAR 5.203(b) states the response time should afford potential offerors a reasonable opportunity to respond to each proposed contract action.  The FAR and the NFS do not, however, specify what constitutes a “reasonable” response time.  In a recent review of instances where there was a short response time in the synopsis process, the OIG determined the short response times used were primarily based on a perceived urgency of the procurement, rather than a reasonable response time based on a thoughtful analysis of the dollar value, nature, and complexity of the procurement.

 

Response times that are unreasonably short can restrict competition by limiting the number of potential sources.  Also, short response times create an appearance of being unfair, thus harming the integrity of the procurement process.

 

GUIDANCE:  Because each procurement requirement is different, a “reasonable” response time for the synopsis process will also be different.  The response time should be based on a combination of many factors, including but not limited to the complexity and dollar value of the procurement.  Although the determination of a reasonable time is somewhat subjective, a one day response time is virtually never appropriate.  In every case, prudent business judgment must be exercised, and the files must be documented. 

 

EFFECTIVE DATE:  This PIC is effective as dated and shall remain in effect until canceled or superseded.

 

HEADQUARTERS CONTACT:  Lou Becker, Office of Procurement, (202) 358-4593, e-mail: lou.becker@nasa.gov.

 

 

James A. Balinskas

Director, Contract Management Division