All MAC holders will be given a fair opportunity to compete (FOTC) for prospective task orders, unless one of four exceptions to the FOTC can be met. More information on the exceptions to FOTC can be found in Sole Source Section below. All of the prospective task orders are competitive in order to achieve the benefits and efficiencies of MACs contracts.
The program manger needs to determine if the competition will be evaluated on a best value to the Government basis or on the low cost/technically acceptable basis. If best value is to be used, the importance of the factors, (technical, past performance, and price) must be determined. The order of importance of factors is at the discretion of the program office, based upon what is in the best interest of the program. These areas should correspond with and relate to the specific requirements set forth in the Statement of Work.
All MAC holders will be given a fair opportunity to compete (FOTC) for prospective task orders, unless one of four exceptions to the FOTC can be met. Both the contracting officer and the ombudsman will review and approve the validity of the use of an exception to FOTC. In addition to using an FOTC, the program office must justify the sole source rationale in the SeaPort PR.
The exceptions to FOTC are:
- Only one source is capable of providing the necessary products or services at the level of quality required because of the uniqueness or high degree of specialization of the requirement. This exception is virtually identical to the traditional Justification & Authorization (J&A) "only one source" exception and will only be applicable in rare cases. While each of the MAC holders does not have identical capabilities and each has particular areas of expertise, it is unlikely that the required professional support services are so specialized or highly technical that there truly is only one MAC holder capable of meeting the requirement. The program office will need to explain why the task requires such specialization and/or unique capabilities and why they believe only one MAC holder can meet the requirement.
- Because of urgency, providing a fair opportunity would result in unacceptable delays. This is also comparable to a J&A exception to full and open competition and the standards for use of this exception are the same. The program office needs to demonstrate that the requirement is of such unusual and compelling urgency that a delay in award would result in serious injury to the Government. This exception will only be valid in legitimate emergent situations; failure to plan for or anticipate program needs will not be considered legitimate reasons to proceed without competition.
- Necessary to meet the minimum guarantee. The minimum dollar value of orders to be placed under the MACs is relatively low. It is anticipated that this exception will not be used.
- Logical follow-on to an existing order that was placed after all MAC holders were given a fair opportunity to compete. This exception exists for instances where the MAC holder is providing excellent service, efficiently under a task order, and it would be extremely disruptive and inefficient to re-compete the effort. Program offices should explore incorporating award term provisions in the contract rather than attempting to rely on this exception in order to continue a long-term mutually beneficial relationship.