MAIL BAG: NON-SCHEDULE ITEMS ON A SCHEDULE PROPOSAL?
Loyal reader M. Rubio of Florida writes in, “I was told by a Navy CO that I can’t offer open market items when I’m responding to a Schedules-based procurement. Most of my offer consists of Schedule items. What can I do? Your Navy CO may either be confused, or simply not want to take the extra steps necessary in this situation, M. The fact is that you can offer open market items and schedule items on the same proposal, so long as the non-schedule items are clearly marked as such. This is a common practice. Your customer’s reluctance may stem from the fact that CO’s need to determine the price reasonableness of the non-schedule component of your offer. Any items over the $3,000 Micro Purchase limit must be vetted through applicable competition and price reasonableness acquisition rules. This requires extra work and delays a procurement. Many federal buyers simply don’t do the work needed to determine price reasonableness of open market components, increasing the chances for a successful protest should a competitor object. A CO determined to keep open market items away from their Schedule procurement can be tough to deal with M., but most believe getting a total solution trumps the potential risk.