Quantcast Pre-award Surveys

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nonresponsible, unless the Contracting Officer determines that the
circumstances were properly beyond the contractor's control or that the
contractor has taken appropriate corrective action. Past failure to
apply sufficient tenacity and perseverance to perform acceptably is
strong evidence of nonresponsibility.  The Contracting Officer shall
consider the number of contracts involved and the extent of the
deficiency of each in making the evaluation."  (FAR 9.104-3(c))
In contemplating a finding of nonresponsibility based on performance record,
it must be shown that the unsatisfactory performance was due to
circumstances within the contractor's and that the contractor did
not take adequate corrective action. It is therefore essential that
contractor performance evaluations be prepared completely (see 6-400).
In addition to the factors listed above, consideration must be given to the
capability of the contractor to carry out the contract for the amount of his
bid.  A difficult problem is presented when a bidder submits a sealed bid
which is significantly below a reasonable price based on the Government
estimate to perform the required services.
5-320 Pre-award Surveys The Contracting Officer is required by the FAR
to make an affirmative determination of responsibility prior to award of a
contract.  The FAR also states in part
"While it is important that Government purchases be made at the lowest
price, this does not require an award to a supplier solely because the
supplier submits the lowest offer.  A prospective contractor must
affirmatively demonstrate its responsibility, including, when necessary,
the responsibility of its proposed subcontractors."  (FAR 9.103(c))
A pre-award survey is normally required when the information on hand or
readily available to the Contracting Officer, is not sufficient to make a
determination regarding responsibility.  However, if the contemplated
contract is $25,000 or less, the Contracting Officer should not request a
pre-award survey unless circumstances justify its cost.
The pre-award survey is carried out by the Defense Contract Administration
Service Management Agency (DCASMA) as shown on the pre-award survey flow
chart in Figure 5-l. The DCASMA office generally has the required expertise
to analyze contractor financial data and procedural matters. However, the
Contracting Officer should augment the DCASMA team with appropriate
personnel. Expertise in the area of the technical specifications and
quality standards is especially valuable to the team.
The pre-award survey may be limited to those bidders in
the range of award.
If the contractor is designated as a small business by the Small Business
Administration (SBA), the Contracting Officer does not have the authority to
deny the award of the contract on the basis of a determination of contractor
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