SEWP Contract Guide

Providing Fair Opportunity

So, how does one satisfy Fair Opportunity/Competition Requirements when using a SEWP contract?

According to the SEWP website, FAR 16.505(b) (1) provides that each contractor shall be given fair opportunity to be considered for each order exceeding $3,000 and issued under multiple award contracts. At a minimum, to provide Fair Opportunity, all Contract Holders within any one of the individual competed Groups must be provided Opportunity.

For maximum competition one, two, three or all Groups can be selected. The SEWP online RFI/RFQ tool is the recommended method to assist in this activity and to augment the required decision documentation.

The FAR states that the method to obtain Fair Opportunity is at the discretion of the CO and that the CO must document the rationale for placement and price of each order.

The search capability provides a summary comparison of the requirements based on part numbers. These SEWP tools will automatically include the vendors within a selected Group in the RFQ/search process. The RFQ tool will e-mail an RFQ to the vendors with various options for a reply. Fair Opportunity is only required within a specific group, and not across all Groups.

Use the System
“It helps everything the customer does,” explained Woytek. “The customer doesn’t have to know what it means to use Fair Opportunity, they just have to use our system and it leads them into Fair Opportunity and they like that.”

Within SEWP, Fair Opportunity is held within a group. This makes sure there is competition within the major Groups. If needed, opportunities may be provided across multiple groups.

“That’s what Fair Opportunity provides for”, said Woytek. “No matter what you do, if you don’t always have continuous internal competition in any contract, it gets stale or you can’t get the best pricing.”

There is no “three quote rule” within SEWP. Customers must just give Fair Opportunity within the Groups. If they get one response or ten, that’s OK said Woytek.

“This sort of forces Fair Opportunity competition within the Groups,” noted Woytek. “People must use it correctly. That’s the main thing we want to make sure of, that people know what we have and how to use it.”