FAR -- Part 5 Publicizing Contract Actions

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FAR -- Part 5
Publicizing Contract Actions

(FAC 2005-95)
(13 January 2017)

(FAC 2005-100)

(22 Aug 2018)

5.000 -- Scope of Part.

This part prescribes policies and procedures for publicizing contract opportunities and award information.

5.001 -- Definition.

“Contract action,” as used in this part, means an action resulting in a contract, as defined in Subpart 2.1, including actions for additional supplies or services outside the existing contract scope, but not including actions that are within the scope and under the terms of the existing contract, such as contract modifications issued pursuant to the Changes clause, or funding and other administrative changes.

5.002 -- Policy.

Contracting officers must publicize contract actions in order to --

(a) Increase competition;

(b) Broaden industry participation in meeting Government requirements; and

(c) Assist small business concerns, veteran-owned small business concerns, service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns, HUBZone small business concerns, small disadvantaged business concerns, and women-owned small business concerns in obtaining contracts and subcontracts.

5.003 – Governmentwide point of entry.

For any requirement in the FAR to publish a notice, the contracting officer must transmit the notices to the GPE.

Subpart 5.1 -- Dissemination of Information

5.101 -- Methods of Disseminating Information.

(a) As required by the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(e)) and 41 U.S.C. 1708, contracting officers must disseminate information on proposed contract actions as follows:

(b) In addition, one or more of the following methods may be used:

5.102 -- Availability of Solicitations.


(b) When the contracting officer does not make a solicitation available through the GPE pursuant to paragraph (a)(5) of this section, the contracting officer—

(c) In addition to the methods of disseminating proposed contract information in 5.101(a) and (b), provide upon request to small business concerns, as required by 15 U.S.C. 637(b)--

(d) When electronic commerce (see Subpart 4.5) is used in the solicitation process, availability of the solicitation may be limited to the electronic medium.

(e) Provide copies of a solicitation issued under other than full and open competition to firms requesting copies that were not initially solicited, but only after advising the requester of the determination to limit the solicitation to a specified firm or firms as authorized under Part 6.

(f) This section 5.102 applies to classified contracts to the extent consistent with agency security requirements (see 5.202(a)(1)).

Subpart 5.2 -- Synopses of Proposed Contract Actions

5.201 -- General.

(a) As required by the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(e)) and 41 U.S.C. 1708, agencies must make notices of proposed contract actions available as specified in paragraph (b) of this section.


(c) The primary purposes of the notice are to improve small business access to acquisition information and enhance competition by identifying contracting and subcontracting opportunities.

(d) The GPE may be accessed via the Internet at https://www.fbo.gov.

5.202 -- Exceptions.

The contracting officer need not submit the notice required by 5.201 when --

(a) The contracting officer determines that --

(b) The head of the agency determines in writing, after consultation with the Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration, that advance notice is not appropriate or reasonable

5.203 -- Publicizing and Response Time.

Whenever agencies are required to publicize notice of proposed contract actions under 5.201, they must proceed as follows:

(a) An agency must transmit a notice of proposed contract action to the GPE (see 5.201). All publicizing and response times are calculated based on the date of publication. The publication date is the date the notice appears on the GPE. The notice must be published at least 15 days before issuance of a solicitation, or a proposed contract action the Government intends to solicit and negotiate with only one source under the authority of 6.302, except that, for acquisitions of commercial items, the contracting officer may—

(b) The contracting officer must establish a solicitation response time that will afford potential offerors a reasonable opportunity to respond to each proposed contract action, (including actions where the notice of proposed contract action and solicitation information is accessible through the GPE), in an amount estimated to be greater than $25,000, but not greater than the simplified acquisition threshold; or each contract action for the acquisition of commercial items in an amount estimated to be greater than $25,000. The contracting officer should consider the circumstances of the individual acquisition, such as the complexity, commerciality, availability, and urgency, when establishing the solicitation response time.

(c) Except for the acquisition of commercial items (see 5.203(b)), agencies shall allow at least a 30-day response time for receipt of bids or proposals from the date of issuance of a solicitation, if the proposed contract action is expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold.

(d) Agencies shall allow at least a 30 day response time from the date of publication of a proper notice of intent to contract for architect-engineer services or before issuance of an order under a basic ordering agreement or similar arrangement if the proposed contract action is expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold.

(e) Agencies must allow at least a 45-day response time for receipt of bids or proposals from the date of publication of the notice required in 5.201 for proposed contract actions categorized as research and development if the proposed contract action is expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold.

(f) Nothing in this subpart prohibits officers or employees of agencies from responding to requests for information.

(g) Contracting officers may, unless they have evidence to the contrary, presume the notice has been published one day after transmission to the GPE. This presumption does not negate the mandatory waiting or response times specified in paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section. Upon learning that a particular notice has not in fact been published within the presumed timeframes, contracting officers should consider whether the date for receipt of offers can be extended or whether circumstances have become sufficiently compelling to justify proceeding with the proposed contract action under the authority of 5.202(a)(2).

(h) In addition to other requirements set forth in this section, for acquisitions covered by the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement or a Free Trade Agreement (see Subpart 25.4), the period of time between publication of the synopsis notice and receipt of offers must be no less than 40 days. However, if the acquisition falls within a general category identified in an annual forecast, the availability of which is published, the contracting officer may reduce this time period to as few as 10 days.

5.204 -- Presolicitation Notices.

Contracting officers must provide access to presolicitation notices through the GPE (see 15.201 and 36.213-2). The contracting officer must synopsize a proposed contract action before issuing any resulting solicitation (see 5.201 and 5.203).

5.205 -- Special Situations.

(a) Research and development (R&D) advance notices. Contracting officers may transmit to the GPE, advance notices of their interest in potential R&D programs whenever market research does not produce a sufficient number of concerns to obtain adequate competition. Advance notices must not be used where security considerations prohibit such publication. Advance notices will enable potential sources to learn of R&D programs and provide these sources with an opportunity to submit information, which will permit evaluation of their capabilities. Contracting officers must consider potential sources which respond to advance notices for subsequent solicitation. Advance notices must be entitled “Research and Development Sources Sought” and include the name and telephone number of the contracting officer or other contracting activity official from whom technical details of the project can be obtained. This will enable sources to submit information for evaluation of their R&D capabilities. Contracting officers must synopsize (see 5.201) all subsequent solicitations for R&D contracts, including those resulting from a previously synopsized advance notice, unless one of the exceptions in 5.202 applies.

(b) Federally Funded Research and Development Centers. Before establishing a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) (see Part 35) or before changing its basic purpose and mission, the sponsor must transmit at least three notices over a 90-day period to the GPE and the Federal Register, indicating the agency’s intention to sponsor an FFRDC or change the basic purpose and mission of an FFRDC. The notice must indicate the scope and nature of the effort to be performed and request comments. Notice is not required where the action is required by law.

(c) Special notices. Contracting officers may transmit to the GPE special notices of procurement matters such as business fairs, long-range procurement estimates, pre-bid or preproposal conferences, meetings, and the availability of draft solicitations or draft specifications for review.

(d) Architect-engineering services. Contracting officers must publish notices of intent to contract for architect-engineering services as follows:

(e) Public-private competitions under OMB Circular A-76.

(f) Section 8(a) competitive acquisition. When a national buy requirement is being considered for competitive acquisition limited to eligible 8(a) participants under Subpart 19.8, the contracting officer must transmit a synopsis of the proposed contract action to the GPE. The synopsis may be transmitted to the GPE concurrent with submission of the agency offering (see 19.804-2) to the Small Business Administration (SBA). The synopsis should also include information --

(DoD components, see Deviation below)

5.206 – Notices of Subcontracting Opportunities. (DEVIATION 2018-O0018)

(a) The following entities may transmit a notice to the GPE, to seek competition for subcontracts, to increase participation by qualified HUBZone small business, small, small disadvantaged, women-owned small business, veteran-owned small business and service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns, and to meet established subcontracting plan goals:

(b) The notices must describe—

Class Deviation- 2018-O0018, Micro-Purchase Threshold, Simplified Acquisition Threshold, and Special Emergency Procurement Authority. This clause deviation is effective on August 31, 2018, and remains in effect until incorporated into the FARS or DFARS, or until otherwise rescinded.

5.206 – Notices of Subcontracting Opportunities.

5.207 -- Preparation and Transmittal of Synopses.

(a) Content. Each synopsis transmitted to the GPE must address the following data elements, as applicable:

(b) Transmittal. Transmissions to the GPE must be in accordance with the interface description available via the Internet at https://www.fbo.gov.

(c) General Format for “Description.” Prepare a clear and concise description of the supplies or services that is not unnecessarily restrictive of competition and will allow a prospective offeror to make an informed business judgment as to whether a copy of the solicitation should be requested including the following, as appropriate:

(d) Set-asides. When the proposed acquisition provides for a total or partial small business program set-aside, or when the proposed acquisition provides for a local area set-aside (see Subpart 26.2) the contracting officer shall identify this set-aside in the synopsis and in the solicitation.

(e) Codes to be used in Synopses to identify services or supplies. Contracting officers must use one of the classification codes identified at https://www.fbo.gov to identify services or supplies in synopses.

(f) Notice of solicitations cancellation. Contracting officers may publish notices of solicitation cancellations (or indefinite suspensions) of proposed contract actions in the GPE.

Subpart 5.3 -- Synopses of Contract Awards

5.301 -- General.

(a) Except for contract actions described in paragraph (b) of this section and as provided in 5.003, contracting officers must synopsize through the GPE the following:

(b) A notice is not required under paragraph (a)(1) of this section if –

(c) With respect to acquisitions covered by the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement or a Free Trade Agreement, contracting officers must submit synopses in sufficient time to permit their publication in the GPE, not later than 60 days after award.

(d) Posting is required of the justifications for—

5.302 -- Preparation and Transmittal of Synopses of Awards.

Contracting officers shall transmit synopses of contract awards in the same manner as prescribed in 5.207.

5.303 -- Announcement of Contract Awards.

(a) Public announcement. Contracting officers shall make information available on awards over $4 million (unless another dollar amount is specified in agency acquisition regulations) in sufficient time for the agency concerned to announce it by 5 p.m. Washington, DC, time on the day of award. Agencies shall not release information on awards before the public release time of 5 p.m. Washington, DC time. Contracts excluded from this reporting requirement include—

(b) Local announcement. Agencies may also release information on contract awards to the local press or other media. When local announcements are made for contract awards in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold, they shall include --

Subpart 5.4 -- Release of Information

5.401 -- General.

(a) A high level of business security must be maintained in order to preserve the integrity of the acquisition process. When it is necessary to obtain information from potential contractors and others outside the Government for use in preparing Government estimates, contracting officers shall ensure that the information is not publicized or discussed with potential contractors.

(b) Contracting officers may make available maximum information to the public, except information --

(c) This policy applies to all Government personnel who participate directly or indirectly in any stage of the acquisition cycle.

5.402 -- General Public.

Contracting officers shall process requests for specific information from the general public, including suppliers, in accordance with Subpart 24.1 or 24.2, as appropriate.

5.403 -- Requests from Members of Congress.

Contracting officers shall give Members of Congress, upon their request, detailed information regarding any particular contract. When responsiveness would result in disclosure of classified matter, business confidential information, or information prejudicial to competitive acquisition, the contracting officer shall refer the proposed reply, with full documentation, to the agency head and inform the legislative liaison office of the action.

5.404 -- Release of Long-Range Acquisition Estimates.

To assist industry planning and to locate additional sources of supply, it may be desirable to publicize estimates of unclassified long-range acquisition requirements. Estimates may be publicized as far in advance as possible.

5.404-1 -- Release Procedures.

(a) Application. The agency head, or a designee, may release long-range acquisition estimates if the information will --

(b) Conditions. The agency head shall ensure that --

5.404-2 -- Announcements of Long-Range Acquisition Estimates.

Further publicizing, consistent with the needs of the individual case, may be accomplished by announcing through the GPE that long-range acquisition estimates have been published and are obtainable, upon request, from the contracting officer.

5.405 -- Exchange of Acquisition Information.

(a) When the same item or class of items is being acquired by more than one agency, or by more than one contracting activity within an agency, the exchange and coordination of pertinent information, particularly cost and pricing data, between these agencies or contracting activities is necessary to promote uniformity of treatment of major issues and the resolution of particularly difficult or controversial issues. The exchange and coordination of information is particularly beneficial during the period of acquisition planning, presolicitation, evaluation, and pre-award survey.

(b) When substantial acquisitions of major items are involved or when the contracting activity deems it desirable, the contracting activity shall request appropriate information (on both the end item and on major subcontracted components) from other agencies or contracting activities responsible for acquiring similar items. Each agency or contracting activity receiving such a request shall furnish the information requested. The contracting officer, early in a negotiation of a contract, or in connection with the review of a subcontract, shall request the contractor to furnish information as to the contractor’s or subcontractor’s previous Government contracts and subcontracts for the same or similar end items and major subcontractor components.

5.406 – Public Disclosure of Justification Documents for Certain Contract Actions.

(a) Justifications and approvals for other than full and open competition must be posted in accordance with 6.305.

(b) Limited-source justifications (excluding brand name) for FSS orders or blanket purchase agreements with an estimated value greater than the simplified acquisition threshold must be posted in accordance with 8.405-6(a)(2).

(c) Justifications for task or delivery orders greater than the simplified acquisition threshold and awarded without providing for fair opportunity must be posted in accordance with 16.505(b)(2)(ii)(D).

Subpart 5.5 -- Paid Advertisements

5.501 -- Definitions.

As used in this subpart--

“Advertisement” means any single message prepared for placement in communication media, regardless of the number of placements.

“Publication” means--

5.502 -- Authority.

(a) Newspapers. Authority to approve the publication of paid advertisements in newspapers is vested in the head of each agency (44 U.S.C. 3702). This approval authority may be delegated (5 U.S.C. 302 (b)). Contracting officers shall obtain written authorization in accordance with policy procedures before advertising in newspapers.

(b) Other media. Unless the agency head determines otherwise, advance written authorization is not required to place advertisements in media other than newspapers.

5.503 -- Procedures.

(a) General.

(b) Rates. Advertisements may be paid for at rates not over the commercial rates charged private individuals, with the usual discounts (44 U.S.C. 3703).

(c) Proof of advertising. Every invoice for advertising shall be accompanied by a copy of the advertisement or an affidavit of publication furnished by the publisher, radio or television station, or advertising agency concerned (44 U.S.C. 3703). Paying offices shall retain the proof of advertising until the Government Accountability Office settles the paying office’s account.

(d) Payment. Upon receipt of an invoice supported by proof of advertising, the contracting officer shall attach a copy of the written authority (see 5.502(a)) and submit the invoice for payment under agency procedures.

5.504 -- Use of Advertising Agencies.

(a) General. Basic ordering agreements may be placed with advertising agencies for assistance in producing and placing advertisements when a significant number will be placed in several publications and in national media. Services of advertising agencies include, but are not limited to, counseling as to selection of the media for placement of the advertisement, contacting the media in the interest of the Government, placing orders, selecting and ordering typography, copywriting, and preparing rough layouts.

(b) Use of commission-paying media. The services of advertising agencies in placing advertising with media often can be obtained at no cost to the Government, over and above the space cost, as many media give advertising agencies a commission or discount on the space cost that is not given to the Government.

(c) Use of noncommission-paying media. Some media do not grant advertising agencies a commission or discount, meaning the Government can obtain the same rate as the advertising agency. If the advertising agency agrees to place advertisements in noncommission-paying media as a no-cost service, the basic ordering agreement shall so provide. If the advertising agency will not agree to place advertisements at no cost, the agreement shall—

(d) Art work, supplies, and incidentals. The basic ordering agreement also may provide for the furnishing by the advertising agency of art work, supplies, and incidentals, including brochures and pamphlets, but not their printing. “Incidentals” may include telephone calls, and postage incurred by the advertising agency on behalf of the Government.

Subpart 5.6—Publicizing Multi-Agency Use Contracts

5.601 -- Governmentwide database of contracts.

(a) A Governmentwide database of contracts and other procurement instruments intended for use by multiple agencies is available via the Internet at https://www.contractdirectory.gov/contractdirectory/ . This searchable database is a tool that may be used to identify existing contracts and other procurement instruments that may be used to fulfill Government needs.

(b) The contracting activity shall—

Subpart 5.7—Publicizing Requirements Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

5.701 -- Scope.

This subpart prescribes posting requirement for presolicitation and award notices for actions funded in whole or in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Pub. L. 111-5) (Recovery Act). The requirements of this subpart enhance transparency to the public.

5.702 – Applicability.

This subpart applies to all actions expected to exceed $25,000 funded in whole or in part by the Recovery Act. Unlike subparts 5.2 and 5.3, this subpart includes additional requirements for orders and for actions that are not both fixed-price and competitive.

5.703 – Definition.

As used in this subpart—

“Task or delivery order contract” means a “delivery order contract,” and a “task order contract,” as defined in 16.501-1. For example, it includes Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWACs), multi-agency contracts (MACs), and other indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts, whether single award or multiple award. It also includes Federal Supply Schedule Contracts (including Blanket Purchase Agreement under Subpart 8.4).

5.704 – Publicizing-preaward.


(b) Contracting officers shall identify proposed contract actions, funded in whole or in part by the Recovery Act, by using the following instructions which are also available in the Recovery FAQs under “Buyers/Engineers” at the Government wide Point of Entry (GPE) (https://www.fbo.gov);

(c) In preparing the description required by 5.207(a)(16), use clear and concise language to describe the planned procurement. Use descriptions of the goods and services (including construction), that can be understood by the general public. Avoid the use of acronyms or terminology that is not widely understood by the general public.

5.705 – Publicizing-postaward.

Follow usual publication procedures at 5.301, except that the following supersede the exception at 5.301(b)(2) through (7):


(b) Regardless of dollar value, if the contract action, including all modifications and orders under task or delivery order contracts, is not both fixed-price and competitively awarded, publicize the award notice and include in the description the rationale for using other than a fixed-priced and/or competitive approach. Include in the description a statement specifically noting if the contract action was not awarded competitively, or was not fixed-price, or was neither competitive nor fixed-price. These notices and the rational will be available to the public at the GPE, so do not include any proprietary information or information that would compromise national security. The following table provides examples for when a rationale is required.


Description of Contract Action

Rationale Required

(1) A contract is competitively awarded and is fixed-price.

Not required.

(2) A contract is awarded that is not fixed-price.


(3) A contract is awarded without competition.


(4) An order is issued under a new or existing single award IDIQ contract.

Required if order is made under a contract described in

Paragraph (b)(2) or (3).

(5) An order is issued under a new or existing multiple award IDIQ contract.

Required if one or both of the following conditions exist:

(i) The order is not fixed-price.

(ii) The order is awarded pursuant to an exception to the competition requirements applicable to the underlying vehicle (e.g.), award is made pursuant to an exception to the fair opportunity process).

(6) A modification is issued.

Required if modification is made—

(i) To a contract described in (b)(2) or (3) of this section or

(ii) To an order requiring posting as described in (b)(4) or (5) of this section.

(7) A contract or order is awarded pursuant to a small business contracting authority (e.g., SBA’s section 8(a) program).

Required if one or both of the following conditions exist:

(i) The contract or order is not fixed-price;

(ii) The contract or order was not awarded using competition (e.g., a noncompetitive 8(a) award).

(c) Contracting officers shall use the instructions at the available in the Recovery FAQs under “Buyers/Engineers” at the GPE (https://www.fbo.gov ) to identify actions funded in whole or in part by the Recovery Act.

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