All prospective contractors submitting a Request for Proposal (RFP) responses must be determined “Responsible” by the Program Contracting Officer (PCO) before they can be considered contract contenders. In order for a contractor to be considered “Responsible” they must:

  • Have adequate cash or lines of credit,
  • Be able to comply with the required delivery schedule specified in the RFP,
  • Have a satisfactory performance record,
  • Have a satisfactory record of integrity and business ethics,
  • Have the necessary organization, experience, accounting and operational controls, and technical skills or be able to attain them,
  • Have the necessary production, technical equipment and facilities, or the ability to attain them,
  • Not appear on a suspended and debarred bidders list, and
  • Comply with special standards such as quality (for example, the ISO 9000 series) or management.

Suspended and debarred bidders list
A list of contractors who have been found guilty of some violation of the law in a past procurement and are ineligible for any other government contracts for a specific period of time are listed in the government suspended and debarred bidders list.

Subcontractor Responsibility
The prime contractor is responsible for determining the responsibility of their prospective subcontractors. The prime contractor must be selective in their subcontractor choice because the determination of the subcontractor responsibility can affect the government’s negative or positive determination of the prospective prime contractor’s responsibility.

However, when it is the government’s interest to do so, the contracting officer may directly determine the responsibility of a subcontractor. In such a case, the same standards of responsibility apply for the subcontractor.

When the PCO from the buying activity has insufficient information to determine if a prospective contractor is responsible, he or she completes a request for a Pre-Award Survey (PAS).

AcqLinks and References:

  • Training: DAU PQM 101 “Industrial Capabilities”
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