Contracts & Legal

Other than Full and Open Competition

Under certain circumstances, the Government may solicit offers from one or more sources and award contracts to those sources without providing for full and open competition to ensure that the Government meets its needs in the most effective, economical, and timely manner possible. 


AcqNotes: Sole Source – Justification and Approval

Template: Justification & Approval (J&A) Template – 13 Sept 2017

Website: FAR Subpart 6.3 – Other Than Full and Open Competition

 Website: DFARS Subpart 206.3 – Other Than Full and Open Competition

The following are exceptions to the requirement to procure supplies and services via full and open competition:

  1. Only One Responsible Source [10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1), FAR 6.302-1]
    • The acquisition will be conducted under a follow-on contract for the continued development/production of a major system or highly specialized equipment (or major components thereof).
    • Award to any other source would result in substantial duplication of cost to the Government that is not expected to be recovered through competition or unacceptable delays in fulfilling the requirement.
    • Unique supplies or services are available from only one or a limited number of sources.
  2. Unusual and Compelling Urgency [10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(2), FAR 6.302-2, DFARS 206.302-2]
    •  Unusual and compelling urgency (e.g., fire, flood, explosion, disaster), and §  Delay in the award of a contract would result in serious injury (financial or other) to the Government unless the competition is limited.
  3. Industrial Mobilization [10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(3), FAR 6.302-3, DFARS 206.302-3]
    • Government finds it necessary to establish or maintain facilities, producers, manufacturers, or other suppliers in case of a national emergency.
    • Government deems it important to retain the services of an expert or neutral person for any current or anticipated litigation or dispute.
    • Government deems it important to establish or maintain essential engineering, developmental, or research capabilities by an educational or other nonprofit institution or a federally funded research and development center.
  4.  International Agreement [10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(4), FAR 6.302-4, DFARS 206.302-4]
    •  Acquisition will be reimbursed by a foreign government that requires that the supplies/services be obtained from a particular firm as specified in the official written direction, e.g., Letter of Offer and Acceptance.
    • A treaty or international agreement between the U.S. and a foreign government or international organization specifies or limits the sources to be solicited.
  5. Authorized or Required by Statute [10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(5), FAR 6.302-5, DFARS 206.302-5]
    • A statute expressly authorizes or requires that the acquisition be made through another agency or from a specified source.
    • The agency’s need is for a brand-name commercial item for authorized resale.
  6. National Security [10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(5) or 41 U.S.C 253(c)(5), FAR 6.302-6]
    • Disclosure of the Government’s needs would compromise national security.
  7. Public Interest [10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(7), FAR 6.302-7, DFARS 206.302-7]
    • The Secretary of the (Agency) determines that it is not in the public interest in the particular acquisition concerned to provide for full and open competition.

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 4/20/2021

Rank: G8

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