Contracts & Legal

Sources Sought

A Sources Sought Notice is a government market research tool to determine if there are two (2) or more capable businesses or Small Businesses that can perform the requirements of a planned contract.  It is not a Request for Proposal (RFP) or Invitation for Bid (IFB). It’s used by the government in developing Acquisition Strategies.

Purpose of a Sources Sought:

  • Access the market’s capability
  • Determine acquisition strategy
  • Small Business goal attainment

The government is required in certain instances to “set-aside” a certain percentage of their procurements to small businesses. Sometimes the solicitation will specify explicitly that they are looking only for small businesses (or HUBZone, …) to respond. (Even if it doesn’t say “only small businesses” it means only small businesses.)

Difference Between Sources Sought and Request for Infomation

The purpose of a Sources Sought is to determine if a small business can perform the work required while a Request for Information (RFI) purpose is to collect written information about the capabilities of various suppliers. Both are used as a market research tool for the purpose of developing strategy, building a database, for an upcoming contract competition.

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 7/23/2021

Rank: G6.2

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