Today we conclude this series on responsibility determinations. FAR requires that contracting officers make affirmative determinations on seven criteria with respect to prospective contractors' ability to perform work responsibly. So far we've covered financial, schedule, performance, integrity, resources, and equipment and facilities. The seventh, and final criteria is a catch-all for any concerns about prospective contractors' responsibility that doesn't fall within one of the other six criteria.
The seventh criteria, found in FAR 9-104.1(g) simply states that to be determined responsible, a prospective contractor must be otherwise qualified and eligible to receive an award under applicable laws and regulations. In reviewing comptroller general appeals cases and perusing the FAPIIS database, we were unable to locate any cases where prospective contractors were determined non-responsible based on this criteria. Perhaps ineligible contractors bidding on contracts set aside for small businesses, minority-owned, woman-owned, or HUBZONE firms would fall in this category. Prospective contractors refusing to comply with statutorily required certifications (e.g. TINA) might be another possibility.
It is important for contractors to understand that not only will their proposals be evaluated for price, technical merit, or any number of other evaluation factors, but various aspects of the company will be evaluated as well in order for the Government to ensure they are dealing with responsible contractors. Knowing these evaluation factors ahead of time allows prospective contractors to be better prepared.
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