Evaluation Factors for Sole-Source Negotiations – Any Purpose?

Ok, so those familiar with the Uniform Contract Format (UCF) know Section M is used for listing evaluation factors. I’ve only heard Section M being used for competitive proposals. However, my agency does a lot of sole sourcing. (There aren’t too many people competing to build subs).

Here’s my question:

Are there any advantages to using Section M’s Evaluation Factors for sole source negotiations, or would this just create extra work?

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Peter Sperry

I would think it could be useful to have completed the evaluation factors section if you are ever called upon to justify awarding a sole source contract. There are very few people capable of providing logistics support for an invasion but documenting that fact before awarding contracts to Haliburton would have saved DOD from a great deal of negative press over the past decade.

Sterling Whitehead

@Harlan. A technical evaluation is needed, but you aren’t required (to my understanding) to specify the evaluation factors in Section M for the technical evaluation.

Also, interesting idea on Alpha Acquisitions. That’ll be something to experiment with as my contracting skills develop.

Sterling Whitehead

@Peter. What do you think are the minimal and maximum levels of documentation needed for evaluation factors in a sole-source contract?

Peter Sperry

The minimum level would be to list critical evaluation factors the can only be met by the sole-source contractor and explain efforts to identify other contractors that might have been able to meet those factors and/or explain differences between the sole source contractor and others regarding those evaluation factors which are so compelling they justify going sole source.

I am not entirely sure of all the paperwork so Section M may or may not be the right place to do this but I have seen several sole source awards challanged because no one took the time to DOCUMENT the critical evaluation factors that limited the pool of potential contractors or the efforts made to identify possible competitors. In a few cases the challanges were made by would be bidders who came out of the woodwork after the award.

My favorite sole source story (which may be an urban legend but is still good) is an office which had been “black ops” and when brought into the light did not want to go through the “hassle” of justifying a sole source award. They showed up at project meeting with 10 pages outlining the unique criteria of their operations, the potential vendors and the selection factors for excluding all but one of them. After making their presentation and closing with the comment “this explains why we should not have to justify a sole source award”, they were asked: “what do you think you just did?” They were then directed to slap a cover letter on thier 10 pages and forward them as a report to higher HQ.


No, absolutely not. Evaluation factors are required only for competitive acquisitions. See FAR 15.002, where we read that evaluation criteria should be removed from sole-source solicitations. See also FAR 15.203(a)(4), where evaluation factors are required only for competitive acquisitions. See also FAR 15.300, where the entirety of FAR Subpart 15.3, including 15.304 Evaluation Factors and Subfactors, applies only to competitive acquisitions.