What is required in a CBD synopsis?

A reader raised the following issue: Government agencies are required to announce contracting opportunities in the Commerce Business Daily and the notices are not uniformly written. What is required in a CBD synopsis? How important are these announcements? Under Federal Acquisition Regulation 5.101

A reader raised the following issue: Government agencies are required to announce contracting opportunities in the Commerce Business Daily and the notices are not uniformly written. What is required in a CBD synopsis? How important are these announcements?

Under Federal Acquisition Regulation 5.101 contracting officers are required to synopsize in the CBD every action for contracts worth more than $25 000 including any contract modification for additional supplies or services outside the scope of an existing contract.

There are very few exceptions to this requirement. The primary exceptions are listed in FAR 5.202. The General Accounting Office has ruled that the notice requirements may not be strictly applicable to a reprocurement following a termination for default of another contractor.

One of the most important exceptions to the synopsis requirement involves purchases through the General Services Administration multiple-award schedule program. Historically GSA required agencies to synopsize in the CBD proposed MAS purchases that were valued more than $50 000. But GSA has eliminated the requirement and many commentators believe the policy change may be legally questionable.

The requirement to announce proposed contracting actions takes on even more significance when a procurement is conducted using procedures other than a full and open competition. In such cases the Competition in Contracting Act of 1994 prohibits the agency from making a contract award unless (1) an appropriate justification is approved by the designated agency official and (2) notice of the intended contracting action has been published in the CBD and all responses to that notice have been considered by the agency. The only exceptions to this requirement are cases in which the urgency of the requirement prevents notice and those in which the notice requirement is formally waived by the agency head.

A failure to provide the required notice can render the contracting action invalid. But before a company can contest an agency's decision to conduct a procurement on a sole-source basis it must respond to any CBD announcement permitting other potential sources to submit expressions of interest. In most cases a failure to follow this rule will preclude the possibility of pursuing a bid protest at GAO.

Each synopsis in the CBD must include specific information about the purchase including the contracting officer's address the solicitation number the proposal due date and a description of the goods or services to be acquired. The synopsis also must be classified under a particular code which will determine where in the CBD the notice will be published.

In Price Waterhouse [B-239525 Aug. 31 1990 90-2 CPD k 192] GAO determined that a contracting agency had acted reasonably in classifying a procurement of accounting-related services as miscellaneous services even though other classifications arguably may have applied.

But in Frank Thatcher Associates Inc. [67 Comp. Gen. 77 87-2 CPD k 480 (1987)] GAO held that a procuring agency's failure to properly classify an advertisement in the CBD had not effectively notified the firms most likely to respond to the procurement and therefore violated the CICA requirements to obtain full and open competition.

GAO has ruled that cancellation and resolicitation of the procurement is proper if an agency misclassified an advertisement in the CBD. However a protest alleging that a CBD notice was misclassified may be considered untimely if not filed within 10 calendar days after the protester is notified of the date on which the CBD notice appeared.

A CBD notice is not the equivalent of a formal solicitation and does not "lock" an agency into the advertised provisions. If there are inconsistencies between the CBD synopsis and the solicitation it is the solicitation alone that will be examined to determine the government's minimum needs.

Vendors must carefully obtain the actual solicitations for procurements in which they are interested and not rely too heavily on the CBD alone.

-- Peckinpaugh is a member of the government contracts section of the law firm of Winston & Strawn Washington D.C.

NEXT STORY: IT spending remains flat

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.