LMR Frequently Asked QuestionsThese FAQs are intended to provide information about the contracts. In the event of a conflict between the contract and a given answer, the contract governs.
- If I am interested in ordering equipment, do I contact the IRS contracting office, or do I deal with the contracting office in my own agency?
- Does my agency contracting officer need to seek a delegation of procurement authority or some other approval from the IRS before placing orders under this contract?
- If my agency is included in the list above as an authorized purchaser, do I ever need to make contact with the IRS contracting office?
- Is there a fee associated with ordering from this contract?
- How long does it take to place an order under this contract?
- Can I negotiate prices with the contractors, or must I pay the posted line item prices?
- I need some LMR subscriber units that are not on the contract, how do I go about getting them added to the contract?
- Is there a limit to the amount of equipment that my agency can buy off of this contract?
- Are volume discounts available under this contract? Is there any way for my agency to combine orders with other agencies to achieve volume discounts?
- Is my agency required to perform first article testing before ordering equipment?
- Can I review the results from first article testing performed by other agencies?
- If I know that I want equipment from a particular manufacturer, can I deal directly with that manufacturer to buy what I need, or must I deal with all of the manufacturers?
- It would be very inconvenient for me to order equipment from any contractor other than the one from which I have ordered to date because I have accessories, back up equipment, maintenance training, etc. all applying to my current contractor. Do I still need to compete my order among multiple contractors?
- What is a “logical follow-on?”
- Do I have to buy from the contractor who offers the lowest price?
- Is there any way to learn what pricing may have been offered to other agencies on buys under this contract?
- Are prompt payment discounts available for orders placed under this contract?
- How long is the warranty on equipment ordered from this contract? When does the warranty begin to run?
- If I have an item still under warranty that needs repair, do I contact the contractor directly?
- Am I required, or should I sign a software, end user, or site license, if presented by a contractor?
- Section A in several of the contracts contains terms that appear to contradict provisions found elsewhere in the contract. Which provisions govern?
Question 1: If I am interested in ordering equipment, do I contact the IRS contracting office, or do I deal with the contracting office in my own agency?
Answer: The entire process will be conducted through your own agency. You directly order, accept and pay for your purchases under these contracts.
Answer: Not if you are a part of a federal agency listed here:
U.S. Department of the Treasury, U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office of the President, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Education, the Federal Reserve, U.S. General Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of the Interior, Social Security Administration, U.S. Department of State, Supreme Court of the United States, U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, White House Communications Agency.
Other federal agencies will need to seek approval from the IRS Contracting Officer before ordering from this contract.
All federal agency Contracting Officers are requested to complete a one-time registration before placing an order under any of the contracts.
Answer: Only when (a) a problem arises that you believe should be shared with all contract users, (b) a problem arises that your agency has not been successful in solving, (c) to apprise the IRS contracting office of any discounts received. Also your ordering agent must receive approval from the IRS Contracting Officer before sending out the RFQ to all vendors. See Ordering Guide and step by step Guide for more details.
Answer: It depends on the strategy you use. If you submit technical requirements and evaluation factors via phone or e-mail and take proposals via e-mail, placing an order could take as little as a few hours. For larger purchases you may benefit from providing the contractors a more detailed set of technical requirements and evaluation factors in writing and allowing the contractors more time to reply.
Answer: Users are free to negotiate prices with our contractors. The IRS Contracting Office would like to be apprised of any substantive discounts.
Answer: Clause H.2, “New, Improved, or Additional Equipment or Services (Technology Refreshment Included)” allows us to add new equipment, so long as it is within the scope of the contract. However, new equipment can only be added to the contract by the IRS contracting office as a result of a proposal received from a contractor, or the receipt of a request from a COTR. You should therefore contact a COTR, or a contractor, regarding the submission of a request to have new equipment added to the contract.
As stated in H.2, “…After contract award, the Government may solicit, and the Contractor is encouraged to independently propose, new, improved or additional features, technology or service enhancements and renewal, and other services that will guarantee maintenance and support of the Government’s changing needs. These new, improved or additional services may be offered or requested to improve performance, meet new Government needs, save money, increase customer, satisfaction, increase efficiency, and for any other purpose which presents an advantage to the Government…” The rest of the clause discusses how to add items.
Answer: No. There are no limits on delivery order size or on how much an agency may order. However, the Departments of the Treasury and Justice, together, have reserved 2/3s of the cumulative ceiling for their respective bureaus and components. The cumulative ceiling is very high and is expected to accommodate five years of ordering, all options exercised.
Answer: Volume discounts are available on many of the contracts. Please see the schedules located in the pricing tables for the individual contractors. Contractors are encouraged to offer additional discounts as a part of the competitive delivery order process. Furthermore, we intend to set up a mechanism, either via an e-mail grouping or via this website, for users to communicate with each other. Once a mechanism is in place, users may communicate upcoming orders to seek larger quantity discounts. Please bear in mind that in order to consolidate orders, the ordering agencies will need to agree on the requirements, evaluation factors and any other terms for the competition.
Answer: First article testing is intended to cover equipment that has not yet been accepted by the Government by the contractor. Equipment already accepted should not undergo First Article Testing. This testing may be waived by any agency and may only be performed once for each item under this contract. As currently envisioned, First Article Testing will be performed at the direction of the COTRs (see Question 11). When an item successfully passes First Article Testing, all users will be notified via the website.
Answer: Government users may view the test results. Please contact the COTRs for this information:
Answer: PLEASE READ THIS CAREFULLY:
The General Accounting Office has openly criticized other agencies for misuse of Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts. Our contractors may have legitimate complaints if they are not afforded fair opportunity to compete, if the basis for evaluation and award are not fair and reasonable, or if these contracts are abused in an unreasonable attempt to make award to any specific contractor. It is important that contract users follow all applicable procedures in the use of these contracts.
Clause G.3 “Delivery Orders Issued Under Multiple-Award Contracts,” citing Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) provision 16.505(b), sets forth several procedures for placing orders, all complying with the “fair opportunity to compete” requirement. The basis for award is at the discretion of the ordering office and follows normal procurement procedures. For example:
(a) Award may be based on a best value determination weighting, as appropriate, technical considerations, price factors, availability, lead times, etc.; or
(b) Award may be made on low-price/technical ability; or
(c) Award may be made based on technical ability with price a lower consideration; or
(d) In cases of externally-driven short lead-times, award may be made based on availability/technical capability/price.
Competition may be achieved in several ways. The following list is only intended to be an illustration of competition methods; it is not all-inclusive:
(a) The ordering agency may submit technical requirements via phone (or e-mail) to all eligible contractors, include evaluation factors, receive proposals via e-mail, and make selection. Eligible contractors include all contractors offering a product in the associated product category (e.g. VHF portable). Please note that this process from start to finish should take only a matter of hours to complete;
(b) If there is a technical requirement for features that only one company offers, award may be made directly to that company. The file must contain supporting documentation of the “exclusive” technical requirement.
(c) A sole source award, “Logical follow-on” may be used to obtain equipment ONLY if the original equipment had been purchased under these contracts and all eligible awardees were given a fair opportunity to be considered for the original order.
In all cases, EVALUATION CRITERIA/SELECTION DECISIONS MUST BE FAIR, REASONABLE AND DOCUMENTED. The Contracting Officer must document in the delivery order file the rationale for placement and price of each order.
Question 13: It would be very inconvenient for me to order equipment from any contractor other than the one from which I have ordered to date because I have accessories, back up equipment, maintenance training, etc. all applying to my current contractor. Do I still need to compete my order among multiple contractors?
Answer: Some of the equipment offered by our contractors is compatible with equipment manufactured by other of our contractors. Further, you may find that solutions offered by a new contractor may actually justify the initial expense to switch. Under any circumstances, the situation cited above, “logical follow-on” may only be used to justify a purchase to fit equipment originally procured under these contracts, provided all eligible contractors were given a fair opportunity to be considered for the original order.
Answer: An order issued on a sole-source basis, in the interest of economy and efficiency, to an order already issued under the same contract. A “logical follow-on” order is allowed only if all eligible contractors were given a fair opportunity to be considered for the original order.
Answer: How you place an order depends on your needs. And how you make the selection depends on the evalutaion criteria and what you stated in your RFQ regarding method of selection. If price is your paramount consideration, then price will determine the awardee. If technical considerations are more important than price, you may weigh technical considerations more heavily than price. All you need are fair, logical, valid reasons for what you buy and how you buy it.
Answer: We intend to set up a mechanism, either via an e-mail grouping or the website for users to communicate with each other. This will allow someone about to place an order to find out the latest pricing information.
There are other contracts in place or being awarded by other Federal agencies in early FY 03 with participation by many of our contractors. If you are seeking pricing comparisons between our contracts and those of other agencies, we will try to provide hyperlinks as these new contracts become available. Additionally, some of our contractors have LMR items on GSA schedule.
Payment, Warranty, and Licensing Issues
Answer: Prompt payment discounts are contained in the contracts of Icom, 2%-20 days, and Motorola, 1.5%-20 days. Prompt payment discounts offered by contractors that are not contained in their contracts must be reported by the agency to the IRS contracting office.
Answer: All contractors offer eighteen (18) months of warranty or greater as specified in the contract addendum. Refer to contract Section H.4 for details. The warranty period begins immediately upon formal acceptance.
Answer: No. The Government signed and agreed to software license terms and conditions at the time of award when the contracts were signed by the individual contractors. By processing a delivery order you are agreeing to the associated contract terms, including the license terms. You should contact your agency Contracting Officer immediately if a contractor insists that you sign any type of software license. The IRS contracting office should be contacted by the agency Contracting Officer if determined necessary.
Answer: Section A in several of the contracts reflects negotiated terms. Where there is conflict, Section A governs. It is necessary to check whether a given clause is addressed in Section A in order to determine the governing language in the contract.
End of FAQs