When an agency issues a Sources Sought or an RFI, they are trying to identify sources that can fulfill their buying needs and determine whether there is potential for a small business set-aside and obtain other marketplace information for acquisition planning purposes.
“Some vendors may not take the time to respond to a Sources Sought/RFI. Instead, they may focus their efforts on preparation for a bid when the solicitation comes out,” explains Sherry Savage, Program Manager for the Defense Logistics Agency’s Procurement Technical Assistance Program. “For the vendor, however, the Sources Sought/RFI is their chance to influence the acquisition strategy. If capable companies do not respond, the opportunity for a set-aside may be lost.”
Sources Sought and RFIs can be found using the “Advanced Search” function in FedBizOpps. More than 6,400 of this type of procurement opportunity were published in calendar year 2016.
When responding to a Sources Sought or an RFI, it’s important to pay attention to the detail specified as needed by the federal agency. “Provide thoughtful input — don’t just send a capabilities statement,” advises Ms. Savage. “The vendor should put together a personalized package that concisely answers the questions asked in the Sources Sought/RFI.”
If you have questions regarding a particular Sources Sought or RFI, you should contact the government agency’s point of contact (POC) provided in the notice.
And, of course, for assistance with or advice about responding to a particular Sources Sought or RFI, feel free to contact your nearest Crater PTAC counselor or if you are outside our area of coverage find a PTAC located near you here: http://www.aptac-us.org/find-a-ptac)