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Federal Business Opportunities SOP

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This standard operating procedure (SOP) includes the following sections: Purpose, Procedure, Contacts, and Links.


To serve as the entry point for all federal government procurement opportunities over $25,000.


FedBizOpps is a public Web site that features notices of federal business opportunities, including proposed contract actions, solicitations, contract awards, and other procurement information.

FedBizOpps publications include the following:

  • Presolicitation notices convey the solicitation availability in FedBizOpps. This information is also used to create the NIH Guide notice.
  • Combined Synopsis/Solicitation combines in a single document the synopsis requirement in FAR 5.203 with the solicitation issuance for commercial items only.
    • The response time for the combined synopsis/solicitation should be no longer than necessary to give offerors a chance to respond to the solicitation. Therefore, the combined synopsis/solicitation allows NIH to shorten the statutorily required 15 day synopsis period and 30 day offer period, allowing for a more streamlined commercial procurement procedure.
    • The procedure for the combined synopsis/solicitation is found in FAR 12.203.
  • Sources Sought notices survey the market to determine if there are sources that can satisfy our requirements.
    • Small Business Sources Sought notices specifically try to determine if there are two or more capable small businesses.
    • Notices summarize our requirements and request a capability statement that shows an organization's ability to satisfy our requirements.
      • Capability statements are evaluated by the contracting officer's representative and other scientific program staff to determine capability.
      • If two or more small businesses are determined to be capable, the solicitation must be issued as a set-aside for small business.
    • In most cases, a sources sought notice should be published. However, sources sought notices are not needed for Broad Agency Announcements.
  • Special Notices for RFIs and Draft Solicitations promote early information exchange to identify and resolve issues about an acquisition, including contract type, terms and conditions, planning schedules, the feasibility of requirements (statements of work, performance, and data issues), and the suitability of proposal instructions and evaluation criteria.
    • Program staff and OA jointly decide whether the use of either a request for information or a draft solicitation would be beneficial. Allow extra time in the milestone schedule for this step.
    • The OA director approves use of RFIs and draft solicitations.
  • Posting of final solicitation and amendments. Transmissions to FedBizOpps must be in accordance with the interface description at FedBizOpps.
    • The contracting officer must make available through the FedBizOpps solicitations synopsized through FedBizOpps including specifications, technical data, and other pertinent information determined necessary by the contracting officer.
    • The contracting officer is encouraged, when practicable and cost-effective, to publish additional information related to a solicitation through FedBizOpps.
    • The contracting officer must ensure that solicitations transmitted using electronic commerce are forwarded to the FedBizOpps.
    • When NIH determines that a solicitation contains information that requires additional controls to monitor access and distribution (e.g., technical data, specifications, maps, building designs, schedules), use the enhanced access and distribution controls provided by FedBizOpps.
    • Amendments to the solicitation must also be posted on FedBizOpps according to FAR 5.102.
  • Award Notice.
    • Awards over $25,000 that are covered by the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement or a Free Trade Agreement (see FAR 25.4), or are likely to result in the award of any subcontracts must be published through FedBizOpps.
      • This notice identifies the awardee or awardees and includes the contract number and total negotiated amount.
      • For option contracts, contract specialists must also include optional quantities and amounts in the Notice, or those actions will have to be synopsized separately upon exercise of the options.
      • Find exceptions to this requirement in FAR 5.301(b).
    • Should the contracting officer decide that there are no available subcontracting opportunities, it is the Office of Acquisitions policy that this decision must be documented in the file in the form of a separate memorandum or a notation in the negotiation memorandum explaining the basis for the contracting officer’s decision.
  • Justification and Approval.
    • The contracting officer must post the Justification and Approval (J&A) required by FAR 6.303-1 on the FedBizOpps Web site in accordance with FAR 6.305.
    • The J&A must be posted within 14 days after contract award.
      • In the case of a contract award permitted under FAR 6.302-2, Unusual and Compelling Urgency, the J&A must be posted within 30 days after contract award.
      • In the case of a brand name justification under FAR 6.302-1(c), Application for Brand-name Descriptions, the justification must be posted with the solicitation.
  • Fair Opportunity/Limited Sources Justification.
    • Within 14 days after award of a multiple award indefinite delivery indefinite quantity order which exceeds the simplified acquisition threshold and does not provide for fair opportunity in accordance with FAR 16.505(b), the contracting officer shall publish the justification required by FAR 16.505(b)(2)(ii)(B) on FedBizOpps.

Contract Specialists

  • Prepare and ensure transmission of all contract actions over $25,000 to FedBizOpps, unless exempted by FAR 5.202, FAR 5.3, or one of the exceptions in FAR 6.302.
  • With contracting officer’s representative (COR), prepare the appropriate FedBizOpps notices.

Contracting Officer

  • Review and approve proposed postings prior to submission to the Office of Acquisitions Support Staff for transmission to FedBizOpps.
  • For acquisitions of commercial items, you may choose one of the following:
    • Establish a shorter period than the 15 day notice required by FAR 5.203(a) for issuance of the solicitation.
    • Use the combined synopsis and solicitation procedure (see 12.603).
  • See other CO instructions in the list of FedBizOpps publications above.

Office of Acquisitions Support Staff

  • Transmit all notices to FedBizOpps at least 15 days before issuance of a solicitation, or a proposed contract action the Government intends to solicit and negotiate with only one source under the authority of 6.302.

Contracting Officer's Representative

  • Work with contract specialist to:
    • Write sources sought notices and solicitation availability announcements.
    • Determine if an RFI or draft solicitation is beneficial.
    • Prepare RFI or draft solicitation.
  • With other scientific program staff, review capability statements and other technical information submitted in response to FedBizOpps announcements. 


See the Office of Acquisitions staff listing for the appropriate contract specialist.

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FAR 5, Publicizing Contract Actions

FAR 10, Market Research

FAR 15.2, Solicitation and Receipt of Proposals and Information

Last Updated May 07, 2015

Last Reviewed March 17, 2015