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A.2 Preparation

A.2.1 Solicitation Contents

a. General. As stated in 4.1, Postal Service purchasing employs a single, commercial process based on the proven business practices of the private sector, matched to its responsibilities as a public institution. Therefore, Postal Service solicitations (as well as Postal Service contracts, see 4.2.7 and Appendix B), generally mirror the solicitation provisions commonly used in the private sector, to which are added the provisions required by policy, statute, or Executive Order. Provisions 4-1, Standard Solicitation Provisions, 4-2, Evaluation, and 4-3, Representations and Certifications, contain the basic elements of a solicitation. With the exception of Provision 4-3, purchase teams are encouraged to modify, add to, or supplement the thrust of these basic provisions, as they feel necessary to ensure the success of the purchase. Additionally, as discussed in Chapters 1 through 9 of the Interim Internal Purchasing Guidelines, certain types of solicitations and purchases may mandate the inclusion of additional provisions (see the discussion of the provisions at the section of the Guidelines referenced in Part A.3). When modifying, adding to, or supplementing any of the provisions included in this Appendix A, purchase teams must consult assigned counsel, unless a provision contained in these Guidelines addressing the same subject is used to replace one of the paragraphs in Provisions 4-1 and 4-2.

b. Provision 4-1, Standard Solicitation Provisions. Provision 4-1 provides a single set of supplier instructions when soliciting offers or proposals. This provision requires the submission of past performance and capability information (see 2.1.9.c) and, if Form 8203, Order/Solicitation/Offer/Award, is not included with the solicitation, a statement from the supplier specifying its agreement with all terms, conditions and provisions in the solicitation.

c. Provision 4-2, Evaluation. Provision 4-2 provides the purchase team the opportunity to alert the supplier community to the relative importance it places on the evaluation factors (see 2.1.10). Purchase teams must carefully consider the wording of this provision, and adapt it as necessary to the success of the purchase. In certain cases, price may be the deciding factor. See 2.1.10.

d. Provision 4-3, Representations and Certifications. This provision provides a consolidated list of the certifications and representations required of all suppliers. Depending on the nature of the purchase, additional representations and certifications may be required when checked-off by the contracting officer.

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A.2.2 Additional Provisions

Depending on the nature of the purchase, additional solicitation provisions may be needed for a particular solicitation. Contracting officers and purchase teams should consult the discussion of such provisions at the reference cited with the text of the provision in A.3, or develop customized provisions necessary to the success of the purchase.

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