Disclosing Identity of Offerors
Q. Is the list of vendors we solicited pubic information and available to all potential offerors between the time of the pre-proposal conference and the time for receipt of proposals? Is the short list public information at the time of interviews during the personal services RFP? Why would we want the vendors to know how many competitors there are and who their competition is?
A. Most states have procurement statutes that control the amount and type of procurement information that must be disclosed to the public. The list of companies solicited by your agency might be useful to those firms that want to offer their services as subcontractors to potential prime contractors. This could be especially helpful to small and disadvantaged businesses. For these reasons it has been the Federal practice to publicly release the names of all firms solicited for proposals. The names of those companies who submitted proposals, or those companies on the short list would not be released. As your question suggests, it could be detrimental to the competitive process to release this information, and it would not serve the interests of potential subcontractors at that point since the proposals (identifying the various teams members) have already been submitted. (Revised: August 28, 2009)
Q. We had issued a 2-Step IFB for Signals and Communication.
We received technical offers on 6-2-04 and we recorded it as an internal process, i.e. we did not disclose the information to anyone outside our evaluation committee and senior agency members. Now, two DBE firms have requested that we disclose the names of the offerors. Per the BPPM, we are not required to disclose this information. Neither do our State laws require any such disclosure. The DBE firms are being forceful about their request. We appreciate your input.
A. We would counsel you not to disclose the identity of the proposers prior to award unless required by state law. The release of such information could be detrimental to the competitive process and would advance no legitimate governmental interest. As an alternative, we suggest you provide the names of the companies you sent the solicitation to, and the names of companies that attended the preproposal conference. (Revised: August 28, 2009)