Senate Bill 3051 requires an agency to determine, before awarding a sole-source contract, that the selected firm has an exclusive ability to perform the required work. This requirement could be viewed as an undue impediment to sole-source contracting since, as a practical matter, there are few firms with the exclusive ability to perform the work. Under this view, the requirement could impose an unreasonable condition on the contracting official; while there might not be one firm with exclusive ability, there might be only one firm which could perform in the time and manner necessary. If the requirements are not viewed in this way, there is no reason why the present guidelines with respect to sole-source contracting cannot simply be retained, with the addition of the notice requirements contemplated. GAO believes that the bill will be successful in its effort to attract competitors.
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