Doing Business with FRTIB
Welcome to FRTIB. Thanks for your interest in doing business with us. FRTIB purchases products and services through Contracts and Agreements with private-sector entities and other Federal Agencies.
FRTIB is a self-funded federal agency with independent budgetary authority that receives no annual appropriations from Congress. Due to our unique status, FRTIB is not strictly bound to adhere to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). While subject to many of the same procurement laws as other government agencies, FRTIB also works under the mandate of its enabling statute, the Federal Employees’ Retirement System Act (FERSA), which requires that FRTIB fiduciaries manage Thrift Savings Fund (TSF) assets in the sole interest of the TSF participants and beneficiaries, and expend funds for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to participants and beneficiaries and defraying reasonable expenses of administering the TSP. To that end, FRTIB procurements will largely adhere to the FAR, unless doing so might infringe upon the Agency’s fiduciary obligations under FERSA. FRTIB has adopted the FAR as its primary contracting policy and procedures for procuring its goods and services. FRTIB designed the Thrift Federal Acquisition Supplement (T-FAS) as a supplement to the FAR, which specifies when the Agency’s policies and practices deviate from the FAR. See link to T-FAS below. The T-FAS provides an efficient blend of the FAR and federal procurement law while allowing the Agency to be more flexible to accomplish its mission under FERSA.
How to be Considered for Contracts with FRTIB
To be included for consideration on solicitation for contracts in your business area, you should register in the following places:
- System for Award Management
This is the primary database for vendors who wish to do business (or are currently doing business) with the federal government. FRTIB awards contracts to entities registered in SAM in accordance with the FAR. The SAM website gives detailed instructions and helps answer your questions. www.sam.gov
- Governmentwide Point of Entry (GPE)
Most federal government solicitations that must be publicized are posted on Federal Business Opportunities (also called FedBizOpps) www.fbo.gov. Federal government solicitations may also be posted on www.ebuy.gsa.gov or www.sewp.nasa.gov .
FRTIB’s Acquisition Process and Methods
The basic phases of the Acquisition process include:
FRTIB’s Micro Purchase Threshold (MPT) is $15,000; our Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT) is $250,000.
- When a requirement is $15,000 or less, competitive pricing is not required.
- Awards may be made directly using the Government Purchase Card.
- FRTIB prefers this method for acquiring certain types of low-cost goods and training because it is efficient and cost effective.
- FRTIB uses simplified acquisition procedures for contracting requirements that are not complex in nature and are $250,000 or less.
- FRTIB issues requests for quotes from generally a minimum of three vendors.
Contracts Greater than $250,000
- FRTIB uses more formal contracting procedures for requirements that are complex and greater than $250,000.
- FRTIB issues formal solicitations and award contracts for these requirements.
- FRTIB generally solicits a minimum of three firms.
- If FRTIB determines only one firm can provide the goods or services required, FRTIB uses noncompetitive contracting procedures following the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984.
- Unique situations arise in which competitive acquisitions are not possible. These generally involve urgent or specialized requirements.
FRTIB primarily uses Contracting by Negotiation (FAR Part 15) and Simplified Acquisition Procedures (FAR Part 13); FRTIB does not use Sealed Bidding methods (FAR Part 14).
Contracting By Negotiation
- Negotiations are exchanges, in either a competitive or sole source environment, between the Government and offerors that are undertaken with the intent of allowing the offeror to revise its proposal. When negotiations are conducted in a competitive acquisition, they take place after the competitive range has been established, and are called discussions. The discussions with each offeror in the competitive range should help the offeror prepare a final proposal revision that will provide the best value for FRTIB. Then FRTIB will evaluate the revised proposals to determine which proposal offers the overall best value.
Simplified Acquisition Procedures
- Simplified Acquisitions use a set of procedures designed to make it easier to purchase supplies and services that are under certain thresholds by expediting the evaluation processes and keeping documentation to a minimum. FRTIB uses Simplified Acquisitions Procedures to the maximum extent practicable for all purchases of supplies and services not exceeding $250,000, the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT).
Other Types of Contracts and Purchase Orders
- FRTIB uses the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Federal Supply Schedules and Government-Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs), including NASA’s Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement, to place orders for goods and services directly with contractors.
- Many of FRTIB’s requirements are competed using GSA schedules and competitive GWACs because these are streamlined instruments including price lists and pre-negotiated terms. These vehicles help meet FRTIB’s contracting needs because they are more efficient and include a diverse mix of vendors.
Point of Contact
Please direct any questions to FRTIB Contracting at Contracting@tsp.gov