A client new to Federal contracting was requested recently to submit a "BAFO" by an agency contract specialist. Our client asked what was meant by a "BAFO," and the government representative responded "your best and final offer," and suggested that our client read the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). When our client could not find any reference to a "BAFO" or a "best and final offer" our "baffled" client called us. "Best and Final Offer," or "BAFO" was a term used in the FAR many years ago, before the major revision to Part 15, "Contracting by Negotiation," in 1997. In a negotiated procurement, following the conclusion of discussions with offerors, the contracting officer would issue a request for best and final offers to all offerors still within the competitive range. The pre-1997 FAR contained an entire section that described the "best and final" process. In Federal procurement today, “BAFO” has been replaced by "final proposal revision," as referenced in FAR 15.307. However, some agencies still refer to an “FPR” as a “BAFO.”

pre-1997 FAR

15.611 Best and final offers.

(a) Upon completion of discussions, the contracting officer shall issue to all offerors still within the competitive range a request for best and final offers. Oral requests for best and final offers shall be confirmed in writing.

(b) The request shall include–

(1) Notice that discussions are concluded;

(2) Notice that this is the opportunity to submit a best and final offer;

(3) A common cutoff date and time that allows a reasonable opportunity for submission of written best and final offers; and

(4) Notice that if any modification is submitted, it must be received by the date and time specified and is subject to the Late Submissions, Modifications, and Withdrawals of Proposals provision of the solicitation (see 15.412).

(c) After receipt of best and final offers, the contracting officer should not reopen discussions unless it is clearly in the Government’s interest to do so (e.g., it is clear that information available at that time is inadequate to reasonably justify contractor selection and award based on the best and final offers received). If discussions are reopened, the contracting officer shall issue an additional request for best and final offers to all offerors still within the competitive range.

(d) Following evaluation of the best and final offers, the contracting officer (or other designated source selection authority) shall select that source whose best and final offer is most advantageous to the Government, considering only price and the other factors included in the solicitation (but see 15.608(b)).

FAR 15.307

15.307  Proposal revisions.

(a) If an offeror’s proposal is eliminated or otherwise removed from the competitive range, no further revisions to that offeror’s proposal shall be accepted or considered.

(b) The contracting officer may request or allow proposal revisions to clarify and document understandings reached during negotiations. At the conclusion of discussions, each offeror still in the competitive range shall be given an opportunity to submit a final proposal revision. The contracting officer is required to establish a common cut-off date only for receipt of final proposal revisions. Requests for final proposal revisions shall advise offerors that the final proposal revisions shall be in writing and that the Government intends to make award without obtaining further revisions.