Code of the District of Columbia

§ 2–354.01a. Prohibited contacts during source selection.

(a) Except for members of a technical advisory group, no District employee or official shall contact any contracting officer or contracting staff in an attempt to influence source selection outside of the processes established in this subchapter.

(b) Before the commencement of a restricted period, the CPO, or the lead contracting official of an agency with procurement authority independent of the CPO, shall designate a person or persons to be the designated contact for offerors or bidders on a given contract during the restricted period.

(c)(1) During the restricted period, no bidder or offeror shall contact any District employee or official with respect to source selection, except as provided for under subsection (d) of this section.

(2) For the purposes of this section, the term "contact" means any oral, written, or electronic communication.

(d)(1) During the restricted period, an offeror or bidder may make permissible contact with respect to source selection.

(2) For the purposes of this section, the term "permissible contact" means that the offeror or bidder shall contact only the individual designated under subsection (b) of this section for a given contract; provided, that the following contacts are exempted from this subsection and do not need to be directed to the individual designated under subsection (b) of this section:

(A) The submission of written proposals in response to any method for soliciting a response from offerors or bidders intended to result in a contract;

(B) The submission of written questions through a process set forth in a solicitation, request for proposals, invitation for bids, or any other method of soliciting a response from offerors or bidders intended to result in a contract, so long as the written questions and responses are to be disseminated to all offerors or bidders who have expressed an interest in the proposed contract;

(C) Participation in any demonstration, conference, or other means of exchanging information in a setting open to all potential bidders or offerors through a process set forth in a solicitation, request for proposals, invitation for bids, or any other method of soliciting a response from offerors or bidders intended to result in a contract;

(D) Negotiation with the highest-ranking offeror or bidder regarding the terms of the proposed contract; and

(E) Contacts by offerors or bidders with the Contract Appeals Board or any other tribunal or court of competent jurisdiction in connection with a protest, appeal, or dispute before that tribunal or court.

(e) A bid or offer associated with a violation of this section shall be rejected, unless the CPO determines that it is in the best interest of the District not to reject the bid or offer.

(f) For the purposes of this section, the term "bidder" or "offeror" shall include any employee, agent, consultant, or person acting on behalf of a bidder or offeror.

(g) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent any contact or communications by any offeror, bidder, or District employee or official with respect to allegations of improper conduct to the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of the Inspector General, the Office of the District of Columbia Auditor, the CPO, the Council of the District of Columbia, or the Contract Appeals Board or any other tribunal or court of competent jurisdiction.


(Apr. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-371, § 401a; as added Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-158, § 3(j), 63 DCR 10752.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) creation of this section, see § 3(j) of Procurement Integrity, Transparency, and Accountability Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-504, Oct. 13, 2016, 63 DCR 12942).