Procurement Notice

December 29, 2005



Background:  NASA’s Broad Agency Announcement (BAA)/Announcement of Opportunity (AO) procurements are conducted as public/private competitions meeting the spirit and intent of the guidelines promulgated by the Competitive Sourcing element of the President’s Management Agenda.  The agency seeks to increase the effectiveness of BAA/AO competitions and raise the efficiency level with which the BAA/AO competitions are conducted.


ACQUISITIONS AFFECTED BY CHANGES:  All solicitations released and contracts awarded as a result of the BAA/AO processes.


ACTION REQUIRED BY CONTRACTING OFFICERS:  Compliance with the revised guidance addressing proposal preparation procedures as contained in the newly added section 1872.308, and adherence to the clarification language regarding requirements for justifications for other than full and open competition, as contained in the revisions to section 1872.502.




PARTS AFFECTED:  Changes are made in Part 1872.


REPLACEMENT PAGES:  You may use the enclosed pages to replace 72:1, 72:2, 72:7 through 72:32 of the NFS.


TYPE OF RULE AND PUBLICATION DATE:  Not Applicable.  This change does not have a significant effect beyond the internal operating procedures of the Agency or have a significant cost or administrative impact on contractors or offerors and therefore does not require codification in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) or publication for public comment.


HEADQUARTERS CONTACT:  Jamiel Commodore, Contract Management Division, (202) 358-0302, email: jamiel.c.commodore@nasa.gov.



Tom Luedtke

Assistant Administrator for Procurement






  PN List

PART 1872





1872.000                                 Scope of part.



1872.101                                 General.

1872.102                                 Key features of the system.

1872.103                                 Management responsibilities.



1872.201                                 General.

1872.202                                 Criteria for determining applicability.

1872.203                                 Applicable programs and activities.

1872.204                                 Approval.



1872.301                                 General.

1872.302                                 Preparatory effort.

1872.303                                 Responsibilities.

1872.304                                 Proposal opportunity period.

1872.305                                 Guidelines for announcement of opportunity.

1872.306                                 Announcement of opportunity soliciting foreign participation.

1872.307                                 Guidelines for proposal preparation.

1872.308                                 Proposals submitted by NASA investigators.



1872.401                                 General.

1872.402                                 Criteria for evaluation.

1872.403                                 Methods of evaluation.

1872.403-1                              Advisory subcommittee evaluation process.

1872.403-2                              Contractor evaluation process.

1872.403-3                              Government evaluation process.

1872.404                                 Engineering, integration, and management evaluation.

1872.405                                 Program office evaluation.

1872.406                                 Steering committee review.

1872.407                                 Principles to apply.


SUBPART     1872.5             THE SELECTION PROCESS

1872.501                                 General.

1872.502                                 Decisions to be made.

1872.503                                 The selection statement.

1872.504                                 Notification of proposers.

1872.505                                 Debriefing.

SUBPART     1872.6             PAYLOAD FORMULATION

1872.601                                 Payload formulation.



1872.701                                 Early involvement essential.

1872.702                                 Negotiation, discussions and contract award.

1872.703                                 Applications of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and the

                                                  NASA FAR Supplement.

1872.704                                 Other administrative and functional requirements.

1872.705                                 Format of announcement of opportunity.

1872.705-1                              Appendix A:  General instructions and provisions.

1872.705-2                              Appendix B:  Guidelines for proposal preparation.

1872.705-3                              Appendix C:  Glossary of terms and abbreviations associated with




PART 1872



1872.000  Scope of part.

   This part prescribes policies and procedures for the acquisition of investigations.


Subpart 1872.1--The Investigation Acquisition System


1872.101  General.

   The investi­ga­tion acquisition system encourages the participation of investigators and the selec­tion of investigations which contribute most effectively to the advancement of NASA's scientific and technological objectives.  It is a system separate from the acquisition process, but requiring the same management and discipline to assure compliance with statutory requirements and considerations of equity.


1872.102  Key Features of the system. 

   (a)(1) Use of the system commences with the Enterprise Associate Administrator's determination that the investigation acquisition process is appropriate for a program. An Announcement of Opportunity (AO) is disseminated to the interested scientific and technical communities. The AO is a form of broad agency announcement (BAA) (see FAR 35.016 and 1835.016 for general BAA requirements). This solicitation does not specify the investigations to be proposed but solicits investigative ideas which contribute to broad objectives. In order to determine which of the proposals should be selected, a formal competitive evaluation process is utilized. The evaluation for merit is normally made by experts in the fields represented by the proposals. Care should be taken to avoid conflicts of interest. These evaluators may be from NASA, other Government agencies, universities, or the commercial sector. Along with or subsequent to the evaluation for merit, the other factors of the proposals, such as engineering, cost, and integration aspects, are reviewed by specialists in those areas. The evaluation

spread over the number of months most compatible with the possible flight opportunities and the avail­ability of resources necessary to evaluate and fund the proposals.

       (2) The AO may be issued establish­ing a single proposal submission date.  However, the AO could provide that NASA amend the AO to provide for subse­quent dates for submission of proposals, if addi­tional inves­tigations are desired within the AO objec­tives. 

       (3) The AO may provide for an initial submission date with the AO to remain open for submission of additional proposals up to a final cutoff date.  This final date should be related to the availabil­ity of resources necessary to evaluate the continu­ous flow of proposals, the time remaining prior to the flight opportunity(s) contem­plated by the AO, and payload fund­ing and availability.

   (b) Generally, a core payload of investi­gations would be selected from the initial submission of proposals under the above methods of open-ended AOs.  These selec­tions could be final or tentative recog­nizing the need for further definition.  Proposals received by subsequent submis­sion

dates would be considered in the scope of the original AO but would be subject to the opportunities and resources remaining available or the progress being made by prior selected investigations.

   (c) Any proposal, whether received on the initial submission or subsequent submis­sion, requires notification to the investiga­tor and the investigator's institu­tion of the proposal disposition. Some of the proposals will be rejected completely and the investi­gators immediately notified.  The remaining unselected proposals may, if agreeable with the proposers, be held for later consider­ation and funding and the investigator so notified.  However, if an investigator's proposal is considered at a later date, the investigator must be given an opportunity to validate the proposal with the investigator's institution and for updat­ing the cost and other data contained in the original submission prior to a final selec­tion.  In summary, NASA may retain  pro­posals, receiving Category I, II, or III classi­fications (see 1872.403-1(e)), for possible later sponsorship until no longer feasible to consider the proposal.  When this final stage is reached, the investigator must be prompt­ly notified. Proposing investigators not desiring their proposals be held for later consider­ation should be given the opportu­nity to so indicate in their original submis­sions.


1872.305  Guidelines for announcement of opportunity.

   (a) The AO should be tailored to the particular needs of the contemplated inves­tigations and be complete in itself.  Each AO will identify the originating program office and be numbered consecutively by calendar year, e.g., OA‑1-95, OA-2-95; OLMSA-1-95; OSS-1-95; etc.  The required format and detailed instructions regarding the contents of the AO are contained in 1872.705.

   (b) The General Instructions and Provi­sions (1872.705-1) are necessary to accom­modate the unique aspects of the AO pro­cess.  Therefore, they must be appended to each AO.

   (c) At the time of issuance, copies of the AO must be furnished to Headquarters, Office of Procurement (Code HS) and Office of Gener­al Counsel (Code GK).

   (d) Proposers should be informed of significant departures from scheduled dates for activities related in the AO.


1872.306  Announcement of opportunity soliciting foreign participation.

   Foreign proposals or U.S. proposals with foreign participation shall be treated in accordance with 1835.016-70.  Additional guidelines applicable to foreign proposers are contained in the Management Plan Section of 1872.705-2 and must be included in any Guidelines for Proposal Preparation or otherwise furnished to foreign proposers.


1872.307 Guidelines for proposal preparation.

  While not all of the guidelines outlined in 1872.705-2 will be applicable in response to every AO, the investigator should be informed of the relevant infor­mation re­quired.  The proposal may be submitted on a form supplied by the Pro­gram Office.  However, the proposal should be submitted in at least two sections:  (a) Investigation and Technical Plan; and (b) Management and Cost Plan as de­scribed in 1872.705-2.  Investigators shall be required to identify and discuss risk factors and issues throughout the proposal where they are relevant, and describe their approach to managing these risks.


1872.308 Proposals submitted by NASA investigators.

   (a) NASA solicits, accepts, and evaluates proposals submitted by NASA Centers in response to an AO.  A NASA investigator may team with one or more non-Government co-investigators.  A NASA investigator may also need to acquire supplies, including instruments and other hardware, and non-research services in support of the proposed investigation.  If a proposal submitted by a NASA Center is selected, formal assembly of the team and acquisition of hardware and support services must be accomplished through the award of new Government contracts, unless existing Government contracts are available.  The award of new Government contracts must comply with procurement laws and regulations.

   (b) In addition to complying with proposal preparation instructions contained in the AO, proposals submitted by NASA Centers should address the following matters. 

       (1) Non-Government co-investigators. 

            (i) The proposal should describe the open and competitive process that was used for selecting proposed team members.  While a formal solicitation is not required, the process should include the following competitive aspects: notice of the opportunity to participate to potential sources, submissions from and/or discussions with potential sources, and objective criteria for selecting team members among interested sources.  If proposed team members are selected without using an open and competitive process, the proposal should contain a full justification consistent with the requirements of FAR Subpart 6.3. 

            (ii) The proposal should also include a representation that the NASA investigator has examined his/her financial interests and has determined that no personal conflict of interest exists.

       (2) Supplies and support services.        

            (i) The proposal should indicate that the supplies or services are available under an existing Government contract; or

            (ii) The proposal should state that the supplies or services will be acquired under a full and open competition; or

            (iii) The proposal should explain the basis of a justification for acquiring the supplies or services noncompetitively (see FAR Subpart 6.3). 

  (c) A selection decision approving the non-Government team members as selected co-investigators satisfies legal and regulatory requirements without further competition or justification (see 1872.702). 

   (d) For the acquisition of supplies, including hardware, and support services by non-Government co-investigators, see 1872.502(a)(4). 

Subpart 1872.4--Evaluation of Proposals


1872.401  General.

   (a) The evaluation process consid­ers the aspects of each proposal by the following progressive sorting: 

       (1) A review resulting in a categoriza­tion is performed by using one of the meth­ods or combination of the methods outlined in 1872.403.  The purpose of this initial review is to determine the scientific and/or technological merit of the proposals in the context of the AO objectives. 

       (2) Those proposals which are considered to have the greatest scientific or technological merit are then reviewed in detail for the engineering, management, and cost aspects, usually by the project office at the installation re­sponsible for the project. 

       (3) Final reviews are performed by the program office and the steering committee and are aimed at devel­oping a group of investigations which rep­resent an integrated payload or a well-balanced program of investigation which has the best possibility for meeting the AO’s objectives within programmatic constraints. 

   (b) The importance of considering the interrelationship of the several aspects of the proposals to be reviewed in the pro­cess and the need for carefully planning their treatment should not be overlooked.  An evaluation plan should be developed before issuance of the AO.  It should cover the recommended staffing for any subcommit­tee or contractor support, review guidelines as well as the procedural flow and schedule of the evaluation.  While not mandatory, such a plan should be considered for each AO.  A fuller discussion of the evaluation and selection process is included in the following sections of this subpart.


1872.402  Criteria for evaluation.

   (a) Each AO must indicate those criteria which the evaluators will apply in evaluat­ing a proposal.  The relative impor­tance of each criterion must also be stated.  This information will allow investigators to make informed judgments in formulating proposals that best meet the stated objec­tives.

   (b) Following is a list of general evalua­tion criteria appropriate for inclu­sion in most AOs:

       (1) The scientific, applica­tions, and/or technological merit of the investiga­tion.

       (2) The relevance of the pro­posed inves­tigation to the AO's stated scien­tific, appli­cations, and/or technological objec­tives.

       (3) The competence and expe­rience of the investigator and any investi­gative team.

       (4) Adequacy of whatever appara­tus may be proposed with particular regard to its ability to supply the data needed for the investigation.

       (5) The reputation and interest of the investigator's institution, as mea­sured by the willingness of the institution to provide the support necessary to ensure that the investigation can be completed satisfac­torily.

       (6) Cost and management aspects will be considered in all selections.

       (7) The proposed approach to managing risk (e.g., level of technology maturity being applied or developed, technical complexity, performance specifications and tolerances, delivery schedule, etc.).

       (8) Other or additional criteria may be used, but the evaluation criteria must be germane to the accomplishment of the stated objectives.

   (c) Once the AO is issued, it is essen­tial that the evaluation criteria be applied in a uniform manner.  If it becomes appar­ent, before the date set for receipt of pro­posals, that the criteria or their relative impor­tance should be changed, the AO will be amended, and all known recipients will be informed of the change and given an ade­quate opportunity to consider it in submis­sion of their proposals.  Evaluation criteria and/or their relative importance will not be changed after the date set for receipt of proposals.


1872.403  Methods of evaluation.

   Alternative methods are available to initiate the evaluation of proposals received in response to an AO.  These are referred to as the Advisory Subcommittee Evaluation Process, the Contractor Evaluation Process, and the Government Evaluation Process.  In all processes, a subcommittee of the appro­priate Program Office Steering Committee will be formed to categorize the proposals.   Following categorization, those proposals still in consideration will be processed to the selection official.


1872.403-1  Advisory subcommittee evaluation process.

   (a) Evaluation of scientific and/or tech­nological merit of proposed investiga­tions is the responsibility of an advisory subcom­mittee of the Steering Committee.  The subcommittee constitutes a peer group qualified to judge the scientific and technological aspects of all investiga­tion proposals.  One or more subcommittees may be established depending on the breadth of the technical or scientific disci­plines inher­ent in the AO's objectives.  Each subcom­mittee represents a discipline or grouping of closely related disciplines.  To maximize the quality of the subcommittee evaluation and categorization, the follow­ing conditions of selection and appointment should be consid­ered.

       (1) The subcommittee normal­ly should be established on an ad hoc basis.

       (2) Qualifications and acknowledgment of the professional abili­ties of the subcom­mittee members are of primary importance.  Institutional affilia­tions are not sufficient qualifications.

       (3) The executive secretary of the sub­committee must be a full-time NASA em­ployee.

       (4) Subcommittee members should nor­mally be appointed as early as possible and prior to receipt of proposals.

       (5) Care must be taken to avoid conflicts of interest.  These include finan­cial inter­ests, institutional affilia­tions, professional biases and associations, as well as familiar relationships.  Conflicts could further occur as a result of imbalance between Govern­ment and non-Government appointees or membership from institutions representing a singular school of thought in discipline areas involving competitive theories in approach to an investigation.

       (6) The subcommittee should con­vene as a group in closed sessions for pro­posal evaluation to protect the proposer's propri­etary ideas and to allow frank discus­sion of the proposer's qualifications and the merit of the proposer's ideas.  Lead review re­sponsibility for each proposal may be as­signed to members most qualified in the involved discipline.  It is important that each proposal be considered by the entire subcommittee.

   (b) It may not be possible to select a subcommittee fully satisfying all of the conditions described in paragraph (a) of this section.  It is the responsibility of the nominating and appointing officials to make trade-offs, where necessary, among the criteria in paragraph (a) of this section. This latitude permits flexibility in making deci­sions in accord with circumstances of each application.  In so doing, however, it is emphasized that recognized expertise in evaluating dissimilar proposals is essential to the continued workability of the investi­gation acquisition process.

   (c) Candidate subcommittee mem­bers should be nominated by the office having responsibility for the evaluation.  Nomina­tions should be approved in accor­dance with NPD 1150.11, "Federal Advisory Committee Act Committees."  The notification of appoint­ment should specify the duration of assign­ment on the subcommittee, provisions con­cerning conflicts of interest, and arrange­ments regarding honoraria, per diem, and travel when actually employed.

   (d) It is important that members of the subcommittee be formally instructed as to their responsibilities with respect to the investigation acquisition process, even where several or all of the members have served previously.  This briefing of subcom­mittee members should include:

       (1) Instruction of subcommittee mem­bers on agency policies and procedures pertinent to acquisition of investigations.

       (2) Review of the program goals, AO objectives, and evaluation crite­ria, includ­ing relative importance, which provide the basis for evaluation.

       (3) Instruction on the use of prelimi­nary proposal evaluation data fur­nished by the Installation Project Office.  The sub­commit­tee should examine these data to gain a better understanding of the proposed inves­tigations, any associated problems, and to consider cost in relation to the value of the investigations' objectives.

       (4) Definition of responsibility of the subcommittee for evaluation and cate­gori­zation with respect to scientific and/or technical merit in accordance with the evaluation criteria.

       (5) Instruction for documenta­tion of deliberations and categorizations of the subcommittee.

       (6) Inform the chairperson of the sub­committee and all members that they should familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, 5 CFR Part 2635, and the Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for employees of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 5 CFR Part 6901,  regarding conflicts of interest.  Members should inform the appointing authority if their participation presents a real or apparent conflict of interest situa­tion.  In addition, all partici­pants should inform the selection official in the event they are subjected to pressure or improper contacts.

       (7) Inform members that prior to the selection and announcement of the success­ful investigators and investigations, sub­committee members and NASA person­nel shall not reveal any information con­cerning the evaluation to anyone who is not also participating in the same evaluation pro­ceedings, and then only to the extent that such information is required in connec­tion with such proceedings.  Also, inform mem­bers that subsequent to selection of an investigation and announcement of negotia­tions with the investigator's institution, information concerning the proceedings of the subcommittee and data developed by the subcommittee will be made available to others within NASA only when the request­or demonstrates a need to know for a NASA purpose. Such information will be made available to persons outside NASA includ­ing other Government agencies, only when such disclosure is concurred in by the Of­fice of General Counsel.  In this connection, reference is made to 18 U.S.C. 1905 which provides  criminal sanctions if any officer or employee (including special employees) of the United States discloses or divulges certain kinds of business confidential and trade secret information unless authorized by law.

   (e) The product of an advisory subcom­mittee is the classification of pro­posals into four categories.  The categories are:

       (1) Category I--Well conceived and scien­tifically and technically sound investi­ga­tions pertinent to the goals of the pro­gram and the AO's objectives and of­fered by a competent investigator from an institu­tion capable of supplying the neces­sary support to ensure that any essential flight hardware or other support can be delivered on time and that data can be properly re­duced, analyzed, interpreted, and published in a reasonable time.  Investi­gations in Category I are recommended for acceptance and normally will be displaced only by other Category I investigations.

       (2) Category II--Well conceived and scientifically or technically sound investi­gations which are recommended for accep­tance, but at a lower priority than Category I.

       (3) Category III--Scientifically or tech­nically sound investigations which require further development.  Category III investi­gations may be funded for develop­ment and may be reconsidered at a later time for the same or other opportunities.

       (4) Category IV--Proposed investiga­tions which are recommended for rejection for the particular opportunity under con­sider­ation, whatever the reason.

   (f) A record of the deliberations of the subcommittee shall be prepared by the assigned executive secretary and shall be signed by the Chairperson.  The minutes shall contain the categorizations with basic rationale for such ratings and the significant strengths and weaknesses of the proposals evaluated.


1872.403-2  Contractor evaluation process.

   (a) The use of the contractor method for obtaining support for evaluation pur­poses of proposals received in response to an AO requires the approval of the Program AA.  Prior to the use of this method, dis­cussion should be held with the Office of Acquisition.

   (b) It is NASA policy to avoid situa­tions in the acquisition process where, by virtue of the work or services performed for NASA, or as a result of data acquired from NASA or from other entities, a partic­ular company:

       (1) Is given an unfair competi­tive ad­vantage over other companies with respect to future NASA business;

       (2) Is placed in a position to affect Gov­ernment actions under circum­stances in which there is potential that the company's judgment may be biased; or

       (3) Otherwise finds that a conflict exists between the performance of work or servic­es for the Government in an impartial manner and the company's own self-inter­est.

   (c) To reduce the possibility of an orga­nizational conflict of interest problem arising, the following minimum restrictions will be incorporated into the contract:

       (1) No employee of the con­tractor will be permitted to propose in response to the AO;

       (2) The "Limitation on Future Contract­ing" clause contained in 1852.209-71 will be included in all such contracts; and

       (3) Unless authorized by the NASA con­tracting officer, the contractor shall not contact the originator of any proposal concerning its contents.

   (d) The scope of work for the select­ed contractor will provide for an identifica­tion of strengths and weaknesses and a   summary of the proposals.  The contractor will not make selections nor recommend investigations.

   (e) The steps to be taken in estab­lishing evaluation panels and the responsi­bilities of NASA and the contractor in relation to the panels will be as follows:

       (1) The contractor will be required to establish and provide support to panels of experts for review of proposals to evalu­ate their scientific and technical merit;

       (2) These panels will be com­posed of scientists and specialists qualified to evalu­ate the proposals;

       (3) The agency may provide to the con­tractor lists of scientist(s) and spe­cial­ist(s) in the various disciplines it be­lieves are qualified to serve on the panels;

       (4) The contractor will report each panel's membership to NASA for approval; and

       (5) The contractor must make all the necessary arrangements with the panel members.

   (f) The evaluation support by the contractor's panels of experts will be ac­complished as follows:

       (1) The panels will review the scien­tific and technical merit of the propos­als in accordance with the evaluation crite­ria in the AO and will record their strengths and weaknesses.

       (2) The contractor will make records of each panel's deliberations which will form the basis for a report summariz­ing the results of the evaluations.  Upon request, the contractor shall provide all such records to NASA;

       (3) The chairperson of each panel shall certify that the evaluation report correctly represents the findings of the review panel; and

       (4) A final report will be sub­mitted as provided in the contract.

   (g) A subcommittee of the Program Of­fice Steering Committee will be estab­lished on an ad hoc basis.  Utilizing fur­nished data, the subcommittee will classify the proposals into the four categories enu­merat­ed in 1872.403-1(e)(1), Advisory Sub­commit­tee Evaluation Process.  A record of the deliberations of the subcommittee should be prepared by an assigned execu­tive secretary and signed by the chairper­son.  The minutes should contain the catego­rizations with the basic rationale for such ratings and the significant strengths and weaknesses of the proposals evaluated.


1872.403-3  Government evaluation process.

   (a) The Program AA may appoint one or more full-time Government employees as subcom­mittee members of the Program Office Steering Committee to evaluate and catego­rize the proposals.

   (b) Each subcommittee member should be qualified and competent to evalu­ate the proposals in accordance with the AO evalu­ation criteria.  It is important that a subcommittee's evaluation not be influ­enced by others either within or outside of NASA.

   (c) The subcommittee members will not contact the proposers for additional infor­mation.

   (d) The subcommittee members will classi­fy the proposals in accordance with the four categories indicated in 1872.403-1(e)(1).  Each categorization will be supported by an appropriate rationale including a narrative of each proposal's strengths and weaknesses.


1872.404  Engineering, integration, and management evaluation.

   (a) The subcommittee responsible for categorization of each proposal in terms of its scientific, applications, or technical merit should receive information on proba­ble cost, technical status, developmental risk, integration and safety problems, and management arrangements in time for their deliberations.

   (b) This information should be provided at the discretion of the Headquar­ters Pro­gram Office by the Project Office at the installation.  This information can be in general terms and should reflect what insights the Project Office can provide without requesting additional details from the proposers.  This limited Project Office review will not normally give the subcom­mittees information of significant preci­sion.  The purpose is to give the subcommit­tee sufficient information so it can review the proposals in conjunction with available cost, integration, and management consider­ations to gain an impression of each investi­gator's understanding of the problems of the experiment and to permit gross trade-offs of cost versus value of the investiga­tion objective.

   (c) Following categorization, the Project Office shall evaluate proposals in conten­tion, in depth, including a thorough review of each proposal's engineering, integration, management, and cost aspects.  This review should be accomplished by qualified engi­neering, cost, and business analysts at the project center.

   (d) In assessing proposed costs, the evalu­ation must consider:

       (1) The investigation objec­tive.

       (2) Comparable, similar or related inves­tigations.

       (3) Whether NASA or the inves­tiga­tor should procure the necessary sup­porting instrumentation or services and the relative cost of each mode.

       (4) Total overall or probable costs to the Government including integra­tion and data reduction and analysis.  In the case of investigations proposed by Govern­ment investigators, this includes all associ­ated direct and indirect cost.  With respect to cooperative investigations, integration, and other applicable costs should be consid­ered.

   (e) The Project Office, as part of the in-depth evaluation of proposals that re­quire instrumentation or support equip­ment, will survey all potential sources for Govern­ment-owned instrumentation or support equipment that may be made avail­able, with or without modifications, to the poten­tial investigator.  Such items contrib­uted by foreign cooperating groups which are still available under cooperative project agree­ments will also be considered for use under the terms and conditions specified in the agreements.  As part of the evaluation report to the Program Office, the availabili­ty or nonavailability of instrumentation or support equipment will be indicated.

   (f) Proposals which require instru­men­ta­tion should be evaluated by project per­son­nel.  This evaluation should cover the inter­faces and the assessment of develop­ment risks.  This evaluation should furnish the selection official with sufficient data to contribute to the instrument determinations.  Important among these are:

       (1) Whether the instrument requires fur­ther definition;

       (2) Whether studies and designs are nec­essary to provide a reasonably accu­rate appreciation of the cost;

       (3) Whether the investigation can be carried out without incurring undue cost, schedule, or risk of failure penalties; and

       (4) Whether integration of the in­stru­ment is feasible.

   (g) In reviewing an investigator's man­agement plan, the Project Office should evaluate the investigator's approach for efficiently managing the work, the recogni­tion of essential management functions, and the effective overall integration of these functions.  Evaluation of the proposals under final consideration should include, but not be limited to: workload--present and future related to capacity and capabili­ty; past experience; management approach and organization; e.g.:

       (1) With respect to workload and its rela­tionship to capacity and capabil­ity, it is important to ascertain the extent to which the investigator is capable of provid­ing facilities and personnel skills necessary to perform the required effort on a timely basis.  This review should reveal the need for additional facilities or people, and provide some indication of the Government support the investigator will require.

       (2) A review should be made of the inves­tigator, the investigator's insti­tution, and any supporting contractor's perfor­mance on prior investigations.  This should assist in arriving at an assessment of the investigator and the institution's ability to perform the effort within the proposed cost and time constraints.

       (3) The proposed investigator's manage­ment arrangements should be re­viewed, including make or buy choices, support of any co-investigator, and preselected subcon­tractors or other instrument fabricators to determine whether such arrangements are justified.  The review should determine if the proposed manage­ment arrangements enhance the investigator's ability to devote more time to the proposed experiment ob­jectives and still effectively employ the technical and ad­ministrative support re­quired for a success­ful investigation.  In making these evalua­tions, the Project Of­fice should draw on the installation's engi­neering, business, legal, and other staff resources, as necessary, as well as its scien­tific resources.  If further information is needed from the proposers, it should be obtained through the proper contacts.


1872.405  Program Office evaluation.

   (a) A Program Office responsible for the project or program at Headquarters will receive the evaluation of the proposals, and weigh the evaluative data to determine an optimum payload or program of investi­ga­tion.  This determination will involve rec­ommendations concerning individual inves­tigations; but, more importantly, should result in a payload or program which is judged to optimize total mission return within schedule, engineering, and budget­ary constraints.  The recommendations should facilitate sound selection decisions by the Program AA.  Three sets of recom­mendations result from the Program Office evaluation:

       (1) Optimum payload or pro­gram of investigations, or options for alter­native payloads or programs.

       (2) Recommendation for final or tenta­tive selection based on a determina­tion of the degree of uncertainty associated with individual investigations.  A tentative selection may be considered step one of a two-step selection technique.

       (3) Upon consideration of the guide­lines contained in 1872.502(a)(3), recom­mend­ing responsibility for instrument develop­ment.

   (b) The Installation Project Office eval­uation is principally concerned with ensur­ing that the proposed investigation can be managed, developed, integrated, and execut­ed with an appropriate probability of tech­nical success within the estimated probable cost.  The Headquarters program Director, drawing upon these inputs, should be main­ly concerned with determining a payload or program from the point of view of pro­grammatic goals and budgetary con­straints.  Discipline and cost trade-offs are consid­ered at this level.  The Headquarters Pro­gram Office should focus on the poten­tial contribution to program objectives that can be achieved under alternative feasible payload integration options.

   (c) It may be to NASA's advantage to consider certain investigations for tenta­tive selection pending resolution of uncer­tain­ties in their development.  Tentative selec­tions should be reconsidered after a period of time for final selection in a pay­load or program of investigations.  This two-step selection process should be consid­ered when:

       (1) The potential return from the inves­ti­gation is sufficient, relative to that of the other investigations under con­sider­ation, and that its further development appears to be warranted before final selec­tion.

       (2) The investigation potential is of such high priority to the program that the inves­tigation should be developed for flight if at all possible.

       (3) The investigative area is critical to the program and competitive approaches need to be developed further to allow selec­tion of the optimum course.

   (d) Based on evaluation of these consid­er­ations associated with the investi­gations requiring further development of hardware, the following information should be provid­ed to the Steering Committee and the Pro­gram AA responsible for selection:

       (1) The expected gain in po­tential return associated with the eventual incorpo­ration of tentatively recommended investi­gations in the payload(s) or program.

       (2) The expected costs required to devel­op instrumentation to the point of "demon­strated capability."

       (3) The risk involved in added cost, prob­ability of successfully developing the re­quired instrument capability, and the possi­bility of schedule impact.

       (4) Identification of opportu­nities, if any, for inclusion of such investi­gations in later missions.

   (e) In those cases where investiga­tions are tentatively selected, an explicit state­ment should be made of the process to be fol­lowed in determining the final pay­load or program of investigations and the pro­posers so informed.  The two-phase selection ap­proach provides the opportunity for addi­tional assurance of development poten­tial and probable cost prior to a final com­mit­ment to the investigation.

   (f) As instruments used in investi­ga­tions become increasingly complex and costly, the need for greater control of their develop­ment by the responsible Headquar­ters Pro­gram Office also grows. According­ly, as an integral part of the evaluation process, a deliberate decision should be made regard­ing the role of the Principal Investigator with respect to the provision of the major hardware associated with that person's investigation.  The guidelines for the hard­ware acquisition determination are dis­cussed in 1872.502(a)(3).

   (g) The range of options for respon­sibili­ty for the instrumentation consists of:

       (1) Assignment of full responsi­bility to the Principal Investigator.  The responsi­bility includes all in-house or con­tracted activity to provide the instrumenta­tion for integration.

       (2) Retention of developmen­tal respon­sibility by the Government with participa­tion by the Principal Investigator in key events defined for the program.  In all cases the right of the Principal Investi­gator to counsel and recommend is para­mount.  Such involvement of the Principal Investigator may include:

            (i)    Provision of instrument specifica­tions.

            (ii)   Approval of specifica­tions.

            (iii)   Independent monitorship of the development and advice to the Govern­ment on optimization of the instru­mentation for the investigation.

            (iv)  Participation in design re­views and other appropriate reviews.

            (v)   Review and concur­rence in chang­es resulting from design reviews.

            (vi)  Participation in config­ura­tion con­trol board actions.

            (vii)  Advice in definition of test pro­gram.

            (viii) Review and approval of test pro­gram and changes thereto.

            (ix)  Participation in conduct of the test program.

            (x)   Participation in cali­bration of instrument.

            (xi)  Participation in final in­spection and acceptance of the instru­ment.

            (xii)  Participation in sub­sequent test and evaluation processes inci­dent to inte­gration and flight preparation.

            (xiii) Participation in the devel­opment and support of the operations plan.

            (xiv) Analysis and interpre­tation of data.

   (h) The Principal Investigator should as a minimum:

       (1) Approve the instrument specifi­ca­tion.

       (2) Advise the project manager in devel­opment and fabrication.

       (3) Participate in final cali­bration.

       (4) Develop and support the opera­tions plan.

       (5) Analyze and interpret the data.

   (i)  The Project Installation is re­sponsi­ble for implementing the program or project and should make recommendations concern­ing the role for the Principal Inves­tigators.  The Program AA will determine the role, acting upon the advice of the Headquarters Program Office and the Steering Commit­tee.  The Principal Investigator's desires will be respected in the negotiation of the person's role allowing an appeal to the Program AA and the right to withdraw from participation.

   (j) The Program Office should make a presentation to the Steering Com­mittee with supporting documentation on the decisions to be made by the responsible Program AA.


1872.406  Steering Committee review.

   (a) The most important role of the Steer­ing Committee is to provide a substan­tive review of a potential payload or pro­gram of investigations and to recommend a selection to the Program AA.  The Steering Commit­tee applies the collective experience of representatives from the program and disci­pline communities and offers a forum for discussing the selection from those points of view.  In addition to this mission-specific evaluation function, the Steering Commit­tee provides guidance to subcommit­tee chairpersons and serves as a clearing­house for problems and complaints regard­ing the process.  The Steering Committee is respon­sible for assuring adherence to re­quired procedures.  Lastly, it is the forum where discipline objectives are weighed against program objectives and constraints.

   (b) The Steering Committee repre­sents the means for exercising three respon­sibili­ties in the process of selecting investi­ga­tions to:

       (1) Review compliance with proce­dures governing application of the AO process.

       (2) Ensure that adequate docu­menta­tion has been made of the steps in the eval­uation process.

       (3) Review the results of the evalua­tion by the subcommittee, Project, and Program Offices and prepare an assess­ment or en­dorsement of a recommended payload or program of investigations to the Program AA.

   (c) The purpose in exercising the first of the responsibilities in paragraph (b) of this section is to ensure equity and consistency in the application of the pro­cess.  The Steering Committee is intend­ed to provide the necessary reviews and coordina­tion inherent in conventional acquisition practices.

   (d) The second and third responsibil­ities of the Steering Committee in paragraph (b) are technical.  They require that the Steering Commit­tee review the evaluations by subcommittee, the Project Office, and the Program Office for completeness and appropriateness be­fore forwarding to the Program AA.  Most im­portant in this review are:

       (1) Degree to which results of evalu­ations and recommendations follow logical­ly from the criteria in the AO.

       (2) Consistency with objectives and poli­cies generally beyond the scope of Project/Program Offices.

       (3) Sufficiency of reasons stated for tentative recommendations of those investi­gations requiring further in­strument re­search and development.

       (4) Sufficiency of reasons stated for determining responsibilities for instrument development.

       (5) Sufficiency of consider­ation of reus­able space flight hardware and support equipment for the recommended investiga­tions.

       (6) Sufficiency of reasons for classi­fying proposed investigations in their re­spective categories.

       (7) Fair treatment of all pro­posals.

   (e) The Steering Committee makes rec­om­mendations to the selection official on the payload or program of investigations and notes caveats or provisions important for consideration of the selection official.


1872.407  Principles to apply.

   (a) 1872.406 contains a de­scription of the evaluation function appro­priate for a major payload or very signifi­cant pro­gram of investigation.  The levels of review, evaluation, and refinement described should be applied in those selec­tions where warranted but could be varied for less significant selection situations.  It is essen­tial to consider the principles of the several evaluative steps, but it may not be essential to maintain strict adherence to the sequence and structure of the evalua­tion system described.  The selection offi­cial is respon­sible for determining the evaluation process most appropriate for the selection situation using this Subpart 1872.4 as a guide.

   (b) Significant deviations from the provi­sions of this Part 1872 must be fully docu­mented and be approved by the Pro­gram AA after concurrence by the Office of General Counsel and Office of Acquisition.


Subpart 1872.5--The Selection Process


1872.501 General.

   The Program AA is responsible for selecting investigations for contract negoti­ation.  This decision culminates the evalua­tions and processes that can be summarized as follows:

  Evaluation Stage

Principal Emphasis


Contractor   (when authorized)

Summary evaluation (strengths and weaknesses)

Report to Subcommit­tee


Science and technological relevance, value, and feasibility

Categor­ization of individu­al proposals

Project Office                                

Engineering/cost/integration/ management assessment

Reports to Subcommittee and Pro­gram Office

Program Office

Consistency with  Announcement and program objectives, and cost and schedule constraints

Recommendations to Steering Committee of payload or program investigations

Steering Committee                    

Logic of proposed selections and compliance with proper procedures   

Recommendations to Program Associate Administrator


1872.502  Decisions to be made.

   (a) The selection decisions by the Pro­gram AA constitute management judg­ments balancing individual and aggregate scien­tific or technological merit, the contri­bu­tion of the recommended investigations to the AO's objectives, and their conso­nance with budget constraints to make the following decisions:

       (1) Determination of the ade­quacy of scientific/technical analysis sup­porting the recommended selections.  This supporting rationale should involve consid­erations including:

            (i) Assurance that the expected return contributes substantially to program objec­tives and is likely to be real­ized.

            (ii)   Assurance that the evalua­tion crite­ria were applied consistent­ly to all proposed investigations.

            (iii) Assurance that the set of recom­mend­ed investigations constitutes the opti­mum program or payload consider­ing poten­tial value and constraints.

            (iv)  Assurance that only one investiga­tor is assigned as the Principal Investigator to each investigation and that the Principal Investigator will assume the associated responsibilities and be the single point of contact and leader of any other investiga­tors selected for the same investi­gation.

       (2) Determination as to wheth­er avail­able returned space hardware or sup­port equip­ment, with or without modifi­cation, would be adequate to meet or sup­port inves­tiga­tion objectives.

       (3) Determination, with regard to a non-Government principal investigator, as to wheth­er the pro­posed instrument fabricator quali­fies and should be accepted as a sole source or whet­her the requirement should be com­petitively procured.  The following guidelines apply:

            (i) The hardware required should be subjected to competitive solicita­tion where it is clear that the capability is not suffi­ciently unique to justify sole source acquisition.

            (ii)   The hardware require­ment should be purchased from the fabrica­tor proposed by the investigator, which may be the investigator's own institution, (A) when the fabricator's proposal contains technical data that are not available from another source, and it is not feasible or practicable to define the fabrication re­quirement in such a way as to avoid the necessity of using the technical data con­tained in the proposal; (B) when the fabrica­tor offers unique capabilities that are not available from another source; (C) when the selection official determines that the pro­posed hard­ware contributes so significantly to the value of the investigator's proposal as to be an integral part of it.

            (iii) While it is NASA policy that acquisition of the necessary hardware be the responsibility of the principal investigator, NASA may buy the hardware and furnish it to the investigator only if a producer other than the one proposed by the investigator offers unique capabilities.  The NASA acquisition must be justified as prescribed in FAR Subpart 6.3. 

       (4) If a NASA Center submits a pro­posal, any re­quirement for hardware neces­sary to per­form the investigation must be acquired under existing Government contracts, be com­peted by the installation acquisition office, or a justification must be written, synopsized, and approved in accor­dance with the requirements of the FAR and the NASA FAR Supplement (see 1872.308).  In the event that a proposal submitted by a NASA Center includes non-Government team members that will have substantial responsibilities for performing the investigation (co-investigator organizations), and one or more of these organizations will be responsible for the acquisition of hardware, the determination described in subparagraph (a)(3) of this section must be made.

       (5) Determination of the desir­ability for tentative selection of investiga­tions.  This determination involves consid­erations including:

            (i) Assessment of the state of develop­ment of the investigative hard­ware, the cost and schedule for development in relation to the gain in potential benefits at the time of final selection.

            (ii)   Assurance that there is ade­quate definition of investigation hard­ware to allow parallel design of other pro­ject hard­ware.

            (iii)  Assurance that appro­priate man­agement procedures are contained in the project plan for reevalua­tion and final selection (or rejection) on an appropriate time scale.

       (6) Determination of the ac­ceptabili­ty of the proposer's management plan, includ­ing the proposed hardware development plan, and the necessity, if any, of negotiat­ing modifications to that plan.

   (b) In the process of making the determinations described in para­graph (a)(1) of this section, the Program AA may request addi­tional information or evaluations.  In most in­stances, this information can be provided by the Program Office responsible for the mission, project, or program.  However, the Program AA may reconvene the subcommit­tee or poll the members individually or provide for additional analysis or require additional data from evaluators or propos­ers as considered necessary to facilitate the Program AA's decision.


1872.503  The Selection Statement.

   Upon completion of deliberations, the responsible Program AA shall issue a selec­tion statement.  Ordinarily this statement will, upon request, be releasable to the public.  As a minimum, the selection state­ment should include:

   (a) The general and specific evalua­tion criteria and relative importance used for the selection.

   (b) The categorizations provided by the subcommittee and the rationale for accept­ing or not accepting each Category I propos­al and a succinct statement concern­ing the nonacceptance of all other propos­als.

   (c) A concise description of each inves­ti­gation accepted including an indica­tion as to whether the selection is a partial accep­tance of a proposal and/or a combination with other investigators.

   (d) The role of the Principal Inves­tiga­tor with regard to hardware essential to the investigation and whether the Principal Investigator will be responsible for hard­ware acquisition and the basis therefor.

   (e) An indication of the plan and acqui­sition using the regular acquisition pro­cesses, if the Principal Investigator is not to acquire the hardware.

   (f) A statement indicating whether the selection is final or tentative, recogniz­ing the need for better definition of the inves­tigation and its cost.

   (g) A statement indicating use of Gov­ern­ment-owned space flight hardware and/or support equipment.


1872.504  Notification of proposers.

   (a) It is essential that investigators whose proposals have no reasonable chance for selection be so apprised as soon as prac­ticable.  The responsible Program Office will, upon such determination, notify inves­tigators of that fact with the major rea­son(s) why the proposals were so considered.  The notification letter should also inform such investigators that they may obtain a detailed oral debriefing provided they request it in writing.

   (b) Letters of notification will be sent to those Principal Investigators selected to participate.  This letter should not com­mit the agency to more than negotiations for the selected investigation, but it should indicate the decision made and contain:

       (1) A concise description of the Princi­pal Investigator's investigation as selected, noting substantive changes, if any, from the investigation originally proposed by the Principal Investigator.

       (2) The nature of the selection, i.e., whet­her it should be considered final or tenta­tive requiring additional hardware or cost definition.

       (3) A description of the role of the Prin­cipal Investigator including the respon­sibility for the provision of instru­ments for flight experiments.

       (4) Identification of the princi­pal tech­nical and management points to be treat­ed in subsequent negotiations.

       (5) Any rights to be granted on use of data, publishing of data, and dura­tion of use of the data.

       (6) Where applicable, indica­tion that a foreign selectee's participation in the pro­gram will be arranged between the Office of External Relations, and the foreign government agency which endorsed the proposal.

   (c) In conjunction with the notifica­tion of successful foreign proposers, the Pro­gram Office shall forward a letter to the responsible Office of External Relations, addressing the following:

       (1) The scientific technological objec­tive of the effort.

       (2) The period of time for the effort.

       (3) The responsibilities of NASA and of the sponsoring governmental agency; these may include:

            (i)    Provision and disposi­tion of hard­ware and software.

            (ii)   Responsibilities for report­ing, re­duction and dissemination of data.

            (iii)   Responsibilities for transpor­tation of hardware.

       (4) Any additional informa­tion perti­nent to the conduct of the experi­ment.

   (d) Using the information provided above, the Office of External Relations will negotiate an agreement with the sponsoring foreign agency.

   (e) Notices shall also be sent to those proposers not notified pursuant to the paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section, and, as applicable, a copy to the sponsoring foreign government agency. It is important that these remain­ing proposers be informed at the same time as those selected.  Other agency notifica­tions and press release procedures will apply, as appropriate.


1872.505  Debriefing.

   It is the policy to debrief, if requested, unsuccessful proposers of investigations in accordance with FAR 15.5.  The fol­lowing shall be considered in ar­ranging and conducting debriefings:

   (a) Debriefing shall be done by an official designated by the responsible Pro­gram AA.  Any other personnel receiving requests for information concerning the rejection of a proposal shall refer to the designated official.

   (b) Debriefing of unsuccessful offerors shall be made at the earliest possible time; debriefing will generally be scheduled subsequent to selection but prior to award of contracts to the successful proposers.

   (c) Material discussed in debriefing shall be factual and consonant with the documented findings of several stages of the evaluation process and the selection statement.

   (d) The debriefing official shall advise of weak or deficient areas in the proposal, indicate whether those weaknesses were factors in the selection, and advise of the major considerations in selecting the com­peting successful proposer where appro­priate.

   (e) The debriefing official shall not discuss other unsuccessful proposals, rank­ing, votes of members, or attempt to make a point-by-point comparison with successful proposals.

   (f) A memorandum of record of the debriefing shall be provided the Chairper­son of the Steering Committee.


Subpart 1872.6--Payload Formulation


1872.601  Payload formulation.

   (a) Payload elements for Space Trans­portation System (STS) missions can come from many sources.  These include those selected through AOs, those generated by in-house research, unsolicited proposals and those derived from agreements between NASA and external entities.  However, it is anticipated that the primary source of NASA payload elements will be the AO process.  Generally, proposals for payload elements submitted outside the AO process will not be selected if they would have been responsive to an AO objective.

   (b) Payload elements for STS flights fall into two major categories.  "NASA or NASA-related" payload elements are those which are developed by a NASA Program Office or by another party with which NASA has a shared interest.  "Non-NASA"  payload elements are those which require only STS operation services from NASA and interface with NASA through the Office of Space Flight.

   (c) In general, a Program Office will be designated responsibility for formu­lating the "NASA or NASA-related" portion of an STS payload.  The Office of Space Flight will be responsible for formulating the "non-NASA" portion of an STS payload.  Flights may, of course, consist wholly of payload elements of either type.  Resource allocation for mixed missions will be deter­mined by the Program Office and the Of­fice of Space Flight.


Subpart 1872.7--Acquisition and Other Considerations


1872.701  Early involvement essential.

   (a) The distinctive feature of the AO process is that it is both a program planning system and an acquisition system in one procedure.  The choice of what aeronauti­cal and space phenomena to inves­tigate is program planning.  Acquisition is involved with the purchase of property and services to carry out the selected investiga­tions.

   (b) Because of both the program­matic and multi-functional aspects of the AO process, early involvement of external program office elements is essential.  Suc­cess of the process requires that it proceed in a manner that meets program goals and complies with statutory requirements and  acquisition policy.

   (c) The planning, preparation and selec­tion schedule for the investigation should commence early enough to meet statutory and regulatory requirements.  Chief of these are the requirements for soliciting maximum feasible competition and for conducting discussions with offer­ors within the competitive range by the Project Office and/or any other evaluation group or office authorized by the selection official.


1872.702  Negotiation, discussions, and contract award.

   (a) The AO shall be synopsized in the Commerce Business Daily.  Responses to the synopsis must be added to the AO mailing list.  Every effort should be made to publish opportunities far enough in advance to encourage a broad response.  (In no case less than 45 days before the date set for receipt of proposals).

   (b) Significant items for consideration after receipt of proposals:

       (1) Late Proposals -- The policy on late proposals contained in 1815.208 is applicable.  Potential investigators should be informed of this policy.  In the AO context, the selection official or designee will determine whether a late proposal will be considered.

       (2) Competitive Consideration.

            (i)  The proposals submitted in re­sponse to the AOs are not necessarily fully compa­rable.  However, all proposals within the scope of an opportunity must be evalu­ated in accordance with the criteria in the AO.

            (ii)   Cost must be considered in the evalu­ation if costs are involved in the investiga­tion.  General cost information should be given to the subcommittee by the Installa­tion Project Office for use in deter­mining the categories into which the sub­committee places proposals.

            (iii)   Further information should be ob­tained, as necessary, by the Installa­tion Project Office and/or any other evaluation group authorized by the selec­tion official and from the investigators whose proposals are being considered.  This is similar to the acquisition procedure for conducting written and oral discussions.  A major consideration during discussions is to avoid unfairness and unequal treatment.  Good judgment is required by in the extent and content of the discussions.  There should be no reluctance in obtaining the advice and guidance of management and staff offices during the discussion phase.  A summary should be prepared of the primary points covered in the written and oral discussions and show the effect of the discussions on the evaluation of proposals.  This summary should also contain general information about the questions submitted to the inves­tigators, the amount of time spent in oral discussion, and revisions in proposals, if any, resulting from the discus­sions.

            (iv)  During the conduct of dis­cussions, all proposers being considered shall be offered an equitable opportunity to submit cost, technical, or other revisions in their propos­als as may result from the discus­sions.  All proposers shall be informed that any revi­sions to their proposals must be submitted by a common cut-off date in order to be considered.  The record should note compli­ance of the investigators with that cut-off date.

   (c) Significant items for consider­ation before award:

       (1) Issuance of a Request for Pro­posal (RFP)--A formal RFP should not be issued to obtain additional information on propos­als accepted under the AO process.  Addi­tional technical, cost, or other data received should be considered as a supple­ment to the original proposal.

       (2) Selection of Investigator/Con­trac­tor--The selection decision of the Pro­gram AA approves the selected investi­gators and their institutions as the only satisfacto­ry sources for the investigations.  The selec­tion of the investigator does not constitute the selection of that person's proposed support­ing hardware fabricator unless the selection official specifically incorporates the fabri­cator in the selection decision.


1872.703  Application of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and the NASA FAR Supplement.

   The AO process supplants normal acquisition procedures only to the extent neces­sary to meet the distinctive features of the process.  This process is not intended to conflict with any established statutory requirements.


1872.704  Other administrative and function­al requirements.

   After selection, all other applicable admin­istrative and functional requirements will be complied with or incorporated in any resultant contract.


1872.705  Format of Announcement of Opportunity (AO).

   Use the following format instructions when drafting AOs:


OMB Approval Number 2700-0085



Washington, DC 20546




A0 No.                  (Issuance Date)


(Descriptive Heading)


I.   Description of the Opportunity.

   This section should set forth the basic purpose of the AO and describe the oppor­tunity in terms of NASA's desire to obtain proposals which will meet the stated scien­tific, applications and/or technological objectives.  These objectives may be direct­ed to the generation of proposals for investigations and/or they may pertain to the acquisition of dissimilar ideas leading to selection of investigators, guest observers, guest investigators, or theorists. In those instances where proposals for investigations are sought, this section should describe the requirement, if any, for selected investigators to serve on advisory or working groups.  In those instances where the project or program has not yet been approved, a qualifying statement should be included to indicate that this AO does not constitute an obligation for the Government to carry the effort to comple­tion.


II.  NASA’s Safety Priority.

   Safety is the freedom from those conditions that can cause death, injury, occupational illness, damage to or loss of equipment or property, or damage to the environment.  NASA’s safety priority is to protect:

      (1) the public,

      (2) astronauts and pilots,

      (3) the NASA workforce (including NASA employees working under NASA instruments), and

      (4) high-value equipment and property.


III.   AO Objectives.

   This section will give a succinct state­ment of the specific scientific, applications, and/or technological objective(s) for the opportunity(s) for which proposals are sought.


IV.   Background.

   This section should provide an expla­nation of the context of the opportunity, i.e., infor­mation which will help the reader under­stand the relevance of the opportuni­ty.


V.   Proposal Opportunity Period.

   This section should provide the pro­pos­al opportunity period(s).  The following meth­ods may be used individually or in conjunc­tion for establishing the proposal opportu­nity period(s):

   (a) The AO may be issued establish­ing a single date by which proposals may be received.  However, the AO could provide that the agency may amend the AO to pro­vide for subsequent dates for submission of proposals, if additional investigations are desired.

   (b) The AO may be issued to pro­vide for an initial submission date with the AO to remain open for submission of addi­tional proposals up to a final cutoff date.  This final date should be related to the availabil­ity of resources necessary to evalu­ate the continuous flow of proposals and the time remaining prior to the flight op­portunities contemplated by the AO.

   (c) The AO may be issued establish­ing a number of dates by which proposals may be received.  Normally no more than three proposal submission dates should be estab­lished.  The submittal dates may be spread over the number of months most compatible with the possible flight opportu­nities and the availability of resources necessary to evaluate and fund the proposal.  If desired, this section should further in­form the reader that if a proposal receives a Catego­ry I, II, or III rating but is not selected for immediate support, the proposal may, if desired by the proposer, be held by NASA for later consideration within the ground rules set forth in paragraphs l and 2.  The section should inform the reader that if the person wishes the proposal to be so treated, it should be indicated in the pro­posal.  This section should further indicate that offer­ors whose proposals are to be considered at a later time will be given the opportunity to revalidate their proposals with their institu­tion and update cost data.


VI.   Requirements and Constraints.

   (a) This section will include techni­cal, programmatic, cost, and schedule re­quire­ments or constraints, as applicable, and will specify performance limits such as lifetime, flight environment, safety, reli­ability, and quality assurance provisions for flight-worthiness.  It will specify the re­quirements and constraints related to the flight crew and the ground support.  It will also in­clude requirements for data analysis, esti­mated schedule of data shipment to user or observ­er, need for preliminary or raw data analy­sis and interim reports.  It will specify the planned period (time) for data analysis to be used for budgeting.  It will provide any additional information neces­sary for a meaningful proposal.

   (b) When NASA determines that instru­mentation, ground support equipment, or NASA supporting effort will be required or may be expected to be required by the contemplated investigations, the AO should indicate to the potential investigators that they must submit specific information regarding this requirement to allow an in-depth evaluation of the technical aspects, cost, management, and other factors by the Installation Project Office.


VII.   Proposal Submission Information.

   (a) Preproposal Activities--In this sec­tion, the AO will indicate requirements and activities such as the following:

       (1) Submittal of "Notice of Intent" to propose (if desired), date for submission, and any additional required data to be submitted.  Indicate whether there are information packages which will only be sent to those who submit "Notice of Intent."

       (2) Attendance at the preproposal con­ference (if held).  Informa­tion should be provided as to time, place, whether atten­dance will be restricted in number from each institution, and whether prior notice of intention to attend is re­quired.  If de­sired, a request may be includ­ed that ques­tions be submitted in writing several days before the conference in order to prepare replies.

       (3) The name and address of the scien­tif­ic or technical contact for ques­tions or inqui­ries.

       (4) Any other preproposal data consid­ered necessary.

   (b) Format of Proposals--This sec­tion should provide the investigator with the information necessary to enable an effec­tive evaluation of the proposal.  The infor­mation is as follows:

       (1) Proposal--The AO should indi­cate how the proposal should be submit­ted to facilitate evaluation.  The proposal should be submitted in at least two sections; (i) Investigation and Technical Section; and (ii) Management and Cost Section.

       (2) Signatory--The propos­al must be signed by an institutional official autho­rized to ensure institutional support, spon­sorship of the investigation, manage­ment, and financial aspects of the proposal.

       (3) Quantity--The number of copies of the proposal should be specified.  One copy should be clear black and white, and on white paper of quality suitable for repro­duction.

       (4) Submittal Address--Propos­als from domestic sources should be mailed to arrive not later than the time indicated for receipt of proposals to:


National Aeronautics and Space Adminis­tration

Office of (Program)

Code              AO No.            

Washington, DC   20546


       (5) Format--To aid in proposal evalua­tion, and to facilitate comparative analysis, a uniform proposal format will be required for each AO.  The number of pages, page size, and restriction on photo reduction, etc., may be included.  The for­mat contained in Appendix B can be used as a guide.  Proposers may be requested to re­spond to all of the items or the AO may indicate that only selected items need be addressed.  Using the Appendix format as a guide, specific guidelines may be prepared for the AO or an appropriate form devel­oped.

   (c) Additional Information--This sec­tion may be used to request or furnish data necessary to obtain clear proposals that should not require further discussions with the proposer by the evaluators.  Other perti­nent data could also be included, such as significant milestones.

   (d) Foreign Proposals--The proce­dures for submission of proposals from outside the U.S. are contained in Appendix B, "Guidelines for Proposal Preparation." This section will describe any additional require­ments, for example, if information copies of proposals are required to be fur­nished by the proposer to other organiza­tions at the same time the proposal is sub­mitted.

   (e) Cost Proposals (U.S. Investiga­tors Only)--This section defines any special requirements regarding cost proposals of domestic investigators.  Reference then should be made to the cost proposal certifi­cations indicated in Appendix B, "Guidelines for Proposal Preparation."


VIII.  Proposal Evaluation, Selection, and Implementation.

   (a) Evaluation and Selection Proce­dure.

       (1) This section should notify the pro­posers of the evaluation process.

       (2) For example, a statement similar to the following should be included:


   "Proposals received in response to this AO will be reviewed by a subcommittee ap­pointed by the (appropriate Program AA).  The purpose of the review is to determine the scientific/technical merit of the propos­als in the context of this AO and so catego­rize the proposals.  Those proposals which are considered to have the greatest scientif­ic/technical merit are further reviewed for engineering, integration, management, and cost aspects by the Project Office at the installation responsible for the project.  On the basis of these reviews, and the reviews of the responsible Program Office and the Steering Committee, the (appropriate Pro­gram Associate Administrator) will appoint/select the investigators/investiga­tions."


   (b) Evaluation Criteria.

       (1) This section should indi­cate that the selection of proposals which best meet the specific scientific, applica­tions, and/or technological objectives, stated in the AO, is the aim of the solicita­tion.  This section should list the criteria to be used in the evaluation of proposals and indicate their relative importance.  See NASA FAR Supplement 1872.402 for a listing of criteria gener­ally appropriate.

       (2) This section will also in­form the proposers that cost and manage­ment factors, e.g., proposed small business participation in instrumentation fabrication or investigation support, will be separately considered.


IX.  Schedule.

   This section should include the follow­ing, as applicable:

   (a) Preproposal conference date.

   (b) Notice of Intent submittal date.

   (c) Proposal submittal date(s).

   (d) Target date for announcement of selections.


X.  Appendices.

   (a) General Instructions and Provi­sions (must be attached to each AO).

   (b) Other Pertinent Data, e.g., Spacelab Accommodations Data.

/s/ Associate Administrator

    for (Program)


1872.705-1  Appendix A:  General Instructions and Provisions.

   Include the following in all Announcements of Opportunity:


I.  Instrumentation and/or Ground Equip­ment.

   By submitting a proposal, the investi­ga­tor and institution agree that NASA has the option to accept all or part of the offeror's plan to provide the instrumenta­tion or ground support equipment required for the investigation or NASA may furnish or obtain such instrumentation or equip­ment from any other source as determined by the selecting official.  In addition, NASA re­serves the right to require use, by the select­ed investigator, of Government instrumen­tation or property that becomes available, with or without modification, that will meet the investigative objectives.


II.  Tentative Selections, Phased Develop­ment, Partial Selections, and Partici­pa­tion with Others.

   By submitting a proposal, the investi­gator and the organization agree that NASA has the option to make a tentative selection pending a successful feasibility or defini­tion effort.  NASA has the option to con­tract in phases for a proposed experiment, and to discontinue the investigative effort at the completion of any phase.  The inves­tigator should also understand that NASA may desire to select only a portion of the proposed investigation and/or that NASA may desire the individual's participation with other investigators in a joint investiga­tion, in which case the investigator will be given the opportunity to accept or decline such partial acceptance or participation with other investigators prior to a selection.  Where participation with other investigators as a team is agreed to, one of the team members will normally be designated as its team leader or contact point.


III.  Selection Without Discussion.

   The Government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received in re­sponse to this AO when such action shall be consid­ered in the best interest of the Gov­ernment.  Notice is also given of the possi­bility that any selection may be made with­out discus­sion (other than discussions conducted for the purpose of minor clarifica­tion).  It is therefore emphasized that all proposals should be submitted initially on the most favorable terms that the offeror can submit.


IV.  Foreign Proposals.

   See Appendix B, Management Plan and Cost Plan, paragraph (a)(3).


V.  Treatment of Proposal Data.

   It is NASA policy to use information con­tained in proposals and quotations for evaluation purposes only.  While this policy does not require that the proposal or quota­tion bear a restrictive notice, offerors or quoters should place the following notice on the title page of the proposal or quotation and specify the information, subject to the notice by inserting appropriate identifica­tion,

such as page numbers, in the notice.  Information (data) contained in proposals and quotations will be protected to the extent permitted by law, but NASA assumes no liability for use and disclosure of infor­mation not made subject to the notice.  To prevent inadvertant disclosure, proposal data shall not be included in submissions (e.g. final reports) that are routinely released to the public.





   The information (data) contained in [insert page numbers or other identification] of this proposal or quotation constitutes a trade secret and/or information that is commercial or financial and confidential or privileged.  It is furnished to the Govern­ment in confidence with the understanding that it will not, without permission of the offeror, be used or disclosed for other than evaluation purposes; provided, however, that in the event a contract is awarded on the basis of this proposal or quotation the Government shall have the right to use and disclose this information (data) to the ex­tent provided in the contract.  This restric­tion does not limit the Government's right to use or disclose this information (data) if obtained from another source without restriction.


VI.  Status of Cost Proposals (U.S. Proposals Only).

   The investigator's institution agrees that the cost proposal is for proposal evalu­ation and selection purposes, and that fol­lowing selec­tion and during negotiations leading to a definitive contract, the institu­tion may be required to resubmit cost information in accordance with FAR 15.403-5.


VII.  Late Proposals.

   Proposals or proposal modifications received after the latest date specified for receipt may be considered if a significant reduction in cost to the Government is probable or if there are significant technical advantages, as compared with proposals previously received.


VIII.  Source of Space Transportation System Investigations.

   Investigators are advised that candi­date investigations for Space Transporta­tion System (STS) missions can come from many sources.


IX.  Disclosure of Proposals Outside Gov­ernment.

   NASA may find it necessary to obtain proposal evaluation assistance outside the Government.  Where NASA determines it is necessary to disclose a proposal outside the Government for evaluation purposes, ar­rangements will be made with the evaluator for appropriate handling of the proposal information.  Therefore, by submitting a proposal the investigator and institution agree that NASA may have the proposal evaluated outside the Government.  If the investigator or institution desire to preclude NASA from using an outside evaluation, the investigator or institution should so indi­cate on the cover.  However, notice is given that if NASA is precluded from using out­side evaluation, it may be unable to consid­er the proposal.


X.  Equal Opportunity (U.S. Proposals Only).

   By submitting a proposal, the investi­gator and institution agree to accept the following clause in any resulting contract:


   During the performance of this con­tract, the Contractor agrees as follows:

   (a) The Contractor will not discrim­inate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

   (b) The Contractor will take affir­ma­tive action to ensure that applicants are em­ployed, and that employees are treated during employment without regard to their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.  This shall include, but not be limited to, (1) employment, (2) upgrading, (3) demotion, (4) transfer, (5) recruitment or recruit­ment advertising, (6) layoff or termination, (7) rates of pay or other forms of compensa­tion, and (8) selection for training, includ­ing apprenticeship.

   (c) The Contractor shall post in conspic­u­ous places available to employees and appli­cants for employment the notices to be provided by the Contracting Officer that explain this clause.

   (d) The Contractor shall, in all solicita­tions or advertisements for employ­ees placed by or on behalf of the Contrac­tor, state that all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment with­out regard to race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

   (e) The Contractor shall send to each labor union or representative of work­ers with which it has a collective bargain­ing agreement or other contract or under­stand­ing the notice to be provided by the Con­tracting Officer, advising the labor union or workers' representative of the Contractor's commitments under this clause, and post copies of the notice in conspicuous places available to employees and applicants for employment.

   (f) The Contractor shall comply with Executive Order 11246, as amended, and the rules, regulations, and orders of the Secre­tary of Labor.

   (g) The Contractor shall furnish to the contracting agency all information required by Executive Order 11246, as amended, and by the rules, regulations, and orders of the Secretary of Labor.  Standard Form 100 (EEO-1), or any successor form, is the pre­scribed form to be filed within 30 days following the award, unless filed within 12 months preceding the date of award.

   (h) The Contractor shall permit access to its books, records, and accounts by the contracting agency or the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) for the purposes of investigation to ascer­tain the Contractor's compliance with the applicable rules, regulations, and orders.

   (i)  If the OFCCP determines that the Contractor is not in compliance with this clause or any rule, regulation, or order of the Secretary of Labor, the contract may be canceled, terminated, or suspended in whole or in part, and the Contractor may be de­clared ineligible for further Government contracts, under the procedures authorized in Executive Order 11246, as amended.  In addition, sanctions may be imposed and remedies invoked against the Contractor as provided in Executive Order 11246, as amended, the rules, regulations, and orders of the Secretary of Labor, or as otherwise provided by law.

   (j) The Contractor shall include the terms and conditions of subparagraph l through 9 of this clause in every subcon­tract or purchase order that is not exempted by the rules, regulations, or orders of the Secretary of Labor issued under Executive Order 11246, as amended, so that these terms and conditions will be binding upon each subcontractor or vendor.

   (k) The Contractor shall take such action with respect to any subcontract or purchase order as the contracting agency  may direct as means of enforcing these terms and conditions, including sanctions for non-compliance; provided, that if the Contractor becomes involved in, or is threatened with, litigation with a subcon­tractor or vendor as a result of direction, the Contractor may request the United States to enter into the litigation to protect the interests of the United States.


XI.  Patent Rights.

   (a) For any contract resulting from this solicitation awarded to other than a small business firm or nonprofit organiza­tion, the clause at 1852.227-70, "New Technolo­gy," shall apply.  Such contractors may, in advance of contract, request waiver of rights as set forth in the provision at 1852.227-71, "Requests for Waiver of Rights to Inventions."

   (b) For any contract resulting from this solicitation awarded to a small business firm or nonprofit organization, the clause at FAR 52.227-11, "Patent Rights--Retention by the Contractor (Short Form)" (as modi­fied by 1852.227-11), shall apply.


1872.705-2  Appendix B:  Guidelines for Proposal Preparation.

   The following guidelines apply to the prep­aration of proposals in response to an AO.  The material is a guide for the propos­er and not intended to be encompassing or directly applicable to the various types of proposals which can be submitted.  The proposer should provide information rela­tive to those items applicable or as required by the AO.


I.  Cover Letter.

   A letter or cover page should be for­warded with the proposal signed by the investigator and an official by title of the investigator's organization who is autho­rized to commit the organization responsi­ble for the propos­al.


II.  Table of Contents.

   The proposal should contain a table of contents.


III.  Identifying Information.

   The proposal should contain a short descrip­tive title for the investigation, the names of all investigators, the name of the organiza­tion or institution and the full name, ad­dress, and telephone number of the Princi­pal Investigator.




   (a) Investigation and Technical Plan

   The investigation and technical plan gener­ally will contain the following:

       (1) Summary.  A concise state­ment about the investigation, its conduct, and the antic­ipated results.

       (2) Objective and Significant As­pects.  A brief definition of the objec­tives, their value, and their relationships to past, cur­rent, and future effort.  The histo­ry and basis for the proposal and a demon­stration of the need for such an investiga­tion.  A statement of present development in the discipline field.

       (3) Investigation Approach

            (i)  Fully describe the concept of the investigation.

            (ii) Detail the method and proce­dures for carrying out the investi­gation.

   (b) Instrumentation

   This section should describe all infor­mation necessary to plan for experiment develop­ment, integration, ground opera­tions, and flight operations.  This section must be complete in itself without need to request additional data.  Failure to furnish com­plete data may preclude evaluation of the proposal.

       (1) Instrument Description--This section should fully describe the in­strumen­tation and indicate items which are proposed to be developed as well as any existing instru­mentation.  Performance characteristics should be related to the experiment objec­tives as stated in the proposal.

       (2) Instrument Integration--This section should describe all parameters of the instru­ment pertinent to the accommo­dation of the instrument in the spacecraft, Spacelab, Shuttle Orbiter, Space Station, etc.  These include, but are not limited to, volu­metric envelope; weight; power require­ments; thermal requirements; telemetry require­ment; sensitivity to or generation of contamination (e.g., EMI gaseous effluent); data processing requirements.

       (3) Ground Operations--This section should identify requirements for pre-launch or post-launch ground opera­tions support.

       (4) Flight Operations--This section should identify any requirements for flight opera­tions support including mission plan­ning.  Operational constraints, viewing require­ments, and pointing requirements should also be identified.  Details of com­munica­tions needs, tracking needs, and special techniques, such as extravehicular activity or   restrictions in the use of control

thru­st­ers at stated times should be delineat­ed.  Special communications facilities that are needed must be described.  Any special orbital requirements, such as time of month, of day, phase of moon, and lighting condi­tions are to be given in detail.  Describe real-time ground support requirements and indicate any special equipment or skills required of ground personnel.

   (c) Data Reduction and Analysis

   A discussion of the data reduction and analysis plan including the method and format.  A section of the plan should in­clude a schedule for the submission of reduced data to the receiving point.  In the case of Space Science programs, the Nation­al Space Science Data Center, Greenbelt, MD, will be the repository for such data and the Department of Interior, Sioux Falls, SD, for earth observations data.

   (d) Orbiter Crew and/or Payload Special­ist Training Re­quire­ment

   A description of the tasks required of each crew member (Commander, Pilot, Mission Specialist) or payload specialist should be provided, including the task duration and equipment involved.  Indicate special train­ing necessary to provide the crew members or payload specialist(s) with the capability for performing the aforemen­tioned tasks.




   (a) Management Plan

   The management plan should summa­rize the management approach and the facilities and equipment required.  Addi­tional guide­lines applicable to non-U.S. proposers are contained herein:

       (1) Management

            (i)  The management plan sets forth the approach for managing the work, the recognition of essential management func­tions, and the overall integration of these func­tions.

            (ii) The management plan gives insight into the organization proposed for the work, including the internal operations and lines of authority with delegations, together with internal interfaces and rela­tionships with the NASA major subcontrac­tors and associated investigators.  Likewise, the management plan usually reflects vari­ous schedules necessary for the logical and timely pursuit of the work accompanied by a description of the investigator's work plan and the responsibilities of the co-investiga­tors.

            (iii)   The plan should describe the pro­posed method of instrument acquisition.  It should include the following, as applica­ble.

                   (A) Rationale for the investiga­tor to obtain the instrument through or by the investigator's institution.

                   (B) Method and basis for the selec­tion of the instrument fabricator.

                   (C) Unique capabilities of the instru­ment fabricator that are not available from any other source.

                   (D) Characteristics of the pro­posed fabri­cator's instrument that make it an insepara­ble part of the investigation.

                   (E) Availability of personnel to admin­ister the instrument contract and technical­ly monitor the fabrication.

                   (F) Status of development of the in­stru­ment.

                   (G) Method by which the inves­tigator proposes to:

                        (a) Prepare instrument specifica­tions.

                        (b) Review development progress.

                        (c) Review design and fabrica­tion chan­ges.

                        (d) Participate in testing pro­gram.

                        (e) Participate in final checkout and calibration.

                        (f) Provide for integration of instru­ment.

                        (g) Support the flight opera­tions.

                        (h) Coordinate with co-investi­gators, other related investigations, and the pay­load integrator.

                        (i) Assure safety, reliabili­ty, and quali­ty.

                        (j) Provide required sup­port for Pay­load Specialist(s), if applicable.

                   (H) Planned participa­tion by small and/or minority business in any subcon­tracting for instrument fabrication or investigative support functions.

       (2) Facilities and Equipment

       All major facilities, laboratory equip­ment, and ground-support equipment (GSE)  (including those of the investigator's pro­posed contractors and those of NASA and other U.S. Government agencies) essential to the experiment in terms of its system and subsystems are to be indicated, distinguish­ing insofar as possible between those al­ready in existence and those that will be developed in order to execute the investiga­tion.  The outline of new facilities and equipment should also indicate the lead time involved and the planned schedule for construction, modification, and/or acquisi­tion of the facilities.

      (3) Additional Guidelines Applicable to Non-U.S Proposers Only

       The following guidelines are estab­lished for foreign responses to NASA's AO. Unless otherwise indicated in a specific announce­ment, these guidelines indicate the appro­priate measures to be taken by foreign proposers, prospective foreign sponsoring agencies, and NASA leading to the selection of a proposal and execution of appropriate arrangements.  They include the following:

            (i) Where a "Notice of Intent" to pro­pose is requested, prospective foreign pro­posers should write directly to the NASA official designated in the AO.

            (ii)   Unless otherwise indicated in the AO, proposals will be submitted in accor­dance with this Appendix.  Proposals should be typewritten and written in English. Foreign entities are generally not eligible for funding from NASA. Therefore, proposals from foreign entities should