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PN 97-28

PROCUREMENT NOTICE


 March 26, 1999

NASA INTERNAL PROGRAMMATIC APPROVAL DOCUMENTATION

PURPOSE: To ensure that no affected solicitation is released prior to the approval of key programmatic documentation required by NASA Procedures and Guidelines (NPG) 7120.5, NASA Program and Project Management Processes and Requirement. This PN also prohibits release of affected solicitations until the required approvals have been obtained or authority to proceed without the required documentation has been granted by the Chair of the Governing Program Management Council or designee.

BACKGROUND: NPG 7120.5 establishes the management system for processes, requirements and responsibilities for implementing NASA Policy Directive 7120.4, Program and Project Management. This management system governs the formulation, approval, implementation, and evaluation of all Agency programs and projects established under the Provide Aerospace Products and Capabilities (PAPAC) process. The policy and guidelines require approvals at various programmatic stages and decision points. Before a program or project formulation may commence, a Formulation Authorization document must be approved. Before program implementation may commence, a Program Commitment Agreement and a Program Plan must be approved. Before project implementation may commence, a Program Commitment Agreement, Program Plan, and Project Plan must be approved. Approval to commence any of these activities without the required documentation must be obtained from the chair of the Governing Program Management Council or designee.

REPLACEMENT PAGES: You may use the enclosed pages to replace 4:11, 4:12, 4:13 (added), 7:1, 7:2, 7:3, 7:4, 7:5, 7:6, Part 1835, 72:1, and 72:2 of the NFS.

REGULATORY COMPLIANCE: This PN was published as a final rule in the Federal Register (64 FR 14640 - 14641, March 26, 1999).

EFFECTIVE DATE: This PN is effective as dated and shall remain in effect until cancelled or superseded.

HEADQUARTERS CONTACT: Ken Sateriale, Code HK, (202) 358-0491, kenneth.sateriale@hq.nasa.gov.

 

Scott Thompson,
Director, Contract Management Division


   INSTALLATION

CONTRACT PREFIX

PURCHASE ORDER PREFIX

Ames Research Center

NAS 2

A

Dryden Flight Research Center

NAS 4

E

Goddard Space Flight Center

NAS 5

S

Headquarters

NASW

W

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center

NAS 9

T

John F. Kennedy Space Center

NAS10

CC

Langley Research Center

NAS 1

L

Lewis Research Center

NAS 3

C

George C. Marshall Space Flight Center

NAS 8

H

NASA Management Office-JPL

NAS 7

WO

John C. Stennis Space Center

NAS 13

NS

 

(b) The contract prefix shall be used for the following documents:

(1) Contracts, including letter contracts, indefinite-delivery contracts, utilities contracts, leases of real property and renewals.

(2) Easements.

(3) Basic ordering agreements.

(4) Other written agreements involving payment or receipt of funds not covered by 1804.7102(e).

(c) Contracts totally funded under reimbursable arrangements with the Department of Energy shall use a DEN prefix instead of the NAS prefix (e.g., DEN 8 for Marshall).

(d) Space Act agreements awarded under the authority of Section 203(c)(5) or 203(c)(6) of the Space Act shall use an NCA prefix instead of the NAS prefix (e.g., NCA 8 for Marshall).

(e) The purchase order prefix shall be used for purchase orders (including blanket purchase agreements) and requests to other Government agencies to furnish supplies or services.

(f) Solicitations shall be numbered in accordance with installation procedures, except that in all cases the identifying number shall begin with the portion of the installation's contract prefix following "NAS."

(g) If a prefix is required for an installation or office not listed in this subsection, a request for a prefix assignment shall be submitted to the Headquarters Office of Procurement (Code HS).

1804.7103 Serial numbers.

(a) Installations shall number contracts and agreements identified in 1804.7102(b) serially by fiscal year. The serial number shall be five digits beginning with a two-digit fiscal year identifier followed by a three digits commencing with "001" and continuing in succession. For example, the first contracts awarded by Ames Research Center in fiscal year 1997 shall be numbered NAS 2 97001 and NAS 2 97002. Fiscal year identification is optional for Space Act agreements.

(b) Serial number for purchase orders shall be assigned serially without fiscal year identification. When the series of numbers exceeds five digits (over 99,999), a new series shall be used, beginning the series with number "1" and followed by the capital letter "A." Should additional series become necessary, they will be distinguished by the capital letters "B," "C," and so forth, as may be required, except that the letters "I" and "O" shall not be used.

1804.7104 Modifications of contracts or agreements.

(a) Modifications of definitive or letter contracts or agreements shall (1) bear the same identification as the contract or agreement being modified and (2) be numbered consecutively for each contract or agreement, beginning with Modification Number 1, regardless of whether the modification is accomplished by unilateral or bilateral action. Except for termination notices, modifications shall be effected by the use of Standard Form 30, Amendment of Solicitation/Modification of Contract.

(b) Definitive contracts superseding letter contracts shall retain the same contract number as that originally assigned to the letter contract. Actions definitizing letter contracts are considered modifications and shall be assigned modification numbers in accordance with paragraph (a) of this subsection.

Subpart 1804.72--Review and Approval of Contractual Instruments

1804.7200 Contract review by Headquarters.

(a) Requests for approval of contracts and supplemental agreements by the Associate Administrator for Procurement shall be submitted to the Headquarters Office of Procurement (Code HS) in sufficient time to allow a minimum of 15 days for review.

(b) Each request for approval shall be accompanied by (1) five copies of the contractual document, one of which has been executed by the contractor and contracting officer, and (2) the official contract file containing the appropriate documentation as set forth in FAR 4.803(a). However, for the items specified in FAR 4.803(a)10, (11), and (12), the contracting officer shall provide documentation pertaining only to the successful offeror; and, in lieu of the items specified in FAR 4.803(a)(26)(ii) and (iii), the contracting officer shall provide an index briefly describing the content of all previous modifications.

(c) The approval required under this section shall be made by signature of the Associate Administrator for Procurement on the contract/supplemental agreement.

Subpart 1804.73--Procurement Requests

1804.7301 General.

(a) Except in unusual circumstances, the contracting office shall not issue solicitations until an approved procurement request (PR), containing a certification that funds are available, has been received. However, the contracting office may take all necessary actions up to the point of contract obligation before receipt of the PR certifying that funds are available when -

(1) Such action is necessary to meet critical program schedules;

(2) Program authority has been issued and funds to cover the acquisition will be available prior to the date set for contract award or contract modification;

(3) The procurement officer authorizes such action in writing before solicitation issuance; and

(4) The solicitation includes the clause at FAR 52.232-18, Availability of Funds. The clause shall be deleted from the resultant contract.

(b) The contracting office shall not issue either a draft or final solicitation until a PR, either planning or final, has been received that contains an NPG 7120.5 certification. That certification must be made by the project or program office that initiated the PR, or the PR approval authority when there is no project or program office. The certification must state that either -

(1) The requested action is not in support of programs and projects subject to the requirements of NPG 7120.5, or

(2) The requested action is in support of programs and projects subject to the requirements of NPG 7120.5, and -

(i) All NPG 7120.5 required documentation is current and has been approved; or

(ii) Authority to proceed without the required documentation has been granted by the Chair of the Governing Program Management Council or designee.


PART 1807

ACQUISITION PLANNING

Subpart 1807.1 - Acquisition Plans

1807.103 Agency-head responsibilities.

(d)(i) Except as provided in paragraph (d)(iii) of this section, acquisition plans shall be prepared according to the following:

(A) For acquisitions requiring Headquarters approval, by an Acquisition Strategy Meeting (ASM) (see 1807.170);

(B) For acquisitions not requiring Headquarters approval and expected to exceed $5 million, by installation-approved ASMs or written acquisition plans; and,

(C) For acquisitions not expected to exceed $5 million, in accordance with installation procedures.

(ii) The estimated dollar amounts shall include all options and later phases of the same program or project.

(iii) Acquisition plans are not required for the following acquisitions:

(A) Architect-engineering services;

(B) Broad agency announcements (see 1835.016) or unsolicited proposals;

(C) Basic research from nonprofit organizations;

(D) Utility services available from only one source;

(E) From or through other Government agencies;

(F) Industrial facilities required in support of related contracts; or

(G) MidRange procedure awards (see 1871). However, acquisition plans are required for commercial item acquisitions that exceed the MidRange dollar thresholds for noncommercial items.

(iv) Acquisition plans shall be approved before soliciting proposals.

(v) Approval of an acquisition plan does not constitute approval of any special conditions, or special clauses that may be required unless the plan so specifies, and the individual having approval authority is a signatory of the plan. All required deviations shall be approved through the procedures described in FAR 1.4 and 1801.4.

(vi) A single acquisition plan may be used for all phases of a phased acquisition provided the plan fully addresses each phase, and no significant changes occur after plan approval to invalidate the description of the phases. If such significant changes do occur, the plan shall be amended and approved at the same level as the original plan.

(e) Acquisition plans should be prepared on a program or system basis when practical. In such cases, the plan should fully address all component acquisitions of the program or system.

1807.105 Contents of written acquisition plans.

Acquisition plans shall address each applicable topic listed in FAR 7.105, as supplemented by this section. Plans shall be structured by subject heading using each italicized topic heading in the same sequence as presented in the FAR. Subheadings should be used when appropriate (e.g., the separate items under contracting considerations at 7.105(b)(4)). Topics not applicable to a given acquisition (e.g., design-to-cost and should-cost are not compatible with service acquisitions), should be marked N/A. The requirements in FAR 7.105 regarding performance-based contracting methods shall not be limited to acquisition plans for service contracts.

(a)(1) Describe in nontechnical terms the supplies or services to be acquired. Include quantities.

(a)(2) NPG 7120.5 shall be an integral part of acquisition planning for programs and projects subject to its requirements. If the NPG does not apply, the acquisition plan shall clearly state that fact. If the NPG does apply, specify whether all required NPG 7120.5 documentation is current and approved (see 1804.7301(b)(2)(i)). If not, describe the approach for obtaining approval or the authority to proceed without approval before release of draft or final solicitations. For programs and projects under the NPG, all draft or final solicitations subject to, or directly or substantially in support of, those programs or projects shall clearly identify the program or project of which they are part.

(a)(3) Identify the estimated cost and describe the estimating methodology.

(a)(5) Specify the delivery or performance period requirements separately by the basic contract, each option, and the total.

(a)(8) Streamlining applies to all NASA acquisitions. Describe all planned streamlining procedures.

(b)(1) If the acquisition represents a consolidation of efforts previously contracted for separately, address the reasons for the consolidation, the expected benefits, and any potential adverse impact (including the effect on small, small disadvantaged, and women-owned small business participation) and planned actions to mitigate the impact (see 1819.202-170).

(b)(3) Address how cost realism will be evaluated.

(b)(4)(A) If an incentive contract is planned, describe the planned incentive(s) and the anticipated effects.

(B) Describe subcontracting issues, including all applicable subcontracting goals. (See FAR part 19 and part 1819).

(b)(5)(A) Identify the estimated cost separately by the basic contract, each option and total amount.

(B) Identify the funding by fiscal year and unique project number (UPN).

(C) Discuss planned approaches to eliminate funding shortfalls (vs. the estimated cost).

(b)(6) Identify the type of work statement/specification planned. Specifically address the applicability of performance-based requirement descriptions and the availability of commercial sources for the supplies/services.

(b)(10) Address contract management issues, including planned delegations of administrative functions.

(b)(20) If the period between release of solicitation to contract award is more than 120 calendar days (180 days for formal SEB competitions), explain why that goal cannot be met.

1807.170 Acquisition Strategy Meeting (ASM).

(a) The ASM is an acquisition plan conducted through a meeting attended by all interested NASA offices. At the meeting, the acquisition plan topics and structure specified in 1807.105 are presented in briefing format, and formal written minutes prepared to summarize the decisions, actions, and conclusions of the ASM members. The approved minutes, along with the briefing charts, shall be included in the contract file to document completion of the acquisition plan required by 1807.103.

(b) The ASM is not a requirements definition meeting. It is a meeting to seek approval for the proposed acquisition approach for requirements that were previously defined and agreed to by the cognizant offices.

(c) Headquarters ASMs will be chaired by the Associate Administrator for Procurement or designee. The Headquarters Office of Procurement (Code HS) will prepare the minutes of Headquarters ASMs and distribute them to all attendees for review prior to approval by the ASM chairperson.

(d) For field installation ASMs, the minutes shall be approved in accordance with installation procedures.

Subpart 1807.2--Planning for the Purchase of Supplies in Economic Quantities

1807.204 Responsibilities of contracting officers.

(a) The contracting officer shall transmit in writing to the cognizant inventory management/requirements office either the actual offeror responses or a summary of their salient points. The transmittal should be made within five working days after the closing date for receipt of offers; however, if a response indicates the potential for a significant savings, it should be transmitted immediately.

Subpart 1807.3--Contractor Versus Government Performance

1807.307 Appeals.

(a) Installations shall establish appeals procedures in accordance with NMI 7410.3, Delegation of Authority for Acquisition of Commercial Activities for NASA's Use.

Subpart 1807.5--Inherently Governmental Functions

1807.503 Policy.

(e) The field installation requirements office shall provide the contracting officer the written determination that none of the statement of work tasks are inherently governmental. Disagreements regarding the determination shall be resolved in accordance with installation procedures.

Subpart 1807.70--Consolidated Contracting

1807.7000 General.

The Consolidated Contracting Initiative (CCI) is NASA's commitment to the cooperative creation and utilization of contracts, whenever practicable, to meet common Agency needs. CCI aims at improving acquisition efficiency by identifying and logically combining similar requirements. Complete information on the initiative, with its implementation guidance, is available in the internet (http://ec.msfc.nasa.gov/hq/cci/first.html).

Subpart 1807.71--Master Buy Plan

1807.7100 General.

The Master Buy Plan provides information on planned acquisitions to enable management to focus its attention on a representative selection of high-dollar-value and otherwise sensitive acquisitions.

1807.7101 Applicability.

(a) The Master Buy Plan applies to each negotiated acquisition, including supplemental agreements, where the dollar value, including the aggregate amount of options, follow-on acquisitions, or later phases of multi-phase acquisitions, is expected to equal or exceed $50,000,000.

(b) For initial annual Master Buy Plan submission only, each installation shall submit its three largest acquisitions regardless of dollar value and all acquisitions over $50,000,000.

(c) The procedure also applies to:

(1) Any supplemental agreement that contains either new work, a debit change order, or a credit change order (or any combination/ consolidation thereof), if the absolute value of the actions equals or exceeds $50,000,000 (e.g., the absolute value of a supplemental agreement adding $30,000,000 of new work and deleting $30,000,000 of work is $60,000,000, and is therefore subject to the Master Buy Plan).

(2) Any supplement agreement that contains one or more elements (new work and/or individual change orders) of a sensitive nature that, in the judgment of the installation or Headquarters, warrants Headquarters consideration under the Master Buy Plan, even though the value does not equal or exceed $50,000,000.

(d) The Master Buy Plan does not apply to incremental funding actions or termination settlement agreements.

1807.7102 Submission, selection, and notification procedures.

1807.7102-1 Submission of Master Buy Plan.

(a) Prior to July 15th of every year, each installation shall submit to the Headquarters Office of Procurement (Code HS) a Master Buy Plan (electronically or original and eight copies) for the next fiscal year, listing every known acquisition that (1) meets the criteria in 1807.7101, (2) is expected to be initiated in that fiscal year, and (3) has not been included in a previous Master Buy Plan or amendment to a Master Buy Plan.

(b) The fiscal year Master Buy Plan shall list all uncompleted acquisitions selected for Headquarters review and approval from prior Master Buy Plans and amendments to Master Buy Plans. These acquisitions should be listed by the appropriate fiscal year Master Buy Plan and individual item numbers, and should indicate the current status of the individual acquisition documents previously selected for Headquarters review and approval.

(c) Plans shall be prepared in accordance with 1807.7103 and shall identify the individual acquisition documents involved for every acquisition listed. Acquisition documents that may require Headquarters approval will be held in abeyance until receipt of the notification required by 1807.7102-3. This is not to preclude the planning for or initiation of such documents up to that point where Headquarters approval may be required.

1807.7102-2 Submission of amendments to the Master Buy Plan.

(a) Acquisitions identified by installations after submission of their Master Buy Plan and meeting the criteria in 1807.7102-1(a) shall be submitted to Headquarters in accordance with 1807.7103 and identified as an amendment to the fiscal year Master Buy Plan submission.

(b) Master Buy Plan submissions should not be accomplished after the fact. Amendments shall be submitted sufficiently in advance of contract award date to allow Headquarters to select those acquisition documents that will be subject to Headquarters review and approval without creating an unacceptable delay in contract placement.

(c) When timely submittal is not possible, the installation shall provide with the amendment a narrative explaining the circumstances leading to the late submittal. A Master Buy Plan submission for a contract change order expected to meet the criteria in 1807.7101 shall be submitted to Headquarters immediately upon issuance of the change order.

1807.7102-3 Selection and notification procedures.

(a) The Headquarters Office of Procurement (Code HS) shall select acquisition documents from the Master Buy Plan and amendments to Master Buy Plans to receive Headquarters review and approval and shall designate source selection officials.

(b) When, subsequent to document selection or delegation, an acquisition is changed (for example, increase or decrease in dollar amount, change in requirement), canceled, superseded, deferred, or becomes no longer subject to the Master Buy Plan procedures in accordance with the criteria in 1807.7101, the installation shall immediately notify Code HS, giving the reasons. Code HS shall notify the installation's procurement office in writing of any further action that may be required.

(c) Acquisition documents not selected for Headquarters review will be subject to after-the-fact reviews by Headquarters during normal procurement management surveys or other special reviews. Acquisition delegations may subsequently be rescinded if a Headquarters review is deemed appropriate.

1807.7103 Format of Master Buy Plan.

In accordance with the requirements of 1807.7102-1 and 1807.7102-2, Master Buy Plans and amendments to Master Buy Plans shall be prepared in accordance with the format illustrated in Table 1807-1.

Subpart 1807.72--Acquisition Forecasting

1807.7200 Scope of subpart.

This subpart prescribes the acquisition forecasting procedure required to comply with the Business Opportunity Development Reform Act of 1988.

1807.7201 Definitions.

"Class of contracts" means a grouping of acquisitions, either by dollar value or by the nature of supplies and services to be acquired.

"Contract opportunity" means planned new contract awards exceeding $25,000.

1807.7202 Policy.

As required by statute, it is NASA policy to (a) prepare an annual forecast and semiannual update of expected contract opportunities or classes of contract opportunities for each fiscal year; (b) include in the forecast contract opportunities that small business concerns, including those owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, may be capable of performing; and (c) make available such forecasts to the public.

1807.7203 Responsibilities.

(a) NASA Procurement Officers shall post the data required by 1807.7204 directly to the NASA Acquisition Internet Service not later than October 1 for the annual forecast and April 15 for the semiannual update.

(b) Code HS will manage policy and monitor compliance with the NASA Acquisition Forecast process.

1807.7204 Forecast data.

(a) The annual forecast shall contain--

(1) Summary historical data (based on information provided by the Headquarters Office of Procurement (Codes HC and HS)) on the class of contract opportunities below the simplified acquisition threshold;

(2) Identification of all known contract opportunities in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold. Each such action should be identified as one of the three broad categories of acquisition -- Research and Development, Services, or Supplies and Equipment and shall include the following information:

(i) A brief description not to exceed ten typed lines;

(ii) Approximate dollar value within the following dollar ranges: $100,000 to $1,000,000; $1,000,000 to $5,000,000; and over $5,000,000;

(iii) Anticipated time (by fiscal year quarter) for the issuance of the solicitation;

(iv) Identification if it is reserved for performance by small business concerns including those owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals;

(v) Identification as competitive or noncompetitive; and

(vi) Identification and telephone number of a center point of contact.

(b) The semiannual report shall be an update of the data provided by the annual forecast. This update should provide information on new requirements not previously reported and on changes in data related to actions previously identified.

1807.7205 Public availability.

The annual forecast and semiannual update are available on the NASA Acquisition Internet Service (http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/procurement/).


PART 1835

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CONTRACTING

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1835.003 Policy.

1835.004 Publicizing requirements and expanding research and development sources.

1835.014 Government property and title.

1835.015 Contracts for research with educational institutions and nonprofit organizations.

1835.016 Broad agency announcements.

1835.016-70 NASA Research Announcements.

1835.070 NASA contract clauses and solicitation provision.

 

PART 1835

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CONTRACTING

1835.003 Policy.

See NPG 5800.1, Grant and Cooperative Agreement Handbook, for policy regarding the use of grants and cooperative agreements.

1835.015 Contracts for research with educational institutions and nonprofit organizations.

(a)(1)(iv) The research contract shall include a requirement that the contractor obtain the contracting officer's approval when it plans to continue the research work during a continuous period in excess of 3 months without the participation of an approved principal investigator or project leader.

1835.016 Broad agency announcements.

(a)(i) The following forms of broad agency announcements (BAAs) are authorized for use:

(A) Announcements of Opportunity (see 1872).

(B) NASA Research Announcements (see 1835.016-70).

(C) Other forms of announcements approved by the Associate Administrator for Procurement (Code HS).

(ii) Other program announcements, notices, and letters not authorized by paragraph (a)(i) of this section shall not be used to solicit proposals that may result in contracts.

(iii) Draft or final versions of any form of BAA that directly or substantially supports a program subject to NASA Procedures and Guidelines (NPG) 7120.5 shall not be released unless --

(A) All applicable NPG 7120.5 required documentation (see 1804.7301(b)(2)(i)) is current and has been approved (e.g., Formulation Authorization Document, Program Commitment Agreement, Program Plan, or Project Plan); or

(B) Authority to proceed without the required documentation has been granted by the Chair of the Governing Program Management Council or designee.

(c) BAAs may not preclude the participation of any offeror capable of satisfying the Government's needs unless a justification for other than full and open competition is approved under FAR 6.304.

1835.016-70 NASA Research Announcements.

(a) Scope. An NRA is used to announce research interests in support of NASA's programs, and, after peer or scientific review using factors in the NRA, select proposals for funding. Unlike an RFP containing a statement of work or specification to which offerors are to respond, an NRA provides for the submission of competitive project ideas, conceived by the offerors, in one or more program areas of interest. An NRA shall not be used when the requirement is sufficiently defined to specify an end product or service.

(b) Issuance.

(1) Before issuance, each field-generated NRA shall be approved by the installation director or designee, with the concurrence of the procurement officer, and each Headquarters-generated NRA shall be approved by the cognizant Program Associate Administrator or designee, with the concurrence of the Headquarters Offices of General Counsel (Code GK) and Procurement (Code HS). The NRA approval authority shall designate the selection official.

(2) The selection official shall assure that the NRA is synopsized prior to issuance in accordance with FAR 5.201 and 1805.201. The synopsis shall be brief, and the technical section describing the area of interest should not exceed 50 words.

(3) If a Headquarters-generated NRA may result in awards by a NASA field installation, the issuing office shall notify the installation procurement officer and provide a copy of the NRA.

(4) The selecting official is responsible for the preparation and distribution of the NRA. (5) NRAs normally shall remain open for at least 90 days.

(c) Content. The NRA shall consist of the following sections and items. The entire package shall be provided in response to requests.

(1) Cover. The cover shall display:

(i) "OMB Approval Number 2700-0087" in the upper right corner.

(ii) Title.

(iii) "NASA Research Announcement Soliciting Research Proposals for the Period Ending ".

(iv) NRA number.

(v) Official address for the office issuing the NRA.

(2) Summary and Supplemental Information.

(i) The Summary and Supplemental Information should not exceed two pages and shall include:

(A) Title and NRA number.

(B) Introductory paragraphs describing the purpose of the NRA and the period for receipt of proposals.

(C) Address for submitting proposals.

(D) Number of copies required.

(E) Selecting official's title.

(F) Names, addresses, and telephone numbers for the technical and contracting points of contact.

(G) The following statement when the NRA is to be issued before funds are available:

"Funds are not currently available for awards under this NRA. The Government's obligation to make award(s) is contingent upon the availability of appropriated funds from which payment can be made and the receipt of proposals that NASA determines are acceptable for award under this NRA."

(ii) The Summary and Supplemental Information may include estimates of the amount of funds that will be available and the number of anticipated awards. A breakdown of the estimates by research area may also be shown.

(3) Technical Description. The first page shall contain the NRA number and title at the top. A brief description not exceeding two pages is preferable, but it should be detailed enough to enable ready comprehension of the research areas of interest. Specifications containing detailed statements of work should be avoided. Any program management information included must be limited to matters that are essential for proposal preparation.

(4) Instructions for Responding to NASA Research Announcements. The NRA shall contain instructions as stated in 1852.235-72 (see 1835.070(c)).

(d) Receipt of proposals, evaluation, and selection.

(1) Proposals shall be protected as provided in FAR 15.608, FAR 15.609, and 1815.609-70.

(2) Late proposals and modifications shall be treated in accordance with 1815.208.

(3) The selection decision shall be made following peer or scientific review of a proposal. Peer or scientific review shall involve evaluation by an in-house specialist, a specialist outside NASA, or both. Evaluation by specialists outside NASA shall be conducted subject to the conditions in 1815.207. After receipt of a proposal and before selection, scientific or engineering personnel shall communicate with an offeror only for the purpose of clarification (as defined in FAR 15.306), or to understand the meaning of some aspect of the proposal that is not clear, or to obtain confirmation or substantiation of a proposed approach, solution, or cost estimate.

(4) Competitive range determinations shall not be made, and best and final offers shall not be requested.

(5) Part of a proposal may be selected unless the offeror requests otherwise. In addition, changes to a selected proposal may be sought if (i) the ideas or other aspects of the proposal on which selection is based are contained in the proposal as originally submitted, and are not introduced by the changes; and (ii) the changes sought would not involve a material alteration to the requirements stated in the NRA. Changes that would affect a proposal's selection shall not be sought. When changes are desired, the selecting official may request revisions from the offeror or request the contracting officer to implement them during negotiations with the successful offeror(s). The changes shall not transfer information from one offeror's proposal to another offeror (see FAR 15.306(e). When collaboration between offerors would improve proposed research programs, collaboration may be suggested to the offerors.

(6) The basis for selection of a proposal shall be documented in a selection statement applying the evaluation factors in the NRA. The selection statement represents the conclusions of the selecting official and must be self-contained. It shall not incorporate by reference the evaluations of the reviewers.

(7) The selecting official shall notify each offeror whose proposal was not selected for award and explain generally why the proposal was not selected. If requested, the selecting official shall arrange a debriefing under FAR 15.5, with the participation of a contracting officer.

(8) The selecting official shall forward to the contracting officer the following information:

(i) A copy of the NRA;

(ii) The results of the technical evaluation, including the total number of proposals received, the selection statement, and the proposal(s) selected for funding;

(iii) A description of any changes desired in any offeror's statement of work, including the reasons for the changes and any effect on level of funding;

(iv) If a contract will be used to fund the proposal, a description of deliverables, including technical reports, and delivery dates, consistent with the requirements of the NRA;

(v) A procurement request;

(vi) Comments on the offeror's cost proposal (either the selecting official's comments, which may be based on the reviewers' comments, or copies of the reviewers' comments with any different conclusions of the selecting official); these comments shall address the need for and reasonableness of travel, computer time, materials, equipment, subcontracted items, publication costs, labor hours, labor mix, and other costs; and

(vii) A copy of the selected proposal as originally submitted, any revisions, and any correspondence from the successful offeror.

(9) The selecting official may provide to the contracting officer copies of the reviewers' evaluations. Reviewers' names and institutions may be omitted.

(10) The selecting official may provide each offeror whose proposal was selected for negotiation a notification stating:

(i) The proposal has been selected for negotiation;

(ii) The offeror's business office will be contacted by a contracting officer, who is the only official authorized to obligate the Government; and

(iii) Any costs incurred by the offeror in anticipation of an award are at the offeror's risk.

(e) Award. The contracting officer shall choose the appropriate award instrument. If a contract is selected, the contracting officer shall--

(1) Advise the offeror that the Government contemplates entering into negotiations; the type of contract contemplated; and the estimated award date, anticipated effort, and delivery schedule;

(2) Send the offeror a model contract, if necessary, including modifications contemplated in the offeror's statement of work, and request agreement or identification of any exceptions (the contract statement of work may summarize the proposed research, state that the research shall be conducted in accordance with certain technical sections of the proposal (which shall be identified by incorporating them into the contract by reference), and identify any changes to the proposed research);

(3) Request the offeror to complete and return certifications and representations and Standard Form 33, Solicitation, Offer, and Award, or other appropriate forms;

(4) Conduct negotiations in accordance with FAR Subparts 15.8 and 15.9, as applicable;

(5) Award a contract; and

(6) Comply with FAR Subparts 4.6 and 5.3 on contract reporting and synopses of contract awards.

(f) Cancellation of an NRA. When program changes, program funding, or any other reasons require cancellation of an NRA, the office issuing the NRA shall notify potential offerors by using the mailing list for the NRA.

1835.070 NASA contract clauses and solicitation provision.

(a) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 1852.235-70, Center for AeroSpace Information, in all research and development contracts and in cost-reimbursement supply contracts involving research and development work.

(b) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 1852.235-71, Key Personnel and Facilities, in contracts when source selection has been substantially predicated upon the possession by a given offeror of special capabilities, as represented by key personnel or facilities.

(c) The contracting officer shall ensure that the provision at 1852.235-72, Instructions for Responding to NASA Research Announcements, is inserted in all NRAs. The instructions may be supplemented, but only to the minimum extent necessary.


PART 1872

ACQUISITION OF INVESTIGATIONS

1872.000 Scope of part.

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

Subpart1872.1--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 conclusions as well as considerations of budget and other factors are used to formulate a complement of recommended investigations. A steering committee, serving as staff to the Enterprise Associate Administrator or designee when source selection authority is delegated, reviews the proposed payload or program of investigation, the iterative process, and the selection recommendations. The steering committee serves as a forum where different interests, such as flight program, discipline management, and administration, can be weighed.

(2) The Program AA, or designee, selects the proposals that will participate in the program. Once selected, an investigator is assigned appropriate responsibilities relating to the investigation through a contract with the institution. For foreign investigators, these responsibilities will usually be outlined in an agreement between NASA and the sponsoring governmental agency in the investigator's country.

(b) The AO process provides a disciplined approach to investigation acquisition. The following major steps must be followed in each case:

(1) The AO shall be signed by the Program AA and shall be widely distributed to the scientific, technological, and applications user communities, as appropriate.

(2) An evaluation team shall be formed including recognized peers of the investigators.

(3) A project office will be assigned to assess the engineering, cost, integration, and management aspects of the proposals.

(4) A program office will be responsible to formulate a complement of investigations consistent with the objectives stated in the AO, cost, and schedule constraints.

(5) A steering committee appointed by the appropriate Program AA shall review the proposed investigations for relevance and merit, will assure compliance with the system as described in this Handbook, and make selection recommendations.

(6) The Source Selection Official shall be the Program AA or the Program AA's designee.

(c) Payloads will be formulated consisting of investigations selected through the AO process and/or other authorized methods.

1872.103 Management responsibilities.

(a) Program AAs are responsible for overseeing the process and for making key decisions essential to the process including:

(1) Determination to use the investigation acquisition system.

(2) Appointment of the steering committee members.

(3) Designation of a staff to assure uniformity in the issuance of the AO and conformity with the required procedures in the evaluation and selection.

(4) Reuse, to the maximum extent practicable, of space hardware and support equipment.

(5) Determination to use advisory subcommittees, contractor, or full-time Government employees only in the evaluation process.

(6) Issuance of the AO.

(7) Selection of investigations and investigators, determination of need of a definition phase, determination of the role of the investigator with regard to providing essential investigation hardware and services, and determination of the need for payload specialists.

(8) Assure consideration is given to minorities in the establishment of peer groups, distribution of the AO and in the selection of investigations.

(9) Provide a framework for cooperative foreign participation in Space Shuttle, Spacelab, and Space Station missions.

(b) The Program AA should call upon any required experts throughout the process.

Subpart 1872.2--Applicability of the Process

1872.201 General.

The system used for acquisition of investigations is separate from the agency procedures for acquisition of known requirements. A decision to use this special acquisition process will be based on a determination that it is the most suitable to meet program needs. The decision-making official will consider the criteria for use of the system. The project plan or other documentation should discuss the proposed mode of investigations selection.

1872.202 Criteria for determining applicability.

(a) The decision to use the investigations acquisition process as an alternative to the normal planning and acquisition process can only be made after consideration of the conditions which require its use. All of the following conditions should exist before deciding that the system is applicable: