USDA policy and procedures on use of the Governmentwide commercial purchase card are established in Departmental Regulation Series 5000.
Departmental Regulation 2000 series sets policies and guidelines for the use of imprest funds within USDA. Departmental Regulation 5000 series establishes policies and procedures for the use of the Third Party Draft System in USDA.
413.505 Purchase order and related forms.
(a) Form AD-838, Purchase Order, is prescribed for use by USDA in lieu of Optional Forms 347 and 348.
(b) The Standard Form 44 (and the previously prescribed USDA Form AD-744) is not authorized for use within USDA.
414.201 Preparation of invitations for bids.
414.201-6 Solicitation provisions.
The contracting officer shall insert the provision 452.214-70, Award by Lot, when multiple items are segregated into clearly identifiable lots and the contracting officer wants to reserve the right to award by item within a lot, if award in that manner would be advantageous to the Government.
414.404 Rejection of bids.
414.404-1 Cancellation of invitations after opening.
An acquisition official at a level above the contracting officer is authorized to make the determinations under FAR 14.404-1(c) and (e)(1).
414.407 Mistakes in bids.
414.407-3 Other mistakes disclosed before award.
The authority to make the determinations under FAR 14.407-3(a), (b), and (d) is delegated, without power of redelegation, to the head of the contracting activity. The authority to make the determination under FAR 14.407-3(c) is delegated to the contracting officer. Each determination pursuant to FAR 14.407-3 shall have the concurrence of the Office of the General Counsel (OGC).
414.407-4 Mistakes after award.
If a mistake in bid is disclosed after award, the contracting officer shall make a final determination in accordance with the provisions of FAR 14.407-4 (b) and (c) and shall coordinate each proposed determination with OGC. Such coordination shall, at a minimum, consist of the contracting officer providing the proposed determination and the case file to OGC for comment.
414.409 Information to bidders.
414.409-2 Award of classified contracts.
Disposition of classified information shall be in accordance with Departmental Regulation and Manual (3400 Series) and in accordance with direction issued by the USDA Security Officer, Policy Analysis and Coordination Center - Human Resources Management.
415.103 Converting from sealed bidding to negotiation procedures.
An acquisition official at a level above the contracting officer is authorized to make the determination to permit the use of negotiation to complete an acquisition following the cancellation of an invitation for bids.
415.406 Preparing requests for proposals (RFPs) and requests for quotations (RFQs)
415.406-1 Uniform contract format.
The Senior Procurement Executive is authorized to exempt contracts from the uniform contract format.
415.407 Solicitation provisions.
(a) The provision at 452.215-71, Instructions for the Preparation of Technical and Business Proposals, may be used when offerors will be required to submit technical and business proposals. Contracting officers should tailor the clause to reflect the degree of information required for the specific acquisition.
(b) The contracting officer shall insert the provision at 452.215-72, Amendments to Proposals, in solicitations which require the submittal of lengthy, complex technical proposals.
415.408 Issuing solicitations.
Departmental Regulation and Manual (Series 3400), establishes policy and procedures regarding classification, declassification and safeguarding of classified information.
415.411 Receipt of Proposals and quotations.
Departmental Regulation and Manual (Series 3400), contains guidance on classification, declassification and safeguarding of classified information.
415.413 Disclosure and use of information before award.
Contracting officers shall use the Alternate II procedures in FAR 15.413-2 and subsection 415.413-2 when releasing proposals outside the Government for evaluation purposes.
415.413-2 Alternate II.
(a ) The head of the contracting activity (HCA) is authorized to approve the release of proposals outside the Government for evaluation purposes. Each such decision shall be supported by a written justification that shows in sufficient detail the special needs or circumstances requiring the services of individuals outside the Government.
(b ) During the preaward period, only the contracting officer, the chief of the contracting office, or others specifically authorized by either of them may communicate technical or other information to, or conduct discussions with, offerors. Information shall not be furnished to an offeror if, alone or together with other information, it may afford the offeror an advantage over other offerors. However, general information that is not prejudicial to other offerors may be furnished.
(c ) Agency personnel and non-Government evaluators having authorized access to information contained in proposals shall disclose neither the number of offerors nor their identity to the public or to anyone in Government except as authorized in accordance with FAR 3.104 (See also FAR 5.403).
(d ) The contracting officer shall obtain the following written agreement from the non-Government evaluator prior to the release of any proposal to that evaluator.
1. To the best of my knowledge and belief, no conflict of interest exists that may diminish my capacity to perform an impartial and objective review of the offeror's proposal, or may otherwise result in a biased opinion or an unfair advantage. If a potential conflict of interest arises or if I identify such a conflict, I agree to notify the Government promptly concerning the potential conflict. In determining whether any potential conflict of interest exists, I agree to review whether my or my employer's relationships with other persons or entities, including, but not limited to, ownership of stocks, bonds, other outstanding financial interests or commitments, employment arrangements (past, present, or under consideration), and, to the extent known by me, all financial interests and employment arrangements of my spouse, minor children, and other members of my immediate household, may place me in a position of conflict, real or apparent, with the evaluation proceedings.
2. I agree to use proposal information only for evaluation purposes. I understand that any authorized restriction on disclosure placed upon the proposal by the prospective contractor or subcontractor or by the Government shall be applied to any reproduction or abstracted information of the proposal. I agree to use my best effort to safeguard such information physically, and not to disclose the contents of, or release any information relating to, the proposal(s) to anyone outside of the Source Evaluation Board or other panel assembled for this acquisition, the Contracting Officer, or other individuals designated by the Contracting Officer.
3. I agree to return to the Government all copies of proposals, as well as any abstracts, upon completion of the evaluation.
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(e) The release of a proposal outside the Government for evaluation does not constitute the release of information for purposes of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552).
(f) The contracting officer shall attach a cover page bearing the GOVERNMENT NOTICE FOR HANDLING PROPOSALS, as set forth in FAR 15.413-2(e), to each proposal upon receipt. The last sentence of the notice shall cite 48 CFR 415.413 as the agency implementing regulation.
415.504 Advance guidance.
HCA's are responsible for establishing procedures to ensure compliance with the requirements of FAR 15.504.
415.506 Agency procedures.
HCA's are responsible for establishing the procedures for control of unsolicited proposals required by FAR 15.506(a) and for identifying the contact points as required by FAR 15.506(b).
415.607 Disclosure of mistakes before award.
The HCA with the concurrence of the Office of the General Counsel is authorized to make the determination permitting proposal correction as required by FAR 15.607(c)(3).
415.608 Proposal evaluation.
An acquisition official above the level of the contracting officer is authorized to make the determination to reject all proposals under the circumstances listed in FAR 15.608(b).
415.612 Formal source selection.
The HCA shall determine when a formal source selection process will be used and establish procedures for implementing the requirements of FAR 15.612.
(a) (1) USDA will use a structured approach to determine the profit or fee prenegotiation objective in acquisition actions when price negotiation is based on cost analysis.
(2) The following types of acquisitions are exempt from the requirements of the structured approach, but the contracting officer shall comply with FAR 15.905-1 when analyzing profit for these contracts or actions:
(i ) Architect-engineer contracts;
(ii ) Construction contracts;
(iii ) Contracts primarily requiring delivery of material supplied by subcontractors;
(iv ) Termination settlements; and
(v ) Cost-plus-award-fee contracts;
(b) Unless otherwise restricted by contracting activity procedures, the Contracting Officer may use another Federal agencys structured approach if that approach has been formalized and is maintained as part of that Agencys acquisition regulations (i.e., included in that Agencys assigned chapter of Title 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations).
(c ) The HCA is responsible for establishing procedures to ensure compliance with this subpart.
415.1070 Post-Award Conference.
If a postaward conference is necessary, the contracting officer shall insert clause 452.215-73, Post-Award Conference.
416.000 Scope of part.
Heads of contracting activities (HCA's) are authorized to establish written procedures allowing the use of any contract type described in FAR part 16 for acquisitions made under simplified acquisition procedures in FAR part 13.
416.203 Fixed-price contracts with economic price adjustment.
416.203-4 Contract clauses.
An economic price adjustment clause based on cost indexes of labor or material may be used under the conditions listed in FAR 16.203-4(d) after approval by the HCA and consultation with the Office of the General Counsel.
416.404 Cost-reimbursement incentive contracts.
416.404-2 Cost-plus-award-fee contracts.
The HCA may designate an acquisition official other than the contracting officer as the fee determination official (FDO) to make the final determination of the award fee. The designated official must have warranted contracting authority at the same level as the contracting officer or higher, and shall not have participated in preparing the contractor performance evaluation. If the HCA does not designate an FDO, the chief of the contracting office shall act as the FDO.
416.405 Contract clauses.
The contracting officer shall insert a clause substantially the same as the clause at 452.216-70, Award Fee, in solicitations and contracts which contemplate the award of cost-plus-award-fee contracts.
416.470 Solicitation provision.
The contracting officer shall insert the provision at 452.216-71, Base Fee and Award Fee Proposal, in solicitations which contemplate the award of a cost-plus-award-fee contract.
(a) The Chief, Procurement Policy Division, Procurement and Property Management, Policy Analysis and Coordination Center, has been designated as the Departmental Task Order Ombudsman.
(b) The Departmental Task Order Ombudsman shall designate a task order ombudsman for each contracting activity. Contracting activity ombudsmen shall review and resolve complaints from contractors concerning task or delivery orders placed by the contracting activity.
(c) Any contractor who is not satisfied with the resolution of a complaint by a contracting activity ombudsman may request the Departmental Task Order Ombudsman to review the complaint.
416.506 Solicitation provision and contract clauses.
(a) The contracting officer shall insert a provision substantially the same as the provision at 452.216-72, Evaluation Quantities-Indefinite- Delivery Contract, in solicitations which contemplate the award of indefinite-quantity or requirements contracts to establish the basis on which offers will be evaluated.
(b) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 452.216-73, Minimum and Maximum Contract Amounts, in indefinite-delivery, indefinite- quantity contracts when the clause at FAR 52.216-18 is used.
416.603 Letter contracts.
The HCA is authorized to extend the period for defining a letter contract required by FAR 16.603-2(c) in extreme cases where it is determined in writing that such action is in the best interest of the Government.
416.603-4 Contract clauses.
The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 452.216-75, Letter Contract, in a definitive contract superseding a letter contract.
416.670 Contract Clauses.
The contracting officer shall limit the Government's obligation under a time-and-materials or labor-hour contract by inserting the clause at 452.216-74, Ceiling Price.
416.702 Basic Agreements.
Promptly after execution by the Government, the HCA shall furnish to the Senior Procurement Executive a copy of each basic agreement negotiated with contractors in accordance with FAR 16.702.
The head of the contracting activity is authorized to approve contracts which exceed the 5 year limitation in FAR 17.204(e).