404.10 - Requisition for Contracts and Assistance Awards
OPR: Admin/Procurement and Contracts
1. Purpose. This chapter establishes the requirements for requisitions which initiate contracts and assistance documents for supplies and services (including research).
2. Definition. The DI-1 form (Department of the Interior Requisition) is the official authorization for the appropriate contracting office to procure the supplies or services requested by the initiating program office.
3. Policy. It is the policy of the USGS to initiate acquisition requests by using a DI-1 form (See DIAR 1401.70). The exceptions to this policy are purchases made using Standard Form 44, Purchase Order-Invoice-Voucher (see FAR 13.505-3 and SM 403.8.), imprest fund and authorized callers on Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPA)(SM 403.6).
A. General. For detailed procedures for preparing a requisition see SM 402.3, Requisition for Procurement of Goods and Services. Also see SM 404.1, Contracts.
B. Specific. The initiating project or program office is responsible for insuring that the type of data and information cited in SM 404.10.5, furnished to the appropriate contracting office, is complete and effectively identifies the elements of the procurement requirement. Any doubt as to the sufficiency of the material in explanation or justification of the effort should be resolved early in the procurement process by close coordination with the appropriate contracting office.
5. Specific Types of Effort. A list of information, explained in the following subparagraphs, is provided as an aid in the preparation of the requisition package. If applicable, this type of information is to be submitted to the appropriate contracting office with the DI-1 form.
A. Statement of Work. Stating the requirement is the most important step in preparing the requisition. This statement (including any specifications required by SM 405.2) conveys what is required of the contractor, the conditions under which the work must be conducted, how the contractor's achievement will be assessed, and other contractor obligations with respect to the procurement. The statement must be clear, complete and precise. The soundness of the effort required, and the clarity with which it is conveyed, will determine in large part the success or failure of the contract. The statement of work must contain adequate information to stand alone without the need for clarification or explanation. Before the statement itself is written, outline the requirements and related documentation in the following sequence:
(1) Prepare a precise statement of work to be performed. For example, if a broad effort is required, identify the specific areas of investigation. While such a statement may be general in nature, it should not allow the contractor to pursue a personal approach unchecked. On the other hand, if the effort is aimed at overcoming a specific problem, be sure to define this problem so that it stands out from any peripheral efforts that might be involved. In stating the requirement, make use of all available tables, diagrams, or other schematics to present relevant data or explain complex concepts.
(2) After stating the requirement, establish meaningful parameters of measurement for the effort. These standards should serve three purposes: (a) they should prevent the contractor from drifting into areas not pertinent to the effort, (b) they should measure the results of the completed work, and (c) they should help define whether or not subsequent changes to, or redirection of, the effort fall within or outside the original scope of work. This last determination may affect such factors as the amount of profit or fee ultimately paid the contractor and/or the right of the Government to unilaterally issue a change under the changes clause of the contract.
(3) State precisely what the contractor is to deliver upon completion of the work. This is particularly important with respect to data, since the contractor is only required to deliver those data that are specifically designated in the contract. For research efforts, a requirement for all the data resulting from performance of the contract (e.g., reports, graphics, and diagrams) is appropriate. Reporting instructions should be carefully thought out. Depending on what is requested, a report may contain only a series of observations and opinions, or it may make specific recommendations on a course of action. Consider including a requirement for graphic presentations, which can eliminate, or at least simplify, the lengthy narratives often contained in a study report.
(4) If applicable, the following should be included:
(a) Specify any environmental elements that the contractor must consider in the effort, e.g., weight, climate, and atmosphere.
(b) Describe the relation of the effort to the project of which it is a part.
(c) Describe any existing or completed efforts related to this procurement. If they are helpful to a better understanding of the job, determine whether the reports or studies can be made available to the contractor.
(d) Establish an estimate of the level of competence required. For example, will the work require personnel with specific educational or experience backgrounds? If so, can one such person oversee the work of personnel with lesser qualifications, or must all participating personnel meet these standards? If the efforts of particular individuals are desired, identify them and stipulate their effort during the life of the procurement.
B. In addition to the statement of work discussed above, other types of specifications may be submitted with the DI-1. See SM 405.2 for additional information on the different types of specifications.
C. Request for Approval of Proposed Procurement Action. In accordance with 220 DM 10, all proposed procurements estimated to equal or exceed $500,000 will be submitted to the Assistant Secretary Water and Science for review and approval. The Director's approval is required on proposed actions where the total amount to be obligated is estimated to equal or exceed $100,000 but which are under $500,000. Any request for approval of proposed procurement action must be submitted through the Branch of Procurement and Contracts.
D. Reports to be Submitted for Contracts.
(1) Content. A general format for reporting is shown in Appendix A. This format covers only report content in terms of what is normally required and may not be sufficient to monitor progress in all cases. Therefore, review the format to determine its adequacy for the specific effort and include any modification required to make it complete.
(2) Timing. Through monthly progress reports, the individual monitoring the technical progress can follow progress without extensive telephone conversations or written correspondence. Often, contractors submit in voices on a monthly basis which must be approved in consideration of the technical progress. If it is desirable to obtain a formal technical report during the contract period for a special use or to report a significant event, interim reports may be specified. The final technical report is delivered at the end of the research period and contains all of the pertinent information developed during the contract. Before the contractor's final invoice can be processed, the report must be accepted by the Contracting Officer's Representative.
(3) Distribution. List the number of copies of the reports needed and any special distribution required.
E. Reports to be Submitted for Assistance Awards. Reporting requirements for assistance awards should be tailored to the individual project. The frequency of the reports is limited by requirements of applicable OMB Circulars. Therefore, the requisition package should include only additional and special reports beyond those required by the circulars.
F. Delivery Requirements or Period of Performance.
(1) Delivery requirements may be expressed in one of three ways: (a) a specific calendar date, (b) a specified period from the date of the contract, or (c) a specified period after the contractor receives the notice of award. The choice depends on the purpose of the effort. When the objective is to obtain theoretical or applied knowledge, a period of performance requirement will be less restrictive. If the data is needed at a certain fixed time, consider setting a specific calendar date.
(2) In establishing a realistic delivery date, three factors must be considered: (a) the schedule of major contracting milestones, (b) the amount of procurement lead time required, and (c) the amount of time in which performance completion can reasonably be expected. Performance completion will depend in turn, on such variables as industry practices (single-shift operation and overtime), the effect of Government-imposed requirements on the contractor's operations (reporting system and security), and the Government's performance of its contractual obligations (providing Government-furnished property, receiving and approving reports).
G. Acceptance Requirement. Specify acceptance requirements in terms of: (1) the individual who will approve the work, (2) where and when this approval will take place, and (3) the criteria for acceptance or rejection. In an effort, whose end product is a report, acceptance criteria can be particularly difficult to establish. However, a definition of the report will constitute one standard against which its acceptability can be measured.
H. Evaluation Criteria (if procurement is competitive and if other than price related factors are to be considered). Evaluation criteria are used to assess the technical sufficiency of the proposals received and the areas of performance in which competing proposals will be comparatively rated. They consist of those elements in each proposal which must be evaluated to determine a prospective contractor's understanding of the requirement and the approach to the task. Evaluation criteria may be either general or specific depending upon the nature of the requirement and other circumstances of the procurement. Too many criteria will prove as detrimental to an effective evaluation as will too few. The criteria selected should be concerned with areas of significant difference among proposals, not with the relatively unimportant differences which multiple proposals can be expected to offer. Furthermore, each proposal evaluation criterion should be accompanied by a narrative description. Among other things, this will help to identify and eliminate overlapping and redundant criteria. The requesting official should contact the contracting office for assistance in developing the evaluation criteria, if necessary. (See SM Chapter 404.9).
I. Government-Furnished Property. If the contractor's performance of the effort is dependent on a Government report or an item of Government equipment, it should be clearly identified in the contract. State the property's location, estimated value, availability, and the duration of its availability to the contractor. If Government-furnished property is not delivered on time or in the proper condition, contract performance can be seriously delayed. Before specifying any property for delivery to the contractor, make certain that it will be available when it is needed, and in satisfactory condition for its intended use. If the specified property is in the possession of, or is being prepared by another contractor, identify the contractor, the contract, and the scheduled delivery date. This information is needed to determine the date when the report or equipment will actually be available.
J. Justification for Other than Full and Open Competition (if Procurement is Sole Source). Procurement must be made on a competitive basis to the maximum practical extent. However, there are circumstances that permit procurement on a non- competitive basis. These circumstances are 1) only one responsible source; 2) unusual and compelling urgency; 3) industrial mobilization or experimental development or research work; 4) international agreement; 5) authorized or required by statute; 6) national security and 7) public interest. Action shall be taken to examine the reasons for the procurement being noncompetitive along with steps to foster competitive conditions for subsequent procurements, particularly as to the availability of complete and accurate data, reasonableness of delivery requirements, and possible distribution of components for competitive procurements. If the requisitioning activity feels that a sole source procurement may be necessary, a justification for other than full and open competition must be submitted for the approval of the Contracting Officer, explaining in detail the specific reason for sole source procurement. The list of facts required in the justification may be found in FAR 6.303-2. Such justification must also contain a statement of what actions the requisitioning activity is taking to remove or overcome any barriers to competition or procurement of future or follow-on efforts and a description of the market survey conducted (FAR 6.303-2 and 7.101). FIRMR 201-11.002-1 states that specific make and model ADP procurements are considered to be sole source and must be accompanied by a justification for other than full and open competition. All justifications for other than full and open competition procurements over $25,000 must have an authorized signature, current date, and certified as complete and accurate by the technical or requirements personnel (FAR 6.303-2(b)). The following denotes the approval thresholds for non competitive justifications (FAR 6.304):
(1) Up to and including $100,000 Level above the contracting officer.
(2) Over $100,000 but not exceeding $1,000,000 Geological Survey Competition Advocate Chief, Procurement Policy Section, Reston, VA.
(3) Over $1,000,000 but not exceeding $10,000,000 Head of Contracting Activity Assistant Director for Administration, Reston, VA.
(4) Over $10,000,000 Department of the Interior Senior Procurement Executive Director, Office of Acquisition and Property Management.
K. Security Classification Status. If access to classified information or a classified area will be required of the contractor, or if classified information will be generated during performance of the contract, the requisition should show the type and classification required, i.e., facility and principal investigator.
L. Preproposal Conference.
(1) The nature of certain competitive requirements sometimes necessitates the use of a preproposal conference to promote a uniform interpretation and understanding of work statements and specifications by all prospective contractors. Although these conferences are called by the negotiator, they relate most frequently to technical problems caused by such factors as:
(a) The complexity of the project.
(b) The desirability of having prospective contractors visually examine Government-owned facilities.
(c) The need to disseminate background data.
(d) Exceptional demands on a contractor's capability.
(e) Unavoidable ambiguities in the Statement of Work.
(f) Complications involving access to classified material.
(2) When such conference is appropriate, state this in the requisition and give the reasons. If known, identify any additional technical personnel with whom the prospective conference date should be cleared.
M. Funding. Prior to submission of the requisition and early in the planning stage, a cost estimate will be developed for budgetary and financial planning. While the indefinite nature of a research effort makes it difficult to estimate cost accurately, it is possible to derive a reasonable cost estimate by using a distribution technique as follows:
(1) Divide the effort into identifiable tasks or logical phases.
(2) For each task or phase, estimate the total man-months or labor hours needed for performance by each level of effort involved (e.g., senior scientist, junior engineer, technicians, and machinists).
(3) Estimate the amount and type of materials required for each task or phase.
(4) If subcontracting is anticipated, identify the tasks or portions of tasks to be subcontracted.
(5) Estimate travel and per diem costs involved for off-site travel. Identify the destination, the number of personnel involved, and the total number of trips anticipated.