Survey Manual

205.4 - Procurement

This chapter establishes delegations of authority to acquire goods and services for the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) and to enter into federal assistance agreements on behalf of the USGS. 


OPR: Office of Acquisition and Federal Assistance

Instructions: This revises Appendix A, section E-1(a)(2), of Survey Manual (SM) Chapter 205.4, dated September 6, 2002. The change is in italics.

1. Purpose.

This chapter establishes delegations of authority to acquire goods and services for the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) and to enter into federal assistance agreements on behalf of the USGS. It also implements Subpart 1401.6 of the Department of the Interior Acquisition Regulation (DIAR) and the Departmental Contracting Officers' Warrant System (COWS) Manual, issued by Acquisition Policy Release (DIAPR) 1997-4. This chapter does not apply to instruments by which USGS received incoming funds.

2. Policy.

Authority shall be exercised subject to the availability of funds. Any purchasing transacted outside the provisions of this chapter or its authorized exceptions shall be considered invalid. In such instances the individual may be held financially liable for his/her actions. All purchasing activities transacted under the authority of this chapter are subject to review and audit. Failure to comply with applicable regulatory requirements shall be reason for termination of procurement authority, as set forth in DIAR 1401.670-4.

3. Delegations of Authority.

A. Definitions.

(1) Head of Contracting Activity, as defined in DIAR 1402.101 and FAR 2.101 is the Chief, Office of Administrative Policy and Services.

(2) Bureau Procurement Chief is the Chief, Office of Acquisition and Grants (OAG).

(3) Chief of the Contracting Office refers to the Chief, OAG, and the Chiefs of the Regional Acquisition and Grants Branches (AGBs).

B. The USGS procurement authority is delegated in Appendix A. Contracting Officer authority under the Warrant System may be delegated to specific individuals only (not to positions) and may not be further delegated. Except as provided in Appendix A, delegation of acquisition authority may be made in accordance with the COWS Manual, dated February 1997, only. Any warrants issued before that date under previous versions of the manual are invalid. Delegation of authority will be exercised in accordance with:

(1) Title 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Chapter 1, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)

(2) 48 CFR, Chapter 14, Department of the Interior Acquisition Regulation

(3) 43 CFR, Part 12, Administrative and Audit Requirements and Cost Principles for Assistance Programs

(4) 43 CFR, Part 17, Nondiscrimination in Federally-assisted Programs

(5) 43 CFR, Part 18, New Restrictions on Lobbying

(6) Office of Management and Budget directives

(7) Departmental Manual

(8) 400 Series of the U.S. Geological Survey Manual, and supplementary procurement procedures issued by the USGS Office of Acquisition and Grants

4. Designation of Contracting Officers

Procurement authority under DIAR 1401.6 may be delegated only when the nominated individual has met all qualifications set forth in the COWS Manual, and quantifiable justification of need for procurement authority has been submitted to and approved by the Chief, OAG. See Appendix III of the COWS Manual for the form to use and factors to address when requesting a warrant.

5. Geographic and Categorical Limitations on Warrant Authority Delegations.

A. Geographic Limitations. Procurements and awards for offices located in Reston, VA; Denver, CO; Menlo Park and/or Sacramento, CA and their environs will be made by headquarters OAG or the respective regional AGB warranted contracting officers. In unique instances, simplified acquisition authority may be delegated to other than OAG/AGB personnel in these locations, as determined necessary by the OAG Chief on a case?by?case basis.

B. Categorical Limitations. Warranted Contracting Officers outside the headquarters OAG and regional AGBs may not make procurements or awards in the categories listed in Figure 1 for amounts greater than the dollar levels indicated. Where a listed dollar limit exceeds an individual's warrant authority, the warrant limit applies. Field Contracting Officers may place delivery orders under USGS contracts only if specifically designated in the contract ordering provisions or with written delegation, or on an individual or class basis, from the administering Contracting Officer. Field Contacting Officers may place delivery orders under other agency non-schedule contracts only if the contract specifically permits ordering by other agencies and does not allocate ordering quotas or use limits on a Department or bureau basis.

C. Application of Limitations. Apply to basic warrant limits.

(1) In determining whether a service or lease requirement exceeds the applicable limit, the estimated annual cost of the requirement shall be used.

(2) Rental of equipment with an operator or technician is considered a service. Rental of vehicles, equipment, or other products without an operator is not considered a service for purposes of these limitations.

(3) Rental of temporary space is not subject to the categorical limitation on service contracts, unless other contractor services are provided as part of the rental. Space requirements expected to exceed 1 year should not routinely be acquired by purchase methods, regardless of the type of real property involved. These requirements must be referred to the Office of Management Services for coverage under real property leasing procedures (SM 429.1).

(4) For orders placed on a free on board (f.o.b.) origin basis, these limitations apply to the total amount to be paid under the order, including reimbursable shipping charges.

(5) Requirements shall not be split for the purpose of evading these categorical limitations or dollar limits on warrant authority.

(6) The warrant dollar limit applies to the cumulative dollar value of the contract or order, including any modifications.