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This subpart provides guidance to assist in the determination of whether to use the acquisition or assistance process to fulfill program needs. The distinction between, and use of, grants and cooperative agreements is not discussed in detail. Detailed guidance may be found in Chapter 1–02 of the Grants Administration Manual.
307.7003 Distinction between acquisi
tion and assistance. (a) The Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act of 1977 requires the use of contracts to acquire property or services for the direct benefit or use of the Government and grants or cooperative agreements to transfer money, property, services, or anything of value to recipients to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by Federal statute.
(b) A contract is to be used as the legal instrument to reflect a relationship between the Federal Government and a recipient whenever:
(1) The principal purpose of the instrument is the acquisition, by purchase, lease, or barter, of property or services for the direct benefit or use of the Federal Government; or
(2) The Department determines in a specific instance that the use of a type of contract is appropriate. That is, it is determined in a certain situation that specific needs can be satisfied best by using the acquisition process. However, this authority does not permit circumventing the criteria for use of acquisition or assistance instruments. Use of this authority is restricted to extraordinary circumstances and only with the prior approval of the Director, Office of Acquisition and Grants Management.
(c) A grant or cooperative agreement is to be used as the legal instrument to reflect a relationship between the Federal Government and a recipient whenever the principal purpose of the relationship is the transfer of money, property, services, or anything of value to the recipient to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by Federal statute.
(1) A grant is the legal instrument to be used when no substantial involvement is anticipated between the De
partment and the recipient during performance of the contemplated activity.
(2) A cooperative agreement is the legal instrument to be used when substantial involvement is anticipated between the Department and the recipient during performance of the contemplated activity.
(d) As a general rule, contracts are to be used for the following purposes:
(1) Evaluation (including research of an evaluative nature) of the performance
of Government programs projects or grantee activity initiated by the funding agency for its direct benefit or use.
(2) Technical assistance rendered to the Government, or on behalf of the Government, to any third party, including those receiving grants or cooperative agreements.
(3) Surveys, studies, and research which provide specific information desired by the Government for its direct activities, or for dissemination to the public.
(4) Consulting services or professional services of all kinds if provided to the Government or, on behalf of the Government, to any third party.
(5) Training projects where the Government selects the individuals or specific groups whose members are to be trained or specifies the content of the curriculum (not applicable to fellowship awards).
(6) Planning for Government use.
(7) Production of publications or audiovisual materials required primarily for the conduct of the direct operations of the Government.
(8) Design or development of items for Government use or pursuant to agency definition or specifications.
(9) Conferences conducted on behalf of the Government.
(10) Generation of management information or other data for Government
(e) As a general rule, grants or cooperative agreements are to be used for the following purposes:
(1) General financial assistance (stimulation or support) to eligible recipients under specific legislation authorizing the assistance.
(a) OPDIV, agency, and regional office program officials should use existing budget and program planning procedures to propose new activities and major changes in ongoing programs. It is the responsibility of these program officials to meet with the principal official responsible for acquisition and the principal grants management official, or their designees, to distinguish the relationships and determine whether award is to be made through the acquisition process or assistance process. This determination should be made prior to the time when the annual acquisition plan is reviewed and approved so that the plan will reflect all known proposed contract actions. The cognizant contracting officer will confirm the appropriateness of the use of the contract instrument when reviewing the request for contract.
(b) Shifts from one award instrument to another must be fully documented in the appropriate files to show a fundamental change in program purpose that unequivocably justifies the rationale for the shift.
(C) OPDIVs, agencies, and regional offices must ensure that the choice of instrument is determined in accordance with the Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act of 1977 and applicable departmental policies. If, however, there are major individual transactions or programs which contain elements of both acquisition and assistance in such a way that they cannot be characterized as having a principal purpose of one or the other, guidance should be obtained from the Director, Office of Acquisition and Grants Management through normal channels, before proceeding with a determination.
(d) Any public notice, program announcement, solicitation, or request for applications or proposals must indicate whether the intended relationship will be one of acquisition or assistance
(a) Failure to properly plan individual acquisitions and failure to schedule the overall acquisition workload of an office, agency, or OPDIV tends to result in an inordinate percentage of contract awards being made in the closing weeks and even days of the fiscal year. This phenomenon, variously identified as "The September Rush”, “Hurry-up Spending”, “End-of-Year Purchasing”, and “Year-End Spending Abuses”, in turn fosters rushed, other than full and open competition, inadequately documented, and potentially wasteful acquisitions. Excessive year-end spending also invites increased intervention and or scrutiny from Congress, the Office of Management and Budget, and the media. The end of the fiscal year, however, is usually too late to take corrective actions that are effective without being unduly damaging to necessary programs. The key is to begin advance acquisition planning far earlier.
(b) To avoid the historic pattern of wasteful and unnecessary year-end spending, the Department introduced the Acquisition Planning Initiative by Under Secretarial memorandum of February 19, 1980, Subject: New Procedures to Improve Planning and Scheduling of Contract Awards and Curb Last-Minute Year-End Procurement Spending. Phase II of this initiative, beginning with Fiscal Year 1981, established the present acquisition planning mechanism. Basic guidance on the Phase II mechanism is contained in the ASMB memorandum of March 28, 1980, Subject: Phase II of (Fiscal Year 1981) Procurement Planning Initiative Guidelines for Program Funding Milestones. For the Public Health Service, the above guidance is supplemented by the ASMB memorandum of April 21,
1982, Subject: Phase II Annual Procurement Planning.
[49 FR 13969, Apr. 9, 1984, as amended at 50 FR 23129, May 31, 1985; 50 FR 38004, Sept. 19, 1985]
ly as possible over the fiscal year, and provides a mechanism for planning at the program/acquisition operational level and a management tool for monitoring at the program, OPDIV, and departmental levels.
307.7102 Accountability and respon
sibility. Phase II is a Department-wide monitoring and accountability system that requires early planning of acquisition requirements down to the individual project level. The Phase II mechanism includes the following:
(a) Accountability lies with the OPDIV and STAFFDIV heads who are required to coordinate overall schedules which plot the planned distribution of RFC deliveries and contract awards
eighteen-month timeline extending to fiscal year-end.
(b) Each OPDIV and STAFFDIV retains the flexibility to schedule individual RFC deliveries and contract awards as desired, so long as the overall schedule presents a relatively even distribution of contract awards and workload across the fiscal year.
(c) The schedules are updated quarterly to compare actual versus planned progress and, when necessary, to revise the schedules for the remainder of the fiscal year.
(d) Project officers are responsible for initiating the project planning by coordinating with contracting activities prior to RFC preparation, and taking the lead in developing acquisition plans that establish the date(s) for delivering complete RFC packages to the contracting activity, and that establish the planned award dates for individual projects.
(e) The Director, Office of Acquisition and Grants Management monitors the OPDIV and STAFFDIV Phase II plans throughout the year to assure that an even distribution of awards, dollar obligations, and workload is maintained.
307.7104 Contracting activity actions.
The contracting activity shall take the following actions:
(a) Advise program and staff personnel of their responsibilities to ensure that:
(1) Year-end acquisitions of unplanned items are not entered into to use available balances of expiring appropriations (which would otherwise revert to the Treasury);
(2) Orders for supplies, materials, and equipment are kept to the minimum needed to carry on approved programs;
(3) Inventories are held to normal levels; and
(4) New contracts for future services and payments to contractors are made only in accordance with established plans.
(b) Determine closing dates for purchases to be made from appropriations ending on September 30.
(c) Expedite the preparation and processing of determinations and findings which require the approval of the Assistant Secretary for Management and Budget or the OPDIV head.
Subpart 309.1-Responsible Prospective
Sec. 309.104 Standards. 309.104-1 General standards. 309.105 Procedures. 309.105–1 Obtaining information.
Subpart 309.4—Debarment, Suspension,
(49 FR 13969, Apr. 9, 1984, as amended at 50 FR 23126, May 31, 1985; 50 FR 38004, Sept. 19, 1985; 54 FR 24343, June 7, 1989]
The Phase II Advance Acquisition Planning mechanism serves to avoid excessive year-end spending and distributes the contract workload as even
309.403 Definitions. 309.404 Parties excluded from procurement
programs. 309.405 Effect of listing. 309.405-1 Continuation of current contracts. 309.406 Debarment. 309.406-3 Procedures. 309.407 Suspension. 309.407–3 Procedures.
309.470 Reporting of suspected causes for de
barment or suspension, or the taking of
evasive actions. 309.470-1 Situations where reports are re
quired. 309.470–2 Contents of reports.
AUTHORITY: 5 U.S.C. 301; 40 U.S.C. 486(c).
SOURCE: 49 FR 13976, Apr. 9, 1984, unless otherwise noted.
309.104-1 General standards.
(a) In determining the adequacy of a prospective contractor's financial resources for the performance of the proposed contract, particular attention shall be given to the ability of the contractor to discharge its full financial responsibility for charges and losses of Government-furnished material, when the contractor has responsibility for such material.
(e) The prospective contractor must have an established system of accounting and financial controls which are determined by the contracting officer to be adequate to permit the effective administration of the type of contract proposed, particularly if under its terms the costs incurred are a factor in determining the amount payable under the contract, or if advance or progress payments are requested.
Government from the improper expenditure of Federal funds. Actions should include at least one of the following: preaward and postaward audits; direct identification of cost with deliverables; billing by contract phases or tasks; fidelity bonding or other guarantees by the parent company or principals of the organization; increased scrutiny of vouchers and financial reports; and frequent site visits to verify the incurrence of specific costs and the relationship of technical progress with the amount billed.
(B) If a prospective contractor's accounting or billing system (or both) is determined to be inadequate, corrective action must be taken before that organization is awarded a contract. When corrective action cannot be completed until after the award and the contracting officer determines that the award must be made, the contracting officer shall consult with the cognizant cost advisor and take the appropriate actions set forth in FAR 16.104 to ensure that the Government's interests will be protected and the contract will be adequately costed and administered. Awards made under the preceding condition must be approved in writing by the principal official responsible for acquisition.
Subpart 309.4-Debarment, Suspension, and ineligibility
SOURCE: 50 FR 7780, Feb. 26, 1985, unless otherwise noted.
309.105–1 Obtaining information.
(b)(2)(ii) To ensure that a prospective contractor has the necessary accounting and operational controls (see 309.104-1(e)), a written determination must be made by the contracting officer that the prospective contractor has an adequate accounting system for determining costs applicable to the contract and a billing system that satisfies the contractual payment provisions. The determination must explain the basis for this judgment.
(A) When dealing with high risk organizations, i.e., new organizations, those with known problems, and those with accounting system deficiencies, the contracting officer shall use every reasonable means available to protect the
Acquiring agency's head or a designee, as used in the FAR, shall mean, unless otherwise stated in this subpart, the head of the contracting activity. Acting in the capacity of the acquiring agency's head, the head of the contracting activity may make the required justifications determinations, and take the necessary actions, specified in FAR $89.405, 9.406, and 9.407 for his or her respective activity, but only after obtaining the approval of the debarring or suspending official, as the case may be.
Debarring official means the Assistant Secretary for Management and Budget, or his/her designee.
Initiating official means either the contracting officer, the head of the contracting activity, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management and Acquisition, or the Inspector General.
Suspending official means the Assistant Secretary for Management and Budget, or his/her designee.
(iii) There are other compelling reasons which require business dealings with the listed contractor.
(2) If the head of the contracting activity decides to approve the requested action, he/she shall request the concurrence of the debarring or suspending official and, if given, shall, in writing, inform the contracting officer of the decision within the required time period.
[50 FR 7780, Feb. 26, 1985, as amended at 54 FR 24343, June 7, 1989; 54 FR 43965, Oct. 30, 1989]
309.405–1 Continuation of current con
309.404 Parties excluded from pro
curement programs. (c) The Office of Management and ACquisition (OMAC) shall perform the actions required by FAR 9.404(c).
(4) OMAC shall maintain all documentation submitted by the initiating official recommending the debarment or suspension action and all correspondence and other pertinent documentation generated during the OMAC review.
[50 FR 7780, Feb. 26, 1985, as amended at 54 FR 24343, June 7, 1989; 54 FR 43966, Oct. 30, 1989]
(a) Notwithstanding the debarment or suspension of a contractor, contracting officers may continue contracts or subcontracts in existence at the time the contractor was debarred or suspended, unless the head of the contracting activity or debarring or suspending official directs otherwise. A decision as to the type of termination action, if any, to be taken should be made only after review by the awarding activity's contracting and technical personnel. The contracting officer shall coordinate any termination with the Office of the General Counsel to ensure the propriety of the proposed action. (b) Contracting officers shall not
the current contracts of debarred or suspended contractors, or otherwise extend their duration, unless the head of the contracting activity determines to do so, with the concurrence of the debarring or suspending official. The contracting officer shall prepare a determination meeting the requirements of 309.405(a) and submit it, through acquisition channels, to the head of the contracting activity. If the head of the contracting activity agrees with the determination, he/she shall obtain the concurrence of the debarring or suspending official.
309.405 Effect of listing.
(a) The head of the contracting activity may, with the concurrence of the debarring or suspending official, make the determinations referenced in FAR 9.405(a), regarding contracts for their respective activities.
(1) If a contracting officer considers it necessary to award a contract, or consent to
subcontract with а debarred or suspended contractor, the contracting officer shall prepare a determination, including all pertinent documentation, and submit it through acquisition channels to the head of the contracting activity. The documentation must include the date by which approval is required and a compelling reason for the proposed action. Some examples of circumstances that may constitute a compelling reason for the award to, or consent to a subcontract with, a debarred or suspended contractor include:
(i) The property or services to be acquired are available only from the listed contractor;
(ii) The urgency of the requirement dictates that the Department deal with the listed contractor; or
a) Investigation and referral. Whenever an apparent cause for debarment becomes known to an initiating official, that person shall prepare a report incorporating the information required by 309.470–2, if known, and forward it through appropriate channels, with a written recommendation, to the debarring official. Contracting officers shall