(a) The acquisition of advisory and assistance services is a legitimate way to improve Government services and operations. Accordingly, advisory and assistance services may be used at all organizational levels to help managers achieve maximum effectiveness or economy in their operations.
(b) Subject to 37.205, agencies may contract for advisory and assistance services, when essential to the agency’s mission, to-
(1) Obtain outside points of view to avoid too limited judgment on critical issues;
(2) Obtain advice regarding developments in industry, university, or foundation research;
(3) Obtain the opinions, special knowledge, or skills of noted experts;
(4) Enhance the understanding of, and develop alternative solutions to, complex issues;
(5) Support and improve the operation of organizations; or
(6) Ensure the more efficient or effective operation of managerial or hardware systems.
(c) Advisory and assistance services shall not be-
(1) Used in performing work of a policy, decision-making, or managerial nature which is the direct responsibility of agency officials;
(2) Used to bypass or undermine personnel ceilings, pay limitations, or competitive employment procedures;
(3) Contracted for on a preferential basis to former Government employees;
(4) Used under any circumstances specifically to aid in influencing or enacting legislation; or
(5) Used to obtain professional or technical advice which is readily available within the agency or another Federal agency.
(d) Limitation on payment for advisory and assistance services. Contractors may not be paid for services to conduct evaluations or analyses of any aspect of a proposal submitted for an initial contract award unless-
(1) Neither covered personnel from the requesting agency, nor from another agency, with adequate training and capabilities to perform the required proposal evaluation, are readily available and a written determination is made in accordance with 37.204;
(3) Such functions are otherwise authorized by law.