423.404 Agency affirmative procurement programs.

The USDA affirmative procurement program (APP) policy applicable to all USDA agencies and staff offices is hereby established. The components of this APP include:

(a) Recovered Materials Preference Program. In accord with the requirements of Section 402(c) of Executive Order 13101, Greening the Government Through Recycling, Waste Prevention, and Federal Acquisition, USDA agencies will include, in all applicable solicitations and contracts, a preference for products and services which meet or exceed the EPA purchasing guidelines as contained in the EPA product Recovered Materials Advisory Notices (RMANs). Agencies may choose an evaluation factor preference, or other method of indicating preference in accord with their agency needs. Agencies will, as appropriate, eliminate virgin material requirements in contract specifications and replace them with a statement of preference for recycled materials.

(b) Promotion program. USDA agencies will actively promote a preference for recovered materials, environmentally preferable products, and biobased products in contacts with vendors, in written materials, and other appropriate opportunities.

(c) Reasonable estimation of recovered materials used in the performance of contracts. USDA agencies annually will provide in writing to the USDA Senior Procurement Executive, in response to a call for data for the Resource Conservation and Recovery report, reasonable estimates, certification, and verification of recovered material used in the performance of contracts.

(d) Annual review and monitoring of effectiveness of the program. USDA agencies will provide an annual assessment of the effectiveness of their affirmative procurement program actions in increasing the purchase and use of EPA designated products.

(e) Purchase of EPA designated products. USDA agencies will require that 100% of purchases of EPA-designated products contain recovered material, unless the item cannot be acquired -

(1) Competitively within a reasonable time frame;

(2) Meeting appropriate performance standards; or

(3) At a reasonable price.

(f) The 100% purchase requirement of paragraph (e) of this section applies to all USDA agency purchases, including those at or below the micro-purchase threshold.