Part 507 - Acquisition Planning

Subpart 507.1 - Acquisition Plans

507.101 Definitions.

“Planner” means the person residing in the requirements office who initiates, coordinates and prepares written acquisition plans. The person may be in an individual program office or have responsibility for a number of such offices.

“Planning team” means a team of individuals formed to prepare individual elements of an acquisition plan. The team should be comprised of technical and professional representatives from the requirements customer, contracting, budget, counsel, small business technical advisors (SBTA), and other offices as warranted.

“Requirements office” means the internal GSA office that establishes and funds the agency need. If an organization outside of GSA establishes and funds the need, then the requirements office will be the GSA office that is managing the acquisition for that outside organization.

507.103 Agency-head responsibilities.

      (a)The HCA must ensure that the planning team adheres to the requirements of FAR part 7 and this part.

      (b) Approval thresholds.

(1)The following are the dollar value thresholds and the level of the approving official for approving acquisition plans or waiving written acquisition plans. For purposes of leasing, the Simplified Leasing Acquisition Threshold (SLAT) is defined in part  570. The HCA may authorize higher level approving officials for the thresholds set out below.

Threshold

Approving Official

Up to, and including the SAT (SLAT for leases)

Contracting Officer

Over SAT (SLAT for leases) to, and including, the threshold for Simplified Procedures for Certain Commercial Items

One Level above the Contracting Officer

Over the threshold for Simplified Procedures for Certain Commercial Items to, and including, $20 million

Contracting Director

Over $20 million

HCA

                (i)Thresholds include all options.

                (ii)The thresholds provided in paragraph (1) are defined as follows-

                     (A)The SAT is defined at FAR 2.101.

                     (B)The SLAT for leases is defined at 570.102.

                     (C)The threshold for Simplified Procedures for Certain Commercial Items is detailed at FAR 13.500.

           (2)If the acquisition meets one of the following criteria and is greater than the SAT, the planner must obtain HCA approval of the acquisition plan:

                (i)Complex, critical to agency strategic objectives and mission, highly visible or politically sensitive.

                (ii)An acquisition with which GSA has little or no experience that may result in a need for greater oversight or risk management.

                (iii)Actions using significantly changed methods (e.g., methods of procurement such as lease versus purchase, or methods of performance such as contractor versus Government personnel).

                (iv)New construction or repair, lease prospectus and alteration prospectus budget line items.

                (v)Any acquisition that involves-

                     (A)Consolidation above $2 million (FAR 7.107-2); or

                     (B)Bundling at any dollar value (FAR 7.107-3).

           (3)Acquisitions requiring additional transactional data reporting elements to those listed in subparagraph (b)(2) of clauses 552.216-75 and 552.238-80 Alternate I-

                (i)Must be coordinated with the applicable category manager, and obtain approval by the HCA and SPE; and

                (ii)Must provide the information at 501.304(b)(4) in the rationale for adding transactional data reporting elements.

                (iii)The approval requirements in this subparagraph do not apply to additional data elements added to a task/delivery order or blanket purchase agreement. However, coordination with the applicable category manager is required.

      (c) Sustainability Strategies. Strategies to either mitigate or adapt to climate change can be explored during acquisition planning and should be clearly documented within the acquisition plan (see 507.105). Some requirements may present more environmental opportunities than others. The Sustainable Facilities tool, available at sftool.gov may be used to identify sustainable attributes (products that are energy efficient, water efficient, or made from recycled materials).

507.104 General procedures.

      (a)The planner shall:

           (1)Comply with the requirements of FAR subpart 7.1 and this subpart, and coordinate with other members of the planning team as appropriate.

           (2)Write the acquisition plan using all planning team members especially for complex or highly sensitive acquisitions.

           (3)Review the acquisition history of the supplies and services.

           (4)Review the description of the supplies, including (when necessary for adequate description) a picture, drawing, diagram, or other graphic representation.

           (5)Coordinate with the Small Business Technical Advisor (SBTA) as necessary to fulfill the requirements of FAR 7.104(d) (See 519.202-1).

           (6)Coordinate with the GSA Chief Information Officer (CIO) if the action involves GSA information technology and ensure acquisition plans are approved by the GSA CIO. Guidance for identifying the applicable GSA CIO point of contact can be found on GSA’s Acquisition Portal at https://insite.gsa.gov/acquisitionportal. For interagency acquisitions involving information technology, see subpart  517.5.

           (7)Obtain concurrence of the contracting officer, and approvals as required in paragraph 507.105(c)(1).

           (8)Coordinate with the Office of General Counsel on an as needed basis, but definitely for acquisition plans over $20 million.

           (9)Ensure that an interagency agreement is in place in all agency specific clauses, terms and conditions are incorporated in the acquisition, when conducting purchases on behalf of other agencies.

           (10) Coordinate, as necessary, with any designated sustainability point of contact for the requirement (see 504.7104).

           (11) Follow sustainability policies and procedures specified in part  523 throughout the procurement.

           (12)Coordinate with the contracting officer to ensure all INFORM components (see INFORM Guide) are integrated into the acquisition planning process. The acquisition plan must include the time necessary for orientation of acquisition stakeholders and potential evaluators to INFORM procedures and timeline commitments.

      (b)The contracting officer shall:

           (1)Ensure that acquisition planning and market research are performed for all acquisitions.

           (2)Ensure all acquisition plans for applicable acquisitions per 515.370 contain the INFORM components.

           (3)Ensure that the contract file contains a copy of the approved acquisition plan.

      (c) Applicability. All acquisitions exceeding the SAT, including orders and BPAs, require written acquisition plans.

           (1)When awarding a single IDIQ contract, an acquisition plan will be developed for the base contract. The resulting orders should be covered by and reference the same acquisition plan.

           (2)When awarding a BPA for a specific requirement and agency, an acquisition plan will be developed for the base contract. The resulting orders should be covered by and reference the same acquisition plan.

           (3)For oral acquisition plans, see 507.105-70.

      (d)For all acquisitions exceeding the SAT, the planner must use the Acquisition Planning Module (APM) at https://gsa.appiancloud.com/suite/tempo/, or any successor system. Not later than 7 calendar days after the acquisition plan is approved, if not completed in the APM, an electronic copy shall be sent to acquisitionplans@gsa.gov.

507.105 Contents of written acquisition plans.

      (a)The APM contains the content prescribed in FAR 7.105 and shall be used in the preparation of written acquisition plans. Except for 507.105(a)(1), where a particular element described in FAR 7.105 does not apply, the acquisition plan should read “not applicable.” The dollar value, complexity (e.g., commercial versus non-commercial item) and method of acquisition (e.g., full and open competition versus task/delivery order) of the supplies and services to be acquired will affect the scope and breadth of the acquisition plan.

           (1) Sustainable Acquisition Considerations. Whether it is in the requirements, the statement of work, the method of award, or the contract administration strategy, most acquisitions present opportunities to consider the impact on the environment. For all acquisitions that require a written acquisition plan, environmental impact shall be considered and documented in the acquisition plan (see FAR 7.105(b)(17)). When addressing FAR 7.105(b)(17) in the acquisition plan, the contracting officer should address the following:

                (i) Statement of Work. When conducting acquisition planning, the contracting officer is encouraged to strategize with the program manager to consider the most environmentally preferable solutions for the Government. For example, this could include buying items with less packaging, greater recycled content, longer shelf life, lower carbon footprint, improved energy efficiency, less waste, or services that are performed remotely to reduce the federal carbon footprint (see 511.002(a) for additional guidance).

                (ii) Contract Administration. Describe actions during contract administration to promote environmentally preferable solutions. For example, this could include any in-scope efficiencies that are identified after contract award that further reduce the Government’s carbon footprint.

           (2) Contracting officers may not state that the sustainability section of the acquisition plan is “not applicable” without a full explanation as to why the acquisition does not present any sustainable acquisition opportunities.

      (b)FAR 7.106 (major systems) and FAR 7.107 (consolidation, bundling, or substantial bundling) shall be addressed in the acquisition plan, if applicable.

      (c)For leasehold interests in real property, a modified version of the contents of acquisition plans for leases is provided in the APM.

      (d)The requirement for a written acquisition plan may be waived by the appropriate level of an approving official listed in 507.105(c). When the requirement for a written acquisition plan is waived, an oral acquisition plan is still required. The planner must obtain approval for the oral acquisition plan from the approving official.

      (e) Software. If procuring software, specify the result of any software requirement alternatives analysis that has been completed in accordance with 511.002(d).

      (f) Cyber-supply chain risk management for GSA-funded acquisitions.

           (1)The acquisition planner must discuss the scope of involvement (or planned involvement) of the GSA Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), or representative, as part of the acquisition planning team, to ensure cyber-supply chain risk considerations are addressed on a best effort basis based on availability of resources if the acquisition may involve GSA information systems and any of the following are applicable:

                (i) Hardware Devices. Hardware devices that connect to the GSA enterprise network (wired or wireless).

                (ii) Critical Software. Critical software that meets the current definition of Critical Software Under Executive Order (EO) 14028, Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity, as defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

                (iii) Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 199 High-Impact Information System. A high-impact information system could be expected to have a severe or catastrophic adverse effect on organizational operations, organizational assets, or individuals if there was a breach of security resulting in a potential loss of confidentiality, integrity, or availability.

                (iv) FIPS 199 Moderate-Impact Information System. A moderate-impact information system could be expected to have a serious adverse effect on organizational operations, organizational assets, or individuals if there was a breach of security resulting in a potential loss of confidentiality, integrity, or availability.

                (v) FIPS 199 Low-Impact Information Systems. Unless 507.105(g)(1)(iii) or (iv) applies, this paragraph (g)(1) does not apply to the acquisition of low-impact information systems.

           (2)For any other procurement requiring a written acquisition plan, the acquisition planner should discuss efforts to mitigate risks associated with cyber-supply chain risk management. Efforts and considerations could include:

                (i)Market research efforts (see 510.002(c) and (d));

                (ii)Procuring products or services already approved in GSA’s Enterprise Architecture Analytics and Reporting (GEAR) system;

                (iii)Procuring products or services with a current GSA IT Assessment and Authorization (A&A, or Authority to Operate (ATO)) or Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) Authorization;

                (iv)Considering contracting vehicles that have already evaluated awardees supply chain methods and assurances; or

                (v)Planning efforts with the GSA CISO.

507.105-70 Contents of oral acquisition plans.

Oral acquisition plans. Oral acquisition plans are only authorized by approval of the HCA and may be used in unusual and compelling situations. The planner shall document a summary of the oral acquisition plan, and shall also include: the name and signature of the approving official; the date the oral acquisition plan was approved; and the reason for waiving a written acquisition plan. The summary shall be included in the official contract file. In addition, the summary should be a part of, or attached to, any justification for other than full and open competition as required by FAR 6.302, or in the basis for using an exception to the fair opportunity process required by FAR 16.505(b)(2). The summary may be prepared after award if preparation before award would unreasonably delay the award, such as in the case of circumstances warranting the use of a letter contract.

507.107 Additional requirements for acquisitions involving consolidation, bundling, or substantial bundling.

507.107-1 General.

Guidance on consolidation, bundling or substantial bundling can be found on GSA's Acquisition Portal at https://insite.gsa.gov/acquisitionportal.

      (a)  Applicability.

(1) The contracting officer must determine if the requirement is considered consolidation, bundling or substantial bundling per the definitions in FAR 2.101(b) and FAR 7.107-4.  

           (2)  Construction Indefinite-Delivery, Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) Contracts.

                (i)  When establishing an IDIQ contract for construction and the number of discrete sites is unknown, the contracting officer has the discretion to assess the construction requirements for consolidation at either the IDIQ or task order (TO) level. A consolidation analysis should not be performed at both levels.

                (ii)  The acquisition plan and GSA Form 2689, as applicable, must address if a consolidation determination was or will be made at an IDIQ or TO level.

      (b)  Thresholds for Written Determination. Notwithstanding exceptions per FAR 7.107-1(b), a written determination is required for—

           (1)  Consolidation requirements above $2 million; and

           (2)  Bundling requirements at any dollar value.

      (c)   Approvals for Written Determination.

           (1)  The contracting officer shall obtain approvals as required by the Service prior to the Associate Administrator, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (AA OSDBU) and the Senior Procurement Executive (SPE).

           (2)  The contracting officer shall coordinate with the GSA Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization for AA OSDBU’s approval prior to the SPE’s approval.

           

      (d)   Contents of Written Determination for Consolidation.

           (1) The contracting officer must provide the following information, which includes the requirements at FAR 7.107-2:

                (i)  Brief description of the acquisition history.

                (ii)  Description of the market research conducted.

                (iii)  Identification of any alternative contracting approaches that involve a lesser degree of consolidation of contract requirements.

                (iv)  Identification of the contracting approach selected.

                (v)  Identification of any negative impacts to small business concerns.

                (vi)  Description of steps taken to include small business concerns in the acquisition strategy.

                (vii)  Explanation of the substantial benefits.

                (viii)  Statement that the consolidation and/or bundling is necessary and justified.

      (e)  Additional Contents of Written Determination for Bundling.

           (1) The contracting officer must provide the information required by paragraph (e)(2) of this subsection in addition to paragraph (d) of this subsection when the requirement is considered bundling (see FAR 2.101). The additional information listed in this paragraph includes the requirements at FAR 7.107-3.

           (2) The contracting officer must use market research to determine prices the Government could have been or could be charged by a small business for the work previously performed by other than small business(es) (see FAR 7.107-3(g)).

      (f)   Additional Contents of Written Determination for Substantial Bundling.

           (1) The contracting officer must provide the following information in addition to paragraphs (d) and (e) of this subsection when the requirement is considered substantial bundling (see FAR 7.107-4).

           (2) The contracting officer must provide the following information, which includes the requirements at FAR 7.107-4(b):

                (i)  Explain the rationale for not selecting each alternative contracting approach with a lesser degree of consolidation.

                (ii)  Identify the specific impediments to participation by small business concerns as contractors, including any relevant socioeconomic subcategories.

                (iii)  Explain any actions designed to maximize small business participation through teaming.

                (iv)  Explain any actions designed to maximize small business participation through subcontracting, including suppliers.

      (g)   Substantial Benefits Reporting.

           (1)  The contracting officer must monitor and measure actual savings throughout the acquisition life cycle, and report realized substantial benefits to the SPE.

           (2)  Realized substantial benefits shall be reported:

                (i)  Within 14 calendar days after award of the contract.

                (ii)  Within 30 calendar days after completion of the contract.

                (iii)  During contract performance as requested by the SPE on a case by case basis.

507.107-5 Notifications.

      (a)  Notification to the public of rationale for consolidated, bundled, or substantially bundled requirement.

           (1)  A summary notification of a determination that a consolidated, bundled, or substantially bundled requirement is necessary and justified will be published by the SPE on the System for Award Management Contract Opportunities at https://www.sam.gov. The notice will be posted within 7 days of the SPE approved determination.

           (2)  Any solicitation related to the consolidation, bundled, or substantially bundled requirement can only be published after the summary notice from subparagraph (a)(1) of this section has been published for at least 7 days.

           (3)  The contracting officer is encouraged to provide the summary notification from subparagraph (a)(1) of this section to the Governmentwide Point of Entry (GPE) before issuance of the solicitation.

           (4)  The contracting officer shall publish the SPE approved determination with the publication of the solicitation, redacted as necessary.

           (5) For bundled or substantially bundled requirements, in addition to the requirements of this subsection, the contracting officer must verify compliance with the notification requirements of FAR 7.107-5(b).

      (b)  Notification to SBA of follow-on consolidated or bundled requirements.

           (1) The contracting officer shall coordinate with the designated SBTA (see subpart 519.4) to provide follow-on notification to the SBA PCR in accordance with FAR 7.107-5(c). The designated SBTA will provide notification to the SPE at spe.request@gsa.gov, the AA OSDBU at osdbu_review_concurrence@gsa.gov, and the Service-level policy organization (e.g., FAS's Office of Policy and Compliance and PBS's Office of Acquisition).

           (2)  The SBTA will submit the notification to SBA PCR within 5 business days of receiving the notification from the contracting officer or request an extension from the contracting officer.

Subpart 507.5 - Inherently Governmental Functions

507.503 Policy.

      (a) Concurrent with the transmittal of each statement of work or any modification to a statement of work for a service contract, the requirements office must provide the contracting officer a written determination that none of the functions to be performed are inherently governmental as defined in FAR subpart 7.5. The determination must include a statement that the requirement is not for functions similar to those listed under FAR 7.503(c).

      (b) The requirements office must also review the examples of functions listed under FAR 7.503(d). While these functions are not inherently governmental, they may restrict the discretionary authority, decision-making responsibility, or accountability of Government officials using the contractor services or work products. If the services to be acquired may cause such restrictions, the acquisition plan must discuss the associated vulnerabilities, and address management controls to mitigate them.

           (1)  These measures may include requiring special controls and safeguards to prevent improper personal services relationships, contractor personnel access to privileged or sensitive information, and/or confusion regarding the mistaking of contractor employees for Federal employees. For additional guidance see 537.104 Personal Service Contracts.

           (2) The requirements office is directed to use FAR 37.104 and FAR subpart 37.5 and OFPP Policy Letter 93-1 for guidance in addressing these considerations.

           (3) The HCA resolves any disagreement regarding the requirements official’s determination, following the guidelines in FAR subpart 7.5. The HCA may delegate this authority to a level not lower than the contracting director.

Subpart 507.70 - Additional Requirements for Purchases in Support of National Security Systems involving Weapons Systems

507.7000 Scope of subpart.

This subpart prescribes acquisition policies and procedures for use in acquiring information technology supplies, services and systems in support of a weapon system as part of a national security system, as defined by FAR 39.002.

507.7001 Policy.

      (a)  Although GSA’s mission does not include the direct acquisition of weapon systems on behalf of the Department of Defense (DoD), GSA contracting activities may procure information technology supplies, services and systems in support of a weapon system, which is part of a national security system (e.g., components, services to install and maintain weapon systems, ancillary items and services) when responding to a bona-fide requirement received from a requiring agency or program office.

      (b)  Contracting Officers shall ensure that all requiring agency regulations and the policies and directives of The Committee on National Security Systems at https://www.cnss.gov/cnss/ are incorporated during the acquisition planning stage and are met before acquiring information technology supplies, services and systems in support of a weapon system as part of a national security system.

      (c)  Employees responsible for or procuring information technology supplies, services and systems in support of a weapon system shall possess the appropriate security clearance associated with the level of security classification related to the acquisition. They include, but are not limited to contracting officers, contract specialists, project/program managers, and contracting officer representatives.

Subpart 507.71 - Category Management

507.7101 General.

      (a) OMB expects agencies to effectively manage contract spending through a balance of Government-wide, agency-wide, and local contracts; to reduce unnecessary contract duplication and cost avoidance; and to continue achievement of statutory small business goals and other statutory socioeconomic requirements (e.g., AbilityOne and Federal Prison Industries). Information about category management, including who the designated category managers are, and copies of OMB memos can be found on the Category Management, AoAs & Business Cases page on the GSA Acquisition Portal available at https://insite.gsa.gov/acquisitionportal.

      (b) The contract tiered maturity model is a category management tool that can be used by agencies to evaluate their progress in aligning common spend with category management principles, in acquisition planning and market research, and in support of other actions and decisions:

           (1) Tier 3 - Spend through best practice solutions.

           (2) Tier 2 - Spend through multi-agency solutions or government-wide solutions that are not best practice solutions.

           (3) Tier 1 - Spend through agency-wide mandatory use solutions.

           (4) Tier 0 - Spend not aligned to category management principles.

507.7102 Analyses of Alternatives (AoA).

      (a) General. With exception to paragraph (b) of this section—

           (1) An AoA shall be developed for a planned acquisition that is–

                (i) Over $50 million, including all options and incentives, and will be considered Tier 0 spending, or

                (ii) Over $100 million, including all options and incentives, and will be considered Tier 1 spending.

           (2) An AoA may be required for any planned acquisition at any dollar value for a Tier 2 Governmentwide acquisition contract (GWAC) or multi-agency contract other than a GWAC or Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA).

      (b) Exceptions. An AoA is not required when the planned acquisition is for—

           (1) Defense-centric spend;

           (2) Agency-wide spend through FSS, FSS BPA, and certain other GSA IDIQ contract vehicles;

           (3) The establishment of a GWAC including the next generation of an existing GWAC (but see 507.7103); or

           (4) Acquiring leasehold interests in real property (see part  570).

      (c) Timeframe for development. An AoA shall generally be developed no less than 18-24 months prior to award. Prior to developing an AoA, the contracting officer shall follow their Service-level procedures and the process described in subpart 504.71 for purposes of notifying the SPE and, if applicable, scheduling an acquisition review.

      (d) Coordination. The contracting officer shall coordinate with their applicable Service-level acquisition policy organization, the applicable category manager(s), and the OSDBU in developing the AoA.

      (e) Content. An AoA sample is available on the Category Management, AoAs & Business Cases page on the GSA Acquisition Portal at https://insite.gsa.gov/acquisitionportal and maybe used for developing an AoA. At a minimum, each AoA shall include the following information:

           (1) Identification of the document as a “Analysis of Alternatives”;

           (2) The name of the agency, the contracting activity, and requiring activity(ies);

           (3) Description of the requirement;

           (4) The spend category(ies) and subcategory(ies) associated with the planned acquisition;

           (5) The contract/program name;

           (6) The total contract value and spend;

           (7) The contract tier;

           (8) Identification of existing contracts, if applicable, and explanation of why they are not an appropriate solution;

           (9) The contract type, product and service code(s), and North American Industry Classification Systems code(s); and

           (10) Identification of the applicable OMB Justification Code as well as providing a justification explaining why a certain contract tier is not suitable (e.g., for Tier 0 planned acquisitions, provide an explanation as to why Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 solutions are not suitable);

           (11) Any other information supporting the planned acquisition (e.g., service-level requirements); and

           (12) Name(s) of key point of contacts for the planned acquisition.

      (f) Approval.The SPE is the designated agency approving authority for AoAs.

507.7103 Business case and executive agent designation requirements.

      (a) General. Per 40 U.S.C. § 11302, OMB issues an executive agent designation to a federal agency to establish and operate a Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWAC). OMB requires a business case as part of their executive agent designation review process. A business case is required for the establishment of a new GWAC including the next generation of an existing GWAC.

      (b) Timeframe for development. A business case and executive agent designation shall generally be developed no less than 18-24 months prior to award (see FAR 17.502-1(b) for additional details). Prior to developing a business case and executive agent designation, the contracting officer shall follow their Service-level procedures and the process in subpart 504.71 for purposes of notifying the SPE and, if applicable, scheduling an acquisition review.

      (c) Coordination. The contracting officer shall coordinate with their applicable Service-level acquisition policy organization, the applicable category manager(s), and the OSDBU when developing a business case and executive agent designation.

      (d) Business case content. A GWAC Business Case Analysis sample is available on the Category Management, AoAs & Business Cases page on the GSA Acquisition Portal at https://insite.gsa.gov/acquisitionportal and maybe used for developing a business case. At a minimumIn, each AoA shall include the following information:

           (1) Identification of the document as a “Business Case Analysis for the Establishment a Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWAC)”;

           (2) The name of the agency, the contracting activity, and requiring activity(ies);

           (3) Description of the scope of the GWAC;

           (4) The spend category(ies) and subcategory(ies) associated with the planned acquisition;

           (5) The total contract value and spend;

           (6) The anticipated contract tier;

           (7) Identification of existing contracts, if applicable;

           (8) The contract type, order type(s), product and service code(s), and North American Industry Classification Systems code(s);

           (9) A discussion of the planned GWAC’s:

                (i) Uniqueness;

                (ii) Benefits;

                (iii) Prices paid;

                (iv) Small business opportunities;

                (v) Anticipated demand;

                (vi) Cost and fees;

                (vii) Vendor management; and

                (viii) Acquisition Gateway best practices.

           (10) Any other information supporting the planned acquisition (e.g., service-level requirements); and

           (11) Name(s) of key point of contacts for the planned acquisition.

      (e) Approval. The SPE is the designated agency approving authority for business cases. OMB approves executive agent designations. The Administrator must sign-off on an executive agent designation prior to its submission to OMB.