Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 40 U.S.C. 121(c)(2).
(c) Section M, Evaluation factors for award. (1) The requiring activity shall develop technical evaluation factors and submit them to the contracting officer as part of the acquisition plan or other acquisition request documentation for inclusion in a solicitation. The requiring activity shall indicate the relative importance or weight of the evaluation factors based on the requirements of an individual acquisition.
(2) Only a formal amendment to a solicitation can change the evaluation factors.
(b) In addition to the provision in Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 52.215-1, Instructions to Offerors—Competitive Acquisition, if the head of the contracting activity (HCA) determines that biomedical or behavioral research and development (R&D) acquisitions are subject to conditions other than those specified in FAR 52.215-1(c)(3), the HCA may authorize for use in competitive solicitations for R&D, the provision at 352.215-70, Late Proposals and Revisions. This is an authorized FAR deviation.
(2) When the provision at 352.215-70 is included in the solicitation and if the HCA intends to consider a proposal or proposals received after the exact time specified for receipt, the contracting officer, with the assistance of cost or technical personnel as appropriate, shall determine in writing that the proposal(s) meets the requirements of the provision at 352.215-70.
(a) If an operating division (OPDIV) is required by statute to use peer review for technical review of proposals, the requirements of those statutes, any implementing regulatory requirements, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and as applicable, any approved Department of Health and Human Services Acquisition Regulation (HHSAR) deviation(s) from this subpart take precedence over the otherwise applicable requirements of this subpart.
(b) The statutes that require such review and implementing regulations are as follows: National Institutes of Health—42 U.S.C. 289a, Peer Review Requirements and 42 CFR part 52h, Scientific Peer Review of Research Grant Applications and Research and Development Contract Projects; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration—42 U.S.C. 290aa-3, Peer Review and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality—42 U.S.C. 299c-1, Peer review with respect to grants and contracts.
When acquiring electronic and information technology supplies and services (EIT) using negotiated procedures, contracting officers shall comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
(c) Use of non-Federal evaluators. (1) Except when peer review is required by statute as provided in 315.303-70(a), decisions to disclose proposals to non-Federal evaluators shall be made by the official responsible for appointing Source Selection Evaluation Team members in accordance with OPDIV procedures. The avoidance of organizational and personal conflicts of interest must be taken into consideration when making the decision to use non-Federal evaluators.
(2) When a solicited proposal will be disclosed outside the Government to a contractor or a contractor employee for evaluation purposes, the following or similar conditions shall be part of the written agreement with the contractor prior to disclosure:
CONDITIONS FOR EVALUATING PROPOSALS
The contractor agrees that it and its employees, as well as any subcontractors and their employees (in these conditions, “evaluator”) will use the data (trade secrets, business data, and technical data) contained in the proposal for evaluation purposes only. The foregoing requirement does not apply to data obtained from another source without restriction. Any notice or legend placed on the proposal by either HHS or the offeror shall be applied to any reproduction or abstract provided to the evaluator or made by the evaluator. Upon completion of the evaluation, the evaluator shall return to the Government the furnished copy of the proposal or abstract, and all copies thereof, to the HHS office which initially furnished the proposal for evaluation. The evaluator shall not contact the offeror concerning any aspects of a proposal's contents.
(a)(2) When some or all information sufficient to determine the reasonableness of the proposed cost or price is already available or can be obtained from the cognizant audit agency, or by other means including data obtained through market research (See FAR part 10 and HHSAR part 310) the contracting officer may request less-than-complete field pricing support (specifying in the request the information needed) or may waive in writing the requirement for audit and field pricing support by documenting the file to indicate what information will be used. When field-pricing support is required, contracting officers shall make the request through the HCA.
(d) Warranty by offeror. To ensure against contacts between HHS personnel and prospective offerors that would exceed the limits of advance guidance set forth in FAR 15.604 and potentially result in an unfair advantage to an offeror, the prospective offeror of an unsolicited proposal must include the following warranty in any unsolicited proposal. Contracting officers receiving an unsolicited proposal without this warranty shall not process the proposal until the offeror is notified of the missing language and given an opportunity to submit a proper warranty. If no warranty is provided in a reasonable time, the contracting officer shall reject the unsolicited proposal, notify the offeror of the rejection, and document the actions in the file.
WARRANTY BY OFFEROR
This is to warrant that—
(a) This proposal has not been prepared under Government supervision;
(b) The methods and approaches stated in the proposal were developed by this offeror;
(c) Any contact with HHS personnel has been within the limits of appropriate advance guidance set forth in FAR 15.604; and,
(d) No prior commitments were received from HHS personnel regarding acceptance of this proposal.
(This warranty shall be signed by a responsible management official of the proposing organization who is a person authorized to contractually obligate the organization.)
(a) The HCA is responsible for establishing procedures to comply with FAR 15.606(a).
(b) The HCA or designee shall be the point of contact for coordinating the receipt and processing of unsolicited proposals.
(d) OPDIVs may consider an unsolicited proposal even though an organization initially submitted it as a grant application. However, OPDIVs shall not award contracts based on unsolicited proposals that have been rejected for grant awards due to lack of scientific merit.