FAR -- Part 9 Contractor Qualifications

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FAR -- Part 9
Contractor Qualifications

(FAC 2005-91)
(31 October 2016)

9.000 -- Scope of Part.

This part prescribes policies, standards, and procedures pertaining to prospective contractors’ responsibility; debarment, suspension, and ineligibility; qualified products; first article testing and approval; contractor team arrangements; defense production pools and research and development pools; and organizational conflicts of interest.

Subpart 9.1 -- Responsible Prospective Contractors

9.100 -- Scope of Subpart.

This subpart prescribes policies, standards, and procedures for determining whether prospective contractors and subcontractors are responsible.

9.101 -- Definitions.

“Administrative proceeding” means a non-judicial process that is adjudicatory in nature in order to make a determination of fault or liability (e.g., Securities and Exchange Commission Administrative Proceedings, Civilian Board of Contract Appeals Proceedings, and Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals Proceedings). This includes administrative proceedings at the Federal and state level but only in connections with performance of a Federal contract or grant. It does not include agency actions such as contract audits, site visits, corrective plans, or inspection of deliverables.

“Surveying activity,” as used in this subpart, means the cognizant contract administration office or, if there is no such office, another organization designated by the agency to conduct preaward surveys.

9.102 -- Applicability.

(a) This subpart applies to all proposed contracts with any prospective contractor that is located --

(b) This subpart does not apply to proposed contracts with

9.103 -- Policy.

(a) Purchases shall be made from, and contracts shall be awarded to, responsible prospective contractors only.

(b) No purchase or award shall be made unless the contracting officer makes an affirmative determination of responsibility. In the absence of information clearly indicating that the prospective contractor is responsible, the contracting officer shall make a determination of nonresponsibility. If the prospective contractor is a small business concern, the contracting officer shall comply with subpart 19.6, Certificates of Competency and Determinations of Responsibility. (If Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637) applies, see Subpart 19.8.)

(c) The award of a contract to a supplier based on lowest evaluated price alone can be false economy if there is subsequent default, late deliveries, or other unsatisfactory performance resulting in additional contractual or administrative costs. While it is important that Government purchases be made at the lowest price, this does not require an award to a supplier solely because that supplier submits the lowest offer. A prospective contractor must affirmatively demonstrate its responsibility, including, when necessary, the responsibility of its proposed subcontractors.

9.104 -- Standards.

9.104-1 -- General Standards.

To be determined responsible, a prospective contractor must --

(a) Have adequate financial resources to perform the contract, or the ability to obtain them (see 9.104-3(a));

(b) Be able to comply with the required or proposed delivery or performance schedule, taking into consideration all existing commercial and governmental business commitments;

(c) Have a satisfactory performance record (see 9.104-3(b) and Subpart 42.15). A prospective contractor shall not be determined responsible or nonresponsible solely on the basis of a lack of relevant performance history, except as provided in 9.104-2;

(d) Have a satisfactory record of integrity and business ethics (for example, see Subpart 42.15);

(e) Have the necessary organization, experience, accounting and operational controls, and technical skills, or the ability to obtain them (including, as appropriate, such elements as production control procedures, property control systems, quality assurance measures, and safety programs applicable to materials to be produced or services to be performed by the prospective contractor and subcontractors). (See 9.104-3 (a).)

(f) Have the necessary production, construction, and technical equipment and facilities, or the ability to obtain them (see 9.104-3(a)); and

(g) Be otherwise qualified and eligible to receive an award under applicable laws and regulations (see also inverted domestic corporation prohibition at 9.108).

9.104-2 -- Special Standards.

(a) When it is necessary for a particular acquisition or class of acquisitions, the contracting officer shall develop, with the assistance of appropriate specialists, special standards of responsibility. Special standards may be particularly desirable when experience has demonstrated that unusual expertise or specialized facilities are needed for adequate contract performance. The special standards shall be set forth in the solicitation (and so identified) and shall apply to all offerors.

(b) Contracting officers shall award contracts for subsistence only to those prospective contractors that meet the general standards in 9.104-1 and are approved in accordance with agency sanitation standards and procedures.

9.104-3 -- Application of Standards.

9.104-4 -- Subcontractor Responsibility.

(a) Generally, prospective prime contractors are responsible for determining the responsibility of their prospective subcontractors (but see 9.405 and 9.405-2 regarding debarred, ineligible, or suspended firms). Determinations of prospective subcontractor responsibility may affect the Government’s determination of the prospective prime contractor’s responsibility. A prospective contractor may be required to provide written evidence of a proposed subcontractor’s responsibility.

Per Court Injunction dated 24 Oct 2016 and OMB memo dated 25 Oct 2016 do not implement the following until further direction.

(b) For Executive Order (E.O.) 13673, Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces, requirements pertaining to labor law violations, see subpart 22.20.

(c) When it is in the Government’s interest to do so, the contracting officer may directly determine a prospective subcontractor’s responsibility (e.g., when the prospective contract involves medical supplies, urgent requirements, or substantial subcontracting). In this case, the same standards used to determine a prime contractor’s responsibility shall be used by the Government to determine subcontractor responsibility.

9.104-5 – Representation and Certifications Regarding Responsibility Matters.

(a) When a offeror provides an affirmative response in paragraph (a)(1) of the provision at 52.209-5, Certification Regarding Responsibility Matters, or paragraph (h) of provision 52.212-3, the contracting officer shall—

(b) The provision at 52.209-11, Representation by Corporations Regarding Delinquent Tax Liability or a Felony Conviction under any Federal Law, implements sections 744 and 745 of Division E of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (Pub. L. 113-235) (and similar provisions in subsequent appropriations acts). When and offeror provides an affirmative response in paragraph (b)(1) or (2) of the provision oat 52.209-11 or paragraph (q)(2)(i) or (ii) of provision 52.212-3, the contracting officer shall—

(c) If the provision at 52.209-12, Certification Regarding Tax Matters, is applicable (see 9.104-7(e)), then the contracting officer shall not award any contract in an amount greater than $5,000,000, unless the offeror affirmatively certified in its offer, as required by paragraph (b)(1), (2), and (3) of the provision.

Per Court Injunction dated 24 Oct 2016 and OMB memo dated 25 Oct 2016 do not implement the following until further direction.

(d) When an offeror provides an affirmative response to the provision at 52.222-57(c)(2), Representation Regarding Compliance with Labor Laws (Executive Order 13673), or its commercial item equivalent at 52.212-3(s)(2)(ii), the contracting officer shall follow the procedures in subpart 22.20.

(e) Offerors who do not furnish the representation or certifications or such information as may be requested by the contracting officer shall be given an opportunity to remedy the deficiency. Failure to furnish the representation or certifications or such information may render the offeror nonresponsible.

9.104-6 – Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System.

(a)(1) Before awarding a contract in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold, the contracting officer shall review the performance and integrity information available in the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS), (available at www.ppirs.gov, then select FAPIIS), including FAPIIS information from the System for Award Management (SAM) Exclusions and the Past Performance Information Retrieval System (PPIRS).

(b)(1) When making a responsibility determination, the contracting officer shall consider all the information available through FAPIIS with regard to the offeror and any immediate owner, predecessor, or subsidiary identified for that offeror in FAPIIS, as well as other past performance information on the offeror (see subpart 42.15).

Per Court Injunction dated 24 Oct 2016 and OMB memo dated 25 Oct 2016 do not implement the following until further direction.

Per Court Injunction dated 24 Oct 2016 and OMB memo dated 25 Oct 2016 do not implement the following until further direction.

(c) If the contracting officer obtains relevant information from FAPIIS regarding criminal, civil, or administrative proceedings in connection with the award or performance of a Government contract; terminations for default or cause; determinations of nonresponsibility because the contractor does not have a satisfactory performance record or a satisfactory record of integrity and business ethics; or comparable information relating to a grant, the contracting officer shall, unless the contractor has already been debarred or suspended—

(d) The contracting officer shall document the contract file for each contract in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold to indicate how the information in FAPIIS was considered in any responsibility determination, as well as the action that was taken as a result of the information. A contracting officer who makes a nonresponsibility determination is required to document that information in FAPIIS in accordance with 9.105-2(b)(2).

9.104-7 – Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses.

(a) The contracting officer shall insert the provision at 52.209-5, Certification Regarding Responsibility Matters, in solicitations where the contract value is expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold.

(b) The contracting officer shall insert the provision at 52.209-7, Information Regarding Responsibility Matters, in solicitations where the resultant contract value is expected to exceed $550,000.

(c) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 52.209-9, Updates of Publicly Available Information Regarding Responsibility Matters—

(d) The contracting officer shall insert the provision 52.209-11, Representation by Corporations Regarding Delinquent Tax Liability or a Felony Conviction under any Federal Law, in all solicitations.

(e) For agencies receiving funds subject to section 523 of Division B of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (Pub. L. 113-235) and similar provisions in subsequent appropriations acts, the contracting officer shall insert the provision 52.209-12, Certification Regarding Tax Matters, in solicitations for which the resultant contract (including options) may have a value greater than $5,000,000. Division B of the Consolidated and Continuing Further Appropriations Act, 2015 appropriates funds for the following agencies: The Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Science Foundation, the Commission on Civil Rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. International Trade Commission, the Legal Services Corporation, the Marine Mammal Commission, the Office of the United States Trade Representative, and the State Justice Institute.

9.105 -- Procedures.

9.105-1 -- Obtaining Information.

(a) Before making a determination of responsibility, the contracting officer shall possess or obtain information sufficient to be satisfied that a prospective contractor currently meets the applicable standards in 9.104.

(b)

Per Court Injunction dated 24 Oct 2016 and OMB memo dated 25 Oct 2016 do not implement the following until further direction.

(c) In making the determination of responsibility, the contracting officer shall consider information available through FAPIIS (see 9.104-6), with regard to the offeror and any immediate owner, predecessor, or subsidiary identified for that offeror in FAPIIS, including information that is linked to FAPIIS such as from SAM, and PPIRS, as well as any other relevant past performance information on the offeror (see 9.104-1(c) and subpart 42.15). In addition, the contracting officer should use the following sources of information to support such determinations:

(d) Contracting offices and cognizant contract administration offices that become aware of circumstances casting doubt on a contractor's ability to perform contracts successfully shall promptly exchange relevant information.

9.105-2 -- Determinations and Documentation.

(a) Determinations.

(b) Support documentation.

9.105-3 -- Disclosure of Preaward Information.

(a) Except as provided in 9.105-2(b)(2)(iii) and Subpart 24.2, Freedom of Information Act, information (including the preaward survey report) accumulated for purposes of determining the responsibility of a prospective contractor shall not be released or disclosed outside the Government.

(b) The contracting officer may discuss preaward survey information with the prospective contractor before determining responsibility. After award, the contracting officer or, if it is appropriate, the head of the surveying activity or a designee may discuss the findings of the preaward survey with the company surveyed.

(c) Preaward survey information may contain proprietary or source selection information and should be marked with the appropriate legend and protected accordingly (see 3.104-4).

9.106 -- Preaward Surveys.

9.106-1 -- Conditions for Preaward Surveys.

(a) A preaward survey is normally required only when the information on hand or readily available to the contracting officer, including information from commercial sources, is not sufficient to make a determination regarding responsibility. In addition, if the contemplated contract will have a fixed price at or below the simplified acquisition threshold or will involve the acquisition of commercial items (see Part 12), the contracting officer should not request a preaward survey unless circumstances justify its cost.

(b) When a cognizant contract administration office becomes aware of a prospective award to a contractor about which unfavorable information exists and no preaward survey has been requested, it shall promptly obtain and transmit details to the contracting officer.

(c) Before beginning a preaward survey, the surveying activity shall ascertain whether the prospective contractor is debarred, suspended, or ineligible (see Subpart 9.4). If the prospective contractor is debarred, suspended, or ineligible, the surveying activity shall advise the contracting officer promptly and not proceed with the preaward survey unless specifically requested to do so by the contracting officer.

9.106-2 -- Requests for Preaward Surveys.

The contracting officer’s request to the surveying activity (Preaward Survey of Prospective Contractor (General), SF 1403) shall --

(a) Identify additional factors about which information is needed;

(b) Include the complete solicitation package (unless it has previously been furnished), and any information indicating prior unsatisfactory performance by the prospective contractor;

(c) State whether the contracting office will participate in the survey;

(d) Specify the date by which the report is required. This date should be consistent with the scope of the survey requested and normally shall allow at least 7 working days to conduct the survey; and

(e) When appropriate, limit the scope of the survey.

9.106-3 -- Interagency Preaward Surveys.

When the contracting office and the surveying activity are in different agencies, the procedures of this section 9.106 and Subpart 42.1 shall be followed along with the regulations of the agency in which the surveying activity is located, except that reasonable special requests by the contracting office shall be accommodated (also see subpart 17.5).

9.106-4 -- Reports.

(a) The surveying activity shall complete the applicable parts of SF 1403, Preaward Survey of Prospective Contractor (General); SF 1404, Preaward Survey of Prospective Contractor -- Technical; SF 1405, Preaward Survey of Prospective Contractor -- Production; SF 1406, Preaward Survey of Prospective Contractor -- Quality Assurance; SF 1407, Preaward Survey of Prospective Contractor -- Financial Capability; and SF 1408, Preaward Survey of Prospective Contractor -- Accounting System; and provide a narrative discussion sufficient to support both the evaluation ratings and the recommendations.

(b) When the contractor surveyed is a small business that has received preferential treatment on an ongoing contract under Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637) or has received a Certificate of Competency during the last 12 months, the surveying activity shall consult the appropriate Small Business Administration field office before making an affirmative recommendation regarding the contractor’s responsibility or nonresponsibility.

(c) When a preaward survey discloses previous unsatisfactory performance, the surveying activity shall specify the extent to which the prospective contractor plans, or has taken, corrective action. Lack of evidence that past failure to meet contractual requirements was the prospective contractor’s fault does not necessarily indicate satisfactory performance. The narrative shall report any persistent pattern of need for costly and burdensome Government assistance (e.g., engineering, inspection, or testing) provided in the Government’s interest but not contractually required.

(d) When the surveying activity possesses information that supports a recommendation of complete award without an on-site survey and no special areas for investigation have been requested, the surveying activity may provide a short-form preaward survey report. The short-form report shall consist solely of the Preaward Survey of Prospective Contractor (General), SF 1403. Sections III and IV of this form shall be completed and block 21 shall be checked to show that the report is a short-form preaward report.

9.107 -- Surveys of Nonprofit Agencies Participating in the AbilityOne Program.

(a) The Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled (Committee), as authorized by 41 U.S.C. chapter 85, determines what supplies and services Federal agencies are required to purchase from AbilityOne participating nonprofit agencies serving people who are blind or have other severe disabilities (see Subpart 8.7). The Committee is required to find an AbilityOne participating nonprofit agency capable of furnishing the supplies or services before the nonprofit agency can be designated as a mandatory source under the AbilityOne Program. The Committee may request a contracting office to assist in assessing the capabilities of a nonprofit agency.

(b) The contracting office, upon request from the Committee, shall request a capability survey from the activity responsible for performing preaward surveys, or notify the Committee that the AbilityOne participating nonprofit agency is capable, with supporting rationale, and that the survey is waived. The capability survey will focus on the technical and production capabilities and applicable preaward survey elements to furnish specific supplies or services being considered for addition to the Procurement List.

(c) The contracting office shall use the Standard Form 1403 to request a capability survey of organizations employing people who are blind or have other severe disabilities.

(d) The contracting office shall furnish a copy of the completed survey, or notice that the AbilityOne participating nonprofit agency is capable and the survey is waived, to the Executive Director, Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

9.108 -- Prohibition on Contracting With Inverted Domestic Corporations.

9.108-1 -- Definition.

“Inverted domestic corporation” means a foreign incorporated entity that meets the definition of an inverted domestic corporation under 6 U.S.C. 395(b), applied in accordance with the rules and definitions of 6 U.S.C. 395(c).

“Subsidiary” means an entity in which more than50 percent of the entity is owned—

9.108-2 -- Prohibition.

(a) Section 745 of Division D of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008 (Pub. L. 110-161) and its successor provisions in subsequent appropriations acts (and as extended in continuing resolutions) prohibit, on a Governmentwide basis, the use of appropriated (or otherwise made available) funds for contracts with either an inverted domestic corporation, or a subsidiary of such a corporation, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section and in 9.108-4 Waiver.

(b)

9.108-3 – Representation by the Offeror.

(a) In order to be eligible for contract award, an offeror must represent that it is neither an inverted domestic corporation, nor a subsidiary of an inverted domestic corporation. Any offeror that cannot so represent is ineligible for award of a contract, unless waived in accordance with the procedures at 9.108-4.

(b) The contracting officer may rely on an offeror’s representation that it is not an inverted domestic corporation unless the contracting office has reason to question the representation.

9.108-4 -- Waiver.

Any agency head may waive the prohibition in subsection 9.108-2 and the requirement of subsection 9.108-3 for a specific contract if the agency head determines in writing that the waiver is required in the interest of national security, documents the determination, and reports it to the Congress.

9.108-5 -- Solicitation Provision and Contract Clause.

The contracting officer shall--

(a) Include the provision at 52.209-2, Prohibition on Contracting with Inverted Domestic Corporations--Representation, in each solicitation for the acquisition of products or services (including construction); and

(b) Include the clause at 52.209-10, Prohibition on Contracting with Inverted Domestic Corporations, in each solicitation and contract for the acquisition of products or services (including construction).

Subpart 9.2 -- Qualifications Requirements

9.200 -- Scope of Subpart.

This subpart implements 10 U.S.C. 2319 and 41 U.S.C. 3311 and prescribes policies and procedures regarding qualification requirements and the acquisitions that are subject to such requirements.

9.201 -- Definitions.

As used in this subpart--

“Qualified bidders list (QBL)” means a list of bidders who have had their products examined and tested and who have satisfied all applicable qualification requirements for that product or have otherwise satisfied all applicable qualification requirements.

“Qualified manufacturers list (QML)” means a list of manufacturers who have had their products examined and tested and who have satisfied all applicable qualification requirements for that product.

9.202 -- Policy.

(a)

(b) When justified under the circumstances, the agency activity responsible for establishing a qualification requirement shall submit to the advocate for competition for the procuring activity responsible for purchasing the item subject to the qualification requirement, a determination that it is unreasonable to specify the standards for qualification which a prospective offeror (or its product) must satisfy. After considering any comments of the advocate for competition reviewing the determination, the head of the procuring activity may waive the requirements of 9.202(a)(1)(ii) through (4) above for up to 2 years with respect to the item subject to the qualification requirement. A copy of the waiver shall be furnished to the head of the agency or other official responsible for actions under 9.202(a)(1). The waiver authority provided in this paragraph does not apply with respect to qualification requirements contained in a QPL, QML, or QBL.

(c) If a potential offeror can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the contracting officer that the potential offeror (or its product) meets the standards established for qualification or can meet them before the date specified for award of the contract, a potential offeror may not be denied the opportunity to submit and have considered an offer for a contract solely because the potential offeror --

(d) The procedures in Subpart 19.6 for referring matters to the Small Business Administration are not mandatory on the contracting officer when the basis for a referral would involve a challenge by the offeror to either the validity of the qualification requirement or the offeror’s compliance with such requirement.

(e) The contracting officer need not delay a proposed award in order to provide a potential offeror with an opportunity to demonstrate its ability to meet the standards specified for qualification. In addition, when approved by the head of an agency or designee, a procurement need not be delayed in order to comply with 9.202(a).

(f) Within 7 years following enforcement of a QPL, QML, or QBL by DoD or NASA, or within 7 years after any qualification requirement was originally established by a civilian agency other than NASA, the qualification requirement shall be examined and revalidated in accordance with the requirements of 9.202(a). For DoD and NASA, qualification requirements other than QPL’s, QML’s and QBL’s shall be examined and revalidated within 7 years after establishment of the requirement under 9.202(a). Any periods for which a waiver under 9.202(b) is in effect shall be excluded in computing the 7 years within which review and revalidation must occur.

9.203 -- QPLs, QMLs, and QBLs.

(a) Qualification and listing in a QPL, QML, or QBL is the process by which products are obtained from manufacturers or distributors, examined and tested for compliance with specification requirements, or manufacturers or potential offerors, are provided an opportunity to demonstrate their abilities to meet the standards specified for qualification. The names of successful products, manufacturers, or potential offerors are included on lists evidencing their status. Generally, qualification is performed in advance and independently of any specific acquisition action. After qualification, the products, manufacturers, or potential offerors are included in a Federal or Military QPL, QML, or QBL. (See 9.202(a)(2) with regard to any product, manufacturer, or potential offeror not yet included on an applicable list.)

(b) Specifications requiring a qualified product are included in the following publications:

(c) Instructions concerning qualification procedures are included in the following publications:

(d) The publications listed in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section are sold to the public. The publications in paragraphs (b)(1) and (c)(1) of this section may be obtained from the addressee in 11.201(d)(1). The publications in paragraphs (b)(2) and (c)(2) of this section may be obtained from the addressee in 11.201(d)(2).

9.204 -- Responsibilities for Establishment of a Qualification Requirement.

The responsibilities of agency activities that establish qualification requirements include the following:

(a) Arranging publicity for the qualification requirements. If active competition on anticipated future qualification requirements is likely to be fewer than two manufacturers or the products of two manufacturers, the activity responsible for establishment of the qualification requirements must --

(b) Qualifying products that meet specification requirements.

(c) Listing manufacturers and suppliers whose products are qualified in accordance with agency procedures.

(d) Furnishing QPL’s, QML’s, or QBL’s or the qualification requirements themselves to prospective offerors and the public upon request (see 9.202(a)(2)(i) above).

(e) Clarifying, as necessary, qualification requirements.

(f) In appropriate cases, when requested by the contracting officer, providing concurrence in a decision not to enforce a qualification requirement for a solicitation.

(g) Withdrawing or omitting qualification of a listed product, manufacturer or offeror, as necessary.

(h) Advising persons furnished any list of products, manufacturers or offerors meeting a qualification requirement and suppliers whose products are on any such list that --

(i) Reexamining a qualified product or manufacturer when --

9.205 -- Opportunity for Qualification Before Award.

(a) If an agency determines that a qualification requirement is necessary, the agency activity responsible for establishing the requirement must urge manufacturers and other potential sources to demonstrate their ability to meet the standards specified for qualification and, when possible, give sufficient time to arrange for qualification before award. The responsible agency activity must, before establishing any qualification requirement, furnish notice through the GPE. The notice must include--

(b) The activity responsible for establishing a qualification requirement must keep any list maintained of those already qualified open for inclusion of additional products, manufacturers, or other potential sources.

9.206 -- Acquisitions Subject to Qualification Requirements.

9.206-1 -- General.

(a) Agencies may not enforce any QPL, QML, or QBL without first complying with the requirements of 9.202(a). However, qualification requirements themselves, whether or not previously embodied in a in a QPL, QML, or QBL, may be enforced without regard to 9.202 (a) if they are in either of the following categories:

(b) Except when the agency head or designee determines that an emergency exists, whenever an agency elects, whether before or after award, not to enforce a qualification requirement which it established, the requirement may not thereafter be enforced unless the agency complies with 9.202(a).

(c) If a qualification requirement applies, the contracting officer need consider only those offers identified as meeting the requirement or included on the applicable QPL, QML, or QBL, unless an offeror can satisfactorily demonstrate to the contracting officer that it or its product or its subcontractor or its product can meet the standards established for qualification before the date specified for award.

(d) If a product subject to a qualification requirement is to be acquired as a component of an end item, the contracting officer must ensure that all such components and their qualification requirements are properly identified in the solicitation since the product or source must meet the standards specified for qualification before award.

(e) In acquisitions subject to qualification requirements, the contracting officer shall take the following steps:

9.206-2 -- Contract Clause.

The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 52.209-1, Qualification Requirements, in solicitations and contracts when the acquisition is subject to a qualification requirement.

9.206-3 -- Competition.

(a) Presolicitation. If a qualification requirement applies to an acquisition, the contracting officer shall review the applicable QPL, QML, or QBL or other identification of those sources which have met the requirement before issuing a solicitation to ascertain whether the number of sources is adequate for competition. (See 9.204(a) for duties of the agency activity responsible for establishment of the qualification requirement.) If the number of sources is inadequate, the contracting officer shall request the agency activity which established the requirement to --

(b) Post solicitation. The contracting officer shall submit to the agency activity which established the qualification requirement the names and addresses of concerns which expressed interest in the acquisition but are not included on the applicable QPL, QML, or QBL or identified as meeting the qualification requirement. The activity will then assist interested concerns in meeting the standards specified for qualification (see 9.202(a)(2) and (4)).

9.207 -- Changes in Status Regarding Qualification Requirements.

(a) The contracting officer shall promptly report to the agency activity which established the qualification requirement any conditions which may merit removal or omission from a QPL, QML, or QBL or affect whether a source should continue to be otherwise identified as meeting the requirement. These conditions exist when --

(b) After considering any of the above or other conditions reasonably related to whether a product or source continues to meet the standards specified for qualification, an agency may take appropriate action without advance notification. The agency shall, however, promptly notify the affected parties if a product or source is removed from a QPL, QML, or QBL, or will no longer be identified as meeting the standards specified for qualification. This notice shall contain specific information why the product or source no longer meets the qualification requirement.

Subpart 9.3 -- First Article Testing and Approval

9.301 -- Definition.

“Approval,” as used in this subpart, means the contracting officer’s written notification to the contractor accepting the test results of the first article.

9.302 -- General.

First article testing and approval (hereafter referred to as testing and approval) ensures that the contractor can furnish a product that conforms to all contract requirements for acceptance. Before requiring testing and approval, the contracting officer shall consider the --

(a) Impact on cost or time of delivery;

(b) Risk to the Government of foregoing such test; and

(c) Availability of other, less costly, methods of ensuring the desired quality.

9.303 -- Use.

Testing and approval may be appropriate when --

(a) The contractor has not previously furnished the product to the Government;

(b) The contractor previously furnished the product to the Government, but --

(c) The product is described by a performance specification; or

(d) It is essential to have an approved first article to serve as a manufacturing standard.

9.304 -- Exceptions.

Normally, testing and approval is not required in contracts for --

(a) Research or development;

(b) Products requiring qualification before award (e.g., when an applicable qualified products list exists (see Subpart 9.2));

(c) Products normally sold in the commercial market; or

(d) Products covered by complete and detailed technical specifications, unless the requirements are so novel or exacting that it is questionable whether the products would meet the requirements without testing and approval.

9.305 -- Risk.

Before first article approval, the acquisition of materials or components, or commencement of production, is normally at the sole risk of the contractor. To minimize this risk, the contracting officer shall provide sufficient time in the delivery schedule for acquisition of materials and components, and for production after receipt of first article approval. When Government requirements preclude this action, the contracting officer may, before approval of the first article, authorize the contractor to acquire specific materials or components or commence production to the extent essential to meet the delivery schedule (see Alternate II of the clause at 52.209-3, First Article Approval -- Contractor Testing, and Alternate II of the clause at 52.209-4, First Article Approval -- Government Testing). Costs incurred based on this authorization are allocable to the contract for --

9.306 -- Solicitation Requirements.

Solicitations containing a testing and approval requirement shall --

(a) Provide, in the circumstance where the contractor is to be responsible for the first article approval testing --

(b) Provide, in the circumstance where the Government is to be responsible for the first article approval testing --

(c) Inform offerors that the requirement may be waived when supplies identical or similar to those called for have previously been delivered by the offeror and accepted by the Government (see 52.209-3(h) and 52.209-4(i));

(d) Permit the submission of alternative offers, one including testing and approval and the other excluding testing and approval (if eligible under 9.306(c));

(e) State clearly the first article’s relationship to the contract quantity (see paragraph (e) of the clause at 52.209-3, First Article Approval -- Contractor Testing, or 52.209-4, First Article Approval -- Government Testing);

(f) Contain a delivery schedule for the production quantity (see 11.404). The delivery schedule may --

(g) Provide for the submission of contract numbers, if any, to document the offeror’s eligibility under 9.306(c);

(h) State whether the approved first article will serve as a manufacturing standard; and

(i) Include, when the Government is responsible for first article testing, the Government’s estimated testing costs as a factor for use in evaluating offers (when appropriate).

(j) Inform offerors that the prices for first articles and first article tests in relation to production quantities shall not be materially unbalanced (see 15.404-1(g)) if first article test items or tests are to be separately priced.

9.307 -- Government Administration Procedures.

(a) Before the contractor ships the first article, or the first article test report, to the Government laboratory or other activity responsible for approval at the address specified in the contract, the contract administration office shall provide that activity with as much advance notification as is feasible of the forthcoming shipment, and --

(b) The Government laboratory or other activity responsible for first article testing or evaluation shall inform the contracting office whether to approve, conditionally approve, or disapprove the first article. The contracting officer shall then notify the contractor of the action taken and furnish a copy of the notice to the contract administration office. The notice shall include the first article shipment number, when available, and the applicable contract line item number. Any changes in the drawings, designs, or specifications determined by the contracting officer to be necessary shall be made under the Changes clause, and not by the notice of approval, conditional approval, or disapproval furnished the contractor.

9.308 -- Contract Clauses.

9.308-1 -- Testing Performed by the Contractor.

(a)

(b)

9.308-2 -- Testing Performed by the Government.

(a)

(b)

Subpart 9.4 -- Debarment, Suspension, and Ineligibility

9.400 -- Scope of Subpart.

(a) This subpart --

(b) Although this subpart does cover the listing of ineligible contractors (9.404) and the effect of this listing (9.405(b)), it does not prescribe policies and procedures governing declarations of ineligibility.

9.401 -- Applicability.

In accordance with Public Law 103-355, Section 2455 (31 U.S.C.6101, note), and Executive Order 12689, any debarment, suspension or other Governmentwide exclusion initiated under the Nonprocurement Common Rule implementing Executive Order 12549 on or after August 25, 1995, shall be recognized by and effective for Executive Branch agencies as a debarment or suspension under this subpart. Similarly, any debarment, suspension, proposed debarment or other Governmentwide exclusion initiated on or after August 25, 1995, under this subpart shall also be recognized by and effective for those agencies and participants as an exclusion under the Nonprocurement Common Rule.

9.402 -- Policy.

(a) Agencies shall solicit offers from, award contracts to, and consent to subcontracts with responsible contractors only. Debarment and suspension are discretionary actions that, taken in accordance with this subpart, are appropriate means to effectuate this policy.

(b) The serious nature of debarment and suspension requires that these sanctions be imposed only in the public interest for the Government’s protection and not for purposes of punishment. Agencies shall impose debarment or suspension to protect the Government’s interest and only for the causes and in accordance with the procedures set forth in this subpart.

(c) Agencies are encouraged to establish methods and procedures for coordinating their debarment or suspension actions.

(d) When more than one agency has an interest in the debarment or suspension of a contractor, the Interagency Committee on Debarment and Suspension, established under Executive Order 12549, and authorized by Section 873 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (Pub. L. 110-417) (31 U.S.C. 6101 note), shall resolve the lead agency issue and coordinate such resolution among all interested agencies prior to the initiation of any suspension, debarment, or related administrative action by any agency.

(e) Agencies shall establish appropriate procedures to implement the policies and procedures of this subpart.

9.403 -- Definitions.

As used in this subpart--

“Affiliates.” Business concerns, organizations, or individuals are affiliates of each other if, directly or indirectly,

“Agency” means any executive department, military department or defense agency, or other agency or independent establishment of the executive branch.

“Civil judgment” means a judgment or finding of a civil offense by any court of competent jurisdiction.

“Contractor” means any individual or other legal entity that --

“Debarring official” means--

“Indictment” means indictment for a criminal offense. An information or other filing by competent authority charging a criminal offense is given the same effect as an indictment.

“Legal proceedings” means any civil judicial proceeding to which the Government is a party or any criminal proceeding. The term includes appeals from such proceedings.

“Nonprocurement Common Rule” means the procedures used by Federal Executive Agencies to suspend, debar, or exclude individuals or entities from participation in nonprocurement transactions under Executive Order 12549. Examples of nonprocurement transactions are grants, cooperative agreements, scholarships, fellowships, contracts of assistance, loans, loan guarantees, subsidies, insurance, payments for specified use, and donation agreements.

“Suspending official” means--

“Unfair trade practices” means the commission of any or the following acts by a contractor:

9.404 – System for Award Management Exclusions.

(a) The General Services Administration (GSA) --

(b) The SAM Exclusions contain the --

(c) Each agency must --

(d) The SAM is available via https://www.acquisition.gov .

9.405 -- Effect of Listing.

(a) Contractors debarred, suspended, or proposed for debarment are excluded from receiving contracts, and agencies shall not solicit offers from, award contracts to, or consent to subcontracts with these contractors, unless the agency head determines that there is a compelling reason for such action (see 9.405-1(b), 9.405-2, 9.406-1(c), 9.407-1(d), and 23.506(e)). Contractors debarred, suspended or proposed for debarment are also excluded from conducting business with the Government as agents or representatives of other contractors.

(b) Contractors included in SAM Exclusions as having been declared ineligible on the basis of statutory or other regulatory procedures are excluded from receiving contracts, and if applicable, subcontracts, under the conditions and for the period set forth in the statute or regulation. Agencies shall not solicit offers from, award contracts to, or consent to subcontracts with these contractors under those conditions and for that period.

(c) Contractors debarred, suspended, or proposed for debarment are excluded from acting as individual sureties (see Part 28).

(d)

9.405-1 -- Continuation of Current Contracts.

9.405-2 -- Restrictions on Subcontracting.

(a) When a contractor debarred, suspended, or proposed for debarment is proposed as a subcontractor for any subcontract subject to Government consent (see Subpart 44.2), contracting officers shall not consent to subcontracts with such contractors unless the agency head states in writing the compelling reasons for this approval action. (See 9.405(b) concerning declarations of ineligibility affecting subcontracting.)

(b) The Government suspends or debars contractors to protect the Government’s interests. By operation of the clause at 52.209-6, Protecting the Government’s Interests When Subcontracting with Contractors Debarred, Suspended or Proposed for Debarment, contractors shall not enter into any subcontract in excess of $35,000, other than a subcontract for a commercially available off-the-shelf item, with a contractor that has been debarred, suspended, or proposed for debarment unless there is a compelling reason to do so. If a contractor intends to enter into a subcontract in excess of $35,000, other than a subcontract for a commercially available off-the-shelf item, with a party that is debarred, suspended, or proposed for debarment as evidenced by the parties’ listing in SAM Exclusions (see 9.404), a corporate officer or designee of the contractor is required by operation of the clause at 52.209-6, Protecting the Government’s Interests when Subcontracting with Contractors Debarred, Suspended, or Proposed for Debarment, to notify the contracting officer, in writing, before entering into such subcontract. For contracts for the acquisition of commercial items, the notification requirement applies only for the first-tier subcontracts. For all other contracts, the notification requirement applies to subcontracts at any tier. The notice must provide the following:

(c) The contractor’s compliance with the requirements of 52.209-6 will be reviewed during Contractor Purchasing System Reviews (see Subpart 44.3).

9.406 -- Debarment.

9.406-1 -- General.

(a) It is the debarring official’s responsibility to determine whether debarment is in the Government’s interest. The debarring official may, in the public interest, debar a contractor for any of the causes in 9.406-2, using the procedures in 9.406-3. The existence of a cause for debarment, however, does not necessarily require that the contractor be debarred; the seriousness of the contractor’s acts or omissions and any remedial measures or mitigating factors should be considered in making any debarment decision. Before arriving at any debarment decision, the debarring official should consider factors such as the following:

The existence or nonexistence of any mitigating factors or remedial measures such as set forth in this paragraph (a) is not necessarily determinative of a contractor’s present responsibility. Accordingly, if a cause for debarment exists, the contractor has the burden of demonstrating, to the satisfaction of the debarring official, its present responsibility and that debarment is not necessary.

(b) Debarment constitutes debarment of all divisions or other organizational elements of the contractor, unless the debarment decision is limited by its terms to specific divisions, organizational elements, or commodities. The debarring official may extend the debarment decision to include any affiliates of the contractor if they are --

(c) A contractor’s debarment, or proposed debarment, shall be effective throughout the executive branch of the Government, unless the agency head or a designee (except see 23.506(e)) states in writing the compelling reasons justifying continued business dealings between that agency and the contractor.

(d)

9.406-2 -- Causes for Debarment.

The debarring official may debar—

(a) A contractor for a conviction of or civil judgment for --

(b)

(c) A contractor or subcontractor based on any other cause of so serious or compelling a nature that it affects the present responsibility of the contractor or subcontractor.

9.406-3 -- Procedures.

(a) Investigation and referral. Agencies shall establish procedures for the prompt reporting, investigation, and referral to the debarring official of matters appropriate for that official’s consideration.

(b) Decisionmaking process.

(c) Notice of proposal to debar. A notice of proposed debarment shall be issued by the debarring official advising the contractor and any specifically named affiliates, by certified mail, return receipt requested --

(d) Debarring official’s decision.

(e) Notice of debarring official’s decision.

(f)

9.406-4 -- Period of Debarment.

(a)

(b) The debarring official may extend the debarment for an additional period, if that official determines that an extension is necessary to protect the Government’s interest. However, a debarment may not be extended solely on the basis of the facts and circumstances upon which the initial debarment action was based. Debarments under 9.406-2(b)(2) may be extended for additional periods of one year if the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General determines that the contractor continues to be in violation of the employment provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. If debarment for an additional period is determined to be necessary, the procedures of 9.406-3 shall be followed to extend the debarment.

(c) The debarring official may reduce the period or extent of debarment, upon the contractor’s request, supported by documentation, for reasons such as --

9.406-5 -- Scope of Debarment.

(a) The fraudulent, criminal, or other seriously improper conduct of any officer, director, shareholder, partner, employee, or other individual associated with a contractor may be imputed to the contractor when the conduct occurred in connection with the individual’s performance of duties for or on behalf of the contractor, or with the contractor’s knowledge, approval, or acquiescence. The contractor’s acceptance of the benefits derived from the conduct shall be evidence of such knowledge, approval, or acquiescence.

(b) The fraudulent, criminal, or other seriously improper conduct of a contractor may be imputed to any officer, director, shareholder, partner, employee, or other individual associated with the contractor who participated in, knew of, or had reason to know of the contractor’s conduct.

(c) The fraudulent, criminal, or other seriously improper conduct of one contractor participating in a joint venture or similar arrangement may be imputed to other participating contractors if the conduct occurred for or on behalf of the joint venture or similar arrangement, or with the knowledge, approval, or acquiescence of these contractors. Acceptance of the benefits derived from the conduct shall be evidence of such knowledge, approval, or acquiescence.

9.407 -- Suspension.

9.407-1 -- General.

(a) The suspending official may, in the public interest, suspend a contractor for any of the causes in 9.407-2, using the procedures in 9.407-3.

(b)

(c) Suspension constitutes suspension of all divisions or other organizational elements of the contractor, unless the suspension decision is limited by its terms to specific divisions, organizational elements, or commodities. The suspending official may extend the suspension decision to include any affiliates of the contractor if they are --

(d) A contractor’s suspension shall be effective throughout the executive branch of the Government, unless the agency head or a designee (except see 23.506(e)) states in writing the compelling reasons justifying continued business dealings between that agency and the contractor.

(e)

9.407-2 -- Causes for Suspension.

(a) The suspending official may suspend a contractor suspected, upon adequate evidence, of --

(b) Indictment for any of the causes in paragraph (a) above constitutes adequate evidence for suspension.

(c) The suspending official may upon adequate evidence also suspend a contractor for any other cause of so serious or compelling a nature that it affects the present responsibility of a Government contractor or subcontractor.

9.407-3 -- Procedures.

(a) Investigation and referral. Agencies shall establish procedures for the prompt reporting, investigation, and referral to the suspending official of matters appropriate for that official’s consideration.

(b) Decisionmaking process.

(c) Notice of suspension. When a contractor and any specifically named affiliates are suspended, they shall be immediately advised by certified mail, return receipt requested --

(d) Suspending official’s decision.

(e)

9.407-4 -- Period of Suspension.

(a) Suspension shall be for a temporary period pending the completion of investigation and any ensuing legal proceedings, unless sooner terminated by the suspending official or as provided in this subsection.

(b) If legal proceedings are not initiated within 12 months after the date of the suspension notice, the suspension shall be terminated unless an Assistant Attorney General requests its extension, in which case it may be extended for an additional 6 months. In no event may a suspension extend beyond 18 months, unless legal proceedings have been initiated within that period.

(c) The suspending official shall notify the Department of Justice of the proposed termination of the suspension, at least 30 days before the 12-month period expires, to give that Department an opportunity to request an extension.

9.407-5 -- Scope of Suspension.

The scope of suspension shall be the same as that for debarment (see 9.406-5), except that the procedures of 9.407-3 shall be used in imposing suspension.

9.408 – [Reserved]

9.409 -- Contract Clause.

The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 52.209-6, Protecting the Government’s Interests when Subcontracting with Contractors Debarred, Suspended, or Proposed for Debarment, in solicitations and contracts where the contract value exceeds $35,000.

Subpart 9.5 -- Organizational and Consultant Conflicts of Interest

9.500 -- Scope of Subpart.

This subpart --

(a) Prescribes responsibilities, general rules, and procedures for identifying, evaluating, and resolving organizational conflicts of interest;

(b) Provides examples to assist contracting officers in applying these rules and procedures to individual contracting situations; and

(c) Implements section 8141 of the 1989 Department of Defense Appropriation Act, Pub. L. 100-463, 102 Stat. 2270-47 (1988).

9.501 -- Definition.

“Marketing consultant,” as used in this subpart, means any independent contractor who furnishes advice, information, direction, or assistance to an offeror or any other contractor in support of the preparation or submission of an offer for a Government contract by that offeror. An independent contractor is not a marketing consultant when rendering --

9.502 -- Applicability.

(a) This subpart applies to contracts with either profit or nonprofit organizations, including nonprofit organizations created largely or wholly with Government funds.

(b) The applicability of this subpart is not limited to any particular kind of acquisition. However, organizational conflicts of interest are more likely to occur in contracts involving --

(c) An organizational conflict of interest may result when factors create an actual or potential conflict of interest on an instant contract, or when the nature of the work to be performed on the instant contract creates an actual or potential conflict of interest on a future acquisition. In the latter case, some restrictions on future activities of the contractor may be required.

(d) Acquisitions subject to unique agency organizational conflict of interest statutes are excluded from the requirements of this subpart.

9.503 -- Waiver.

The agency head or a designee may waive any general rule or procedure of this subpart by determining that its application in a particular situation would not be in the Government’s interest. Any request for waiver must be in writing, shall set forth the extent of the conflict, and requires approval by the agency head or a designee. Agency heads shall not delegate waiver authority below the level of head of a contracting activity.

9.504 -- Contracting Officer Responsibilities.

(a) Using the general rules, procedures, and examples in this subpart, contracting officers shall analyze planned acquisitions in order to --

(b) Contracting officers should obtain the advice of counsel and the assistance of appropriate technical specialists in evaluating potential conflicts and in developing any necessary solicitation provisions and contract clauses (see 9.506).

(c) Before issuing a solicitation for a contract that may involve a significant potential conflict, the contracting officer shall recommend to the head of the contracting activity a course of action for resolving the conflict (see 9.506).

(d) In fulfilling their responsibilities for identifying and resolving potential conflicts, contracting officers should avoid creating unnecessary delays, burdensome information requirements, and excessive documentation. The contracting officer’s judgment need be formally documented only when a substantive issue concerning potential organizational conflict of interest exists.

(e) The contracting officer shall award the contract to the apparent successful offeror unless a conflict of interest is determined to exist that cannot be avoided or mitigated. Before determining to withhold award based on conflict of interest considerations, the contracting officer shall notify the contractor, provide the reasons therefor, and allow the contractor a reasonable opportunity to respond. If the contracting officer finds that it is in the best interest of the United States to award the contract notwithstanding a conflict of interest, a request for waiver shall be submitted in accordance with 9.503. The waiver request and decision shall be included in the contract file.

9.505 -- General Rules.

The general rules in 9.505-1 through 9.505-4 prescribe limitations on contracting as the means of avoiding, neutralizing, or mitigating organizational conflicts of interest that might otherwise exist in the stated situations. Some illustrative examples are provided in 9.508. Conflicts may arise in situations not expressly covered in this section 9.505 or in the examples in 9.508. Each individual contracting situation should be examined on the basis of its particular facts and the nature of the proposed contract. The exercise of common sense, good judgment, and sound discretion is required in both the decision on whether a significant potential conflict exists and, if it does, the development of an appropriate means for resolving it. The two underlying principles are --

(a) Preventing the existence of conflicting roles that might bias a contractor’s judgment; and

(b) Preventing unfair competitive advantage. In addition to the other situations described in this subpart, an unfair competitive advantage exists where a contractor competing for award of any Federal contract possesses --

9.505-1 -- Providing Systems Engineering and Technical Direction.

(a) A contractor that provides systems engineering and technical direction for a system but does not have overall contractual responsibility for its development, its integration, assembly, and checkout, or its production shall not --

(b) Systems engineering includes a combination of substantially all of the following activities: determining specifications, identifying and resolving interface problems, developing test requirements, evaluating test data, and supervising design. Technical direction includes a combination of substantially all of the following activities: developing work statements, determining parameters, directing other contractors’ operations, and resolving technical controversies. In performing these activities, a contractor occupies a highly influential and responsible position in determining a system’s basic concepts and supervising their execution by other contractors. Therefore this contractor should not be in a position to make decisions favoring its own products or capabilities.

9.505-2 -- Preparing Specifications or Work Statements.

(a)

(b)

9.505-3 -- Providing Evaluation Services.

Contracts for the evaluation of offers for products or services shall not be awarded to a contractor that will evaluate its own offers for products or services, or those of a competitor, without proper safeguards to ensure objectivity to protect the Government’s interests.

9.505-4 -- Obtaining Access to Proprietary Information.

(a) When a contractor requires proprietary information from others to perform a Government contract and can use the leverage of the contract to obtain it, the contractor may gain an unfair competitive advantage unless restrictions are imposed. These restrictions protect the information and encourage companies to provide it when necessary for contract performance. They are not intended to protect information--

(b) A contractor that gains access to proprietary information of other companies in performing advisory and assistance services for the Government must agree with the other companies to protect their information from unauthorized use or disclosure for as long as it remains proprietary and refrain from using the information for any purpose other than that for which it was furnished. The contracting officer shall obtain copies of these agreements and ensure that they are properly executed.

(c) Contractors also obtain proprietary and source selection information by acquiring the services of marketing consultants which, if used in connection with an acquisition, may give the contractor an unfair competitive advantage. Contractors should make inquiries of marketing consultants to ensure that the marketing consultant has provided no unfair competitive advantage.

9.506 -- Procedures.

(a) If information concerning prospective contractors is necessary to identify and evaluate potential organizational conflicts of interest or to develop recommended actions, contracting officers first should seek the information from within the Government or from other readily available sources. Government sources include the files and the knowledge of personnel within the contracting office, other contracting offices, the cognizant contract administration and audit activities and offices concerned with contract financing. Non-Government sources include publications and commercial services, such as credit rating services, trade and financial journals, and business directories and registers.

(b) If the contracting officer decides that a particular acquisition involves a significant potential organizational conflict of interest, the contracting officer shall, before issuing the solicitation, submit for approval to the chief of the contracting office (unless a higher level official is designated by the agency) --

(c) The approving official shall --

(d) The contracting officer shall --

(e) If, during the effective period of any restriction (see 9.507), a contracting office transfers acquisition responsibility for the item or system involved, it shall notify the successor contracting office of the restriction, and send a copy of the contract under which the restriction was imposed.

9.507 -- Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clause.

9.507-1 -- Solicitation Provisions.

As indicated in the general rules in 9.505, significant potential organizational conflicts of interest are normally resolved by imposing some restraint, appropriate to the nature of the conflict, upon the contractor’s eligibility for future contracts or subcontracts. Therefore, affected solicitations shall contain a provision that --

(a) Invites offerors’ attention to this subpart;

(b) States the nature of the potential conflict as seen by the contracting officer;

(c) States the nature of the proposed restraint upon future contractor activities; and

(d) Depending on the nature of the acquisition, states whether or not the terms of any proposed clause and the application of this subpart to the contract are subject to negotiation.

9.507-2 -- Contract Clause.

(a) If, as a condition of award, the contractor’s eligibility for future prime contract or subcontract awards will be restricted or the contractor must agree to some other restraint, the solicitation shall contain a proposed clause that specifies both the nature and duration of the proposed restraint. The contracting officer shall include the clause in the contract, first negotiating the clause’s final terms with the successful offeror, if it is appropriate to do so (see 9.506(d) of this subsection).

(b) The restraint imposed by a clause shall be limited to a fixed term of reasonable duration, sufficient to avoid the circumstance of unfair competitive advantage or potential bias. This period varies. It might end, for example, when the first production contract using the contractor’s specifications or work statement is awarded, or it might extend through the entire life of a system for which the contractor has performed systems engineering and technical direction. In every case, the restriction shall specify termination by a specific date or upon the occurrence of an identifiable event.

9.508 -- Examples.

The examples in paragraphs (a) through (i) following illustrate situations in which questions concerning organizational conflicts of interest may arise. They are not all inclusive, but are intended to help the contracting officer apply the general rules in 9.505 to individual contract situations.

(a) Company A agrees to provide systems engineering and technical direction for the Navy on the powerplant for a group of submarines (i.e., turbines, drive shafts, propellers, etc.). Company A should not be allowed to supply any powerplant components. Company A can, however, supply components of the submarine unrelated to the powerplant (e.g., fire control, navigation, etc.). In this example, the system is the powerplant, not the submarine, and the ban on supplying components is limited to those for the system only.

(b) Company A is the systems engineering and technical direction contractor for system X. After some progress, but before completion, the system is canceled. Later, system Y is developed to achieve the same purposes as system X, but in a fundamentally different fashion. Company B is the systems engineering and technical direction contractor for system Y. Company A may supply system Y or its components.

(c) Company A develops new electronic equipment and, as a result of this development, prepares specifications. Company A may supply the equipment.

(d) XYZ Tool Company and PQR Machinery Company, representing the American Tool Institute, work under Government supervision and control to refine specifications or to clarify the requirements of a specific acquisition. These companies may supply the item.

(e) Before an acquisition for information technology is conducted, Company A is awarded a contract to prepare data system specifications and equipment performance criteria to be used as the basis for the equipment competition. Since the specifications are the basis for selection of commercial hardware, a potential conflict of interest exists. Company A should be excluded from the initial follow-on information technology hardware acquisition.

(f) Company A receives a contract to define the detailed performance characteristics an agency will require for purchasing rocket fuels. Company A has not developed the particular fuels. When the definition contract is awarded, it is clear to both parties that the agency will use the performance characteristics arrived at to choose competitively a contractor to develop or produce the fuels. Company A may not be awarded this follow-on contract.

(g) Company A receives a contract to prepare a detailed plan for scientific and technical training of an agency’s personnel. It suggests a curriculum that the agency endorses and incorporates in its request for proposals to institutions to establish and conduct the training. Company A may not be awarded a contract to conduct the training.

(h) Company A is selected to study the use of lasers in communications. The agency intends to ask that firms doing research in the field make proprietary information available to Company A. The contract must require Company A to --

(i) An agency that regulates an industry wishes to develop a system for evaluating and processing license applications. Contractor X helps develop the system and process the applications. Contractor X should be prohibited from acting as a consultant to any of the applicants during its period of performance and for a reasonable period thereafter.

Subpart 9.6 -- Contractor Team Arrangements

9.601 -- Definition.

“Contractor team arrangement,” as used in this subpart, means an arrangement in which --

9.602 -- General.

(a) Contractor team arrangements may be desirable from both a Government and industry standpoint in order to enable the companies involved to --

(b) Contractor team arrangements may be particularly appropriate in complex research and development acquisitions, but may be used in other appropriate acquisitions, including production.

(c) The companies involved normally form a contractor team arrangement before submitting an offer. However, they may enter into an arrangement later in the acquisition process, including after contract award.

9.603 -- Policy.

The Government will recognize the integrity and validity of contractor team arrangements; provided, the arrangements are identified and company relationships are fully disclosed in an offer or, for arrangements entered into after submission of an offer, before the arrangement becomes effective. The Government will not normally require or encourage the dissolution of contractor team arrangements.

9.604 -- Limitations.

Nothing in this subpart authorizes contractor team arrangements in violation of antitrust statutes or limits the Government’s rights to --

(a) Require consent to subcontracts (see Subpart 44.2);

(b) Determine, on the basis of the stated contractor team arrangement, the responsibility of the prime contractor (see Subpart 9.1);

(c) Provide to the prime contractor data rights owned or controlled by the Government;

(d) Pursue its policies on competitive contracting, subcontracting, and component breakout after initial production or at any other time; and

(e) Hold the prime contractor fully responsible for contract performance, regardless of any team arrangement between the prime contractor and its subcontractors.

Subpart 9.7 -- Defense Production Pools and Research and Development Pools

9.701 -- Definition.

“Pool,” as used in this subpart, means a group of concerns (see 19.001) that have --

9.702 -- Contracting with Pools.

(a) Except as specified in this subpart, a pool shall be treated the same as any other prospective or actual contractor.

(b) The contracting officer shall not award a contract to a pool unless the offer leading to the contract is submitted by the pool in its own name or by an individual pool member expressly stating that the offer is on behalf of the pool.

(c) Upon receipt of an offer submitted by a group representing that it is a pool, the contracting officer shall verify its approved status with the SBA District Office Director or other approving agency and document the contract file that the verification was made.

(d) Pools approved by the SBA under the Small Business Act are entitled to the preferences and privileges accorded to small business concerns. Approval under the Defense Production Act does not confer these preferences and privileges.

(e) Before awarding a contract to an unincorporated pool, the contracting officer shall require each pool member participating in the contract to furnish a certified copy of a power of attorney identifying the agent authorized to sign the offer or contract on that member’s behalf. The contracting officer shall attach a copy of each power of attorney to each signed copy of the contract retained by the Government.

9.703 -- Contracting with Individual Pool Members.

(a) Pool members may submit individual offers, independent of the pool. However, the contracting officer shall not consider an independent offer by a pool member if that pool member participates in a competing offer submitted by the pool.

(b) If a pool member submits an individual offer, independent of the pool, the contracting officer shall consider the pool agreement, along with other factors, in determining whether that pool member is a responsible prospective contractor under Subpart 9.1.


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