US CODE COLLECTION
|TITLE 10 > Subtitle A > PART IV > CHAPTER 137 > Sec. 2303a. > Sec. 2304.||Next|
Sec. 2304. - Contracts: competition requirements
Except as provided in subsections (b), (c), and (g) and except in the case of procurement procedures otherwise expressly authorized by statute, the head of an agency in conducting a procurement for property or services -
shall obtain full and open competition through the use of competitive procedures in accordance with the requirements of this chapter and the Federal Acquisition Regulation; and
shall use the competitive procedure or combination of competitive procedures that is best suited under the circumstances of the procurement.
In determining the competitive procedure appropriate under the circumstances, the head of an agency -
shall solicit sealed bids if -
time permits the solicitation, submission, and evaluation of sealed bids;
the award will be made on the basis of price and other price-related factors;
it is not necessary to conduct discussions with the responding sources about their bids; and
there is a reasonable expectation of receiving more than one sealed bid; and
shall request competitive proposals if sealed bids are not appropriate under clause (A).
The head of an agency may provide for the procurement of property or services covered by this chapter using competitive procedures but excluding a particular source in order to establish or maintain an alternative source or sources of supply for that property or service if the head of the agency determines that to do so -
would increase or maintain competition and would likely result in reduced overall costs for such procurement, or for any anticipated procurement, of property or services;
would be in the interest of national defense in having a facility (or a producer, manufacturer, or other supplier) available for furnishing the property or service in case of a national emergency or industrial mobilization;
would be in the interest of national defense in establishing or maintaining an essential engineering, research, or development capability to be provided by an educational or other nonprofit institution or a federally funded research and development center;
would ensure the continuous availability of a reliable source of supply of such property or service;
would satisfy projected needs for such property or service determined on the basis of a history of high demand for the property or service; or
in the case of medical supplies, safety supplies, or emergency supplies, would satisfy a critical need for such supplies.
The head of an agency may provide for the procurement of property or services covered by this section using competitive procedures, but excluding concerns other than small business concerns in furtherance of sections 9 and 15 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 638, 644) and concerns other than small business concerns, historically Black colleges and universities, and minority institutions in furtherance of section 2323 of this title.
A contract awarded pursuant to the competitive procedures referred to in paragraphs (1) and (2) shall not be subject to the justification and approval required by subsection (f)(1).
A determination under paragraph (1) may not be made for a class of purchases or contracts.
The head of an agency may use procedures other than competitive procedures only when -
the property or services needed by the agency are available from only one responsible source or only from a limited number of responsible sources and no other type of property or services will satisfy the needs of the agency;
the agency's need for the property or services is of such an unusual and compelling urgency that the United States would be seriously injured unless the agency is permitted to limit the number of sources from which it solicits bids or proposals;
it is necessary to award the contract to a particular source or sources in order
to maintain a facility, producer, manufacturer, or other supplier available for furnishing property or services in case of a national emergency or to achieve industrial mobilization,
to establish or maintain an essential engineering, research, or development capability to be provided by an educational or other nonprofit institution or a federally funded research and development center, or
to procure the services of an expert for use, in any litigation or dispute (including any reasonably foreseeable litigation or dispute) involving the Federal Government, in any trial, hearing, or proceeding before any court, administrative tribunal, or agency, or to procure the services of an expert or neutral for use in any part of an alternative dispute resolution or negotiated rulemaking process, whether or not the expert is expected to testify;
the terms of an international agreement or a treaty between the United States and a foreign government or international organization, or the written directions of a foreign government reimbursing the agency for the cost of the procurement of the property or services for such government, have the effect of requiring the use of procedures other than competitive procedures;
subject to subsection (k), a statute expressly authorizes or requires that the procurement be made through another agency or from a specified source, or the agency's need is for a brand-name commercial item for authorized resale;
the disclosure of the agency's needs would compromise the national security unless the agency is permitted to limit the number of sources from which it solicits bids or proposals; or
the head of the agency -
determines that it is necessary in the public interest to use procedures other than competitive procedures in the particular procurement concerned, and
notifies the Congress in writing of such determination not less than 30 days before the award of the contract.
For the purposes of applying subsection (c)(1) -
in the case of a contract for property or services to be awarded on the basis of acceptance of an unsolicited research proposal, the property or services shall be considered to be available from only one source if the source has submitted an unsolicited research proposal that demonstrates a concept -
that is unique and innovative or, in the case of a service, for which the source demonstrates a unique capability of the source to provide the service; and
the substance of which is not otherwise available to the United States, and does not resemble the substance of a pending competitive procurement; and
in the case of a follow-on contract for the continued development or production of a major system or highly specialized equipment, or the continued provision of highly specialized services, such property or services may be deemed to be available only from the original source and may be procured through procedures other than competitive procedures when it is likely that award to a source other than the original source would result in -
substantial duplication of cost to the United States which is not expected to be recovered through competition; or
unacceptable delays in fulfilling the agency's needs.
The authority of the head of an agency under subsection (c)(7) may not be delegated.
The head of an agency using procedures other than competitive procedures to procure property or services by reason of the application of subsection (c)(2) or (c)(6) shall request offers from as many potential sources as is practicable under the circumstances.
Except as provided in paragraph (2), the head of an agency may not award a contract using procedures other than competitive procedures unless -
the contracting officer for the contract justifies the use of such procedures in writing and certifies the accuracy and completeness of the justification;
the justification is approved -
in the case of a contract for an amount exceeding $500,000 (but equal to or less than $10,000,000), by the competition advocate for the procuring activity (without further delegation) or by an official referred to in clause (ii) or (iii);
in the case of a contract for an amount exceeding $10,000,000 (but equal to or less than $50,000,000), by the head of the procuring activity (or the head of the procuring activity's delegate designated pursuant to paragraph (6)(A)); or
in the case of a contract for an amount exceeding $50,000,000, by the senior procurement executive of the agency designated pursuant to section 16(3) of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 414(3)) (without further delegation) or in the case of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, acting in his capacity as the senior procurement executive for the Department of Defense, the Under Secretary's delegate designated pursuant to paragraph (6)(B); and
any required notice has been published with respect to such contract pursuant to section 18 of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 416) and all bids or proposals received in response to that notice have been considered by the head of the agency.
In the case of a procurement permitted by subsection (c)(2), the justification and approval required by paragraph (1) may be made after the contract is awarded. The justification and approval required by paragraph (1) is not required -
when a statute expressly requires that the procurement be made from a specified source;
when the agency's need is for a brand-name commercial item for authorized resale;
in the case of a procurement permitted by subsection (c)(7);
in the case of a procurement conducted under
in the case of a procurement permitted by subsection (c)(4), but only if the head of the contracting activity prepares a document in connection with such procurement that describes the terms of an agreement or treaty, or the written directions, referred to in that subsection that have the effect of requiring the use of procedures other than competitive procedures.
The justification required by paragraph (1)(A) shall include -
a description of the agency's needs;
an identification of the statutory exception from the requirement to use competitive procedures and a demonstration, based on the proposed contractor's qualifications or the nature of the procurement, of the reasons for using that exception;
a determination that the anticipated cost will be fair and reasonable;
a description of the market survey conducted or a statement of the reasons a market survey was not conducted;
a listing of the sources, if any, that expressed in writing an interest in the procurement; and
a statement of the actions, if any, the agency may take to remove or overcome any barrier to competition before a subsequent procurement for such needs.
The justification required by paragraph (1)(A) and any related information, and any document prepared pursuant to paragraph (2)(E), shall be made available for inspection by the public consistent with the provisions of section 552 of title 5.
In no case may the head of an agency -
enter into a contract for property or services using procedures other than competitive procedures on the basis of the lack of advance planning or concerns related to the amount of funds available to the agency for procurement functions; or
procure property or services from another agency unless such other agency complies fully with the requirements of this chapter in its procurement of such property or services.
The restriction contained in clause (B) is in addition to, and not in lieu of, any other restriction provided by law.
The authority of the head of a procuring activity under paragraph (1)(B)(ii) may be delegated only to an officer or employee who -
if a member of the armed forces, is a general or flag officer; or
if a civilian, is serving in a position with a grade under the General Schedule (or any other schedule for civilian officers or employees) that is comparable to or higher than the grade of brigadier general or rear admiral (lower half).
The authority of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics under paragraph (1)(B)(iii) may be delegated only to -
an Assistant Secretary of Defense; or
with respect to the element of the Department of Defense (as specified in section 111(b) of this title), other than a military department, carrying out the procurement action concerned, an officer or employee serving in or assigned or detailed to that element who -
if a member of the armed forces, is serving in a grade above brigadier general or rear admiral (lower half); or
if a civilian, is serving in a position with a grade under the General Schedule (or any other schedule for civilian officers or employees) that is comparable to or higher than the grade of major general or rear admiral.
In order to promote efficiency and economy in contracting and to avoid unnecessary burdens for agencies and contractors, the Federal Acquisition Regulation shall provide for -
special simplified procedures for purchases of property and services for amounts not greater than the simplified acquisition threshold; and
special simplified procedures for purchases of property and services for amounts greater than the simplified acquisition threshold but not greater than $5,000,000 with respect to which the contracting officer reasonably expects, based on the nature of the property or services sought and on market research, that offers will include only commercial items.
A proposed purchase or contract for an amount above the simplified acquisition threshold may not be divided into several purchases or contracts for lesser amounts in order to use the simplified procedures required by paragraph (1).
In using simplified procedures, the head of an agency shall promote competition to the maximum extent practicable.
For the purposes of the following laws, purchases or contracts awarded after using procedures other than sealed-bid procedures shall be treated as if they were made with sealed-bid procedures:
The Act entitled ''An Act relating to the rate of wages for laborers and mechanics employed on public buildings of the United States and the District of Columbia by contractors and subcontractors, and for other purposes'', approved March 3, 1931 (commonly referred to as the ''Davis-Bacon Act'') (40 U.S.C. 276a - 276a-5).
The Secretary of Defense shall prescribe by regulation the manner in which the Department of Defense negotiates prices for supplies to be obtained through the use of procedures other than competitive procedures, as defined in section 2302(2) of this title.
The regulations required by paragraph (1) shall -
specify the incurred overhead a contractor may appropriately allocate to supplies referred to in that paragraph; and
require the contractor to identify those supplies which it did not manufacture or to which it did not contribute significant value.
Such regulations shall not apply to an item of supply included in a contract or subcontract for which the price is based on established catalog or market prices of commercial items sold in substantial quantities to the general public.
The Federal Acquisition Regulation shall ensure that the requirement to obtain full and open competition is implemented in a manner that is consistent with the need to efficiently fulfill the Government's requirements.
It is the policy of Congress that an agency named in section 2303(a) of this title should not be required by legislation to award a new contract to a specific non-Federal Government entity. It is further the policy of Congress that any program, project, or technology identified in legislation be procured through merit-based selection procedures.
A provision of law may not be construed as requiring a new contract to be awarded to a specified non-Federal Government entity unless that provision of law -
specifically refers to this subsection;
specifically identifies the particular non-Federal Government entity involved; and
specifically states that the award to that entity is required by such provision of law in contravention of the policy set forth in paragraph (1).
For purposes of this subsection, a contract is a new contract unless the work provided for in the contract is a continuation of the work performed by the specified entity under a preceding contract.
This subsection shall not apply with respect to any contract that calls upon the National Academy of Sciences to investigate, examine, or experiment upon any subject of science or art of significance to an agency named in section 2303(a) of this title and to report on such matters to the Congress or any agency of the Federal Government
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