A-110 Excerpts: Procurement Standards

____.40 Purpose of procurement standards.

Sections ____.41 through ____.48 set forth standards for use by recipients in establishing procedures for the procurement of supplies and other expendable property, equipment, real property and other services with Federal funds. These standards are furnished to ensure that such materials and services are obtained in an effective manner and in compliance with the provisions of applicable Federal statutes and executive orders. No additional procurement standards or requirements shall be imposed by the Federal awarding agencies upon recipients, unless specifically required by Federal statute or executive order or approved by OMB.

____.41 Recipient responsibilities.

The standards contained in this section do not relieve the recipient of the contractual responsibilities arising under its contract(s). The recipient is the responsible authority, without recourse to the Federal awarding agency, regarding the settlement and satisfaction of all contractual and administrative issues arising out of procurements entered into in support of an award or other agreement. This includes disputes, claims, protests of award, source evaluation or other matters of a contractual nature. Matters concerning violation of statute are to be referred to such Federal, State or local authority as may have proper jurisdiction.

____.42 Codes of conduct.

The recipient shall maintain written standards of conduct governing the performance of its employees engaged in the award and administration of contracts. No employee, officer, or agent shall participate in the selection, award, or administration of a contract supported by Federal funds if a real or apparent conflict of interest would be involved. Such a conflict would arise when the employee, officer, or agent, any member of his or her immediate family, his or her partner, or an organization which employs or is about to employ any of the parties indicated herein, has a financial or other interest in the firm selected for an award. The officers, employees, and agents of the recipient shall neither solicit nor accept gratuities, favors, or anything of monetary value from contractors, or parties to subagreements. However, recipients may set standards for situations in which the financial interest is not substantial or the gift is an unsolicited item of nominal value. The standards of conduct shall provide for disciplinary actions to be applied for violations of such standards by officers, employees, or agents of the recipient.

____.43 Competition.

All procurement transactions shall be conducted in a manner to provide, to the maximum extent practical, open and free competition. The recipient shall be alert to organizational conflicts of interest as well as noncompetitive practices among contractors that may restrict or eliminate competition or otherwise restrain trade. In order to ensure objective contractor performance and eliminate unfair competitive advantage, contractors that develop or draft specifications, requirements, statements of work, invitations for bids and/or requests for proposals shall be excluded from competing for such procurements. Awards shall be made to the bidder or offeror whose bid or offer is responsive to the solicitation and is most advantageous to the recipient, price, quality and other factors considered. Solicitations shall clearly set forth all requirements that the bidder or offeror shall fulfill in order for the bid or offer to be evaluated by the recipient. Any and all bids or offers may be rejected when it is in the recipient's interest to do so.

____.44 Procurement procedures.

(a) All recipients shall establish written procurement procedures. These procedures shall provide for, at a minimum, that (1), (2) and (3) apply.

  1. Recipients avoid purchasing unnecessary items.
  2. Where appropriate, an analysis is made of lease and purchase alternatives to determine which would be the most economical and practical procurement
    for the Federal Government.
  3. Solicitations for goods and services provide for all of the following.
    1. A clear and accurate description of the technical requirements for the material, product or service to be procured. In competitive procurements, such a
      description shall not contain features which unduly restrict competition.
    2. Requirements which the bidder/offeror must fulfill and all other factors to be used in evaluating bids or proposals.
    3. A description, whenever practicable, of technical requirements in terms of functions to be performed or performance required, including the range of
      acceptable characteristics or minimum acceptable standards.
    4. The specific features of "brand name or equal" descriptions that bidders are required to meet when such items are included in the solicitation.
    5. The acceptance, to the extent practicable and economically feasible, of products and services dimensioned in the metric system of measurement.
    6. Preference, to the extent practicable and economically feasible, for products and services that conserve natural resources and protect the environment
      and are energy efficient.

      (b) Positive efforts shall be made by recipients to utilize small businesses, minority-owned firms, and women's business enterprises, whenever possible. Recipients of Federal awards shall take all of the following steps to further this goal.

  4. Ensure that small businesses, minority-owned firms, and women's business enterprises are used to the fullest extent practicable.
  5. Make information on forthcoming opportunities available and arrange time frames for purchases and contracts to encourage and facilitate participation by
    small businesses, minority-owned firms, and women's business enterprises.
  6. Consider in the contract process whether firms competing for larger contracts intend to subcontract with small businesses, minority-owned firms, and
    women's business enterprises.
  7. Encourage contracting with consortiums of small businesses, minority-owned firms and women's business enterprises when a contract is too large for one
    of these firms to handle individually.
  8. Use the services and assistance, as appropriate, of such organizations as the Small Business Administration and the Department of Commerce's Minority
    Business Development Agency in the solicitation and utilization of small businesses, minority-owned firms and women's business enterprises.

    (c) The type of procuring instruments used (e.g., fixed price contracts, cost reimbursable contracts, purchase orders, and incentive contracts) shall be determined by the recipient but shall be appropriate for the particular procurement and for promoting the best interest of the program or project involved. The "cost-plus-a-percentage-of-cost" or "percentage of construction cost" methods of contracting shall not be used.

    (d) Contracts shall be made only with responsible contractors who possess the potential ability to perform successfully under the terms and conditions of the proposed procurement. Consideration shall be given to such matters as contractor integrity, record of past performance, financial and technical resources or accessibility to other necessary resources. In certain circumstances, contracts with certain parties are restricted by agencies' implementation of E.O.s 12549 and 12689, "Debarment and Suspension."

    (e) Recipients shall, on request, make available for the Federal awarding agency, pre-award review and procurement documents, such as request for proposals or invitations for bids, independent cost estimates, etc., when any of the following conditions apply.

  9. A recipient's procurement procedures or operation fails to comply with the procurement standards in the Federal awarding agency's implementation of this
    Circular.
  10. The procurement is expected to exceed the small purchase threshold fixed at 41 U.S.C. 403 (11) (currently $25,000) and is to be awarded without
    competition or only one bid or offer is received in response to a solicitation.
  11. The procurement, which is expected to exceed the small purchase threshold, specifies a "brand name" product.
  12. The proposed award over the small purchase threshold is to be awarded to other than the apparent low bidder under a sealed bid procurement.
  13. A proposed contract modification changes the scope of a contract or increases the contract amount by more than the amount of the small purchase
    threshold.

____.45 Cost and price analysis.

Some form of cost or price analysis shall be made and documented in the procurement files in connection with every procurement action. Price analysis may be accomplished in various ways, including the comparison of price quotations submitted, market prices and similar indicia, together with discounts. Cost analysis is the review and evaluation of each element of cost to determine reasonableness, allocability and allowability.

____.46 Procurement records.

Procurement records and files for purchases in excess of the small purchase threshold shall include the following at a minimum:

(a) basis for contractor selection,

(b) justification for lack of competition when competitive bids or offers are not obtained, and

(c) basis for award cost or price.

____.47 Contract administration.

A system for contract administration shall be maintained to ensure contractor conformance with the terms, conditions and specifications of the contract and to ensure adequate and timely follow up of all purchases. Recipients shall evaluate contractor performance and document, as appropriate, whether contractors have met the terms, conditions and specifications of the contract.

____.48 Contract provisions.

The recipient shall include, in addition to provisions to define a sound and complete agreement, the following provisions in all contracts. The following provisions shall also be applied to subcontracts.

(a) Contracts in excess of the small purchase threshold shall contain contractual provisions or conditions that allow for administrative, contractual, or legal remedies in instances in which a contractor violates or breaches the contract terms, and provide for such remedial actions as may be appropriate.

(b) All contracts in excess of the small purchase threshold shall contain suitable provisions for termination by the recipient, including the manner by which termination shall be effected and the basis for settlement. In addition, such contracts shall describe conditions under which the contract may be terminated for default as well as conditions where the contract may be terminated because of circumstances beyond the control of the contractor.

(c) Except as otherwise required by statute, an award that requires the contracting (or subcontracting) for construction or facility improvements shall provide for the recipient to follow its own requirements relating to bid guarantees, performance bonds, and payment bonds unless the construction contract or subcontract exceeds $100,000. For those contracts or subcontracts exceeding $100,000, the Federal awarding agency may accept the bonding policy and requirements of the recipient, provided the Federal awarding agency has made a determination that the Federal Government's interest is adequately protected. If such a determination has not been made, the minimum requirements shall be as follows.

  1. A bid guarantee from each bidder equivalent to five percent of the bid price. The "bid guarantee" shall consist of a firm commitment such as a bid bond,
    certified check, or other negotiable instrument accompanying a bid as assurance that the bidder shall, upon acceptance of his bid, execute such
    contractual documents as may be required within the time specified.
  2. A performance bond on the part of the contractor for 100 percent of the contract price. A "performance bond" is one executed in connection with a contract
    to secure fulfillment of all the contractor's obligations under such contract.
  3. A payment bond on the part of the contractor for 100 percent of the contract price. A "payment bond" is one executed in connection with a contract to
    assure payment as required by statute of all persons supplying labor and material in the execution of the work provided for in the contract.
  4. Where bonds are required in the situations described herein, the bonds shall be obtained from companies holding certificates of authority as acceptable
    sureties pursuant to 31 CFR part 223, "Surety Companies Doing Business with the United States."

    (d) All negotiated contracts (except those for less than the small purchase threshold) awarded by recipients shall include a provision to the effect that the recipient, the Federal awarding agency, the Comptroller General of the United States, or any of their duly authorized representatives, shall have access to any books, documents, papers and records of the contractor which are directly pertinent to a specific program for the purpose of making audits, examinations, excerpts and transcriptions.

    (e) All contracts, including small purchases, awarded by recipients and their contractors shall contain the procurement provisions of Appendix A to this Circular, as applicable.

Appendix A - Contract Provisions

All contracts, awarded by a recipient including small purchases, shall contain the following provisions as applicable:

  1. Equal Employment Opportunity—All contracts shall contain a provision requiring compliance with E.O. 11246, "Equal Employment Opportunity," as
    amended by E.O. 11375, "Amending Executive Order 11246 Relating to Equal Employment Opportunity," and as supplemented by regulations at 41 CFR
    part 60, "Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, Equal Employment Opportunity, Department of Labor."
  2. Copeland "Anti-Kickback" Act (18 U.S.C. 874 and 40 U.S.C. 276c)—All contracts and subgrants in excess of $2,000 for construction or repair awarded by
    recipients and subrecipients shall include a provision for compliance with the Copeland "Anti-Kickback" Act (18 U.S.C. 874), as supplemented by
    Department of Labor regulations (29 CFR part 3, "Contractors and Subcontractors on Public Building or Public Work Financed in Whole or in Part by
    Loans or Grants from the United States"). The Act provides that each contractor or subrecipient shall be prohibited from inducing, by any means, any
    person employed in the construction, completion, or repair of public work, to give up any part of the compensation to which he is otherwise entitled. The
    recipient shall report all suspected or reported violations to the Federal awarding agency.
  3. Davis-Bacon Act, as amended (40 U.S.C. 276a to a-7)—When required by Federal program legislation, all construction contracts awarded by the
    recipients and subrecipients of more than $2,000 shall include a provision for compliance with the Davis-Bacon Act (40 U.S.C. 276a to a-7) and as
    supplemented by Department of Labor regulations (29 CFR part 5, "Labor Standards Provisions Applicable to Contracts Governing Federally Financed and
    Assisted Construction"). Under this Act, contractors shall be required to pay wages to laborers and mechanics at a rate not less than the minimum wages
    specified in a wage determination made by the Secretary of Labor. In addition, contractors shall be required to pay wages not less than once a week. The
    recipient shall place a copy of the current prevailing wage determination issued by the Department of Labor in each solicitation and the award of a contract
    shall be conditioned upon the acceptance of the wage determination. The recipient shall report all suspected or reported violations to the Federal awarding
    agency.
  4. Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (40 U.S.C. 327-333)—Where applicable, all contracts awarded by recipients in excess of $2,000 for
    construction contracts and in excess of $2,500 for other contracts that involve the employment of mechanics or laborers shall include a provision for
    compliance with Sections 102 and 107 of the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (40 U.S.C. 327-333), as supplemented by Department of
    Labor regulations (29 CFR part 5). Under Section 102 of the Act, each contractor shall be required to compute the wages of every mechanic and laborer on
    the basis of a standard work week of 40 hours. Work in excess of the standard work week is permissible provided that the worker is compensated at a
    rate of not less than 1 1/2 times the basic rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in the work week. Section 107 of the Act is applicable to
    construction work and provides that no laborer or mechanic shall be required to work in surroundings or under working conditions which are unsanitary,
    hazardous or dangerous. These requirements do not apply to the purchases of supplies or materials or articles ordinarily available on the open market, or
    contracts for transportation or transmission of intelligence.
  5. Rights to Inventions Made Under a Contract or Agreement—Contracts or agreements for the performance of experimental, developmental, or research work
    shall provide for the rights of the Federal Government and the recipient in any resulting invention in accordance with 37 CFR part 401, "Rights to Inventions
    Made by Nonprofit Organizations and Small Business Firms Under Government Grants, Contracts and Cooperative Agreements," and any implementing
    regulations issued by the awarding agency.
  6. Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.) and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.), as amended—Contracts and subgrants of
    amounts in excess of $100,000 shall contain a provision that requires the recipient to agree to comply with all applicable standards, orders or regulations
    issued pursuant to the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.) and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act as amended (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.).
    Violations shall be reported to the Federal awarding agency and the Regional Office of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  7. Byrd Anti-Lobbying Amendment (31 U.S.C. 1352)—Contractors who apply or bid for an award of $100,000 or more shall file the required certification. Each
    tier certifies to the tier above that it will not and has not used Federal appropriated funds to pay any person or organization for influencing or attempting to
    influence an officer or employee of any agency, a member of Congress, officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a member of Congress in
    connection with obtaining any Federal contract, grant or any other award covered by 31 U.S.C. 1352. Each tier shall also disclose any lobbying with non
    Federal funds that takes place in connection with obtaining any Federal award. Such disclosures are forwarded from tier to tier up to the recipient.
  8. Debarment and Suspension (E.O.s 12549 and 12689)—No contract shall be made to parties listed on the General Services Administration's List of Parties
    Excluded from Federal Procurement or Nonprocurement Programs in accordance with E.O.s 12549 and 12689, "Debarment and Suspension." This list
    contains the names of parties debarred, suspended, or otherwise excluded by agencies, and contractors declared ineligible under statutory or regulatory
    authority other than E.O. 12549. Contractors with awards that exceed the small purchase threshold shall provide the required certification regarding its
    exclusion status and that of its principal employees.

    Higher education institutions, hospitals, and nonprofit organizations; uniform administrative requirements for grants and agreements (Circular A-110), 62992.

 

 

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