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FAC Number: 2024-03
Effective Date: 02/23/2024

7.103 Agency-head responsibilities.

7.103 Agency-head responsibilities.

The agency head or a designee shall prescribe procedures f or the following:

(a) Promoting and providing for full and open competition (see part  6) or, when full and open competition is not required in accordance with part  6, for obtaining competition to the maximum extent practicable, with due regard to the nature of the supplies and services to be acquired ( 10 U.S.C. 3206(a)(1) and 41 U.S.C. 3306(a)(1)).

(b) Encouraging offerors to supply commercial products or commercial services, or to the extent that commercial products suitable, to meet the agency needs are not available, nondevelopmental items in response to agency solicitations ( 10 U.S.C. 3453 and 41 U.S.C. 3307).

(c) Ensuring that acquisition planners address the requirement to specify needs, develop specifications, and to solicit offers in such a manner to promote and provide for full and open competition with due regard to the nature of the supplies and services to be acquired ( 10 U.S.C. 3206(a)(1) and 41 U.S.C. 3306(a)(1)). (See part  6 and 10.002.)

(d) Ensuring that acquisition planners document the file to support the selection of the contract type in accordance with subpart 16.1.

(e) Establishing criteria and thresholds at which increasingly greater detail and formality in the planning process is required as the acquisition becomes more complex and costly, including for cost-reimbursement and other high-risk contracts (e.g., other than firm-fixed-price contracts) requiring a written acquisition plan. A written plan shall be prepared for cost reimbursement and other high-risk contracts other than firm-fixed-price contracts, although written plans may be required for firm-fixed-price contracts as appropriate.

(f) Ensuring that the statement of work is closely aligned with performance outcomes and cost estimates.

(g) Writing plans either on a systems basis, on an individual contract basis, or on an individual order basis, depending upon the acquisition.

(h) Ensuring that the principles of this subpart are used, as appropriate, for those acquisitions that do not require a written plan as well as for those that do.

(i) Designating planners for acquisitions.

(j) Reviewing and approving acquisition plans and revisions to these plans to ensure compliance with FAR requirements including 7.104 and part 16. For other than firm-fixed-price contracts, ensuring that the plan is approved and signed at least one level above the contracting officer.

(k) Establishing criteria and thresholds at which design-to-cost and life-cycle-cost techniques will be used.

(l) Establishing standard acquisition plan formats, if desired, suitable to agency needs.

(m) Waiving requirements of detail and formality, as necessary, in planning for acquisitions having compressed delivery or performance schedules because of the urgency of the need.

(n) Assuring that the contracting officer, prior to contracting, reviews:

(1) The acquisition history of the supplies and services; and

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

(o) Ensuring that agency planners include use of the metric system of measurement in proposed acquisitions in accordance with 15 U.S.C.205b (see 11.002(b)) and agency metric plans and guidelines.

(p) Ensuring that agency planners-

(1) Specify needs for printing and writing paper consistent with the 30 percent postconsumer fiber minimum content standards specified in section 2(d)(ii) of Executive Order 13423 of January 24, 2007, Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management, and section 2(e)(iv) of Executive Order 13514 of October 5, 2009 (see 11.303)

(2) Comply with the policy in 11.002(d) regarding procurement of biobased products, products containing recovered materials, environmentally preferable products and services (including Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT®)-registered electronic products, nontoxic or low-toxic alternatives), ENERGY STAR® and Federal Energy Management Program-designated products, renewable energy, water-efficient products, non-ozone-depleting products, and products and services that minimize or eliminate, when feasible, the use, release, or emission of high global warming potential hydrofluorocarbons, such as by using reclaimed instead of virgin hydrofluorocarbons;

(3) Comply with the Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership in High-Performance and Sustainable Buildings (Guiding Principles), for the design, construction, renovation, repair, or deconstruction of Federal buildings. The Guiding Principles can be accessed at; and

(4) Require contractor compliance with Federal environmental requirements, when the contractor is operating Government-owned facilities or vehicles, to the same extent as the agency would be required to comply if the agency operated the facilities or vehicles.

(q) Ensuring that acquisition planners specify needs and develop plans, drawings, work statements, specifications, or other product or service requirements (e.g., help desks, call centers, training services, and automated self-service technical support) descriptions that address information and communication technology (ICT) accessibility standards (see 36 CFR 1194.1) in proposed acquisitions and that these standards are included in requirements planning (see subpart  39.2).

(r) Making a determination, prior to issuance of a solicitation for advisory and assistance services involving the analysis and evaluation of proposals submitted in response to a solicitation, that a sufficient number of covered personnel with the training and capability to perform an evaluation and analysis of proposals submitted in response to a solicitation are not readily available within the agency or from another Federal agency in accordance with the guidelines at 37.204.

(s) Ensuring that no purchase request is initiated or contract entered into that would result in the performance of an inherently governmental function by a contractor and that all contracts or orders are adequately managed so as to ensure effective official control over contract or order performance.

(t) Ensuring that knowledge gained from prior acquisitions is used to further refine requirements and acquisition strategies. For services, greater use of performance-based acquisition methods should occur for follow-on acquisitions.

(u) Ensuring that acquisition planners, to the maximum extent practicable-

(1) Structure contract requirements to facilitate competition by and among small business concerns; and

(2) Avoid unnecessary and unjustified bundling that precludes small business participation as contractors (see 7.107) ( 15 U.S.C. 631(j)).

(v) Ensuring that agency planners on information technology acquisitions comply with the capital planning and investment control requirements in 40 U.S.C. 11312 and OMB Circular A-130.

(w) Ensuring that agency planners on information technology acquisitions comply with the information technology security requirements in the Federal Information Security Management Act ( 44 U.S.C. 3544), OMB’s implementing policies including Appendix III of OMB Circular A-130, and guidance and standards from the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology.

(x) Ensuring that agency planners use project labor agreements when required (see subpart 22.5 and 36.104).

(y) Ensuring that contracting officers consult the Disaster Response Registry via, Search Records, Advanced Search, Disaster Response Registry Search as a part of acquisition planning for debris removal, distribution of supplies, reconstruction, and other disaster or emergency relief activities inside the United States and outlying areas. (See 26.205).

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