Procurement of Supplies, Equipment, and Services - Revision 6
This directive provides policies and responsibilities for procuring supplies, equipment, and services. This directive applies to all FSIS employees involved in the procurement process.
This directive cancels FSIS Directive 2100.1, Revision 5, Procurement of Supplies, Equipment, and Services, dated 6/07/07.
III. REASON FOR REISSUANCE
This directive is completely revised to update procurement procedures and program responsibilities.
41 U.S.C. 253, Competition requirements
FAR Part 6, Competition Requirements
FAR Part 8, Required Sources of Supplies and Services
FAR Part 33, Protests, Disputes, and Appeals
FAR Subpart 2.1, Definitions
Internet sites: http://www.usda.gov/procurement/policy - Agriculture Acquisition Regulations (AGAR)
http://www.fai.gov - Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI)
http://www.acquisition.gov/comp/far/index.html - Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)
http://www.gao.gov/special.pubs/ppm.html - General Accounting Office (GAO)
https://ias.usda.gov - Integrated Acquisition System (IAS)
V. ABBREVIATIONS AND FORMS
The following appear in their shortened form in this directive:
AGAR Agriculture Acquisition Regulations
ASD Administrative Services Division
AXOL Access On-Line CO Contracting Officer
COR Contracting Officer’s Representative
FAC-COR Federal Acquisition Certification for Contracting Officer’s Representative
FAI Federal Acquisition Institute
FAR Federal Acquisition Regulation
FSS Federal Supply Schedule
GAO General Accounting Office
GSA General Services Administration
GWAC Governmentwide Acquisition Contract
HCAD Head of the Contracting Activity Designee
HRO Human Resources Operations
HUBZone Historically Underutilized Business Zone
IAS Integrated Acquisition System
IMAB Information Management and Analysis Branch
IT Information Technology
OCIO Office of the Chief Information Officer
OCFO Office of the Chief Financial Officer
OM Office of Management
OSDBU Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization
PGDS Printing, Graphics and Distribution Section
PMB Procurement Management Branch
SBA Small Business Administration
SF 1402 Certificate of Appointment
See Attachment 1, Definitions, for a listing of definitions used in this directive.
A. All Offices. To procure needed goods or services, the requiring office or activity must:
1. Collaborate with PMB to adequately plan requirements and acquisitions.
2. Contact PMB for guidance on matters relating to the source of supply or procurement method.
3. Support the small business and AbilityOne programs.
4. Advise non-contracting personnel not to enter into any agreement with potential contractors for any type of procurement.
5. Obtain appropriate Agency approvals and clearances.
6. Determine if Government supply sources can fill requirements.
7. Submit requisitions for supplies, equipment, or services through
8. Provide detailed specifications, justifications, evaluation criteria, work statements, and Government cost estimates, as required.
9. Address all unsolicited proposals submitted for FSIS consideration to ASD, PMB. NOTE: Unsolicited proposals submitted directly to other FSIS offices are not acted upon officially until all copies are forwarded to PMB.
B. Procuring Office. Only employees (examples: COs, procurement personnel, and purchase cardholders) with delegated written purchasing authority are authorized to purchase supplies, equipment, and services with available funds. Employees with delegated authority must comply fully with all applicable regulations and this directive. (NOTE: FSIS COs implement the procedures to negotiate and award purchase orders and contracts following procurement laws, regulations, and statutes.)
C. Requiring Office or Activity. The requiring office or activity provides additional information required by the CO to award and administer purchase orders and contracts.
VIII. PROCUREMENT FORECAST
A. The procurement forecast is a listing of anticipated contracting opportunities. The forecast consolidates anticipated contracting opportunities at each USDA agency and aims to increase industries' advanced knowledge of USDA requirements to enhance competition. The procurement forecast is for informational and marketing purposes only and does not constitute a specific offer or commitment to purchase the referenced supplies, equipment, or services. Twice each year, every USDA agency must develop a procurement forecast to include all expected contracting opportunities over $25,000.
B. FSIS offices must submit a procurement forecast for supplies, equipment, and services for the upcoming fiscal year. The information is submitted to PMB on or about July 15. PMB compiles the information into one FSIS procurement forecast report and forwards the report to the USDA OSDBU. Once procurement forecast reports are received from all USDA agencies, a consolidated procurement forecast is created. On or about October 1, OSDBU posts the consolidated USDA procurement forecast on the Internet at http://www.dm.usda.gov/osdbu.
C. Requests for updates to the procurement forecast are requested on or about February 15. PMB must receive updates on or about March 1. OSDBU updates and posts the updated procurement forecast on or about April 15.
IX. PURCHASING APPROVALS AND IAS
A. Approvals. Whether purchasing through IAS or using a Government purchase card, there are mandatory approval chains for each office. However, additional approvals are required for certain requirements. Consult the Customer Guide on Pre-Procurement Approvals, Issuance No. G11-001, as revised, for applicable pre- procurement approvals. In instances when an additional approval is needed, the requiring office or activity should route the requisition through the additional approval process once mandatory approvals are obtained. Budgetary approvals are made before submission of the requisition to PMB. (NOTE: Obtain all approvals using IAS unless otherwise indicated.) Additional approvals are needed for the following requirements:
1. Audio Visual. Requirements for equipment, videotape development, public service announcements, and live teleconferencing (audio and video web streaming), are approved by OCIO. If the cost is over $10,000, the Departmental Office of Communications’ approval is also required and is obtained outside of IAS by the program office.
2. CD Duplication. Requires approval from ASD, PGDS.
3. Conferences (Over $20,000). Require the Under Secretary’s approval and the Departmental OCFO’s approval outside of IAS. Include a Decision Memorandum for all off-site events when the cost, including travel and per diem of all FSIS employees, speaker’s fees, facility, and food charges, are estimated to exceed
4. Copiers. All requirements that involve copiers (leased or purchased) are approved by OCIO and ASD.
5. Furniture. Requires the Property Management Branch’s approval. Includes all office furniture requirements for headquarters and field offices.
6. IT. Obtain OCIO approval for all IT equipment and services (examples: hardware, software, printers, maintenance support on IT systems, site licenses, and laboratory equipment that generates, processes, stores, or presents electronic records for routine use by an equipment operator). Consult OCIO for questions concerning applicability.
7. Office Equipment for Headquarters and Field Offices. All requirements for office or laboratory equipment for headquarters and field offices are approved by OCIO and the Property Management Branch.
8. Postage Meters and Electronic File Cabinets. Obtain approval from the Property Management Branch. Obtain additional approval from ASD, IMAB, outside of IAS.
9. Printing Requirements. All requirements that involve printing documents or graphics, and purchasing copiers, are approved by ASD, PGDS.
10. Section 508. Electronic and IT Compliance are approved by
11. Telecommunications. All telecommunications (examples: hardware or software, personal digital assistants, portable electronic devices, wiring, cabling, facsimile machines, repairs, web-cast services, and all-in-one printers) require OCIO and the Property Management Branch’s approval.
12. Temporary Services. Private sector temporaries require HRO approval and appointments must not exceed 120 workdays. If the need for temporary services exists beyond the initial 120 workdays, justification and additional HRO approval is required to extend up to the maximum of 240 workdays. This approval is obtained outside of IAS.
13. USDA or FSIS Logo. Do not use the USDA or FSIS symbol or logo to suggest that either USDA or FSIS recommends one product or project over another. Consult with ASD, PGDS, to determine if approval is needed.
1. Potential IAS Users. All potential IAS users must contact PMB for registration and initial access to the system. Users are provided with user names and passwords. For security purposes, change passwords every 30 days.
2. Required Approvals. Obtain all required approvals before submission to PMB. The person submitting the requisition must ensure that the requisition contains all necessary information and approvals. Budget approval is required. Requisitions are automatically forwarded to PMB after budget approval.
3. Telecommunications Requirements. If a telecommunications requirement is under $350, use the Government purchase card to purchase items. If a telecommunications requirement is over $350, enter the requirement into IAS for PMB to procure. Describe the items (part numbers, colors, or sizes) in detail, and obtain OCIO approval as required.
4. All Other Requirements. Enter all PMB processed requisitions above the micro-purchase threshold into IAS. Describe line items in detail (part numbers, colors, or sizes). Depending on the requirement, it may be necessary to include additional approvers.
5. Urgent Requisitions. PMB recognizes that emergency needs can occur and that special requirements may prevent a requiring activity or office from providing a requisition within the normal lead times for processing. When submitting an urgent requisition (meaning the Government can incur serious injuries if an award is delayed), provide details of the requirement and a justification as to the extent and nature of harm to the Government. Once Budget approves the requisition, contact PMB with the requisition number.
6. Procurement Package. Submit a complete procurement package to PMB to process a requirement. Missing or incomplete information will result in delays. A complete procurement package should include the following (this list is not all-inclusive and not all items on this list are required for every acquisition):
a. Requisition. A requisition initiates the procurement process. It is the document that the requisitioner prepares in the IAS system that describes the needed goods or services.
b. Independent Government Estimate. The estimated cost for the entire project, broken out by year, as well as a practical baseline used to assess if an offeror’s price is fair and reasonable. It also helps the overall acquisition planning process.
c. Requirement Description. The requirement description identifies tasks that the contractor may perform and the results the contractor should achieve. Make the descriptions performance based if possible, and identify features constraints, and compatibility.
d. Evaluation Criteria. The criteria used when making an award based on the best value to the Government versus lowest price and other factors. The award decision is based on evaluation criteria that are tailored to the acquisition. The evaluation criteria represent the key areas of importance and support the meaningful comparison of an offer against the identified key areas.
7. Justification for Other than Full and Open Competition or Limited Sources Justification. A formal document, requiring written approval, that explains significant circumstances to restrict competition or consideration. The specific authority (examples: urgent and compelling, or only one responsible source) is referenced.
8. Section 508 Documentation. Documentation is required for electronic information or IT.
9. A List of Suggested Sources. Provide names of sources capable of performing services or delivering supplies and equipment, if available.
10. Shipping or Delivery Instructions. Instructions are needed if the requirements office has specific shipping or delivery instructions to include in the solicitation and contract.
X. ACQUISITION CONSIDERATIONS
A. Requirements for Competition. According to 41 U.S.C. 253, COs must promote and provide full and open competition in soliciting and awarding Government contracts. Unless otherwise prescribed by the FAR, requirements that restrict competition to one source or limited sources need a Justification and Approval for Other than Full and Open Competition. FAR Part 6 prescribes policies, procedures, and statutory authorities for contracting without providing for full and open competition. FAR Part 8 prescribes policies and procedures for contracting when restricting consideration, and the requirement for a Limited Sources Justification.
B. Priority of Sources. FAR Part 8 specifies the rules governing required sources of supplies and services. The required sources are listed in descending order of priority:
a. Agency inventories.
b. Excess from other agencies.
c. Federal Prison Industries.
d. Supplies which are on the procurement list maintained by the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled (the Committee).
e. Wholesale supply sources (such as GSA stock programs).
f. Mandatory Federal Supply Schedules.
g. Optional Use Federal Supply Schedules.
h. Commercial sources.
a. Services which are on the procurement list maintained by
b. Mandatory Federal Schedules.
c. Optional use Federal Schedules.
d. Federal Prison Industries or commercial sources.
C. Small Business Set-Asides.
1. All acquisitions between the micro-purchase threshold and the simplified acquisition threshold are automatically reserved for small business concerns. The CO can set aside any acquisition over the simplified acquisition threshold when at least two responsible small business concerns extend offers and awards issued at fair market prices. The OSDBU’s review and concurrence is required when an acquisition is not a set-aside. The CO must also give consideration to procurement preference goals for small business types.
2. USDA has established annual Departmentwide procurement preference goals for small business programs. The OSDBU Director, after consultation with the SBA, establishes annual FSIS goals for each small business socio-economic category. Consideration for set-asides is made for the following socio-economic programs:
a. Small Business Concerns.
b. 8(a) Concerns.
c. Small Disadvantaged Business Concerns (other than 8(a)).
d. Women-Owned Small Business Concerns.
e. HUBZone Small Business Concerns.
f. Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concerns.
3. The CO works with the requesting office to explain the options available and encourages the use of one of the preference programs.
D. Purchase Cards. Use the purchase card for supplies and services when under the micro-purchase threshold. The cardholder is responsible for all purchases made with the purchase card. Cardholders must reconcile their accounts online no later than 60 days after a transaction appears in AXOL, unless there are extenuating circumstances.
XI. UNAUTHORIZED COMMITMENTS AND RATIFICATIONS
A. Unauthorized Commitments. An unauthorized commitment occurs when an employee, without proper delegated authority to act on the Government’s behalf, makes a commitment to a contractor. However, the contractor is unaware of the employee’s misleading representation. FSIS is not bound by any formal or informal commitment to bind the Government in a contract in situations such as this. To comply with Federal laws and departmental regulations, only an employee with proper delegated procurement authority can enter into, sign, modify, and terminate contracts on behalf of the Government. Unauthorized commitments are considered matters of serious misconduct and may subject responsible employees to appropriate disciplinary actions (examples: employees run the risk of being held personally and financially liable for their misrepresented actions). Contractors who act on unauthorized commitments do so at their own risk. They are not entitled to payment from the Government unless the unauthorized commitment is ratified. Payment is often substantially delayed or never received if the action committed by an employee does not comply with applicable laws and regulations. (NOTE: Even if an unauthorized commitment is ratified, contractors do not receive interest on the delayed payment.)
B. Ratifications. An unauthorized commitment requires a ratification action in order to convert it into a legal contract. COs do not have authority to issue a purchase order or contract modification when an unauthorized commitment is identified without ratifying the action. (NOTE: Only the HCAD has ratification authority that is not further delegated.) Ratifications are accomplished only after all the facts and circumstances surrounding the unauthorized commitment are examined and all regulatory requirements are met. Document all unauthorized commitments submitted for ratification approval. Once the PMB is informed that an unauthorized commitment occurred, the CO:
1. Notifies the requiring office or activity in writing that an unauthorized commitment occurred.
2. Immediately informs the vendor of the unauthorized commitment and further explains that any service or work performed is at the vendor’s own risk.
3. Informs the employee who entered into the unauthorized commitment of the seriousness of the act and possible consequences.
4. Requests that the requiring office or activity furnishes all records and documents concerning the unauthorized commitment.
5. Requests the employee’s complete written statement of facts concerning all actions initiating the unauthorized commitment. The written statement of facts includes, but is not limited to:
a. A description of the bona fide Government requirement necessitating the commitment.
b. A statement explaining why a CO was not used.
c. A justification for the selection of the vendor and a list of sources and prices considered.
d. A description of the work that was performed or what products were furnished.
e. The agreed upon or estimated price and the rationale for determining it fair and reasonable.
f. Whether funds were available to pay the commitment when the commitment was made.
g. The dates performance occurred.
h. Any other pertinent facts.
6. The statement of facts is routed through the employee’s supervisor or Division Director, whichever is higher. The supervisor should:
a. Verify the documentation for accuracy and completeness.
b. Include a description of corrective actions taken to prevent a recurrence of unauthorized commitments.
c. Forward the employee’s statement of facts and the supervisor’s response to the HCAD.
7. The HCAD makes a final determination whether a ratification is proper. If the ratification is supported, the action is ratified and assigned to a CO. The HCAD may advise the employee that an unauthorized commitment is considered a violation of USDA’s employee conduct regulations and that disciplinary action is possible.
8. If the HCAD determines that the ratification is proper, the CO:
a. Notifies the requiring office or activity of the final disposition and requests any missing documents needed to finalize the action.
b. Issues a contract to the vendor.
c. Maintains related approval, decisional, and background documents in the contract file for audit purposes.
9. If the HCAD determines that the ratification is not proper, the HCAD provides the CO, the requiring office or activity, and the vendor an explanation of the decision. Cases that are not ratified are subject to resolution as recommended by GAO under its claim procedure, or as authorized by FAR Part 33. Obtain legal advice in these cases.
XII. PROGRAM AREA
A. COR’s Roles and Responsibilities. CORs are integral and valued members of the acquisition workforce because they help to monitor and manage contracts. Furthermore, CORs provide the technical expertise necessary to convey the Government’s requirements, oversee the technical performance of the contractor, and ensure that deliverables meet the contractual requirements. The CO relies on the COR in contract planning, contracting formation, and contract management to achieve successful contract completion. (NOTE: The COR does not have authority to commit the Government on any contract.) The COR:
1. Defines project requirements and develops requirements or specifications.
2. Obtains certification of the availability of sufficient funds from the proper appropriation and compiles any other required financial data.
3. Obtains appropriate justification for other than full and open competitive acquisitions, if necessary.
4. Participates in and directs the evaluation of technical proposals for negotiated procurement and provides recommendations to the CO if serving as Chairperson of the Technical Evaluation Board.
5. Assists the CO during discussions or negotiations.
6. Monitors the contractor's technical progress and the expenditures of resources relating to the contract.
7. Performs inspections and accepts work on behalf of FSIS.
8. Informs the CO, in a timely manner, in writing, of any contractor performance or schedule failure.
9. Resolves and refers technical contract issues to the CO without creating additional cost or added time to complete to the contract.
10. Informs the CO, in writing, of any needed changes in the requirements document.
11. Ensures that FSIS meets its contractual obligations to the contractor (examples: providing Government-furnished equipment and services, and ensuring timely and proper inspection, rejection or acceptance, and reporting of FSIS documents).
12. Maintains a COR file (electronic or paper).
13. Verifies contractor invoices.
14. Assists in contract closeout by informing the CO when the work is
15. Assumes the role of Assessing Official Representative to prepare a quality narrative and rating on the Contractor's performance on all contracts or orders meeting the dollar threshold for reporting.
B. FAC-COR Training Program. The FAC-COR training program consists of a three-level certification process that provides employees with appropriate training and experience requirements. The FAC-COR certification is required for all employees who function as a COR. Prior to receiving a COR appointment, an employee should complete and obtain a FAC-COR certification unless an exception applies or waiver is authorized by the HCAD. To obtain a FAC-COR certification, an employee must complete competency-based core training and assignment-specific training through a combination of classroom and online courses. Since the FAC-COR certification is subject to renewal every 2 years, CORs must maintain their FAC-COR qualifications by earning the required continuous learning points based on their level of certification. (NOTE: It is the COR’s responsibility to ensure learning requirements are met.) For guidance and other information concerning FAC-COR:
1. Contact the COR Program Administrator at ProcurementManagementBranch@fsis.usda.gov.
2. Review FAC-COR guidance at www.fai.gov.
C. COR Appointment. A COR must be an FSIS employee. (NOTE: Non- FSIS employees are appointed on a case-by-case basis.) A COR is nominated in writing by the requiring office or activity. COR appointments are entirely within the CO’s discretion. When a CO approves a COR, the CO prepares and sends an appointment and delegation memorandum to the COR. The delegation memorandum outlines the COR’s authority, duties, responsibilities, and prohibitions.
XIII. PROCUREMENT LEAD TIMES
The standard procurement lead times for contract actions reflect the amount of time generally required to process procurements following the FAR. Early involvement with PMB in the planning stages of a requirement can greatly expedite procurement lead times. (See Attachment 2, Procurement Lead Times.)
XIV. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
For additional information or assistance, contact PMB at ProcurementManagementBranch@fsis.usda.gov.
2 Procurement Lead Times
(Note: Download PDF for complete information)