Planning for the Acquisition
The COR's duties at the beginning of the procurement process include determining the government's needs, planning for the procurement, researching the marketplace, coordinating funding documents, developing competition strategies, and defining the requirements.
The COR leads the technical team members in these efforts and must work closely with the contracting office team members to ensure that a complete, accurate, and effective acquisition is developed in terms of its technical requirements, price, and delivery. In many respects, these initial duties constitute the "translation phase," i.e., the process of translating technical requirements into contractual requirements. These initial efforts include:
Developing the acquisition plan
Conducting market research
Coordinating funding information
Considering competition requirements
Developing the work package, which includes the:
- Purchase request
- Requirements document
- Surveillance plan
- Government cost estimate
- Evaluation factors
- Concurrence and approval documentation
Considering government property issues
Considering service contract issues.
These efforts will result in a complete technical work package that will be forwarded to and coordinated with the CO. This coordination could include responding to questions; providing missing or deficient information; possibly preparing justifications for sole source or otherwise limited competition; or getting approvals for funding commitments, government cost estimates, and other documents related to the technical requirements as required. The COR will most likely be responsible for overall coordination, but he or she will also need to rely on other program or budget personnel to perform some coordination duties and to provide information as necessary. After the CO accepts the work package, action to initiate the procurement will begin at the contracting office.
After the CO has started the procurement process, the COR will frequently need to provide technical assistance to the contracting office team as the process moves forward. (The COR's technical assistance duties will be covered in Chapter 4.)
Several key terms will be helpful to the COR when he or she is involved in developing the acquisition plan, conducting market research, identifying competition requirements, and developing the work package, purchase request, and requirements document.
FAR 2.101 defines a commercial item, in part, as:
Any item, other than real property, that is of a type customarily used for nongovernmental purposes and that
(1) Has been sold, leased, or licensed to the general public, or
(2) Has been offered for sale, lease, or license to the general public.
This definition goes on to provide guidance regarding the determination of a commercial item in various circumstances.
A commerciality determination is a review of the requirements for a particular acquisition to determine if the government's need could be met by an item or service customarily available in the marketplace. This determination will be based on the government's market research and will be made without asking prospective offerors to provide more than the minimum information necessary about their products relative to the requirement. The CO may ask the COR to conduct this review.
The item or service customarily available in the marketplace could meet the requirement
The method established by FAR Part 12, Acquisition of Commercial Items, should be used to solicit offers and award contracts.
The government requirement cannot be met by an item or service customarily available in the marketplace
The method outlined in FAR Part 12 should not be used.
Nondevelopmental items (NDI) are items that do not have to be developed for the current requirement. For example, an NDI may:
Have been previously developed and used exclusively for governmental purposes
Require only minor modification of an item customarily available in the commercial marketplace
Be an item that has already been produced but is not yet in use.