By Lorraine Arnold,2014-01-06 20:12
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I. Introduction

II. Purpose

III. Definitions

IV. Procurement Laws

V. Acquisition Procedures

    1. Commercial Items

    2. Simplified Acquisitions

    3. Competitive Purchases

    4. Limiting Competition

    a. JOFOC

    b. Sole Source

VI. Procurement Integrity

VII. Acquisition Considerations

    1. Federal Supply Schedules (FSS)

    2. Subcontracting Plan

    3. Green Products and Services

    4. Section 508

    5. Intramall

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    Executive Order 12352 on Federal Procurement Reforms set forth requirements for federal agencies to establish programs for reducing administrative costs of the acquisition process. The Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 (FASA) and the Federal Acquisition Reform Act (FARA) of 1996 established procedures for acquiring products and services for „Simplified Acquisitions‟. The primary objective of these regulations and procedures is to simplify the method in which government officials can procure low-dollar value products and service.

    The International Merchant Purchase Authorization Card (I.M.P.A.C.) was established as one of the methods for the „Simplified Acquisition‟ process for Government agencies. The General Services Administration (GSA) is responsible for awarding and governing the contract for government wide purchase cards and awarded the present five-year with five

    one-year options contract to several banks effective 11/30/98. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) selected US Bank for their purchase card service. SAIC-Frederick, Inc. as a contractor to the HHS/NIH/NCI, is required to also use US Bank for their I.M.P.A.C. service.

    In compliance with the GSA contract and the FAR, the use of the purchase card is restricted to purchases not exceeding $3,000 and an annual amount of $20,000 for all users who have not received additional Level II training. Delegation of acquisition authority may be granted to non-acquisition individuals if the need in the program areas requires purchases exceeding the above limits.


    The purpose of this guide and training course is to certify individuals as a Level II Purchasing Card User (which will be referred to as Level II User) that authorizes the individual to:

    1. Make purchases up to $25,000 per single acquisition

    2. Purchase materials and services exceeding the $20,000 annual limit.

Requirements are as follows:

    1. At least six-months experience in the use of I.M.P.A.C.

    2. Complete a training course

    3. Sign Terms and Conditions for Use of the I.M.P.A.C.

These procedures are in addition to those listed in the SAIC-Frederick Inc. I.M.P.A.C.

    Internal Policy and Procedures Level I Manual.

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    Acquisition - a process that begins with the determination of a need of goods or service and includes all required functions directly related to the process of fulfilling the needs.

    A/OPC the Agency/Organization Program Coordinator for the I.M.P.A.C. program.

    Best Value - an acquisition that provides the greatest overall benefits in response to the requirement. This applies to purchases where price or price-related factors are not the primary determinant of the award. These factors must be documented prior to placing order.

    Commercial Items - any item or service that is customarily used for non-governmental purpose, and is available to the general public.

    Competition a FAR requirement to obtain a reasonable number of quotations (generally at least three) when purchasing supplies or services totaling in excess of $3,000.

    Contract a mutually binding agreement obligating a supplier to furnish the products or services and the buyer to pay for them.

    Contracting Officer the person with authority to enter into, administer, and/or terminate contracts. For the NCI-Frederick the prime Contracting Officer is Mr. Don Wheatley.

    Delivery Order - order for supplies or services placed against an established contract/blanket purchase agreement.

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) - the executive agency for the NCI-


    Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) - set of federal procedures governing all government and federally-funded acquisitions.

    Federal Agency - executive agency or any independent establishment in the legislative and judicial branch of the Government e.g. DOD, HHS, etc.

    Federal Supply Schedules (FSS) - list of supplies, services and equipment for which GSA has negotiated with vendors at stated prices for a given period of time.

    FOB (Free on Board) - The point at which title passes to the NCI-Frederick, and therefore assumes responsibility for the delivered products, and may pay freight.

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    GSA General Services Administration, a federal organization responsible for agency acquisition policies and practices, contract clauses, solicitation provisions, and forms that control the relationship between GSA and contractors and prospective contractors.

    I.M.P.A.C. - International Merchant Purchase Authorization Card, the government purchase card.

Justification for Other than Full and Open Competition (JOFOC) - a written document citing

    circumstances and reasons that justify limiting competition to other than full and open. The JOFOC must be approved by the A/OPC or designee prior to placing the order.

    List Price - price charged by the vendor to commercial customers/general public prior to any discounts.

    Market Research - the process used to collect and analyze information about the availability of products and services in the entire marketplace to satisfy the minimum needs.

    Micro-Purchase - acquisition of supplies and services not exceeding $3,000 per transaction.

Micro-Purchase Threshold - $3,000 per transaction

    Offer - response to a solicitation that, if accepted, will bind the offeror to perform as offered.

    Green Purchasing - procurement of products or services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose.

    Quotation or quote - a statement of price, description of the goods or services, etc. provided as market information for planning purposes and do not constitute an offer that can be accepted as a basis of a binding contract.

Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT) - dollar limit purchases processed as Simplified

    Acquisitions, presently $5,000,000.

    Small Purchases - purchases exceeding $3,000 but not exceeding the Simplified Acquisition Threshold.

    Sole Source - justification when an acquisition exceeding $3,000 is only available through one (1) source.

    Statement of Work (SOW) - description of work to be performed. Describes precisely and in sufficient detail the work expected to achieve the end objective.

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Commission on Government Procurement - 1972

Competition in Contracting Act - 1984

Defense Procurement Reform Act - 1984

Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act Amendment of 1988

Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 - FASA

Federal Acquisition Reform Act of 1996 - FARA

    Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended in 1998 (Sections 508 and 504, 29 USC Part 794d: Electronic and Information Technology)

    Executive Order 13423, Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy and Transportation Management.

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act - RCRA


    Regulations for government procurements that apply to purchase card acquisitions are defined in the FAR:

    FAR Part 3.104 - Improper Business Practices and Personal Conflicts of Interest

FAR Part 6 - Competition Requirements

FAR Part 8.4 - Federal Supply Schedules.

FAR Part 12 - Acquisition of Commercial Items

FAR Part 13 - Simplified Acquisition Procedures

    FAR Part 23.7 - Contracting for Environmentally Preferable Products and


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    The Level II User is required to be fully knowledgeable of these regulations as well as the following:

NCI Prime Contract:

     NO1-CO-12400 - Contract between the NCI and the Operations and

     Technical Support (OTS) Contractor

NCI-Frederick Procedures:

Policy and Procedure 403.1 - Procurement System - General

    Policy and Procedure 403.2 - Justification for Non-Competitive Acquisitions

Policy and Procedure 405 - Property Accountability System

Policy and Procedure 408 - Use of NIH I.M.P.A.C. Purchase Card at FCRDC

    In accordance with its prime contract with the NCI the Operations and Technical Support (OTS) contractor (presently SAIC-Frederick, Inc.) is responsible for the acquisition of all items and services for the NCI-Frederick. All subcontracting and procurement activities are carried out in accordance with the spirit and intent of the FAR. While this statement gives the NCI-Frederick some flexibility in the acquisition process it does put the responsibility on everyone involved in the procurement process to act normally in accordance with the FAR.


    The requirement for government agencies for the acquisition of commercial items was established by Public Law 10-355. Part 12 of the FAR describes the policy and procedure for the purchase of Commercial Items. The intent was for government to more closely resemble the purchasing practices of the commercial market. A product or service is considered a commercial item when it is available to the general public and not restricted to government acquisition only. All items purchased with the I.M.P.A.C. must be commercial items.

    If the product/service required does not fit in any of these definitions a Purchase Request has to be submitted to ALS. However, Level II Users must conduct and document a „Market

    Research‟ to determine whether a commercial item can meet the requirement. Market research consists of identifying the need and contacting suppliers who might be able to provide the product/service.

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    FAR Part 13 describes policy and procedures for all purchases exceeding the micro-purchase threshold ($3,000) and not exceeding the Simplified Acquisition Threshold presently $5M for DHHS. Level II Users at the NCI-Frederick have a threshold of $25,000 per purchase. Only items that can be purchased at a store or placed by phone or Internet are allowable. Any orders that require a written Statement of Work (SOW) or any other type of written agreement cannot be placed with the I.M.P.A.C. Therefore many procedures are not applicable. However, it is important that Level II Users are familiar with content of FAR Part 13, the various definitions, considerations and practices.


The „Competition in Contracting Act‟ of 1984 (CICA) mandates that all government

    procurements must be competed; however, a micro-purchase category was established to exclude extremely small purchases, the limit currently being $3,000 per procurement. All purchases regardless of acquisition method (purchase order, purchase card, blanket order) exceeding $3,000 require proof of effort to solicit competitive bids.

    FAR Part 6 prescribes policies and procedures for full and open competition. Level II users will solicit competitive bids only by phone, Internet or faxed quotations. For any purchase requiring a statement of work and/or a written solicitation, a Purchase Request must be submitted to the Purchasing Department.


    Before placing an order exceeding $3,000 the cardholder must contact at least three suppliers for prices and availability, determine which vendor quoted the lowest cost, and award to this vendor. In some instances where availability or other factors are more important than price, the award can be made to other then the lowest bidder. Notification and justification is required for those instances and must be documented on the Purchase Card Bid Sheet.

The Purchase Card Bid Sheet must be completed as follows:

    a. Purchase order number

    b. Cardholder name

    c. Suppliers contacted (name and phone number)

    d. Unit cost and extension

    e. Terms

    f. Availability

    g. Awarded to

    h. Justification if award was made to other than low bidder

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    The form must be forwarded to the A/OPC, presently Cindy Farling, Bldg. 1050. A copy must be kept with the cardholder‟s records.

    Adherence to the above requirement will be strictly enforced. If orders are placed without the required documentation and prior approvals, the use of the Purchase Card could be suspended or revoked.

4. Limiting Competition

    A written justification is required to limit competition from full and open for each procurement award exceeding $3,000.

    a. JOFOC Justification for Other then Full and Open Competition

    NCI-Frederick Policy and Procedure #403.2 governs the JOFOC requirement and applies to purchase card procurements. A written justification* must be prepared by the cardholder, signed by the Card Approving Official and submitted to the A/OPC. The A/OPC will approve, disapprove or request additional information and return a copy to the cardholder.

    If approved, the purchasing Level II User may place the order. If not approved, the A/OPC will indicate to the cardholder which criteria have not been met for a JOFOC.

    *Note: The written justification can take several forms, whichever best fits the procurement:

    1. E-mail or memorandum

    2. Worksheet for Limited Competition (CG11)

    3. Product Comparison Worksheet (CG12)

    4. JOFOC (CG3)

    The written justification must contain at a minimum the following:

    1. Description of type of project/work for which the product/service is needed.

    2. Description of product/service and all essential features.

    3. Efforts to find other suppliers/products and whether other suppliers have similar


    4. List of essential features not available with any of the other suppliers.

    5. Evaluation of these suppliers and comparison of the various products.

    The order CANNOT be placed until approval has been made by the A/OPC and the cardholder is notified of the approval.

    Note: Competition is often limited to a manufacturer by virtue of an approved JOFOC; however competition may still be possible among distributors for that manufacturer.

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    In accordance with FAR Part 6.302-1, a sole source exists when only one responsible source and no other supplies or services can satisfy agency requirements

    A Sole Source Justification can be used when a competitive procurement is clearly not in the best interest of the government.

    1. When the supplies or services required by the agency are available from only on

    responsible source

    2. Supplies may be deemed to be available only from the original source in the case

    of a follow-on contract for the continued development or production of a major

    system or highly specialized equipment, including major components.

    3. Unique supplies or services available from only one source or only one supplier

    with unique capabilities.


    FAR Part 6.302-2 lists circumstances for acquisitions without full and open competition:

    Supplies may be deemed to be available only from the original source in the case of a follow-on contract for the continued development or production of a major system or highly specialized equipment, including major components thereof, when it is likely that award to any other source would result in:

    1. Duplication of cost to the Government that is not expected to be recovered

    through competition.

    2. Unacceptable delays in fulfilling the agency‟s requirements.

    3. Only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency



FAR Part 6.302-3 lists the content of the justification.

    Each justification shall contain sufficient facts and rationale to justify the use of the specific authority cited. As a minimum, each justification shall include the following information:

    1. Identification of the agency and the contracting activity, and specific

    identification of the document as a “Justification for other than full and open


    2. Description of the supplies or services required to meet the agency‟s needs

    (including the estimated value).

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