(a) Acquisitions begin with a description of the Government's needs stated in terms sufficient to allow conduct of market research.
(b) Market research is then conducted to determine if commercial items or nondevelopmental items are available to meet the Government's needs or could be modified to meet the Government's needs.
(1) The extent of market research will vary, depending on such factors as urgency, estimated dollar value, complexity, and past experience. The contracting officer may use market research conducted within 18 months before the award of any task or delivery order if the information is still current, accurate, and relevant. Market research involves obtaining information specific to the item being acquired and should include—
(i) Whether the Government's needs can be met by—
(A) Items of a type customarily available in the commercial marketplace;
(B) Items of a type customarily available in the commercial marketplace with modifications; or
(C) Items used exclusively for governmental purposes;
(ii) Customary practices regarding customizing, modifying or tailoring of items to meet customer needs and associated costs;
(iii) Customary practices, including warranty, buyer financing, discounts, contract type considering the nature and risk associated with the requirement, etc., under which commercial sales of the products or services are made;
(iv) The requirements of any laws and regulations unique to the item being acquired;
(v) The availability of items that contain recovered materials and items that are energy efficient;
(vi) The distribution and support capabilities of potential suppliers, including alternative arrangements and cost estimates; and
(vii) Size and status of potential sources (see part 19).
(2) Techniques for conducting market research may include any or all of the following:
(i) Contacting knowledgeable individuals in Government and industry regarding market capabilities to meet requirements.
(ii) Reviewing the results of recent market research undertaken to meet similar or identical requirements.
(iii) Publishing formal requests for information in appropriate technical or scientific journals or business publications.
(iv) Querying the Governmentwide database of contracts and other procurement instruments intended for use by multiple agencies available at http://www.contractdirectory.gov/contractdirectory/ and other Government and commercial databases that provide information relevant to agency acquisitions.
(v) Participating in interactive, on-line communication among industry, acquisition personnel, and customers.
(vi) Obtaining source lists of similar items from other contracting activities or agencies, trade associations or other sources.
(vii) Reviewing catalogs and other generally available product literature published by manufacturers, distributors, and dealers or available on-line.
(viii) Conducting interchange meetings or holding presolicitation conferences to involve potential offerors early in the acquisition process.
(c) If market research indicates commercial or nondevelopmental items might not be available to satisfy agency needs, agencies shall reevaluate the need in accordance with 10.001(a)(3)(ii) and determine whether the need can be restated to permit commercial or nondevelopmental items to satisfy the agency's needs.
(1) If market research establishes that the Government's need may be met by a type of item or service customarily available in the commercial marketplace that would meet the definition of a commercial item at subpart 2.1, the contracting officer shall solicit and award any resultant contract using the policies and procedures in part 12.
(2) If market research establishes that the Government's need cannot be met by a type of item or service customarily available in the marketplace, part 12 shall not be used. When publication of the notice at 5.201 is required, the contracting officer shall include a notice to prospective offerors that the Government does not intend to use part 12 for the acquisition.
(e) Agencies should document the results of market research in a manner appropriate to the size and complexity of the acquisition.