10 CFR 600.144 - Procurement procedures.
(a) All recipients shall establish written procurement procedures. These procedures shall provide for, at a minimum, that paragraphs (a)(1), (2) and (3) of this section apply.
(1) Recipients avoid purchasing unnecessary items.
(2) Where appropriate, an analysis is made of lease and purchase alternatives to determine which would be the most economical and practical procurement.
(3) Solicitations for goods and services provide for all of the following.
(i) A clear and accurate description of the technical requirements for the material, product or service to be procured. In competitive procurements, such a description shall not contain features which unduly restrict competition.
(ii) Requirements which the bidder/offeror must fulfill and all other factors to be used in evaluating bids or proposals.
(iii) A description, whenever practicable, of technical requirements in terms of functions to be performed or performance required, including the range of acceptable characteristics or minimum acceptable standards.
(iv) The specific features of “brand name or equal” descriptions that bidders are required to meet when such items are included in the solicitation.
(v) The acceptance, to the extent practicable and economically feasible, of products and services dimensioned in the metric system of measurement.
(vi) Preference, to the extent practicable and economically feasible, for products and services that conserve natural resources and protect the environment and are energy efficient.
(b) Positive efforts shall be made by recipients to utilize small businesses, minority-owned firms, and women's business enterprises, whenever possible. Recipients of DOE awards shall take all of the following steps to further this goal.
(1) Ensure that small businesses, minority-owned firms, and women's business enterprises are used to the fullest extent practicable.
(2) Make information on forthcoming opportunities available and arrange time frames for purchases and contracts to encourage and facilitate participation by small businesses, minority-owned firms, and women's business enterprises.
(3) Consider in the contract process whether firms competing for larger contracts intend to subcontract with small businesses, minority-owned firms, and women's business enterprises.
(4) Encourage contracting with consortiums of small businesses, minority- owned firms and women's business enterprises when a contract is too large for one of these firms to handle individually.
(5) Use the services and assistance, as appropriate, of such organizations as the Small Business Administration and the Department of Commerce's Minority Business Development Agency in the solicitation and utilization of small businesses, minority-owned firms and women's business enterprises.
(c) The type of procuring instruments used (e.g., fixed price contracts, cost reimbursable contracts, purchase orders, and incentive contracts) shall be determined by the recipient but shall be appropriate for the particular procurement and for promoting the best interest of the program or project involved. The “cost-plus-a-percentage-of-cost” or “percentage of construction cost” methods of contracting shall not be used.
(d) Contracts shall be made only with responsible contractors who possess the potential ability to perform successfully under the terms and conditions of the proposed procurement. Consideration shall be given to such matters as contractor integrity, record of past performance, financial and technical resources or accessibility to other necessary resources. In certain circumstances, contracts with certain parties are restricted by DOE's implementation, in 10 CFR part 1036, of E.O.'s 12549 and 12689, “Debarment and Suspension.”
(e) Recipients shall, on request, make available for DOE, pre-award review and procurement documents, such as request for proposals or invitations for bids, independent cost estimates, etc., when any of the following conditions apply.
(1) A recipient's procurement procedures or operation fails to comply with the procurement standards in this subpart.
(2) The procurement is expected to exceed the small purchase threshold fixed at 41 U.S.C. 403 (11) (currently $25,000) and is to be awarded without competition or only one bid or offer is received in response to a solicitation.
(3) The procurement, which is expected to exceed the small purchase threshold, specifies a “brand name” product.
(4) The proposed award over the small purchase threshold is to be awarded to other than the apparent low bidder under a sealed bid procurement.
(5) A proposed contract modification changes the scope of a contract or increases the contract amount by more than the amount of the small purchase threshold.
(f) By agreement of the recipient or subrecipient and the contractor, if consistent with the recipient's or subrecipient's usual business practices and applicable state and local law, any contract to which this section applies may provide for the payment of interest penalties on amounts overdue under such contract except that -
(1) In no case shall any obligation to pay such interest penalties be construed to be an obligation of the Federal government, and
(2) Any payment of such interest penalties may not be made from DOE funds nor be counted toward meeting a cost sharing requirement of a DOE award.