15 CFR § 700.51 - Requests for priority rating authority.
(a) If a rated order is likely to be delayed because a person is unable to obtain items not normally rated under this part, the person may request the authority to use a priority rating in ordering the needed items. Examples of items for which priority ratings can be authorized include:
(1) Production or construction equipment;
(2) Computers when not used as production items; and
(3) Expansion, rebuilding or replacing plant facilities.
(b) Rating authority for production or construction equipment.
(1) A request for priority rating authority for production or construction equipment must be submitted to the appropriate Delegate Agency. The Delegate Agency may establish particular forms to be used for these requests (e.g., Department of Defense Form DD 691.)
(2) When the use of a priority rating is authorized for the procurement of production or construction equipment, a rated order may be used either to purchase or to lease such equipment. However, in the latter case, the equipment may be leased only from a person engaged in the business of leasing such equipment or from a person willing to lease rather than sell.
(c) Rating authority in advance of a rated prime contract.
(1) In certain cases and upon specific request, the Department of Commerce, in order to promote the national defense, may authorize a person to place a priority rating on an order to a supplier in advance of the issuance of a rated prime contract. In these instances, the person requesting advance rating authority must obtain sponsorship of the request from the appropriate Delegate Agency. The person shall also assume any business risk associated with the placing of rated orders if these orders have to be cancelled in the event the rated prime contract is not issued.
(2) The person must state the following in the request:
It is understood that the authorization of a priority rating in advance of our receiving a rated prime contract from a Delegate Agency and our use of that priority rating with our suppliers in no way commits the Delegate Agency, the Department of Commerce or any other government agency to enter into a contract or order or to expend funds. Further, we understand that the Federal Government shall not be liable for any cancellation charges, termination costs, or other damages that may accrue if a rated prime contract is not eventually placed and, as a result, we must subsequently cancel orders placed with the use of the priority rating authorized as a result of this request.
(3) In reviewing requests for rating authority in advance of a rated prime contract, the Department of Commerce will consider, among other things, the following criteria:
(i) The probability that the prime contract will be awarded;
(ii) The impact of the resulting rated orders on suppliers and on other authorized programs;
(iii) Whether the contractor is the sole source;
(iv) Whether the item being produced has a long lead time; and
(v) The time period for which the rating is being requested.
(4) Commerce may require periodic reports on the use of the rating authority granted under paragraph (c) of this section.
(5) If a rated prime contract is not issued, the person shall promptly notify all suppliers who have received rated orders pursuant to the advanced rating authority that the priority rating on those orders is cancelled.