42 CFR § 52h.10 - What matters must be reviewed for solicited contract proposals?
(a) Subject to paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, no awarding official shall issue a request for contract proposals with respect to a contract project involving solicited contract proposals, unless the project concept has been reviewed by a peer review group or advisory council in accordance with this part and the group has made recommendations concerning the scientific merit of the concept.
(b) The awarding official may delay carrying out the requirements for peer review of paragraph (a) of this section until after issuing a request for proposals if the official determines that the accomplishment of essential program objectives would otherwise be placed in jeopardy and any further delay clearly would not be in the best interest of the Government. The awarding official shall specify in writing the grounds on which this determination is based. Under these circumstances, the awarding official will not award a contract until peer review of the project concept and the proposals has been completed. The request for proposals shall state that the project concept will be reviewed by a peer review group and that no award will be made until the review is conducted and recommendations made based on that review.
(c) The awarding official may determine that peer review of the project concept for behavioral or biomedical research and development contracts is not needed if one of the following circumstances applies: the solicitation is to re-compete or extend a project that is within the scope of a current project that has been peer reviewed, or there is a Congressional authorization or mandate to conduct specific contract projects. If a substantial amount of time has passed since the concept review, the awarding official shall determine whether peer review is required to ensure the continued scientific merit of the concept.
(d) Except to the extent otherwise provided by law, the recommendations referred to in this section are advisory only and not binding on the awarding official.