48 CFR § 9.505-1 - Providing systems engineering and technical direction.
(a) A contractor that provides systems engineering and technical direction for a system but does not have overall contractual responsibility for its development, its integration, assembly, and checkout, or its production shall not—
(1) Be awarded a contract to supply the system or any of its major components; or
(2) Be a subcontractor or consultant to a supplier of the system or any of its major components.
(b) Systems engineering includes a combination of substantially all of the following activities: determining specifications, identifying and resolving interface problems, developing test requirements, evaluating test data, and supervising design. Technical direction includes a combination of substantially all of the following activities: developing work statements, determining parameters, directing other contractors' operations, and resolving technical controversies. In performing these activities, a contractor occupies a highly influential and responsible position in determining a system's basic concepts and supervising their execution by other contractors. Therefore this contractor should not be in a position to make decisions favoring its own products or capabilities.