49 CFR 33.41 - Requests for priority rating authority.
(a) If a rated order is likely to be delayed because a person is unable to obtain items or services not normally rated under this part, the person may request the authority to use a priority rating in ordering the needed items or services.
(b) Rating authority for production or construction equipment.
(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 Transportation, 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 Department of Transportation or 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.
It is understood that the authorization of a priority rating in advance of our receiving a rated prime contract from the Department of Transportation and our use of that priority rating with our suppliers in no way commits the Department of Transportation 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 Transportation 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) The Department of Transportation 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.