This part provides general information about HHS’ policy and procedure regarding the use of other contract vehicles. It expands on key aspects of the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and the U.S. Health and Human Services Acquisition Regulations (HHSAR). This chapter applies to Simplified Acquisitions as well as Delivery Orders and Task Orders which may exceed the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT).
In order to maximize an OPDIV’s efforts to reach its small business goals, the co-located SBS may review orders and task orders. Please contact the SBS supporting your OPDIV to confirm the policy regarding these contractual vehicles.
- Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs)
Please refer to Chapter 5, Simplified Acquisitions and Chapter 6 Contract Actions of this manual to review the SBS review policy and procedure.
HHS Strategic Sourcing Contracts
The HHS has leveraged its purchasing power to obtain Department-wide discounts under the auspices of the HHS Procurement Support Center (PSC) Strategic Sourcing Division (SSD). Currently, the PSC SSD competed and established HHS-wide Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPA) for the following commodities:
- Custodial Products
- Events Management Services
- Office Equipment
- Office Furniture
- Office Supplies
- Temporary Administrative and Professional Staffing Services
- Temporary Professional and Medical Staffing Services
- Domestic Mail
- Information Technology Peripherals and Hardware
- Laboratory Supplies
The strategic sourcing BPAs remain the recommended sources for the above categories. Contracting officials may procure services and products from a non-strategic sourcing vendor.
The CO is not required to submit a HHS Form 653 package for the SBA PCR and SBS review when considering small business concerns identified as HHS Strategic Sourcing BPA vendors below the SAT.
The CO shall complete a HHS Form 653 package for any Strategic Sourcing vendor that is not a small business and if the purchase exceeds $3,000 and under the SAT. The completed Form 653 and supporting documentation must be forwarded to the OPDIV SBS. The OPDIV SBS may require HHS Form 653 for purchases over the SAT.
Federal Supply Schedules (FSS)
The OSBP recognizes that according to the FAR Part 8, orders placed against a FSS are not subject to small business review; however, the FAR encourages small business consideration when using schedule contracts (FAR Subpart 8.405-5). Moreover, the FAR instructs the agency to justify its action when restricting consideration of other sources. Therefore, the CO must include the rationale for restricting competition to schedule contract sources.
NOTE: The OPDIV does not receive credit towards its 8(a) small business goal when using schedule contracts. Currently, the 8(a) Streamlined Technology Acquisition Resources for Services (STARS) Government-wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) allows an agency to receive credit towards it 8(a) small business goal. (Refer to the paragraph below on GWACs.) Only purchases/contracts awarded through SBA under 8(a) regulations, receive 8(a) credit (Refer to Chapter 8 regarding 8(a) contracting).
It is the policy of HHS to encourage COs to consider small business concerns when procuring services and products through the GSA FSS (see FAR Subpart 8.405-5(b) for additional guidance). If the CO proposes to acquire services or products through GSA schedules, the requirement will be considered full and open and reviewed by the SBS as such.
GSA FSS Acquisition Letter
The GSA Acquisition Letter V-05-12 may be used to facilitate competition among small businesses that have established GSA FSS. This allows restricting the GSA’s competition to only small businesses so that an Agency may earn small business credit. Also note that any procurement under GSA FSS may have other companies requesting and receiving the Request for a Quote (RFQ). Therefore, if a CO has selected four small companies, and does not use the GSA Acquisition Letter V-05-12, a large company can request and submit an offer. Therefore, it is required to use the GSA Acquisition Letter V-05-12 on all historic small business GSA FSS procurements.
The CO shall complete and submit an HHS Form 653 package for the SBS review for all orders over $3,000 and under the SAT that does not reference the use of the GSA Acquisition Letter V-05-12 and for all orders that may exceed the SAT.
Agency Indefinite-Delivery-Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ)
Delivery Orders/Task Orders
Orders placed against IDIQ contracts are generally not reviewed by the SBS. However, there are several OPDIV IDIQ contracts which reference an agreement with SBA to have all task orders reviewed by the HHS SBS. Also, several OPDIV’s have established a task order review process, in an effort to reach its small business goal.
It is the responsibility of the HHS CO to monitor delivery orders against indefinite delivery contracts to ensure that any IDIQ that has been set-aside for small business concerns, be in compliance of FAR 52.219-14, Limitations on Subcontracting.
Government-wide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs)
GWACs are established IDIQ contracts which are open to all Federal procurement offices to use. Typically, these contracts are issued for Information Technology (IT) service. Examples of these types of contracts are the GSA 8(a) Streamlined Technology Acquisition Resources for Services (STARS), which is a GWAC and allows an agency to receive credit towards its 8(a) small business goals.
Some OPDIV’s have established a task order review process, in an effort to reach their small business goals. Please check with your Small Business Specialist to understand your OPDIV’s policy.