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HHS standard instructions for completing FedBizOpps Sources Sought Notices and Requests for Information

Attachment A

Purpose: This document provides the HHS standard instructions for use in completing the following types of notices:

(i)  Research and Development (R & D) Sources Sought (RDSS);

(ii)  Sources Sought (non-R & D) (SS);

(iii)  Small Business Sources Sought (SBSS); and

(iv)  Request for Information (RFI).

Requirements and responsibilities: The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), as implemented or supplemented by the Health and Human Services Acquisition Regulation (HHSAR), provides several alternative means for determining the availability of sources to satisfy an OPDIV’s requirements.

(i) R & D Sources Sought: FAR Subpart 5.205(a) specifies that an “R & D Sources Sought” notice may be issued whenever a sufficient number of sources has not been identified to obtain adequate competition for a potential R & D project/program – see also HHSAR 305.205.

(ii)Sources Sought: FAR 10.001(a)(3)(i) states that agencies must use the results of market research to determine if sources capable of satisfying the agency’s requirements exist. Accordingly, a “Sources Sought” notice may be issued whenever a sufficient number of sources has not been identified to obtain adequate competition for a potential non-R & D project/program – see HHSAR 310.001.

(iii) Small Business Sources Sought: FAR 19.202 indicates that a Contracting Officer shall make every reasonable effort to find small business concerns that can compete for a proposed requirement – see also FAR 10.001(2)v) and 10.002(b)(1)(vii). An effective way of accomplishing that objective is by issuing a “Small Business Sources Sought” notice – see HHSAR 319.202-2. 

(iv) Request for Information: FAR 15.201(e) specifies that an RFI may be used when the Government requires technical, scientific, and/or business information from the marketplace for project/program planning purposes – see also HHSAR 315.201(e). When used, these notices are published in FedBizOpps.

The Contracting Officer (CO) is responsible for inputting the required information for these notices in the FedBizOpps system by completing, as appropriate, either a FedBizOpps Sources Sought or Special Notice. A Special Notice should be used only for RFIs. Both the Sources Sought and the Special Notice are available on the FedBizOpps “Notices” page at: http://www.fedbizopps.gov. The Project Officer (PO) is responsible for: (a) providing the CO the necessary information for completion of the main text paragraphs of the “Description” field; and (b) as requested by the CO, assisting in providing information for any other fields.

FedBizOpps notice completion instructions: OPDIVs shall use the standard instructions provided in the table below, in conjunction with applicable FedBizOpps “Create New Notice” instructions, for completing a Sources Sought and a Special Notice.

(NOTE: Other than their respective titles, a Sources Sought and Special Notice are the same in terms of format, headings, and content/information requirements. Both types of notices contain 16 different information field headings, most of which are required fields. Accordingly, the HHS standard notice instructions below follow the sequence of the FedBizOpps “Create New Notice” instruction headings and are numbered for easy reference (even though the FedBizOpps instructions are not numbered.)

 

FedBizOpps “Create New Notice” Field Heading

Type of Notice

(i) R & D Sources Sought; (ii) Sources Sought; and (iii) Small Business Sources Sought

Request for Information

On the “Notice Type” screen, enter the following information, as applicable:

1. Agency/Office

Enter “Department of Health and Human Services,” the name of the OPDIV, and major subcomponent organization, if applicable.

(NOTE: This field may be pre-set by OPDIV contracting offices based on establishment of a FedBizOpps account. If the field is preset, no entry is required or possible.)

Enter “Department of Health and Human Services,” the name of the OPDIV, and major subcomponent organization, if applicable.

(NOTE: This field may be pre-set by OPDIV contracting offices based on establishment of a FedBizOpps account. If the field is preset, no entry is required or possible.)

2. Contracting OfficeLocation

Enter the complete mailing address of the contracting office.

(NOTE: This field may be pre-set by OPDIV contracting offices based on establishment of a FedBizOpps account. If the field is preset, no entry is required or possible.)

Enter the complete mailing address of the contracting office.

(NOTE: This field may be pre-set by OPDIV contracting offices based on establishment of a FedBizOpps account. If the field is preset, no entry is required or possible.)

3. Type

Select “Sources Sought” from the arrow key field pull-down list.Select “Special Notice” from the arrow key field pull-down list.

4. Solicitation Number

Enter a “reference” number in this block in accordance with the following format:

Enter the following information, with each part separated by a dash:

  • HHS;
  • the OPDIV name;
  • the Institute, Center, Division or lower tier organization, if applicable;
  • the two- or four-digit alpha designation for the type of notice – i.e., SS, RDSS, or SBSS;
  • a two-digit numeric fiscal year designation; and
  • a three-digit alphanumeric tracking number, the content of which is determined by the OPDIV contracting activity.

For example, an R & D Sources Sought notice issued by NIH, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, may be designated: “HHS-NIH-NICHD-RDSS-09-001.” A Source Sought notice issued by SAMHSA may be designated: “HHS-SAMHSA-SS-09-001.” A Small Business Sources Sought notice issued by CDC may be designated: “HHS-CDC-SBSS-09-001.”

(NOTE: The notice should cite the fiscal year in which the notice is issued. Also, the “solicitation number” field does not allow entry of spaces in the reference number cited. In addition, if a solicitation number has been identified prior to issuing a SBSS, the solicitation number may be used as the required reference number in this block. Further, if necessary to: (i) distinguish between notices issued by different offices/branches in a contracting activity that process different types of acquisitions; (ii) comply with the NBS numbering system; and (iii) avoid repeat numbers, an OPDIV may add two additional letters to the numbering sequence for identification purposes. For example, for a non-R & D acquisition notice issued by the NIH/NIAID, the following numbering sequence may be used: “HHS-NIH-NIAID(AO)-SBSS-09-001.”   Similarly, for an R & D acquisition notice issued by the NIH/NIAID, the following numbering sequence may be used: “HHS-NIH-NIAID(AI)-SBSS-09-001.”

Enter a “reference” number in this block in accordance with the following format:

Enter the following information, with each part separated by a dash:

  • HHS;
  • the OPDIV name;
  • the Institute, Center, Division or lower tier organization, if applicable;
  • the three-digit alpha designation for the type of notice – i.e., RFI;
  • a two-digit numeric fiscal year designation; and
  • a three-digit alphanumeric tracking number, the content of which is determined by the OPDIV contracting activity.

For example, an RFI issued by FDA may be designated: “HHS-FDA-RFI-09-001.”

(NOTE: The notice should cite the fiscal year in which the notice is issued. Also, the “solicitation number” field does not allow entry of spaces in the reference number cited. OPDIVs may use the PRISM RFP/RFQ document preparation functionality to generate the required RFI number. In addition, if necessary to: (i) distinguish between RFIs issued by different offices/branches in a contracting activity that process different types of acquisitions; (ii) comply with the NBS numbering system; and (iii) avoid repeat numbers, an OPDIV may add two additional letters to the numbering sequence for identification purposes. For example, for a non-R & D related RFI issued by the NIH/NIAID, the following numbering sequence may be used: “HHS-NIH-NIAID(AO)-RFI-09-001.”  Similarly, for an R & D-related RFI issued by the NIH/NIAID, the following numbering sequence may be used: “HHS-NIH-NIAID(AI)-RFI-09-001.”

5. Title

Enter the project title as it would appear in a solicitation.Enter the project title as it would appear in a solicitation.

6. Classification Code

Select the appropriate service/supply classification code number or letter from the arrow key field pull-down list.Select the appropriate service/supply classification code number or letter from the arrow key field pull-down list.

7. NAICS Code

Enter the appropriate 6-digit NAICS code or select a code from the arrow key field pull-down list.Enter the appropriate 6-digit NAICS code or select a code from the arrow key field pull-down list.

8. Response Date

Enter the response date and time required for submission of capability statements and/or other information requested from respondents by selecting a date from the “select date” calendar box and a time from the arrow key field pull-down lists.Enter the response date and time required for submission of capability statements and/or other information requested from respondents by selecting a date from the “select date” calendar box and a time from the arrow key field pull-down lists.

9. Primary Pointof Contact

Enter the title, full name, e-mail address, telephone, and facsimile numbers of the primary point of contact in the contracting office – e.g., the Contracting Officer and/or Contract Specialist.

(NOTE: This field may be pre-set by OPDIV contracting offices based on establishment of a FedBizOpps account. If so, the entry for this field may be selected from the arrow key field pull-down list of registered individuals.)

Enter the title, full name, e-mail address, telephone, and facsimile numbers of the primary point of contact in the contracting office – e.g., the Contracting Officer and/or Contract Specialist.

(NOTE: This field may be pre-set by OPDIV contracting offices based on establishment of a FedBizOpps account. If so, the entry for this field may be selected from the arrow key field pull-down list of registered individuals.)

10. SecondaryPoint of Contact

This field is optional and, if completed, should follow the format and content requirements for “Primary Point of Contact.”This field is optional and, if completed, should follow the format and content requirements for “Primary Point of Contact.”

11. Description

See Attachment 1 for the required information that must be specified in this field.See Attachment 1 for the required information that must be specified in this field.

12. Place of Contract Performance

If performance will be at a Government facility, specify “Government facility” in the “location/address” block and complete the city, state, zip code, and country blocks, using the arrow key field pull-down lists, where applicable.

If the place of performance will be at a contractor’s facility, leave all of the fields blank.

If performance will be at a Government facility, specify “Government facility” in the “location/address” block and complete the city, state, zip code, and country blocks, using the arrow key field pull-down lists, where applicable.

If the place of performance will be at a contractor’s facility, leave all of the fields blank.

13. Set-aside

Leave this field blank.Leave this field blank.

14. Archiving Policy

Select the appropriate archive policy button to establish the archive date.Select the appropriate archive policy button to establish the archive date.

15. Allow Vendors toAdd/Remove From InterestedVendors

Select the “yes” button.Select the “yes” button.

16. Allow Vendors toView Interested Vendors List

Select the “yes” or “no” button, as appropriate, in accordance with OPDIV procedures.Select the “yes” or “no” button, as appropriate, in accordance with OPDIV procedures.


APM 2009-01: Market Research Notices

HHS Standard Instructions for Completing the “Description” Field for FedBizOpps Sources Sought Notices and Requests for Information