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APM 2008-04: International Contract Award Notification



TO:                                  Heads of Contracting Activity                                    

FROM:                            Martin J. Brown  /s/ 
                                        Senior Procurement Executive

SUBJECT:                       International Contract Award Notification

EFFECTIVE DATE:        Immediately

1. Purpose:  To ensure that the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) acquisitions are consistent with American foreign policy objectives, HHS requires its Operating Divisions (OPDIVs) to notify  the Chief of Mission or other designated U.S. official in a foreign country of pending contract awards.  This guidance applies Department-wide, except for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  NIH and CDC will continue to use their established procedures for international clearances and communication.

2. Background:  Under the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (P.L. 96-465), the Chief of Mission serves as the President’s personal representative and must be properly advised of all U.S. Government activities in her area of authority to ensure consistency with international objectives and relations.  The Chief of Mission is responsible for the direction of all Executive Branch activities within a foreign country.  While the Act does not require HHS to report its contracting activities in a foreign country, it is a prudent business practice to do so.

The authorities cited in Attachment 1 allow HHS to participate with other countries in cooperative endeavors in biomedical research, health care technology, health services research, and statistical activities to advance the status of the health sciences in the United States.

3. Guidance:  This guidance applies to contracts for services, research and development, and products (such as biopsy or biological materials) when the work: (a) is to be performed in a foreign country, (b) involves the assignment of U.S. Government and/or contractor personnel in a foreign country, or (c) employs nationals in a foreign country.  Prior to awarding a covered contract valued at $100,000 or more (whether the contractor is foreign or domestic) the contracting officer shall notify the U.S. Embassy in the affected country of the intended award. For covered contracts less than $100,000 to be performed in a foreign country, the contracting officer may, at his discretion, notify the U.S. Embassy in the affected country of the intended award.

HHS will direct such international notifications through CDC’s Coordinating Office for Global Health (COGH).  Using its automated process, COGH will transmit an official cable on behalf of HHS to the Chief of Mission (COM) or other designated U.S. official in the affected country.  If the COM or other designated U.S. official in the affected country does not respond to the cable within fifteen (15) calendar days of its transmittal, the contracting officer may proceed with the contract award.

4. Procedures:  At least 30 days prior to award of a covered contract (but after place of performance is known), the Contracting Officer will draft a cable with the information listed below and e-mail it to:  The subject of the e-mail shall be “INTERNATIONAL CONTRACT AWARD NOTIFICATION.” Attachment 2 contains a sample cable format.

Security classification

Title of the proposed project with a brief description

Objectives of the contract award

Reason for involving the foreign country


OPDIV Point of Contact

Contractor name, city, and country (if known)

Contract award amount (actual or estimated, including information about funding from other agencies)

Contract performance period

Principal domestic and foreign researchers, if applicable

Purpose (brief narrative)

Scope of work (brief narrative)

Human subjects (applicable/not applicable)

Animals (applicable/not applicable)

Any benefits the country may derive from the award. (Include countries or regions covered.)

If the contract involves any type of field work abroad, indicate the performance period of the proposed field work, and the extent and types of contact with foreign nationals.

If applicable, indicate the extent of discussion already conducted with a U.S. diplomatic mission in regard to the pending contract award.

The Contracting Officer or his point-of-contact (PoC) will coordinate the cable submittal with the COGH staff.  The COGH staff will manage the transmittal and respond to any notification questions that may arise.  The COGH staff PoC is Ms. Stephanie Gonsahn, at 404-498-2956.

Per the sample cable format in Attachment 2, the Contracting Officer or his PoC will draft a cable containing the required information, using Microsoft Word with a Courier New, 12-point font.  Top, left, and bottom margins shall be one inch (1”), and the right margin shall be one and nine-tenths inches (1.9”). Cables may not contain tabs, indents, automatic paragraph numbering, headers, footers, watermarks, etc.  The subject line and all text preceding it shall be in upper case.  Thereafter, text should be in upper and lower case.  Preparers may wish to use Word’s “reveal codes” function to ensure compliance with these format requirements before transmitting the cable to COGH.

COGH may confer with the Contracting Officer or his PoC to ensure an accurate, complete and timely cable transmittal.  International responses received by COGH will be forwarded to the Contracting Officer via email or fax.