U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
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Part 307--Acquisition Planning

HHS Acquisition Regulation (HHSAR)

Subpart 307.1--Acquisition Planning

Sections on this page:

307.104 General procedures.

(a) Each contracting activity shall prepare an Annual Acquisition Plan (AAP) as far in advance of each fiscal year as possible, in accordance with the following:

(1) The AAP shall contain all anticipated acquisition actions for the coming fiscal year that exceed the simplified acquisition threshold, including new acquisitions and contract/order modifications. The AAP must include—

(i) The aggregate dollars planned for simplified acquisitions by quarter;

(ii) Any long lead-time acquisitions that will be awarded in future fiscal years (see paragraph (c) below); and

(iii) Proposed multi-agency and intra-agency contracts – see 317.70.

(2) The HCA or the CCO, as appropriate, shall prepare the AAP and obtain the information needed for its preparation from the responsible program planning/budget office and/or the program offices.

(3) Contracting activities shall use the AAP for reporting purposes and workload scheduling and monitoring.

(4) The HCA/CCO and Small Business Specialist (SBS) in the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) shall review the AAP at least quarterly, with input from the cognizant program office, and modify it, as appropriate, during the fiscal year, with updated information, particularly regarding the specific acquisition method the contracting activity plans to use.

(5) HHS requires use of a standard format for an AAP. The template for the plan is available at: http://www.hhs.gov/asfr/og/acquisition/policies/aaptemplate.pdf. For the data elements specified in the AAP format, the HCA/CCO may include information in addition to that required by the standard instructions accompanying the format.

(b) As early as possible following completion of the AAP, the Contracting Officer shall initiate discussions with the assigned Project Officer, in consultation with the OSDBU SBS, for each action that exceeds the simplified acquisition threshold. As appropriate, the discussions shall include—

(1) Determining the intended acquisition strategy and contract/order type, including the use of options;

(2) Reviewing the SOW, if available, for adequacy and ensuring that a PWS is used for services, where practicable;

(3) Evaluating the potential for, and maximizing the use of, competitive procedures;

(4) Performing market research, identifying potential sources, and determining set-aside potential and small business subcontracting opportunities;

(5) Assessing the availability of commercial items;

(6) Determining required clearances/approvals and supporting documentation;

(7) Preparing an acquisition milestone schedule;

(8) Determining the best multi- or intra-agency contracting activity to assist in awarding a contract on the requiring organization’s behalf, if applicable; and

(9) Determining in the case of direct ordering that the chosen acquisition vehicle is the best way to obtain the required product or service, if a vehicle other than those listed in 317.7002(b) is proposed. 

(c) The HCA or designee (not lower than the CCO) shall establish standard lead-times for processing various types of acquisitions and applicable fiscal year deadlines for receipt of requirements to allow for well-planned and timely awards. The Project Officer shall initiate planning, to the extent possible, for certain requirements, such as major capital IT investments, major capital construction investments, and R & D projects that require peer review, at least 24 months before planned award, given the clearance/approval requirements and lead-time required for such complex acquisitions.

(d) The outcome of the discussions referenced in paragraph (b) above shall be an agreement concerning the acquisition approach and documentation required. For those actions that require development of a written AP – see 307.7101, for which the Project Officer has ultimate responsibility, these discussions shall also result in an agreement concerning—

(1) Which elements of the AP the Contracting Officer will assist the Project Officer in preparing; and

(2) The date (as specified in the milestone schedule) the Project Officer will provide the AP to the CCO or designee.

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307.104-70 Acquisition strategy.

Program and Project Managers responsible for major IT capital investments (and for any other investments designated by the HHS CIO, DASFMP, the CAO, or the cognizant HCA) shall prepare an acquisition strategy using the HHS acquisition strategy template. The template for the acquisition strategy is available at: http://www.hhs.gov/asfr/og/acquisition/policies/apm2009-05att-a-acq_strat_temp07-29-2009.doc. Program and Project Managers must initiate the acquisition strategy for major IT capital investments as part of the planned investment’s business case, usually during the Enterprise Performance Life Cycle concept phase.

307.104-71 Purpose and timing.

(a) The purpose of an acquisition strategy is to describe the overall approach for acquiring capabilities needed to fulfill investment/programmatic objectives. Acquisition strategy development requires identification of issues and risks that might impact an acquisition(s) to allow early action to eliminate or mitigate the issues and risks.

(b) An acquisition strategy differs from an AP with respect to the timing of its development and the level of detail required. 

(1) An acquisition strategy is established at the inception (concept phase) of an investment/acquisition to support the business case, identify and mitigate risks, and begin the acquisition planning process. An acquisition strategy addresses the major issues surrounding business objectives, competitive forces, and various risks that need to be considered. 

(2) An acquisition strategy is a living document used throughout the investment’s life-cycle. It should be continuously updated with the active involvement of the Program or Project Manager and the Contracting Officer at appropriate points, as plans for the investment/acquisition mature. An acquisition strategy ultimately will result in an AP – see 307.71.

(3) An AP, which is required to support proposed acquisitions expected to exceed $500,000 (inclusive of options, with certain exceptions) – see 307.7101, is developed closer to the time of solicitation. The AP addresses not only those issues in the acquisition strategy, but also the tactical details of how the acquisition will be executed.

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307.105 Contents of written acquisition plans.

FAR 7.105 specifies the content requirements of a written AP. Subpart 307.71 incorporates and supplements those requirements.

307.108-70 Telecommuting of contractor employees.

(a) SOWs/PWSs shall permit offerors or contractors to specify their own place(s) of performance (hence authorize their employees to telecommute), except as follows:

(1) The Project Officer may restrict place of performance (hence restrict an offeror’s or contractor’s telecommuting) for any part of an SOW/PWS, after determining that the work or any portion thereof must be performed at a specified place of performance; or security would be compromised.  The Project Officer must document this determination in writing and send a copy of the determination, along with the SOW/PWS, to the Contracting Officer. The Project Officer must also address in an HHS AP (or other acquisition request document) any performance requirements or security considerations that restrict place of performance – see 307.71.

(2) In accordance with FAR 7.108(a), if the Contracting Officer concurs with the Project Officer’s determination in (a)(1) above, then the Contracting Officer must sign the Project Officer’s determination; include it in the official contract file; and specify any prohibition against telecommuting in the solicitation and resultant contract.

(3) In accordance with FAR 7.108(a), if the Contracting Officer decides to restrict a place of performance that the Project Officer did not restrict, then the Contracting Officer must document in writing the determination to preclude telecommuting in part or in whole; include the determination in the official contract file; and specify any prohibition against telecommuting in the solicitation and resultant contract.

(b) If the Contracting Officer disagrees with the Project Officer’s determination in (a)(1) above, then the Contracting Officer shall return both the SOW/PWS and determination to the Project Officer for further consideration.

(c) The Contracting Officer shall ensure that authorized telecommuting of contractor employees does not result in increased cost or price to the Government.

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Content created by Office of Grants and Acquisition Policy and Accountability (OGAPA)
Content last reviewed on August 20, 2015