Challenges & Competitions: Guidance for Federal Register Notice
Provided below is guidance for HHS officials functioning as challenge managers to use in developing the required Federal Register notice for the announcement of a challenge under the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, 15 U.S.C. 3719, (Pub. L. No. 111-358, Jan. 4, 2011) (the COMPETES Act). To the extent that challenge manager duties are performed by a contractor, a government contracting officer should review the statement of work set forth in the corresponding contract to ensure that only the government performs inherently governmental functions as required by the Federal Acquisition Regulation. 48 C.F.R. 7.503.
The COMPETES Act establishes mandatory requirements for the registration of prizes and challenges. The COMPETES Act mandates that for each prize competition, the head of an agency shall publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing: (1) the subject of the competition; (2) the rules for being eligible to participate in the competition; (3) the process for participants to register for the competition; (4) the amount of the prize; and (5) the basis on which a winner will be selected. 15. U.S.C. 3719(f).
The COMPETES Act does not require the treatment of Intellectual Property (IP) rights to be addressed in the Federal Register Notice unless either or both of the following conditions is/are met: 1) the treatment of IP rights is a condition of eligibility to participate in the competition or 2) the treatment of the IP rights amounts to a basis on which a winner would be selected (such as an evaluation factor). If it is known that the agency intends to negotiate IP rights at some later point, this may be noted under the “Additional Information” section of this notice. It is recommended that challenge managers review the guidance document titled “HHS Question and Answer Document on the COMPETES Act: Consideration of Intellectual Property Rights” on HHS’s challenges and competitions website at http://www.hhs.gov/open/initiatives/challenges to ensure the proper treatment of IP rights in the Federal Register Notice.
To assist HHS challenge managers in developing a Federal Register Notice to announce their challenge, we have developed a template (which includes our guidance recommendations), and provided examples below. Additionally, requirements for writing a notice for the Federal Register can be found in the Federal Register Document Drafting Handbook, the relevant portion of which is available at http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/write/handbook/chapter-3.txt. Challenge managers should utilize their operating or staff division’s processes for submitting this document to their Executive Secretariats for publication in the Federal Register.
The notice announcing the requirements and registration of the challenge should be published in the Federal Register before the challenge is launched (i.e., advertised on Challenge.gov).
- See an example of a published Federal Register Notice - Announcement of Requirements and Registration for "Seeing My World through a Safer Lens: What Does Injury and Violence Look Like in My Community?'' Video Contest
- See an example of a published Federal Register Notice – Announcement of Requirements and Registration for "Discharge Follow-Up Appointment Challenge''
- See an example of a published Federal Register Notice involving two federal agencies (HHS and EPA) – Announcement of Requirements and Registration for “My Air, My Health Challenge”