Challenges & Competitions: Approval of Prizes of more than $500,000
This page outlines the procedures for OPDIV and STAFFDIV coordination to seek administrative approval by the Secretary of challenges and competitions offering prizes of more than $500,000. This approval process will include a review by the HHS Chief Technology Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration.
The following procedures should be followed for transmittal of an approval from the Secretary for use of the Challenge and Competition authority allowed under America COMPETES Section 105 for prizes in the amount of more than $500,000.
The qualification of competitions requiring review and approval includes those that collectively are aimed at achieving a common objective and represent the aggregate of total prizes for a particular competition. For example, a competition that solicits solutions and has a $250,000 first prize, $100,000 second prize, and three third place prizes of $50,001 each will qualify for review as the aggregate prize amount is more than $500,000. Programs or projects that hold multiple competitions with different requirements and have total amounts of the prizes for each competition of $500,000 or less do not require review and approval, regardless of whether the total program challenge budget exceeds $500,000.
Format of notification and request for approval
The agency head of the OPDIV or STAFFDIV seeking to conduct a challenge that qualifies for review shall submit as a complete package the following materials addressed to the Secretary:
- Written statement of the objectives of the competition and expected goals toward programmatic mission
- Description of other partners (Federal or non-Federal) participating in the Challenge
- Description of the amount of the prizes(s) and sources of funds
- Timeline for the challenge, including identification of the fiscal year in which payment of the prizes is anticipated
- Brief description regarding the rationale for the use of the Challenge mechanism
- A statement of assurance that OPDIV/STAFFDIV has or will comply with Challenge and Competition requirements and best practices established by the HHS Innovation Council
- Copy of draft Federal Register announcement describing the Challenge
- A decision memorandum for the Secretary’s approval including signature lines for approval by the HHS Chief Technology Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration
Timeline for Submission
The Secretary shall receive the request for review and approval a minimum of 21 days prior to the posting of the challenge on Challenge.gov.
Submission of the package described above should be made to the Secretary through the Office of the Executive Secretary. The Executive Secretary will then send the package to the Chief Technology Officer, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration, and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Financial Resources for review and comment prior to submission to the Secretary for final approval.
Notification and Records Retention
Requesting OpDivs/Staff Divs will be notified of approval by the Secretary by the Office of the Executive Secretary. Program managers are encouraged to retain notifications in compliance with the Federal Records Retention policies in effect at the requesting OPDIV/STAFFDIV.