Part 310--Market Research
HHS Acquisition Regulation (HHSAR)
Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 40 U.S.C. 121(c)(2).
(a) OPDIVs are encouraged to conduct market research, to the maximum extent practicable, consistent with the urgency, complexity, and dollar value of a proposed acquisition, as well as their past experience with the same or similar requirements.
(3) (i) An OPDIV may issue an advance notice, entitled “Sources Sought” in FedBizOpps in accordance with the requirements of FAR Part 5, whenever a sufficient number of sources has not been identified to obtain adequate competition for a non-R & D project. The primary purpose of a Sources Sought notice is to identify all potential sources, regardless of organizational type and size classification, and determine their capabilities to fulfill a potential Government requirement. The notice is not intended to solicit technical, scientific, or business information for project planning purposes regarding existing or potential solutions. In the latter instance, an RFI may be used – see FAR 15.201(e) and 315.201(e).
(ii) When using a Sources Sought notice, an OPDIV shall not request that potential sources provide more than the minimum information necessary – see FAR 10.001(b), to determine whether they have the apparent capability to perform a requirement and, therefore, whether they should be included in any future competition. The notice and the information received shall not be used to determine how well respondents can perform a requirement, which can only be evaluated in response to a solicitation. Accordingly, the notice shall not be used to—
(A) Obtain capability statements that are evaluated and determined acceptable or unacceptable;
(B) Require cost/price proposals or detailed technical solutions;
(C) Identify a prospective sole source; or
(D) Exclude small business concerns.
(iii) While not the primary intent of a Sources Sought notice, in addition to seeking information regarding all potential qualified sources, the notice may request that respondents provide information regarding their organizational size classification. For example, the notice may ask respondents to identify whether they are small businesses; HUBZone small businesses; service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses; 8(a) small businesses; veteran-owned small businesses; woman-owned small businesses; or small disadvantaged businesses in order to determine the appropriate acquisition method, including whether a set-aside is possible. However, such a notice shall not be used solely to determine the size classification of respondents for a proposed non-R & D acquisition. In such instances, a “Small Business Sources Sought” notice may be used – see 319.202-2, in lieu of the procedures in this section.
(iv) OPDIVs shall follow the standard HHS instructions for completing a Sources Sought notice. The Contracting Officer shall post the notice in FedBizOpps by selecting and completing a Sources Sought notice. The template for the notice is available at: http://www.hhs.gov/asfr/og/acquisition/policies/attachment_a.html. Additional information may be included in the notice in accordance with OPDIV procedures. The Contracting Officer shall document, in the form of a memorandum to the file, the results of the review by technical personnel of information submitted in response to the notice, including whether each respondent appears to be capable of performing the requirement. The Contracting Officer shall attach a copy of the analysis provided by the technical personnel to the memorandum.
(v) In instances where a sufficient number of sources has not been identified to compete for an R & D project, OPDIVs may use the procedures specified in 305.205, including the issuance of an “R & D Sources Sought” notice, as appropriate, in lieu of the procedures in this section.