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pool or the contract circumstances, or the factors discussed in (iii) above are involved.

(b) Other costs. Analysis of this factor should include all other direct costs associated with contractor performance (e.g., travel and relocation, direct support, and consultants). Analysis of these items of cost should include:

(1) The significance of the cost of contract performance;

(2) Nature of the cost; and

(3) How much they contribute to contract performance. Normally, travel costs require minimal administrative effort by the contractor and, therefore, usually receive a weight no greater than 1 percent. Also, the contractor may designate individuals as "consultants" but in reality these individuals may be obtained by the contractor to supplement its workforce in the performance of routine duties required by contract. These costs would normally receive a minimum weight. However, there will be instances when the contractor may be required to locate and obtain the services of consultants having expertise in such fields as medicine or human services. In these instances, the contractor will be required to expend greater managerial and technical effort to obtain such services and, consequently, such costs should receive a much greater weight.

315.905-73 Other factors.

(a) Contract cost risk. The contract type employed basically determines the degree of cost risk assumed by the contractor. For example, where a portion of the risk has been shifted to the Government through cost-reimbursement provisions, unusual contingency provisions, or other risk-reducing measures, the amount of profit should be less than where the contractor assumes all the risk. In developing the prenegotiation profit objective, the contracting officer will need to consider the type of contract anticipated to be negotiated and the contractor risk associated therewith when selecting the position in the weight range for profit that is appropriate for the risk to be borne by the contractor. This factor should be one of the most important in arriving at prenegotiation profit objectives.

(1) Evaluation of this risk requires a determination of:

(i) The degree of cost responsibility the contractor assumes;

(ii) The reliability of the cost estimates in relation to the task assumed; and

(iii) The complexity of the task assumed by the contractor. This factor is specifically limited to the risk of contract costs. Thus, such risks on the part of the contractor as reputation, losing a commercial market, risk of losing potential profits in other fields, or any risk which falls on the contracting office such as the risk of not acquiring a satisfactory report, are not within the scope of this factor.

(2) The first and basic determination of the degree of cost responsibility assumed by the contractor is related to the sharing of total risk of contract cost by the Government and the contractor through the selection of contract type. The extremes are a costplus-a-fixed-fee contract requiring the contractor to use its best efforts to perform a task and a firm fixed-price contract for a service or a complex item. A cost-plus-a-fixed-fee contract would reflect a minimum assumption of cost responsibility, whereas a firm fixed-price contract would reflect a complete assumption of cost responsibility. Where proper contract selection has been made, the regard for risk by contract type would usually fall into the following percentage ranges:

Percent Cost-reimbursement type contracts-0-3 Fixed-price type contracts-2-7

(3) The second determination is that of the reliability of the cost estimates. Sound price negotiation requires welldefined contract objectives and reliable cost estimates. Prior experience assists the contractor in preparing reliable cost estimates on new acquisitions for similar related efforts. An excessive cost estimate reduces the possibility that the cost of performance will exceed the contract price, thereby reducing the contractor's assumption of contract cost risk.

(4) The third determination is that of the difficulty of the contractor's task. The contractor's task can be difficult

or easy, regardless of the type of contract.

(5) Contractors are likely to assume greater cost risk only if contracting officers objectively analyze the risk incident to proposed contracts and are willing to compensate contractors for it. Generally, a cost-plus-fixed fee contract will not justify a reward for risk in excess of 0.5 percent, nor will a firm fixed-price contract justify a reward of less than the minimum in the structured approach. Where proper contracttype selection has been made, the reward for risk, by contract type, will usually fall into the following percentage ranges:

(i) Type of contract and percentage ranges for profit objectives developed by using the structured approach for research and development and manufacturing contracts:


Cost-plus-fixed fee-0 to 0.5
Cost-plus-incentive fee:

With cost incentive only-1 to 2 With multiple incentives-1.5 to 3 Fixed-price-incentive:

With cost incentive only-2 to 4

With multiple incentives-3 to 5 Prospective price redetermination-3 to 5 Firm fixed-price-5 to 7

(ii) Type of contract and percentage ranges for profit objectives developed by using the structured approach for service contracts:


Cost-plus-fixed fee-0 to 0.5 Cost-plus-incentive fee-1 to 2 Fixed-price incentive-2 to 3 Firm fixed-price-3 to 4

(6) These ranges may not be appropriate for all acquisitions. For instance, a fixed-price-incentive contract that is closely priced with a low ceiling price and high incentive share may be tantamount to a firm fixed-price contract. In this situation, the contracting officer may determine that a basis exists for high confidence in the reasonableness of the estimate and that little opportunity exists for cost reduction without extraordinary efforts. On the other hand, a contract with a high ceiling and low incentive formula can be considered to contain cost-plus-incentive-fee contract features. In this situation, the contracting officer may de

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termine that the Government is retaining much of the contract cost responsibility and that the risk assumed by the contractor is minimal. Similarly, if a cost-plus-incentive-fee contract includes an unlimited downward (negative) fee adjustment on cost control, it could be comparable to a fixed-price-incentive contract. In such a pricing environment, the contracting officer may determine that the Government has transferred a greater amount of cost responsibility to the contractor than is typical under a normal cost-plus-incentive-fee contract.

(7) The contractor's subcontracting program may have a significant impact on the contractor's acceptance of risk under a contract form. It could cause risk to increase or decrease in terms of both cost and performance. This consideration should be a part of the contracting officer's overall evaluation in selecting a factor to apply for cost risk. It may be determined, for instance, that the prime contractor has effectively transferred real cost risk to a subcontractor and the contract cost risk evaluation may, as a result, be below the range which would otherwise apply for the contract type being proposed. The contract cost risk evaluation should not be lowered, however, merely on the basis that a substantial portion of the contract costs represents subcontracts without any substantial transfer of contractor's risk.

(8) In making a contract cost risk evaluation in an acquisition action that involves definitization of a letter contract, unpriced change orders, and unpriced orders under BOA's, consideration should be given to the effect on total contract cost risk as a result of having partial performance before definitization. Under some circumstances it may be reasoned that the total amount of cost risk has been effectively reduced. Under other circumstances it may be apparent that the contractor's cost risk remained substantially unchanged. To be equitable, the determination of profit weight for application to the total of all recognized costs, both those incurred and those yet to be expended, must be made with consideration to all attendant circumstances-not just the portion of costs incurred or percentage

work definitization.

completed prior to

(9) Time and material and labor hour contracts will be considered to be costplus-a-fixed-fee contracts for the purpose of establishing profit weights unless otherwise exempt under 315.905– 70(b) in the evaluation of the contractor's assumption of contract cost risk. (b) Investment. HHS encourages its contractors to perform their contracts with the minimum of financial, facilities, or other assistance from the Government. As such, it is the purpose of this factor to encourage the contractor to acquire and use its own resources to the maximum extent possible. The evaluation of this factor should include an analysis of the following:


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(1) Facilities (Including equipment). To evaluate how this factor contributes to the profit objective requires knowledge of the level of facilities utilization needed for contract performance, the source and financing of the required facilities, and the overall cost effectiveness of the facilities offered. Contractors who furnish their own facilities which significantly contribute to lower total contract costs should be provided with additional profit. On the other hand, contractors who rely on the Government to provide or finance needed facilities should receive a corresponding reduction in profit. Cases between the above examples should be evaluated on their merits with either positive or negative adjustments, as appropriate, in profit being made. However, where a highly facilitized contractor is to perform a contract which does not benefit from this facilitization or where a contractor's use of its facilities has a minimum cost impact on the contract, profit need not be adjusted. When applicable, the prospective contractor's computation of facilities capital cost of money for pricing purposes under CAS 414 can help the contracting officer identify the level of facilities investment to be employed in contract performance.

(2) Payments. In analyzing this factor, consideration should be given to the frequency of payments by the Government to the contractor. The key to this weighting is to give proper consideration to the impact the contract will have on the contractor's cash flow.

Generally, negative consideration should be given for advance payments and payments more frequent than monthly with maximum reduction being given as the contractor's working capital approaches zero. Positive consideration should be given for payments less frequent than monthly with additional consideration given for a capital turn-over-rate on the contract which is less than the contractor's or the industry's normal capital turn-over rate.

(c) Performance. (Cost-control and other past accomplishments.) The contractor's past performance should be evaluated in such areas as quality of service or product, meeting performance schedules, efficiency in cost control (including need for and reasonableness of cost incurred), accuracy and reliability of previous cost estimates, degree of cooperation by the contractor (both business and technical), timely processing of changes and compliance with other contractual provisions, and management of subcontract programs. Where a contractor has consistently achieved excellent results in the foregoing areas in comparison with other contractors in similar circumstances, such performance merits a proportionately greater opportunity for profit. Conversely a poor record in this regard should be reflected in determining what constitutes a fair and reasonable profit.

(d) Federal socioeconomic programs. This factor, which may apply to special circumstances or particular acquisitions, relates to the extent of a contractor's successful participation in the Government sponsored programs such as small business, small disadvantaged business, labor surplus area, and energy conservation efforts. The contractor's policies and procedures which energetically support Government socioeconomic programs and achieve successful results should be given positive considerations. Conversely, failure or unwillingness on the part of the contractor to support Government socioeconomic programs should be viewed as evidence of poor performance for the purpose of establishing a profit objective.

(e) Special situations. (1) Inventive and developmental contributions. The extent

and nature of contractor-initiated and financed independent development should be considered in developing the profit objective, provided that the contracting officer has made a determination that such effort will benefit the contract. The importance of the development in furthering health and human services purposes, the demonstrable initiative in determining the need and application of the development, the extent of the contractor's cost risk, and whether the development cost was recovered directly or indirectly from Government sources should be weighed.

(2) Unusual pricing agreements. Occasionally, unusual contract pricing arrangements are made with the contractor wherein it agrees to cost ceilings, e.g., a ceiling on overhead rates for conditions other than those discussed at FAR 42.707. In such circumstances, the contractor should receive favorable consideration in developing the profit objective.

(3) Negative factors. Special situations need not be limited to those which only increase profit levels. A negative consideration may be appropriate when the contractor is expected to obtain spin-off benefits as a direct result of the contract (e.g., products or services with commercial application).

[49 FR 13979, Apr. 9, 1984, as amended at 53 FR 15563, May 2, 1988]

315.905-74 Facilities capital cost of money.

When facilities capital cost of money (cost of capital committed to facilities) is included as an item of cost in the contractor's proposal, a reduction in the profit objective shall be made in an amount equal to the amount of facilities capital cost of money allowed in accordance with the Facilities Capital Cost-of-Money Cost Principal. If the contractor does not propose this cost, a provision must be inserted in the contract that facilities capital cost of money is not an allowable cost.

[49 FR 13979, Apr. 9, 1984, as amended at 53 FR 15563, May 2, 1988]

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[49 FR 13979, Apr. 9, 1984. Redesignated and amended at 50 FR 23132, May 31, 1985; 50 FR 38004, Sept. 19, 1985]

315.1003 Debriefing of Debriefing of unsuccessful offerors.

(a) Any HHS employee who receives either a written or oral request for a debriefing from an unsuccessful offeror shall immediately, without any discussion regarding the merits or deficiencies of the unsuccessful offeror's proposal, refer the request to the contracting officer. If the request is made orally, the contracting officer shall require that the request be made in writing. The contracting officer or his/her designee shall be present at all debriefings and shall review written debriefings prior to release.

(b) A debriefing is intended to:

(1) Tell an unsuccessful offeror which areas of its proposal were judged to be weak and deficient and whether the weaknesses or deficiencies were factors in its not having been selected; and

(2) Identify the factors which were the basis for selection of the successful contractor. If the quality of the successful offeror's proposal to satisfy the mission requirement was the basis, the unsuccessful offeror should be so informed, and given a general comparison of significant areas, but not a point-by-point comparison of all the elements considered in the evaluation criteria. If the successful offeror was selected on the basis of cost, the unsuccessful offeror should be told that was the case. If selection was based on other factors, they should be specified.

(d) If an unsuccessful offeror feels that its failure to obtain the award was not justified, it will rely, at least in part, on the information given in the debriefing to determine whether it should seek recourse. Accordingly, it is essential that a debriefing be conducted in a scrupulously fair, objective, and impartial manner, and that the information given the unsuccessful offeror be absolutely factual and consistent with the findings of the contracting officer and the basis on which the award was made.

(e) In some cases, it may be necessary to arrange informal debriefings for an unsuccessful offeror's personnel by departmental technical evaluators. This determination will be made by, and meeting arrangements will be the responsibility of, the contracting offi


(f) It is very important that all departmental personnel engaged in the evaluation and selection processes be aware of the policies and procedures in FAR subpart 15.10 and this subpart 315.10. Detailed and complete records of the acquisition will be maintained by key technical and contracting personnel in a manner which will facilitate either a written or an oral debriefing of any unsuccessful offeror.

[49 FR 13979, Apr. 9, 1984. Redesignated and amended at 50 FR 23132, May 31, 1985; 50 FR 38004, Sept. 19, 1985]

315.1004 Protests against award.

See subpart 333.1.

[49 FR 13979, Apr. 9, 1984. Redesignated and amended at 50 FR 23132, May 31, 1985; 50 FR 38004, Sept. 19, 1985]

315.1005 Discovery of mistakes.

See 314.406 and 315.607.

[49 FR 13979, Apr. 9, 1984. Redesignated at 50 FR 23132, May 31, 1985; 50 FR 38004, Sept. 19, 1985]

Subpart 315.70-Requests for Contract

315.7000 Scope of subpart.

This subpart prescribes the format and contents of the request for contract and provides procedures for the preparation and submission of the request for contract document.



The program office's preparation of the request for contract (RFC) and submission to the contracting activity finalizes the presolicitation phase of the acquisition planning process and commences the solicitation phase. The RFC is the formal document which initiates the preparation of the request for proposals by the contracting activity and sets the acquisition process in motion. It represents the results of planning by the project officer and contract negotiator and contains much of the pertinent information necessary for the development of a sound, comprehensive RFP.

315.7002 Procedures.

(a) Requests for contract are required to be prepared by the program office for all proposed negotiated acquisitions estimated to exceed the small purchase limitation.

(b) The program office should submit the RFC as early as possible to the contracting activity. The proposed period of time between the date of submission of the RFC and the date of contract award (or date of delivery of the product, service, study, etc.) should be determined by the project officer, contract negotiator, and, if necessary, the contracting officer. The amount of leadtime should be determined on a case-by-case basis and should reflect the characteristics and complexities of the individual acquisition. When lengthy and/or involved clearances or special approval are required, for example, they must be taken into account when the leadtime is determined. If a formal acquisition planning document is used, (see subpart 307.1), the RFC should be submitted in accordance with the timetable set forth in that document. OPDIV, agency, and regional office contracting activities may prescribe specific leadtimes for submission of RFC's in their implementation of this subpart.

[49 FR 13979, Apr. 9, 1984, as amended at 53 FR 15563, May 2, 1988; 56 FR 47003, Sept. 17, 1991]

315.7003 Responsibilities.

It is the responsibility of the project officer to prepare the RFC so that it

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