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tation will be held within 20 calendar days of receipt of the request, unless a longer period of time is requested by the party. The oral presentation will be informally conducted and a transcript need not be made. The party may supplement the oral presentation with written information and arguments.
(6) Upon request, the affected party will be furnished a copy of the administrative record which formed the basis for the decision to propose debarment. If there is a reason to withhold from the party any portion of the record, the party will be notified that a portion of the record is being withheld and will be informed of the reasons for the withholding.
(7) In actions not based on a conviction or judgment, the party may request a fact-finding hearing to resolve a genuine dispute of material fact. The party shall identify the material facts in dispute and the basis for disputing the facts. If the debarring official determines that there is a genuine dispute of material fact, the debarring official shall refer the matter to the factfinding official. The fact-finding official will schedule a hearing within 20 calendar days of receipt of the debarring official's request. Extensions may be granted for good cause upon the request of the party or the agency.
(8) The purpose of a fact-finding hearing is to:
(i) Afford the affected party the opportunity to dispute material facts relating to the proposed debarment through the submission of oral and written evidence;
(ii) Resolve facts in dispute and provide the debarring official with written findings of fact based on a preponderance of evidence; and
(iii) Provide the debarring official with a determination as to whether a cause for debarment exists, based on facts as found.
(9) Hearings will be conducted by the fact-finding official in accordance with rules consistent with FAR 9.406–3(b)(2) promulgated by that official.
(10) The fact-finding official will notify the affected parties of the schedule for the hearing. The fact-finding official shall deliver written findings of fact to the debarring official (together with a transcription of the proceeding,
(a) Investigation and referral. The procedures in 509.406-3(a) apply to referrals for suspension.
(b) Decisionmaking process. (1) Upon receipt of a referral, the suspending official will decide whether to suspend, after coordinating the matter with assigned legal counsel.
(2) In cases not based on an indictment, the suspending official must, through OIG, coordinate with the Department of Justice, or state prosecutorial authority. On the basis of advice received, the suspending official shall determine whether substantial interests of the Federal or a state government would be impaired in fact-finding.
(3) A response to a suspension notice must be received by the suspending official within 30 calendar days of receipt by the parties to be considered.
(4) When requested, an oral presentation before the suspending official will be conduted as outlined in 509.4063(b)(5).
(5) Upon request, a copy of the administrative record will be furnished to the affected party under the guidelines set forth at 509.406-3(b)(6).
(6) Fact-finding hearings will not be conducted in actions based on indictments, or in cases in which the suspending official determines pursuant to FAR 9.407-3(b)(2) not to refer a matter to the fact-finding official. A party may request a fact-finding hearing to resolve genuine disputes of material fact in other cases. The party shall identify the material facts in dispute and the basis for disputing the facts. If the suspending official determines that there is a genuine dispute of material fact, the suspending official shall refer the matter to the fact-finding official. The fact-finding official will schedule a
hearing within 20 calendar days of receipt of the suspending official's request. Extensions may be requested by the party or the agency.
(7) The purpose of a fact-finding hearing is to:
(i) Afford the affected party the opportunity to dispute facts relating to the suspension action through the submission of oral and written evidence;
(ii) Determine whether, in light of the evidence presented, there is adequate evidence to suspect that the material allegations in the notice are true; and
(iii) Provide the suspending official with a determination as to whether the evidence is adequate to support a cause for suspension. Hearings will be conducted as outlined in 509.406-3(b)(9).
[54 FR 26507, June 23, 1989, as amended at 54 FR 40060, Sept. 29, 1989; 58 FR 26920, May 6, 1993; 58 FR 29254, May 19, 1993]
Dual systems mean the use of both inch-pound and metric systems. For example, an item is designed, produced, and described in inch-pound values with soft metric values also shown for information or comparison purposes.
Hybrid systems mean the use of both inch-pound and hard metric values in specifications, standards, supplies, and services; e.g., an engine with internal parts in metric dimensions and external fittings or attachments in inchpound dimensions.
Metric system means the International System of Units established by the General Conference of Weights and Measures in 1960. The units are listed in Federal Standard 376A, "Preferred Metric Units for General Use by the Federal Government."
Soft metric means the result of mathematical conversion of inch-pound measurements to metric equivalents in specifications, standards, supplies, and services. The physical dimensions are not changed.
Specification Manager means an official of the Federal Supply Service office responsible for Federal or Interim Federal Specifications (or the program office for other than Federal specifications) and for reviewing requests for a deviation from a specification.
[56 FR 2864, Jan. 25, 1991]
Consistent with the policy expressed in FAR 10.002 (c) and GSA Order ADM 8000.1A, solicitations must include specifications and purchase descriptions stated in metric units of meas
urement whenever metric is the accepted industry system. If metric is not the accepted industry system, the head of Central Office Services responsible for nationwide programs shall ensure that policies promoting and encouraging the use of soft metric, hybrid, or dual systems are developed, except when to do so would be detrimental to the program mission. Whenever possible, commercially developed metric specifications and internationally or domestically developed voluntary standards using metric measurements must be adopted. While an industry is in transition to metric, solicitations must include specifications and purchase descriptions stated in soft metric, hybrid, or dual systems, except when impractical or inefficient.
[56 FR 33721, July 23, 1991]
510.004 Selecting specifications or descriptions for use.
(a) Brand name products or equal-(1) Citing brand name products. Brand name or equal purchase descriptions must cite all brand name products known to be acceptable and of current manufacture. The purchase description must be amended for future acquisitions to add additional acceptable brand name products or to delete brand names no longer applicable. Information on additions and deletions shall be immediately communicated to the specification manager.
(2) Specifying essential characteristics. Brand name or equal purchase descriptions must specify each physical or functional characteristic essential to the intended use of the product or a defective solicitation necessitating the resolicitation of the requirement may result. (See 510.004-71.) Characteristics that cannot be shown to materially affect the intended end use, and which unnecessarily restrict competition, must be avoided. When describing essential characteristics, permissible tolerances should be indicated.
(b) Limitations on use of brand name or equal purchase descriptions. (1) The use of brand name or equal purchase descriptions in solicitations is intended to encourage the offering of products that are equal in all material respects to brand name products cited in such descriptions. Identification by brand
name does not indicate a preference for the products mentioned, but indicates the quality and salient characteristics of products that will meet the Government's minimum needs. Where a component of an item is described in the solicitation by a brand name or equal purchase description and the contracting officer determines that application of the clause at 552.210-74 would be impracticable, the requirement to include the entry described in 510.004-70(a) does not apply. If the clause is included in the solicitation for other reasons, a statement to identify either the component parts (described by brand name or equal descriptions) to which the clause applies, or those to which it does not apply, must be included in the solicitation. This also applies to accessories related to an end item where a brand name or equal purchase description of the accessories is a part of the description of an end item. Brand name or equal descriptions may not be used to procure a particular product under the guise of a competitive procurement to the exclusion of other products meeting minimum needs.
(2) In small purchases, brand name policies and procedures apply to the extent practical.
(3) A brand name or equal purchase description may not be used unless it is approved by the contracting director. 510.004-70 Solicitations, brand name or equal descriptions.
(a) An entry substantially as follows should be inserted in the item listing after each item or component part of an end item to which a brand name or equal purchase description applies. Offering on:
(b) Except when bid samples are requested for brand name or equal procurements, the following notice, substantially as shown, should be inserted in the item listing after each brand name or equal item (or component part) or at the bottom of each page listing several such items:
OFFERORS OFFERING OTHER THAN BRAND NAME ITEMS IDENTIFIED HEREIN SHOULD FURNISH WITH THEIR
OFFERS ADEQUATE INFORMATION TO ENSURE THAT A DETERMINATION CAN BE MADE AS TO EQUALITY OF THE PRODUCT(S) OFFERED (SEE THE CLAUSE AT 552.210-74 BRAND NAME OR EQUAL OF THIS SOLICITATION).
Offer evaluation and award, brand name or equal descriptions.
An offer may not be rejected for failure of the offered product to equal a characteristic of a brand name product not specified in the brand name or equal description. Whenever it is determined after bid opening that the unspecified characteristic is essential to the intended end use, see 510.004(a)(2).
The head of the contracting activity shall ensure that deviations conform to the requirements of FAR 10.007 and this subpart.
510.007-70 Responsibilities of the contracting officer.
(a) The contracting officer shall obtain the concurrence of the specification manager in the Federal Supply Service (FSS) to deviate from a Federal specification before issuance of a solicitation or amendment of a solicitation. The contracting officer shall consider the following factors before forwarding a deviation request for evaluation:
(1) The impact that it might have on the ability of other offerors to furnish the item, and on future solicitations for the same item.
(2) Whether the item is the subject of a protest, is under litigation, or is sensitive or controversial.
(3) The timeliness of the deviation request.
(4) The urgency of the requirement. (b) In addition to the information required at FAR 10.007(a)(4), a contracting officer's request to deviate from a Federal specification should include the effect of the deviation on the form, fit, or function of the item, if known.
the contract amount is expected to exceed the small purchase limitation and when:
(1) Citing documents or publications not furnished with the solicitation, or (2) Incorporating documents or publications by reference.
(b) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 552.210-71, Reference to Specifications in Drawings, in solicitations and contracts citing Federal specifications which contain drawings.
(c) The contracting officer shall insert a clause substantially the same as the clause at 552.210-72, Acceptable Age of Supplies, or the clause at 552.210-73, Age on Delivery, in solicitations and contracts if the contractor will be required to furnish shelf-life items within a specified number of months from the date of manufacture or production of the supplies. (See 101-27.206-2 of the Federal Property Management Regulation.) The Acceptable Age of Supplies clause at 552.210-72 should be used when the required shelf-life period is 12 months or less, and lengthy acceptance testing may be involved. For items having a limited shelf-life, Alternate I to 552.210-72 must be substituted in the basic clause when requested by the director of the commodity center concerned and authorized by the Director, Operations Management Division. The Age on Delivery clause at 552.210-73 should be used when the required shelflife period is more than 12 months, or when source inspection can be performed within a short time period.
(d) The contracting officer shall inIclude the clause at 552.210-74, Brand Name or Equal, in solicitations and contracts using a brand name or equal purchase description.
(e) The contracting officer shall include the clause at 552.210-75, Marking, in requirements solicitations and contracts for supplies when deliveries may be made to civilian and military activities and the contract amount is expected to exceed the small purchase limitation. The clause may be used in definite quantity contracts when it is appropriate.
(f) The contracting officers shall insert the clause at 552.210-76, Charges for Marking, in solicitations and contracts that include the clause at 552.210-75 or a similar clause.
(h) The contracting officer shall insert a clause substantially the same as the clause at 552.210-78, Charges for Packaging and Packing, in solicitations and contracts for supplies that are to be delivered to GSA distribution centers.
(i) The contracting officer shall include the clause at 552.210-79, Packing List, in solicitations and contracts for supplies including small purchases.
(j) When the provision at 52.210-1, Availability of Specifications Listed in the GSA Index of Federal Specifications, Standards and Commercial Item Descriptions, is used in solicitations, the contracting officer is authorized to deviate from the FAR provision by substituting 490 L'Enfant Plaza, SW, Suite 8100, for the street address and 202-7550325 or 0326 for the telephone numbers of the GSA Specification Unit shown in the provision. Business Service Centers in Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA; and Auburn, WA, also must be deleted from the provision because these offices no longer maintain and distribute Federal specifications and standards.
[54 FR 26510, June 23, 1989, as amended at 57 FR 61584, Dec. 28, 1992]
510.070-1 Exceptions to mandatory
use of Federal specifications. Contracting activities shall use an interim Federal specification when it is more suitable or there is no existing Federal specification.
510.070-2 Optional use of interim Federal specifications.
When a contracting activity finds an interim Federal specification is not practical, or that changes are desirable, the specification manager should be notified in writing of the recommended changes.
510.070-3 Use of Federal or interim Federal specifications and standards.
(a) Federal or interim Federal specifications and standards must be incorporated by reference into solicitations. The reference must identify the specifications or standard by series, i.e., Federal, military, or departmental (e.g., Forest Service), followed by the number and date. (The specification number includes the revision indicator.) Amendments must be identified, e.g., Federal Specification PPP-B-636G, dated February 17, 1972, and Interim Amendment 1, dated August 30, 1972.
(b) Specifications or standards which are canceled or superseded must not be used.