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IRD Procurement Integrity:. Guidance On Communications with USG Officials February 2013. When IRD wants to gather information about procurements…we should engage in appropriate communication with USG officials. .

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ird procurement integrity

IRD Procurement Integrity:

Guidance On Communications with USG Officials

February 2013

slide2
When IRD wants to gather information about procurements…we should engage in appropriate communication with USG officials.

This guidance explains what is ok to ask about or discuss with USG officials and what is not ok to ask about or discuss.

sources of information
Sources of Information
  • Market Research
  • RFIs (requests for information)
  • Public hearings or meetings
  • Pre-solicitation notices
  • Site visits
  • Draft RFPs (requests for proposals)
  • Pre-solicitation or pre-proposal conferences
  • Industry conferences
  • Previously issued RFPs
  • Debriefs on unsuccessful bids/ offers, and
  • The best way… one-on-one meetings
  • Early, frequent and constructive engagement with officials is encouraged by the USG.
  • *FAR § 15.201
two critical areas to understand
Two Critical Areas to Understand

SSI and CPBI

The distinction between pre-solicitation and post-solicitation.

source selection information ssi
Source Selection Information (SSI)

SSI means any of the following types of information:

  • Source selection plans
  • Technical evaluations/ evaluation plans
  • Cost or price evaluation plans
  • Down select determinations
  • Ranking of offerors
  • Reports, evaluations and recommendations of evaluation boards or advisory councils
  • Information that the contracting officer has determined will jeopardize the integrity of the procurement if disclosed.
  • Proposed costs or prices submitted in response to RFP/RFA’s

*FAR § 2.101

contractor bid or proposal information cbpi
Contractor Bid or Proposal Information (CBPI)

CBPI means any of the following types of information:

  • Proprietary information about manufacturing processes, operations, or techniques marked by the contractor in accordance with applicable law or regulation
  • Information marked by the contractor in accordance with “Restriction on Disclosure and Use of Data,” or other applicable law and regulation.
  • Cost or pricing data
  • Indirect costs and direct labor rates

*FAR § 15.201

slide7

Discussions Before Release of Solicitation

  • Prior to the release of solicitations, IRD staff may meet with USG personnel to
  • Exchange general information
  • Conduct market research related to an acquisition, and
  • Ask about/discuss general information about agency mission needs and future requirements.
slide8

Discussions After Release of Solicitation

  • The same information as before the release of solicitations except the contracting officer should be the point of contact for information.
if you are not sure what you can and can not ask
If you are not sure what you can and can not ask…

Begin your conversation by asking your questions in this way:

“ Is there public information available about…”

By asking this way, you are demonstrating to the official that you are aware of what you can and can not ask and are abiding by applicable laws and regulations.

what is this guidance based on
What is this Guidance Based On?
  • IRD’s Code of Business Ethics and Conduct
  • Procurement Integrity Act (41. U.S.C. 423)
  • FAR § 3.104, FAR § 2.101, FAR § 15.201
  • OMB Myth-Busting Memo dated February 2, 2011“….Improve Communication…”
  • OMB Myth-Busting #2 Memo date May 7, 2012

“Early, frequent, and constructive engagement leads to better acquisition outcomes”

ird s code of business ethics and conduct says
IRD’s Code of Business Ethics and Conduct Says…
  • It is IRD policy to strictly comply with the Procurement Integrity Act.
  • IRD policy prohibits any employee from soliciting, receiving or disclosing, directly or indirectly, federal, state, local, municipal, or foreign government "source selection" information other than with proper authorization and through official means or methods.
  • IRD policy prohibits any employee from soliciting, receiving or disclosing, directly or indirectly, "contractor bid or proposal information".
procurement integrity act
Procurement Integrity Act
  • Improper to pay or promise any thing of value to a government official to obtain confidential procurement information, to obtain favorable treatment in an award.
  • Improper to intentionally view, hear, or take confidential government information without proper authorization.
  • Improper to offer or to provide employment or a business opportunity to a government official, or his/her family members for the purpose of obtaining restricted government information or favorable treatment in an award.
  • Improper to obtain information about a competitor’s price, costs, or bidding plans during a procurement period from any nonpublic source.
  • Improper to induce a competitor not to bid on a particular procurement or event to induce a competitor to bid.

(41. U.S.C. 423)

further guidance on procurement integrity act
Further Guidance on Procurement Integrity Act
  • Information subject to the Procurement Integrity Act need not be in writing; it can be verbal.
  • The information need not be intentionally obtained. The fact that it came into IRD’s possession unintentionally does not eliminate the possibility of a Procurement Integrity Act issue.
federal acquisition regulations far
Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR)
  • The FAR provides uniform USG regulations and policies regarding acquisition
  • The FAR includes regulations regarding the Procurement Integrity Act
  • IRD is subject to FAR regulations regarding the Procurement Integrity Act
procurement integrity far
Procurement Integrity- FAR
  • FAR § 3.104-4 Regulates the disclosure of contractor bid or proposal information and the disclosure of government source selection information
  • FAR § 3.104 defines bid and proposal information
  • FAR § 2.101 defines source selection information
  • The FAR and Procurement Integrity applies to everyone!
penalties for individuals
Penalties for Individuals
  • If an individual improperly discloses or obtains SSI or CBPI
    • In exchange for anything of value, or
    • In order to obtain for himself, or give to anyone else, a competitive advantage in the award of a Federal contract
  • The maximum penalty is:
    • Five years in prison
    • Civil penalty of $50,000 for each violation,
    • Adverse personnel action (i.e. termination)
  • If an individual knowingly discloses or obtains SSI or CBPI in violation of Procurement integrity Act (but not in exchange for anything of value, or to give anyone a competitive advantage), maximum penalty is:
    • Civil penalty of $50,000 for each violation, and
    • Adverse personnel action (i.e. termination)
if you suspect a procurement integrity violation
If You Suspect a Procurement Integrity Violation:

Email:hotline@ird-dc.org (reports are confidential and anonymous) or contact:

still not clear about communication with usg officials
Still Not Clear About Communication with USG Officials?

Contact:

  • Jean M. Hacken

IRD Chief Compliance Officer

E-mail: jhacken@ird-dc.org

  • Olga Wall

IRD Director of Grants & Contracts

E-mail: owall@ird-dc.org

  • Jason MatechakIRD General CounselE-mail: jmatechak@ird-dc.org