ARTICLE G.7. TASK ORDER PROCEDURES
G.7.1. Electronic Government Ordering System
- NITAAC has developed the Electronic Government Ordering System (e-GOS), a web-based task order processing system, to allow customers to perform fair opportunity in accordance with FAR 16.5 and to integrate workflow management, electronic document management, and aspects of customer relationship management to enhance process efficiency, and improve data/information integrity. The contractor and customers will be required to use the e-GOS in order to participate in the task order process by registering as an e-GOS user and agreeing to system usage rules of behavior.
- The contractor shall identify an e-GOS representative as the contractor primary point of contact for providing training on e-GOS and resolution of related issues. This individual shall also be the primary interface point to NITAAC on e-GOS and shall attend mandatory e-GOS training as deemed necessary by the NITAAC Contracting Officer’s Representative.
- In the event a Government customer requests that the contractor submit Task Order proposals to them through e-mail or in hardcopy format, the contractor may do so, but shall also submit Task Order proposals prior to the proposal deadline through e-GOS. If the contractor decides not to submit a Task Order proposal in response to a solicitation, a “No Response” shall be submitted through e-GOS on or before the closing date and time established in the solicitation.
- The contractor is authorized to initiate work only after receipt of an award document through e-GOS.
- Future e-GOS enhancements may include the implementation of digital signatures, and once implemented, may entail a nominal cost to the contractor to purchase and maintain appropriate security certificates.
G.7.2. Task Order Issuance
Only the OCO may issue Task Orders to the Contractor, providing specific authorization or direction to perform work within the scope of the contract as specified Article C.1., Statement of Work. Unless specifically authorized by the OCO, the Contractor shall not commence work until a fully executed Task Order has been awarded and submitted through e-GOS. The Contractor may incur costs under this contract in performance of task orders and task order modifications issued in accordance with this ARTICLE.
No other costs are authorized unless otherwise specified in the contract or expressly authorized by the OCO.
- Requesting Task Order Proposals
Utilizing the e-GOS, the OCO or a designated individual may solicit responses to requirements from Contractors within a technical area covered by the Scope of Work. Generally, the Task Order solicitation will include, but is not limited to the following:
- Statement of Work;
- Reporting Requirements and Deliverables;
- Proposal Due Date and Location to Deliver Proposals;
- Period of Performance of Task Order;
- Anticipated type of Task Order;
- Technical Proposal Instructions;
- Business proposal Instructions;
- Evaluation Factors for Award;
- Fair Opportunity
- In accordance with FAR 16.505(b)(1)(i), each contractor under the CIO-SP3 GWAC will be given a fair opportunity to be considered for each order issued over $3,000 unless the following exception(s) apply:
- The agency need for the supplies or services is so urgent that providing a fair opportunity would result in unacceptable delays.
- Only one contract holder is capable of providing the supplies or services required at the level of quality required because the supplies or services ordered are unique or highly specialized.
- The order must be issued on a sole-source basis in the interest of economy and efficiency because it is a logical follow-on to an order already issued under the contract, provided that all awardees were given a fair opportunity to be considered for the original order.
- It is necessary to place an order to satisfy a minimum guarantee.
- All contract holders will be given a fair opportunity to be considered in accordance with the FAR as follows:
- For orders exceeding $3,000 up to the simplified acquisition threshold, in accordance with FAR 16.505(b)(1)(ii);
- For orders exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold up to $5 Million, in accordance with 16.505(b)(1)(iii); and,
- For orders exceeding $5 Million, in accordance with FAR 16.505(b)(1)(iv).
G.7.2.1 Firm-Fixed Price Task Orders
For Firm-Fixed Price (FFP) task order Request for Proposals (RFPs), the contractor will multiply the quantity of each item or labor category required against the rate listed in the pricing schedule (Tables 1 and 2 under Article B.7) or as negotiated for the task, and the cumulative extended total of all items ordered will define the FFP for the task. Travel and other-direct-cost (ODC), if applicable, may be estimated for each task order. Any amount negotiated for travel and ODCs, will be added to the extended price of all ordered items to arrive at the total FFP for the task order. The OCO must determine fair and reasonable pricing for all fixed-price task orders following FAR 15.4, Pricing.
G.7.2.2 Cost-Reimbursement Task Orders
A contractor interested in participating in Cost-Reimbursement (CR) type task orders as defined in FAR 16.301-1 will be required to demonstrate that they have an accounting system that is adequate for determining costs applicable to the contract by the time the task order is awarded. This is an accounting system that the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA), or any federal civilian audit agency, or a third-part accounting firm has audited and determined adequate for determining costs applicable to this contract in accordance with FAR 16.301-3(a)(1).
The applicable task order can include use of the contractor’s most recent Defense Contract Audit Agency
(DCAA)-approved provisional indirect billing and actual rates for both direct and indirect costs, or if a contractor does not have DCAA-approved rates, their indirect rates in accordance with FAR Part 31. The fee will be negotiated for each task order consistent with statutory limitations. If the task order type is to be CPAF or CPIF, the fixed portion of fee and the award portion will be clearly differentiated. Such task orders will be subject to the additional clauses under FAR 16.307. The OCO must determine fair and reasonable pricing, analyze and negotiate fee for all cost-reimbursement task orders as required under FAR 15.4, Pricing, and FAR 16.3, Cost-Reimbursement Contracts. The government will reimburse the contractor for all reasonable, allowable, and allocable costs detailed in FAR 31, Contract Cost Principles and Procedures.
G.7.2.3 Time-and-Materials Task Orders
For Time-and-Materials (T&M) task order solicitations (including Labor Hour orders as defined by FAR 16.602), the contractor will multiply the quantity of hours required under each labor category against the rate listed in their price schedule (Attachment J.1) or as negotiated, such as when the contractor elects to propose lower rates for the task order or different rates to reflect specialized labor categories/labor categories with special clearances, etc. The cumulative extended total of all labor categories ordered plus travel and ODCs will define the task order ceiling price. The government will reimburse the contractor as provided under FAR 52.232-7, Payments under T&M and Labor-Hour Contracts (Feb 2007).
- “Loaded Hourly Labor Rate” equates to “hourly rates” as defined in FAR 52.232-7, Payments under Time and- Materials and Labor-Hour Contracts (Feb 2007) . The ceiling rates listed and any lower subsequent rates proposed in response to task order requests must be fully burdened labor rates inclusive of profit, fringe benefits, salary, and indirect costs. These hourly rates are considered fair and reasonable for most work requirements anticipated for T&M task orders issued under the GWAC for Continental United States (CONUS) locations (Note: CONUS is defined as the 48 contiguous states plus the District of Columbia).
- Factors such as complexity of work, geographic locations and security clearances authorize OCOs to negotiate Loaded Hourly Labor Rates suited to meet their specific task order requirements. Contractors shall explain in their task order proposals any Loaded Hourly Labor Rates that exceed the rates in the GWAC or for new proposed labor categories (see Article H.2), and the OCO will determine the reasonableness of the pricing as defined in FAR 15.4, Pricing and FAR 16.601 Time and Materials Contracts. Upon request of the OCO, the contractor will be required to provide supporting documentation for such rates, which may include a cost element breakdown of each Loaded Hourly Labor Rate (including profit) in accordance with the contractor’s cost accounting system, as well as any other supporting information the OCO deems necessary.
- The government will reimburse costs in connection with subcontracts in accordance with FAR 52.232-7, Payments under Time-and-Materials and Labor-Hour Contracts (Feb 2007) in accordance with the terms and conditions of a subcontract or invoice, and ordinarily within 30 days of the submission of the contractor’s payment request to the government.
- “Materials” on T&M task orders are defined under FAR 16.601, Time and Materials Contracts. For direct materials, the OCO will determine allowable costs in accordance with FAR 31.2. Materials will be reimbursed as provided under FAR 52.232-7, Payments under Time-and-Materials and Labor-Hour Contracts (Feb 2007). The OCO must identify a not-to-exceed materials ceiling under a separate Contract Line Item Number (CLIN) on the task order.
The OCO must determine fair and reasonable pricing for all Incentive task orders and develop a plan to implement and monitor an Award-Fee result detailed in FAR Part 16.4, Incentive Contracts.
G.7.3. Performance-Based Acquisitions Methods
Pursuant to FAR 37.102(a)(2), the OCO must use performance-based acquisition methods to the maximum extent practicable using the following order of precedence:
- Firm-Fixed-Price Performance-Based Task Order
- Performance-Based Task Order that is not Firm-Fixed-Price
G.7.4. Service Contract Act
The preponderance of the GWAC’s labor categories are considered bona fide executive, administrative, professional labor and are generally exempt from the Service Contract Act (SCA). To the extent that any labor is subject to the SCA and is within scope of a Task Order and the GWAC, the OCO must identify such work under a separate CLIN on the task order and apply wages as required under FAR 22.10, Service Contract Act Wage Determinations.
G.7.5. Pricing Arrangements
The OCO may use all types of Fixed-Price, Cost Reimbursement, Incentive, and Time-and-Materials (T&M) pricing arrangements, as provided in FAR Part 16.
G.7.6. Price Reasonableness
The OCO is responsible for the determination of cost or price reasonableness for each task order. When adequate price competition exists (see FAR 15.403-1(c)(1)), generally, no additional information is necessary to determine the reasonableness of cost or price. If adequate price competition does not exist and none of the exceptions under FAR 15.403-1(b) apply, the OCO must request a Certificate of Current Cost and Pricing Data in accordance with FAR 15.403-4.
G.7.7. Provisions Applicable to Direct Costs
Travel will be reimbursed at actual cost and as limited in FAR 31.205.46. Contractors may apply indirect costs to travel if a part of the contractor’s usual accounting practices and consistent with FAR 31.2. The OCO must identify a not-to-exceed travel ceiling under a separate contract line item number (CLIN) on the Task Order.
Travel and Other Direct Costs (ODCs) will be estimated for each task order. Labor dollars will not be used to pay for ODCs nor ODC dollars used to pay for labor without a contract modification. Profit on travel and ODCs is not allowable under Time and Material task orders.
- Items Unallowable Unless Otherwise Provided
Notwithstanding the clause[s], ALLOWABLE COST AND PAYMENT, [and FIXED FEE,] incorporated in this contract, unless authorized in writing by the Contracting Officer, the costs of the following items or activities shall be unallowable as direct costs:
- Acquisition, by purchase or lease, of any interest in real property;
- Special rearrangement or alteration of facilities;
- Purchase or lease of any item of general purpose office furniture or office equipment regardless of dollar value. (General purpose equipment is defined as any items of personal property which are usable for purposes other than research, such as office equipment and furnishings, pocket calculators, etc.);
- Travel to attend general scientific meetings;
- Foreign travel;
ARTICLE G.8. NIH CONTRACT ACCESS FEE AND FEE REMITTANCE
- NIH is required to collect an NIH Contract Access Fee (NCAF) from its customers to reimburse the cost of operating and administering the CIO-SP3 contract. NIH has determined this fee to be .65% charged against all task orders and applied to the total award value for contractor performance. Total award value is all inclusive of labor, fees (including award fees and incentive pools), and ODCs (including travel).
- The formula is: Total NCAF = Total Award Value * NCAF Percentage.
- The contractor shall ensure that any task order awards and modifications issued contain the necessary NCAF and that the NCAF is properly calculated.
- On all task orders, regardless of pricing arrangements used, contractors shall include the NCAF in their proposals. The NCAF to be priced as a separate Contract Line Item Number (CLIN) on an individual task order. If the NCAF is not priced as a separate CLIN, contractors shall explicitly identify that the NCAF has been included in their overall proposed price.
- The contractor shall utilize Pay.gov, the Department of Treasury’s secure government-wide collection portal for payment of the NCAF to NITAAC. Payments will be due to NITAAC ten (10) business days after contractor receipt of payment from the government. Contractors shall invoice the government for full NCAF amount based on obligated amounts, either by funded award or funded modification, on the first invoice after receipt of the funded award or modification document.
- Contractors shall register with Pay.gov at https://www.pay.gov/paygov/. Contractors shall contact their financial institution/bank to establish an account authorizing Automated Clearing House (ACH) Direct Debit payments to Pay.gov.
- Failure to remit the NCAF in a timely manner will constitute a debt to the United States Government under FAR 32.6.
- NIH reserves the unilateral right to adjust the NCAF should it experience a major change in the cost of operating its GWAC Program.