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    Is there guidance as to what does or does not constitute as an exceptional circumstance? What essential elements need to be addressed by these determinations in order to effectively communicate the circumstance?


    The "exceptional circumstances" requirement applies to the period of performance aspect of the unusual and compelling urgency justification. I don't know of any "essential elements" that have been provided in any policy guidance to define "exceptional circumstances." It should be noted that placing the authority for this determination at "head of the agency" level in effect acknowledges there are too many variables and too much judgment required in such cases to provide more specific and possibly restricting guidance. It requires the determination of a top-level decision maker to weigh and balance all of the circumstances. 

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