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    Since this effort would be considered "Applied Research" vs "Development" would an Acquisition Plan be required??


    Answer

    The regulation does not require you to prepare a written acquisition plan for this BAA, because the work is for applied research (not development) and no other section of the FAR/DFARS applies.  The applicable site is DFAR 207.103 (d) (i) (A) which says
    (d)(i) Prepare written acquisition plans for—
    (A) Acquisitions for development, as defined in FAR 35.001, when the total cost of all contracts for the acquisition program is estimated at $10 million or more;
    I have attached this and other related language to this answer.  IAW FAR 7.102, we are required to do acquisition planning for all acquisitions.  A documented plan is required only at certain thresholds, but is encouraged when the department or agency thinks it would be helpful.  In this case, the work is defined as “applied research”, so preparing a written acquisition plan is optional.  But, if your Agency determines that it is appropriate to prepare an acquisition plan, then you do it. 
     
     
    FAR 7.102 -- Policy
    (a) Agencies shall perform acquisition planning and conduct market research (see part 10) for all acquisitions in order to promote and provide for --
    (1) Acquisition of commercial items or, to the extent that commercial items suitable to meet the agency’s needs are not available, nondevelopmental items, to the maximum extent practicable (10 U.S.C. 2377 and 41 U.S.C. 3307.);
    (2) Full and open competition (see part 6) or, when full and open competition is not required in accordance with Part 6, to obtain competition to the maximum extent practicable, with due regard to the nature of the supplies or services to be acquired (10 U.S.C. 2305(a)(1)(A) and 41 U.S.C. 3306(a)(1));
    (3) Selection of appropriate contract type in accordance with part 16; and
    (4) Appropriate consideration of the use of pre-existing contracts, including interagency and intra-agency contracts, to fulfill the requirement, before awarding new contracts. (See 8.002 through 8.004 and subpart 17.5).
     
    DFARS 207.103 Agency-head responsibilities.
    (d)(i) Prepare written acquisition plans for—
    (A) Acquisitions for development, as defined in FAR 35.001, when the total cost of all contracts for the acquisition program is estimated at $10 million or more;
    (B) Acquisitions for production or services when the total cost of all contracts for the acquisition program is estimated at $50 million or more for all years or $25 million or more for any fiscal year; and
    (C) Any other acquisition considered appropriate by the department or agency.
    (ii) Written plans are not required in acquisitions for a final buy out or one-time buy. The terms "final buy out" and "one-time buy" refer to a single contract that covers all known present and future requirements. This exception does not apply to a multiyear contract or a contract with options or phases.
    (e) Prepare written acquisition plans for acquisition programs meeting the thresholds of paragraphs (d)(i)(A) and (B) of this section on a program basis. Other acquisition plans may be written on either a program or an individual contract basis.
    (g) The program manager, or other official responsible for the program, has overall responsibility for acquisition planning.
    35.001 -- Definitions.
    “Applied research” means the effort that
    (a) normally follows basic research, but may not be severable from the related basic research;
    (b) attempts to determine and exploit the potential of scientific discoveries or improvements in technology, materials, processes, methods, devices, or techniques; and
    (c) attempts to advance the state of the art. When being used by contractors in cost principle applications, this term does not include efforts whose principal aim is the design, development, or testing of specific items or services to be considered for sale; these efforts are within the definition of “development,” given below.
    “Development,” as used in this part, means the systematic use of scientific and technical knowledge in the design, development, testing, or evaluation of a potential new product or service (or of an improvement in an existing product or service) to meet specific performance requirements or objectives. It includes the functions of design engineering, prototyping, and engineering testing; it excludes subcontracted technical effort that is for the sole purpose of developing an additional source for an existing product.
    FAR 7.105 -- Contents of Written Acquisition Plans.
    In order to facilitate attainment of the acquisition objectives, the plan must identify those milestones at which decisions should be made (see paragraph (b)(21) of this section). The plan must address all the technical, business, management, and other significant considerations that will control the acquisition. The specific content of plans will vary, depending on the nature, circumstances, and stage of the acquisition. In preparing the plan, the planner must follow the applicable instructions in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, together with the agency’s implementing procedures.
    35.016 -- Broad Agency Announcement.
    (a) General. This paragraph prescribes procedures for the use of the broad agency announcement (BAA) with Peer or Scientific Review (see 6.102(d)(2)) for the acquisition of basic and applied research and that part of development not related to the development of a specific system or hardware procurement. BAA’s may be used by agencies to fulfill their requirements for scientific study and experimentation directed toward advancing the state-of-the-art or increasing knowledge or understanding rather than focusing on a specific system or hardware solution. The BAA technique shall only be used when meaningful proposals with varying technical/scientific approaches can be reasonably anticipated.
    (b) The BAA, together with any supporting documents, shall --
    (1) Describe the agency’s research interest, either for an individual program requirement or for broadly defined areas of interest covering the full range of the agency’s requirements;
    (2) Describe the criteria for selecting the proposals, their relative importance, and the method of evaluation;
    (3) Specify the period of time during which proposals submitted in response to the BAA will be accepted; and
    (4) Contain instructions for the preparation and submission of proposals.
    (c) The availability of the BAA must be publicized through the Governmentwide point of entry (GPE) and, if authorized pursuant to Subpart 5.5, may also be published in noted scientific, technical, or engineering periodicals. The notice must be published no less frequently than annually.
    (d) Proposals received as a result of the BAA shall be evaluated in accordance with evaluation criteria specified therein through a peer or scientific review process. Written evaluation reports on individual proposals will be necessary but proposals need not be evaluated against each other since they are not submitted in accordance with a common work statement.
    (e) The primary basis for selecting proposals for acceptance shall be technical, importance to agency programs, and fund availability. Cost realism and reasonableness shall also be considered to the extent appropriate.
    (f) Synopsis under Subpart 5.2, Synopses of Proposed Contract Actions, of individual contract actions based upon proposals received under the BAA is not required. The notice published pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section fulfills the synopsis requirement.
     
     


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