IAW FAR 35.016 (a), the broad agency announcement is used for the acquisition of basic and applied researched and that part of development not related to the development of a specific system or hardware procurement. DoD Financial Management Regulation (DoD 7000.14-R), Volume 2B, Chapter 5 paragraph 050201 provides six detailed definitions of RDT&E budget activities, with budget activity 1 being basic research and budget activity 2 being applied research. The program office believes that a BAA may be used for all six budget activities. Are they correct or is a BAA limited to budget activity 1 and 2 funds only?
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From a contracting point of view... the BAA can only be used for research and development, budget categories 1 and 2. The Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) is a competitive solicitation procedure used to obtain proposals for basic and applied research and that part of development not related to the development of a specific system or hardware procurement. The BAA is described in FAR 2 “Definitions”, FAR 6.102, "Use of Competitive Procedures," and FAR 35.016, "Broad Agency Announcements."
Basic Authority - The Competition in Contracting Act (CICA) of 1984 issued as Public Law 98-369 (98 stat, 1175 et seq.) authorizes use of "general solicitations" or Broad Agency Announcements (BAA's). The use of general solicitations is limited by CICA to "basic research proposals." Contracts awarded under these general solicitations meet the "full and open" competition requirements of CICA.
The type of research solicited under a BAA attempts to increase knowledge in science and/or to advance the state of the art as compared to practical application of knowledge.
The Broad Agency Announcement is a technique for United States government agencies to contract for basic and applied research and certain development. 48 CFR 35.016.
The technique may be used to acquire "scientific study and experimentation directed toward advancing the state-of-the-art or increasing knowledge or understanding." 48 CFR 36.106(a) The technique shares the name of the means of initiating it. The announcement, published in Federal Business Opportunities, describes "broadly defined areas of interest" (FAR 35.016(b)(1)). Proposals received in response to the announcement are evaluated through a peer or scientific review process (see FAR 35.016(d)), unlike the more traditional technique for evaluation of proposals under FAR Subpart 15.3. An award under the technique is treated as meeting the statutory requirement in the Competition in Contracting Act for full and open competition (vis a no-bid contract). 48 CFR 6.102(d)(2).
It is not intended for acquisition "related to the development of a specific system or hardware procurement." 48 CFR 36.106(a) It may only be used "when meaningful proposals with varying technical/scientific approaches can reasonably be anticipated."
FAR Pat 2 Definitions “Broad agency announcement” means a general announcement of an agency’s research interest including criteria for selecting proposals and soliciting the participation of all offerors capable of satisfying the Government’s needs (see 6.102(d)(2))