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  • Question

    Can you allow a Contractor or Design Consultant to serve on a Technical board?


    Answer

    Yes, you can hire advisory and assistance contractors to advise the source selection team.  There are many restrictions.  First, look at the FAR at 15.305 Proposal Evaluation .  At paragraph (c) it tells you to find these restriction as 37.203.  Below are these two references.

    FAR 15.305(c) For restrictions on the use of support contractor personnel in proposal evaluation, see
    37.203(d). 37.203 Policy.
    (a) The acquisition of advisory and assistance services is a legitimate way to improve Government services and operations. Accordingly, advisory and assistance services may be used at all organizational levels to help managers achieve maximum effectiveness or economy in their operations.
    (b) Subject to  and assistance services, when essential to the agency’s mission, to—
    (1) Obtain outside points of view to avoid too limited judgment on critical issues;
    (2) Obtain advice regarding developments in industry, university, or foundation research;
    (3) Obtain the opinions, special knowledge, or skills of noted experts;
    (4) Enhance the understanding of, and develop alternative solutions to, complex issues;
    (5) Support and improve the operation of organizations; or
    (6) Ensure the more efficient or effective operation of managerial or hardware systems.
    (c) Advisory and assistance services shall not be—
    (1) Used in performing work of a policy, decision-making, or managerial nature which is the direct responsibility of agency officials;
    (2) Used to bypass or undermine personnel ceilings, pay limitations, or competitive employment procedures;
    (3) Contracted for on a preferential basis to former Government employees;
    (4) Used under any circumstances specifically to aid in influencing or enacting legislation; or
    (5) Used to obtain professional or technical advice which is readily available within the agency or another Federal agency.
    (d)  services. evaluations or analyses of any aspect of a proposal submitted for an initial contract award unless—
    (1) Neither covered personnel from the requesting agency, nor from another agency, with adequate training and capabilities to perform the required proposal evaluation, are readily available and a written determination is made in accordance with
    (2) The contractor is a Federally-Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) as authorized in Section 23 of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) Act as amended (FFRDC’s contract meets the criteria of (3) Such functions are otherwise authorized by law. 

    Also, please look at the 4 March 2011, "Department of Defense Source Selection Procedures" at https://acc.dau.mil/CommunityBrowser.aspx?id=478017.  In particular, review paragraph 1.4.2.2.2 regarding notifications of use of Non-Gov't personnel; paragraph 1.4.4.1 regarding the restriction on using Non-Gov't personnel as voting members; paragraph 1.4.5.2.1 regarding non-disclosure agreement and other limitations when using Non-Gov't advisors.  The Navy may have other restrictions and you must always mitigate or avoid Oganizational Conflict of Interest when using contractors.  So, again, the answer is yes, but it is not the Gov't first choice to hire a contractor for expert advise if they can get it from within the Gov't or via a Federally Funded Research and Development Company (FFRDC). 

    37.205
    , agencies may contract for advisoryLimitation on payment for advisory and assistanceContractors may not be paid for services to conduct37.204;41 U.S.C. 419) and the work placed under the35.017-3; or

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