200.320 Methods of procurement to be followed.§ 200.320 Methods of procurement to be followed.
The non-Federal entity must have and use documented procurement procedures, consistent with the standards of this section and §§ 200.317, 200.318, and 200.319 for any of the following methods of procurement used for the acquisition of property or services required under a Federal award or sub-award.
(a) Informal procurement methods. When the value of the procurement for property or services under a Federal award does not exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (SAT), as defined in § 200.1, or a lower threshold established by a non-Federal entity, formal procurement methods are not required. The non-Federal entity may use informal procurement methods to expedite the completion of its transactions and minimize the associated administrative burden and cost. The informal methods used for procurement of property or services at or below the SAT include:
(1) Micro-purchases - (i) Distribution. The acquisition of supplies or services, the aggregate dollar amount of which does not exceed the micro-purchase threshold (See the definition of micro-purchase in § 200.1). To the maximum extent practicable, the non-Federal entity should distribute micro-purchases equitably among qualified suppliers.
(ii) Micro-purchase awards. Micro-purchases may be awarded without soliciting competitive price or rate quotations if the non-Federal entity considers the price to be reasonable based on research, experience, purchase history or other information and documents it files accordingly. Purchase cards can be used for micro-purchases if procedures are documented and approved by the non-Federal entity.
(iii) Micro-purchase thresholds. The non-Federal entity is responsible for determining and documenting an appropriate micro-purchase threshold based on internal controls, an evaluation of risk, and its documented procurement procedures. The micro-purchase threshold used by the non-Federal entity must be authorized or not prohibited under State, local, or tribal laws or regulations. Non-Federal entities may establish a threshold higher than the Federal threshold established in the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) in accordance with paragraphs (a)(1)(iv) and (v) of this section.
(iv) Non-Federal entity increase to the micro-purchase threshold up to $50,000. Non-Federal entities may establish a threshold higher than the micro-purchase threshold identified in the FAR in accordance with the requirements of this section. The non-Federal entity may self-certify a threshold up to $50,000 on an annual basis and must maintain documentation to be made available to the Federal awarding agency and auditors in accordance with § 200.334. The self-certification must include a justification, clear identification of the threshold, and supporting documentation of any of the following:
(A) A qualification as a low-risk auditee, in accordance with the criteria in § 200.520 for the most recent audit;
(B) An annual internal institutional risk assessment to identify, mitigate, and manage financial risks; or,
(C) For public institutions, a higher threshold consistent with State law.
(v) Non-Federal entity increase to the micro-purchase threshold over $50,000. Micro-purchase thresholds higher than $50,000 must be approved by the cognizant agency for indirect costs. The non-federal entity must submit a request with the requirements included in paragraph (a)(1)(iv) of this section. The increased threshold is valid until there is a change in status in which the justification was approved.
(2) Small purchases - (i) Small purchase procedures. The acquisition of property or services, the aggregate dollar amount of which is higher than the micro-purchase threshold but does not exceed the simplified acquisition threshold. If small purchase procedures are used, price or rate quotations must be obtained from an adequate number of qualified sources as determined appropriate by the non-Federal entity.
(ii) Simplified acquisition thresholds. The non-Federal entity is responsible for determining an appropriate simplified acquisition threshold based on internal controls, an evaluation of risk and its documented procurement procedures which must not exceed the threshold established in the FAR. When applicable, a lower simplified acquisition threshold used by the non-Federal entity must be authorized or not prohibited under State, local, or tribal laws or regulations.
(b) Formal procurement methods. When the value of the procurement for property or services under a Federal financial assistance award exceeds the SAT, or a lower threshold established by a non-Federal entity, formal procurement methods are required. Formal procurement methods require following documented procedures. Formal procurement methods also require public advertising unless a non-competitive procurement can be used in accordance with § 200.319 or paragraph (c) of this section. The following formal methods of procurement are used for procurement of property or services above the simplified acquisition threshold or a value below the simplified acquisition threshold the non-Federal entity determines to be appropriate:
(1) Sealed bids. A procurement method in which bids are publicly solicited and a firm fixed-price contract (lump sum or unit price) is awarded to the responsible bidder whose bid, conforming with all the material terms and conditions of the invitation for bids, is the lowest in price. The sealed bids method is the preferred method for procuring construction, if the conditions.
(i) In order for sealed bidding to be feasible, the following conditions should be present:
(A) A complete, adequate, and realistic specification or purchase description is available;
(B) Two or more responsible bidders are willing and able to compete effectively for the business; and
(C) The procurement lends itself to a firm fixed price contract and the selection of the successful bidder can be made principally on the basis of price.
(ii) If sealed bids are used, the following requirements apply:
(A) Bids must be solicited from an adequate number of qualified sources, providing them sufficient response time prior to the date set for opening the bids, for local, and tribal governments, the invitation for bids must be publicly advertised;
(B) The invitation for bids, which will include any specifications and pertinent attachments, must define the items or services in order for the bidder to properly respond;
(C) All bids will be opened at the time and place prescribed in the invitation for bids, and for local and tribal governments, the bids must be opened publicly;
(D) A firm fixed price contract award will be made in writing to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder. Where specified in bidding documents, factors such as discounts, transportation cost, and life cycle costs must be considered in determining which bid is lowest. Payment discounts will only be used to determine the low bid when prior experience indicates that such discounts are usually taken advantage of; and
(E) Any or all bids may be rejected if there is a sound documented reason.
(2) Proposals. A procurement method in which either a fixed price or cost-reimbursement type contract is awarded. Proposals are generally used when conditions are not appropriate for the use of sealed bids. They are awarded in accordance with the following requirements:
(i) Requests for proposals must be publicized and identify all evaluation factors and their relative importance. Proposals must be solicited from an adequate number of qualified offerors. Any response to publicized requests for proposals must be considered to the maximum extent practical;
(ii) The non-Federal entity must have a written method for conducting technical evaluations of the proposals received and making selections;
(iii) Contracts must be awarded to the responsible offeror whose proposal is most advantageous to the non-Federal entity, with price and other factors considered; and
(iv) The non-Federal entity may use competitive proposal procedures for qualifications-based procurement of architectural/engineering (A/E) professional services whereby offeror's qualifications are evaluated and the most qualified offeror is selected, subject to negotiation of fair and reasonable compensation. The method, where price is not used as a selection factor, can only be used in procurement of A/E professional services. It cannot be used to purchase other types of services though A/E firms that are a potential source to perform the proposed effort.
(c) Noncompetitive procurement. There are specific circumstances in which noncompetitive procurement can be used. Noncompetitive procurement can only be awarded if one or more of the following circumstances apply:
(1) The acquisition of property or services, the aggregate dollar amount of which does not exceed the micro-purchase threshold (see paragraph (a)(1) of this section);
(2) The item is available only from a single source;
(3) The public exigency or emergency for the requirement will not permit a delay resulting from publicizing a competitive solicitation;
(4) The Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity expressly authorizes a noncompetitive procurement in response to a written request from the non-Federal entity; or
(5) After solicitation of a number of sources, competition is determined inadequate.