On October 29, 2013, the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) issued a proposed rule incorporating a newly created “Proposal Adequacy Checklist” into the NASA FAR supplement (NFS). NASA intends for the rule to ensure that offerors submit thorough, accurate and complete proposals by self-validating the adequacy of those proposals and improve the quality of initial submissions. The hope is that this will, in turn, result in greater efficiency for both NASA and offerors by (i) requiring less NASA time and resources during the evaluation process; and (ii) reducing the need for offerors to rework their initial submissions.
The proposed rule will apply only in situations where certified cost or pricing data is required. Based on NASA’s records, that translates to an average of 1162 procurements per year from 2010 to 2012, so the potential impact is substantial.
The proposed rule requires offerors to complete and submit the checklist as part of their proposal and to provide “location or requested information, or an explanation of why the requested information is not provided.” Subcontractors on NASA projects should expect to encounter the checklist as well, since the rule suggests that offerors may elect to have their prospective subcontractors use the same or a similar checklist as appropriate.
The checklist consists of twenty-eight discreet questions based on various FAR provisions related to cost or pricing data, ranging from general instructions to specific cost elements and other issues. Significantly, because it is based on the FAR rather than NASA-specific requirements, the checklist promises to help any offeror in the process of preparing a proposal where the submission of cost or pricing data is required.
Even if you’re not involved in a NASA procurement (and regardless of whether the proposed rule is ever made final), you should take a look at the checklist and consider incorporating it into your proposal preparation work flow.
Interested parties may submit comments to NASA before December 30, 2013 via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov or via e-mail to William.roets-1@NASA.gov.
Eric Whytsell is the attorney responsible for the content of this article.
© Jackson Kelly PLLC 2013