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SECTION E—INSPECTION AND ACCEPTANCE

E.1 INSPECTION AND ACCEPTANCE

  1. The contracting officer or the duly authorized representative will perform inspection and acceptance of materials and services to be provided.
  2. For the purpose of this SECTION the Government Project Officer is the authorized technical representative of the contracting officer.
  3. Inspection and acceptance will be performed at:

    Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
    540 Gaither Road
    Rockville, Maryland  20850

E.2 CLAUSES INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE (FEB 1998)

This contract incorporates the following clause by reference, with the same force and effect as if it were given in full text.  Upon request, the Contracting Officer will make its full text available.

FAR Clause No. Title and Date
52.246-5Inspection of Services—Cost Reimbursement (April 1984)

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SECTION F—PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE AND DELIVERY SCHEDULE

F.1 CLAUSES INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE (FEB 1998)

This contract incorporates the following clause by reference, with the same force and effect as if they were given in full text.  Upon request, the Contracting Officer will make their full text available.

FEDERAL ACQUISITION REGULATION (FAR) (48 CFR CHAPTER 1) CLAUSES

FAR Clause No. Title and Date
52.242-15Stop Work Order (AUG 1989)

Alternate I (APRIL 1984)

F.2 PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE

The Government anticipates the period of performance shall begin on or about August 15, 2008 and run through August 14, 2011 with 2 one-year options (if exercised) from August 15, 20011 through August 14, 2013. 

F.3 DELIVERY SCHEDULE

The items specified for delivery below are subject to the review and approval of the Project Officer (PO) before final acceptance.  The Contractor shall be required to make revisions deemed necessary by the PO.  The Contractor shall produce the following scheduled reports/deliverables in the amount, and within the time frame indicated. Deliverables shall be submitted to the PO, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 540 Gaither Road, Rockville, MD 20850.  Draft deliverables are those submitted to the PO for review. Final deliverables are those incorporating changes requested by the PO.  The Contractor shall submit the following items in accordance with the stated delivery schedule:

Item

Description

Quantity

Delivery Schedule

1. Revised Phase-in Plan 2 21 days after start of the Phase-in
2. Monthly Activities Report Summary* 2 10 days after the end of the previous month
3. Monthly Budget Report* Monthly
4. Monthly Status Update Meetings N/A Monthly with Project Officer
5. Training Plan 1 Sept. 30, 2008; June 30, annually thereafter.
6. Updated Employee Roster 1 10 days prior to the start of full performance, and as necessary thereafter.

The above items shall be addressed and submitted to the Government PO. In addition, one copy of the items marked with an * shall be submitted to the Contracting Officer by E-mail.

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SECTION G—CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION DATA

G.1 KEY PERSONNEL

Pursuant to the Key Personnel clause incorporated in Section I of this contract, the following individual(s) is/are considered to be essential to the work being performed hereunder:

NAME
TITLE

(TO BE COMPLETED AT TIME OF CONTRACT AWARD)       

The clause cited above contains a requirement for review and approval by the Contracting Officer of written requests for a change of Key Personnel reasonably in advance of diverting any of these individuals from this contract.  Receipt of written requests at least 30 days prior to a proposed change is considered reasonable.

G.2 PROJECT OFFICER

The following Project Officer shall represent the Government for the purpose of this contract:

(TO BE COMPLETED AT TIME OF CONTRACT AWARD)

The Project Officer is responsible for: (1) monitoring the contractor's technical progress, including the surveillance and assessment of performance and recommending to the contracting officer changes in requirements; (2) interpreting the statement of work and any other technical performance requirements; (3) performing technical evaluation as required; (4) performing technical inspections and acceptances required by this contract; and (5) assisting in the resolution of technical problems encountered during performance.

The Contracting Officer is the only person with authority to act as an agent of the Government under this contract.  Only the Contracting Officer has authority to: (1) direct or negotiate any changes in the statement of work; (2) modify or extend the period of performance; (3) change the delivery schedule; (4) authorize reimbursement to the contractor of any costs incurred during the performance of this contract; or (5) otherwise change any terms and conditions of this contract.

The Government may unilaterally change its Project Officer designation.

G.3 INVOICE SUBMISSION

a. INVOICE SUBMISSION

Billing Instructions are attached and made part of this contract. Instructions and the following directions for the submission of invoices must be followed to meet the requirements  of a "proper" payment request pursuant to FAR 32.9, and must be in accordance with the General Provisions clause 52.232-25 Prompt Payment (OCT 2003).

Invoices/financing requests shall be submitted in an original and three copies to:

Contracting Officer
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Division of Contracts Management
540 Gaither Road
Rockville, Maryland  20850

G.4 INFORMATION ON VOUCHERS

  1. The Contractor IS REQUIRED to include the following minimum information on vouchers:
    1. Contractor's name and invoice date;
    2. Contract Number;
    3. Description and price of services actually rendered;
    4. Other substantiating documentation or information as required by the contract;
    5. Name (where practicable), title, phone number, and complete mailing address or responsible official to whom payment is to be sent; and
    6. The Internal Revenue Service Taxpayer Identification Number.
  2. The Contractor shall furnish the following minimum information in support of costs submitted: 
    1. Direct Labor—include all persons, listing the person's name, title, number of hours or days worked, hourly rate (unburdened) the total cost per person and a total amount of this category;
    2. Fringe Costs—show rate, base and total amount as well as verification/allowability or rate changes (when applicable);
    3. Overhead or Indirect Costs—show rate, base and total amount as well as verification/allowability or rate changes (when applicable);
    4. Consultants—include the name, number of days or hours worked, a total amount per consultant and a total amount for this category;
    5. Travel—include for each airplane or train trip taken the name of the traveler, date of travel, destination, the transportation costs including ground transportation, shown separately, and per diem costs.  Other travel costs shall also be listed.  A total amount for this category shall be provided;
    6. Subcontractors—include for each subcontractor, the same data and level of detail that is being provided for the prime contractor.  A total number for this category shall be provided.
    7. Data Processing—include all non-labor costs, i.e., computer time, equipment purchase, lease or rental, data tapes, etc.  A total amount for this category shall be provided.
    8. Other—include a listing of all other direct charges to the contract, i.e., office supplies, telephone, equipment rental, duplication, etc.
    9. Equipment Cost—itemize and identify separately from material costs including reference to approval in all cases;
    10. G&A—show rate, base and total as well as verification/allowability of rate changes (when applicable); and
    11. Fee—show rate, base and total;
    12. Current amount billed by individual cost element and total dollar amount; and
    13. Cumulative amount billed by individual cost element and total dollar amount.
  3. Payment shall be made by:

    PSC Finance
    Parklawn Building, Room 16-23
    5600 Fishers Lane
    Rockville, Maryland 20857
    Telephone Number (301) 443-6766

G.5 INDIRECT COST RATES and FEE

In accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) (48 CFR Chapter 1) Clause 52.216-7, Allowable Cost and Payment, incorporated by reference in this contract, in Part II, Section I, the primary contact point responsible for negotiating provisional and/or final indirect cost rates is the cognizant contracting official as set forth in FAR Subpart 42.7—Indirect Cost Rates.

Reimbursement will be limited to the rates and time periods covered by the negotiated agreements.  The rates, if negotiated, are hereby incorporated without further action of the contracting officer.

G.6 ELECTRONIC FUNDS TRANSFER

Pursuant to FAR 52.232-33, Payment by Electronic Funds Transfer—Central Contractor Registration (OCT 2003), the Contractor shall designate a financial institution for receipt of electronic funds transfer payments.  This designation shall be submitted, in writing, to the finance office designated in the contract.

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SECTION H—SPECIAL CONTRACT REQUIREMENTS

H.1 PERFORMANCE EVALUATION AND AWARD FEE

  1. Performance Evaluation Factors

    The Government will evaluate the following factors of the Contractor's performance:

    Performance Factor

    Related SOW Section

    Weight

    1.  Project Management.

    Section 1.6

    15%

    2.  Publishing.

    Section 1.7

    30%

    3.  Public Affairs.

    Section 1.8

    40%

    4.  Knowledge Transfer and Implementation

    Section 1.9

    15%

    Note: Performance Factor weights in the out years may be adjusted by contract modification, based on changes in program needs.

  2. Performance Requirements Summary

    Attachment 2 summarizes the performance standards and Government surveillance methods for each of the above performance factors.

  3. Award Fee Plan

    The Government anticipates a Cost-Plus-Award Fee (CPAF) contract to result from this solicitation. In this type of contract, the Contractor will receive a small base fee. In addition to the base fee, award fee will be tied to the evaluation of specific products and services in accordance with Attachment 2—Performance Standards.

    The Agency's decision to pay or not to pay Award Fee in no way alters the Contractor's responsibilities to perform any services or produce any deliverables required by this contract. The Agency's decision to pay or not to pay Award Fee in no way alters the Agency's obligation to pay the Contractor for satisfactory deliverables in accordance with this contract.

    Award Fee is available for services and products identified below.

Annual Amounts Available for Award Fee (to be evaluated semi-annually):

Each Contract Year

Performance Evaluation Factor

% of Award Fee Pool

Award for Evaluation Unacceptable

Rating score of below 60 reduces Base Fee by 50% for rating period.

Award for Evaluation Satisfactory

60-79 score
40%

Award for Evaluation Exceeds Expectations

80-89 score
80%

Award for Evaluation Outstanding

90-100 score
100%

Project Management

15%

       

Publishing

30%

       

Public Affairs

40%

       

Knowledge Transfer and Implementation

15%

       

On a semi-annual basis, the Contractor's products and services will be evaluated in terms of the above performance factors by an Award Fee Evaluation Group (AFEG). The AFEG will consist of the Project Officer, the Contracting Officer or his/her designee, and, as appropriate, other Government officials selected by the Project Officer (depending on specific expertise) and approved by the Contracting Officer.

Each member of the Award Fee Evaluation Group will evaluate the Contractor's performance against the performance standards of quality and timeliness listed in Exhibit 1.

A numerical rating scale of 0 to 100 will be used. The scale is defined as follows:

Definition of Rating

Adjective Rating

Numerical Rating

Fee %

Outstanding—Contractor's performance exceeds standards by substantial margin; the performance monitor can cite few areas for improvement, all of which are minor. Required rework is minimal.

Outstanding

90-100

100%

Exceeds Expectations—Contractor's performance exceeds standards, and although there may be several areas for improvement, these are more than offset by better performance in other areas. Required rework is limited.

Exceeds Expectations

80—89

80%

Satisfactory—Contractor's performance is generally satisfactory, and areas for improvement are approximately offset by better performance in other areas. Required rework is moderate.

Satisfactory

60-79

40%

Unsatisfactory—Contractor's performance is less than standards by a substantial margin, and the performance monitor can cite many areas for improvement which are not offset by better performance in other areas.  Required rework is extensive.

Unacceptable

Below 60

Base Fee Reduced by 50%

Each member of the AFEG will give each performance factor a numerical rating, and those ratings will be averaged. An average score of less than 60 (Unsatisfactory will result in a reduction in the base fee of 50% for the performance factor for the rating period.  An average score of 60-79 (Satisfactory) will result in award of 40% of the Award Fee for the performance factor. An average score of 80-89 (Exceeds Expectations) will result in award of 80% of the Award Fee for the performance factor, and an average of 90-100 (Outstanding) will result in award of 100% of the Award Fee for the  performance factor. The Award Fee determinations are not subject to the disputes clause.

H.2 RELEASE AND USE AND COPYRIGHT OF DATA FIRST PRODUCED FROM WORK PERFORMED UNDER THIS CONTRACT

     
  1. Release and Use—Data first produced in the performance of the Contract. As permitted in FAR 52.227-17, the provisions of this Section H.1 shall apply to any release or use of data first produced in the performance of the Contract and any analysis, tools, methodologies, or recorded product based on such data.
  2. Release and Use—Requirements related to confidentiality and quality. To ensure public trust in the confidentiality protections afforded participants in Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)-supported research, AHRQ requires and monitors compliance by its contractors with section 934(c) of the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act) (42 U.S.C. 299c-3(c)), which states in part that

    No information, if the establishment or person supplying the information or described in it is identifiable, obtained in the course of activities undertaken or supported under this title, may be used for any purpose other than the purpose for which it was supplied unless such establishment or person has consented...to its use for such other purpose.  Such information may not be published or released in other form if the person who supplied the information or who is described in it is identifiable unless such person has consented...to its publication or release in other form.

    In addition to this requirement, section 933(b)(1) of the PHS Act (42 U.S.C. 299c-2(b)(1)) requires AHRQ to assure that statistics and analyses developed with Agency support are of high quality, comprehensive, timely, and adequately analyzed.  Accordingly—

    1. prior to the release or use of data based upon work performed under this Contract, the Contractor agrees to consult with the Project and Contract Officers regarding the proposed release or use.  The Contractor will in good faith consider, discuss, and respond to any comments or suggested modifications that are provided by AHRQ within two months of receiving the proposed release or use.

      The purpose of such consultation is to assure that:

         
      1. identifiable information is being used exclusively for the purpose(s) for which it was supplied or appropriate consents have been obtained;
      2. the confidentiality promised to individuals and establishments supplying identifiable information or described in it is not violated; and
      3. the quality of statistical and analytical work meets the statutory standards cited above.

    2. The Contractor must satisfy conditions (1)(A) and (1)(B).  At the conclusion of any consultation required by paragraph (b)(1) above, if AHRQ and the Contractor cannot agree that a proposed use or release satisfies condition (1)(C) above:

         
      1. the research professional at the Contractor responsible for the quality of the Contract work will, in advance of any release or use of such data, certify in a letter to the Contracting Officer what differences of opinion cannot be resolved regarding the statutory standards referenced in condition (1)(C) and the basis for Contractor assertions that these standards have been met; and
      2. the Contractor must print prominently on the release or other product, or on any portion that is released, or state prior to any oral presentation or release of such material, the following disclaimer:

        THIS presentation/publication/or other product is derived from work supported under a contract with THE AGENCY FOR HEALTHCARE RESEARCH AND QUALITY (AHRQ) (#   ).  However, this presentation/publication/or other product HAS NOT BEEN APPROVED by the agency.

  3.   Required Statement Regarding Protected Information.  On all written material or other recorded products, or preceding any presentation or other oral disclosure, release or use of material based on identifiable information obtained in the course of work performed under this contract, the Contractor shall make the following statement:

    IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION ON WHICH THIS REPORT, PRESENTATION, OR OTHER FORM OF DISCLOSURE IS BASED IS PROTECTED BY FEDERAL LAW, SECTION 934(c) OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE ACT, 42 U.S.C. 299c-3(c).  NO IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION ABOUT ANY INDIVIDUALS OR ENTITIES SUPPLYING THE INFORMATION OR DESCRIBED IN IT MAY BE KNOWINGLY USED EXCEPT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THEIR PRIOR CONSENT.  ANY CONFIDENTIAL IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION IN THIS REPORT OR PRESENTATION THAT IS KNOWINGLY DISCLOSED IS DISCLOSED SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH IT WAS PROVIDED.

  4. Copyright—Data first produced in the performance of the Contract.  Subject to the terms of this Section regarding release and use of data, AHRQ, through its Contracting Officer, will grant permission under FAR 52.227-17(c)(1)(i) to the Contractor to establish claim to copyright subsisting in scientific and technical articles based on or containing data first produced in the performance of this contract that are submitted for publication in academic, technical or professional journals, symposia proceedings or similar works.  When claim to copyright is made, the Contractor shall affix the applicable copyright notice of 17 U.S.C. 401 or 402 and acknowledgment of Government sponsorship (including contract number) to the data when such data are delivered to the Government, as well as when the data are published or deposited for registration as a published work in the U.S. Copyright Office.  In such circumstances, the Contractor hereby agrees to grant to AHRQ, and others acting on its behalf, a paid-up, nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license for all such data to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies to the public, and perform publicly and display publicly, by or on behalf of AHRQ.  A description of this license will be incorporated into the copyright notices required above.
  5. Subcontracts.  Whenever data, analyses, or other recorded products are to be developed by a subcontractor under this Contract, the Contractor must include the terms of H.1 in the subcontract, without substantive alteration, with a provision that the subcontractor may not further assign to another party any of its obligations to the Contractor.  No clause may be included to diminish the Government's stated requirements or rights regarding release or use of products or materials based on data derived from work performed under this contract.

H.3 LACK OF COMPLIANCE WITH REQUIREMENTS FOR RELEASE OR USE

Failure to submit materials for statutorily mandated confidentiality and statistical and analytic quality reviews as required by Section H.2 of this contract will be viewed as a material violation and breach of the terms of this contract, as the requirements of this provision are necessary for AHRQ to carry out its statutory obligations and responsibilities.  Records of the Contractor's performance, including the Contractor's performance pertaining to this Contract, will be maintained in AHRQ's Contracts Management Office and will be considered as an element of past performance which is part of all subsequent competitive contract proposal reviews. 

H.4 SUBCONTRACTS

The contractor must include in any subcontracts executed or used to provide the support specified in this contract the terms of requirements H.2, H.3, H.4, and H.7.  These requirements are to be included without substantive alteration, and no clause may be included to diminish these requirements.

Award of any subcontract is subject to the written approval of the Contracting Officer upon review of the supporting documentation as required by FAR Clause 52.215-12, Subcontractor Cost or Pricing Data, of the General Clauses incorporated into this contract.  A copy of the signed subcontract shall be provided to the Contracting Officer.

H.5 LATE PAYMENTS TO THE GOVERNMENT

Late payment of debts owed the Government by the Contractor, arising from whatever cause, under this contract/order shall bear interest at a rate or rates to be established in accordance with the Treasury Fiscal Requirements Manual.  For purposes of this provision, late payments are defined as payments received by the Government more than 30 days after the Contractor has been notified in writing by the Contracting Officer of:

     
  1. The basis of indebtedness.
  2. The amount due.
  3. The fact that interest will be applied if payment is not received within 30 days from the date of mailing of the notice.
  4. The approximate interest rate that will be charged.

H.6 PRIVACY ACT

The Privacy Act clauses cited in Section I (FAR 52.224-1 and 52.224-2) are applicable to the consultant records kept by the Contractor for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

You are hereby notified that the Contractor and its employees are subject to criminal penalties for violations of the Act (5 U.S.C. 552a(i)) to the same extent as employees of the Department.  The Contractor shall assure that each Contractor employee is aware that he/she can be subjected to criminal penalties for violations of the Act.  Disposition instructions:  Records are to be destroyed after contract closeout is completed and final payment is made and in accordance with IRS regulations.

H.7 SALARY RATE LIMITATION HHSAR 352-270-15 (JANUARY 2008)

Pursuant to the applicable HHS appropriations acts cited in the table below, the Contractor shall not use contract funds to pay the direct salary of an individual at a rate in excess of the salary level in effect on the date the expense is incurred as shown in the table below.  For purposes of the salary limitation, the terms direct salary, salary, and institutional base salary have the same meaning and are collectively referred to as direct salary in this clause. An individual's direct salary is the annual compensation that the Contractor pays for an individual's appointment whether that individual's time is spent on research, teaching, patient care, or other activities. Direct salary excludes any income that an individual may be permitted to earn outside of duties to the Contractor. Direct salary also excludes fringe benefits, overhead, and general and administrative expenses (also referred to as indirect costs or facilities and administrative [F&A] costs). The salary rate limitation also applies to individuals performing under subcontracts. However, it does not apply to fees paid to consultants. If this is a multiple-year contract, it may be subject to unilateral modification by the Contracting Officer to ensure that an individual is not paid at a rate that exceeds the salary rate limitation provision established in the HHS appropriations act in effect when the expense is incurred regardless of the rate initially used to establish contract funding.

Public law Period Covered Salary Limitation
(based on Executive Level I)

P.L. 110-161, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008

1/1/08—Until revised

$191,300

Executive Level salaries for the current and prior periods can be found at the following Web site: http://www.opm.gov/oca/05tables/html/ex.asp.  Select "Salaries and Wages" and then scroll to the bottom of the page to select the desired period.

H.8 SECTION 508 COMPLIANCE

This language is applicable to Statements of Work (SOW) or Performance Work Statements (PWS) generated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that require a contractor or consultant to (1) produce content in any format that could be placed on a Department-owned or Department-funded Web site; or (2) write, create or produce any communications materials intended for public or internal use; to include reports, documents, charts, posters, presentations (such as Microsoft® PowerPoint) or video material that could be placed on a Department-owned or Department-funded Web site.

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794d) requires Federal agencies to purchase electronic and information technologies (EIT) that meet specific accessibility standards. This law helps to ensure that federal employees with disabilities have access to, and use of, the information and data they need to do their jobs. Furthermore, this law ensures that members of the public with disabilities have the ability to access government information and services.

There are three regulations addressing the requirements detailed in Section 508. The Section 508 technical and functional standards are codified at 36 CFR Part 1194 and may be accessed through the Access Board's Web site at http://www.access-board.gov. The second regulation issued to implement Section 508 is the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). FAR Part 39.2 requires that agency acquisitions of Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) comply with the Access Board's standards. The entire FAR is found at Chapter 1 of the Code of Federal Register (CFR) Title 48, located at http://www.acquisition.gov. The FAR rule implementing Section 508 can be found at http://www.section508.gov. The third applicable regulation is the HHS Acquisition Regulation (HHSAR).

Regardless of format, all Web content or communications materials produced for publication on or delivery via HHS Web sites—including text, audio or video—must conform to applicable Section 508 standards to allow federal employees and members of the public with disabilities to access information that is comparable to information provided to persons without disabilities. All contractors (including subcontractors1) or consultants responsible for preparing or posting content intended for use on an HHS-funded or HHS-managed Web site must comply with applicable Section 508 accessibility standards, and where applicable, those set forth in the referenced policy or standards documents below. Remediation of any materials that do not comply with the applicable provisions of 36 CFR Part 1194 as set forth in the SOW or PWS, shall be the responsibility of the contractor or consultant retained to produce the Web-suitable content or communications material.

1 - Prime contractors may enter into subcontracts in the performance of a Federal contract, but the prime remains obligated to deliver what is called for under the contract.

References:

HHS Policy for Section 508 Electronic and Information Technology (E&IT) (January 2005):
http://www.hhs.gov/od/Final_Section_508_Policy.html

HHS Section 508 Web site:
http://508.hhs.gov/

HHS ASPA Web Communications Division Web site:
http://www.hhs.gov/Web/policies/index.html

US General Services Administration (GSA) Section 508 Web site:
http://www.section508.gov/index.cfm

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