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What is the acquisition plan?

The acquisition plan is the product of effective teamwork on the part of the entire teamthe program manager, the CO, and the appropriate functional experts (e.g., project officer, program director, engineer in charge of the items being acquired). As prepared by program managers in partnership with contract specialists and other members of the acquisition team, acquisition plans are designed to:

Satisfy the government's needs in the most effective, economical, and timely manner

Encourage or require offerors to supply and use commercial items or, to the extent commercial items are not suitable, other nondevelopmental items to the maximum extent practicable

Employ strategies for acquiring services that implement performance-based contracting methods (or provide rationale for not using those methods)

Provide for full and open competition through the use of competitive procedures that are tailored to reflect the circumstances of the acquisition and are consistent with the need to fulfill the government's requirements efficiently.

What acquisition background information and objectives should the COR provide when he or she assists in preparing the acquisition plan?

In addition to the "statement of need,"[1] the COR should compile information on:

The findings of market research

Cost concerns (the overall cost estimate as well as any critical cost factors)

Delivery or performance period requirements

Tradeoffs (among cost/schedule/performance requirements)

Risks associated with technical requirements or delivery

Sources (and their unique or outstanding capabilities, if applicable)

Competition (or lack thereof)

Budgeting and funding

Product or service descriptions

Priorities, allocations, and allotments (this information would identify any critical materials or facilities that might have to be provided on a priority basis, e.g., material for an urgent government requirement)

Make or buy (should the contractor make the needed item or buy it from a subcontractor?)

Testing and evaluation requirements of supply items prior to full production, usually referred to as first article or prototype unit items

Government-furnished property (is it better for the government to furnish or not to furnish property?)

Environmental and energy conservation considerations

Security considerations

Any other relevant considerations.

The COR will need to perform the following tasks to update or prepare the acquisition plan and provide funding coordination as necessary:

1. Assist in identifying acquisition-related information

2. Perform market research

3. Assist in preparing the acquisition plan

4. Coordinate funding information with the contracting office.

How does the COR assist in identifying acquisition-related needs from program and project plans?

The COR is responsible for:

Providing technical details about supplies and services to be procured

Providing technical input for the development of acquisition strategies (e.g., decisions related to contract type or whether to provide government property)

Making decisions on whether to use advance notices or call conferences to clarify complex technical details prior to issuance of the solicitation

Technically researching alternative techniques to enhance competition

Creating program baselines (milestones, cost, and performance).

What sources of information can assist the COR in identifying these acquisition-related needs?

The COR can consult the following sources to identify the government's acquisition-related needs:

Changes in agency policies or regulations

Documents related to budget, plans, and programs

Projections from data on the currently expiring contract (if applicable) or on previously completed contracts

Surveys of requiring activities and other program planners

Changes in contract requirements.

The COR may also obtain this information by participating in meetings to plan agency missions.

  • [1] The statement of need is a general overview of the circumstances and requirements that initially created the need to acquire supplies or services by contract. This information, compiled by the program office, is the technical genesis (i.e., the "what, why, and when" relative to the technical requirements) of the acquisition plan.
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