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Site Visits, Contractor

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This SOP has internal roles only.

Standard Operating Procedure Table of Contents

Purpose

To provide procedures for the conduct of preaward and postaward site visits. This includes when NIAID staff travel to a contractor site and reverse site visits when contractor staff travel to NIAID.

Procedure

A site visit may be conducted when it is considered to be the best method for obtaining necessary information, resolving an outstanding issue, or there is a need to view the contractor’s facility. The NIAID contracting officer's representative (COR) and contracting officer, or appropriate representatives, should attend all site visits.

Preaward site visits are conducted with offerors that the government has engaged in negotiations in order to aid in the selection of the most qualified offeror. Specifically, preaward site visits may be used to:

  • Assess information regarding certain offerors' capabilities, resources, organization, and facilities.
  • Verify the offeror's proposal in areas deemed necessary; and clarify proposal details
  • Obtain, review, and/or negotiate proposal cost and pricing information with the offeror. There is, however, no requirement that any or all offerors receive a site visit.

Postaward site visits are a valuable tool for monitoring contractor performance and may be necessary to deal with contractor performance problems. It may also be valuable to perform a postaward site visit immediately following the award of a contract that is large or complex or to a contractor that is new to government contracting.

Postaward site visits permit NIAID staff to obtain first-hand knowledge of the work being performed, the contractor’s facilities, and the experience, expertise, and efficiency of the contractor’s staff.

When a statement of work is phased, it may be beneficial to conduct a postaward site visit before work progresses from one phase to the next.

A postaward site visit may also be needed to assess a contractor’s adherence to a research protocol.

There is no requirement to perform a postaward site visit for each contractor.

Contracting Officer's Representatives (COR)

  • Determine, with the contracting officer, the need for a site visit, whether a reverse site visit is preferred, and the composition of the site visit team.
  • A site visit must not be conducted without the concurrence of the contracting officer.
  • Take the lead in conducting and documenting technical aspects of the site visit proceedings.
  • Ensure all technical items in the site visit agenda are addressed during the site visit proceedings.
  • For preaward site visits, select appropriate NIAID staff and/or consultants, if necessary, to participate in the proceedings.  Obtain the contracting officer’s written concurrence with any consultants selected.  The avoidance of conflicts of interest and competitive relationships must be taken into consideration when making the decision to use outside consultants (see FAR Subpart 9.5—Organizational and Consultant Conflicts of Interest).  Reports from individual consultants should be provided to the contracting officer's representative (COR for preparation of the site visit report.
  • For postaward site visits, with the contracting officer, check performance and progress against scheduled and reported performance, determine if facilities and working conditions are adequate, verify that the employees charged to a cost-reimbursement contract are actually performing work, address any contractor performance problems, and attend to other agenda items.
  • Within 30 calendar days after a site visit, prepare and sign a Preaward Site Visit Report or Postaward Site Visit Report. Submit a copy of the report to the contracting officer for the official contract file and follow up on action items.

Contracting Officers and Contract Specialists

  • Determine, with the contracting officer's representative (COR), the need for a site visit, whether a reverse site visit is preferred, and the composition of the site visit team.
  • Make arrangements with the offeror or contractor for the site visit.
  • Develop, with the contracting officer's representative (COR) and the offeror or contractor, the agenda for the site visit.  The agenda may include a formal presentation by the offeror or contractor and a tour of its facilities. 
  • Technical and business questions may be sent to an offeror or contractor in advance of a site visit with the understanding that responses will be provided during the site visit proceedings.
  • Send written confirmation of the site visit, including a list of participants and the agenda, to the offeror or contractor.
  • Take the lead in conducting and documenting business aspects of the site visit proceedings.
  • Ensure all business items in the site visit agenda are addressed during the site visit proceedings.
  • For preaward site visits, the selection of appropriate NIAID staff or consultants, if necessary, to participate in the proceedings is the responsibility of the contracting officer's representative (COR). The avoidance of conflicts of interest and competitive relationships must be taken into consideration when making the decision to use outside consultants (see FAR Subpart 9.5—Organizational and Consultant Conflicts of Interest).  Provide written concurrence or written rationale for rejecting any consultants to the contracting officer's representative (COR).
  • For postaward site visits, with the contracting officer's representative (COR), check performance and progress against scheduled and reported performance, determine if facilities and working conditions are adequate, verify that the employees charged to a cost-reimbursement contract are actually performing work, address any contractor performance problems, and attend to other agenda items.
  • After a site visit, review and contribute to the Preaward Site Visit Report or Postaward Site Visit Report.  
  • Ensure receipt of the signed final site visit report from the contracting officer's representative (COR).  Sign the report and provide a signed copy to the contracting officer's representative (COR).
  • File the final site visit report in the official contract file and follow up on action items.

Contacts

See the OA staff listing.

If you have knowledge to share or want more information on this topic, email deaweb@niaid.nih.gov with the title of this page or its URL and your question or comment. Thanks for helping us clarify and expand our knowledge base.

Links

NIH Manual 6315-1, Review and Evaluation of R&D Contract Proposals Web site

Preaward Site Visit Report form

Postaward Site Visit Report form

Site Visits, Grantee SOP

Last Updated February 14, 2013

Last Reviewed February 14, 2013