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6.0 The Pre-Award Process

Pursuant to OMB Circular A-102, Section 36(c), all relevant local provisions, and this Sourcebook, all local or federal grants and subgrants to grantees shall be made on a competitive basis except as set forth below.  Grant funds awarded as the result of a grant competition must be competed each successive grant term unless the following occur:

(a) The funds are awarded as part of an extension of the original grant;

(b) The Agency has unobligated funds from the original grant that it wishes to give to the original grantee(s);

(c) The terms of the grant allow the Agency to add or modify grant awards; or

(d) The original award document specifically allows otherwise.

The exceptions to making competitive awards are as follows:

(a) Sole Source - An Agency may make an award on a sole source basis in appropriate circumstances.  These circumstances include, but are not limited to, situations where: (1) the authorization for the award designates the grantee, (2) the applicable law defines eligibility in such a way that there is only one eligible applicant, (3) there is a recognized coalition of service providers through which the broadest community participation may be obtained in serving the targeted clientele, or (4) when the services required by the Agency are available from only one source and no other type of services will satisfy Agency requirements.

(b) Earmark - An earmark is a sole-source award intended by the law that created it to go to a particular entity.  An Agency may make an award as an earmark if the same is clearly contemplated by the legislation or Agreement that provides the grant funds.

(c) Unsolicited Proposal - An Agency may make an award in response to an unsolicited proposal if: (1) the Agency has unobligated funds remaining from the grant due to unusual and unanticipated factors, (2) the applicant has a program or project that clearly furthers the purpose of the grant, (3) the proposal reflects proprietary skills or technology that are limited in availability, and (4) the applicant brings to the total grant program matching resources (cash or in-kind) equivalent to the match assistance required, if any.

If an Agency determines, for good cause shown, to make an excepted award pursuant to this section, it shall do so in a manner consistent with Section 8.6 of this Sourcebook. Moreover, excepted awards remain subject to all other Sourcebook provisions, particularly those regarding award documentation requirements, as well as financial and programmatic reporting and monitoring.

Services may be considered to be available from only one source if the source has submitted an unsolicited proposal that:

  • Demonstrates a unique and innovative concept or capability to provide the particular service(s) proposed;
  • Offers a concept or service(s) not otherwise available to the District; and,
  • Does not resemble the substance of a pending competitive acquisition.

In addition, services may be deemed to be available only from a single source: 1) in the case of a grant or subgrant for the continued development or production of a major system or highly specialized equipment, including major components thereof, 2) when it is likely that an award to any other source would result in substantial duplication of cost to the District Government that is not expected to be recovered through competition, or 3) where the awarding Agency determines that unacceptable delays would result in fulfilling the Agency's requirements.  However, consistent with section 8.2 herein, no awarding Agency may require or impose conditions that encourage or result in the creation of artificial barriers or overly restrictive requirements that result in a limited number of grant or subgrant applicants.

When an Agency decides to award a grant or subgrant to a grantee, it shall follow the steps described in this Manual.  Competition is required generally even if other District Agencies are among the pool of applicants.