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Title 14Chapter ISubchapter BPart 17 → Subpart A

Title 14: Aeronautics and Space

Subpart A—General

§17.1   Applicability.
§17.3   Definitions.
§17.5   Delegation of authority.
§17.7   Filing and computation of time.
§17.9   Protective orders.

§17.1   Applicability.

This part applies to all Acquisition Management System (AMS) bid protests and contract disputes involving the FAA that are filed at the Office of Dispute Resolution for Acquisition (ODRA) on or after October 7, 2011, with the exception of those contract disputes arising under or related to FAA contracts entered into prior to April 1, 1996, where such contracts have not been modified to be made subject to the FAA AMS. This part also applies to pre-disputes as described in subpart G of this part.

§17.3   Definitions.

(a) Accrual means to come into existence as a legally enforceable claim.

(b) Accrual of a contract claim means that all events relating to a claim have occurred, which fix liability of either the government or the contractor and permit assertion of the claim, regardless of when the claimant actually discovered those events. For liability to be fixed, some injury must have occurred. Monetary damages need not have been incurred, but if the claim is for money, such damages must be capable of reasonable estimation. The accrual of a claim or the running of the limitations period may be tolled on equitable grounds, including but not limited to active concealment, fraud, or if the facts were inherently unknowable.

(c) Acquisition Management System (AMS) establishes the policies, guiding principles, and internal procedures for the FAA's acquisition system.

(d) Adjudicative Process is an administrative adjudicatory process used to decide protests and contract disputes where the parties have not achieved resolution through informal communication or the use of ADR. The Adjudicative Process is conducted by a Dispute Resolution Officer (DRO) or Special Master selected by the ODRA Director to preside over the case in accordance with Public Law 108-176, Section 224, Codified at 49 U.S.C. 40110(d)(4).

(e) Administrator means the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration.

(f) Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is the primary means of voluntary dispute resolution that is employed by the ODRA. See Appendix A of this part.

(g) Compensated Neutral refers to an impartial third party chosen by the parties to act as a facilitator, mediator, or arbitrator functioning to resolve the protest or contract dispute under the auspices of the ODRA. The parties pay equally for the services of a compensated neutral, unless otherwise agreed to by the parties. An ODRA DRO or neutral cannot be a compensated neutral.

(h) Contract Dispute, as used in this part, means a written request to the ODRA seeking, as a matter of right under an FAA contract subject to the AMS, the payment of money in a sum certain, the adjustment or interpretation of contract terms, or for other relief arising under, relating to, or involving an alleged breach of that contract. A contract dispute does not require, as a prerequisite, the issuance of a Contracting Officer final decision. Contract disputes, for purposes of ADR only, may also involve contracts not subject to the AMS.

(i) Counsel refers to a Legal Representative who is an attorney licensed by a State, the District of Columbia, or a territory of the United States to practice law or appear before the courts of that State or territory.

(j) Contractor is a party in contractual privity with the FAA and responsible for performance of a contract's requirements.

(k) Discovery is the procedure whereby opposing parties in a protest or contract dispute may, either voluntarily or to the extent ordered by the ODRA, obtain testimony from, or documents and information held by, other parties or non-parties.

(l) Dispute Resolution Officer (DRO) is an attorney and member of the ODRA staff. The term DRO can include the Director of the ODRA.

(m) Interested party, in the context of a bid protest, is one whose direct economic interest has been or would be affected by the award or failure to award an FAA contract. Proposed subcontractors are not “interested parties” within this definition and are not eligible to submit protests to the ODRA. Subcontractors not in privity with the FAA are not interested parties in the context of a contract dispute.

(n) Intervenor is an interested party other than the protester whose participation in a protest is allowed by the ODRA. For a post-award protest, the awardee of the contract that is the subject of the protest will be allowed, upon timely request, to participate as an intervenor in the protest. In such a protest, no other interested parties will be allowed to participate as intervenors.

(o) Legal Representative is an individual(s) designated to act on behalf of a party in matters before the ODRA. Unless otherwise provided under §§17.15(c)(2), 17.27(a)(1), or 17.59(a)(6), a Notice of Appearance must be filed with the ODRA containing the name, address, telephone and facsimile (Fax) numbers of a party's legal representative.

(p) Neutral refers to an impartial third party in the ADR process chosen by the parties to act as a facilitator, mediator, arbitrator, or otherwise to aid the parties in resolving a protest or contract dispute. A neutral can be a DRO or a person not an employee of the ODRA.

(q) ODRA is the FAA's exclusive forum acting on behalf of the Administrator, pursuant to the statutory authority granted by Public Law 108-176, Section 224, to provide dispute resolution services and to adjudicate matters within its jurisdiction. The ODRA may also provide non-binding dispute resolution services in matters outside of its jurisdiction where mutually requested to do so by the parties involved.

(r) Parties include the protester(s) or the contractor, the FAA, and any intervenor(s).

(s) Pre-Disputes mean an issue(s) in controversy concerning an FAA contract or solicitation that, by mutual agreement of the parties, is filed with the ODRA. See subpart G of this part.

(t) Product Team, as used in these rules, refers to the FAA organization(s) responsible for the procurement or contracting activity, without regard to funding source, and includes the Contracting Officer (CO). The Product Team, acting through assigned FAA counsel, is responsible for all communications with and submissions to the ODRA in pending matters.

(u) Screening Information Request (SIR or Solicitation) means a request by the FAA for documentation, information, presentations, proposals, or binding offers concerning an approach to meeting potential acquisition requirements established by the FAA.

(v) A Special Master is a non-FAA attorney or judge who has been assigned by the ODRA to act as its finder of fact, and to make findings and recommendations based upon AMS policy and applicable law and authorities in the Adjudicative Process.

§17.5   Delegation of authority.

(a) The authority of the Administrator to conduct dispute resolution and adjudicative proceedings concerning acquisition matters is delegated to the Director of the ODRA.

(b) The Director of the ODRA may redelegate to Special Masters and DROs such delegated authority in paragraph (a) of this section as deemed necessary by the Director for efficient resolution of an assigned protest or contract dispute, including the imposition of sanctions for the filing of frivolous pleadings, making false statements, or other disciplinary actions. See subpart F of this part.

§17.7   Filing and computation of time.

(a) Filing of a protest or contract dispute may be accomplished by overnight delivery, by hand delivery, by Fax, or, if permitted by Order of the ODRA, by electronic filing. A protest or contract dispute is considered to be filed on the date it is received by the ODRA during normal business hours. The ODRA's normal business hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time. A protest or contract dispute received after the time period prescribed for filing shall not be considered timely filed. Service shall also be made on the Contracting Officer (CO) pursuant to §§17.15(e) and 17.27(d).

(b) Submissions to the ODRA after the initial filing of a protest or contract dispute may be accomplished by any means available in paragraph (a) of this section. Copies of all such submissions shall be served on the opposing party or parties.

(c) The time limits stated in this part are calculated in business days, which exclude weekends, Federal holidays and other days on which Federal Government offices in Washington, DC are not open. In computing time, the day of the event beginning a period of time shall not be included. If the last day of a period falls on a weekend or a Federal holiday, the first business day following the weekend or holiday shall be considered the last day of the period.

(d) Electronic Filing—Procedures for electronic filing may be utilized where permitted by Order of the ODRA on a case-by-case basis or pursuant to a Standing Order of the ODRA permitting electronic filing.

§17.9   Protective orders.

(a) The ODRA may issue protective orders addressing the treatment of protected information, including protected information in electronic form, either at the request of a party or upon its own initiative. Such information may include proprietary, confidential, or source-selection-sensitive material, or other information the release of which could result in a competitive advantage to one or more firms.

(b) The terms of the ODRA's standard protective order may be altered to suit particular circumstances, by negotiation of the parties, subject to the approval of the ODRA. The protective order establishes procedures for application for access to protected information, identification and safeguarding of that information, and submission of redacted copies of documents omitting protected information.

(c) After a protective order has been issued, counsel or consultants retained by counsel appearing on behalf of a party may apply for access to the material under the order by submitting an application to the ODRA, with copies furnished simultaneously to all parties. The application shall establish that the applicant is not involved in competitive decision-making for any firm that could gain a competitive advantage from access to the protected information and that the applicant will diligently protect any protected information received from inadvertent disclosure. Objections to an applicant's admission shall be raised within two (2) days of the application, although the ODRA may consider objections raised after that time for good cause.

(d) Any violation of the terms of a protective order may result in the imposition of sanctions, including but not limited to removal of the violator from the protective order and reporting of the violator to his or her bar association(s), and the taking of other actions as the ODRA deems appropriate. Additional civil or criminal penalties may apply.

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