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e-CFR data is current as of January 21, 2021

Title 32Subtitle AChapter ISubchapter CPart 22 → Subpart B

Title 32: National Defense

Subpart B—Selecting the Appropriate Instrument

§22.200   Purpose.
§22.205   Distinguishing assistance from procurement.
§22.210   Authority for providing assistance.
§22.215   Distinguishing grants and cooperative agreements.
§22.220   Exemptions.

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§22.200   Purpose.

This subpart provides the bases for determining the appropriate type of instrument in a given situation.

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§22.205   Distinguishing assistance from procurement.

Before using a grant or cooperative agreement, the grants officer shall make a positive judgment that an assistance instrument, rather than a procurement contract, is the appropriate instrument, based on the following:

(a) Purpose. (1) The grants officer must judge that the principal purpose of the activity to be carried out under the instrument is to stimulate or support a public purpose (i.e., to provide assistance), rather than acquisition (i.e., to acquire goods and services for the direct benefit of the United States Government). If the principal purpose is acquisition, then the grants officer shall judge that a procurement contract is the appropriate instrument, in accordance with 31 U.S.C. chapter 63 (“Using Procurement Contracts and Grant and Cooperative Agreements”). Assistance instruments shall not be used in such situations, except:

(i) When a statute specifically provides otherwise; or

(ii) When an exemption is granted, in accordance with §22.220.

(2) For research and development, the appropriate use of grants and cooperative agreements therefore is almost exclusively limited to the performance of selected basic, applied, and advanced research projects. Development projects nearly always shall be performed by contract or other acquisition transaction because their principal purpose is the acquisition of specific deliverable items (e.g., prototypes or other hardware) for the benefit of the Department of Defense.

(b) Fee or profit. Payment of fee or profit is consistent with an activity whose principal purpose is the acquisition of goods and services for the direct benefit or use of the United States Government, rather than an activity whose principal purpose is assistance. Therefore, the grants officer shall use a procurement contract, rather than an assistance instrument, in all cases where:

(1) Fee or profit is to be paid to the recipient of the instrument; or

(2) The instrument is to be used to carry out a program where fee or profit is necessary to achieving program objectives.

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§22.210   Authority for providing assistance.

(a) Before a grant or cooperative agreement may be used, the grants officer must:

(1) Identify the program statute, the statute that authorizes the DoD Component to carry out the activity the principal purpose of which is assistance (see 32 CFR 21.410 through 21.420.

(2) Review the program statute to determine if it contains requirements that affect the:

(i) Solicitation, selection, and award processes. For example, program statutes may authorize assistance to be provided only to certain types of recipients; may require that recipients meet certain other criteria to be eligible to receive assistance; or require that a specific process shall be used to review recipients' proposals.

(ii) Terms and conditions of the award. For example, some program statutes require a specific level of cost sharing or matching.

(b) The grants officer shall ensure that the award of DoD appropriations through a grant or cooperative agreement for a research project meets the standards of 10 U.S.C. 2358, DoD's broad authority to carry out research, even if the research project is authorized under a statutory authority other than 10 U.S.C. 2358. The standards of 10 U.S.C. 2358 are that, in the opinion of the Head of the DoD Component or his or her designee, the projects must be:

(1) Necessary to the responsibilities of the DoD Component.

(2) Related to weapons systems and other military needs or of potential interest to the DoD Component.

[63 FR 12164, Mar. 12, 1998, as amended at 68 FR 47160, Aug. 7, 2003]

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§22.215   Distinguishing grants and cooperative agreements.

(a) Once a grants officer judges, in accordance with §§22.205 and 22.210, that either a grant or cooperative agreement is the appropriate instrument, the grants officer shall distinguish between the two instruments as follows:

(1) Grants shall be used when the grants officer judges that substantial involvement is not expected between the Department of Defense and the recipient when carrying out the activity contemplated in the agreement.

(2) Cooperative agreements shall be used when the grants officer judges that substantial involvement is expected. The grants officer should document the nature of the substantial involvement that led to selection of a cooperative agreement. Under no circumstances are cooperative agreements to be used solely to obtain the stricter controls typical of a contract.

(b) In judging whether substantial involvement is expected, grants officers should recognize that “substantial involvement” is a relative, rather than an absolute, concept, and that it is primarily based on programmatic factors, rather than requirements for grant or cooperative agreement award or administration. For example, substantial involvement may include collaboration, participation, or intervention in the program or activity to be performed under the award.

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§22.220   Exemptions.

Under 31 U.S.C. 6307, “the Director of the Office of Management and Budget may exempt an agency transaction or program” from the requirements of 31 U.S.C. chapter 63. Grants officers shall request such exemptions only in exceptional circumstances. Each request shall specify for which individual transaction or program the exemption is sought; the reasons for requesting an exemption; the anticipated consequences if the exemption is not granted; and the implications for other agency transactions and programs if the exemption is granted. The procedures for requesting exemptions shall be:

(a) In cases where 31 U.S.C. chapter 63 would require use of a contract and an exemption from that requirement is desired:

(1) The grants officer shall submit a request for exemption, through appropriate channels established by his or her DoD Component (see 32 CFR 21.320(a)), to the Director of Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy (DDP&AP).

(2) The DDP&AP, after coordination with the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD (R&E)), shall transmit the request to OMB or notify the DoD Component that the request has been disapproved.

(b) In other cases, the DoD Component shall submit a request for the exemption through appropriate channels to the ASD (R&E). The ASD (R&E) shall transmit the request to OMB or notify the DoD Component that the request has been disapproved.

(c) Where an exemption is granted, documentation of the approval shall be maintained in the award file.

[63 FR 12164, Mar. 12, 1998, as amended at 68 FR 47160, Aug. 7, 2003; 70 FR 49464, Aug. 23, 2005; 85 FR 51242, Aug. 19, 2020]

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