DATE: February 22, 2000

FROM: Barry McVay, CPCM

SUBJECT: Department of Energy (DOE); Merit Review Guide for Financial Assistance and Unsolicited Proposals

SOURCE: DOE Policy Flash 2000-02, February 2, 2000

AGENCIES: Office of Procurement and Assistance Policy, DOE

ACTION: Notice

SYNOPSIS: DOE has published the Merit Review Guide for Financial Assistance and Unsolicited Proposals to provide guidance on conducting merit reviews and to promote a more uniformed and disciplined approach to the review process. It is available on the Internet at http://www.pr.doe.gov/fahome.html.


SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: It is DOE policy that discretionary financial assistance actions be awarded through a merit-based selection process. Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 600.13, Objective Merit Review, defines a merit review as a "thorough, consistent and objective examination of applications based on pre-established criteria by persons who are independent of those individuals submitting the applications and who are knowledgeable in the field of endeavor for which support is requested." Merit reviews are required for all discretionary financial assistance awards, such as competitive and noncompetitive grants, competitive and noncompetitive cooperative agreements, and unsolicited proposals.

According to the introduction to the guide, "in the current funding environment, it is increasingly important to make sure that merit review evaluations provide a sound basis for decision-making and that selection officials have the maximal amount of useful information on which to base their selection and funding decisions."

The contents of the 19 page guide are:

I. Introduction

II. Merit Reviews
     Purpose of Review
     Types of Merit Review
     Merit Review Procedures

III. Responsibilities
     Program Officials
     Merit Review Chair (or other official responsible for the review)
     Contracting Officer
     Selection Official

IV. Selection and Number of Reviewers
     Number of Reviewers

V. Conflicts of Interest and Confidentiality
     Conflicts of Interest
     Confidentiality and Communications

VI. Evaluation Criteria
     Basis of Rating
     Development of Criteria

VII. Rating Plan
     Rating Scale
     Rating Method
     Rating Plan for Noncompetitive Applications and Unsolicited Proposals

VIII. Conduct of Reviews
     Conduct of Panel Reviews
     Conduct of Mail Reviews

IX. Documentation
     Summary Statement
     Ranking Sheet

X. Appendices
     A. Glossary
     B. Conflict-of-Interest/Non-Disclosure Certificate
     C. Rating Plan for Noncompetitive Applications and Unsolicited Proposals
     D. Summary Statement Format
     E. Ranking Sheet Format

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barry McVay at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to BarryMcVay@FedGovContracts.com.

Copyright 2000 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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