What is the Source Approval Program?
The Army Contracting Command (ACC) at Detroit Arsenal, Michigan buys many parts for which little or no technical data is available to support procurement actions. The procurement of these parts are restricted to "approved" sources that have demonstrated their ability to produce the parts. For restricted parts, the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984 (CICA) requires buying activities, like ACC, to seek new sources and give interested sources opportunities to demonstrate their capabilities to produce the parts. At ACC, implementation of the CICA requirements is called the Source Approval Program.
To successfully compete in the Source Approval Program, the onus is on the "offeror" of the part to demonstrate that their part is equal to or better than the part the ACC is currently procuring, so items cannot be qualified via similarity or conditional qualifications.
The Competition Management Office will assist offerors in compiling the necessary information such as procurement history, available technical data, engineering points of contact and other data which may be needed to make an informed decision to proceed with source approval.
Information regarding actual solicitations and awards is the responsibility of the Contracting Officer and may be available from the Acquisition Center. The US Government cannot provide proprietary or Privacy Act information. Therefore, this information will not be available through the Competition Management Office.
The Source Approval process has two phases; the Source Approval Request (SAR) package and the qualification test phase.
Phase 1: Source Approval Request (SAR) Package Phase
During Phase 1, the SAR phase, offerors must complete and submit a SAR Package to the Competition Management Office for review and approval. The Competition Management Office works with the appropriate engineer and program manager to have the submitted SAR Package reviewed and evaluated.
The review process normally takes 30 to 90 days before a decision is made. If an approval decision is given during the SAR phase, the offeror is then authorized to move into the qualification and testing phase.
Phase 2: Qualification and Testing
The qualification and testing phase takes at least a year (possibly more) before approval and eligibility status is granted for bidding on future procurements.
Upon receipt of approval and eligibility status, the offeror can compete against other approved sources to supply parts for government requirements. It is imperative that offerors are aware that becoming an approved source only grants them an opportunity to compete on the next open solicitation and it does not guarantee them future contract awards.