[Federal Register: April 21, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 78)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 21367-21371]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr21ap00-22]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

48 CFR Parts 919 and 952

RIN 1991-AB45

 
Acquisition Regulations: Mentor-Protege Program

AGENCY: Department of Energy.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Energy (DOE) is amending its acquisition 
regulations to encourage DOE prime contractors to assist small 
disadvantaged firms certified by the Small Business Administration 
under Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act (8(a)), other small 
disadvantaged businesses, Historically Black Colleges and Universities 
and other minority institutions of higher learning, women-owned small 
businesses and small business concerns owned and controlled by service 
disabled veterans in enhancing their capabilities to perform contracts 
and subcontracts for DOE and other Federal agencies. The program seeks 
to foster long-term business relationships between DOE prime 
contractors and these small business entities and minority institutions 
of higher learning and to increase the overall number of these small 
business entities and minority institutions that receive DOE contract 
and subcontract awards.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This rule will take effect May 22, 2000.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Eugene Tates, Mentor-Protege Program, 
U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business 
Utilization, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20585, (202) 
586-4556; or Robert M. Webb, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of 
Procurement and Assistance Management, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW, 
Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-8264.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:  
I. Background
II. Resolution of Comments
III. Procedural Requirements
A. Review Under Executive Order 12866
B. Review Under Executive Order 12988
C. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act
D. Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act
E. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act
F. Review Under Executive Order 13132
G. Review Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
H. Treasury and General Government Appropriation Act, 1999
I. Congressional Notification

I. Background

    On June 9, 1995, DOE published final guidelines for its Mentor-
Protege Pilot Initiative (60 FR 30529). The purpose of the Initiative 
was to develop a program that encouraged DOE prime contractors to help 
energy-related small disadvantaged, 8(a), and women-owned small 
businesses in enhancing their business and technical capabilities to 
ensure full participation in the mission of DOE. In addition, the 
Initiative sought to foster the establishment of long term business 
relationships between these small business entities and DOE prime 
contractors and to increase the overall number of these small business 
entities eligible to receive DOE contract and subcontract awards. In 
order to achieve the goal of the Initiative, DOE prime contractors 
entered into formal agreements with qualified small businesses to 
provide developmental assistance. In many cases, this assistance has 
enabled small businesses to benefit from the vast wealth of knowledge 
acquired by large, successful firms doing business with DOE.
    The success of the DOE business mentoring relationships and the 
continuing need to develop small disadvantaged business, 8(a) firms and 
women-owned small businesses capabilities to perform contracts and 
subcontracts for DOE led DOE to propose the creation of a permanent DOE 
Mentor-Protege Program. DOE published a notice of proposed rulemaking 
on December 6, 1999 (64 FR 68072), which proposed a program having the 
same goals and objectives as the original DOE Mentor-Protege Pilot 
Initiative. Some refinements were proposed to provide additional 
incentives for prime contractor participation in the Mentor-Protege 
Program. After carefully considering the public comments received on 
the notice of proposed rulemaking, DOE today publishes a final rule.

II. Resolution of Comments

    Fourteen comments were received in response to the proposed rule. 
The comments and DOE's responses are as follows:
    Comment: It is unclear whether or not DOE would reimburse Mentors 
for costs incurred by providing developmental assistance to Protege 
firms.
    Response: The Mentor-Protege rule is clear on this issue. DOE has 
stated throughout the rule that developmental assistance costs are 
allowable if they are incurred by the Mentor in the performance of a 
DOE contract spelled out in the Mentor-Protege Agreement and are 
otherwise allowable in accordance with the cost principles applicable 
to that contract.
    Comment: Do existing Mentor-Protege Agreements developed under the 
DOE Mentor-Protege Pilot Initiative have to be amended when this rule 
becomes effective?
    Response: Existing agreements do not have to be amended. The new 
rule applies only to new agreements.
    Comment: The rule does not cover small business concerns owned and 
controlled by service disabled veterans.
    Response: DOE has revised the rule to include small business 
concerns owned and controlled by service disabled veterans, as defined 
in the Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act of 
1999, Pub. L. No. 106-50.
    Comment: Which small disadvantaged businesses, other than 8(a) 
firms, are eligible to participate in the Program?
    Response: All small disadvantaged businesses that meet the 
eligibility requirements in paragraphs (a)(2)-(4) of Sec. 919.7007 are 
eligible to participate.
    Comment: Why, under Sec. 919.7008(d) of the rule, does DOE only 
permit protests regarding the small business size of a firm, and not a 
firm's status as a small disadvantaged business, etc.?
    Response: Small disadvantaged business status cannot be protested 
under this rule because the DOE Mentor-Protege Program is not limited 
to small disadvantaged businesses. Even if a firm is not a small 
disadvantaged business, it could still qualify as a small business.
    Comment: A prospective Mentor should be required under 
Sec. 919.7005 to provide evidence that the business is currently 
performing a DOE contract which contains a subcontracting plan.
    Response: DOE can identify its current contractors, so there is no 
need for such a requirement.

[[Page 21368]]

    Comment: DOE should allow designees of the chief executive officers 
of Mentor and Protege firms to execute the Mentor-Protege Agreements.
    Response: DOE agrees that delegation is appropriate for larger, 
Mentor firms, but it would not be necessary for smaller, Proteges. 
Therefore, in Sec. 919.7009, DOE allows the Mentor firm's chief 
executive officer to designate another company official to execute the 
Mentor-Protege Agreement.
    Comment: DOE should delete the procedure in proposed 
Sec. 919.7010(f) for completing performance in the case of withdrawal 
or termination by either party to the Agreement.
    Response: DOE has deleted the procedure for completing performance 
because the terms of awarded subcontracts will still be binding in the 
event of Agreement termination.
    Comment: DOE's request for a description of developmental 
assistance to be provided to Protege firms under proposed 
Sec. 919.7010(c) is duplicated by DOE's request for an explanation of 
how the developmental assistance will increase subcontracting 
opportunities for the Protege under proposed Sec. 919.7010(j).
    Response: DOE disagrees with this comment. The mere description of 
the planned developmental assistance required by paragraph (c) does not 
explain how such assistance is expected to increase subcontracting 
opportunities of the Protege firm. These are separate provisions that 
need to be discussed separately in the Agreement.
    Comment: Under what specific conditions could DOE terminate its 
recognition of a Mentor-Protege Agreement?
    Response: DOE does not attempt to specify in this rule the 
conditions or situations that would warrant termination of DOE's 
recognition of an approved DOE Mentor-Protege agreement. That is left 
for case-by-case decision.
    Comment: Which contracting officer is responsible for oversight if 
the Mentor has more than one DOE contract?
    Response: The contracting officer for each contract identified in 
the Mentor-Protege Agreement, under Sec. 919.7010(k), is the official 
responsible for oversight of the contract under his/her responsibility.
    Comment: DOE should delete the word ``field'' as used in 
Sec. 919.7013 in the term ``field technical program manager'' because 
technical program managers could be located in either the field or DOE 
headquarters.
    Response: DOE agrees and deletes the word ``field'' from 
Sec. 919.7013 and Sec. 919.7010(j).
    Comment: The proposed rule would add an unnecessary layer of 
requirements, administered from DOE Headquarters, on contractors who 
already have programs that accomplish the goals of improving 
relationships with small, small disadvantaged, women-owned, and 
minority institutions.
    Response: DOE disagrees and thinks the program established by these 
regulations provides additional incentives for its contractors to 
provide assistance to the potential Protege firms. The program's 
reporting requirements in Sec. 919.7013 are necessary for proper 
program evaluation.
    Comment: DOE should change the Protege eligibility requirement in 
Sec. 919.7007(a)(3) that a firm must have been in business for at least 
two years to no more than one year. In today's high-tech economy, a 
one-year old company is considered ``established.''
    Response: The highly technical nature of DOE's global mission 
requires that a Protege have at least two years of business experience.

III. Procedural Requirements

A. Review Under Executive Order 12866

    Today's regulatory action has been determined not to be a 
``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order 12866, 
``Regulatory Planning and Review,'' (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). 
Accordingly, this rule was not subject to review under that Executive 
Order by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of the Office 
of Management and Budget (OMB).

B. Review Under Executive Order 12988

    With respect to the review of existing regulations and the 
promulgation of new regulations, section 3(a) of Executive Order 12988, 
``Civil Justice Reform,'' 61 FR 4729 (February 7, 1996), imposes on 
Executive agencies the general duty to adhere to the following 
requirements: (1) Eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity; (2) write 
regulations to minimize litigation; and (3) provide a clear legal 
standard for affected conduct rather than a general standard and 
promote simplification and burden reduction.
    With regard to the review required by section 3(a), section 3(b) of 
Executive Order 12988 specifically requires that Executive agencies 
make every reasonable effort to ensure that the regulation: (1) Clearly 
specifies the subject law's preemptive effect, if any; (2) clearly 
specifies any effect on existing Federal law or regulation; (3) 
provides a clear legal standard for affected conduct while promoting 
simplification and burden reduction; (4) specifies the retroactive 
effect, if any; (5) adequately defines key terms; and (6) addresses 
other important issues affecting clarity and general draftsmanship 
under any guidelines issued by the Attorney General. Section 3(c) of 
Executive Order 12988 requires Executive agencies to review regulations 
in light of applicable standards in section 3(a) and section 3(b) to 
determine whether they are met or it is unreasonable to meet one or 
more of them. DOE has completed the required review and determined that 
this final rule meets the relevant standards of Executive Order 12988.

C. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., 
requires preparation of an initial regulatory flexibility analysis for 
any rule that must be proposed for public comment and that is likely to 
have significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. However, the analysis requirement does not apply if the 
agency certifies that the rule, if promulgated, will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
The entities to which this rulemaking would apply are large business 
and small business firms that receive a form of incentive for assuming 
the role of Mentor to 8(a) firms, other small disadvantaged businesses, 
small women-owned businesses, Historically Black Universities and 
Colleges, and other minority institutions of higher learning, and small 
business concerns owned and controlled by disabled veterans. It is 
expected that under this rule the protege entities would directly 
benefit from the forms of mentoring provided for in the rule. There 
would not be an adverse economic impact on contractors or 
subcontractors. Accordingly, DOE certifies that this rule would not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities, and therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis has been 
prepared.

D. Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule would require DOE contractors serving as mentors to 
submit semi-annual progress reports to the DOE Mentor-Protege Program 
Manager at DOE Headquarters (see Sec. 919.7013). The information in the 
progress reports is necessary to determine if the schedules and 
developmental assistance levels contained in Mentor-Protege Agreements 
are being met. Performance under the Agreements is the basis for

[[Page 21369]]

awarding incentive fees to mentor firms. DOE submitted the proposed 
collection of information to the Office of Management and Budget for 
review and approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501, 
et seq. The Office of Management and Budget has not yet approved the 
collection of information in this rule. An agency may not conduct or 
sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of 
information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number (5 
CFR 1320.5(b)).

E. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act

    DOE has concluded that this rule falls into a class of actions 
which would not individually or cumulatively have significant impact on 
the human environment, as determined by DOE's regulations (10 CFR part 
1021, subpart D) implementing the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). Specifically, this rule is 
categorically excluded from NEPA review because the amendments to the 
DEAR would be strictly procedural (categorical exclusion A6). 
Therefore, this rule does not require an environmental impact statement 
or environmental assessment pursuant to NEPA.

F. Review Under Executive Order 13132

    Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 4, 1999) imposes certain 
requirements on agencies formulating and implementing policies or 
regulations that preempt State law or that have other federalism 
implications. Agencies are required to examine the constitutional and 
statutory authority supporting any action that would limit the 
policymaking discretion of the States and carefully assess the 
necessity for such actions. DOE has examined today's rule and has 
determined that it does not have a substantial direct effect on the 
States, on the relationship between the national government and the 
States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of government. No further action is required by 
Executive Order 13132.

G. Review Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4) generally 
requires a Federal agency to perform a detailed assessment of costs and 
benefits of any rule imposing a federal mandate with costs to State, 
local or tribal governments, or to the private sector of $100 million 
or more. This rulemaking would only affect private sector entities, and 
the impact is less than $100 million.

H. Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999

    Section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriation, 
1999 (Pub. L. 105-277) requires Federal Agencies to issue a Family 
Policymaking Assessment for any proposed rule that may affect family 
well being. Today's rule would not have any impact on the autonomy or 
integrity of the family as an institution. Accordingly, DOE concluded 
that it is not necessary to prepare a Family Policymaking Assessment.

I. Congressional Notification

    As required by 5 U.S.C. 801, DOE will submit to Congress a report 
regarding the issuance of today's final rule. The report will state 
that it has been determined that the rule is not a ``major rule,'' as 
defined by 5 U.S.C. 804.

List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 919 and 952

    Government procurement.

    Issued in Washington, DC on April 17, 2000.
Richard H. Hopf,
Director, Office of Procurement and Assistance Management.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, Chapter 9 of Title 48 of 
the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as set forth below.

PART 919--SMALL BUSINESS PROGRAMS

    1. The authority citation for Parts 919 and 952 is revised to read 
as follows:


    Authority: 40 U.S.C. 486 (c); 42 U.S.C. 7101, et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 
2201; 50 U.S.C. 2401, et seq.

    2. A new subpart 919.70 is added in Subchapter D to read as 
follows:
Subpart 919.70--The Department of Energy Mentor-Protege Program
Sec.
919.7001   Scope of subpart.
919.7002   Definitions.
919.7003   General policy.
919.7004   General prohibitions.
919.7005   Eligibility to be a Mentor.
919.7006   Incentives for DOE contractor participation.
919.7007   Eligibility to be a Protege.
919.7008   Selection of Proteges.
919.7009   Process for participation in the program.
919.7010   Contents of Mentor-Protege Agreement.
919.7011   Developmental assistance.
919.7012   Review and approval process of agreement by OSDBU.
919.7013   Reports.
919.7014   Solicitation provision.

Subpart 919.70--The Department of Energy Mentor-Protege Program


919.7001  Scope of subpart.

    The Department of Energy (DOE) Mentor-Protege Program is designed 
to encourage DOE prime contractors to assist small disadvantaged firms 
certified by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under Section 8(a) 
of the Small Business Act (8(a)), other small disadvantaged businesses, 
women-owned small businesses, Historically Black Colleges and 
Universities, and other minority institutions of higher learning, and 
small business concerns owned and controlled by service disabled 
veterans in enhancing their capabilities to perform contracts and 
subcontracts for DOE and other Federal agencies. The program seeks to 
foster long-term business relationships between these small business 
entities and DOE prime contractors, and to increase the overall number 
of these small business entities that receive DOE contract and 
subcontract awards.


919.7002  Definitions.

    Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) means an 
institution determined by the Secretary of Education to meet the 
requirements of 34 CFR 608.2.
    Other minority institutions of higher learning means an institution 
determined by the Secretary of Education to meet the requirements of 20 
U.S.C. 1067k.
    Small business concern owned and controlled by service-disabled 
veterans means a small business concern as defined in Public Law 106-
50, Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act of 
1999.
    Small disadvantaged business means a small business concern owned 
and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals 
that meets the requirements of 13 CFR part 124, subpart B.
    Women-owned small business means a small business concern that 
meets the requirements of 15 U.S.C. 637(d)(3)(D).


919.7003  General policy.

    (a) DOE contractors eligible under 48 CFR 919.7005 may enter into 
agreements with businesses certified by the SBA in the 8(a) Program, 
other small disadvantaged businesses, women-owned small businesses, 
HBCUs, other minority institutions of higher learning, and small 
business concerns owned and controlled by service disabled veterans to 
provide those firms appropriate

[[Page 21370]]

developmental assistance to enhance the capabilities of Proteges.
    (b) Costs incurred by a Mentor to provide developmental assistance, 
as described in 919.7011, are allowable only to the extent that they 
are incurred in performance of a contract identified in the Mentor-
Protege Agreement and are otherwise allowable in accordance with the 
cost principles applicable to that contract.
    (c) Headquarters Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business 
Utilization (OSDBU) is the DOE Program Manager for the Mentor-Protege 
Program.


919.7004  General prohibitions.

    DOE will not reimburse the costs of a Mentor in providing any form 
of developmental assistance to a Protege except as provided in 
919.7003(b).


919.7005  Eligibility to be a Mentor.

    To be eligible for recognition by DOE as a Mentor, an entity must 
be performing at least one contract for DOE.


919.7006  Incentives for DOE contractor participation.

    (a) Under cost-plus-award fee contracts, approved Mentor firms may 
earn award fees associated with their performance as a Mentor. The 
award fee plan may include provision for the evaluation of the 
contractor's utilization of 8(a) firms, other small disadvantaged 
businesses, women-owned small businesses, HBCUs, other minority 
institutions of higher learning and small business concerns owned and 
controlled by service disabled veterans. DOE may evaluate the Mentor's 
performance in the DOE Mentor-Protege Program under any Mentor-Protege 
Agreement(s) as a separate element of the award fee plan.
    (b) Mentors shall receive credit for subcontracts awarded pursuant 
to their Mentor-Protege Agreements toward subcontracting goals 
contained in their subcontracting plan.


919.7007  Eligibility to be a Protege.

    (a) To be eligible for selection as a Protege, a firm must:
    (1) Be a small business certified under Section 8(a) of the Small 
Business Act by SBA, other small disadvantaged business, a women-owned 
small business, HBCU, or any other minority institution of higher 
learning, or a small business concern owned and controlled by service 
disabled veterans;
    (2) Be eligible for receipt of government contracts;
    (3) Have been in business for at least two (2) years prior to 
application for enrollment into the Mentor-Protege Program; and
    (4) Be able to certify as a small business according to the 
Standard Industrial Code for the services or supplies to be provided by 
the Protege under its subcontract with the Mentor.
    (b) A prospective Mentor may rely in good faith on written 
representations by a prospective Protege that the Protege meets the 
requirements in paragraph (a) of this section.


919.7008  Selection of Proteges.

    (a) A Mentor firm is solely responsible for selecting one or more 
Protege entities from firms eligible under 48 CFR 919.7007.
    (b) A Mentor may have more than one Protege; however, a Protege may 
have only one Mentor.
    (c) The selection of Protege firms by Mentor firms may not be 
protested, except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section.
    (d) Only protests regarding the small business size status of a 
firm to be a Protege will be considered and shall be submitted to the 
DOE Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization for 
resolution. If that office is unable to resolve a protest, it will 
refer the matter to the Small Business Administration for resolution in 
accordance with 13 CFR part 121.


919.7009  Process for participation in the program.

    A prospective Mentor must submit the following to the DOE Mentor-
Protege Program Manager.
    (a) A statement that it is eligible, as of the date of application, 
for the award of Federal contracts;
    (b) A statement that it is currently performing at least one 
contract for DOE;
    (c) The DOE contract number, type of contract, period of 
performance (including options), title of technical program effort, 
name of DOE technical program manager (including contact information) 
and the DOE contracting activity; and
    (d) An original and two copies of the Mentor-Protege Agreement 
signed by the chief executive officer or designee of the Mentor firm 
and the chief executive officer of the Protege firm.


919.7010  Contents of Mentor-Protege Agreement.

    The proposed Mentor-Protege Agreement must contain:
    (a) Names, addresses and telephone numbers of Mentor and Protege 
firms and a point of contact within each firm who will oversee the 
Agreement;
    (b) Requirements for the Mentor firm or the Protege firm to notify 
the other entity, DOE Headquarters OSDBU, and the contracting officer 
in writing at least 30 days in advance of the Mentor firm's or the 
Protege firm's intent to voluntarily terminate or withdraw from the 
Mentor-Protege Agreement (such termination would not terminate any 
existing subcontract between the Mentor and the Protege);
    (c) A description of the form of developmental assistance program 
that will be provided by the Mentor to the Protege firm, including a 
description of any subcontract work, and a schedule for providing the 
assistance and the criteria for evaluation of the Protege's 
developmental success (48 CFR 919.7011);
    (d) A listing of the number and types and estimated amount of 
subcontracts to be awarded to the Protege firm;
    (e) Term of the Agreement;
    (f) Procedures to be invoked should DOE terminate its recognition 
of the Agreement for good cause (such termination of DOE recognition 
would not constitute a termination of the subcontract between the 
Mentor and the Protege);
    (g) Provision for the Mentor firm to submit to the DOE Mentor-
Protege Program Manager a ``lessons learned'' evaluation developed by 
the Mentor at the conclusion of the Mentor-Protege Agreement;
    (h) Provision for the submission by the Protege firm of a ``lessons 
learned'' evaluation to the DOE Mentor-Protege Program Manager at the 
conclusion of the Mentor-Protege Agreement;
    (i) Description of how the development assistance will potentially 
increase subcontracting opportunities for the Protege firm;
    (j) Provision for the Mentor firm to brief the DOE Mentor-Protege 
Program Manager, the technical program manager(s), and the contracting 
officer at the conclusion of each year in the Mentor-Protege Program 
regarding program accomplishments as pertains to the approved Agreement 
(where possible, this review may be incorporated into the normal 
program review for the Mentor's contract);
    (k) Recognition that costs incurred by a Mentor to provide 
developmental assistance, as described in 48 CFR 919.7011, are 
allowable only to the extent that they are incurred in performance of a 
contract identified in the Mentor-Protege Agreement and are otherwise 
allowable in accordance with the cost principles applicable to that 
contract (the DOE Mentor-Protege Program has no appropriation for 
paying for developmental assistance); and
    (l) Other terms and conditions, as appropriate.

[[Page 21371]]

919.7011  Developmental assistance.

    (a) The forms of developmental assistance a Mentor may provide to a 
Protege include, but are not limited to:
    (1) Management guidance relating to:
    (i) Financial management,
    (ii) Organizational management,
    (iii) Overall business management planning,
    (iv) Business development, and
    (v) Marketing assistance;
    (2) Engineering and other technical assistance;
    (3) Noncompetitive award of subcontracts under DOE or other Federal 
contracts where otherwise authorized;
    (4) Award of subcontracts in the Mentor's commercial activities;
    (5) Progress payments based on costs;
    (6) Rent-free use of facilities and/or equipment owned or leased by 
Mentor; and
    (7) Temporary assignment of Mentor personnel to the Protege for 
purposes of training.
    (b) Costs incurred by a Mentor to provide developmental assistance, 
as described in paragraph (a) of this section, are allowable only to 
the extent provided at 48 CFR 919.7003(b).


919.7012  Review and approval process of agreement by OSDBU.

    (a) OSDBU will review the proposed Mentor-Protege Agreement under 
48 CFR 919.7010 and will complete its review and assessment no later 
than 30 days after receipt. OSDBU will provide a copy of its assessment 
to the cognizant DOE technical program manager and contracting officer 
for review and concurrence.
    (b) If OSDBU approves the Agreement, the Mentor may implement the 
developmental assistance program.
    (c) Upon finding deficiencies that DOE considers correctable, the 
OSDBU will notify the Mentor and request information to be provided 
within 30 days that may correct the deficiencies. The Mentor may then 
provide additional information for reconsideration. The review of any 
supplemental material will be completed within 30 days after receipt by 
the OSDBU and the Agreement either approved or disapproved.


919.7013  Reports.

    (a) Prior to performing an evaluation of a Mentor's performance 
under its Mentor-Protege Agreement for use in award fee evaluations, 
the Mentor-Protege Program Manager must consult with the cognizant DOE 
technical program manager and must provide a copy of the performance 
evaluation comments regarding the technical effort and Mentor-Protege 
development to the contracting officer.
    (b) The DOE Mentor-Protege Program Manager must submit semi-annual 
reports to the cognizant contracting officer regarding the 
participating Mentor's performance in the Program for use in the award 
fee determination process.
    (c) The Mentor firm must submit progress reports to the DOE Mentor-
Protege Program Manager semi-annually.


919.7014  Solicitation provision.

    The cognizant contracting officer must insert the provision at 
952.219-70, DOE Mentor-Protege Program, in all solicitations with an 
estimated value in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold.

PART 952--SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES

    3. A new subsection 952.219-70, DOE Mentor-Protege Program is added 
as follows:


952.219-70  DOE Mentor-Protege program.

    In accordance with 919.7014 insert the following provision in 
applicable solicitations.

DOE Mentor-Protege Program

(May 2000)

    The Department of Energy has established a Mentor-Protege 
Program to encourage its prime contractors to assist firms certified 
under section 8(a) of the Small Business Act by SBA, other small 
disadvantaged businesses, women-owned small businesses, Historically 
Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions, other 
minority institutions of higher learning and small business concerns 
owned and controlled by service disabled veterans in enhancing their 
business abilities. If the contract resulting from this solicitation 
is awarded on a cost-plus-award fee basis, the contractor's 
performance as a Mentor may be evaluated as part of the award fee 
plan. Mentor and Protege firms will develop and submit ``lessons 
learned'' evaluations to DOE at the conclusion of the contract. Any 
DOE contractor that is interested in becoming a Mentor should refer 
to the applicable regulations at 48 CFR 919.70 and should contact 
the Department of Energy's Office of Small and Disadvantaged 
Business Utilization.


[FR Doc. 00-9981 Filed 4-20-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P