9.504 Contracting officer responsibilities.
(a) Using the general rules, procedures, and examples in this subpart, contracting officers shall analyze planned acquisitions in order to-
(1) Identify and evaluate potential organizational conflicts of interest as early in the acquisition process as possible; and
(2) Avoid, neutralize, or mitigate significant potential conflicts before contract award.
(b) Contracting officers should obtain the advice of counsel and the assistance of appropriate technical specialists in evaluating potential conflicts and in developing any necessary solicitation provisions and contract clauses (see 9.506).
(c) Before issuing a solicitation for a contract that may involve a significant potential conflict, the contracting officer shall recommend to the head of the contracting activity a course of action for resolving the conflict (see 9.506).
(d) In fulfilling their responsibilities for identifying and resolving potential conflicts, contracting officers should avoid creating unnecessary delays, burdensome information requirements, and excessive documentation. The contracting officer’s judgment need be formally documented only when a substantive issue concerning potential organizational conflict of interest exists.
(e) The contracting officer shall award the contract to the apparent successful offeror unless a conflict of interest is determined to exist that cannot be avoided or mitigated. Before determining to withhold award based on conflict of interest considerations, the contracting officer shall notify the contractor, provide the reasons therefor, and allow the contractor a reasonable opportunity to respond. If the contracting officer finds that it is in the best interest of the United States to award the contract notwithstanding a conflict of interest, a request for waiver shall be submitted in accordance with 9.503. The waiver request and decision shall be included in the contract file.