University Contract Standard Operating Procedures

Contract Overview

Contract: DCKA-2015-C-0011

Period of Performance: July 6, 2015 - December 31, 2021 (any active tasks may continue past this date)


  • Howard University (prime)
  • George Mason University
  • George Washington University
  • Morgan State University
  • University of the District of Columbia
  • Virginia Tech (cannot contract, effectively out of consortium)

Contract Administrators: Stephanie Dock (Unlicensed)

Contract Specialist/Contracting Officer: Steve Wishod (serving as Contract Specialist in interim)

Task Order Process

These procedures apply to the Research Program and any others seeking to use the contract vehicle.

Preparing a new task order

  1. Develop project scope of work, on DDOT letterhead
  2. Send to Howard University (Dr. Stephen Arhin,, they send back a quote on their letterhead
  3. Negotiate as needed with Howard University on scope and budget
  4. Enter requisition for negotiated amount in PASS
  5. Send final scope, quote, and requisition number to contract specialist, copy contract administrators
  6. Contract specialist prepares the cover letter for the task, contracting officer reviews
  7. Task order letter is sent by contract specialist to Howard University ( for signature
  8. DDOT countersigns the letter – contract specialist will send the signed task order and PO to Howard University, contract administrators, and the task manager
  9. Project commences


All task orders should include a note on the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) and whether this task requires a CFDA number. General rules:

  • If the funding for the project is entirely local: “This project does not involve federal funding.”
  • If the project is federally funded and DDOT is passing the funds through to Howard University for their work to be generally led by Howard University with limited DDOT oversight (e.g. the Summer Transportation Institute where Howard applies through DDOT for the funds and runs the program in accordance with the federal program guidelines – DDOT does not directly guide the program’s activities or work): “This project is federally funded and the CFDA number for this project is” (fill in with appropriate code)
  • If the project is federally funded but procures a good or service for DDOT and is generally directly led by DDOT (e.g. interns to work at DDOT under DDOT supervision, specific project with direct oversight by DDOT staff – like you would with a contractor): “This project includes federal funding but Howard University is classified as a contractor for this work and no CFDA number is required.” **NOTE: HU has generally still been requesting CFDA numbers for these projects, so we have been providing on all federally-funded projects.

Consortium Project Process

  1. Project List. DDOT sends HU a list of upcoming projects with budget and project descriptions at the start of each year/cycle. HU shares this with consortium members so they can start assessing their interests.
  2. Scope Meeting. Interested university staff meet with the DDOT project manager to ask questions – a 5-10 minute overview from the project manager on the issue, intended outcomes, scope and known past work, and 30-40 minutes for questions and discussion.
  3. Revised Scope. The scope may be clarified or revised in response to the scope meeting. DDOT sends directly to university staff who expressed interest in the project. This scope will include specific deliverables and suggested tasks.
  4. Proposals. Universities provide proposals to DDOT, focusing on practical capabilities and their approach. The proposed scope should reflect the available budget. Proposal elements and page limits:
    1. Understanding. The need for the project as understood by the project team, references to relevant literature, as appropriate. 2 page maximum
    2. Scope. Describe the tasks and the related deliverables. 10 page maximum
    3. Team members and facilities. Short bio, description of relevant experience, and ongoing commitments for each key staff member (limit 2 pages/person) and a description of any relevant facilities or equipment (limit 2 pages).
    4. Budget and schedule. Break down the budget by task and who will be working on the task (e.g. PI vs. grad students), and provide a schedule for the project
    5. Suggestions for expert panel members. If there are relevant researchers or other professionals that might be good to involve, please suggest them. This is optional and will not be part of the proposal evaluation.
  5. Evaluation. DDOT evaluates the proposals. DDOT informs HU of the selected proposal, and HU informs the selected university.
    1. Technical Approach: 45%. We are looking to see if the understanding reflect why DDOT is conducting this research and how well will the proposed project meet DDOT’s needs, given our budget.
    2. Relevant experience, facilities, and equipment: 25%.
    3. Availability of staff, both in time allocation and proximity (if relevant): 15%. We want to be sure the project can be completed as scheduled, and that staff will be available to meet with DDOT and conduct field work, as appropriate for the project.
    4. Resource allocation: 10%. We are looking for an appropriate balance of PI or staff time versus student labor, which varies by project.
    5. Cost: 5%.
  6. Negotiation. DDOT and selected university negotiate the scope and budget. Expert panel meeting dates are finalized as part of the scope discussion.
  7. Task Order. DDOT issues a task order to HU for the negotiated cost. HU enters into a sub-agreement with the selected university.

Expert Panels

Panel members are identified and invited during the negotiation phase. The panel members may be experts identified by the university conducting the work, DDOT staff, or other consortium members. The experts may be drawn from other members of the consortium who expressed interest (and have expertise) in the project topic, but can also come from non-consortium universities, as well as all other sectors (private, other governments, non-profits, etc.).

Payment of the panel members will be an honorarium based on the number of planned meetings for the panel during the project.

A separate task order will be issued to cover all of the panels, with the cost estimated based on the level of effort expected for all projects for that year. The task will run for 2 years (as the outset) to ensure that funding will be available for the life of the projects. Having a separate task order helps maintain independence between the project staff and the panel members.

Panels will be formed for all projects in research, even those not done through the university consortium.