A Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) (FAR 35.016) is a notice from the government that requests scientific or research & development (R&D) proposals from private firms concerning certain areas of interest to the government that is not related to the development of a specific system or hardware procurement. A BAA doesn’t provide the standard Statement of Work (SOW) as a normal Request for Proposal (RFP) would but rather details a problem statement and challenges and solicits an innovative solution. BAAs are normally “open,” accepting proposals for a predetermined amount of time, and proposals submitted by private firms may lead to contracts.
Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) Purpose
The purpose of a BAAs is to conduct basic and applied research in the early planning stages of a potential program. The research is intended the give the government a better understanding of the technical challenge a future potential program may face and to plan accordingly. BAAs may be used for the following:
- Basic research
- Applied research
- Advanced technology development
- Advanced component development and prototypes
Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) Regulation
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 35.016 (a) “Broad Agency Announcement” details the procedures for the acquisition of basic and applied research and that part of development is not related to the development of a specific system or hardware procurement. BAA’s may be used by agencies to fulfill their requirements for scientific study and experimentation directed toward advancing the state-of-the-art or increasing knowledge or understanding rather than focusing on a specific system or hardware solution. The BAA technique shall only be used when meaningful proposals with varying technical/scientific approaches can be reasonably anticipated.
Website: FAR 35.016 (a) Broad Agency Announcement
Website: DFARS 235.016 Broad Agency Announcement
How is a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) Used
Government agencies use BAAs to meet requirements for scientific study and experimentation directed toward advancing the state-of-the-art or increasing knowledge or understanding rather than focusing on a specific system or hardware solution. It should only be used when meaningful proposals with varying technical and/or scientific approaches can be anticipated.
Broad Agency Announcements (BAA) Content
The BAA will have the following content included and any supporting documentation that is deemed necessary for contractors to fully understand the needs of the government. This will help ensure the best proposals are received: (FAR 35.016)
- Describe the agency’s research interest, either for an individual program requirement or for broadly defined areas of interest covering the full range of the agency’s requirements;
- Describe the criteria for selecting the proposals, their relative importance, and the method of evaluation;
- Specify the period of time during which proposals submitted in response to the BAA will be accepted; and
- Contain instructions for the preparation and submission of proposals.
Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) Types
There are a variety of different types of BAA that the government can use. The type is normally detailed in the actual BAA. A few of the most common types are: 
- One-Step: The one-step process is used to request full technical and cost proposals from each offeror. The proposals are reviewed in accordance with the solicitation criteria and typically all of a selected proposal, part of a selected proposal, or none of the proposals may be selected for award.
- Two-Step: The two-step process is sometimes used when a large number of proposals are anticipated. Potential offerors are invited to submit brief descriptive white papers in lieu of full proposals. The BAA must state whether an unfavorable white paper review will bar the offeror from further consideration. Full proposals are requested from those offerors selected in the white paper review process. When proposals are received, they are reviewed consistently with the process for one-step BAAs.
- Open BAA: This approach allows for white paper and/or proposal submittals at any time within a specified period. BAAs must be publicized no less frequently than annually. White papers/proposals are reviewed when received during the period that the BAA is open.
- Closed BAA: This approach allows for white paper and/or proposal submittals at a specified date and time as set forth in the BAA. Late bid and proposal provisions (IAW FAR 52.215-1(c)(3)) are usually included in the BAA.
- BAA with Calls: This technique allows for the publication of a basic BAA solicitation that contains overarching information. The basic BAA often functions as a framework identifying the technical areas and giving the basic terms and administrative information of the BAA, and it is usually open for at least 12 months. The requests for white papers and/or proposals are
transmitted via Calls that are published separately from the basic BAA at various times during the open period of the basic BAA.
- Staggered-Closed BAA: The staggered-closed BAA states a specified date and time for receipt of proposals or white papers, but also allows for proposals/white papers after the date and time set for proposal receipt. However, all offerors should be cautioned that the likelihood of funding proposals received after the specified date and time is substantially reduced.
Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) Announcements
BAA announcements are published on the SAM.gov website. Proposals may be submitted by any non-governmental entity, including commercial firms, higher education institutions with degree-granting programs in science or engineering (universities), or by consortia led by such concerns.
Announcement Website: SAM.gov
Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) Evaluation
Proposals from the BAA shall be evaluated following the criteria specified therein through a peer or scientific review process. Written evaluation reports on individual proposals will be necessary, but proposals need not be evaluated against each other since they are not submitted in accordance with a common work statement.
Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) Selection
The primary basis for selecting proposals for acceptance shall be technical, important to agency programs, and fund availability. Cost realism and reasonableness shall also be considered to the extent appropriate.
Broad Agency Announcements (BAA) Restrictions
The following are the main restrictions when determining if a BAA is appropriate.
- Limited to basic and applied research
- Must be funded using Research Development Test & Evaluation (RDT&E) funds
- Cannot be used for a specific system or hardware solution
- Cannot be used for systems engineering and advisory services
- Cannot be used for production
Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) Assistance Instruments
An award may be made from a BAA announcement in the form of a Grant, Cooperative Agreement (CA), Technology Investment Agreement (TIA), or Other Transaction (OT) for Research, rather than a FAR-based contract. These are known as “Assistance Instruments.” Assistance Instruments are appropriate when the project’s goal is to assist by transferring a thing of value (such as money or government facilities) to accomplish a public purpose. 
AcqLinks and References:
- Website: FAR 35.016 (a) Broad Agency Announcement
- FAR 35.016 (a) Broad Agency Announcement
- Website: DFARS 235.016 Broad Agency Announcement
-  Guide: Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) Guide for Industry – 2020
- DoD Contracting Officer Representative (COR) Handbook – 22 March 12
- Website: AF SBIR/STRR BAA