Tips, Do’s and Don’ts
· Use your requirement (specific needs) to target your research and how the expert can best fill your need
· Begin identification of experts that will satisfy your requirement as early as possible.
· Consider if the potential experts are System for Award Management (SAM) registered during your identification process.
· Have the expert sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), before sharing any sensitive agency information.
· Techniques for identifying your expert may include any or all of the following:
o Contacting knowledgeable individuals in your agency and other agencies regarding expert capabilities to meet requirements
o Reviewing the results of recent experts to meet similar or identical requirements
o Querying Government databases that provide information relevant to Agency cases
o Participating in interactive communications with acquisition personnel and other lawyers to see how similar needs were met before
o Obtaining lists of experts from other contracting activities or agencies
o Reviewing catalogs and other generally available product literature published by experts
Review FAR Part 10 – Market Research. This part prescribes policies and procedures for conducting research to arrive at the most suitable approach to acquiring, distributing, and supporting supplies and services.
· Use the discussion script
· Document the results of your research in a manner appropriate to the size and complexity of your expert witness requirement.
· Document whom you contacted (which experts you talked to).
· Document the results of each expert contacted.
· Keep track of what ideas you decided to actually include and not include in your purchase request.
· Document the expert’s qualifications (indicate what makes them the most qualified candidates) and forward to the Acquisitions Branch in the cover letter.
· Use your designated Contracting Officer during discussions with experts, if needed.
· Participate in interactive communication with potential experts.
· Inquire about rates and discounts with experts.
· Review recent history and results of research undertaken to meet similar expert witness requirements.
· Review literature about experts and that they may have authored available on-line
· Use Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis databases etc. in conducting your search for an expert
· Investigate the background of any expert witness under serious consideration.
· Do not discuss the amount that your Agency is budgeting for expert witnesses during discussions with potential experts.
· Do not agree on FINAL pricing with experts during discussions. The Contracting Officer must agree to final pricing with the expert.
· Do not discuss confidential Agency data with a potential witness without having them sign a non-disclosure agreement.
· Do not, during discussions with experts, leave with the impression that they have a finalized agreement. (Your Acquisition/Contracting Branch will finalize the agreement and award a contract.)