NSF 19-68 Major Facilities Guide

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NSF 19-68 Major Facilities Guide

NSF 19-68 Major Facilities Guide - dated September 2019

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Large Facilities Office in the Budget, Finance, and Award Management Office (BPA-LFO) produced this guide for NSF staff as well as the private sector entities that support NSF's scientific facilities. The Major Facilities Guide (MFG) provides guidance to NSF staff on conducting oversight of major facilities and entities supporting NSF (Recipients) in carrying out effective project planning and management. It describes the required policies and procedures as well as pertinent guidance and practices at each stage of a facility's life cycle.

The Guide is organized as follows:

  • Section 1 introduces the purpose, scope, and historical perspective of the document.
  • Section 2 describes the life cycle stages and the process and principles NSF uses to plan, construct and operate major facilities. The steps for approval and execution of major research facility projects and the roles and responsibilities of NSF staff are detailed.
  • Section 3 describes the requirements for preparing and following the various detailed management plans required during the life cycle of a major facility, including Recipient's plans and guidance for NSF's Internal Management Plans (IMPs).
  • Section 4, Key Management Principles and Requirements for Major Facilities, is an expanded compendium of several NSF key requirements and principles listed in Sections 2 and 3. It includes detailed descriptions of processes used to plan, acquire, and manage major facilities.
  • Section 4.2, Cost Estimating and Analysis, references the GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide as well as the GAO Schedule Assessment Guide.
  • Section 4.6, Requirements for NSF Performance Oversight, Reviews, Audits, and Reporting, discusses NSF's responsibilities for reporting project performance based on the Recipient's EVM reports. NSF requires major facility project Recipients use an EIA-748 compliant Earned Value Management System (EVMS) as an integrated management tool for successful project planning and execution. NSF conducts project EVMS verification, acceptance, and surveillance based on the processes recommended in the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Earned Value Management (EVM) Guides as part of their project oversight and monitoring activities. The project should demonstrate it has a structured management process that follows the principles of EIA-748 EVMS Standard and provides a sound basis for performance measurement, problem identification, corrective actions, and management re-planning activities as required. The EVMS should be properly scaled and the 32 guidelines applied in a way that reflects the size, complexity, risk, and nature of the work. NSF's acceptance of a project's EVMS is not intended to be a certification of a Recipient's EVMS. If a Recipient has a current EVMS certification from another Federal Agency, the NSF EVMS verification review may be modified, but NSF acceptance will still need to be documented and on-going surveillance performed.
  • Section 5 is guidance on scaling the Major Facilities Guide's principles to mid-scale projects.
  • Section 6 contains extensive supplementary information on specific topics concerning NSF's role in the planning, oversight, and assurance of major facility projects. It consists of sections containing important explanatory and procedural information and pointers to separate documents (or modules) with similar information. The information in the documents is presented in a tutorial format that should be of particular benefit to individuals who are newly involved with major facility projects.
  • Sections 7, 8, and 9 contain reference material: document references, list of acronyms, and a lexicon. Section 7, References, lists the applicable US Government documents including the OMB Circular A-11.
  • Section 10 contains appendices contain other information relevant to construction projects and major facilities.

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