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Public Law 105-391
Title IV, Section 403

TITLE IV--NATIONAL PARK SERVICE CONCESSIONS MANAGEMENT

Sec. 403. Award of concessions contracts.

SEC. 403. AWARD OF CONCESSIONS CONTRACTS. (16 USC 5952). In furtherance of the findings and policy stated in section 402, and except as provided by this title or otherwise authorized by law, the Secretary shall utilize concessions contracts to authorize a person, corporation, or other entity to provide accommodations, facilities, and services to visitors to units of the National Park System.

Such concessions contracts shall be awarded as follows:

(1) Competitive selection process.--Except as otherwise provided in this section, all proposed concessions contracts shall be awarded by the Secretary to the person, corporation, or other entity submitting the best proposal, as determined by the Secretary through a competitive selection process. Such competitive process shall include simplified procedures for small, individually-owned, concessions contracts.

(2) Solicitation of proposals.--Except as otherwise provided in this section, prior to awarding a new concessions contract (including renewals or extensions of existing concessions contracts) the Secretary shall publicly solicit proposals for the concessions contract and, in connection with such solicitation, the Secretary shall prepare a prospectus and shall publish notice of its availability at least once in local or national newspapers or trade publications, and/or the Commerce Business Daily, as appropriate, and shall make the prospectus available upon request to all interested parties.

(3) Prospectus.--The prospectus shall include the following information:

(A) The minimum requirements for such contract as set forth in paragraph (4).

(B) The terms and conditions of any existing concessions contract relating to the services and facilities to be provided, including all fees and other forms of compensation provided to the United States by the concessioner.

(C) Other authorized facilities or services which may be provided in a proposal.

(D) Facilities and services to be provided by the Secretary to the concessioner, if any, including public access, utilities, and buildings.

(E) An estimate of the amount of compensation, if any, due an existing concessioner from a new concessioner under the terms of a prior concessions contract.

(F) A statement as to the weight to be given to each selection factor identified in the prospectus and the relative importance of such factors in the selection process.

(G) Such other information related to the proposed concessions operation as is provided to the Secretary pursuant to a concessions contract or is otherwise available to the Secretary, as the Secretary determines is necessary to allow for the submission of competitive proposals.

(H) Where applicable, a description of a preferential right to the renewal of the proposed concessions contract held by an existing concessioner as set forth in paragraph (7).

(4) Minimum requirements.--

(A) No proposal shall be considered which fails to meet the minimum requirements as determined by the Secretary. Such minimum requirements shall include the following:

(i) The minimum acceptable franchise fee or other forms of consideration to the Government.

(ii) Any facilities, services, or capital investment required to be provided by the concessioner.

(iii) Measures necessary to ensure the protection, conservation, and preservation of resources of the unit of the National Park System.

(B) The Secretary shall reject any proposal, regardless of the franchise fee offered, if the Secretary determines that the person, corporation, or entity is not qualified, is not likely to provide satisfactory service, or that the proposal is not responsive to the objectives of protecting and preserving resources of the unit of the National Park System and of providing necessary and appropriate facilities and services to the public at reasonable rates.

(C) If all proposals submitted to the Secretary either fail to meet the minimum requirements or are rejected by the Secretary, the Secretary shall establish new minimum contract requirements and re-initiate the competitive selection process pursuant to this section.

(D) The Secretary may not execute a concessions contract which materially amends or does not incorporate the proposed terms and conditions of the concessions contract as set forth in the applicable prospectus. If proposed material amendments or changes are considered appropriate by the Secretary, the Secretary shall resolicit offers for the concessions contract incorporating such material amendments or changes.

(5) Selection of the best proposal.--

(A) In selecting the best proposal, the Secretary shall consider the following principal factors:

(i) The responsiveness of the proposal to the objectives of protecting, conserving, and preserving resources of the unit of the National Park System and of providing necessary and appropriate facilities and services to the public at reasonable rates.

(ii) The experience and related background of the person, corporation, or entity submitting the proposal, including the past performance and expertise of such person, corporation or entity in providing the same or similar facilities or services.

(iii) The financial capability of the person, corporation, or entity submitting the proposal.

(iv) The proposed franchise fee, except that consideration of revenue to the United States shall be subordinate to the objectives of protecting, conserving, and preserving resources of the unit of the National Park System and of providing necessary and appropriate facilities to the public at reasonable rates.

(B) The Secretary may also consider such secondary factors as the Secretary deems appropriate.

Copyright 2003 by Robert Antonio

 

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