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The National Science Foundation
Division of Contracts and Complex Agreements
NSF Acquisition Ombudsman
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Contracts Branch

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Donna Fortunat, Director, Division of Contracts and Complex Agreements, is the National Science Foundation Acquisition Ombudsman in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act and the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Section 16.505.

The goal of the Ombudsman Program is to establish a more open acquisition process by facilitating communication on an informal basis between the National Science Foundation and parties outside the Government. The Foundation’s Acquisition Ombudsman exercises agency-wide responsibility for reviewing complaints from contractors and ensuring that all contractors are afforded a fair opportunity to be considered. As part of her responsibility, the Ombudsman will hear and facilitate the resolution of concerns from offerors, potential offerors, and contractors during the pre award and post award phases of acquisitions that cannot be resolved at lower levels, or those having Agency implications.

The role of the Ombudsman will not diminish the authority of the contracting officer, Source Evaluation Board, or Source Selection Official. The Ombudsman Program does not replace the FAR contract protest or disputes processes. Moreover, communications with an Ombudsman do not affect time limits for filing a protest or appealing a contracting officer’s final decision as described in FAR Part 33.

Ms. Fortunat is located in Room 475 and can be reached at (703) 292-8240 or at


The Office of the National Ombudsman of the U.S. Small Business Administration has asked all Federal agencies to make clear that, if a small business entity requests Ombudsman assistance on a matter or otherwise questions or complains about a Federal agency action, the agency will not retaliate in response.

The National Science Foundation is committed to maintaining an environment in which small businesses and others are free to question or complain about NSF actions or policies without fear of retaliation. One of the statutory responsibilities of this Office is to "assure the expeditious processing of proposals by small business concerns based on scientific and technical merit" [42 U.S.C. 1883(3)]. Any allegations of retaliation will be investigated and appropriate action taken to correct the situation and ensure it is not repeated. In addition, small business entities may comment to the National Ombudsman's office. Information about the National Ombudsman is available by visiting

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Last Modified On: 7/14/04