Fun with the FAR Part 4

1.       The government is required to use electronic commerce whenever practicable or cost effective. FAR 4.502(a).  Agencies are permitted to accept electronic signatures and records in connection with government contracts. FAR 4.502(d). 2.       Contractors may have to keep records longer than 3 years if the Contractor has its own records retention policy that is longer than the statutory minimum 3 years.  The 3 year clock begins running after final payment.  FAR 4.703. 3.       The government must retain records for 6 years and 3 months after final payment. FAR 4.805.  

Fun with the FAR Part 51

Under certain circumstances, the Government can authorize a prime contractor to make purchases from subcontractors under the terms and conditions of the subcontractor’s GSA Federal Supply Schedule contract. FAR 51.103. Subcontractors must treat any subcontract/order issued by a prime contractor under FAR 51.103 as if it is from the Government under its FSS Contract, e.g., the subcontractor must pay a GSA FSS industrial funding fee based upon the amount of the order.

Fun with the FAR Part 8

The Government may only use the GSA Federal Supply Schedule Program (“FSS”) to procure commercial items (supplies or services) offered under a contractor’s FSS contract at firm fixed, labor hour, and/or time and materials pricing.  FAR 8.404.  Firm fixed price orders should be used to the maximum extent practicable.  FAR 8.404(h)(2). Contracting Officers are permitted to “set aside” orders for small businesses under the GSA Federal Supply Schedule Program. FAR 8.405-5. Under certain circumstances, a Government buyer may add items to an FSS order that is not offered under a contractors FSS contract. FAR 8.402(f).  These items are commonly known as an “Open Market” items. Pricing offered under a FSS contract has already been determined as “fair and reasonable” at the time of award. FAR … Continue reading

Fun with the FAR Part 7

Acquisition plans for other than fixed priced contracts must be approved and signed by a procurement official at least one level above the contracting officer. FAR 7.103(j). The government’s “acquisition planner” does not need to be the assigned Contracting Officer. There are 13 key milestones that occur during an acquisition. FAR 7.105(b)(21). Agency determinations as to whether a function is or is not an “inherently governmental function” are reviewable by the Office of Management and Budget. FAR 7.503(b).

Fun with the FAR Part 11

The Government’s use of “performance specifications” is preferred over “design specifications”. FAR 11.104(a). The use of a liquidated damages clause should be limited to those contract where timely delivery is critically important to the Government’s mission and the damages that would be incurred by the Government as a result of the delay cannot reasonably be calculated. FAR 11.501(a). The Government’s Defense Priorities and Allocation System (DPAS) is based upon a Department of Commerce regulation.  FAR 11.600. The application of DPAS is limited to contractor who offer or provide certain enumerated products or services deemed critical to our nation’s national security, emergency preparedness and energy requirements. The list of affected products and services can be found at 15 CFR 700. FAR 11.600.  

Fun with the FAR Parts 5 & 6

1.      An award of a government contract to a single government contractor is required to be published only if (i) the value of the contract exceeds $25,000 and (ii) the contract is likely to result in the award of subcontracts. FAR 5.301.   2.      Awards of multiple award contracts (i.e., GWACs, MACs, and Federal Supply Schedule Contracts) must be published at within 10 days of award. FAR 5.601.   3.      Contracting officers must publish awards larger than $4 million at 5pm (D.C. time) on the day of contract award. FAR 5.303.   4.      Both contractors and subcontractors may publicize in the GPE contract awards exceeding $150,000.   FAR 5.206.   5.      Task and Delivery Order competitions under indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (“ID/IQ”) contracts are not subject … Continue reading

Fun with the FAR Parts 3 & 9

1.      Simply requesting a gift, gratuity, or anything of monetary value from a contractor who has or is seeking “Government business” with the employee’s agency will constitute a violation of the FAR’s gift regulations.  FAR 3.101-2.    2.      Prime Contractors are prohibited from executing “exclusive teaming agreements” with subcontractors for the sole purpose of restricting competition or otherwise to preclude subcontractors from providing services or supplies to the Federal Government in the ordinary course of their business.  FAR 3.503-1, FAR 52.203-2(a)(3) and FAR 52.203-6.    3.      The person signing a contractor’s Certificate of Independent Pricing must be the person within the contractor’s organization who is “responsible for determining the prices being offered.”  FAR 52.203-2(b)(1).    4.      Unsolicited communications to an agency procurement official from offerors … Continue reading

Fun with the FAR Parts 1 & 2

1.      The ultimate customer of any Government contract is the “American taxpayer.” FAR 1.102-2(a)(1).    2.      Contracting Officers are not required to eliminate all contract risk when executing or administering Government contracts.  FAR 1.102-2(c)(2).    3.      The value of future option periods should always be taken into consideration when determining whether a contract meets a particular acquisition regulation “dollar threshold.”  FAR 1.108(c).   4.      A COR may be held personally liable for damages arising from “unauthorized acts.”  FAR 1.602-2(d)(7)(v).

“Do You Know” the reasoning behind the mandatory inclusion of FAR 52.201-1’s market research requirement in solicitations and contracts with a value in excess of $5M?

The answer can be found in the regulatory history that is referenced in the brackets below FAR 10.003. See 76 Federal Register 14562. The reason for the clause appears to be directly tied to a directive from Congress that is set forth in Section 826 (Market Research) of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2008 (Public Law 110-181). That law specifically required that an acquisition regulation be promulgated by the FAR Council which requires prime contractors, who enter into a contract valued in excess of $5M with any executive agency, to conduct market research to determine whether commercial item subcontractors could assist in the provision of supplies or services in excess of the SAT. Note that similar requirements, which provide that prime contractors providing “other … Continue reading