“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

“Do You Know” whether FAR Part 6 imposes any competition requirements on prime contractors who may wish to procure services or supplies to assist in the performance of a federal prime contract?

As a general rule, the competition requirements set forth in FAR Part 6 do not govern how prime contractors procure supplies or services from subcontractors. I do know, however, that prime contractors often voluntarily adopt the rules of FAR Part 6 for purposes of procuring goods and services from subcontractors or suppliers in order to obtain Government approval of their purchasing systems. I also know that prime contractors often voluntarily adopt FAR Part 6 competition requirement to satisfy the requirements of FAR 52.244-5 which provides that prime contractors “shall select subcontractors (including suppliers) on a competitive basis to the maximum extent” when providing goods or services under a contract that exceeds the simplified acquisition threshold and is not a firm fixed price contract awarded on … Continue reading

“Do You Know” what to do when your contracting officer is too busy to answer your calls and wants to delegate authority to a contracting specialist?

Consider this scenario.  Your Contracting Officer tells you that he is too busy to manage your specific contract and suggests that, instead of calling him, you should speak to and get guidance from the assigned Contract Specialist about any problems that you may have under the contract.  Can you rely upon the directions and guidance that you receive from the contract specialist; especially if the direction you are given may cause you to incur additional costs? My advice is to be very careful in this situation.  Although not common in the federal contracting sector, some Contracting Specialists do possess a certain amount of warrant authority. I always remind my students to review Section G of their contract when trying to determine who has authority to … Continue reading

“Do You Know” the difference between a D&F and a J&A?

A determination and findings (D&F) is defined at FAR 1.701 as:
” a special form of written approval by an authorized official that is required by statute or regulation as a prerequisite to taking certain contract actions. The ‘determination’ is a conclusion or decision supported by the ‘findings.’ The findings are statements of fact or rationale essential to support the determination and must cover each requirement of the statute or regulation. A D&F is required in a variety of situations. For example, a D&F is required if an agency wants to award a time-and-materials or labor-hour contract (FAR 16.601(d)), place an order pursuant to the Economy Act (FAR 17.503), exclude one or more sources from competing for a contract (FAR 6.202), or contract without providing for … Continue reading