Category Archives: Commercial Items

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Surprise, Surprise, Congress Does Listen — Well, Kind Of

An Analysis of NDAA Section 846’s Online Marketplace Provisions There has been a lot of speculation about the future of commercial items purchasing within the federal Government since Representative Mac Thornberry circulated his “Section 801” proposal to hand over the bulk of DOD COTS purchasing to one or two existing online commercial marketplaces. (See Section … Continue Reading

Industry Struggles With Ever Changing Acquisition Rules

Note: This post was originally published in the October 2017 issue of the National Defense Industrial Association’s National Defense magazine. Recent studies show that the percentage of overall research and development spending sponsored by the government has dropped sharply over the last 50 years. Whereas government funding accounted for 67 percent of R&D in 1964, … Continue Reading

Change Is Upon Us: An Analysis of the Section 801 COTS Provisions of the 2018 NDAA

In the words of Taylor Swift, “This is a new year. A new beginning. And things will change.” While I suspect Ms. Swift was not writing about Section 801 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2018 when she tweeted this inspirational prognostication, she might as well have been – although, admittedly, it probably would … Continue Reading

Lots of Little Things – FAR Updates from the Federal Acquisition Circular

Every now and then, the FAR Councils issue a Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) – an update to the Federal Acquisition Regulation implementing a number of changes. Often these changes are rather pro forma. But occasionally, you get a Circular with many different (and interesting) issues. FAC 2005-67, issued in late-June 2013, with rules becoming effective … Continue Reading

2011 Year In Review: Export Controls and Promised Reforms

By: David S. Gallacher 2011 was a banner year for U.S. export control laws. The Obama administration has vowed to streamline and reform the bloated U.S. export control system – promising to build "higher walls" around a narrower universe of goods and technologies requiring export licenses. Following is a summary of ten of the key … Continue Reading

Bidding Adieu To The “Summer of Recovery”: Changes To ARRA Buy American And Reporting Requirements

By David S. Gallacher While Vice President Biden was busy touting Summer 2010 as the “Summer of Recovery” and the economic effects of the February 2009 Stimulus Act (a.k.a. the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Recovery Act, ARRA, the Stimulus Act, etc.), the gears of the regulatory process ground steadily onward. Throughout the summer, the … Continue Reading

Redefining Cost Or Pricing Data

Effective October 1, 2010, the final rule amending FAR subpart 15.4 expands government contracting officers’ ability to obtain cost or price-related data for all contracts, including currently exempted commercial-items contracts. The amended rule is intended to clarify the FAR’s definition of “cost or pricing data” and to make the definition consistent with that used in the … Continue Reading

Inflation Adjustment Of Acquisition-Related Thresholds In The FAR

By Townsend L. Bourne The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council issued a final rule on August 30, 2010 adjusting acquisition-related thresholds for inflation as set forth in section 807 of the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005. 75 Fed. Reg. 53129. Section 807 dictates that acquisition-related thresholds … Continue Reading

Reining in Use of “Of A Type” Commercial Service Contracting

The FAR Councils issued an interim rule, effective October 14, 2009, revising the circumstances under which services not offered and sold commercially can still qualify as commercial services. This is important for a couple of reasons, but probably most importantly, because commerciality can eliminate the requirement for the submission of cost or pricing data and can … Continue Reading

Trust, but E-Verify: A Cheat Sheet for Mandatory Employment Eligibility Verification by Federal Contractors

The final rule mandating E-Verify for federal contractors became effective on September 8, 2009. The lawsuit that stayed implementation of E-Verify since January ended with the district court’s granting of the Government’s motion for summary judgment. As long as Congress continues to fund E-Verify, it should remain a permanent fixture of federal procurement.  … Continue Reading

The President Admits the Stimulus Is Not Working as Hoped. Well, Duh.

The Administration has conceded that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (“ARRA”) has not worked as planned. With unemployment numbers continuing to climb, the Administration now acknowledges it “misread the economy.” But from the beginning not everyone believed ARRA would achieve the desired stimulative effect. After all, $787 billion cannot be disbursed without some complication.  … Continue Reading

On Their Way: The MAS Advisory Panel Recommendations

With its mission to discuss and recommend changes to the MAS program, including price reductions provisions, most favored customer status, and practices in commercial pricing, the Multiple Award Schedule (“MAS”) Advisory Panel has voted on several recommendations to present to the Administrator of GSA.  The Panel has been meeting since April last year, and currently … Continue Reading
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