The Department of Defense’s micro-purchase threshold will double, from $5,000 to $10,000, under the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.
The increase in the DoD micro-purchase threshold will put the DoD on par with civilian agencies after Congress increased the civilian micro-purchase threshold to $10,000 in last year’s NDAA.
For several years, the standard micro-purchase threshold for both DoD and civilian agencies was $3,500. There are some very limited exceptions, such as in certain contingency operations, where significantly larger micro-purchases are permitted.
In the 2017 NDAA, Congress increased the DoD’s micro-purchase threshold to $5,000. Civilian agencies did not get a boost that year. The DoD acted quickly to implement its new micro-purchase authority.
The next year, Congress increased the civilian micro-purchase threshold all the way to $10,000. Now, it was DoD with the smaller micro-purchase threshold–only half that of its civilian counterparts.
The 2019 NDAA restores parity in micro-purchases by increasing DoD’s micro-purchase threshold from $5,000 to $10,000. Section 821 of the 2019 NDAA simply strikes the portion of the United States Code establishing a $5,000 threshold and replaces it with a sentence reading “The micro-purchase threshold for the Department of Defense is $10,000.” President Trump signed the 2019 NDAA into law earlier this week.
If the 2017 NDAA is any guide, the DoD will implement the new increase quickly, giving its Contracting Officers considerably more flexibility when it comes to lower-dollar acquisitions.