In Fiscal Year 2022, 1,595 bid protests were filed with GAO. While that seems like a large number, it pales in comparison to the number of federal contracts the federal government awards in a given year. On average, the government awards over 11 million contracts per year. That’s a lot of acquisitions that are not subject to any feedback from outside the agency. But things might change now with the new rule that the FAR Council enacted. Today, we’ll take a look at what this entails.Continue reading
DoD, GSA, and NASA are issuing a final rule that amends the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), effectively implementing a provision of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act. The rule permits and encourages agency acquisition personnel to engage in responsible and constructive exchanges with the industry, provided that such exchanges remain consistent with the applicable law and refrain from promoting any unfair competitive advantages.Continue reading
As we’ve written about, it seems like there have been more changes to the Buy American Act and domestic preferences in the last few years than in decades before that. Recently, the FAR Council issued a final rule that spells out how the domestic content thresholds will increase over the next few years. This rule is effective October 25, 2022, so contractors need to be preparing for it now.Continue reading
In response to an Executive Order, the FAR Council has recently proposed to amend the FAR in an effort to ensure that major federal procurements will minimize the risk of climate change. And DoD, GSA, and NASA sought the public’s input on the issue. Let’s take a closer look.Continue reading
On June 30, 2016, a major new SBA regulation took effect, overhauling the limitations on subcontracting. The SBA’s new regulation, codified at 13 C.F.R. 125.6, replaced the “old” formulas for calculating compliance–like “cost of the contract incurred for personnel,” for service contracts, with new, easier-to-use formulas based on the amount paid by the government. And, in a major boon for small businesses, the SBA’s new regulation allowed small primes to count work performed by “similarly situated entities” toward the prime’s own self-performance.
But more than five years after the SBA regulation took effect, the FAR’s provisions governing the limitations on subcontracting still resemble Marty McFly: stuck in the past. The FAR Council still has not updated the FAR to conform with the SBA’s regulations and the underlying Congressional mandate, causing considerable confusion for contractors trying to figure out which rule to follow.
Now, though, we may finally (hopefully!) be nearing the finish line for this important and long-delayed FAR change.Continue reading
Government contracting officials receive detailed training on the FAR. So do employees of some large contractors. But for many others in government contracting, particularly small businesses, there is no formal FAR training. For them, the FAR can seem overwhelming, even scary.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it: the FAR is massive. In print form, which is how I read the FAR early in my career, you’re looking at a veritable brick of a book. You’d undoubtedly get some very nice definition by using copies of the FAR for bicep curls.
But, big as it is, the FAR isn’t quite as impenetrable as it might seem at first glance–especially if you know a few tricks. Here are my top five tips for understanding and using the FAR.Continue reading
Lowest price technically acceptable (LPTA) source selection has been on the decline lately. A recent final rule from the FAR Council, effective February 16, 2021, continues this trend. In the rule, the FAR Council implemented additional restrictions on the use of LPTA for non-DoD contracts.Continue reading