The Department of Defense (DoD) has issued a final rule amending the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) and implementing sections of the National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAAs) for Fiscal Years 2013, 2016 and 2018. This final rule results from Congressional pressure to reduce barriers to entry for commercial contractors and streamline commercial item procurement procedures. But, while making specific changes required in the NDAAs intended to foster the DoD’s ability to purchase commercial items and services, the final rule retains unnecessary burdens that may continue to discourage commercial contractors from entering into the federal marketplace.
At the same time, DoD has issued a new “Guidebook for Acquiring Commercial Items” available here, replacing a draft version issued in February 2017. This Guidebook addresses both commercial item determinations (Part A) and pricing (Part B). This guidance will merit close scrutiny from contractors supplying commercial goods and services to DoD.
Notably, the final rule does not address changes required by the FY 2017 NDAA which, for example, required special treatment for nontraditional defense contractors supplying services, established commerciality for certain commingled items, and added preferences for commercial specifications. DoD has opened a separate DFARS case (No. 2018-D016) to address the reforms mandated by the FY 2017 NDAA, but no proposed rule has yet been issued.
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