Panoptic Enterprises’


Federal Acquisition Developments, Guidance, and Opinions

September 2013
Vol. XIV, No. 9
[pdf version]


FAC 2005-69 Establishes Standardized Past Performance Evaluation Factors and Ratings
Contractors Have 14 Days to Comment on Performance Evaluations
DOD Proposes “Overarching Prescriptions” for Clauses with Alternatives
GSA Launches Online IT Solutions Navigator
VA Extends SDVOSB/VOSB Re-Verification to 2 Years

FAC 2005-69 Establishes Standardized Past
Performance Evaluation Factors and Ratings

Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2005-69 revises the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) provide governmentwide standardized past performance evaluation factors and performance ratings, and to require all past performance information be entered into the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS). In addition, FAC 2005-69 contains rules revising the definition of “contingency operations,” sanctions against Iran, protests of certain task and delivery order contracts, least developed countries that are designated countries, and biobased reporting requirements.

Contractors Have 14 Days to Comment on Performance Evaluations

To implement Section 853 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 (Public Law 112-239) and Section 806 of the NDAA for FY 2012 (Public Law 112-81), both of which address contractor past performance evaluations, it is proposed to amend paragraphs (d) and (f) of FAR 42.1503, Procedures, to change the amount of time a contractor has to respond to an agency evaluation of the contractor’s performance from “a minimum of 30 days” to “14 calendar days from the date of notification of availability of the past performance evaluation...”

Section 806 mandated that the Department of Defense (DOD) amend the Defense FAR Supplement (DFARS) to implement this change, and Section 853 extended this mandate to all agencies.

Comments on this proposed rule must be submitted no later than October 7, 2013, identified as “FAR Case 2012-028,” by any of the following methods: (1) the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov; (2) fax: 202-501-4067; or (3) mail: U.S. General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), ATTN: Hada Flowers, 1800 F Street NW, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20405.

DOD Proposes “Overarching Prescriptions” for Clauses with Alternatives

DOD is proposing to amend the DFARS to create “overarching prescriptions” for contract financing-related, quality assurance-related, and transportation-related clauses with one or more alternates. In addition, separate prescriptions for the basic clause and its alternate(s) would be added, and the text of the alternate would be included in the DFARS in full.

The “overarching prescriptions” would address the elements common to the basic clause and alternate. For example, DFARS 232.705-70, Clause for Limitation of Government’s Obligation, would read: “Use the basic or the alternate of the clause at 252.232-7007, Limitation of Government's Obligation, in solicitations and resultant incrementally funded fixed-price contracts.”

The specific prescriptions for the basic clause and alternate would address only the requirements for their use that enable the selection of the basic or the alternate. The revised prescription for DFARS 252.232-7007, Limitation of Government’s Obligation – Basic, would read: “Use the clause Limitation of Government's Obligation – Basic, if more than one line item will be incrementally funded”, and the prescription for its Alternate I would read: “Use the clause at 252.232-7007, Limitation of Government’s Obligation – Alternate I, if only one line item will be incrementally funded.” Separate prescriptions for the basic DFARS clauses and their alternates are intended to facilitate the use of automated contract writing systems.

The inclusion of the full text of each clause alternate is expected to make the terms of a clause alternate clearer to offerors and to DOD contracting officers (the current convention for alternates is to show only the paragraphs that differ from the basic clause). Inapplicable paragraphs from the basic version of the clause that are superseded by the alternate would not be included in the solicitation or contract to prevent confusion.

The following are the proposed clauses with alternate(s) that would have overarching prescriptions, specific prescriptions, and full text for alternate(s):

Comments on these proposed rules must be submitted no later than October 7, 2013, by any of the following methods: (1) the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov; (2) email: dfars@osd.mil; (3) fax: 571-372-6097; or (4) mail: Defense Acquisition Regulations System, OUSD(AT&L)DPAP/DARS, Room 3B855, 3060 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3060. Identify comments on the contract financing clause as “DFARS Case 2013-D014”; comments on the quality assurance clause as “DFARS Case 2013-D004”; and comments on the transportation clauses as “DFARS Case 2012-D057.”

In addition, DOD issued two final rules:

GSA Launches Online IT Solutions Navigator

The General Services Administration (GSA) Office of Integrated Technology Services has launched a new e-tool designed to help federal, state and local governments get to the best-fit solution for their information technology (IT) and telecommunications needs. Called the “IT Solutions Navigator,” it is expected to help government agencies buy IT and telecommunications products and services by matching customer requirements to GSA’s best IT contract vehicles quickly and effectively.

The IT Solutions Navigator Tool is available at https://gsafas.secure.force.com/itsn. It provides a web-based portal that simplifies and expedites the acquisition of IT and telecommunications for GSA’s government agency customers. In three steps, the IT Solutions Navigator takes a customer’s requirements and provides that customer with the best-fit GSA contract vehicle solutions to fit their needs as well as an appropriate point-of-contact for more information:

  1. The customer selects whether it is a federal, tribal, state, or local government organization.

  2. The customer selects its IT and telecommunications needs (grouped in the following seven categories: cloud computing services; communications and network services; data center services; hardware products and services; professional services; security services; and software products and services).

  3. The customer selects its acquisition requirements (for example, place of performance; level of assistance; rent, lease, or purchase; equipment type; contract type; period of performance; socioeconomic objectives; and estimated dollar amount).

Based on the responses provided, the IT Solutions Navigator displays the most suitable contract vehicle(s) matching the customer’s criteria.

Video tutorials are available as is a live chat function so users can chat online directly to a customer service representative without having to call or e-mail.

VA Extends SDVOSB/VOSB Re-Verification to 2 Years

The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has decided to extend, from one year to two years, the period for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs) and veteran-owned small businesses (VOSBs) to re-verify their eligiblility to participate in VA acquisitions set-aside for SDVOSB/VOSBs. VA has concluded that an annual examination is not necessary to adequately maintain the integrity of the verification program.

Verified SDVOSB/VOSBs are placed in the Vendor Information Page (VIP) database at http://www.vetbiz.gov.

The VA is required to set aside any open market procurement for SDVOSBs, and then VOSBs, if two or more such concerns are reasonably anticipated to submit offers at fair and reasonable pricing. To participate in these set-asides, VA must verify the individual owners’ service-disabled veteran status or veteran status. In addition, VA reviews an applicant’s financial statements; federal personal and business tax returns; personal history statements; articles of incorporation/organization; corporate by-laws or operating agreements; organizational, annual and board/member meeting records; stock ledgers and certificates; state-issued certificates of good standing; contract, lease and loan agreements; payroll records; bank account signature cards; and licenses. Firms found eligible by VA to participate in VA SDVOSB/VOSB set-asides are registered in the VIP database.

When this verification process was originally instituted (see the March 2010 Federal Contracts Perspective article “Veteran Business Status Verification Rule Finalized”), VA anticipated that annual examinations would be necessary to ensure the integrity of the verification program. However, given the depth of VA’s review, annual re-verification examinations have become an unnecessary administrative burden on both applicants/participants and VA. Therefore, VA has decided to amend the first sentence in paragraph (a) of Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Section 74.15, What length of time may a business participate in VetBiz VIP Verification?, by changing “1 year” to “2 years.” Now the first sentence reads: “A participant receives an eligibility term of 2 years from the date of CVE’s [Center for Veterans Enterprise’s] approval letter establishing verified status.”

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