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Barry McVay's FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH

DATE: June 13, 2000

FROM: Barry McVay, CPCM

SUBJECT: National Aeronautics and Space Administration Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (NFS); Risk Management

SOURCE: Federal Register, June 13, 2000, Vol. 65, No. 114, page 37057

AGENCIES: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

ACTION: Interim Rule

SYNOPSIS: NASA is amending the NFS to emphasize risk management, including safety, security (including information technology security), health, export control, and damage to the environment, within the context of acquisition planning, selecting sources, choosing contract type, structuring award fee incentives, administering contracts, and conducting contractor surveillance.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This interim rule applies to all solicitations issued on or after July 13, 2000. Comments on the interim rule should be submitted to NASA on or before August 14, 2000.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments to James H. Dolvin, NASA Headquarters Office of Procurement, Contract Management Division (Code HK), Washington, DC 20546. Comments may also be submitted by e-mail to jdolvin1@mail.hq.nasa.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: James H. Dolvin, 202-358-1279.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: In a January 11, 1999, message, NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin called upon NASA to become an agency of informed risk takers. He emphasized that it is critically important for NASA to achieve mission success without compromising safety. Then, on February 26, 1999, Mr. Goldin emphasized the need for NASA contractors, both on-site and others, to be supportive of, and accountable for safety. However, since many of NASA's activities involve advanced research, aeronautics, and space flight, NASA cannot completely avoid risk. So risk must be identified, analyzed, planned, tracked, controlled, communicated, and documented.

NASA decided to revise the NFS to emphasize that "risk management" is a "core acquisition concern." On July 20, 1999, NASA published a proposed NFS revision to emphasize this concern and provide procedures for making sure that all aspects of risk management are considered in the acquisition process. Comments were received from the Council of Defense and Space Industry Associations (CODSIA), the United Space Alliance, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Based on the comments, NASA made extensive changes to the rule, so much so that it is issuing the rule as "interim" and requesting additional comments.

The most important differences between the proposed and interim versions of this rule are in the requirements for written acquisition plans (NFS 1807.105, Contents of Written Acquisition Plans); (2) changes in award fee evaluation factors (NFS 1816.405-274, Award Fee Evaluation Factors), (3) revisions to requirements for the Safety and Health Plan (NFS 1852.223-73, Safety and Health Plan), and (4) the elimination of the requirement for a separate risk management plan in proposals (deletion of proposed NFS 1852.223-75, Risk Management Plan, which would have been required in all negotiated solicitations of $5 million or more).

The following are the significant changes being made to the NFS by this interim rule:

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barry McVay at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to BarryMcVay@FedGovContracts.com.

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