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Barry McVay's FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH

DATE: July 14, 2000

FROM: Barry McVay, CPCM

SUBJECT: National Aeronautics and Space Administration Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Supplement (NFS); Acquisition of Training Services

SOURCE: Federal Register, July 14, 2000, Vol. 65, No. 136, page 43730

AGENCIES: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

ACTION: Proposed Rule

SYNOPSIS: NASA is proposing to remove NFS Subpart 1837.70, Acquisition of Training, because it has caused confusion about the relevance of FAR Part 6, Competition Requirements, to training service procurement.

DATES: Comments should be submitted on or before September 12, 2000.

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: James H. Dolvin, 202-358-1279, or jdolvin1@hq.nasa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: NFS Subpart 1837.70, Acquisition of Training, was added to the NFS in 1991. NFS 1837.7000, Acquisition of Off-the-Shelf Training Courses, states that the Government Employees Training Act of 1958 may be used as the authority for acquisition of "non-governmental off-the-shelf training courses which are available to the public." NFS 1837.7001, Acquisition of New Training Courses, states that acquisition of new training courses "developed to fill a specific NASA need shall be conducted in accordance with the FAR and the NFS".

NFS 1837.7000 provided an "otherwise authorized by statute" exemption from "full and open competition" requirements for commercial training courses, but FAR Part 12, Acquisition of Commercial Items, has superseded this "exemption" by permitting the use of simplified acquisition procedures for acquisitions of "commercial items" up to $5 million (see FAR Subpart 13.5, Test Program for Certain Commercial Items). NFS 1837.7001 states that the competition requirements in FAR Part 6 apply to new, NASA-specific training courses which, by definition, are not commercial courses. However, these two NFS sections together have caused confusion within NASA about the relevance of the FAR to training service procurement. Therefore, it is proposed that NFS Subpart 1837.70 be removed.

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

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