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Panoptic Enterprises' FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH

DATE: April 26, 2002

SUBJECT: Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS); Competition Requirements for Purchases from Federal Prison Industries (FPI)

SOURCE: Federal Register, April 26, 2002, Vol. 67, No. 81, page 20687

AGENCIES: Department of Defense (DOD)

ACTION: Interim Rule

SYNOPSIS: DOD is amending DFARS Subpart 208.6, Acquisitions from Federal Prison Industries, Inc., to implement Section 811 of the Fiscal Year 2002 National Defense Authorization Act (Public Law 107-107). Section 811 requires DOD to conduct market research before purchasing a product listed in the FPI catalog to determine whether the FPI product is comparable in price, quality, and time of delivery to products available from the private sector.

EDITOR'S NOTE: For more on the acquisition-related provisions of the FY 2002 National Defense Authorization Act, see the January 2, 2002, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "Enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002."

DATES: The effective date for this interim rule is April 26, 2002. Comments on the interim rule must be received no later than June 25, 2002.

ADDRESSES: Respondents may submit comments directly on the web site at http://emissary.acq.osd.mil/dar/dfars.nsf/pubcomm. As an alternative, respondents may e-mail comments to: dfars@acq.osd.mil. Also, respondents who cannot submit comments through the web site or by e-mail may submit comments to Defense Acquisition Regulations Council, Attn: Susan Schneider, OUSD(AT&L)DP(DAR), IMD 3C132, 3062 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3062, or by fax to 703-602-0350. Cite DFARS Case 2002-D003 when making comments on this interim rule.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan Schneider, 703-602-0326.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: Section 811 requires DOD departments and agencies to conduct market research before purchasing a product listed in the FPI catalog to determine whether the FPI product is comparable to products available from the private sector. If the FPI product is not comparable, competitive procedures must be used to acquire the product. When conducting such a competition, Section 811 requires the contracting officer to consider for award a timely offer from FPI.

To implement Section 811, DFARS 208.602, Policy, is added. DFARS 208.602 requires DOD departments and agencies to "conduct market research to determine whether the FPI product is comparable to products available from the private sector that best meet the Government's needs in terms of price, quality, and time of delivery (10 U.S.C. 2410n). This is a unilateral decision made solely at the discretion of the department or agency. If the FPI product is comparable, follow the policy at FAR 8.602(a) [Policy]. If the FPI product is not comparable, (A) use competitive procedures to acquire the product; and (B) consider a timely offer from FPI for award in accordance with the specifications and evaluation factors in the solicitation."

Also, DFARS 208.606, Exceptions, is revised to add an additional exception to the requirement that a clearance be obtained from FPI before buying a product on the FPI Schedule of Products from another source: "If market research shows that the FPI product is not comparable to products available from the private sector that best meet the government's needs in terms of price, quality, and time of delivery."

Finally, DFARS Part 210, Market Research, is added, and it consists of DFARS 210.001, Policy: "Also conduct market research before purchasing a product listed in the Federal Prison Industries (FPI) Schedule. Use the results to determine whether the FPI product is comparable to products available from the private sector that best meet the Government's needs in terms of price, quality, and time of delivery. (See [DFARS] Subpart 208.6.)"

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Panoptic Enterprises at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to Panoptic@FedGovContracts.com.

Copyright 2002 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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