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Panoptic Enterprises' FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH

DATE: January 24, 2003

SUBJECT: Veterans Affairs Acquisition Regulation (VAAR); Simplified Acquisition Procedures for Health-Care Resources

SOURCE: Federal Register, January 24, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 16, page 3465

AGENCIES: Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

ACTION: Final Rule

SYNOPSIS: VA is adding VAAR Part 873, Simplified Acquisition Procedures for Health-Care Resources, to implement the Veterans' Health Care Eligibility Reform Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-262), which authorizes VA to adopt simplified acquisition procedures for health-care resources consisting of commercial services or the use of medical equipment or space.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The VAAR is Chapter 8 of Title 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations. It is available on the Internet at http://www.va.gov/oa&mm/vaar/.

For more on the proposed rule, see the June 7, 2001, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "Veterans Affairs Acquisition Regulation (VAAR); Simplified Acquisition Procedures for Health-Care Resources."

EFFECTIVE DATE: February 24, 2003.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dennis Foley, 202-273-9225, Office of the General Counsel, Professional Staff Group V; or Don Kaliher, 202-273-8819, Acquisition Resources Service, Office of Acquisition and Materiel Management, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20420.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: On June 7, 2001, the VA published a proposed rule to add VAAR Part 873 to establish simplified procedures for the competitive acquisition of health-care resources consisting of commercial services or the use of medical equipment or space. VA was authorized to develop the simplified procedures by Public Law 104-262, which stated that procurements under such simplified procedures could be conducted "without regard to any law or regulation that would otherwise require the use of competitive procedures." However, Public Law 104-262 also required the simplified procedures to "permit all responsible sources, as appropriate, to submit a bid, proposal, or quotation (as appropriate) for the resources to be procured and provide for the consideration by the Department of bids, proposals, or quotations so submitted." VA interpreted this provision as allowing VA to limit competition to the extent determined reasonable for the circumstances of each particular acquisition.

The key provisions of the proposed VAAR Part 873 were:

No comments on the proposed rule were received, so VA is finalizing the proposed rule without change.

Since VAAR Part 873 applies only to acquisitions for health-care resources, it applies only to the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), one of the three administrations that comprise VA.

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

Copyright 2003 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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