Panoptic Enterprises’


Federal Acquisition Developments, Guidance, and Opinions

November 2018
Vol. XIX, No. 11
[pdf version]


FAR Reissued, Posted on Acquisition.gov
DOD Keeps DFARS Cleanup Rolling Along
CAAC Deviation Removes Determination Requirement

FAR Reissued, Posted on

After 13 years and 101 Federal Acquisition Circulars (FACs), the General Services Administration (GSA), which prints, publishes, and distributes the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), has reissued the FAR. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 FAR will be available for viewing and download at https://www.acquisition.gov/browsefar.

Periodically, the FAR is reissued for administrative clean-up. After 101 sets of FAR amendments, GSA (along with the Department of Defense and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which jointly administer the FAR) decided it was finally time to issue a fresh copy of the FAR.

Although the reissue does not alter the language of the FAR, it does contain several administrative updates to improve the user experience and increase accessibility. The following updates are to features that do not appear in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) (the FAR is Chapter 1 of Title 48 of the CFR, Federal Acquisition Regulations System):

According to the GSA notice, “Although these changes do not alter the Code of Federal Regulations, they will provide smoother access to the FAR for new and experienced users alike.”

DOD Keeps DFARS Cleanup Rolling Along

The Department of Defense (DOD) is continuing its cleansing of the DOD FAR Supplement (DFARS), which has been going on for months. In October, DOD removed two clauses and one provision, updated one clause by removing an outdated requirement, finalized a proposed rule, proposed two other rules, withdrew a proposed rule, issued a class deviation that replaces another class deviation, and issued a memorandum providing directions to contracting officers. Whew!

CAAC Deviation Removes Determination Requirement

The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council (CAAC), which represents the civilian agencies in maintaining the FAR (except the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Coast Guard, which are on the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council (DARC)), has issued a memorandum authorizing the members of the CAAC to remove the best procurement approach determination requirement to use an interagency acquisition that is in paragraph (a) of FAR 17.502-l, General [procedures for interagency acquisitions].

This implements the NDAA for FY 2019 (Public Law 115-232), Section 875, Promotion of the Use of Governmentwide and Other Interagency Contracts, which strikes the requirement imposed by the NDAA for FY 2009 (Public Law 110-417), Section 865, Preventing Abuse of Interagency Contracts, that all interagency acquisitions “include a determination that an interagency acquisition is the best procurement alternative...”

The primary change made by this class deviation is the deletion of FAR 17.502-1(a), which addresses the “determination of best procurement approach.” Other changes are editorial – they delete references to FAR 17.502-1(a). The memorandum has an attachment with the additions and deletions to the FAR text identified. These changes are being processed through the FAR rulemaking process as FAR Case 2018-015, Governmentwide and Other Interagency Contracts.

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