Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Proposed Change to Definition of Cost or Pricing Data

DoD is moving to replace all references to "Cost or Pricing Data" to "Certified Cost or Pricing Data in its FAR Supplement (DFARS).  This is not a significant change to the procurement regulations but it should clear up some confusion by making it clear when cost or pricing data submitted in response to a Government solicitation must be certified. The change should also improve consistency between DFARS and FAR. FAR was amended several months ago to add the word "certified" to the definitions of Cost or Pricing Data.

Under existing regulations, contracting based on the submission of certified cost or pricing data is considered a last resort. If there is adequate price competition, if prices are set by law or regulations, or if acquiring commercial items, etc, contracting officers are precluded from requiring certified cost or pricing data. The contracting officer can however request "information other than cost or pricing data" necessary to make a determination that proposed prices are reasonable. Sometimes this "information other than cost or pricing data" is required to be submitted in a format and detail that looks just like regular cost or pricing data. And that's where the confusion set in. There was anecdotal evidence that contracting officers were requiring prospective contractors to certify the "information other than cost or pricing data.

By the way, the threshold for requiring certified cost or pricing data (FAR 15.403-4) remains at $700 thousand.

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