Thursday, November 10, 2016

Whoa! DoD Wants to Eliminates an Acronym

Last week, DoD issued a final rule amending its FAR Supplement (DFARS or DoD FAR Supplement) to eliminate the acronym "CONUS" and replace it with a spelled-out version.

CONUS stands for "Contiguous United States" and means the 48 contiguous states plus the District of Columbia. Seems that a lot of people mistook the definition to mean "Continental United States" which would also include Alaska.

DoD asserts that "Spelling out the acronym in the DFARS will eliminate any confusion." What a relief that will be.

There is a problem however. FAR still uses "CONUS" (See, for example, FAR 2.101). Imagine the confusion that will ensue now.

Contractors typically deal with the term CONUS when implementing travel caps (FAR 31.205-46) but we've yet to hear of any confusion on the matter. Its rather simple;

  • For travel within the 48 contiguous states and DC, use GSA's Federal Travel Regulations
  • For travel to Alaska, Hawaii, and outlying areas, use DoD's Joint Travel Regulations (outlying areas include Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Guam, Virgin Islands, and a bunch of minor outlying islands).
  • For foreign travel, use the State Department's Standardized Regulations

Wonder how many man-hours were spent on this regulatory change?

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