Wednesday, October 31, 2018

DoD Cancels Acquisition Streamlining Contract Clause

Back in February 2017, a Presidential Executive Order (EO 13777) established a Federal policy to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burden on the American people. In response to that EO, the Defense Department established a Regulatory Reform Task Force to review and validate DoD regulations, including DFARS (DoD FAR Supplement). DoD established a subgroup within the DoD Regulatory Reform Task Force to specifically review DFARS provisions and clauses.

It is difficult to make regulatory changes even when everyone knows and realizes that a particular regulation is redundant or of dubious value. This is especially true when regulations are implementing a statutory requirement. The statute must be changed first and that involves Congress and the President.

So far, the DoD Regulatory Reform Task Force has been concentrating on DFARS provisions that are redundant or closely approximate requirements stated elsewhere. This is the case published this week where DoD is removing DFARS Clause 252.211-7000, Acquisition Streamlining. Now why would DoD want to remove a clause that promotes "acquisition streamlining"? Isn't acquisition streamlining a good thing? A noble goal?

Perhaps. But in this case, the contract clause places the burden on contractors. DFARS 252.211-7000, Acquisition Streamlining (now deleted) requires contractors to prepare acquisition streamlining recommendations in accordance with the performance work statement and submit them to the Government. This particular clause was added to implement a requirement of a DoD Directive (DoDD 5000.43) that has since been cancelled. Moreover, FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulations) 7.1, Acquisition Plans, already includes similar provision involving industry engagement as considerations to be made when preparing written acquisition plans. Since the implementing DoD Directive and FAR 7.1 addresses acquisition streamlining, DoD considered its version of the clause unnecessary and therefore cancelled it.

In cancelling the requirement, DoD announced that it will continue to encourage industry participation during the design and development of contract requirements and through other methods.

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