Wednesday, May 22, 2019

OFPP Proposals for the Fiscal Year 2020 NDAA

The Office of Procurement Policy (OFPP) was established by Congress in 1974 to provide overall direction for government-wide procurement policies, regulations and procedures and to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in acquisition processes. Where ten percent of every dollar spent by the Government going to contractors, it is imperative that contract actions result in the best value for the taxpayer. The CAS Board (Cost Accounting Standards) board resides within the OFPP and OFPP's Administrator (currently Lesley Field) acts as the Board's Chair.

Recently, the OFPP sent six recommendations to Congress for the FY2020 NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act). The stated intent of these recommendations is to streamline and improve the agility and efficiency of the federal acquisition process. These recommendations include:

  1. Establish an "Acquisition Modernization Test Board to accelerate work on a "contemporary acquisition state through testing, feedback, re-testing, and scaling of ideas that have been show to work". The proposal would authorize the OFPP's Administrator to exercise a waiver of one or more acquisition or procurement laws as part of a pilot program to evaluate how changing the statutory requirement(s) might facilitate more efficient achievement of the purpose underlying the law. We can thing of a few statutes that, if waived, would save the Government significant amounts of money; the Davis-Bacon Act and the Service Contracting Act.
  2. Disestablish the Defense Cost accounting Board. We've written several times about the DCASB (Defense Cost Accounting Standards Board). See, for example, Will the Newly Created Defense CAS Board Survive? Its creation was most a result of inaction by the CAS Board. The OFPP believes that the Defense CAS Board will create a more complicated regulatory framework for cost accounting standards.
  3. Increase the applicability of CAS from $2 million to $15 million. This would, of course, reduce the number of contractors required to comply with CAS Standards.
  4. Increase the micro-purchase threshold from $3,000 to $10,000. Basically this would allow Government credit card holders to use their cards for purchases up to $10 thousand.
  5. Increase the task and delivery order protest threshold for civilian agencies from $10 million to match the Defense agency threshold of $25 million.
  6. Remove the requirement for federal contractors to estimate the percentage of the total recovered material content for EPA designated items delivered and/or used in contract performance and submit certified reports to the contracting officer.

These recommendations may very well appear in the NDAA markups now working their way through Congress. The recommendation giving the OFPP Administrator the authority to waive Statutory requirements (on a test basis) may not receive great reception as it might be viewed as giving too much authority to OFPP.

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