Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Regulations Must Be Changed for the Government to use Email Instead of Regular Mail

The Government is proposing to amend its regulations in order to issue task orders or delivery orders to contractors via email. Right now, those must be mailed.

In today's business environment, the Government and federal contractors frequently use email or other electronic commerce methods to communicate with one another. In an effort to reflect current business practices and maintain speed and efficiency in the ordering process, the FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulation) Council is proposing to update a clause that requires contracting officers to use regular U.S. mail to issue task or delivery orders (unless specifically authorized in the contract to use electronic commerce or fax). If the proposed change is implemented, contracting officers will have the flexibility to use email, fax, or regular mail without special contract coverage to use other than regular mail. It seems unlikely that anyone (other than health professionals) use fax machines these days but leave it to the FAR folks to finally authorize fax machines as a means of issuing task and delivery orders.

The new provision also clarifies the date when a task or delivery order is considered "issued".

  1. If sent by mail, a delivery order or task order is consider issued when the Government deposits the order in the mail.
  2. If sent by fax, a delivery order or task order is considered issued when the Government transmits the order to the contractor's fax number.
  3. If sent electronically, a delivery order or task order is considered issued when the Government either
    • Posts a copy of the delivery order or task order to a Government document access system and notice is sent to the contractor, or
    • Distributes the delivery order or task order via email to the contractor's email address.

Contractors need to ensure their proper 'company' email in SAM (System for Award Management)

The proposed regulation can be found here.

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