Major DFARS changes proposed

A Defense Department task force has proposed changes that would slash the 1,400-page Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement by 40 percent and revise another 22 percent.

The DFARS Transformation Task Force, made up of 30 Defense acquisition and legal employees, has drafted about 800 proposed changes.

The recommendations include automating as many of Defense Acquisition Regulation processes as feasible, using commercial hardware and software.

"The integrated solution would automate various DAR processes such as collaboration among and deliberation by committees, the DFARS Council and the staff; coordination and approval of proposed and final rules; and records management of historical DFARS and the DFARS case files,"
according to the task force's executive summary.

Some additional recommendations include:

  • Creating a separate procedures and guidance document to replace a lot of nonregulatory content

  • Expanding the use of broad agency announcements for all R&D efforts

  • Deleting obsolete text about restructuring costs

  • * Eliminating duty-free entry information requirements

  • Eliminating distribution by contracting officers of reports on contract performance outside the United States.

  • The task force said a revamped DFARS should "contain such things as detailed instructions on how to accomplish certain actions, or optional procedures and best practices, in addition to internal procedures that are mandatory albeit not properly part of the formal rule-making process."

    The first phase of the DFARS transformation work?to determine nonstatutory text that could be cut?was completed in November.

    The second phase began in February. The task force had 75 days to identify ways to streamline Defense buying rules, reduce acquisition costs and administrative burdens, and fine-tune the clarity of the regulations.

    The task force finished its work in May, but DOD just released the recommendations.

    During Phase 3, which began last month, the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council is reviewing the proposals and preparing recommendations for publication and public comment.

    Michael W. Wynne, principal deputy undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, set a goal of reducing the DFARS regulatory burden by 40 percent to 60 percent, cutting the regulation process in half.

    Improving DOD's procurement process would reduce costs and administrative burdens, Wynne said.

    Dawn S. Onley writes for Government Computer News

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