DOD authorization includes time, materials compromise

The compromise National Defense Authorization Act includes a measure that allows Defense Department agencies to continue using time-and-materials contracting, but puts new burdens on contractors.

The House passed the compromise bill Dec. 13, and the Senate is considering it now. The Senate's original legislation had further restricted time-and-materials contracting.

Under the compromise version, created in the usual conference session to harmonize House and Senate legislation, DOD contracting officers can ask contractors to provide price data before issuing task orders. Currently, contractors must provide that information when they first compete for a contract, but not when they compete for task orders under a contract they hold.

Larry Allen, president of the Coalition for Government Procurement, said the compromise measure is good news for DOD and for Defense contractors. Time-and-materials contracts, in which the contractor bills the government based on the actual time spent and materials used, rather than a fixed cost, are a popular means for agencies to buy services.

Because contractors already produce price data, that burden is acceptable, Allen said. The legislation "doesn't require the government to ask for it, but it allows the DOD contracting officer to ask for it," he said. "It is more intrusive than has been done in the past."

If the Senate passes the compromise version of the bill and President Bush signs it, its provisions could become effective early next year, Allen said.

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

What is your e-mail address?

My e-mail address is:

Do you have a password?

Forgot your password? Click here


  • POWER TRAINING: How to engage your customers

    Don't miss our Aug. 2 Washington Technology Power Training session on Mastering Stakeholder Engagement, where you'll learned the critical skills you need to more fully connect with your customers and win more business. Read More


    In our latest Project 38 Podcast, editor Nick Wakeman interviews Tom Romeo, the leader of Maximus Federal about how it has zoomed up the 2019 Top 100. Read More

contracts DB

Washington Technology Daily

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.