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Nick Wakeman

3 new procurement regs worth noting

As 2015 came to a close, the government published three interim and proposed rules that contractors should take note of:

  • An interim extending the deadline for defense contractors to comply with certain NIST security requirements
  • A proposed rule government different aspects of multi-year defense contracts
  • An interim outlining how agencies can issue sole-source contracts to woman-owned businesses

Both defense-related rules were driven by requirements of the 2013 and 2015 National Defense Authorization Acts.

NIST SECURITY REQUIREMENTS

For the rule involving NIST security requirements, DOD is giving contractors more time to comply with an interim rule it issued in August. That rule (from the 2013 NDAA) required contractors to comply with NIST Special Publication 800-171, which covers protection of unclassified information that resides in contractor IT systems.

DOD held a public hearing in December where industry voiced concerns that it needed more time to comply with the interim rule. The rule not only covers prime contractors but subcontractors as well.

Compliance is now required by Dec. 31, 2017.

Comments on the interim rule granting the extension are due Feb. 29.

MULTI-YEAR CONTRACTS

The proposed rule for multi-year contracts was required by the 2015 NDAA and the 2015 Defense Appropriations Act.

The proposed rule requires the secretary of Defense to certify in writing that conditions sent forth in the two acts are met for multi-year contracts. The certification needs to be made 30 days before making the award.

The rule also covers cancellation of multi-year contracts. Congressional defense committees need to be notified 30-days in advance. DOD also needs to ensure that cancellation provisions in the contract do not include payments for recurring manufacturing costs for unfunded units.

The contract also should not include payments made in advance of incurred costs for funded units, and the contract cannot provide for a price adjustment based on a failure to award a follow-on contract.

The new requirements only cover acquisition programs specifically authorized by law to be carried out using multi-year contracts.

The rule applies to primes and shouldn’t impact small business subcontractors, according to the Federal Register notice.

Comments are due Feb. 29.

WOMEN-OWNED SMALL BUSINESSES

The government issued an interim rule for the FAR that outlines when agencies can issue a sole-source contracts to women-owned businesses.

The Small Business Administration has been working for some time to level the playing field for woman-owned business and bring regulations in line with opportunities set aside for other small business programs.

In this rule, SBA is focused on certain industries, including IT, where SBA considers woman-owned business participation is under-represented.

The interim rule allows sole-source contracts up to $6.5 million for manufacturing requirements and $4 million for other requirements. But contracting officers can only issue a sole-source contract after market research fails to find two or more women-owned businesses that can provide the product or services.

Comments on this rule are due Feb. 29.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jan 07, 2016 at 12:26 PM


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