By Wayne Simpson, CFCM, CSCM
In the Monday, May 6, 2019, edition of the Federal Register, the Department of Defense (DoD), the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) issued Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2019-02, which covers several final rules implementing two Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) cases, and a final rule implementing technical amendments, all of which modify the FAR.
FAC 2019-02 contains the final rule implementing FAR Case 2017-009, Special Emergency Procurement Authority, which implements Sections 816 and 1641 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the Fiscal Year 2017 (Public Law 114-328). These sections of the Fiscal Year 2017 NDAA allow for higher micro-purchase threshold (MPT) and simplified acquisition threshold (SAT) for acquisitions of supplies or services which support international disaster assistance, response to an emergency or major disaster, or defense against or recovery from a cyber attack. The final rule may be viewed in its entirety at 84 FR 19835. This final rule is effective on June 5, 2019.
The new Special Emergency Procurement Authority micro-purchase and simplified acquisition thresholds under the final rule are as follows:
The MPT under this authority is increased to $20,000 for purchases and contracts to be awarded and performed inside the United States; $30,000 for purchase and contracts to be awarded and performed outside the United States, except for the acquisition of construction subject to the Wage Requirements Statute.
The FAR Part 13 SAT was previously raised from $150,000 to $750,000 for any contract to be awarded and performed, or purchase made inside the United States; $1.5 Million for any contract awarded and performed, or purchase to be made outside of the United States, for procurements using the Special Emergency Procurement Authority. A government may use a higher threshold of $13 Million (in lieu of $7 Million) for the used for the acquisition of commercial items, including acquisitions treated as acquisitions of commercial items to facilitate defense against or recovery from nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological attack (lets hope this authority is never needed or used). The previously increased authorities remain unchanged.
FAC 2019-02 also contains the final rule implementing FAR Case 2018-015, Governmentwide and Other Interagency Contracts, which implements Section 875 of the John S. McCain NDAA for Fiscal Year 2019. Section 875 removes the requirement for Federal agencies to make a determination that the use of an interagency acquisition represents the best procurement approach. The final rule only removes a requirement for Federal agencies to make a specific determination prior to using a certain contracting method. The removal of this requirement only affects the internal operating procedures of the government and has no impact on contractors. The final rule may be viewed in its entirety at 84 FR 19837 and is effective June 5, 2019.
Lastly, FAC 2019-02 includes a final rule covering technical amendments In order to update certain elements in the FAR. The affected FAR parts are 1-9, 11, 16-19, 22, 26, 30, 31, 45, 50, 52, and 53. The entire final rule containing the technical amendments may be viewed in its entirety at 84 FR 19839. This final rule is effective on May 6, 2019.
About the Author:
Wayne Simpson is retired from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) after 38 years of federal service. He served as the Executive Assistant to VA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Acquisition and Logistics where he was the primary staff advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary, who serves concurrently as VA’s Senior Procurement Executive and Debarring Official.
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