Wednesday, November 11, 2009

FARS Part 7: Insider Stuff -- Authorized!

More reasons the Contracting Officer is one of the Five People You Need To Meet... (if you know enough what to ask for!)

The best part of FARS Part 7 is arguably FARS 7.105: buyers need an acquisition plan. That means, before any buying begins, the contracting officers can already tell you some VERY useful things...if you know enough to ask.  
Wouldn't you want to know your buyer's plans for:
  • invitation and selection of vendors
  • contract type
  • funding
  • environmental/energy requirements
  • logistics
  • providing you with property or data
  • security
  • timing and nature of acquisition milestones

FARS Part 7.103 lays out the things that are supposed to happen when government buys. If these things don't happen, you can certainly politely ask why not. FARS Part 103 requires the program manager to:
  • Maximize Competition, particularly opportunities for small business, buy commercial items, buy Green/biobased products, minimize (or at least justify) bundling and urgent purchases that can restrict competition, and not discriminate against vendors who propose to use a telecommuting workforce to serve the government.
  • Coordinate with the small business specialist on all contracts worth more than:
    • $7.5 million or more for the Department of Defense; 
    • $5.5 million or more for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the General Services Administration, and the Department of Energy; and
    • $2 million or more for all other agencies.
Ask and ye may receive!


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