Government Contracts DFARS Proposal Requires Sustainment in Weapon System Design
Tuesday, July 23, 2019

DFARS Proposal Requires Sustainment in Weapon System Design

By Government Contracts Editorial Staff

A proposed rule would amend the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement to implement section 834 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (PL 115-91), which requires the Department of Defense to use reliability and maintainability sustainment factors in weapon system design. Section 834 added 10 USC 2443, which requires program managers to ensure that reliability and maintainability are included in the performance attributes of the key performance parameters on sustainment during the development of capabilities requirements for major weapon systems design. These attributes must also be included in contracts for the engineering and manufacturing development of a weapon system, including embedded software, and contracts for weapon system production, including embedded software. The Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment directed application of these requirements to the technical maturation and risk reduction phase.

Acquisition Planning, Solicitations. The proposed changes to DFARS 207.106(S-70) and (S-72) implement 10 USC 2443 as an additional requirement for major systems, provide guidance to the acquisition team on including reliability and maintainability in the performance attributes, and direct the contracting officer to ensure that best practices are used during the development of performance measures for use in responding to the negative or positive contractor performance in meeting the contract requirements for sustainment for a weapon system during acquisition planning. The rule encourages the CO to use incentive fees and penalties, as appropriate, and allows the PM to base determination of contractor performance on reliability and maintainability data collected during the program. A proposed change to DFARS 215.304(c)(vi) advises that source selections must emphasize sustainment factors and objective reliability and maintainability evaluation criteria in competitive contracts for the technical maturation and risk reduction phase, and engineering and manufacturing development, or production, of a weapon system. Finally, revised DFARS 216.402-2(2) would require COs to ensure that information about incentive fees or penalties is included in the solicitation, while revised DFARS 234.004 would inform the CO to use clearly defined measurable criteria for engineering activities and design specifications for reliability and maintainability provided by the PM, or include a copy of the justification for the decision not to include the criteria in the contract file. Comments on the rule referencing DFARS Case 2019-D003 are due August 27, 2019. For the text of the proposed rule, see ¶70,020.435.

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