By Government Contracts Editorial Staff
The Department of Defense has issued two proposed rules amending Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement contract clauses. DoD issued both rules in response to recommendations of the DoD Regulatory Reform Task Force. Comments on the rules are due August 27, 2019.
Accident Investigations. One rule (¶70,020.436, DFARS Case 2018-D047) would amend DFARS 252.228-7005, Accident reporting and investigation involving aircraft, missiles, and space launch vehicles, and the prescription for the clause (DFARS 228.370), to make use of the clause in applicable solicitations and contracts mandatory instead of optional. DoD uses DFARS 252.228-7005 in solicitations and contracts that involve the manufacture, modification, overhaul, or repair of aircraft, missiles, and space launch vehicles. The clause requires contractors to promptly notify the contracting officer of all facts related to an accident, assist in the government’s investigation of an accident, and include a similar clause in subcontracts. DoD is proposing to amend the clause prescription from permitting use of the clause to requiring use of the clause because there is no situation where the clause requirements would not be necessary when contracting for the manufacture, modification, overhaul, or repair of aircraft, missiles, and space launch vehicles. The rule also proposes to change clause text from “will” to “shall” to clarify the intent of the clause and make it consistent with current DFARS convention.
Telecommunications Agreements.The other rule (¶70,020.437, DFARS Case 2018-D046) would combine DFARS 252.239-7013, Obligation of the Government; DFARS 252.239-7014, Term of agreement; and DFARS 252.239-7015, Continuation of communication service authorizations, into a single clause at DFARS 252.239-7013, Term of agreement and continuation of services. DoD often uses a communication service authorization to acquire telecommunication services under a basic agreement. DFARS 252.239-7013 identifies when the government’s liability begins under a basic agreement, while DFARS 252.239-7014 specifies the term of the basic agreement, the method and timeframe necessary to terminate the basic agreement, and the contractor’s obligation to continue performance on CSAs issued under the basic agreement prior to the termination notice. DFARS 252.239-7015 is included in basic agreements that supersede an existing basic agreement. DoD includes all three clauses in the same contracts, and all three clauses provide terms and conditions for basic agreements for telecommunications services. As a result, the text of the three clauses can be combined into a basic and alternate clause. This will minimize the number of clauses in the basic agreement, streamline terms and conditions, and provide comprehensive information to contractors. The rule would also change the termination notification timeframe from 60 to 30 days, so that it is consistent with FAR 16.702(b)(2), and make conforming changes the prescription for the clauses at DFARS 239.7411.
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