Government Contracts DoD Changes Demonstration Project for Persons with Disabilities
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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

DoD Changes Demonstration Project for Persons with Disabilities

By Government Contracts Editorial Staff

A final rule (DFARS Case 2018-D058) issued by the Department of Defense amends the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement to implement section 888 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (PL 115-232), which requires a DFARS update that includes an instruction on employing persons with disabilities. Section 853 of the NDAA for FY 2004 (PL 108-136), as amended, authorized a demonstration project for contractors employing persons with disabilities to provide defense contracting opportunities for both nonprofit and profit entities employing individuals who have severe disabilities. The rule adds new DFARS Subpart 226.72, Demonstration Project for Contractors Employing Persons with Disabilities, which provides applicable definitions (DFARS 226.7201), policy and procedures (DFARS 226.7202), and a prescription at DFARS 226.7203 for the solicitation provision at DFARS 252.226-7002, Representation for Demonstration Project for Contractors Employing Persons with Disabilities.

Changes. The rule makes a number of significant changes from the proposed rule (¶70,020.428). In particular, the rule revises DFARS 226.7200, Scope of subpart, to clarify that DFARS Subpart 226.72 does not supersede the requirements for contracting officers to use the mandatory sources in FAR Part 8, or the small business programs in FAR Part 19. Also, the rule revises DFARS 226.7202 to clarify that, to limit competition to entities that meet the definition of “eligible contractor,” a written justification and approval is required pursuant to FAR 6.302-5. Under a change to DFARS 226.7202, for DoD to continue to receive small disadvantaged business credit for a contract awarded under the Demonstration Project, the contractor must be an eligible contractor when options are exercised. In addition, the final rule adds Alternate II for the clause at DFARS 252.219-7003, Small Business Subcontracting Plan (DoD Contracts), for use in solicitations and contracts issued under the Demonstration Project. Alternate II includes the definition of “eligible contractor” and allows the prime contractor to receive credit toward its small disadvantaged business subcontracting goal for subcontracts issued to eligible contractors. Finally, to clarify that COs may use the Demonstration Project to purchase commercial items, including commercially available off-the-shelf items, this final rule adds DFARS 252.219-7003 Alternate II, and DFARS 252.226-7002 to the list of DFARS 212.301 provisions and contract clauses that apply to acquisitions of commercial items. For the text of the final rule, effective December 31, 2019, see ¶70,017.28.

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