By Government Contracts Editorial Staff
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has issued three Procurement Notices that revise the NASA Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement. The revisions affect NASA’s internal operating procedures and do not have a significant cost or administrative impact on contractors or offerors. All of the changes went into effect June 11, 2019.
Interagency Acquisitions. PN 19-03 (¶70,049.286) revises NFS 1817.503-70 to clarify the authority to be cited in a Determination and Findings for an interagency acquisition. The Economy Act (31 USC 1535) authorizes agencies to enter into agreements to obtain supplies or services from another agency, and FAR 17.502-2(b) states that the Economy Act applies when more specific statutory authority does not exist. The prior version of NFS 1817.503-70 required a citation to the Economy Act as the authority when NASA is the requesting agency and intends to enter into an agreement with another agency to obtain supplies or services. However, this may have suggested that the Economy Act was the only available authority and could have caused issues when a servicing agency desired to cite a more specific authority such as 40 USC 501 (Federal Supply Schedules) or 40 USC 11302(e) (Governmentwide acquisition contracts). This PN clarifies that when there is more specific authority than the Economy Act for an interagency agreement, it can be cited in the order.
Determination Requirement Removed. PN 19-04 (¶70,049.287) also address interagency acquisitions. This PN revises NFS 1817.502-1(a) to remove a requirement to make a best procurement approach determination requirement when using an interagency acquisition. The prior version of NFS 1817.502-1 required NASA to make a determination that an interagency acquisition represented the best procurement approach before requesting another agency to conduct an acquisition on its behalf. Before placing an order against another agency’s indefinite-delivery contract vehicle, NASA had to make a determination that the other contract vehicle was the best procurement approach and obtain the concurrence of its responsible contracting office. However, Section 875 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (PL 115-232) removed the requirement to use a procurement approach determination. FAC 2019-02, issued May 6, 2019, made a similar change to the best procurement approach determination requirement at FAR 17.502-1.
Justification Approvals. Finally, PN 19-05 (¶70,049.288) revises NFS 1806.304 to add policy guidance on the concurrence and approval of Justification for Other than Full and Open Competition. The notice adds policy for changes to requirements, the basis for the justification, or market conditions, or when there are increases in the estimated value of the proposed action. NASA issued this PN in furtherance of prudent business practices and to ensure proposed sole source actions remain legally supportable at the time of contract award.
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