Government Contracts Rule Requires Use of Sustainment Factors in Weapon System Design
Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Rule Requires Use of Sustainment Factors in Weapon System Design

By Government Contracts Editorial Staff

A final rule (DFARS Case 2019-D003) amends the Defense Federal Acquisition Supplement to implement section 834 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (PL 115-91), which requires the use of 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, also including embedded software.

Additional Requirements. The rule amends DFARS 207.106(S-70) and (S-72) to implement 10 USC 2443 as an additional requirement for major systems, and provide guidance to the acquisition team on including reliability and maintainability in the performance attributes. Also, the rule directs contracting officers to ensure that best practices are used during the development of performance measures for use in responding to negative or positive contractor performance in meeting the contract requirements for sustainment for a weapon system during acquisition planning. The rule encourages COs to use incentive fees and penalties, as appropriate, and allows program managers to base determination of contractor performance on reliability and maintainability data collected during the program. The 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) requires COs to ensure that information about incentive fees or penalties is included in the solicitation, while revised DFARS 234.004 informs COs to use clearly defined measurable criteria for engineering activities and design specifications for reliability and maintainability provided by the program manager, or include a copy of the justification for the decision not to include the criteria in the contract file. The rule makes corresponding amendments to the DFARS companion resource Procedures, Guidance, and Information, at PGI 207.105 and PGI 216.402-2. The final rule makes no changes to the proposed rule (¶70,020.435). For the text of this final rule, which went into effect on October 31, 2019, see ¶70,017.16.

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