According to an article in Washington Technology, new procurement proposal aims to tighten the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement’s rules on how DOD gets a fair or reasonable price from a company. Currently, the Federal Acquisition Regulation leaves decisions on price competition up to the contracting officer. The standard of competition is met if the officer “can reasonably conclude that the offer was submitted with the expectation of competition.”
Under the new DOD proposal, contracting officers would no longer use that standard. Contracting officers would instead have to re-compete the solicitation for at least another 30 days if they waited less than a month to receive bids and got only one.
If a competition was open for at least 30 days, officers would have to determine reasonableness of prices through price or cost analysis, or they can enter negotiations with the company that made the bid.
“The purpose and effect of this rule is to promote real competition by ensuring that adequate time is allowed for receipt of offers, and ensuring that prices are fair and reasonable when adequate time has been allowed but nevertheless only one offer is received in response to a competitive solicitation,” DOD officials wrote in a recent memo.
DOD is under pressure to cut costs and competition for contracts is one of the key reform points laid out in the past year.
Defense officials are taking comments on the proposal through Sept. 23.