Acquisition Threshold Increased for Special Emergency Procurement Authority

May 24, 2017
by Shelley Hall

DoD, GSA, and NASA issued are issuing a final rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement a section of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 to raise the simplified acquisition threshold for special emergency procurement authority from $300,000 to $750,000 (within the United States) and from $1 million to $1.5 million (outside the United States).

The proposed rule published June 20, 2016, implemented 816 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016.

FAR 2.101, 13.003, 19.203, and 19.502-2 are being revised to increase the simplified acquisition threshold for special emergency procurement authority from $300,000 to $750,000 (within the United States) and from $1 million to $1.5 million (outside the United States). The rule would apply to acquisitions of supplies or services that, as determined by the head of the agency, are to be used to support a contingency operation or to facilitate defense against or recovery from nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological attack.

The primary benefit of increasing these limits is to allow COs in contingency situations to award contracts faster and more efficiently using simplified acquisition procedures (SAP).  These types of acquisitions require significantly less time and documentation and usually special emergency procurements are time-sensitive.

Simplified acquisition procedures are contained in FAR Part 13, and are intended to (a) Reduce administrative costs; (b) Improve opportunities for small, small disadvantaged, women-owned, veteran-owned, HUBZone, and service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns to obtain a fair proportion of Government contracts; (c) Promote efficiency and economy in contracting; and (d) Avoid unnecessary burdens for agencies and contractors.

For contractors (especially small businesses) who provide the items and services used in special emergency procurements, this is a step in the right direction.

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