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FAR/DFARS/DoD Class Deviations Provision and Clause Matrix

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Don Mansfield

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I always thought that the FAR Matrix was a good idea that was poorly executed. To begin with, it's notorious for containing errors. Second, most of the entries in the "Principle Type and/or Purpose of Contract" columns are "A", Required when applicable, which means you have to look up the prescription anyway. Lastly, the matrix isn't going to tell you if your agency deviates from the FAR prescription, which DoD does a lot. As such, I created a matrix that I think overcomes these problems.

A few things about the matrix:

  • It contains every provision and clause in the FAR, DFARS, and in DoD Class Deviation memoranda.
  • It doesn't have any "Principle Type and/or Purpose of Contract" columns except for a Commercial Items column.
  • It contains the actual prescription of the provision or clause. For readability, I removed the number and title of the provision or clause in the block and just wrote "use this provision..." or "use this clause..." The identifying information for the provision or clause is already contained in the row.
  • For DoD, it contains additional instructions for the use of FAR clauses that is contained in the DFARS or in a class deviation. This information appears in bold. If you work for a civilian agency, just ignore what's in bold.
  • In the "IBR" column (Incorporation by Reference), there are no "N" entries for "no", with the exception of the provisions and clauses prescribed at FAR 52.107. This may cause some people to freak out, so I'll explain. FAR 52.102(c) states:
Quote

Agency approved provisions and clauses prescribed in agency acquisition regulations, and provisions and clauses not authorized by Subpart 52.3 to be incorporated by reference, need not be incorporated in full text, provided the contracting officer includes in the solicitation and contract a statement that—

(1) Identifies all provisions and clauses that require completion by the offeror or prospective contractor;

(2) Specifies that the provisions and clauses must be completed by the offeror or prospective contractor and must be submitted with the quotation or offer; and

(3) Identifies to the offeror or prospective contractor at least one electronic address where the full text may be accessed.

Thus, if the FAR Matrix contained a "Y" in the IBR column, my matrix will also contain a "Y". If the FAR Matrix contained an "N" in the IBR column, or the provision or clause came from the DFARS or a DoD class deviation, then my matrix will contain a "Y*". The key at the top of the matrix contains an explanation for the "Y*" entry. If you're wondering how to incorporate a provision or clause that contains fill-in material or something the offeror must complete, see FAR 52.102(a) and FAR 52.104(d).

You can see the matrix on the DAU Acquisition Community Connection. I'm open to suggestions for making it better. Also, I would like to think that it doesn't contain any errors. However, if you spot one please let me know. As an incentive, I will add your agency's provisions and clauses (the ones in Title 48 of the CFR) to the matrix if you point out a mistake.

 


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Don - Not associated with an agency so did not go through the matrix in detail for an incentive, or at least that is my excuse.  Quick thoughts.....

I suspect you went to a lot of work to create and it would take same to maintain as the FAR/DFAR and additional 31 Agency Supplements change.  I wonder if the effort is worth it when many depend on database programs to assemble the solicitation/contracts these days?  Clearly it would help in explaining why something is in a solicitation/contract but being from the old school days the matrix was handy in preparing the solicitation/contract as well.  Consider a connected effort in using the WIFCON poll discussion topic and ask how many folks refer to the matrix at all these days and why or why not?

An associated thought -  does your format help the private sector in understanding why a provision/clause ended up in a solicitation that they are considering?  To an extent yes, but my thought extends to both sides of the fence.  Personal experience admittedly but I find that if I have to go read the prescription under the current format I then find myself wading through the clause and even the details of the FAR/DFAR further.   I wonder if for lack of better term this "cause and effect" gets lost some how if you make it too easy for folks on the prescription?

Even with these thoughts I do think your suggested format is good idea. 

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Don,

Thank you for taking the time to create this helpful document. I am saving it to my hard drive under the title "Manfield's Matrix"

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Thanks, Don. I am looking it over for content. Providing the prescription narrative reminds me of PD2's clauses "usage" function that I used early in my career. Functionally, filters are one of the first things users will try to add to this matrix and they do not work well. It would be great if the councils took on this task as well - it is definitely a helpful tool/aid.

NOTE: I take it the Air Force does not qualify for the agency provisions and clauses ...

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Don,

I like this idea - thank you for your efforts.  Belonging to an agency that mandates we develop our solicitations within the contract writing system, and having seen how this can cause various errors in the resulting solicitation, your document would at a minimum serve as a great way to double check clause applicability against what the contract writing system says.

That being said, given that I work for a non-DoD agency, I became intrigued by your incentive to add an agency's provisions and clauses to the matrix should an error be found.  I knew my work would be cut out for me, however I believe I was able to stumble across one - isn't the prescription for FAR 52.204-5 Women-Owned Business (Other Than Small Business) found at 4.607(a) instead of 4.607(b) as indicated? :ph34r:

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On 10/10/2016 at 6:29 AM, C Culham said:

I suspect you went to a lot of work to create and it would take same to maintain as the FAR/DFAR and additional 31 Agency Supplements change.

The only FAR supplement that the matrix includes is the DFARS. I have no plans on adding non-DoD provisions and clauses (unless someone qualifies for my incentive).

 

On 10/10/2016 at 6:29 AM, C Culham said:

I wonder if the effort is worth it when many depend on database programs to assemble the solicitation/contracts these days?

I had been maintaining a Solicitation Preparation Guide, which received ~200,000 hits over the last 12 months and ~550,000 hits total. The guide contained prescriptions for all the provisions and clauses applicable to commercial items, which I kept up to date every time the FAR/DFARS changed, or a class deviation was issued. I found that this is what people mainly used it for. The guide will now direct people to the matrix, so I expect the same amount of traffic for the matrix at least.

19 hours ago, Jamaal Valentine said:

NOTE: I take it the Air Force does not qualify for the agency provisions and clauses ...

No. The provisions & clauses have to be in the CFR. 

 

47 minutes ago, TBone said:

isn't the prescription for FAR 52.204-5 Women-Owned Business (Other Than Small Business) found at 4.607(a) instead of 4.607(b) as indicated?

Yes, it is. My reference to FAR 4.607(b) was taken from the FAR matrix. I'll put DOE's clauses in the next version.

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Don,

Question as I'm using your matrix to review a solicitation one of my specialists put together and I think I may have found an error but am not 100% sure because both your matrix and the DON commercial item matrix appear to have the same issue.

Your matrix states that 252.216-7006 is not authorized for Commercial Items (CI), but DFARS  216.506(a) states to use this clause in solicitations and contracts lieu of FAR 52.216-18. According to FAR 12.301(e)(1), the clauses prescribed in 16.506 (of which 52.216-18 is one) are authorized for CI ID/IQ contracts. So based on the prescription in DFARS 216.506(a) to use 252.216-7006 in lieu of 52.216-18, wouldn't 252.216-7006 be authorized for use in CIs? 

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uva383,

The use of FAR 52.216-18 or DFARS 252.216-7006 would be discretionary. The policy for the discretionary use of FAR provisions and clauses is stated at FAR 12.301(e):

Quote

Discretionary use of FAR provisions and clauses. The contracting officer may include in solicitations and contracts by addendum other FAR provisions and clauses when their use is consistent with the limitations contained in 12.302.

When you see an "N" in the "CI" column of the matrix, block E5 explains "Entries of "N" indicate that provision or clause may not be used unless its use is consistent with the limitations at FAR 12.302. See FAR 12.301(e)."

Make sense?

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Because there is a number of provisions not included in solicitations when FAR provision 52.204-7 is used it probably is important to include these notes as well in the matrix.  The full list is in the reference.

Per 4.1202 – Solicitation Provision and Contract Clause

Except for commercial item solicitations issued under FAR Part 12, insert in solicitations the provision at 52.204-8, Annual Representations and Certifications. The contracting officer shall check the applicable provisions at 52.204-8(c)(2). When the provision at 52.204-7, System for Award Management, is included in the solicitation, do not include the following representations and certifications:

(1) 52.203-2, Certificate of Independent Price Determination.

(2) 52.203-11, Certification and Disclosure Regarding Payments to Influence Certain Federal Transactions.

(3) 52.204-3, Taxpayer Identification.

(4) 52.204-5, Women-Owned Business (Other Than Small Business).

(5) 52.204-17, Ownership or Control of Offeror

 

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