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Fara, is your question related to a specific solicitation or a question in general? If specific, I'd recommend that you ask the government contracting office for clarification. I haven't found any specific official clarification or definition but a "system", such as a telecommunications system or telephone system or building electrical system, generally incorporates the wiring and conduit that connect the switches, devices, distribution boxes, etc.
i do know a couple of friends that own or work for fire protection installation and maintenance companies. I can ask them how this has been interpreted. You could also ask your contacts at those type firms.
Thanks for the response. This is not for a specific contract. We are trying to prepare training for a large network of system designers and installers (several hundred) and this is a common question.
I would appreciate your checking with some of your contracts. It's an important issue, but as you already know, there is no answer in the FAR, and I have been unable to find any cases or other guidance. I don't want to wait until an inspector finds a system noncompliant.
Fara, I will try to check with my Construction contact tomorrow.