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D&F vs. Determination: Is there a difference?

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FAR 2.101 defines ?Determination and Findings? as "a special form of written approval by an authorized official that is required by statute or regulation as a prerequisite to taking certain contract actions. The ?determination? is a conclusion or decision supported by the ?findings.? The findings are statements of fact or rationale essential to support the determination and must cover each requirement of the statute or regulation."

There are a few places in the FAR that specifically call for a D&F, for instance FAR 12.207( B)(1)"(ii)The contracting officer?(A) Executes a determination and finding (D&F) for the contract..." There are other places in the regulations that state a determination must be made, for instance 13.106-1( B)(1), which states "contracting officers may solicit from one source if the contracting officer determines that the circumstances of the contract action deem only one source reasonably available...", but do not specify a D&F.

Logically, all determinations made must be supported by facts and rationale of some sort. So why does the FAR specify some instance where a D&F is required, but require other determinations to be made not in the form of a D&F? And is there a difference (other than the title at the top of the document) between a D&F and one of the 'other' determinations?

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Logically, all determinations made must be supported by facts and rationale of some sort. So why does the FAR specify some instance where a D&F is required, but require other determinations to be made not in the form of a D&F? And is there a difference (other than the title at the top of the document) between a D&F and one of the 'other' determinations?

I don't know the answer. The term "determination and findings" has been around for a very long time and is not used exclusively in contracting statutes and regulations. There is no guidance for its use in the FAR Drafting Guide. The earliest use of it that I have been able to find was in a 1939 entry in the Federal Register that did not have anything to do with contracting. The term is used in several titles of the United States Code and of the Code of Federal Regulations in contexts other than than contracting. See, e.g., 39 U.S.C. ? 404 concerning specific powers of the Postal Service:

Any determination of the Postal Service to close or consolidate a post office shall be in writing and shall include the findings of the Postal Service with respect to the considerations required to be made under paragraph (2) of this subsection. Such determination and findings shall be made available to persons served by such post office.

And see the regulations of the Federal Election Commission, 11 CFR ? 9039.3:

An inquiry conducted under this section may be used to obtain information relevant to candidate eligibility, matchability of contributions and repayments to the United States Treasury. Information obtained during such an inquiry may be used as the basis, or partial basis, for Commission certifications, determinations and findings under 11 CFR parts 9033, 9034, 9036 and 9038. Information thus obtained may also be the basis of, or be considered in connection with, an investigation under 2 U.S.C. 437g and 11 CFR part 111.

I suspect that the term is used in FAR only when a statute requires a determination and findings, but I have not checked that.

To see a fun copy of a really old D&F, go to https://www.osti.gov/opennet/servlets/purl/...vN/16387581.pdf.

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When the FAR requires a D&F, I write one in the dictated format. When it only requires a determination, I might hand-write it on the back of an envelope, so to speak.

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