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FAR 13.5 Test Program for Commercial Items - expires Jan 1, 2012?

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To jad: What is your authority to start using the Test Program for Commercial Items? Don't get me wrong, my office has been anxiously awaiting this extension, but I have not seen a FAC that extends the test program to date.

Are you asking what is jad's authority to deviate from the FAR?

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The only thing keeping anyone from using the test program described in FAR 13.5 is the fact that FAR 13.500(d) says that the authority for the program expired on January 1, 2012. Well, that is no longer factually correct. Pub. L. 112-239 extended the program beyond that date. Statute trumps regulation. All a FAC should be expected to do is change that date. I see no FAR deviation in proceeding now to use the test program authority.

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Our office learned about the reinstatement of 13.5 at 0630 this morning and we started using at 0800 :D . Happy new year everyone!

Plus, all those folks who didn't realize the authority had expired, and continued doing business like they always had, are retroactively forgiven, by the inclusion of the phrase, "Effective as of January 1, 2012, . . ."

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The only thing keeping anyone from using the test program described in FAR 13.5 is the fact that FAR 13.500(d) says that the authority for the program expired on January 1, 2012. Well, that is no longer factually correct. Pub. L. 112-239 extended the program beyond that date. Statute trumps regulation. All a FAC should be expected to do is change that date. I see no FAR deviation in proceeding now to use the test program authority.

Apparently, the bureaucrats in DoD disagree with you. Yesterday, DPAP issued a class deviation to incorporate the new expiration date.

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Why am I not surprised? I wonder how many phone calls they got from the field asking if it was okay to act in accord with the law? I wonder how long it took them to "staff" that memo? I wonder how long it will take them to change the FAR? They could have accomplished the same thing in less time with a single email.

Better buying power, I guess.

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It will be interesting to see the GAO Report that comes with this extension.

"The conferees direct the Comptroller General to report to the congressional defense committees, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform by October 1, 2013, on the use of this authority. The Comptroller General's report should address, at a minimum: (1) the extent of use of the authority;(2) the cited rationales for use of the authority; (3) the acquisition outcomes that have resulted; and (4) any waste, fraud, or abuse that have resulted from the use of the authority."

Maybe they will also weigh in on why class deviations were issued??

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It will be interesting to see the GAO Report that comes with this extension.

"The conferees direct the Comptroller General to report to the congressional defense committees, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform by October 1, 2013, on the use of this authority. The Comptroller General's report should address, at a minimum: (1) the extent of use of the authority;(2) the cited rationales for use of the authority; (3) the acquisition outcomes that have resulted; and (4) any waste, fraud, or abuse that have resulted from the use of the authority."

Maybe they will also weigh in on why class deviations were issued??

I believe that Congress wants to know to what extent that the FAR 13.5 Test Program for Commercial Items has really been used and if it is effective. From earlier threads, it was apparant that policy officials thought it was not used much, so they did not pursue an extension before it expired. Apparently, there were holes in the data concerning acquisitions that used the test program.

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I believe that Congress wants to know to what extent that the FAR 13.5 Test Program for Commercial Items has really been used and if it is effective. From earlier threads, it was apparant that policy officials thought it was not used much, so they did not pursue an extension before it expired. Apparently, there were holes in the data concerning acquisitions that used the test program.

Anyone want to place any bets on whether GAO will do any better at finding if this authority is effective than the last couple of times they looked? See Benefits of Simplified Acquisition Test Procedures Not Clearly Demonstrated, GAO-01-517, Apr 20, 2001 and

No Reliable Data to Measure Benefits of the Simplified Acquisition Test Program, GAO-03-1068, Sep 30, 2003.

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I do not believe the reauthorization act is self executing. Thus, the reason for a FAR deviation until a FAC is issued. I tell my folks to use 13.5 anyway, because there is literally no risk--when the FAR cathes up, everything will be retroactive. But alas, in my agency no one has the courage to do it, which is surprising to me given that they seldom follow any of the other procurement rules.

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