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I'm not new to federal contracting but I thought this would be a good place to ask this question, and hope that in some eyes, I'm not overcomplicating things.  I've often ascribed the borrowing of FAR Part procedures as the borrowing of a section of a FAR but I've been asked whether that's accurate and didn't have a good enough answer.  For example someone in my office wants to borrow 1 line from part 15 in a FAR Part 13 acquisition.  My answer was that they're borrowing the evaluation procedure, not the evaluation sentence under FAR Part 15 yada yada.  But then I'm asked what the definition of a procedure is and I didn't have an answer.  It's not defined under FAR Part 2. 

So my question is, what is a procedure in the context of using a "combination of procedures" from any parts of the FAR to craft an acquisition?

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Terms matter in contracting... they have specific meaning, so be aware of what exactly you are saying to potential offerors/quoters when borrowing the language.

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In my view, a procedure in Federal contracting is a set of rules under which you solicit and award a contract. Usually this means either FAR 8.4, 13, 14, 15, or 16.5 procedures, and FAR 12 procedures may be used in combination with 13-15 (for some reason, the correct application of FAR 12 remains an enigma to so many 1102s).

In your case, your colleague was using FAR 13 procedures, and therefore must abide by all applicable rules under that part. The fact that a technique was borrowed from a different FAR part does not change the equation; in fact, borrowing evaluation techniques from FAR 15 and other FAR parts is expressly allowable pursuant to FAR 13. The risk here is taking things too far - borrowing to the extent that you give contractors the impression that you're effectively utilizing a different set of procedures than what you state. In that case, GAO has found that you could unintentionally convert your procedures to a different set of procedures.

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Within context, I think of procedures as the contract formation methods of sealed bidding or negotiation. Within each category we have competitive and noncompetitive. Additionally, there are specific procedures for commerical items, simplified acquisitions, supplies, services, construction, etc..

Procedures vary based on the supply or service, contract type, dollar value, sources of supply, competition, place of performance,  etc.

The scope of many FAR parts explain what policies and procedures that part prescribes. These procedure can be used in whole, part, or in combination as appropriate.

FAR 1.102-4(e), explains that "[t]he FAR outlines procurement policies and procedures that are used by members of the Acquisition Team."

FAR 1.302, says that "[a]gency acquisition regulations shall be limited to -- (a) Those necessary to implement FAR policies and procedures within the agency…"

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Guest Vern Edwards

A procedure is a particular sequence of actions to be taken when executing a process.

For example, in the process of source selection, FAR Subpart 15.3, the establishment of a competitive range and the conduct of discussions, FAR 15.306(c) and (d), are actions constituting the procedure for conducting exchanges with offerors after receipt of proposals. That procedure does not mandatorily apply when conducting a simplified acquisition (Part 13), making a buy under a GSA FSS contract (Subpart 8.4), or providing a fair opportunity to be awarded a task order under a multiple award IDIQ contract (Subpart 16.5). It is a Part 15 procedure.

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