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A Visit From the FAR Council -- 2016 Update



At the end of calendar year 2014, I analyzed the number of Federal Acquisition Circulars (FACs) issued by the FAR Council, by month, from 2014 through 2000.  I had mentally noticed that the Council had a penchant for issuing FACs in December so I wanted to see if the actual numbers matched what I thought was happening.  The numbers did!  My mind was still working.  So this year, I updated my 2014 analysis. Well, in 2016 and 2015, the Council was quite merry in December.  They issued 2 FACs during December in each of those years. Since the beginning of 2000, or for the past 17 years, there have been 133 FACs issued. They are grouped by the 12 months of the year below.  (By the way, in 2014 I typed the incorrect number.  I typed 188 when the actual number was 118.)

  • January -- 11 FACs
  • February -- 4 FACs
  • March -- 16 FACs
  • April -- 13 FACs
  • May -- 10 FACs
  • June -- 11 FACs
  • July -- 14 FACs
  • August -- 7 FACs
  • September -- 9 FACs
  • October -- 7 FACs
  • November -- 11 FACs, and
  • December -- 20 FACs.

As you can see, the FAR Council celebrates the December holidays by issuing FACs. The largest number of FACs--20--have been issued in December. Additionally, the FAR Council has issued FACs in 14 of the 17 Decembers. The only years that they missed were 2011, 2008, and 2005. (I just noticed that the years they missed were three years apart.  Obviously, a government conspiracy.)  In those 3 years, only 6 FACs were issued--the lowest number of FACs issued in any year. Perhaps, they just ran out of gas in those years.

Getting back to December, in 6 of the 17 years, including 2016 and 2015, the Council issued 2 FACs in December.  Again, that is the most for any month.  What can we conclude?  How about this.  Since the Council spreads holiday cheer in the only way it can during December by issuing FACs, they just love all of you.  And guess what.  There are still several business days left in 2016 and the Council has never issued 3 FAC's in any December, or for that matter, in any month.  If they feel extra cheery this year, maybe they will give you a third to ponder.


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We've safely made it past another February without a FAC.

Since it now takes the Congress until just before the New Year to pass a National Defense Authorization Act, I assume that it takes the Council members about 30 days to identify the new opportunities for regulatory excellence. After that, I assume they are probably stunned for another 30 days by the Congressional gibberish in the new legislation with what they must deal.

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I noticed that they snuck in the rule implementing E.O. 13706 (Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors) on Dec. 16 with an effective date of Jan. 1. Perhaps using the holidays to avoid another injunction?

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