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FAC 2023-05 Issued 8-8-2023: Breaking Down Three New Rules Amending FAR

Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2023-05 was issued on August 8th, 2023, setting forth three new final rules amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). We've read it so you don't have to. Here are the highlights (titles hyperlink to each rule):

Amends the FAR to implement the Acquisition 360 Survey tool, a voluntary online survey to elicit industry feedback on the preaward and debriefing processes in a consistent and organized manner in order to support continual improvement of the acquisition process.

The proposed questions for the survey were posted in an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) at 83 FR 34820 on July 23, 2018, Section II. The final question set will be available for public comment as part of the Paperwork Reduction Act common form information collection notice. (FedSubK will post a link here when available.) The current survey is available to view here.

This rule adds provision FAR 52.201-1, Acquisition 360: Voluntary Survey. Agencies may include it in solicitations at or below the simplified acquisition threshold (presently $250,000) and in solicitations for commercial services and commercial products, including Commercially Available Off-the-Shelf (COTS) items. Contracting Officers may insert the provision into solicitations in accordance with agency guidelines.

The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council (the Councils) and OFPP intend to publicize efforts taken in response to the survey data so that all parties can understand the impact and efforts undertaken as a result. The Councils and OFPP may perform certain analyses and develop statistics, reports, or other items summarizing the results of the collection activity and may make public aggregate information discussing efforts taken in response to the survey data. Efforts will be made not to disclose personal or private information related to any particular survey participant.

This rule will be effective 45 days after the date of publication. (on/about Sept 22, 2023).

Amends the FAR to update the net worth threshold for the owners of small disadvantaged business concerns to align with SBA’s regulations, and updates obsolete FAR citations to certain SBA regulations. FAR has removed the dollar value for this threshold throughout and now references Title 13 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 124.104(c)(2), which is presently "below $850,000".

The rule changes FAR Subpart 19.305, Reviews of SDB status to add "(c) An SBA review of a subcontractor’s SDB status differs from a formal protest. Protests of a concern’s size as a prime contractor are processed under 19.302. Protests of a concern’s size as a subcontractor are processed under 19.703(b)," and removes other conflicting FAR and CFR citations from the through FAR Part 19.

Associated FAR provisions and clauses are also revised to make conforming changes to FAR and CFR citations. They include:

  • 52.212-3 Offeror Representations and Certifications— Commercial Products and Commercial Services

  • 52.212-5 Contract Terms and Conditions Required To Implement Statutes or Executive Orders—Commercial Products and Commercial Services

  • 52.213-4 Terms and Conditions—Simplified Acquisitions (Other Than Commercial Products and Commercial Services)

  • 52.219-1 Small Business Program Representations

  • 52.219-8 Utilization of Small Business Concerns

  • 52.219-9 Small Business Subcontracting Plan

  • 52.219-28 Post-Award Small Business Program Rerepresentation

  • 52.244-6 Subcontracts for Commercial Products and Commercial Services

This rule will be effective 30 days after the date of publication. (on/about Sept 8, 2023).

Amends the FAR to update obsolete contact information, web addresses, and office titles necessary to obtain Federal and Defense specifications and standards from the DoD Acquisition Streamlining and Standardization Information System (ASSIST) website or, for Defense documents not available in ASSIST, from the Defense Standardization Program Office.

This rule adds a reference to American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z39.18 within the prescription for form SF 298 in part 53 to provide the source document that requires the use of the form.

Conforming changes are made in the FAR provisions at:

  • 52.211-1 Availability of Specifications Listed in the GSA Index of Federal Specifications, Standards and Commercial Item Descriptions, FPMR Part 10129

  • 52.211-2 Availability of Specifications, Standards, and Data Item Descriptions Listed in the Acquisition Streamlining and Standardization Information System (ASSIST)

  • 52.212-1 Instructions to Offerors - Commercial Products and Commercial Services

This rule will be effective 30 days after the date of publication. (on/about Sept 8, 2023).

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