June 21, 2017

DoD Seeks Industry Input on DFARS Buying Reform

Holland & Knight Government Contracts Blog
Mary Beth Bosco

The Department of Defense (DoD) is asking contractors to help identify solicitation provisions and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) clauses that impose unnecessary regulatory burdens. DoD has invited written comments from the public. The comments are due on August 21, 2017. 82 Fed. Reg. 20841 (June 20, 2017). The comments will be accessible to the public.

DoD’s effort is in response to the February 24, 2017 Executive Order (EO), “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda.” The purpose of the EO is to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens. To that end, federal agencies must establish Regulatory Reform Task Forces focusing on developing recommendations for repealing, replacing, or modifying the agency’s regulations.

The EO identifies the types of regulations meriting reform. Of most relevance to government contractors are solicitation provisions or clauses that:

  • Eliminate jobs, or inhibit job creation;
  • Are outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective;
  • Impose costs that exceed benefits; or
  • Interfere with regulatory reform initiatives and policies.

DoD also announced that it may share the comments it receives with the ‘‘Section 809 Panel,’’ which was established under section 809 of the National Defense Act for Fiscal Year 2016. The Section 809 Panel is tasked with reviewing the DFARS in order to streamline and increase the efficiency of the defense acquisition process and to maintain the defense technology advantage.

This invitation presents contractors with a unique opportunity to shape the DFARS and potentially reduce regulatory burden, compliance costs, and the acquisition process. Our government contracts group stands ready to help contractors achieve these purposes.

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