NDAA 2023 Specifies Data Required to Support Commercial Determinations

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2023, Section 803 amended the data that contractors are required to supply for commercial products at the subsystem, component and spare-part levels for major weapons system. While a DFARS proposed rule is being drafted, we expect Contracting Officers and DCMA Commercial Item Group (CIG) to begin requiring this information for proposed commercial products in advance of the DFARS proposed rule.

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Topics: DFARS Business Systems, Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR), Commercial Item Determination

Finally – Prior FAR 12 Contract = Commercial Item Determination, for the Most Part

DoD issued a final rule under DFARS Case 2020-D033, effective April 28, 2022, that allows Contracting Officers to rely on a contract issued under FAR Part 12 procedures to serve as a prior commercial item determination on future buys. It only makes sense, that Contracting Officers rely on prior FAR 12 contracts instead of recreating the wheel each time a contractor submits a commercial product/service and making the contractor continually support a product/service already determined commercial.

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Topics: DFARS Business Systems, Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR), Commercial Item Determination

DCMA Commercial Item Group - Year in Review

What is the Commercial Item Group (CIG)?

So, what is the DCMA CIG? They are the “cadre of experts” established under DCMA as a result of Section 831 of the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The purpose of the CIG is to assist DoD contracting officers in making commercial item determinations. There are several DCMA ACO’s that have warrants specific to making commercial item determinations on contractor assertions or higher-tier contractor determinations of its supplier’s assertions at the request of a buying command. DCMA CIG has price analysts and engineers that perform market research, evaluate the commercial submission, determine whether pricing is fair and reasonable as well as provide negotiation support.

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Topics: Proposal Cost Volume Development & Pricing, Commercial Item Determination

A Concerning ASBCA Finding on Commercial Item Definition

The Finding of Concern –

While the decision in the case (ASBCA, 21-1 BCA ¶37,823 Hollymatic Corporation, Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, (Mar. 22, 2021)) did not specifically rest on this finding; the board stated:

“Our reading of the solicitation is also supported by the fact this was a commercial acquisition pursuant to FAR Part 12 and the definition of a commercial item (product) in FAR 2.101, paragraph 1, requires the item to have been “sold, leased, or licensed to the general public; or has been offered for sale, lease, or license to the general public” (i.e., to presently exist in the market) (finding 2)”

A selective review and reference to this case by DCAA or DCMA could lead to the impression that for a product (i.e., item) to meet the FAR 2.101 definition of a commercial item the product must be completely developed and currently offered for sale in the commercial marketplace.

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Topics: Contracts & Subcontracts Administration, Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR), Commercial Item Determination

What Information Should I Include in a Commercial Item Determination?

A commercial item determination should define the item or service, document market research, identify the FAR 2.101 Commercial Item definition, and include a “determination” that the item is commercial. Sounds easy right!

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Topics: Proposal Cost Volume Development & Pricing, DFARS Business Systems, Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR), Commercial Item Determination

Commercial Item Determination is Only Needed Over $2M, Right?

DCAA/DCMA Viewpoint

If you look through the DCAA audit guidance and the DCMA Contractor Purchasing System Review guidance, you would think that the Government is only concerned with a Commercial Item Determination when the purchase value exceeds $2M. This is all based on commerciality being an exception to the requirement for certified cost or pricing data at FAR 15.403-1(b)(3) & (c)(3).

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Topics: Proposal Cost Volume Development & Pricing, DFARS Business Systems, Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR), Government Regulations, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Commercial Item Determination

DoD Expands Treatment of Contractor Purchases as Commercial Items

Here are the Details

DoD issued DFARs Final Rule D2019-D029 – Treatment of Commingled Items Under $10K, effective October 1, 2020, to implement several sections of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 that addresses treatment of commingled items purchased by contractors and services provided by nontraditional defense contractors as commercial items. This blog only addresses the DFARS change relative to the treatment of commingled items purchased by a contractor. The final rule is applicable to all solicitations and contracts, including solicitations and contracts using FAR Part 12 procedures for the acquisition of commercial items and solicitations and contracts valued at or below the simplified acquisition threshold.

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Topics: Contracts & Subcontracts Administration, DFARS Business Systems, DCAA Audit Support, Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR), Commercial Item Determination

Commercial Determinations (or Commercial Item Determinations) on Subcontract Items

Our Commercial Item Expert, Lynne Nalley, discusses and clarifies common questions and issues associated with commercial items and Commercial Item Determinations (CID).

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Topics: Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR), Vlog, Commercial Item Determination

Calling All Commercial Companies: “Become a Government Contractor and be Subject to Executive Orders Dictating Your Pay and Benefits Policies”

In an Executive Orders (EO) issued on Labor Day, President Obama continued to display his willingness to manage the personnel policies of government contractors. This latest EO, one of many directed solely at Government contractors, will require contractors to provide up to seven days paid sick leave (annually) for employees. The EO comes with the typical unsupported rhetoric that “we’ve seen that many companies, including small businesses, support these policies because they understand it’s helpful with recruitment and retention” and a separate assertion “that paid sick leave will improve contractor performance”. Perhaps unintended, but it is noteworthy that the White House did not state that many companies support the notion that paid sick leave will “improve contractor performance”; by implication, the White House could not find any companies which were sufficiently naive to buy-in to that highly speculative and wholly unsupported assertion.

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Topics: Employee & Contractor Compensation, Government Compliance Training, Commercial Item Determination

Commercial Item Pricing and DOD’s Vision of “Fair Pricing”

In a July 18, 2014 blog, we noted that a summation from a recent DOD-IG report (DODIG-2014-088) indicated that DLA (Defense Logistics Agency) had potentially overpaid about $9 million on 33 of 35 spare parts which were sole-sourced to the particular government contractor.  At the time, we only had the summary conclusion (the report was non-releasable); however, we recently obtained (through FOIA) a redacted copy of the DOD-IG report and that provides more clarity in terms of the alleged failings of DLA.  Coincidentally, we’ve recently read an article (Defense E-Brief published by NDIA) which emphasized that the Pentagon is putting defense contractors on notice that DOD contracting officers will demand fair prices for commercial items.

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Topics: Compliant Accounting Infrastructure, DOD IG, DFARS Business Systems, Commercial Item Determination