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New FAR Rule: Section 863

An interim FAR rule has been published in the Federal Register to include Section 863 of the Fiscal Year 2009 Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This rule enhances competition requirements for orders placed against multiple-award contracts, including:

  • Federal Supply Schedules (FSS);
  • FSS Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs);
  • Government-Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) such as ALLIANT, and Networx; and
  • Other Multiple Award Indefinite-delivery-Indefinite-Quantity (MAIDIQ) contracts

A major component of this policy change requires fair notice be given to all contract holders offering the required supplies and/or services prior to placing an order or establishing a FSS BPA estimated over the Simplified Acquisition Threshold ($150,000). eBuy meets the standard of providing “fair notice to all contractors”, for FAS affected contract vehicles such Schedules, GWACs, and certain MAIDIQ contracts because all vendors offering the required supplies and/or services are able to view the Request for Quote (RFQ). For FSS contracts, if you do not use eBuy or another means of providing fair notice, you must distribute the RFQ by some other means and receive at least three quotes. The use of eBuy, GSA’s request for quote solution, is the easiest way to meet these new competition requirements.

To learn more about the rule and how it affects the ordering procedures for FAS's contract vehicles, go to gsa.gov’s Schedules News and Resources. View training videos on Section 863 and eBuy. The training on Section 863 provides a detailed before and after look into the ordering procedures, showing ordering activities specifically which FAR rules have changed and how to best comply with the new rules. The eBuy training shows customer agencies how to use GSA’s RFQ tool to help maximize the competition and meet these new requirements. In addition, an audio podcast is available explaining how eBuy is an efficient way to satisfy the new rule. Check out this convenient one-page quick reference designed by GSA for the acquisition workforce.

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