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Recent Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Rule Finalizes Enhanced Competition Procedures for Federal Supply Schedules (FSS)

An interim rule was published in the Federal Register on March 16, 2011 increasing competition requirement for Multiple Award Contracts, and implemented Section 863 of the Fiscal Year 2009 Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The interim 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;
  • Other Multiple Award Indefinite-Delivery-Indefinite-Quantity (MAIDIQ) contracts.


A summary of the changes enacted by interim rule can be found here: Requirements for Acquisitions Pursuant to Multiple-Award Contracts, Interim Rule.

After the interim rule was released on the Federal Register, public comments were received and reconciled by the FAR Council, and the final rule was published in the Federal Register on March 2, 2012.

The final FAR rule made three significant changes to what was published and enacted last year. The changes that were made are listed below:

Most importantly, FAR 8.405—3(e) was amended to remove the competition advocate approval of single-award BPA options. Additionally, there were two changes that were made to improve the consistency and clarity of FAR Subpart 8.4. These two changes are listed below:

  • FAR 8.405—3(a)(7)(v): This section was modified to correct an error in the threshold amount. The amount has been corrected to read $103 million in the final rule to reflect inflation.
  • FAR 8.405—3(c)(3): This section has been revised to add the following at the end of the third paragraph: “The ordering activity is responsible for considering the level of effort and the mix of labor proposed to perform a specific task being ordered, and for determining that the total price is reasonable through appropriate analysis techniques, and documenting the file accordingly.” This was added to ensure that the price of an order requiring a statement of work (SOW) is being evaluated when placed under a blanket purchase agreement (BPA) with hourly rate services. This language is also consistent with the evaluation of orders requiring a SOW in FAR 8.405—2(d).


To view training videos on Section 863, visit our GSA Training playlist for a New Ordering Procedures for GSA Schedules video session with Nick West. This training 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. In addition, one of the easiest methods to comply with the enhanced completion requirements under the FSS program is to post your Request for Quote (RFQ) on e-Buy, GSA’s Online RFQ ordering tool. Please visit our GSA Schedules YouTube playlist to watch a series of videos on how to effectively utilize e-Buy when completing the establishment of FSS BPAs or task/delivery orders.

All training material on Section 863 will soon be updated to reflect the changes made in the final rule discussed above.


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