Pentagon proposes rule to encourage commercial practices

By Marjorie Censer  / July 3, 2018

The Pentagon late last month proposed amending defense acquisition regulations to "encourage contractors to propose commercial or non-Government standards and industry-wide practices that meet the intent of military specifications and standards."

The proposed amendment to the defense federal acquisition regulation supplement would implement part of the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, according to a notice in the Federal Register.

Under the proposed change, DOD would require that Pentagon solicitations and contracts that include military- or government-unique specifications include a provision on alternatives to government-unique standards.

In doing so, the department would "encourage and permit offerors to propose alternatives to Government-unique standards using an existing [Federal Acquisition Regulation] provision," the notice reads.

The notice, however, says DOD's existing policy "discourages the use of military specifications and standards in solicitations."

The changed requirement, it adds, will not be applied to solicitations for contracts valued at or below the simplified acquisition threshold or to contracts for commercial items, including commercial-off-the-shelf items, because they typically do not include government-unique standards.

The government is accepting comments on the proposed rule through Aug. 28.