Is that Noncompetitive Award Justified? Prove It!
May 4, 2015
By: Lindsay Simmons
On April 13, 2015 the Department of Defense (DOD) issued a Memorandum regarding "Noncompetitive Contracts Awarded Based on Urgency". The purpose of the memo is to restate the requirements for "preparing, obtaining approval, and posting justification and approval (J&A) documents for contracts awarded using the unusual and compelling urgency exception in accordance with FAR 6.3." A 2014 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report was the catalyst for DOD’s memo. In its report, GAO found that DOD needed to improve its oversight of contracts awarded on this noncompetitive basis, establish a process for documenting that J&A’s are published in accordance with the FAR, and provide additional guidance to procurement staff – particularly in situations where the noncompetitive award "increases considerably beyond the initial contract amount."
Many federal agencies routinely issue sole source or noncompetitive awards based upon the exceptions contained in FAR 6.3. Often those agencies fail to follow the proper protocol or to have sufficient information in their J&A’s to support their actions. We expect GAO to continue to keep their eyes on this kind of activity – at DOD and elsewhere.
Lindsay Simmons is responsible for the contents of this Short Take.
© Jackson Kelly PLLC 2015