DFARS task force proposes 40 percent cut in procurement regs

Deidre Lee

A Defense Department task force has proposed changes that would slash more than 500 pages from the 1,400-page Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement and would revise another 22 percent of the document.

The DFARS Transformation Task Force, made up of 30 Defense acquisition and legal employees, has drafted about 800 proposed changes. The recommendations include automating many Defense Acquisition Regulation processes, and using commercial hardware and software.

'The integrated solution would automate various DAR processes such as collaboration among and deliberation by committees, the DFARS Council and the staff; coordination and approval of proposed and final rules; and records management of historical DFARS and the DFARS case files,' according to the task force's executive summary, released this month.

Additional recommendations from the task force include:
  • To create a separate document for procedures and guidance to replace much of DFARS' nonregulatory content

  • Expanding the use of broad agency announcements for all R&D efforts

  • Deleting obsolete text about restructuring costs.

The changes are designed to eliminate some of the lengthy procurement rules and policies that bog down the process.

Deidre A. Lee, director of Defense procurement, encouraged contractors to submit comments on how to improve DFARS. The department received more than 250 proposals.

The first phase of the DFARS transformation work'to determine nonstatutory text that could be cut'was completed in November.

The second phase began in February. The task force identified ways to streamline Defense buying rules, reduce acquisition costs and administrative burdens, and fine-tune the clarity of the regulations.

The task force finished its work in May, and DOD released the recommendations this month.

The Defense Acquisition Regulations Council will review the changes, then route them to Lee's office for prioritization and approval, said Ron Poussard, deputy director of Defense Acquisition Regulation System.

The proposals will be prepared for publication and public comment in the Federal Register, officials said.

Poussard said the work so far has shown that about 60 percent of DFARS is 'driven by internal policies and procedures and not driven by statute or federal policies.'

'While many policies and procedures in the DFARS are sound, they may not always be the most effective approach for every situation and certainly do not require restrictive regulations in every case,' he said.

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