GSA releases FAR rules for Section 508

GSA releases FAR rules for Section 508

By Julie Britt and

Tony Lee Orr

GCN Staff


APRIL 26'The General Services Administration has released the final Federal Acquisition Regulation guidelines for making acquisitions comply with Section 508.

The Section 508 amendments to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 required that the FAR incorporate standards developed by the Access Board for making information technology accessible to disabled federal employees and other users of federal IT.

The new FAR buying rules apply to contracts awarded on or after June 25, 60 days from its April 25 publication in the Federal Register. For indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts, the FAR rules cover delivery and task orders issued on or after June 25.

At a recent GSA-sponsored meeting to discuss acquisitions and accessibility, several procurement officers decried the lack of detail in the FAR revision.

As to the call for clearer buying guidance, GSA's Deborah C. Erwin said, 'It is not happening. It is confusing, but the [FAR] is the way it is set up.' To determine technical standards, Erwin suggested contracting officers review details laid out in the federal Access Board's rules.

The Access Board regulations, published in the Federal Register on Dec. 21, are quite specific technically in parts and should help clarify the procurement regulations, said Dave Yanchulis, an accessibility specialist with the board.

The new FAR guidelines can be found online at www.section508.gov/docs/Final99607A.htm.


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