Army revises its service contracting rules

Army revises its service contracting rules

The Army last week eased its fairly new restrictions on services contracts.

In October, the service had revised the Army Federal Acquisition Regulation to require that all services purchases of more than $10 million use performance-based, fixed-price contracts.

To use any other type of vehicle, an Army organization had to obtain a waiver from Claude M. Bolton, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology.

Now, the service has raised the threshold to $50 million, said Capt. Amy Hannah, public affairs officer.

The rule excludes five areas: R&D, architect and engineer, emergency, OMB Circular A-76, and environmental remediation services.

It's unclear what prompted the latest revision or how the change will affect programs, but not everyone is pleased.

Bruce Leinster, director of contract negotiations and acquisitions policy for IBM Corp.'s public sector group, called the Army regulation alarming.

'Our question is, 'Why?' This has no standing either statutorily or regulatory,' he said.

Leinster, who is chairman of the Procurement Policy Committee of the Information Technology Association of America, said the regulation throws out years of procurement reform giving best value precedence in service contracts.

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