Rule simplifies defense buys in emergencies

The civilian and defense Federal Acquisition Regulation councils late last month issued an interim rule simplifying the way agencies can buy products or services for defense or recovery from terrorist attacks.

The Homeland Security Act of 2002 required the changes to the FAR. The new regulations will last until Nov. 24.

The rule raised the simplified-acquisition threshold, which outlines basic buying procedures for some contracts, to $200,000 from $100,000. The micropurchase threshold, which lets agencies make purchases via credit card directly from vendors, rose to $7,500 from $2,500.

The regulations also let agencies waive two other restrictions: the sole-source threshold of $3 million for contracts to nonmanufacturing companies and $5 million for manufacturing companies in the 8(a) and Historically Underutilized Business Zone programs, and the $5 million limit on commercial items being developed under test programs.

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