DOD procurement chief: DFARS grants special buying authority for war

As the military battles on in Iraq and Afghanistan, Defense Department procurement officials can apply a special rule in the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement to speed buys supporting overseas operations.

During times of war, DFARS allows contracting officials to apply increased acquisition thresholds, Deidre A. Lee, director of Defense procurement, reminded department acquisition and procurement officials in an April 4 memorandum.

The Federal Acquisition Regulation and its Defense counterpart 'also allow us to treat buys that directly support defense against or recovery from terrorism or chemical, biological, nuclear or radiological attack as commercial items with no dollar limitation for use of simplified acquisition procedures,' Lee noted.

Lee's memo comes as Defense is more than midway through a review of DFARS. By April 30, a task force, which began work in February, is supposed to recommend ways to streamline Defense buying rules, said Michael W. Wynne, principal deputy undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics.

'My mark is to reduce the regulatory burden by 40 to 60 percent and cut the regulation process in half,' Wynne told service acquisition leaders in an earlier memo.

The department is accepting comments on how to improve DFARS at www.acq.osd.mil/dp/dars/transf.htm.

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