FAR to include earned-value management system policy

The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council plan to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation to add policies governing earned-value management systems.

'FAR coverage is essential to help standardize the use of earned-value management systems across the government,' said the notice posted in today's Federal Register by the General Services Administration, Defense Department and NASA.

An earned-value management system is a project management application that integrates the scope of work with cost, schedule and performance elements for optimal project planning and control. The proposed rule changes are necessary to implement earned-value management requirements in Office of Management and Budget Circular A-11. They will affect contracting officers, program managers and contractors with earned-value management systems. Comments on the proposal are due by June 7.

Various federal regulations, including the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996, require a process for defining, analyzing and tracking the cost and performance of major IT investments.
The proposed rule establishes standard earned-value management provisions, a standard clause and a set of guidelines for governmentwide use, including the requirement and timing of an Integrated Baseline Review, which verifies the technical content and the performance of budgets, resources and schedules.

Typically, the baseline review is conducted only after an agency awards a contract. However, the proposal considers performing the baseline review prior to award. Due to the time and cost of performing the baseline review, 'when IBRs are conducted prior to award, consideration should be given to limiting the competitive range,' the notice said. GSA specifically seeks comments on the feasibility of conducting the review before award and whether all contracts require an integrated review.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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