INDUSTRY BRIEFS

Industry group proposes waiver of COTS laws

The Council of Defense and Space Industry Associations (CODSIA) is proposing that the government waive more than four dozen procurement laws when purchasing commercial products.

Under the newly enacted Federal Acquisition Reform Act, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy is empowered to lift government-unique requirements placed on federal vendors of off-the-shelf items.

Among other provisions, CODSIA proposes waiving the Trade Agreements Act and the Buy American Act for commercial buys. Information technology vendors complain that both laws make it more difficult to sell computers and related equipment—whose parts are commonly made overseas—to the government.

A public meeting with federal procurement officials to discuss which laws OFPP should waive is scheduled for June 3.

DOD issues its final policy on contracting with SDBs

The Defense Department has issued its final policy on contracting with small, disadvantaged businesses.

Under the new rule, DOD contracting officials will consider prime contractors' use of SDBs and woman-owned businesses as subcontractors in past-performance ratings and expand the policy's use of special evaluation factors for SDBs to cover best-value procurements.

The rule change grew out of last year's Supreme Court decision, Adarand v. Pena, which said the government had to define its minority contracting programs more narrowly.

FEC rules on electronic filing of campaign finance reports

The Federal Election Commission plans to issue a set of rules for candidates to file their campaign finance reports electronically. A law passed last year requires the FEC to have the new system in place by next year.

Proposed rules would require candidates' reports to meet technical specifications that will be determined by the agency. Reports would also have to be accepted by validation software that the agency is developing and be accompanied either by a signature on paper from a campaign official or a digital image of that person's signature.

Comments on the proposal are due May 28.

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