Military publishes antibundling rule

Defense Department officials have published an interim rule to restrict the practice of contract bundling, in which several small contract requirements are combined into a single procurement.

The rule implements Section 801 of the Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2004 and pertains to combined contracts valued at more than $5 million. The rule's objective is to make sure that small businesses have a fair chance to compete for DOD contracts, according to the text of the rule.

Under the rule, agency officials may not consolidate contract requirements with a value of more than $5 million unless they provide market research and a determination by the senior procurement official that the benefits of such a combination "substantially exceed" the benefit of any alternative.

DOD officials will take comments on the rule through Nov. 16.

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